Posted by Aelfred on 13/7/2016 at 12:20
i have flights booked to and from Bangkok for Feb 2017 for a three week stay. I am really struggling with an itinerary. We are a couple in our mid sixties and reasonably fit but not keen on backpacking. We plan on three days in Bangkok at the end of our stay and about a week on a beach. We have been advised to try Chiang Mai but I'm worried that it will be too commercialised for us. Is it feasible do travel to Siem Reap and how long would we need there. How do I choose a beach stay? We like to relax but also a bit of activity. We would prefer not to be in a big resort. Otherwise , is it possible to combine Vietnam with Thailand? Thanks so much for any advice.
#1 Aelfred has been a member since 7/7/2016. Posts: 2
Posted by elenacopper365 on 14/7/2016 at 02:39
In Siem Reap, you can spend about 3 days to travel. If you want to enjoy beach, you can visit Vietnam to enjoy a beautiful beach. During a week, you can visit a lots places in Vietnam such as Halong Bay – Hoi An – Nha Trang. You can enjoy Halong Bay cruise in Halong and homestay at An Bang beach in Hoian.
#2 elenacopper365 has been a member since 28/6/2016. Posts: 18
Posted by matran12a17 on 15/7/2016 at 21:54
Siem Reap is so great with beautiful landscapes. You can spend 3 days here and 3-4 days in Chiang Mai. I know there are some stunning beaches including Nha Trang and Mui Ne in Vietnam.
#3 matran12a17 has been a member since 21/6/2016. Posts: 8
Posted by DLuek on 16/7/2016 at 00:32 TF writer
Three weeks isn't that much time; trying to visit three countries could be more stress and time spent in transit than it's worth unless you're really selective with your destinations (for example fly into one single place in Vietnam and then fly back out after a few days).
Chiang Mai is great if you like beautiful old temples but it is a big city... If you're planning on three days in Bangkok you may want to save Chiang Mai for another trip. If by "commercialised" you mean touristy, then yes, Chiang Mai is that. But so is Siem Reap and parts of Bangkok and many beach destinations. They all draw lots of tourists for good reason. You could try Nan if you're looking for somewhere in Northern Thailand that also has historic temples and other things to see and do but is a lot smaller and less touristy than Chiang Mai. Chiang Rai is also a fine choice.
As for beaches, sure there are some good ones in Vietnam but Thailand has a lot more options and the tourism infrastructure is generally better -- and it has some of the most stunning beaches in the region. You could start by browsing the islands section of the site... Some of my favorites are Ko Lanta, Ko Bulon Lae, Ko Kradan, Ko Jum... Ko Chang can also be good for a mix of beaches and activities like waterfalls and hiking. Ko Kut and Ko Maak also worth considering. On Travelfish we list mostly small places to stay so just browse the accommodation listings and you'll probably find places that you like (here's an example: https://www.travelfish.org/accommodation/thailand/eastern_thailand/trat/ko_maak/all).
It's relatively easy to visit Siem Reap / Angkor as a short trip from Bangkok. You can fly there with Air Asia or Bangkok Airways, or you can take a train/bus to the border crossing at Aranyaprathet / Poi Pet and then catch a bus to Siem Reap on the Cambodian side. Fly if you want to avoid touts and hassles at the border.
Another good alternative to Chiang Mai is Luang Prabang in Laos. It's also touristy but far more laid-back and the temples are just as good or better. It used to be really expensive to fly there but now Air Asia flies there for pretty cheap from several places in Thailand as well as Ho Chi Minh City.
So if I were you I'd use Bangkok as my central hub and choose a few places for side trips. You mention exploring Bangkok for a few days at the end of the trip... I'd suggest hitting big cities at some point in the middle or beginning and finishing off with your week at the beach. That way you'll go home after a nice stint of relaxation. I love Bangkok but it's chaotic and challenging and not the most relaxing way to finish off your trip. Bangkok is roughly at the center of mainland SE Asia so no matter where you go, there's a good chance that you'll pass back through at least once during the course of your travels.
For flights around the region, in addition to Air Asia and Bangkok Airways you should check out the websites of Nok Air, Thai Smile, Thai Lion Air, Jetstar and VietJet Air, to name a few. Big booking sites like Expedia tend to only list mainstream carriers like THAI and Vietnam Airways, which are usually way more expensive.
#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,344
Posted by Aelfred on 17/7/2016 at 09:38
Thank you that is so helpful. I really need firm advice!
#5 Aelfred has been a member since 7/7/2016. Posts: 2
Posted by ApolC1976 on 21/7/2016 at 06:29
Hi if u plan to see Bangkok I would suggest u book a tour, it's a struggle to take a taxi as they know ur a foreigner and charge u twice unless it's metered. Never trust any tuktuk as I have been fooled for a quick trip but instead ended up disappointed. I suggest u book a hotel near any MTR station for its easier and less hassle on going around the shopping center. Hope u both enjoy ur holidays as I have mine.
#6 ApolC1976 has been a member since 21/7/2016. Location: Philippines. Posts: 2
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