We'll be going to Thailand for 7 days, arriving in Bangkok on April 13th.
This time,it'll only be the two of us, but we've been twice to SE Asia already.Backpacking with the kids in the South of Thailand discovering Khao Lak, the Similans and Khao Sok. We've also been to the rainforest in Sabah and to Sipadan.
We have not yet decided what to do, but we're thinking of spending a day or two in Bangkok,perhaps going to Chiang Mai and Sukhothai. Maybe going for a few days to the beach or in a rainforest. We realize that one week is not enough to do it all, and distances between sites are sometimes rather long.
So while sorting things out and setting our priorities, we have a few questions :
- After KhaoSok and Kinabatangan, are there National Parks that are "must-see"with rainforest and wildlife ?
- We'll be arriving right on time for Songkran, and we understand it can be impressive.Sure, it would be fun to participate a day or so, but not spending our entire week in a watersplash...
- is it really a big deal EVERYWHERE ?
- where would be the best place to participate in the festivities ?
- is it possible to do other things (trekking, museums, tours etc.) during Songkran or is everything closed or on hold ?
Any other advice would be welcome ;-)
A friend of mine was telling me the best place to experience Songkran is in Chiang Mai.
I have never been during this time of year but i have been in India during Holi which is a similar festival. Usually cities can be the best places to experience this, if your thought of joining in is throwing water at each other (paint in the case of Holi).
If you want to participate in a more tradition way, like giving food to monks, then it would be best for you to be in Chiang Mai.
Also i will most likely be a ime for people to leave the big cities and head to rural parts (usually their ancestral homes). So there is a good chance it will be hard to book travel and hotels will probably be more expensive.
How far in advance would you book transportation to and from Chiang Mai during Songkran? My boyfriend and I are planning to arrive on the 12th, coming probably from Sukhothai, and going back to Bangkok on the 15th (overnight train if possible). We'll be arriving in Bangkok on March 28th, would booking our train back from Chiang Mai when we get there be early enough, or should we book it online sooner from home, if that's possible?
#4 bigfatbackpack has been a member since 30/1/2013. Posts: 5
Trains to/from Chiang Mai are always full before and after Songkran. If you can't pre-book now get any available seat on a bus. CM is Songkran-Central, insanely busy April 10-16. I have a cheapo guesthouse in the old city and like most places we usually ask people to check in for the duration of the festival. Get here at least by the 12th or you'll have trouble finding a room (without getting soaked in the process).
seat61-as always-has latest info on how to book SRT-train online-which as such is NOT possible-it means you contact a Thai agent. Many say, the SRT simply does not sell to farang around such busy days as SK-the Thai get priority as its their own tax-paid rundown railway=rotfai, nah!
Hotels are only full in a very few noted towns-inclChMai-the rest of the country is dead empty-but they may clsoe as well-nobody coming and staff also wants to go home
#6 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472
We've had our hostel booked for awhile, but we tried to book a train and it was completely sold out. Bus would obviously be our next option, but when I google online bus tickets, a ton of sites come up. Can anyone recommend a VIP bus company/website where we can prebook a bus for April 15?
#7 bigfatbackpack has been a member since 30/1/2013. Posts: 5