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Northern Thailand Itinerary questions

  • FishUdders

    Joined Travelfish
    25th October, 2011
    Posts: 3

    I am planning on traveling the whole of Thailand early next year, at the moment have only really planned for Northern Thailand using the sample itinerary http://www.travelfish.org/trip_planner/thailand-northern-explorer

    At the moment it's looking like:
    3 days in BKK - floating market, canal tour.
    2 days Ayutthaya - cycle around historical parks/ruins
    2 days in LopBuri - monkeys and temples
    1 day Phitsanulok - river walk and massage (although considering going from here to a national park, anyone have any advice on this? Which park to go to where?)
    1 day Sukhothai - cycle around ruins (anyone know if this is worth doing if have already seen ruins etc. in Ayutthaya?)
    ? days Chiang Mai - Considering doing courses on cooking and massage here, does anyone have any advice or experience on this? how long they take? how much they cost? If you actually learn anything?
    2 days Chiang Dao - Cave and elephant riding (anyone know where the best place to do elephant riding is?)
    6 days Chiang Rai - 3-4 day trek, river trip, wat kaew, night market, rent bikes
    1-2 days Lampang - Wats, nearby national parks, baby elephant training

    This takes me to about 25 days give or take, was hoping to also include something like this itinerary too to go south http://www.travelfish.org/trip_planner/thailand-jungle-islands :S am planning on spending about 56 days in Thailand so i'm thinking I need to cut some of the above out! Please help!

    Budget is going to be like £1000 each, traveling with my girlfriend, is this realistic with everything we want to do including southern Thailand?

    Thank you!

    #1 Posted: 25/10/2011 - 22:50

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  • frasmc

    Joined Travelfish
    28th November, 2005
    Posts: 29
    Total reviews: 3

    The ruins in Sukhothai are generally much better regarded than those in Ayuthaya, so if you are going to spend three days between the two, I recommend spending the extra day in Sukhothai.

    #2 Posted: 25/10/2011 - 23:21

  • johnbarring-

    Joined Travelfish
    19th October, 2011
    Posts: 22

    Sounds great, I'm jealous!
    I did a cookery course in Chiang Mai which lasted a day and it was reasonably priced. There are however, loads of cookery and Thai massage courses to choose from. They range from afternoon courses to week-long courses. I'd really like to take a couple of days to learn traditional Thai massage next time i'm there!

    #3 Posted: 25/10/2011 - 23:51

  • FishUdders

    Joined Travelfish
    25th October, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Thanks for the replies, looks like we'll be spending a bit less time in Ayuthaya then, and I think a 1 day cooking course would suit us just fine. Anyone any idea of more precise prices for courses such as cooking or massage, or any of the Buddhist retreats?

    #4 Posted: 26/10/2011 - 18:17

  • misplcednot-

    Joined Travelfish
    17th October, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 19
    Total reviews: 3

    I did a 1 day cooking class with "Siam Rice" in Chiang Mai, and also "Suwanee's Cooking Class" in Chiang Rai, both same price, and both with their own positives. Each were 900B for the day of cooking and a market tour. I have to say I personally prefered Suwanee's (the name of your instructor), it was smaller and very personable. The market tour was INCREDIBLE... the locals' markets can be intimidating but she walks you through most of it (its giant, and would take 2 days to see it all probably) and explains about the different ingredients, some of the local treats, you get to see the coconut "factory" where they make the milk and cream, and you actually shop for the ingredients. Siam Rice was great for different reasons.. they do a "market tour" as well, but they stop at one place explain a few of the ingredients and then let you browse for about 15 minutes on your own (they've already done the shopping). But on the other hand I enjoyed that at Siam you got to make your own curry paste, and for the same price I did get 2 more dishes. Like I said both were great and very enjoyable for different reasons. Personally I felt that the tour alone with Suwanee was worth it.

    Edit: Would like to note I did learn a lot about thai food and ingredients which alone is worth it. Siam Rice gives you a booklet with the recipes in it, while Suwanee has a website you can go to and see the recipes. So of course if you can't remember exactly you have a reference.

    A side note about Chiang Rai- The night market is great, and there are actually 2 food courts. There is one mostly directed at farang with wooden tables and menus, where you sit down and order from a server and they bring you your food. This is the one I think they talk about in the LP guide, and I never actually ate there so can't say how the food is. If you can find in the way way back there is also one with 2 rows of stalls and you walk up and order your food and sit down wherever you can find and empty plastic chair and table. The food was some of my favorite in the city, and had everything from thai food, to sushi, fried spring rolls and shrimp to fried bugs. I happened to stumble upon it on the night of a Manchester game and it was packed and probably one of my funnest nights in Thailand.

    #5 Posted: 27/10/2011 - 12:28

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