I will be travelling Bangkok and north for just under two weeks including time at the end to make it up to Huay Xai to cross over to Laos.
We are planning to spend most of our time in and around chiang mai. I have many things I would love to see and don't have time for all of them so I would love some reccomendations. We originally had Sukhothai in our itinerary but Im now considering cutting it in favour of heading over to Mae Hong Son and doing a trek from there. Are these treks really significantly better or should we instead do a trek for chiang mai or chiang rai which would save us time since we have to head that way to get to Laos and allow us to keep Sukhothai in our itinerary.
How many days is the minimum people would reccomend actually being in the city Chiang Mai itself not including treks etc.?
Also any hotels with good trekking that people would recommend?
#1 AmandaJordan has been a member since 15/1/2007. Posts: 12
For Chiang Mai, give exacto's excellent Chiang Mai trip report a read.
For trekking, both Mae Hong Son and Pai are terrific alternatives to using Chiang Mai as a base. The trekking is better in that there's generally a lot less driving involved and the villages are less touristed than those out of Chiang Mai.
That said, Chiang Rai is also a good trekking destination. Many people opt for Pai or Mae Hong Son because the towns themselves are comfortable places to hang out for a while in, while Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are mid-sized cities.
See the following story for more advice on trekking in Thailand.
Lastly, Sukhothai is well worth a look, so if you can squeeze in an overnight stay there you won't be sorry.
With 12 days you could do something like:
3 Bangkok then a night train to Phitsanulok, followed by morning bus to Sukhothai
6 Chiang Mai
7 Chiang Mai
8 morning bus to Pai (or MHS)
9 Pai trek
10 Pai trek
11 Pai trek
12 bus back to Chiang Mai then north to Chiang Khong to cross into Laos
Hope that helps!