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What would I be missing if I didn't go to Chiang Mai


Oct 27th, 2003, 01:06 PM
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What would I be missing if I didn't go to Chiang Mai

We will be travelling in China and Asia in the fall of 2004. It will be a extensive trip 4 days Beijing, 2 days Xian, 5 day Yangtze Cruise, 17 day 10 city cruise including S. Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and then finally Bangkok. We were thinking of 4 days in Bangkok and then 4 days in Chiang Mai and then home. When I look at the schedule I think that maybe I am trying to see and do to much in a little over 35 days.
I have a map of the world and before my travel time is over I want to be able to have seen it done it all (almost anyway). I am sure that this trip will be the only trip to this part of the world.
I have read and researched so many different options that I am getting confused and am starting to second guess some of my decisions.
I know that so many of you have been there, done it. Could you give me some insight and feedback.
Calex is offline  
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Oct 27th, 2003, 01:26 PM
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I would substitute Angkor wat in Cambodia or Bagan in Myanmar for Chiang Mai. Or settle in Bangkok at the Peninsula Hotel with the full spa treatment and relax and digest all the wonders you have seen.
If you don't get many responses to your post....I would think most here are just too stunned with envy to reply.
Bon Voyage!
artisland is offline  
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Oct 27th, 2003, 02:36 PM
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I really enjoyed Chiang Mai...did a three day Trek which was great (you can get shorter trips). The pace in Chiang Mai is slower than in Bangkok - a lot less pollution. Likely you can get everything you want in Bangkok but Chiang Mai is just a different city. I took a flight to Chiang Mai and then travelled by bus back to Bangkok -stopping at Sukothai (not that exciting but rich with history).
Getaway2004 is offline  
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Oct 27th, 2003, 05:19 PM
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IMHO Bangkok is just another big Asian city. Chiang Mai and surrounding areas like Mae Hon Song are great places to see if you're interested in a hill tribes and their culture. Have a great time!
Lyndie is offline  
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Oct 27th, 2003, 06:24 PM
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Chaing Mai is not my favorite place. I love Bangkok, and if you're a city person, I expect you will, too. If you like cities, just stay put in Bangkok and enjoy it!

If you aren't a city person, I would recommend either a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia to see the temples at Angkor (stunning!) - allow at least three full days. - or, alternatively, a trip to Luang Prabang, Laos. Either are easily accessible from Bangkok via a Bangkok Air flight.
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Oct 27th, 2003, 06:51 PM
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i agree with kathie....i dislike CM...it is boring...i went there once and was bored....everyone loves it so i went back again...still boring...people say the shopping....i think bkk is better....

at the end of that much of a trip you will want to relax....you can do that in bkk....or you could go to ko samui or hua hin for a few days....myself i would stay at the marriott resort and spa and then at the peninsula for the final days....marriott for the pool and the penn for the lux, pool, rooms, restaurants, convenience and pampering...
angkor is fabulous but not at the end of a trip...it is hard work...
if you do decide on CM, 4 days is too much for just the town...
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Oct 28th, 2003, 12:01 AM
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yep another nod for angkor or bagan.. you can chock up another contrie in you world map.

I myself have a coloring bood of the world and damn it's great painting in another new countrie with a marker which has not dried out.

orgy7 is offline  
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Oct 28th, 2003, 11:08 AM
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I agree with others, although there is nothing 'wrong' with Chiang Mai I think people get the wrong idea, it's the 2nd biggest city and although lots of temples and access to the scenary you get much closer tyo that in Mae Hong Son, and Sukhothai or Ayuthaya are closer. I actually like the area around Kanchanaburi, once away from the town you find some great places.
You don't have to go all the way to Chiang Mai just for temples, they are all over the place. Angkor I would agree is a must!
JamesA is offline  
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Oct 28th, 2003, 06:35 PM
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Another vote for Angkor Wat. You can do a few days BKK, then fly over to Siem Reap (REP) Cambodia (1-hr flight) and enjoy the temples.
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Oct 30th, 2003, 04:22 AM
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I loved Chiang Mai. Prefer it over Bangkok completely.... but I do not care for large cities. Way too conjested and dirty in Bangkok for my taste. It was cooler temperature-wise in CM also.
The markets in Chiang Mai were wonderful. Not overwhelming like Bangkok's, and prices were excellent.
I also took a one-day cooking class in CM that was one of the highlights of my trip.
Enjoy your voyage! Sounds wonderful!
Kay5 is offline  
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Nov 11th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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Wow, i hope you're in great shape for this whirlwind adventure. But it sounds awesome. I've just returned from a 2 week stay in Thailand, spending half the time in Bangkok and the remainder in Chiang Mai. I highly recommend Chiang Mai which is missing the heavy air pollution and the massive traffic jams of Bangkok.
Finally, consider taking a bottle of melatonin for a solid sleep on the plane/hotels. Bon Voyage!
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Nov 12th, 2003, 01:44 PM
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I also agree Chiang Mai is very nice. I personally think 4 days in BKK is enough (or plenty) and I'd spend the remaining 4 days in Chiang Mai, Angkor, Bagan, Hong Kong or somewhere else. Yes, your trip will be a whirlwind and you might be tired but I still wouldn't spend 8 days in BKK at the end--your extra time would be better spent elsewhere or enteding a stay somewhere in the middle of your trip. Have a great time!
uwajima is offline  
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Nov 12th, 2003, 04:56 PM
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I also vote for Angkor - by far one of the most amazing places I've ever been.

If you're planning this whole itinerary yourself (as opposed to a packaged tour you can't change), I would also HIGHLY reccomend that you skip the Yangtze cruise and spend a day or two in Guilin/Yangshuo instead.

I'll try to find and top the post that discusses the pros (not many) and the cons (many) of the cruise.

Regardless, you'll have a fabulous trip!
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Jan 8th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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Hello: I have been twice to some of the places you are planing to visit. As with anything, it is a matter of taste and experiences, therefore you will get as many opinions as there are travelers. In my particular case, I love Asia. If I were going back again, I would probably do Bangkok, Chiang-Mai and Ankor. I liked all of them for different reasons: Bangkok I found to be an exiting Metropolis with a very special charm. The river going through it, the temples, the palace, the people, the markets, etc... all offer something unique. In Chiang-Mai I have always stayed at the Regent and I can say it is my favorite hotel of all (I have had the oportunity to travel to close to 50 countries in 6 continents). The rooms are spacious, comfortable and beautiful, specially those overlooking the rice field. It also has a wonderful spa. This place might be a nice one to spend a couple of relaxing days before going to Bangkok and Angkor. Close to Chiang-Mai are also the elephant farms, where you can ride an elephant through the jungle, something people of all ages in our family group enjoyed; and of course the famous night market. Last, but certainly not least, is impressive, magnificent Ankor. I have been to all three places twice, and would love to go again. If you think this is probably the only time you'll be in the area, go for all three!!! Three days in Bangkok and two days each in Chiang-Mai and Angkor. But if I had to choose, I think Angkor would get my vote over Chiang-Mai. In any case, you cant loose, so relax and enjoy. Best of luck!
Macuspana is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2004, 02:07 AM
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Another vote for Angkor Wat. Word of caution tho - plan it well so u are thoroughly rested and charged up when u hit Siem Reap - it is hectic, even in the fall can be hot and to enjoy the temples u need to be "fully there". One option could be to recuperate in Bkk after all your travels and then do Camb. I know too many people who get 'templed out" and do not enjoy Angkor Wat because they try to manage Camb in a hectic long weekend after a hard work week or the like.
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