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virginiafish Jul 9th, 2012 05:30 PM

Thailand trip-help plan?
Hello- We are 2 - 62 year olds traveling with our 2 adult children, 23 and 31. We have traveled a lot, and together, and do so mostly independently, which we would like to on this trip. We can hire private guides as needed. We enjoy cultural emersion (home stay), village life, outdoors (moderately strenuous), bicycling, temples & museums (in moderation) and good, indigenous food. We are fine with clean, budget accommodations and public transportation (but happy to get short flights). We are flexible and have about 2 1/2 weeks to spend in Thailand and would like some off the beaten path experiences. Three of us have not been to Asia before. Any thoughts on an itinerary? Much appreciated!!

rhkkmk Jul 9th, 2012 07:57 PM

what month??

cost of hotel per night??

these will help us make suggestions.

there are quite a few national parks to hike in in large one near chiang mai in northern thailand... you might be interested in exploring the areas between chiang mai and chiang rai in the north..

any interest in beaches??

bkk is a great city to explore... i prefer 5 days there for a first timer..

remember it is very hot and humid in thailand 24/7 for 365 days--coolest in nov-jan.

virginiafish Jul 10th, 2012 12:49 PM

We want to travel in November, for 15-17 days, ending between Nov. 23-25.

Looking for moderately priced, clean hotels. We don't need fancy.

Beaches could be optional. one of us scuba dives and we all snorkel but, since this will probably be our only trip to Thailand (and maybe Asia), we want to experience that which we can only do there.

I hear you about bkk for 5 days, especially since we may be jet-lagged if we start there.

thanks for your help in advance.

Kathie Jul 10th, 2012 01:01 PM

Do you just want to stay in Thailand, or are you interested in a side-trip to Angkor Wat or Luang Prabang?

While you have enought time for 4 stops, if you stick with three places, you'll have more time to explore, experience and enjoy. So Bangkok and northern Thailand are set, now consider what else you want to do/see/experience.

BTW, moderate price covers differnt territory for different people. If you can give us an idea of what you mean by moderate - US$100 a night? $50-75 a night? $150 a night? we can be more helpful. Ther aer a number of internet booking sites for hotel that are worth looking at I often use for Thailand, but also take a look at

virginiafish Jul 10th, 2012 05:53 PM

Kathie, We are looking at $50-75/night/ double in Thailand values. In the US, we are happy with boutique hotels or B&Bs or Marriott Suites. Open to a village stay, though, as we camp.

On another note, feeling some concerns about traveling in the north remote areas of Thailand, which we were looking forward to seeing with a guide perhaps (Ma Hong Son) and are concerned about travel advisories. Now, we are thinking about whether we should go to Taiwan instead. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Kathie Jul 10th, 2012 06:47 PM

Virginia, I just went to the state dept website and read the advisory. There is an art to reading those advisories - basically, they warn about everything. Let me say that I wouldn't hesitate to go to the areas you are considering.

rhkkmk Jul 10th, 2012 07:18 PM

no problem travelling in the north

virginiafish Jul 10th, 2012 07:26 PM

okay-feeling comfortable going to Thailand. Any itinerary thoughts?

virginiafish Jul 10th, 2012 07:31 PM

p.s. thank you!

Cattail Jul 11th, 2012 02:28 AM

Virginia, the Elephant Nature Park north of Chaing Mai offers home-stay volunteer vacations for a very reasonable price, including meals and guides. My husband and I recently did a week on-site with them which proved to be an experience of a lifetime.

Kathie Jul 11th, 2012 07:50 AM

Virgina, Decide what you want to do in Thailand. If, for instance, you'd be interested in a week at the Elephant Nature Park, that takes up almost half of your time. You've also mentioned doing some trekking, which is a few more days. You've agreed you want some time in Bangkok. I asked about side trips to Laos or Cambodia - are you interested in that? Or, you might get your ruins fix at Sukhothai.

Do you have a Thailand guidebook? If not, get one. Fodors has an excellent one as does the Lonely Planet. You need to browse through a guidebook to help you decide.

rhkkmk Jul 11th, 2012 08:14 AM

hotel site:

paying $100 in bkk would give you a really nice hotel

virginiafish Jul 11th, 2012 04:49 PM

Cattail-thanks, we will check into this. I think we are looking to volunteer in care of the elephants for a day (not just take a ride).
Kathie-we have Lonely Planet and DK and are starting to digest them (in-between working...). Shortly, we will have better ideas on our areas of interest. I think we want to stay in Thailand the entire time.
rhkkmk-great site. we have some Marriott rewards points, so may use them for Bangkok.
More soon. Can't thank you all enough!

virginiafish Jul 13th, 2012 01:16 PM

Guide for North and Northeast Thailand: Has anyone used the services of Charlie [email protected]?

rhkkmk Jul 13th, 2012 02:28 PM

i am a loyal marriott person, but i rarely use pts in bkk as the hotels are so reasonable..

virginiafish Jul 13th, 2012 02:29 PM

rhkkmk-I agree. We are going to use the points to stay in Singapore for a 3 day visit at the end of the 2 1/2 weeks. Our son has a friend there and they want to show us around.

virginiafish Jul 26th, 2012 09:32 AM

Thanks for help given so far; it it so appreciated! Here's where we are now--We need help in planning our itinerary. We are flying into BKK and then going right to CM. We have 4 nights in CM @ Baan Orapin, ending 11/12. We fly out of Chiang Rai to BKK 11/21 and spend 3 nights there at Evergreen Place. Then, we are going to Singapore for 4 days, as we have a friend there. We need advice on the itinerary in the north. We assume we will go to a cooking school and the Elephant Conservation center for 2 of the 4 days in CM and will need the first day to sleep off jet lag. We would like some authentic village experiences (happy to hike in and sleep over), caving, hiking to waterfalls, small village or towns. We have been awaiting a reply from a recommended tour guide (Charlie), who we hope we could have for 4-5 days. Any thoughts about these 9 days after CM? Should we add Laos to the itinerary? Thanks in advance.

virginiafish Jul 31st, 2012 02:05 PM


virginiafish Jul 31st, 2012 05:12 PM

Thinking of adding Mekong Cruise in Laos to itinerary- The Vat Phou boat. I put this on the Laos forum, too, but thought someone here may know also.

Kathie Jul 31st, 2012 05:44 PM

It looks like you have the time for that. Certainly an option to consider. I don't know that particular boat - is it a cruise to Luang Prabang or does it go farther south?

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