My boyfriend and I are going to Thailand for a 2 week trip in early April (my first, his second). We already know we want to see/do at the very least the following:
2.) Pattaya for Songkram festival
3.) Chiang Mai
4.) Koh Samui
5.) Ride an elephant
6.) Pet a tiger
7.) See a Muy Thai match
This is by no means all we want to do, though! We plan to kinda keep it open (e.g. no set itinerary), but would like a "loose" one to follow to make the most of our time. Any suggestions? We are definitely flexible with where we go and the time spent as each place. We are open to travel within the country via plane, train, bus, or foot. :P
Basically, we are wondering what you would consider to be "must-dos" there.
Also, any suggestions on accomodations in Bangkok would be great!
Thanks in advance for your help!
I think you are trying to fit too much in for 2 weeks . You will spend most of your time travelling .
In my opinion you should leave Chiang Mai for another time
On arrival go direct to Pattaya
Then back to BKK for your trip to Samui
Leave spending time in BKK till last before returning home
I agree - you are trying to fit too much in and you are not going to feel like you have had a holiday at the end of it. You would be spending a lot of time travelling, as Koh Samui and Chiang Mai are virtually opposite ends of the country. I would cut Pattaya out of your itinerary, and have your beach time just in Koh Samui. Alternatively you could cut out Koh Samui and pattaya but go to a beach close to Bangkok such as koh lanta or koh chang to reduce your travel time, and then head up north to see Chiang Mai and do some treks. I saw a muay Thai match in Chiang Mai so you might be able to do that there.
For accommodation in Bangkok, I’d head to the Soi Rambuttri area where there are numerous cheap guesthouses, cafes and restaurants as well as noodle, fruit and book stalls.
I agree with the other two, you trying to fit in too much, not taking in travel time and you'll end up running around and not enjoying Thailand. One correction however, Koh Lanta is not close to Bangkok, it is way south but a good island to go to.
What you can do arond Bangkok, See the Rose Garden. There they have the Thai cultural things to do including riding the elephant. About an hour outside of Bnagkok. In Kanchanburi, you can go to the tiger temple, have heard good and bad things about that. Personally I am not one for captive wild animals. While in Bangkok you can see the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha.
Personally, I would stay out of Pattaya unless you are a single guy. It's not as clean as it used to be and, like it has always been, it's pretty much just a meat market. Don't waste your time there, head south to the good beaches. I highly suggest the Andaman coast side of Thailand versus the gulf side, it's so much better. Hit Phuket and then head north to Khao Lak. Great beaches, many isolated with few or no one on them, if you don't mind getting off the beaten path a bit, good resorts and food.
If you have any time left then you can decide to hit Chiang Mai. But that doens't leave you much time and I would rather enjoy it on the coast. If you had another week, maybe...We usually try and do a week in each place, definitly no mess in the south. We love the Thai national parks which you can find in abundance in the south, some really nice ones.
Good luck deciding.
I agree, Do not visit Chiang Mai now, visit in november, when the rain is finished and the waterfalls is filled with water.
Pattaya is not good, dirty water and lots of bars,drinking and girls...Visit Phuket or Krabi, Phang Nga bay etcetera.
Start in Bangkok anyway. But if u go Pattaya, its not far from Ko Samet, or Rayong.
Most towns by the way is not so nice in Thailand. kindly peter 22
I was in Thailand for two weeks in April a little less than two years ago and chose to keep it simple in order to actually enjoy the time and ourselves. I agree with everyone's advice to stay in a particular region unless you can fly everywhere. My pal and I stayed at Reflections Hotel - which was an amazingly cool, clean and affordable (about $85 a night) boutique hotel right off of the skytrain. I've heard they've moved locations but are still close to the metro now. Wherever you stay, I recommend it be near one of the mass transits so you don't have to deal with taxis and tuktuks and possibly getting ripped off. The river boats are quite affordable too. But do make sure if you go to the night market, and you take the subway, you leave before the trains stop running.
One rainy day we went to the Forensics Museum in the Siriraj hospital (accessible by river boat) which was QUITE creepy, original and amazing if you go for that kind of thing.
To quench our craving for elephant riding, we went to the closest island near BKK - Koh Chang (Elephant Island) by plane and then ferry to save on time, where we spent four days and snorkeled and rode elephants. It was well worth the small price of plane tickets to not have to sit on a bus or train for 12 hours. Really the highlight of the trip. Oh - be wary of the Songkran Festival which is in April and plan accordingly. Not sure if you are going then, but many hotels outside of Bangkok book up fast during this time.
Have a great trip!
As you will be in Thailand for the first two weeks of April, my suggestion is to go to Chiangmai to experience the Songkran Festival. Nowhere else in Thailand celebrates as energetically and as crazily as the folk in Chiangmai. Google "songkran chiangmai" and click on "images" to see what I mean...