Booked my flights today for 3 weeks in Thailand in October... cant wait!
I have a pretty relaxed itinery as this is my holiday from work so I want to 'smell the roses' as they say. My plan is to land in BKK spen a couple of nights there, book a train to Chiang Mai and then see what happens. I'm not one for massive planning or rushing about. I was thinking of spending a few days on Chiang Mai then booking the Laos river boat trip to Luang Prabang to spend a few days there and maybe book a flight back to Bangkok or get the train back.
My main concern is about timing and whether 3 weeks to do all of that would be too rushed as I have heard travlling in Laos is really slow, especially during rainy season. I'm not adverse to kicking about Chiang Mai for 3 weeks and maybe heading to Chiang Rai and seeing other things.
Just wanted to get other peoples view on this. Apologies if this has been asked a million times.
#1 Geezy has been a member since 27/7/2009. Posts: 48
Three weeks is enough to do this comfortably. Maybe 5 days in CM with some trips out of town to the hills, hop up to Chiang Dao then Thaton where you can get a 3-4 hour boat to Chiang Rai. Then bus to Chiang Khong for slow boat 2 days (overnight at Pakbeng) to Luang Prabang. Spend a few days there then bus it down to Vientiane for a couple days. Cross to Nong Khai and sleeper train to Bangkok. Enough time but allow a bit extra in the event of transport hassles, especially Laos buses. Hopefully the dry season will crack through earlier this year, but last year Oct was still pretty damp.
Hey Captain Bob, Thanks for your reply. This was exactly what I was looking for. Seems like I have a comfortable amount of time to do this in nicely and see the sights without being too rushed. :-)
#3 Geezy has been a member since 27/7/2009. Posts: 48
I agree, this sounds like a good amount of time for what you're planning. My last trip to Thailand was for 3 weeks and we spent 10 days in Chiang Mai (& did the Mae Hong Son loop) and 10 days on the islands and it was very comfortable. We really enjoyed Soppong , if you want to get out of Chiang Mai for a night or two. You can rent a motorbike or take a bus from Chiang Mai and you have the option of stopping in Pai along the way. Soppong has a lot of good and reasonably priced trekking & other trips - we went to the Cave Lodge where you can rent a kayak or hire a guide to see the caves in the area.
I'm staying outside of Chiang Rai right now, and it was so easy to get here from Bangkok. The overnight train to Chiang Mai is cheap and a lot of fun. We took a bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai for about 5$ US.
Seems like a good plan to me, and a reasonable amount of time to either
1.)see a lot of places, or
2.) See a lot in a few places.
Northern Thailand is a fantastic place to leave your "plans" loose, because you never know when a two day stop-off will turn into a week-long love affair. Make a loose outline of what you hope to do, then say "Mai Pen Rai"(no worries) and see what happens!
and remember: travelfish is the perfect resource for getting off the beaten track with ease, so be sure to use it!