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North itinerary

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North itinerary

I'm planning to take a night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and hanging out there for the day.

The next day I would like the following all in one day-tip, but haven't been able to find a tour company to provide it:

Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai (no hot spring on the way)

Visit the White Temple

Long-necked village

Elephant ride (no show)

Golden Triangle (no Laos)

Maesai - stay overnight

I plan to cross the border into Tachileik the next day. I realize I can book a private tour... the public tours are cheaper and can leave us in Maesai but then we miss out on the villages on the way back. Have I missed anything? Can I do this on my own via taxi/etc?

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1. Re: North itinerary

The booking site for train travel has shut down, can I suggest you google the man in seat 61 and see about booking a sleeper. The train from Bangkok to Chiang mai is an experience and took me 14 hours one way and 16 hours back. One day in Chiang Mai is way to short to enjoy such a great place. All those tours can be organised while in Chiang Mai. Try the Funky Monkey guest house they will help with a room and tours.

If you want to google my user name "Bepergian" and ready my blog about my travel to Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
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2. Re: North itinerary

You could easily, cheaply, and more authentically do this on your own. Catch a bus to Chiang Rai. rent a scooter or take a taxi to the black house, white temple and Golden Triangle. or Catch a tour that includes the three or more from Chiang Rai. Then another bus to Mae Sai., cross into Tachilek.

Honestly, the Golden Triangle museum is over-rated, but the area is beautiful.

If you are comfortable on a motorcycle or scooter you can do everything at your own pace and have fun zooming around the mountains, turning off anywhere you like to see what around the next bend....

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3. Re: North itinerary

I don't know if I could do it more "authentically" myself because I would like a tour and to hear some information about the places. Also, I'd be carrying my bags so a minibus would be best. I don't want to rent a car.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
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4. Re: North itinerary

Sorry I should have been a little more specific. You should use the bus between cities. When in the cities, rent a scooter (bags in the room) and go to each site. Each place is well detailed with history in English for tourist. Each guesthouse will also have a tour desk should you have questions and or want to take a tour.

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5. Re: North itinerary

While in Chiang Mai I would find a good elephant camp to see these beautiful animals, but be careful not all elephant camps really care about the well-being of their elephants.

Take the bus to Chiang Rai and visit the White Temple. Take the bus to Mae Sai and cross the border to Burma . Be aware of the visa you will need for Burma.

Chang Noi

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6. Re: North itinerary

If you only have one day to get from Chiang Mai up to Chiang Rai - and then on to Maesai - why don't you get an early bus from Chiang Mai. You get the bus from the Arcade Bus Station. See the FAQ on the top right hand side of this page - Getting from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai - for all the info on how to book the bus. It is about three hours direct and costs about 300B. You would then arrive in Chiang Rai late morning, close to lunch time.

You could ahead of time book one of the Chiang Rai guides to meet you at the bus and take you to the places you want to go in the afternoon and drop you at your final destination. There are a list of Chiang Rai guides in the FAQ - top right - Tour Guides.

You have such limited time it will be difficult to really get a feel for the place at all.

I don't think you will be able to cover everything you want to in Chiang Rai in one afternoon. You might have to get the advice from the guide as to what is feasible.

Caroline.

Edited: 18 March 2013, 07:25
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7. Re: North itinerary

Personally, I just can't imagine you getting all that done in one day, actually half a day as the bus arrives in Chiang Rai around 11 am if you get an 8am bus from Chiang Mai. The White Temple is wonderful and at least an hour could be spent there...

Caroline's idea of booking a guide to meet you on your arrival in Chiang Rai is an excellent one, as he will know what order to see things to give you the best of what you want to see. Also, most of these places shouldn't be rushed, and that you only plan to spend a day in Chiang Mai is really too bad... as it's such a lovely, surprising and delightful place.

The plan you have at present, won't allow any time at all to really catch the essence of any of the places you want to see... but it's your choice how you want to plan your trip. I wish you the best, and hope it turns out as you want.

Edited: 19 March 2013, 00:11
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8. Re: North itinerary

Thanks for your advice, I think I got a little too excited about Tachilek. I have a new, easier itinerary which gives me more time in CM. What do you think? "o/n" = overnight

1/16 Arrive BKK o/n Bangkok

1/17 o/n Bangkok

1/18 o/n Bangkok

1/19 Day trip --> Amphawa o/n Bangkok

1/20 Night train --> Chiang Mai

1/21 o/n Chiang Mai

1/22 Elephant Park o/n Chiang Mai

1/23 Golden Triangle Tour o/n Chiang Mai

1/24 Fly --> DMK Bus ---> Pattaya o/n Pattaya

1/25 o/n Pattaya

1/26 o/n Pattaya

1/27 o/n Pattaya

1/28 Fly out of BKK

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9. Re: North itinerary

I think that sounds a lot more reaslistic - one suggestion - you could consider on 1/23 going up to Chiang Rai/Golden Triangle, but rather than coming back to Chiang Mai that same day, stay overnight in Chiang Rai and then fly Chiang Rai down to Bangkok.

This would give you the full day in the far North, it would cut down your travel time that day because you wouldn't need to back track to Chiang Mai - and give you the night in Chiang Rai.

Caroline.

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10. Re: North itinerary

I looked at that option. However, the tour would then need to drop us off in Chiang Rai, which is improbable. I don't want to do this ourselves because it's much easier to arrange it than catching a bunch of buses. Also, we'd need to check into another hotel and bring the bags with us on the tour... not something I really want to do.