Where to go in Thailand ?

May 14th, 2001, 03:02 AM
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Where to go in Thailand ?

I have 9 days to spend in Thailand, arriving in Bangkok and am not sure where to go. I was thinking of Phuket and Chang Mai. Any advice on either place or alternative options. Thanks Nomi
May 14th, 2001, 11:31 AM
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I'd give Phuket a miss!
Bangkok for a couple of days, Chiang Mai also few a few days. Thailand has such diversity. Near Bangkok are some lovely coastal resorts. Koh Samui is an experience but little if anything in the way of Thai culture/lifestyle. The south east coast beyond Pattaya towards Trat is nice, or if you want a beach near Bangkok Hua Hin is nice with a wonderful national park to the south. The River Kwai is fascinating. Buri Ram is a remote area but beautiful scenary.
May 14th, 2001, 12:12 PM
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Nomi -

I agree with Sarah and I've never even been to Phuket. The whole thing sounds like a waste of time.

If I were you, I'd split my time between Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Save the beach scene for elsewhere, there are a million beaches in this world but only one Chiang Mai and one Bangkok.

You can't miss Bangkok.

May 14th, 2001, 03:42 PM
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In my opinion, it really depends on what you're looking for. Phuket is a very developed beach resort catering to those who are looking for a resort style atmosphere near some nice beaches. The area has a lot of clubs, bars, restaurants, and a large red light district. It sort of rivals somewhere like Cancun on the level of development, but probably not as luxurious. You can stay at 5 star spa type accomodations (there are many) all the way down to the level of hostels. I stayed recently for about four days. After a long trip through various parts of Thailand, it was a relief to sit back, relax and stare at the water. Also, if you want to do some specialty water activities (i.e. diving) you'll have to stay in a larger resort area because smaller villages/towns don't have reliable activity providers. But in my opinion, unless you're looking for some pampering, you're better off going to a smaller beach community and experience the scenery and atmosphere there.

As for missing the beaches in Thailand completely, I have to respectfully disagree with Lynn 100%. If you've ever seen the granite cliffs off the coast of Krabi Province towering over the blue green water, you'll think so as well. The scenery there absolutely took my breath away.

As for Chaing Mai, don't miss it. It's a wonderful place with friendly people and wonderful scenery, not to mention the food! Spent New Years there and we were lucky enough to see one of the hill tribes celebrating the incoming year. The people are absolutely wonderful.

Everyone has different opinions about Bangkok. I personally would only spend about 2 days there, unless you plan on taking day trips outside of the city. But then why not actually stay outside of the city near the site you're visiting and explore a new town? There's been a lot of debate about it, do a search for other opinions. Some people love it some people could experience it, then happily leave it.

You have such a short time there, however, I guess it'll be hard to pick and choose. Hope this helped a little. Good luck and happy journeys!
May 14th, 2001, 08:11 PM
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Hi Nomi!

I'm in Pattaya Thailand right now. I,m glad this name hasn't been mentioned as a place to visit - it is really one big pick-up joint.

My votes for the best of Thailand go to Chiang Mai and the Northwest, and Krabi , the beaches to its west and the islands offshore from there.
May 17th, 2001, 10:41 AM
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I think the others have said it all. Krabi is beautiful but we found it full of backpackers and the best beaches were just swarming with people. Koh Samui is nice but again, becomming swamped with people and no control over deleopment. Phuket I would steer clear of altogether. Kao Tao, Koh Chang reported as nice though I have not visited personally. About 40 minutes south of Chiang Mai in Lumpon, lovely Thai town, lots of history. Chiiang Mai itself is nice but I really loved Sukhotai and Ayuthaya (? spelling). For a quick beach trip close to Bangkok we enjoy Hua Hin. Very clean,decent, lovely resort hotels and very very cheap.
May 17th, 2001, 12:44 PM
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O.K. - I have to clarify this.

I never said to skip the beach forever. What I'm saying is, if it's your first trip to Thailand and you only have 9 days, I would skip the beach on that trip and save for a future visit.

I myself am not a big beach lover but absolutely plan on seeing some of the beaches in Thailand eventually. From the sound of it, I'll probably never go to Phuket and will end up more in Koh Samui and Krabi.

I just think a first trip to Thailand can be better spent than sitting around at the beach; which is something you can do lots of places.

Just my opinion.

May 17th, 2001, 01:43 PM
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Agree Chiang Mai and the north interesting, but you don't want to miss the coastline ( as opposed to just beaches). You can off course mix the 'best'. You could fly to Chiang Mai, then fly (40 minutes) to Sukhotai. It is only a few hours by road from Sukhotai(for temple sites I should add ) to Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai. From here it is around 3 hours to Chaam and Hua-Hin on the coast. This coast has beaches but also many temples (both Thai 'and' Chinese), there is a hill-top old palace and museum at Petchburi, about 40 minutes north from Hua-Hin. Also a national park south of Hua-Hin with caves, waterfalls, marine and bird life. An amazing temple is inside a 'huge' cavern that opens to the sky, amazing. Then it's just a couple of hours back to Bangkok Airport.
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