Thailand - PLEASE HELP with Itinerary

Old Sep 14th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Thailand - PLEASE HELP with Itinerary

Dear Fodorites:

I am planning 10 full days in Thailand over the Thanksgiving holiday. I am in desperate need of some help. I want to pack in Bangkok, Krabbi (unless some of you think there is a better, less touristy island), and some adventure. I am hearing and reading (on this site) mixed reviews on Chang Mai. Do I skip it?? How about Siam Reap? What is the right split on time? Suggestions on hotels (we can afford nicer spots)? Airlines?

I have planned some fabulous trips with the help of the people on these forums. Thanks in advance!
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 05:54 PM
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With only 10 days, I would skip a couple of the destinations that you have mentioned, and concentrate on just two of them. I would spend time in Bangkok and either Krabi or Phuket. You are probably flying in and out of Bangkok (that's just a guess, but a typical flight option). If so, I would split the time, 4-5 days in Bangkok at the start of your Thailand visit, followed by your beach location for another 3-4 days, and then return to Bangkok for your last day or two. This would allow you to sample two areas of the city, perhaps the river to begin with, and then move 'into the city center' for the end of your time in Bangkok. This city has a lot to offer. I, personally, could spend the full time just in BKK (and have done just that a number of times).

Some people like Chiang Mai (I am included here) and others do not like it. It is a big sprawling city, but is different from Bangkok. It is easier to get out of the city to a country atmosphere.

Many say that Siem Reap requires at least several days to see just the major temples. I would save this for another trip to Asia, when you have more time. If you enjoy this part of the world as much as many of us on this forum do, you'll be trying to figure out a way back as soon as you can!

Carol
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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You can just barely pack in Bangkok, Krabi and Siem Reap in 10 days, but I'm not sure you'll get all you want. Is there any chance you can add another day or two or three?

I'm not sure what you are looking for in terms of adventure. If you've never been to Thailand, it will all be an adventure.

I consider the Khmer temples in Cambodia to be one of the wonders of the world. How interested are you in these temples? You may want to buy or borrow Dawn Rooney's Book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples to learn a bit about them and decide your level of interest. It takes three full days to see the "major" temples. If you are especially interested in them you'll want more time. We spent a week there and loved it all. But some people get "templed out." If this is true of you, I'd suggest you not visit this trip but save them of another trip. It's expensive getting to/from Siem Reap, as there is only one airline: Bangkok Air. If you choose to go to Siem Reap, I recommend you have four nights there so you have three full days. Early morning and evening are the best viewing/photographing times.

But if you opt for Siem Reap, it leaves limited time for Krabi and Bangkok. Three nights somewhere is just two full days.

Bangkok is a marvelous city - my favorite city in the world. It certainly deserves more than two days! (My first trip to Bangkok well over 20 years ago was for 9 full days in Bangkok, I've been back many times since and I still can't get enough.) I think it's worthwhile to stay on the river for your first trip to Bangkok.

Pause and consider what are the most important things you want to see/do/experience on this trip. With those priorities in mind we can be more helpful.
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 06:18 PM
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Wow! Thanks for the quick responses! You both confirm what I have been worried about -- trying to do too much. I wish I could add more time, but sadly this is the most I can swing at this time.

I would like to see some of the countryside, villages...

How about 3 days Bangkok, 3 days Golden Triangle, 3 days Krabbi. Back to Bangkok and fly home. Still too much? (you can be honest!)

Alternatively, are there any day trips from Bangkok worth taking?
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 06:38 PM
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Personally, I think it is too much. You would have two full days in each place. That's just not enough for me.

You could go to Ayutthaya as a day trip from Bangkok. It would give you a chance to see some Buddhist ruins, and the river trip one way is lovely.

If you really want to see some countryside and villages you would need to spend time in the north and if you wanted to see genuine hilltribe villages with traditional lifeways intact you'd need to do an overnight trek.

My bias is to spend enough time in a place to get a flavor for it. So I'd recommend choosing two destinations. Consider this as your first trip to Thailand. If you are like many of us, you'll return again and again.

You might find it useful to peruse some of our photos: www.marlandc.com
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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I like the suggestion of a day trip (include the boat one way) to Ayutthaya. It will give you an idea about the ruins and whether you'd like to see more of them in Siem Reap on another trip to Asia.

The 3/3/3 plan you suggest would be a bit too rushed for me. Just my opinion. It takes more time than you might want to spend, just checking out of a hotel and then getting to the airport in the required time prior to a flight, waiting for a flight, flying, arriving in a new destination, getting luggage, finding a taxi, arriving and checking into another hotel...
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Old Sep 14th, 2011, 08:09 PM
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For only 10 days, I wouldn't go further two destinations. My two cents is: define clearly your goals and be realistic. Once you are clear what you want to do, for sure you will find the perfect itinerary.
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Old Sep 15th, 2011, 01:16 AM
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10 days not much time

for me Bangkok then

www.theangkorguide.net largest temple complex in asia

then Phuket or wherever for some beach time.
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Old Sep 15th, 2011, 01:19 AM
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www.kohtao.com

my fav especially if a diver nice vibe laid back

but tail end of monsoon season stay flexible

go somewhere else if rainy...
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Old Sep 15th, 2011, 06:31 AM
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i think 2 destinations would be perfect...

bkk and krabi or khoa lak would make nice destinations... for K/L you fly to phuket and drive one hour north...

krabi has a fab sheraton

the jw marriott in k/l is fab too or le meridien
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Old Sep 15th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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I think y'all are right, I must narrow to 2 destinations. Bangkok is a definite.

As for Krabi, can anyone recommend some awesome hotels that have more Thai flavor (with luxury) than a big hotel?

Thank you so much for the help!!
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Old Sep 15th, 2011, 11:53 AM
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I stayed at Phu Petra in Ao Nang last year and I highly recommend it. It was a stunning resort. It's slightly out of town though so you have to rely on their shuttle or take taxis. I walked to/from town a couple times and it took me about an half hour.
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Old Sep 15th, 2011, 12:06 PM
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my husband and I went for 10 days. Flew in at midnight..caught the 10AM flight down to Krabi...stayed there 4 nights, went to Bangkok for 2 nights which was more than enough (we are NOT city people), and then up to Chiang Mai for the duration. Chiang Mai was our favorite part...and the cheapest of it all too.
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