Planning a Trip to Thailand

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Toula, Dec 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Toula
    Original Member

    Toula Gold Member

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    I'm at the start of planning a trip to SEAsia next July. We will be starting with two nights in HK followed by 4 nights in BKK. I've managed to get a points booking for a suite at the Millenium to use the last of our Hilton points. From there, it is all up in the air. I have done a bit of research and was thinking about the following itinerary:

    1. Bangkok
    2. Chiang Mai
    3. Chiang Rai
    4. Luang Prabang
    5. Bangkok
    6. Hua Hin
    7. Krabi
    8. Langkawi
    9. Penang
    10. Kuala Lumpur
    11. Singapore

    We will be under no time constraints so are thinking of going by train for the entire journey. We do enjoy trains but want to know how realistic it is for us to do such a itinerary without flying. We will not be in a rush so we would like to take our time and just take in the sights.

    From Singapore we will pick up a cheap Jetstar flights to Darwin.

    Is there anything I have missed that we should see or is there anything on the list that is suggested we drop?
     
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  2. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Hi Toula,
    Your itinterary sounds very nice as long as you are taking time to do it (as you say). A few points- I would personally skip Penang- it is not that interesting. If you go south from Krabi, you can also arrive at ferries that leave once a day for Langkawi which may be a nice way to go.

    I have not used the train that much in Thailand- however the combination of bus/minibus/taxi/train should be completely do-able.

    I would also skip Hua Hin- it is not that great- however some people do like it (it is built on a busy road in my opinion). As you are going to Krabi you may also want to look at the islands accessible from Trang depending on your time schedules (there are many many options- and by the way usually the non-chain hotels offer better value- start even with agoda to get some ideas).

    KL to Singapore is a bit of a long trip in one day- perhaps break it at Malacca? There frequent buses from KL to Malacca and from Malacca to Singapore. I don't know if there is a train on this route? Cannot recall one?

    Lastly- for Luang Prabang I would fly from Chiang Mai- thus you may want to reverse Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in your list. Flights are quite inexpensive with Laos airways (should be around $190 USD per person round trip all in-maybe can find for even less?) and it is a far nicer and safer way to get the Luang Prabang then water/overland journeys.
     
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  3. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    There is. Well the train doesn't exactly stop in Malacca, but it stops at a nearby town, Tampin, where you can hop on a bus or a cab to take you to Malacca. There are trains to KL and Singapore from Tampin station.

    I second the suggestion for a Malacca side trip. It is an interesting town and will make for a unique experience.
     
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  4. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    Thanks for your wonderful suggestions. It helps when peeps who have been there done that either give a green/red light or offer alternative suggestions.

    Another thought, would it be possible to fly direct from Luang Prabang to Angkor Wat or is the road route viable?

    I'll add Malacca to our list. Hua Hin is not a must for us. We are not big on just lying on the beach and working on our pasty tans. I want to break up the trip so we are not just plonked in a seat or at the airport for hours on end.

    We should have plenty of time as our plan is for my husband to quit his job next year and then we are going to take our time and do and see what we want until money gets short.
     
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  5. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    The roads around Luang Prabang are not great- better than a few years ago however still nothing really very good.

    Your option B could be the fly from LPQ to PNH (VN has nonstop flights) and then from PNH (worth exploring- interesting city) take a bus or a car as you prefer up to Siem Reap. From Siem Reap you can then fly back to Thailand. If you have not visited Siem Reap it is definitely worthwhile- if I had to choose only 1 between Luang Prabang and Siem Reap I would choose Siem Reap without hesitation. I also prefer Cambodia quite a bit over Laos, however Luang Prabang is a cute little village (if not just a bit over-rated).
     
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  6. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    That was the first thing that came to my mind as well. CEI->CNX->LPQ. There's no train to Chiang Rai however buses ply the route between Chiang Mia and Chiang Rai regularly. Skip the overland route to Luang Prabang and fly there as TRAVELSIG recommends from CNX.

    Another long and tiresome task which, while possible, is not recommended. If you're really up for the travel then get to PKZ first and you'll be able to find transportion, probably by van, to PNH. From there you can get to REP.

    Flying is your best bet and this can be easily accomplished on QV VTE-(PKZ)-REP.

    If these flights are being considered you might want to look into a Discovery Airpass from Bangkok Air. You can combine flights on QV, PG and a small carrier in Malaysia who's name eludes me at the moment. Minimum purchase is 3 segments and, especially when you've some international one ways in the mix, it can be a money saving purchase.

    http://bangkokair.com/en/plan-your-trip/discovery-airpass/discovery-airpass.php
     
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  7. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    While in Bangkok, you should try to do a day trip to Ayuthaya and another half day trip to the floating markets.

    One my last trip to SE Asia we traveled overland from Siem Reap back to Bangkok- very long and boring drive back. The border crossing is pretty slow but funny.
     
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  8. vineetkoushik

    vineetkoushik New Member

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    I would suggest you visit the Phuket Viewpoints. There are many viewpoints looking out over east and west Phuket affording sunrise as well as sunset views. Ok, so everyone goes to Promthep but it doesn't make it any less spectacular. There, you'll get fabulous views over the ocean stretching as far as Phi Phi Island on a good day. Check out Phuket's other viewpoints such as the 'Three Beaches' hilltop venue on the road between Nai Harn and Kata or sip a cocktail at the After Beach Bar (also on the same road) while the golden ball slips into the western horizon.

    Thanks
    behindCity
     
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  9. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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  10. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint vineetkoushik! :)

    Excellent suggestion ... been few times to watch the brilliant sunsets from the ViewPoint Reggae Restaurant & Bar before getting to Kata Beach (as you are driving from Rawaii Beach on Kata Sai Yuan - 4233) located above Mom Tri's Villa Royal. Awesome expansive views of the Andaman Sea with never-ending Bob Marley tunes and good food & drinks.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. cliq

    cliq Silver Member

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    Didn't want to open a new thread for this similar request.

    The thing is, thanks to Kalboz and the wonderful pictures & links here on MP, I have decided I have to visit Thailand. Question is: where there is worth visiting for a start? What's the best time to visit Thailand? What are the best options for accommodation?

    Hope my questions are not getting too much :D
     
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  12. NEVERhome

    NEVERhome Silver Member

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    The main reason I love Thailand is because I can live like a millionaire, my dollar is worth so much more here, hotels are 5* and so cheap, food is incredibly hot spicy tasty and where you can be waited on all night and the bill rarely rises over $20. I think the first thing you do, is to work out, do you want a city or surf holiday?, meaning are you happier in a pair of bathers chasing talent, or do you like the finer things of life. The beach is easy, just go to Phuket, Samui or thereabouts. The latter demands more planning, you need the best hotel, some serious food haunts, work into your busy schedule program, day visits to Wat Pho and wat Arun, the Grand Palace, Temples sites and these can take 4 solid days. The Royal Barges museum and the National Museum along with the Thompson museum are all brillianr, but if you need something different the Forencsic Science one is for you. No visit to Thailand would be complete without the trip to Ayuthaya, the old Capital, if you prefer your sites older, then head into Issan country where the 8 century Khmer monuments litter the landscape. Chiang Mai is the old trading post between Burma and China, if you love crafts, furniture and ceramics, you will enjoy the night markets here, not to mention the superb pork sausages. Try to avoid May/June and the months on either side if the heat bothers you. During the worst of it, you will have enough energy to get from one airconditioned mall to the next, yet, if you have no option, you will survive. Accor have the most hotels, IC and Shangri La have some beauties, so do Hyatt. I stay top shelf and pay $150, so that should give you an idea, SPG have great hotels too. If you don't have status with a hotel chain, then I would suggest Accor and buy during the 50% sale.You will have an enjoyablr holiday,
     
  13. cliq

    cliq Silver Member

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    Many thanks for your lengthy reply and hints. I am so grateful! I like this part: :D

    I would like mixture of both but more of the hotel thing. Maybe we can find our way to the beaches from there :D I am thinking to also stay away from those renters at the beach. Watched a documentary where they cheat people who come renting stuffs so we would mostly be enjoying an hotel stay :)

    I also have status with Hilton, Accor & Carlson (maybe with PC) for now so I might be using any of those. Is May/June the hottest months? How hot can it get?
     
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  14. NEVERhome

    NEVERhome Silver Member

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    [quote="iamife, post: 1334560, member: 72649" Hilton, Accor & Carlson (maybe with PC) for now so I might be using any of those. Is May/June the hottest months? How hot can it get?[/quote]

    It isn't that bad, around the high thirties, so 100 in the other calibrations, but I see you have Hilton, and they have a hotel on the river. For first timers the river is a blessing, at least 5 degrees cooler and with a breeze and when it gets too hot, take a plunge into the pool or hire a long tail boat and scoot up and down the river for a hour. From June it is OK, the worst is over, & for those who experience a mild to hot summer at home, the main requirement is to grab a cab or the skytrain as against walking.
     
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  15. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    It all depends on what you like to see and do. Bangkok is a must for a first time visitor and I'd devout at least a week to see all the temples, palaces, markets, etc. The Southern islands and beaches are also interesting. Chiang Mai and the north is more relaxed and remains authentic. There is a post about what to do in Bangkok in six day.
    Now ... anytime! :)
    For Bangkok accommodations, look at this thread: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/which-hilton-property-in-bangkok.32636/#post-1320371

    Accor is good especially if you are a Platinum elite. They have opened 2 new top of the line properties in Bangkok: Sofitel So Bangkok and Sofitel Sukhumvit. Many Novotels and other Accor brands in Bangkok and various Thai cities. Look for reviews here: http://milepoint.com/forums/forums/accor-a-club.60/
     
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  16. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    If you do decide on beaches I STRONGLY advise to avoid Phuket - that is where the most notorious scams occur and I find it really unpleasant what with taxi mafia, horrible blatant sex for sale (exp. Patong where a whole street is like Tijuana used to be but worse - with guys in the street with "menus" of sex acts and pole dancers, etc) unless that is what you want.

    There are plenty of really nice beaches without those distractions = Koh Samet, Hua Hin (although if u stay at the hilton there are touts all on the beach), etc.
     
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  17. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    I'd personally avoid Pattaya, but not Phuket, which is approximately the size of Singapore, and it is Thailand’s largest island. While true, there are such things as estnet mentioned, but they are on one street at one beach (Bangla Rd. & its side sois at Patong Beach). If you don't like the raunchy scene, you can always avoid it by avoiding this thoroughfare.

    There are many gorgeous beaches and towns on Phuket that don't have that reputation, such as Kata, Karon, Kamala, Surin, Rawai, and others. Further, Phuket is a great base to settle in and explore the entire region, such as visiting Koh Phi Phi, Koh Naka, Krabi, Phang Nga (where James Bond Island is located), etc. Also, I find that Phuket has the best values in terms of accommodations, facilities, and attractions. We visited at least two museums on the island in addition to several temples, such as Wat Chalong, and Wat Prathong (Temple of the half buried Buddha). Other attractions including: FantaSea, Big Buddha (150 ft. high), Phuket Zoo & Siam Safari, charming Cino-Portuguese architecture, Golden Jubilee Lighthouse, etc. More Phuket photos are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/sets/72157622304363187/with/3060635605/

    In a nutshell, there is a reason why Phuket is considered one of the top ten islands in the world ... so don't limit yourself and go see it at least once. If you don't like it, you don't have to go back. :)
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. cliq

    cliq Silver Member

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    Thanks estnet, not what I want :D but it isnt bad to just see these things. Many thanks to Kalboz for the input. Will look out for these things while we plan for this trip...
     
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  19. davidthomas

    davidthomas Active Member

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    Hi Toula,

    If you are planning for bkk trip then I would like to suggest about IndoTrek the nice tour and travel company which provide all kinds of facilities in around the Bangkok.
     

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