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Thailand 13 day Itinery advice appreciated

  • squae

    Joined Travelfish
    15th October, 2009
    Posts: 24

    Hello,

    traveling in 4 weeks and would appreciate help, I am also travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia.

    Arrive 6.00pm Bangkok

    Day 1 - Bangkok
    Day 2 - Bangkok
    Day 3 - Ayutthaya & Lop Buri (Via Train?)
    Day 4 - Sukothai (not sure about going here, as the train I have been looking at online doesnt appear to stop here?, and if I dont go here I can get a train that leaves from Lop Buri at night and arrives at Chiang Mai in the morning)
    Day 5 - Chiang Mai, not sure how to get here if I am leaving from Sukothai?
    Day 6 - Chiang Mai
    Day 7 - Chiang Mai to Phuket (leave by plane at 6.30pm arrive at 9.30pm)
    Day 8 - Surin Islands, snorkeling not diving, (speedboat from Phuket early in morning, not sure how early we can get boat?)
    Day 9 - Surin Islands
    Day 10 - Surin Islands to ???, late in the arvo (not sure how late I can get a speedboat from the island)
    Day 11 - ???
    Day 12 - ???
    Day 13 - ??? , depart Phuket 9.00pm

    I am not sure where to go after Surin, we are after a place with nice resturants, day spas, beaches etc, BUT without the tourist swarm. Bearing in mind that I am travelling from the Surin islands and have to flyout from Phuket 2.5 days later.

    Advice would be great, I am really not sure about a number of things.

    Thanks heaps in advance, Also I have written itineries for Vietnam and Cambodia on this site, any advice would really be appreciated.

    #1 Posted: 18/10/2009 - 06:55

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2415
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    hi squae,

    you can definitely get from bangkok to ayutthaya and then to lop buri by train. that's a lot to do in one day. from lop buri it is possible to catch an overnight sleeper train to chiang mai too. the train will depart lop buri for chiang mai fairly late in the evening. best to make reservations as far in advance as you can.

    given the amount of time you have to spend, you might be better off choosing between ayutthaya and sukhothai rather than trying to cram both of them in. if you do decide to go to sukhothai instead of ayutthaya, you can go first to phitsanulok by train and then take a bus for the short distance to sukhothai from there. some folks say that there is a temple in phitsanulok not far from the train station that is worth a look before heading on to sukhothai. in any case, from sukhothai, you can take a bus to chiang mai. i think it is about 5 or 6 hours.

    if you aren't locked into this itinerary yet because of flight reservations and such, then you might consider slowing things down a bit, staying in chiang mai an extra day for example, and then just hitting the beaches in phuket after your trip to the surins. there are many beach areas from which to choose.

    you've got quite a bit of travelling build into this itinerary. it's technically feasible, but you'll be spending a large percentage of your time getting from A to B.

    like i mentioned above, you might consider going to just ayutthaya and lop buri or just sukhothai, but not both. you might even consider just ayutthaya or just lop buri too, so you won't feel rushed. hope that helps at least some. regards.

    #2 Posted: 18/10/2009 - 08:20

  • squae

    Joined Travelfish
    15th October, 2009
    Posts: 24

    cheers exacto, yep that helped for sure

    From what you have said I think I will leave out Sukothai. This would allow me to catch a train in the arvo from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, than stay there overnight visit the temples and Lop Buri the following day and then get the overnight train to chiang Mai.

    In regards to the Surin 2.5 days I am not really sure where to go. I really dont think I will be into Phuket due to the amount of tourists?

    #3 Posted: 18/10/2009 - 08:34

  • squae

    Joined Travelfish
    15th October, 2009
    Posts: 24

    oops, that should of read "in regards to the 2.5 days after the surin islands"

    #4 Posted: 18/10/2009 - 08:36

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2415
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    well, you are a tourist too, so it shouldn't be too awful hanging out with similar folks. :-) but if you mean crowds, i'm not sure that phuket will be as over-swarmed as you fear. given the 2.5 days you have and all the time you are spending travelling, i'd hesitate to head too far away from phuket, but i guess other options might be khao lak or phi phi or even krabi for the spas and restaurants and beaches you seek.

    hopefully furneburner or tezza or others will chime in with some ideas on what destination options, including a few specific possibilities within phuket proper, will fit the bill for you. have fun. cheers.

    #5 Posted: 18/10/2009 - 09:34

  • squae

    Joined Travelfish
    15th October, 2009
    Posts: 24

    Good point, I did mean crowds :-]

    I like the ideas for Krabi & also Phi Pi. I will definately be looking into them.

    I didnt realize they were both that close to Phuket that is great news.

    Thanks for your posts exacto, they have been really helpful

    #6 Posted: 18/10/2009 - 10:40

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6414
    Total reviews: 10

    For me this would be way too much traveling, way to little stopping to smell the roses. 13 days is about enough time for me at two places.

    #7 Posted: 18/10/2009 - 13:37

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1317
    Total reviews: 61

    Day 8 has me beat - there is no regular speedboat link from Phuket to the Surins, it's a hell of a long way - access is from the pier area at Ngan Yong near Khuraburi. Now I think the boats leave pretty early, around 0900 - and you are looking at a good 4 hours+ bus and sonthaew trip from Phuket.
    There will be no night buses that late the night before.

    I reckon you should maybe pick your near-Phuket places and do them first - then go to the Surins - and then head back to the airport. Unfortunately I think the boats back from the Surins may be in the afternoon - so I would not leave it until day 13.
    Maybe head back on day 12, stay on one of the beaches near the airport like Naithon or Nai Yang. Real nice beaches and TRAVELFISH has some info on budget accomm.
    OR - stay night 12 at Phang Nga town and do one of the fabulous Phang Nga Bay daytrips next day - which will finish early enough to get you to the airport (about one hour) with time to spare.

    So where to go before the Surins. Well Krabi and Phi Phi are good suggestions. For something much more off the beaten track, Kos Yao Noi and Yao Yai.
    And for somewhere nice along the road to Khuraburi - Khao Lak.

    #8 Posted: 19/10/2009 - 11:47

  • squae

    Joined Travelfish
    15th October, 2009
    Posts: 24

    Tezza,

    Cheers for the heads up!, i dont really have the option of swapping around the order, as my wife wants to go to day spas at the end of the holiday. If I cant get a bus I wonder how much a taxi would cost.

    Also have been looking at different islands to go to. I do think Yao Noi and Yao Yai do look good. In regards to picking an island I am looking for one that isnt heaps crowded but also has really nice island views (similar to phi phi, and also Phang Nga Bay).

    #9 Posted: 20/10/2009 - 03:05

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1317
    Total reviews: 61

    This Phuket airport limo outfit has a price to what they call Kuraburi Beach which I will guess is the pier for 2200 - I know the airport taxis are cheaper over short distances, not sure about longer.
    http://phuketdir.com/palbuco/rate.htm

    That was from this thread:
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/message.jspa?messageID=16274698

    btw you can still catch a bus - but you are going to blow day 8 getting to Khuraburi.
    If you can't afford a taxi/limo to Ngan Yong maybe you could do the cheaper trip airport to Khao Lak, stay somewhere nice and spend a day on the beach and then catch a late bus to Khuraburi, stay overnight and then go down to Ngan Yong pier.

    The east coast of Yao Noi and the north-east coast of Yao Yai have nice karst island outlooks towards the Krabi area. I think the flasher resort in the north of Noi looks towards the great landscape of Phang Nga Bay. Note Noi's beaches are mostly a bit rocky. Real nice island though.

    #10 Posted: 20/10/2009 - 05:57

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  • squae

    Joined Travelfish
    15th October, 2009
    Posts: 24

    going home to check out the info, that link looks great and whilst the "limo" is relatively expensive, I am willing to pay if it allows me time to get to the Surin Islands.

    In regards to those islands Yao Noi and Yao Noi, they also look to be the goods, so far they are the favourites, other islands which people think are good from what I have read are Lone & Maiton.

    The main things I want are for it to be as secluded as possible WITH karst island views.

    Is there any others people can think of off hand that have great karst views?

    Major thanks to exacto and tezza as well.

    #11 Posted: 20/10/2009 - 13:05

  • squae

    Joined Travelfish
    15th October, 2009
    Posts: 24

    After looking over the Phuket bay again last night, I think maybe Yai Noi & also Krabi are looking the likely suspects at the moment.

    Is there any bays aroung the Krabi area which have great Karst views and arent heavily populated?

    #12 Posted: 21/10/2009 - 08:46

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1317
    Total reviews: 61

    Ao Nam Mao is a little beach about 3km on the Krabi side of East Railay - it is the bad weather port for longtails to Raily - from memory there are quite good views of the karst landscape around Railay-Phran Nang plus the offshore karst islets. Check TRAVELFISH for Dawn of Happiness Resort - and I seem to remember a TRIP ADVISOR review had some nice karst photos from there. The beach is a bit ordinary at low tide.

    Hat Ton Son is the long northern extension of Noppharet Thara beach north of Ao Nang. It starts across the small creek from the National Park HQ area. There are distant views of the karst islands between that coast and Yao Noi. There are a handfull of budget bungalows along this beach but I read recently the NP has started charging 200baht enty into the area.

    KHLONG MUANG is an enclave of midrange and upper hotels in an isolated beach area further north. A similar section called Tubkaak Beach is close. Brcause of the turn in the coast this area looks directly towards the main Phang Nga bay islands and coastline.

    #13 Posted: 22/10/2009 - 11:53

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