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4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

minneapolis
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4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

Hello. My wife and I (mid 30's active couple that like a good mix of culture and adventure) are planning a trip to Thailand. Unfortunately we will only have 4 days (and 4 nights in northern Thailand). I am really debating between 2 options trying to maximize our time.

Option 1. Arrive CM via overnight train from Bangkok. Spend 3 days (2 nights) with Samart at Spicy Villa while visiting Doi Inthanon, cycling, river rafting, elephants, hiking, hill tribes etc.) and then spend one full day (2 nights) in CM itself (walking tour, maybe a cooking class, market)

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Option 2. Pack all of the activities listed in at Spicy Villa in 2 days (2 nights) which should be possible according to Samart and then drive to CR to see golden triangle, white temple, Chiang Dao National park, Taton, Opium Museum. This option includes a good amount of driving which we don't mind since we'll see a nice country side yet i don't know whether it will be too much and overwhelming taking away from the experience rather than adding.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated?

Sunshine Coast...
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1. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

Hi,

You are certainly packing a lot into your time! I guess option 1 would be my suggestion out of the 2. Chiang Mai really is just a wonderful place to slow down and wander and enjoy, but I understand you want to pack as much into a short time as you can. Chiang Rai is good done as an overnighter, as it's 3 hours drive each way, that is a lot of driving in one day. Yep. Still think option 1. Just my opinion. Good luck, you will love it.

MCG

Paphos, Cyprus
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2. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

Another vote for Option 1. You just have long enough to get a taste of Chiang Mai. Try to take in C.Rai as well, and it will all become a blur!

Trisha

Bangkok, Thailand
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3. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

I would choose one: Doi Inthanon & surroundings OR Chiang Mai OR Chiang Rai. Sometimes trying to do too much leaves one simply checking off attractions rather than actually enjoying what you are doing. It's also important to remember that for all the wonderful things about Thailand it is still a third world country with a... flexible approach to time. Thais are not exactly known for punctuality and they are also very reluctant to say 'no' when you ask if something can be accomplished in a particular amount of time, regardless of whether it is possible or not.

Edited: 21 June 2014, 14:05
minneapolis
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4. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

Looks like the consensus is that Option1 would better. Not unexpected though. Perhaps we will need to visit CR another time and combine it with Laos or another country. Thanks guys for the advise!

Vancouver
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5. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

You won't regret staying just in Chiang Mai for those four days... in fact, you will be regretting not being able to stay longer. It sounds like you have a lot of things on your itinerary, but try not to cram too much into those 4 days... take at least one day to wander around the old part of the city, visit the markets, have a coffee or tea or delicious fruit smoothie, sit down with the locals and give them a smile. Just be with them for awhile.... They are lovely people. and there are around 300 beautiful temples in the old part of Chiang Mai, so as you wander, you will constantly be stumbling across beautiful works of art, be they temples, wats, peaceful gardens, exquisitely hand-carved doors, wonderful paintings inside the temples, small lanes to explore and do some shopping. Chiang Mai is the handicraft centre of Thailand. You can find wonderful inexpensive items just about everywhere. The markets are fun, especially the Saturday and Sunday walking street markets. There are several hill tribes in northern Thailand who bring their handicrafts to sell in Chiang Mai - these are lovely, colorful and unusual.

Enjoy those four days! You'll be looking to come back again, I'm sure....

minneapolis
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6. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

Thanks you SkeezixVancouver. Sold :-)

You (and other contributors here) just made my life little easier. Just need to find a nice boutique hotel or B&B now for 2 nights.

Vancouver
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7. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

If you give the amount you want to pay per night, that will make it easier for us to suggest places to stay and then you can check them out...

Busselton, Australia
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8. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

Option One from me - we are spending 15 days in Chiang Mai as what we have done previously was nowhere near enough time LOL

minneapolis
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9. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

Under 100$ a night i would say.

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: 4 days in Northern Thailand help needed

Have you considered flying from Bangkok to Chiang Mai - this would save you a lot of time - you are there in 2 hours and internal flights are very cheap, often less than $50 per person?

Also can't see how you could possibly fit all of that stuff in and actually enjoy your time in 4 days, either option really. 2 weeks isn't long enough in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai - have a really good look at all that adventuring stuff you are trying to do and maybe pick 1 of those - Doi Inthanon is nice but if you have limited time I would give it a miss and go to Doi Suthep instead.

Have a look at Lanna Mantra, De Lanna and Baan Orapin for a few really nice choices under $100.

Edited: 27 June 2014, 04:24