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Desire Itinerary suggestions for 3 1/2 week 1st trip to Thai

California
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Desire Itinerary suggestions for 3 1/2 week 1st trip to Thai

I am starting my research for my 1st trip to Thailand. These are the areas that I would like to visit. Bangkok for 3 days; I may spend a few more days there at the end of trip...but want to get out of the big city to unwind on beaches.

I would like to go to Phuket, Koh Samai, Krabi & Chiang Mai. I am open to suggestions and don't know how to divide the time between these places & maybe others?

I definately want to stay in Chiang Mai for a week as I am planning to take a Thai cooking course.

Things I would like to do: relax on beach, snorkel,cooking course, visit Chatuchak market, temples,ride an elephant,rafting &/or kayak, get several massages,.

I would like recommendations on best cooking school, places to get great massage, best places to ride elephant, etc.

Air: flying from California with Thai Airways

Accommodations: So far I have only booked 3 nights at Bangkok Loft Inn paid about $30 with breakfast for a double superior room per night.

Budget: accommodations under $50, clean, safe & quiet with a comfortable bed.

Meals: will be eating where "locals" eat, nothing fancy or super expensive other than a splurge or 2. Budget about $25 daily. Will shop and eat many picnic meals.

Also would like suggestestions on routes to take. I am leaning towards Phuket or Koh Samai after Bangkok. IMy birthday is in the first week of June & I would really enjoy getting a massage on or near beach.

Thanks for all the help.

Edited: 05 January 2012, 22:03
Swansea, Wales
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1. Re: Desire Itinerary suggestions for 3 1/2 week 1st trip to Thai

a couple of quick thoughts- read up on Jim Thompson (he was an american who became quite famous in thailand) visit his house it is fab! And definitely do some things on the river. If budget is a problem, just take the river boats they cost next to nothing- and see things that way although hopefully the budget will run to admissions to the royal palace, wat po and wat arun.

Chiang mai cooking school our favourite was A Lot of Thai. We have booked the centara B+B in chiang mai for £88 for 3 nights with netflights.com in feb.

And have a look at khao lak, so much more beautiful and cheaper than phuket and samui.

For budget travel, either air asia or use the overnight sleeper trains and save on a hotel room as well. just booked a 2nd class ticket from bkk to chiang mai and it cost 880B (one way) and VIP bus CM to chiang rai 350B.

for something a little different, try sukhothai. we stayed at the orchid hibiscus guesthouse http://www.orchidhibiscus-guesthouse.com/

Paulo the owner organised a tuk tuk and driver to take us around the park- it is way too far to walk around and we felt it was too hot for biking, which is what most were doing.

have fun.

Gold Coast
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for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
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2. Re: Desire Itinerary suggestions for 3 1/2 week 1st trip to Thai

Firstly, if you are going in June then the better weather is on the east side (Samui) rather than the west side (Phuket). I would suggest heading to Chiang Mai from Bangkok and then either flying direct to Koh Samui from there or if you are on a budget, return to Bangkok (via bus, train or Air Asia) and get a bus or overnight train to Surat Thani with bus and ferry transfers to Samui. Would also suggest looking at Koh Phangan rather than Samui as it is much more budget friendly. Koh Tao next to Koh Phangan is excellent for snorkelling and with that much time you could easily do all three islands as they are all totally different.

Riding elephants and cooking can be done in Chiang Mai.

California
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3. Re: Desire Itinerary suggestions for 3 1/2 week 1st trip to Thai

Thank you for the tips. I looked at the website for the orchid house. Looks great. I will look into all of your suggestions. As far as accommodations: any tips for Koh Samui, Phuket, Koh Phangan, Krabi, Khao Lak? To visit those areas, is it best to move accommodations & stay in each location for a few nights or pick a couple locations & do day trips?

Edited: 06 January 2012, 04:25
Gold Coast
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for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
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4. Re: Desire Itinerary suggestions for 3 1/2 week 1st trip to Thai

Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are close to each other (1/2 hour by ferry) and you can do tours to Ang Thong National Park from both. From Krabi you can do all the same tours as from Phuket, but not really the same from Khao Lak.

I would just pick either Samui or Phangan on that side and then either Phuket, Khao Lak or Krabi on the west coast or maybe Khao Lak and Krabi - you don't want to move around too much.

5. Re: Desire Itinerary suggestions for 3 1/2 week 1st trip to Thai

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