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Old 09.10.2013, 23:52
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Thailand - special places to see

Hi, I am planning a trip to Thailand for 21 days and am looking for advice where to go and what to see, also how many days to spend in Chiang Mai region vs. south and beach. Any advice? Much appreciated.
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Old 10.10.2013, 01:15
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Great trip idea I have also thought about it and cant make up my mind what region to choose, so if anyone can help, would be lovely?
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Old 10.10.2013, 06:09
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Well, the usual route is first exploring Bangkok, stay on Koh San Road...the travellers paradise. 3 days is enough. Then train to Chang Mai, do the usual hill tribe trek, visiting temples. On the way back down there are 2 former Thai capitals to visit (now spectacular ruins). Continue by train or air down to Koh Samui (which is now a huge tourist trap)...continue by boat to one of the other more remote islands, Koh Phangghan or Koh Tao if you wanna really escape. It's been so long ago, I fear that tourist development has invaded all corners, so I am not sure what it is like today.
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Old 10.10.2013, 08:47
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

All depends on what sort of holiday. We did bangkok for 5 days over a weekend then u can go to chatachuk market. Then changmai for about 4 days then went to koh tao for diving for the remainder.

I would just fly its so cheap and save u so much time esp from mainland to koh tao etc.

Be aware EVERYTHING is commercial.

And depends when you go as east and west coast have different monsoon times.

We avoid pattya and phuket town like SARS as they are true toilets of the lowest order.

We made a nice trip to Cambodia recently and looked around ankor, thats worth a look you can spend a week easily and still won't see everything.

We were spending about 45 usd a day inc the hotel and driver.
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Old 10.10.2013, 09:25
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Hi, I am sure I can help
Not only that I am from Bangkok, I am a travel writer and a constant explorer of Bangkok itself. Though I am living in Zurich now, I am still very connected with what's going on there. And I love helping people designing travel itineraries. So, I am sure I can help. But first, I need to know what kind of travel you are seeking for i.e. vibrancy or retreat, backpacking or exclusive, types of experiences, budget, etc. All of those can still be designed for you to have a real immersion of Thailand and avoid all the tourist traps.
If you write me a brief, I will suggest some good ones.
Also, when are you planning to go as the beaches in the South are seasonal as someone said. And the best time to go is Nov and Dec, weather and festival-wise but of course plane tickets are higher.
Cheers,
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Old 10.10.2013, 09:29
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

As I said, if you give me a more specific brief, I can help design. But a brief answer: The North is more cultural and unique from the rest of the country. The South is all about beach life. Both are the best in their classes so the only way to choose is to decide what you like more between beaches and mountains. But if you have time and are willing to fly, 4-5 days in each region will give you a decent satisfaction.

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Great trip idea I have also thought about it and cant make up my mind what region to choose, so if anyone can help, would be lovely?
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Old 12.10.2013, 13:03
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Hey there, thank you so much for your replies. We are thinking of combining the following - culture, nature parks to see elephants and climb, beach (however not interested in diving). Basic itinerary would be 4-5 days Bangkok, then Khanchanaburi for the National Park Erawan national park, then off to Chiang Mai and explore some of the temples, go see elephants, take a cooking class, go to the Zipline, then most likely the Andaman coast to finish off with... But not completely sure what to do in the south - we are not the people to lay on the beach for 10 days... Any further advise you could provide to fine tune the about would be highly appreciated. My bf likes corky activities!

Also, in Bangkok do you know which markets are the best to see?
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Old 14.10.2013, 14:24
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Hi,
You seem to have a plan already. Itinerary in Chiengmai is what people do there but if you have more time, go to Chiengrai- the scenery is more beautiful and you can visit one of the most beautiful temple Wat Rong Khun and the golden triangle. Also night market is more charming than tourist -trap one is Chiengmai.
I never send my friends to water time in Kanchanaburi unless they have already everything else or keen to explore forests and waterfalls in depth. However, don't expect our forests to be as pretty as in Switzerland. And don't expect the waterfalls to be majestic like Iguazu or even Plitvice. It's quite raw, down-to-earth, mass, and not much great facilities. But if you want something low key and don't have much expectation, then you can go for in-depth immersion there.
BTW if you want national park, I would recommend to go to Khao Yai instead. It is the best park of Thailand and there are more nice hotels, restaurants, coming up.
You didn't say what month you are going, so I assume yearend. If so, Phuket and Andaman sea is where to go. Phuket has grown so big but there are many hidden gems popping up and less touristy like in the north beach Mai Khao. Old town Phuket is getting more hip with small charming hotel in the local Chino-Portuguese style. That is a different Phuket excursion than the well-known one. Avoid Patong beach as it is too touristy and full of tourist bars, but if you want to see it, an evening stroll is all you need. Do not stay there. If you don't like lying on the beach or diving then you will only find Phuket not for you. Anyway, island trip to PhiPhi islands or Similan is nice even though you don't dive. If you want quieter beaches and more unique vista, try Phangga or Krabi.

What kind of market in BKK do you want to see? People go shop at Jatujak market at weekend. It is fun to both shop and get the vibe of the place. There is a new market I like and all my foreign friends love called Asiatique. You can arrive by boat which adds charm to the experience.
Hope it helps.


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Hey there, thank you so much for your replies. We are thinking of combining the following - culture, nature parks to see elephants and climb, beach (however not interested in diving). Basic itinerary would be 4-5 days Bangkok, then Khanchanaburi for the National Park Erawan national park, then off to Chiang Mai and explore some of the temples, go see elephants, take a cooking class, go to the Zipline, then most likely the Andaman coast to finish off with... But not completely sure what to do in the south - we are not the people to lay on the beach for 10 days... Any further advise you could provide to fine tune the about would be highly appreciated. My bf likes corky activities!

Also, in Bangkok do you know which markets are the best to see?
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Old 12.11.2013, 08:44
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Hello,

I just came back from Thailand, and it is AMAZING!!! you will love it!. Well we went to Phuket for 4 days, and then we spend 15 days in koh lipe... I hightly recommend KOH LIPE, just type it on google and look how amazing it is. It is called the maldives of thailand. It is trully a gem from thailand.

Let me know if you have any more questions about koh lipe!
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Old 12.11.2013, 09:17
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Definitely recommend Phi Phi island , 3 days should be sufficient to taste that wonderful natural treasure..

We've been in Bangkok - Krabi and PhiPhi island 2 weeks ago. Bangkok was ok. Wouldn't stay there more than 2 days, but depends on what you expect/enjoy.
Krabi has just accommodation & little cafes, no beach but has a lot of daily tour options for diving, snorkeling etc..

Again, don't miss Phi Phi
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Old 12.11.2013, 10:14
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Thailand is great, been there a few times already. I would recommend booking one of the top rooms in this resort for 1 or 2 nights. Really nice over there!
http://www.nangyuan.com/
(near Koh Tao)
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Old 12.11.2013, 10:17
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

only thing I don't like is the Japanese tourists wandering all over the coral on the RH side of the sand bar, and encouraged to do so by the hotel staff.
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Old 12.11.2013, 10:30
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

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only thing I don't like is the Japanese tourists wandering all over the coral on the RH side of the sand bar, and encouraged to do so by the hotel staff.
Crazy

I remember being bitten by a fish there. I guess he was dissapointed by the taste of me because he didn't return for another bite
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Old 12.11.2013, 11:08
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

Hi there,

I'm just joining in on this thread, and am loving it! I'm just starting to think about a potential trip to Thailand at the beginning of February, and I'll admit, I haven't thought much about it yet, but this is giving me some great ideas

Perhaps I could jump in on this thread and get a little help too? I think we could only go for about a week to 10 days, so unfortunately, I think that means we can't explore quite as much as we'd like to - everything sounds amazing! But maybe we could do ~4 days in 2 places, one north and one south maybe? I think we'd definitely love to explore the more traditional places (in the north??) with the culture, temples, etc. We're happy to hike too. Elephants sounds touristy but hard to still think it doesn't sound wonderful In the south I suppose we're not really "lay on the beach" types, but more explore, have some fun in the water etc. Our budget is not large - we're looking for as affordable as possible. Any ideas of websites to look at for hotels etc.? Or, are packages with hotels and day plans anywhere to be found? Is Bangkok the best city to fly to from ZRH? What airline should I be looking into for flying around Thailand itself? And if, for example, we stayed somewhere in Chiengrai, to explore the temples and the Golden Triangle, what would our transport options be? I'm not sure how far our feet can take us to see all the amazing stuff, or if there are other options.

So many questions!! I always find planning trips to be a little overwhelming, as there's so much information online. But, I already feel like I have a little bit of information to tackle this trip, so thanks for everyone else's input so far!
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Old 14.11.2013, 12:57
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

This clip on youtube is being talked about a lot in Thailand now due to its authenticity. It is made by a tourist and not for commercial purpose. Thought you guys might like it.
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Old 14.11.2013, 13:10
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

I am also planning our home visit trip in Feb 2014 now and found that Thai Airways has a promotion for Zurich-BKK. You can fly until 31st March 2014 but need to buy the ticket by 30th Nov 2013.
The lowest fare for Economy is around 900 CHF depending on the date you choose.
Check it out here.
http://www.thaiairways.com/offers/sp...ons/en/zrh.htm

However, I am buying our tickets on Emirates Airlines coz we will make a stop over in Dubai. I saw that some of tickets can go as low as 760 CHF.
http://www.emirates.com/ch/english/

In general, Swiss never offers cheapest tickets, but for a direct flight between ZH-BKK, it is the most convenient and has better seats than Thai Airways. So, my husband always choose Swiss for direct flights.

If anyone wants any more specific info, let me know. I might not respond too fast but will be happy to give any info.

BTW, my mom has her apartments listed on airbnb in a very convenient location in BKK. Sorry, I don't mean to join this thread for commercial purpose. But now thought I should mention it here coz coincidently, many guests are from Switzerland and EU so it might be of your taste too. If EF friends want to use it, I will ask my mom to give a better deal. Just pm me.
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Old 14.11.2013, 13:13
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

See my replies about the flight above.
As for Chiengrai, the town is far from Golden Triangle i.e. over an hour by car. The way to explore is by car if you want to see town, famous temples, Golden T (recommended.) I am not sure about public transportation as I never used it. But car rent can be a very affordable option.
Anything else you want to know, feel free to drop me a note.

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Hi there,

I'm just joining in on this thread, and am loving it! I'm just starting to think about a potential trip to Thailand at the beginning of February, and I'll admit, I haven't thought much about it yet, but this is giving me some great ideas

Perhaps I could jump in on this thread and get a little help too? I think we could only go for about a week to 10 days, so unfortunately, I think that means we can't explore quite as much as we'd like to - everything sounds amazing! But maybe we could do ~4 days in 2 places, one north and one south maybe? I think we'd definitely love to explore the more traditional places (in the north??) with the culture, temples, etc. We're happy to hike too. Elephants sounds touristy but hard to still think it doesn't sound wonderful In the south I suppose we're not really "lay on the beach" types, but more explore, have some fun in the water etc. Our budget is not large - we're looking for as affordable as possible. Any ideas of websites to look at for hotels etc.? Or, are packages with hotels and day plans anywhere to be found? Is Bangkok the best city to fly to from ZRH? What airline should I be looking into for flying around Thailand itself? And if, for example, we stayed somewhere in Chiengrai, to explore the temples and the Golden Triangle, what would our transport options be? I'm not sure how far our feet can take us to see all the amazing stuff, or if there are other options.

So many questions!! I always find planning trips to be a little overwhelming, as there's so much information online. But, I already feel like I have a little bit of information to tackle this trip, so thanks for everyone else's input so far!
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Old 14.11.2013, 14:35
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

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only thing I don't like is the Japanese tourists wandering all over the coral on the RH side of the sand bar, and encouraged to do so by the hotel staff.
This is a big problem in SE Asia, tour groups of ignorant and careless tourists stomping all over the fragile coral in their rubber booties, and kicking it to death with their fins, whilst the local guides quietly look on. Not once have I heard a tour guide informing their customers of the dos and don’ts when visiting a coral reef.
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Old 14.11.2013, 14:38
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Re: Thailand - special places to see

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Crazy

I remember being bitten by a fish there. I guess he was dissapointed by the taste of me because he didn't return for another bite
The fish that bit you may have been a cleaner wrasse or a damselfish protecting its nest. Damsels are fearless.
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