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North Thailand Itinerary

Posted by sarah7196 on 12/7/2011 at 21:45

Hi all… me again

Hope you are all well

My partner and I are staring our adventure on Jan 15th and we need some advice regarding the itinerary for North Thailand, this is our rough itinerary so far…

Bangkok
Kanchanburi
Bangkok
Ayuthaya
Lop Buri
Phitsanulok
Sukhothai
Lampang
Chaing Mai
Chaing Dao
Tha Ton
Chaing Rai
Chaing Khong

We wanted to know if there was any places along the way which we must see OR on the flip side, if we have any places in our itinerary which aren’t really worth the look?
Time isn’t too much of an issue but we would like to be able to complete this is in around 2 ½ weeks, do you think this is achievable?

Thanks everyone and happy travels

xxx

#1 sarah7196 has been a member since 18/3/2011. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 12
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Posted by Tilapia on 13/7/2011 at 09:40

Yes, a few hours past Kanchanaburi is Sangkhlaburi. Really great place close to the Burmese border. Just don't go on a weekend or during a holiday. Lovely spot.

North of Sukhothai is Si Satchanalai . If you're wanting to see nice Thai temples, Sukhothai is great, but Si Satchanalai is better. Rent a motorbike in Sukhothai and make a day trip out of it. It won't take more than an hour on a motorbike through fields of sugar cane and rice paddies (I'm starting to sound like a broken record/CD/mp3 about this place).

I like the town of Sukhothai, the river, its night market, its pad thai, and its laid back atmosphere. There are some really great places to stay, too. But last time I was there I stayed in Old Sukhothai at the Old Sukhothai Guest House, right across the road from the ruins, and it was fantastic. Got a massive room with a/c, bathroom, tv, and a huge bed for about 300 baht. There's not much to do at night other than eat, but that's about all there is to do in Sukhothai, anyway and you're 12 km away from the sites.

Apart from checking out the action along the river in the evenings, and the amazing and revered Wat Yai (Wat Phra Si Ratana ... highly recommended!), I wouldn't bother spending much time in Phitsanulok. The bus station has a great night market, though, as does the nice little train station.

2 1/2 weeks isn't all that much time for so many stops, though. If I had to lop anything off of that list, I'd probably skip Ayuthaya (if I was going to Sukhothai, or Sukhothai if I was going to Ayuthaya), Lopburi, Phitsanulok, and Chiang Khong.

But you have chosen a nice, relaxing route to take, without having to spend long periods on buses or trains. If you don't mind staying just one night in most of these spots, you will like what you've chosen.

#2 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,508
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Posted by cybervlad on 13/7/2011 at 17:24

Hi Sarah,
I noticed that you plan to return from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok then head to Ayuthaya. But you can reach Ayuthaya from Kanchanaburi by bus via Suphanburi.
We done similar route (ChiangMai - ChiangDao - MaeSai ChiangRai) in 2007. Here is a report, may be you can find some useful info there.

#3 cybervlad has been a member since 6/6/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 182
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Posted by cybervlad on 13/7/2011 at 18:49

Hi Sarah,
I noticed that you plan to return from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok then head to Ayuthaya. But you can reach Ayuthaya from Kanchanaburi by bus via Suphanburi.
We done similar route (ChiangMai - ChiangDao - MaeSai ChiangRai) in 2007. Here is a report, may be you can find some useful info there.

#4 cybervlad has been a member since 6/6/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 182
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Posted by exacto on 13/7/2011 at 21:52

hi sarah,

you've listed 13 stops in roughly 17 days. i'd slim down that itinerary so you can slow down and enjoy the places you do visit. my best guess given what you've listed is a bangkok, kanchanaburi, sukhothai, chiang mai, chiang dao route. that will give you plenty of variety, more time in each place, and some flexibility built in. it will also depend on where you are going next (for example, are you then heading to luang prabang by boat or back to bangkok) to decide if chiang rai was worth the trip or not.

in any case, most of the folks on this site will say that less is more, and that you will have a far better time spending more time in fewer places than all of your time getting from point A to point B.

by the way, that Si Satchanalai trip tilapia mentions is excellent. i did it in late 2009 at his suggestion and had a wonderful day. keep in mind that the scooter ride is a long one, particularly if you aren't an experienced rider. but it is possible to visit the site by bus too. regards.

#5 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,685
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Posted by sarah7196 on 14/7/2011 at 18:00

Hi all,

Thanks for all your replies – all very useful information that we have taken on board and re organised our itinerary slightly…

We are now 100% going to go to ‘Si Satchanalai’. It sounds amazing and I love the idea of renting a motor bike and going through the fields! (Tilapia – you don’t sound like a broken record at all! You sound passionate!) but I don’t have a motor bike license, is this something worth getting before I leave the UK? If so would a CBT be ok or would I need a full license? Can you take a test in Bangkok or is this not possible? (saw it on ‘top gear’ hehehe).
I wanted to have a look at ‘Old Sukhothai Guest House’ but could only find ‘Old city Guest House’ in Sukhothai http://www.ab-home.net/oldcity-guesthouse-sukhothai/ - is this the same place? You mentioned it was 300 Baht… this is such a daft question I know but I was wondering when a website states a room price i.e. 300 baht for a double room, fan etc, is this per person or is this for the room? If it’s per room I will be over the moon and send you all hugs!!!
We are going to leave Ayuthaya out this time round as we will be visiting it at a later date when my parents come later on in March, and we are going to try and find a route straight from Kanchanaburi to Lop Buri if we can?
We want to do a couple of treks and home stays if possible along the way, can anyone recommend any decent ones? We was thinking ‘buddy tours’ in Chiang Mai http://www.chiangmai1.com/buddy/3-days.shtml, and ‘Mellow trek’ in Kanchanaburi?
Also Is there much to see an do in Chiang Ria?
And finally… we are crossing the border into Laos from Chiang Khong (into Huax Xai), can anyone suggest a better (or another) route into Laos from Chiang Mai?

Thanks again everyone and happy travels xx

#6 sarah7196 has been a member since 18/3/2011. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 12
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Posted by Captain_Bob on 14/7/2011 at 18:35

"And finally… we are crossing the border into Laos from Chiang Khong (into Huax Xai), can anyone suggest a better (or another) route into Laos from Chiang Mai?"

That's the only border point open to foreigners in the far north region. The next closest alternative is in northern Nan province at Huay Kon / Muang Ngeun. You basically get a bus to Nan city and then a songthaew up to the border. Transport in/out of there is limited though, especially on the Laos side where it's best to cross in the morning and get a ride to Hongsa which is a very nice pretty little town in a big green valley. This is the newer alternative way into north Laos and worth the extra effort IMO.

Otherwise you can cross in the little Tha Li border in Loei province and get a songthaew up to Xayabouli, or of course the big busy crossing at Friendship Bridge to Vientiane.

#7 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,918


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