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yestravel Feb 13th, 2013 02:14 AM

Thailand -Where to visit for Second Visit
Last year we spent one month for our first visit in Thailand, visiting BKK, Aonang, Chiang MAI, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son Loop. We will be back next winter and were exploring what to see in Thailand, We'll spend 5-7 days in BKK. We were wondering about the Isaan area of Eastern Thailand. any comments on that or other places to visit. We like the culture, visiting temples some hiking if not terribly hot. And of course the delcious food. We don't love spending lots of time at beaches, but wouldn't preclude a couple days at a beautiful beach nearby BKK. Your thoughts are appreciated.

yestravel Feb 13th, 2013 02:15 AM

forgot to add likely we will be there in January and plan to spend about two weeks in Thaild. could do a few days more if need be.

Hanuman Feb 13th, 2013 03:56 AM

IMO Isaan or Essan is not a really good tourist area. There are some old Khmer temples or ruins in South Essan and some unique N.E. Thailand culture but nothing compare to the other parts of Thailand. If you really want to go I suggest Ubon Ratchathanee and it's a short drive to Southern Laos, Pakse, which you can add on for your trip.

Now not counting Essan I like to suggest "Nan". Northeast of Thailand and IMO it's like Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai 30 or 40 years ago. Some nice hotels and unique temples there. Good for 3 or 4 nights.

For beach, without having to fly to Southern Thailand, I like Hua Hin. It's sort of like a second home for me and I know the area well. Nice white sandy beach but the water is not as clear as Southern Thailand. After the new year holiday the town will be perfect and will not be crowded as well. Lots of good restaurants for both local food (seafood) as well as Western food. Nice national parks within 1 - 3 hours drive from Hua Hin.

Just some ideas for you to consider and I'll mark down January as the month for our GTG!

Hanuman Feb 13th, 2013 04:05 AM

Forgot to add that the drive from Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan is quite nice. Prachaup is another old town with lots of history, recent history from WW 2 onward. Also, good Southern Thai food there for you to taste!

yestravel Feb 13th, 2013 06:13 AM

Thank you so much...these all sound great. will research them and I'm sure will be back with more questions for you. Yes, pls do mark down January for a GTG. We would love to meet you!

Kalbozey Feb 13th, 2013 07:29 AM

I second what Hanuman stated above ... not much of interest in the Essan region as I have been there several times. Once at the Sofitel Raja Khon Kaen, I asked the concierge about the area's landmarks as I read about Khmer ruins & temples and dinosaur discoveries in the area. His response was to just stay at the hotel and enjoy the property!

Ubonrattana Dam and the big Buddha above it were interesting though:

You have been to Bangkok & the North, I suggest you visit an island destination in addition to Bangkok ... Krabi (including Railay Beach) comes to mind :)

rhkkmk Feb 13th, 2013 10:23 AM

we went to issan last fall...see my trip report... it is the poorest part of thailand and is largely an area of farms. we liked going there but would not return. it held little of interest to us as western visitors.

hua hin is a great little town to visit... we love the hyatt there... you can take a once daily shuttle from the bangkok hyatt to the HH hyatt for about 1000B each.. res necessary. or you can take a taxi or bus or train.

we love the jw marriott in khao to phuket and rent a car or taxi or hotel van for the 1 hour drive north. i like having my own car there... 5 days is perfect.

ko chang is another interesting area... so is krabi

yestravel Feb 13th, 2013 01:07 PM

Thanks for your thoughts. I will check out four TR rhk. We spent 5-6 days in Aonang and visited Railay beach among others and felt we had plenty of time in that area, so doubt we'd go to Krabi.

rhkkmk Feb 13th, 2013 03:23 PM

sorry, i did not read Ao Nang into that word...duh...

i think you would like khao lak... range of hotels there with marriott and meridien the best of the chains..

HH has lots of advantages, not the least of which is no flt required... a gtg there with pook is a huge advantage too.

yestravel Mar 11th, 2013 12:25 PM

After about a week in BKK mid -January we will be in Burma for about 3 weeks if plans work out ok. Still waiting to finalize the Burma portion of our trip. That would put us back in Thailand in mid-Feb.

Hanuman - u suggested Nan which sounds like something we will enjoy. My concern is the burning of the fields at that time of the year. is that area effected by it? It sounds like one needs a car to get around Nan - would you agree? Its not a problem if we ned a car, we actually enjoy driving on our own. We're thinking we might go back to Chiang Mai and go to Nan from there. Is that doable? thanks

rhkkmk - for some reason I'm not finding your TR on Issan -- which report is it a part of? thanks

rhkkmk Mar 11th, 2013 01:01 PM

its calle "rhkkmk's fall trip 2012" or something similar... its in the middle of that report

rhkkmk Mar 11th, 2013 01:05 PM

starts on nov 17

yestravel Mar 11th, 2013 02:14 PM

Finally found it--thank you

Hanuman Mar 11th, 2013 05:26 PM

Hi again!

IMO February is still OK in term of the smog from the burning. This year, so far, the smog is almost non existent perhaps from the strange weather pattern but Nan is definitely in the "zone".

Nan can be reach by air from Bangkok on "Nok Air" out of Don Mueang. I like the airline and it's cheap so that's a plus. You can also buy one way tickets cheaply and fly out of another town, Chiang Mai, if you wish. Once there it would help to rent a car to explore the area but you can decide once you're there.

Let me know if you need anymore information.

yestravel Mar 13th, 2013 08:21 AM

Thanks! any recommendations on where to stay in Nan? Do you think 5 days would be too much there? After 3 weeks of buzzing around in Burma, we're thinking it would be nice to settle in and just do some nice easy day trips.

Hanuman Mar 13th, 2013 08:51 AM

I like the Pukha Nanfa hotel and it's probably the most luxurious in Nan. 5 Days, or 4 nights, is good IMO but Nan might be a bit like Burma and you were there for 3 weeks. You can always change your plan when you are there and I'm sure you will enjoy visiting Nan.

dgunbug Mar 13th, 2013 02:24 PM

Have you been to the summer palace and ayyuthia? We enjoyed both as a day trip and regret not having continued on to spend a few days in sukothai. There's also the kanchanburi area to visit.

yestravel Mar 14th, 2013 04:52 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. We've not been to the Kanchanburi area. Will look into that.

Hanuman Mar 18th, 2013 04:33 AM

Just a heads up - the burning and smoke is in full swing and started appearing around last Friday. From my own experience March to early April are the months to avoid the North of Thaialnd.

yestravel Mar 18th, 2013 05:36 AM

Thanks for the warning. We will be leaving Thailand at the end of February so hopefully it will not be a problem. Right now we're thinking of going to Chiang Mai and then to Nan around the middle of February and end at the beach at Hua Hin the last week of Feb. You had mentioned earlier the drive from Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan as being nice. How far of a drive is that?

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