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Trip plans to SE Asia for 2014 coming together! Int'l flights purchased!

Trip plans to SE Asia for 2014 coming together! Int'l flights purchased!

May 23rd, 2013, 04:23 AM
  #21  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Did I forget to mention when we'll be there? We arrive on January 19 and also leave on Jan. 23. Do you then go to Chiang Mai after BKK?
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May 23rd, 2013, 04:28 AM
  #22  
 
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Sounds good! We will have to keep in touch. We go to Burma for 3 weeks from BKK. We will end our trip back in Thailand with a few days back in CM since we loved it so much last year.
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May 23rd, 2013, 04:41 AM
  #23  
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yestravel, I wish I had that much time! Yes, we'll have a mini-Fodors GTG-- how fun!
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May 23rd, 2013, 04:48 AM
  #24  
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More trip planning stuff with questions:

1) Tour with Tong -- I'm thinking of doing 2 days of touring with Tong and one day on our own, as follows:
-Day 1/Tour w/Tong: wats, grand palace, khlong tour (is this doable in one day?
-Day 2/on our own: Jim Thompson house, city touring, & wats not seen the day before
-Day 3/Tour with Tong: Floating market/train market/fishing village

Question: is Day 1 touring doable, or do I do some of this the next day?

2) Flight from BKK to CM -- many flights during the day, and I'm thinking of booking the 3pm flight, which will give me a morning in BKK before I leave. I have 4 nights in CM, so this will give me a little extra in BKK. Otherwise there's a noon flight or a 5pm flight. Does this seem reasonable?
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May 23rd, 2013, 04:53 AM
  #25  
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I mean, is my thinking about doing the 3 pm flight reasonable?
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May 28th, 2013, 02:27 PM
  #26  
 
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Cannot find the name, although I found a picture of the other side of the street from them. I think you will be fine with earplugs. Is the 3pm flight on Day 3 in BKK or Day 4? 3pm flight can be nice as you get in, have dinner and relax.
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May 28th, 2013, 02:41 PM
  #27  
 
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It's great when travel dates happen to match up with another fodorite! I'll be in Bangkok for the Christmas/New Year holiday time period yet again, but heading back to OHare on or about January 6/7 2014, so I'll be leaving before some of you arrive. DO meet up, if it works out. Lots of fu to put a name and face together.

I would agree that the 3pm flight to CM is good timing, as you will have time in Bangkok and CM after you arrive!
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May 28th, 2013, 03:15 PM
  #28  
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Virginiafish, I'm sure for 1 night we'll be fine, too, and maybe we'll even be in a "quieter" location in Mae Salong. The flight from BKK to CM is on AirAsia and is at 3:45pm, so it gets us in early enough to settle in but also leaves us with an extra morning in Bangkok, which I'm pleased with. Well have 3 full days there and 2 half days, although I'm sure we'll be zombies after arriving from the states, so we won't be worth much on that first half-day.

Too bad, simpsonc, that you won't be there, too. It is fun to meet up when it works out.
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May 28th, 2013, 05:27 PM
  #29  
 
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Progol - with only 3 days in Bangkok you will be very busy and it is best to start out very early if you want to get everything in on day one. While the grand palace, the reclining Buddha and wat Arun are all very close, we visited them on our own and spent time wandering the surrounding communities. we had 8 days in bangkok and took our time to explore it more leisurely . However, with a guide, you will probably be able to see all sites. We like to linger and take pictures. We find that we awaken early when traveling as our internal time clocks are usually discombobulated. Be Ure to have an early breakfast and get out early.

We flew home from siem reap as you plan to and we did spend the last day touring. Be sure to book a hotel with a pool or shower facilities that you can use prior to leaving for the airport.

Yestravel - please be sure to write a trip report on Myanmar as that trip is on our radar.

Wish I could join you all in Bangkok...we'd love to return there some day.
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May 29th, 2013, 02:23 AM
  #30  
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Thanks for your suggestions, dgunbug.

I know I haven't a lot of time to see Bangkok, so will need to be selective. I think I'll probably plan to have at least one good tour for the highlights, one for the floating market and other sights, and have one full day on our own. The tours will ensure that we get out early, at least!

I'm in the middle of your TR from 2009 and I'm really glad to read about Korean Air. I'm looking forward to reading how you spent that last day, too. Yes, I've booked a hotel with a pool/showers and all that, and I've already let them know of our late check out.

Again, thanks for all the suggestions!
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May 29th, 2013, 03:03 AM
  #31  
 
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As much as I enjoyed the experience with feeding the monkeys, driving through the mangroves, viewing the cockle and mussel farming, and eating in the stilted hut, IMO, since you have such limited time, you may want to omit or limit that portuon of the day so that you may spend the afternoon exploring more of Bangkok with the guide. But, by all means, don't miss the floating market and railroad market with tong! Be sure to contact her right away as she gets booked months in advance.
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May 29th, 2013, 07:44 AM
  #32  
 
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These posts are all fantastic to read! I am just beginning to plan a trip to SE Asia for early November. Myself and my boyfriend will be going. I would like to go for 5 weeks at least. Is this long enough to fully enjoy our time there? I want to see Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and I'm open to other suggestions.

Trying to figure out a budget as well. Any advice is appreciated since I'm new at this!
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May 29th, 2013, 08:57 AM
  #33  
 
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@sarah -- I'd start your own post as it will get you more responses. Have you read the Trip Reports that are posted? they will give you some great information. We visited the places you mention plus Siem Reap in about 9 weeks and that was a good amount of time. Could certainly be done in less time. My TR is at http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...ia-odyssey.cfm

@propogol -- the heat is a killer in BKK. I live in DC so no stranger to heat and humidity, but BKK was something else when we were there. We really took things way slower than other places we have visited. We did a tour thru Tong and while I didn't love our guide, he did move us along, so using a guide will enable you to see things perhaps more efficiently. If you can fit it in try to do a BKK Food Tour. It was really fun, great information and great food.
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May 29th, 2013, 02:51 PM
  #34  
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dgunbug, I think you're advice for doing only a half day at the floating market/train market make sense. It probably will make more sense to spend more time in Bangkok. That part of the planning is in the very early stages, so I'll have plenty of time to figure it out.

yestravel, thanks so much for the warning about the heat! Very helpful! I just looked at the temperature range for January and was surprised how high it can be. I do appreciate your comparison to DC, though! I'm a NYer and am pretty used to hot/humid days, but DC really did me in, so I'm forewarned about Bangkok.

Thanks for the reminder about the food tour -- I had noted it and thought it would be a lot of fun to do, so I'll keep that in mind as an option. Too many places, too many things to do, not enough time!
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May 29th, 2013, 04:16 PM
  #35  
 
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Progol - try getting in touch with tong immediately as she is lots if fun to spend the day with. I'm sure she will be flexible and do whatever makes you happy. I just looked back at my pictures and discussed the second part of the day with my husband. We have fabulous pictures and memories of the time out in the mangrove area, but we both thought the time feeding the monkeys and visiting the cockle and mussel farms could perhaps be shortened rather than eliminated. As we had eaten so much food at the floating market (all delicious), we could easily have skipped the meal & time at the stilted house. I believe doing that will give you an opportunity to see more upon your return to Bangkok. Perhaps you can go to either lumphini park to see the local Thai people partaking in sports and exercise. We loved our time there. This reminded us of NY's Central Park. Or you can visit the era wan outdoor shrine smack in the center of the modern shopping district. Alternatively, there is also Chinatown to explore. You won't run out of things to do in Bangkok. But as yestravel pointed out, the heat can be exhausting - nothing like you would experience in the USA. Living in Florida did not prepare us for the heat.
If you find yourself too worn out to continue, consider a relaxing evening and a massage. Whatever you do will be wonderful.
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May 30th, 2013, 02:34 AM
  #36  
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Thanks so much dgunbug for your detailed descriptions of your tour and your recommendations for our trip! It's very helpful! I'll write to Tong now to see about booking tours instead of waiting.

Again, thank you!
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May 30th, 2013, 05:15 AM
  #37  
 
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Realize that Tong has several (many?) guides that work for her and you don't necessarily have her as your guide. We thought she was going to be our guide, but that was not the case. YOu may need to be persistent in contacting her. We found the best way was thru FB, but even then days, weeks would go by and we wouldnt hear back form her.
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May 30th, 2013, 05:44 AM
  #38  
 
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tong rarely guides herself anymore
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May 30th, 2013, 05:50 AM
  #39  
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Thanks for the info. That was my impression after reading so many trip reports.
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May 31st, 2013, 04:19 AM
  #40  
 
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If tong is unavailable, the other person to consider is ratt (sp?), the person who tong originally learned from. I have no personal experience with her, but understand she is excellent.
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