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To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

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london
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To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

Hi Everyone,

My plan was to spend 3 days in Bangkok before heading to Chang Mai for 4/5 days then going south to Ko Tao, phangan and samui, before heading to Krabi and Phuket and visiting a national park. After researching plane/train prices (not cheap) and traveling times to Chiang Mai I wanted to find out if its worth spending the money and time to visit Chiang Mai? I wanted to go to see the city and see the elephants and beautiful countryside- but is it possible to see these things south of Bangkok?

Thanks in advance!

:)

Queensland
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1. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

My advice would be to make sure you fit in a trip to Chiang Mai as you won't regret it. There are so many things to do and see there as well as national parks etc.

Check out the budget airlines like Air Asia. Can't help with south of Bangkok but I'm sure someone else on here will be able to.

Good luck with your planning.

Brisbane, Australia
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for Chiang Mai
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2. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

It is most definately worth it - you are seeing a lot of the beach area of Thailand - and Chiang Mai and the North will give you a whole different perspective.

You will be wishing you had allocated more time.

Try Air Asia for a cheap flight up to Chiang Mai - you might also be interested in the over night train which saves you one nights accommodation - see the FAQ on the right hand side for more info on train travel.

You will also find you save money in Chiang Mai - the accommodation is cheaper as well as eating out.

Caroline.

Colorado
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for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
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3. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

I say definitely "to Chang Mai." The north gives you an entirely different and beautiful perspective of Thailand. I love the south too, but after the first time I went north I have always ended up spending more of my holiday time in the north than at the beach. I really enjoy Hua Hin and Koh Samui (not a real Phuket fan but just not my cup of tea) but I usually spend 60 per cent of my time in the north, about 10 per cent in Bangkok and 30 per cent at the beach. Chiang Mai is actually a city with 500,000 people but the area around it is rural. So, it depend on how much you would enjoy seeing the more rural side of Thailand.

Safe Travels,

Broder

Wollongong...
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4. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

In January I backpacked from Phi Phi Island ,Phuket to Bangkok and Chiang Mai. I loved the trip and one of the best things I've done for a while. I took the train to Chiang Mai and so glad I did , I loved Chiang Mai so did my 2 teenage daughters the only regret was we didn't spend enough time there. I say DO IT !!!!

My blog on Chiang Mai …blogspot.com.au/2013/02/chiang-mai.html

Queensland
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5. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

Bepergian, what a wonderful blog. Pictures captured Chiang Mai beautifully. It sounds like you are like many of us and have CM on our list for a return trip.

Italy
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6. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

Like the others I would definitely include Chiang Mai to the trip you'll regret it if you don't.

Italy
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7. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

Bepergian, what a great blog, I really enjoyed it and the photos are great.

lewes uk
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8. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

Hi,

I would definately include Chiang Mai, it's a uniques and rewarding destination.

Cheers

lewes uk
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9. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

btw,

The Khao Sok national park is not too far from Phangan/Samui and has stunning scenery and elephants, etc.

Cheers

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: To Chiang Mai or not to Chiang Mai?

A few years back my wife and I made a trip to Chiang Mai and Phuket/Phi Phi Islands. We're going to be celebrating our anniversary in Chiang Mai when we go back this year. Places like Phuket and Phi Phi we've vowed never to step foot in again.

Chiang Mai feels like an artsy community in the mountains (not literally, but that's what it feels like) with locals who seem genuinely happy and relaxed. A town that's struck a nice balance between maintaining its identity while catering to tourists.

In Phi Phi the people seemed depressed and disingenuous - always looking to squeeze an extra buck out of tourists. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but when that sort of culture permeates an entire area, it's hard to shrug off. Phuket didn't feel as bad but was still far too tourist-affected for my liking. But who knows? it's been a couple of years since I've been to the Land of Smiles. All this may have changed in recent years!

Also, with Air Asia flights, try to fly on a weekday as opposed to a weekend. It's a bit cheaper that way. And depending on the level of accommodation you're looking at, it may be a worthwhile experience to catch an overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Takes care of a night's accommodation and transportation in one!