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Thailand Trip Report Jan 2014

San Francisco...
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Thailand Trip Report Jan 2014

Reposting this in the Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang-Mai forums so more people can benefit from this.

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First of all, I owe a great deal of gratitude to every Trip Advisor contributor who chimed in on my schedule and made my trip one of my most memorable international trips! Everything was planned and executed to a "T" and the experience was just amazing!

For detailed "expert suggestions" on both Bangkok and Phuket, I want to convey my special thanks to @Cathy&Gary (Destination Expert) without whose suggestions I wouldn't have gotten the best of my trip. Her suggestions were spot on and her "off the beaten track suggestions" worked wonderfully! I also want to thank @Knmp A who took the time to give me a ton of detailed suggestions on my itinerary.

Overall itinerary - 3 days in Bangkok, 3 days in Chiang Mai, 3 days in Phuket, 1 extra final day in Bangkok

Bangkok snippets:

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Day 1 - Jim Thomson's house, Shopping at MBK, Siam Square area exploration

Day 2 - The Grand Palace, Temples (Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, Wat Rachanadda, Wat Suthat, Giant Swing, The Golden Mountain), River cruise from "Tha Pra Chan"

Day 3 - Suan Pakkard Palace Museum, Pratnum Market, Platinum Fashion Mall, Check out the area around Rachaprasong Intersection (Central World, Amarin Plaza etc.), Erawan Shrine, Hang out in the Sukhumvit area

Chiang Mai snippets:

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Day 4 - Old town temples (Wat Sri Suphan, Wat Chedi Leung, Wat Chiang Mai, etc), Sunday night market

Day 5 - Eagle House Trek to Sanpatong, Evening cooking class, Night market/bazaar (Anusarn Night market)

Day 6 - Elephant Nature Park, check out the remaining temples in the Old city, Anusarn Night Market

:Phuket snippets:

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Day 7 - Hang out at Surin beach, Leam Singh beach; Fantasea

Day 8 - Phang Nga Bay (Phuket Sail Tours) via speed boat, Phuket Simon Cabaret

Day 9 - Trip to Phuket Old town, Lunch at Tunk Ka cafe, Wat Chalong, Big Buddha; Evening: Rawaii beach, Nai Ham beach and finally sunset at Promthep Cape, Night - check out Bangla Road

Bangkok final day

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Day 10 -- Floating Market (Taling Chan Market), Chatuchak Weekend Market, Night at the sky bar (Lebua) for amazing views

Highlights:

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- Thailand is known for massage. I almost had a massage everyday (in Chiang-Mai - it's very cheap there)

- Coconut water, Coconut water, Coconut water! :)

- Freshly squeezed fruit juice whenever I could

- Make sure you DO NOT miss the Chatuchak market and time your trip so you spend the weekend in Bangkok for this. It is very special and it is an absolute shoppers paradise! You can find everything you want for prices that are close to ridiculous (of course you have to bargain a bit)

- Bangkok in general is a shoppers paradise. Tons of places (MBK, the Pratunam market area, etc.)

- Don't leave Bangkok without having a custom suit stitched! :) I was able to give my suit order during the first part of my trip and when I returned back to Bangkok on the final day, the suit was ready for my 1st fit, 2nd fit and the delivery (I did this at Raja's fashion)

- I loved the floating market. The Taling one is small and quite a lot of people didn't know where it was. I made it there with a bit of difficulty. Make sure you do your research

- Bangkok is a city that almost never sleeps. I love the energy and life! The sky trains were just fabulous

- Thai people are among the most friendly people in the world! Whenever I had a question about something and I approached them, they were very friendly. They probably see millions of tourists but they seemed to not be tired of helping tourists

- Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai was awesome. Everyone who goes to Chaing Mai should either do this ENP or the one in Lamping

- Do not miss the Sunday night market in Chiang Mai. It's another experience that was amazing!

- Bangla Road was an experience! :) Very interesting place.

- Phuket Sail Tours did a fantastic professional job of doing the tour to Phang Nga bay. I would totally recommend them to anyone

- You have to check out the Phuket Simon cabaret (quite an awesome show). There's nothing quite like it anywhere else

- I used the driver "Chai" on the last day at Phuket for doing the Day 7 and Day 9 of my trip. Fantastic person, super professional and goes an extra mile to make sure that you're comfortable and had the best experience. I would totally recommend him

Busselton, Australia
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1. Re: Thailand Trip Report Jan 2014

Thanks for sharing it makes it great for those of us having to "wait" until it is our turn to go on vacation. Interesting reading.

Brighton
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2. Re: Thailand Trip Report Jan 2014

Thanks for sharing your vacation. We to use tripadvisor and have had three wonderfull trips to parts of Thailand ie, Koh Samui, Phuket and Chaing Mai. Using Cathy & Gary, Caroline08, Sweetpea and all the other tripadvisor experts have all made our holidays a great experience.

idaho
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for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Beach Vacations, Idaho
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3. Re: Thailand Trip Report Jan 2014

Don't you just love the TA people....

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Thailand Trip Report Jan 2014

Thanks for your report, AvidHiker; it sounds like a great trip, and you made really good use of the few days in each place. I liked the way you broke it down into highlights - a good read!

5. Re: Thailand Trip Report Jan 2014

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