im heading out to thailand for 5 weeks from the 2nd january..i fly into bangkok and out from singapore, i was just after some travel tips n help from u guys...is our time scale enough to head upto chang mai and come bk down? the best way to get around and do this? best places to see elephants and tigers? should we book full moon party in advance? safest places to stay in certain areas? places to avoid? any of your advice is greatly appreciated, also my brother would like to head to laos to go tubing is it worth it? and how do visas work if we were to do this? is it cheap enough (roughly how much) to fly bangkok to laos? thank you
#1 daniellegee has been a member since 22/9/2012. Posts: 15
From Bangkok to Chiang Mai takes about 10 hours by bus or more like 12-15 hours by train. Many elephant camps and the Tiger Kingdom near CM. The north is great in January with clear weather, not too hot, cool nights, wildflowers in the hills. Visit Pai and Mae Hong Son or anywhere out in the hilly northwest. Places to avoid? The Full Moon Party. The tubing in Vang Vieng (Laos) has been shut down, but check the situation again in January.
Tubing has been closed down?! Wow thanks for letting me know, that's not 2 bad to Chang mai I thought it would of been longer thanks for your help
#3 daniellegee has been a member since 22/9/2012. Posts: 15
Also...y should I avoid the full moon party? We had planned to do this
#4 daniellegee has been a member since 22/9/2012. Posts: 15
"...y should I avoid the full moon party? We had planned to do this"
Because it's sad and run by Thai mafia. Tubing is highly dangerous too, glad they are stopping that.
Go visit chang, krabi, trang, sai yok, issan, north. Heaps of places to go without the sad mafia run nonsense.
Do u have any recommendation on where to get up close n personal with tigers and elephants? I've read bad reviews about tiger temple..and read about ayuthaya elephant palace which is meant to be great
#9 daniellegee has been a member since 22/9/2012. Posts: 15
Tigers are predatory animals. The only way you can get up close and personal is if they drug it. Professional trainers of the animals can usually (remmember the two gay guys, one of whom almost became dinner to a tiger?) work with the animals safely. But in general, if you can do that in Thailand, it's because the animal has been drugged. Elephants are certainly different in this regard - but domesticating an elephant is not a gentle experience for the animal. Just keep that in mind. Thais haven't tapped into some unknown wisdom when it comes to dealing with animals.
Have a look at www.elephantnaturepark.org - short drive outside of CM. Great place to spend a day and I think they take volunteers as well. Lek has done wonderful things there.
@MADMAC - Roy had a very, very bad day...Maybe his tiger needed more tranquillizer!
The tigers at Tiger Kingdom just north of Chiang Mai are not drugged. They are raised in captivity from birth and are well fed and cared for. You can encounter and take pictures with them very up-close.
As for tubing in Vang Vieng, follow the posts on Lonely Planet Thorn Tree such as http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2251298
You can still "tube" i.e. float down the river in a tube, but getting smashed on cheap whiskey and hurling yourself onto hidden rocks might not be an option.