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How many days in Chaing Rai

San Diego
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How many days in Chaing Rai

Hi,

We have six nights to spend in Chaing Mai and Chaing Rai. I plan to spend five in Chaing Mai and one in Chaing Rai.

Does that sound right?

Thanks, Jim

lewes uk
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1. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

Hi,

It will let you get a feel for the town and visit some wats, night market etc. but too short to see much of the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Still, with only 6 days it's a hard decision as Chiang Mai is such a wonderful base. I would suggest early bus there and late bus back and see if you can get one of terrific CR guides to help you maximise your time there.

Cheers

Vancouver
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2. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

Two of the things you wouldn't want to miss if only going for one day and a night are the White Temple (exquisite), and if you are there on a Saturday, the Saturday Night market is great! But if you are there on another day, there is also a market up and running each evening, but not as extensive as the Saturday Night Market.

In Chiang Mai, the Sunday Market is very special and not to be missed. Start at around 5 pm to explore it. By 7 pm, it is wall-to-wall people! Quite the experience and a shopper's paradise!

Edited: 31 May 2013, 21:55
Brisbane, Australia
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for Chiang Mai
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3. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

You need to weigh this up carefully.

If you only allocate one day to Chiang Rai this probably means a day trip which people on the forum generally advice against.

It is just too much traveling in either direction to really enjoy Chiang Rai and the surrounding areas. It takes three hours each way if you make no stops on the way. Sights are then further out of town so you can spend 8 hours plus traveling with little time to see much.

If you had two days to allocate to CR you could do as Sheezix suggests (and we have done before) catch the morning bus (vip is direct) up to CR - have the afternoon, the next day and catch the mid afternoon bus back to CM arriving back about 6pm for dinner.

However, this will take two full days out of your six.

If you have another four days - keep in mind one of these days you will be arriving so it may not be a full day.

Moving cities will cut into your time simply because you lose a half day each way in travel time.

Still, CR is a wonderful place to see. Shame you don't have just a couple more days.

Caroline.

Gold Coast
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for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
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4. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

We did 4 nights in CM and 2 nights in CR, but wish we'd had longer in both, but was a good introduction nevertheless.

lewes uk
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5. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

Hi,

I just want to clarify, I meant early bus day one, overnight in Chiang Rai and late bus back, in case people thought I was suggesting a day trip, which as Caroline says is not a great idea.

Cheers

Wyong, Australia
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6. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

Flying in from San Diego I assume you'll be landing in Bangkok.

(it's probably the least expensive route)

Instead of flying from Bangkok up to Chiang Mai, fly straight up to Chiang Rai.

Spend the night there (Chiang Rai) then catch a late bus down the hill to Chiang Mai the next day.

Have fun

Colorado
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for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
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7. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

Jim and Carol:

Though I think you could spend all six days in CR and still not have explored all it and the surrounding area has to offer, if you only have a total of 6 days I would suggest the following:

Coming out of San Diego I am assuming you will fly to Tokyo via LA and then to Bangkok (you can also do San Fan to Tokyo to Bangkok). In any event, those flights almost always land in Bangkok about 11 p.m. I would spend the night near the airport, and then as Inaspin has advised, catch the early morning flight directly to CR. You can be in CR by about 10 a.m., enjoy all of day one, stay overnight, enjoy day two, and catch the last bus to CM. That will maximize your time and give you a taste of both cities. If you enjoy rural exploration, consider spending two nights in CR and going back to CM on the late afternoon on day three.

To determine whether more time in CR does or does not fit your travel style, check out the FAQ in the upper right hand corner of this forum page for the "Top 30 List."

Safe Travels,

Broder

Chiang Rai, Thailand
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8. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

Jim & Carol,

Some excellent advice already offered here.

Try and make your night here a Saturday. Must do's are really the Black House (Baan Si Damm, closes 12 noon), the White Temple, Saturday Night Walking Street and perhaps dinner in the Night Bazaar followed by some glugging in Cat's Bar on Jet Yod Road. I would recommend hiring a driver for the day so you don't waste any time. If you still have time left in the afternoon, take a long tail boat up to Ruammit Elephant Camp. After all that lot, you will need a holiday!

Handiest hotels are the Wiang Inn/Wiangcome, and if you're on a real budget, Jansom House on Jet Yod Road.

Have fun.

Bruce

Denver, Colorado
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9. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

I would recommend at least two days in Chiang Rai. There is so much to do and see but a lot is out of town and you will spend some time driving. You won't be disappointed at the end of these drives though. The country side is breathtakingly beautiful and the cultural things to see are amazing. I think you could find more than enough to discover with two days in Chiang Rai.

San Diego
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10. Re: How many days in Chaing Rai

Thanks, very much, for your help.

Jim