Well first of all this site is great.
We're going to Thailand for 2 weeks in Feb 08. I know this is not very long but we can only take 2 weeks off work in one go so thats our only option!!
We are going to start off in Bangkok, how many nights would you suggest here? We are thinking of staying in the Biyoke Sky Hotel, anyone been?
Then we want to travel up north to see Chiang Mai and possibly Chaing Rai. Would you stay 2 nights in both or just 4 up in Chaing Mai? Would you suggest doing a one night trek or just day trips?
Then we fancy Phuket maybe? Would flying from Chaing Mai to Phuket via Bangkok be a nightmare?
#1 mitchlou84 has been a member since 12/10/2007. Posts: 6
two weeks is still a good amount of time to enjoy a trip to thailand, and february is usually some of the best times to be there.
the biyoke sky hotel is in the pratu nam area, which puts you a fair distance from some of the main temples and tourists areas in bangkok, but close to the shopping and business centers of the city.
depending on from where you are arriving, i'd give bangkok at least three nights and maybe a fourth so you have time to get over the jet lag from a long trip.
one thing you might consider is stopping off in ayutthaya, a UNESCO world heritage site, on your way to chiang mai. you can head up there on a day trip, get a day room to store your stuff and freshen up, spend the afternoon enjoying the ruins and atmosphere, then catch the overnight train from ayutthaya for the rest of the trip to chiang mai. the train is a good time saver and for most travelers a must do in thailand. a first class compartment is an extra treat; not necessarily a budget buster and will help ensure a better night's sleep than the noisier but still fun second class (open bay) compartment.
once you are in chiang mai, i'd recommend spending all of your time there in chiang mai rather than visiting chiang rai as well. for most folks, chiang rai is more of a base for treks and visiting other nearby areas rather than a destination in itself, and doesn't have anything near the variety and excitement of chiang mai.
if you are looking for an out of chiang mai destination, chiang dao is a rewarding option that doesn't take much time (day trip or quick overnight).
flying to phuket from chiang mai should be easy, typically requiring a plane change in bangkok. since you've got limited time, it might be worth paying the extra money to fly on Thai rather than one of the several discount carriers, because Thai will have flights every hour, meaning you won't waste your precious time mulling around in an airport waiting for the next flight should a problem or delay occur.
hope that helps. have a great trip. cheers.
Thanks a lot.
On the last night we're planning on staying near the airport as we fly back from Phuket on the Friday and fly out of Bangkok on Sat am at 8.40am.
Do you know a nice hotel? About £50 max per night but that you can either eat and have a few reasonably priced drinks in the hotel or walk to a few restaurants and bars?
We don't see the point of going into Bangkok to come back out again so early!!
#3 mitchlou84 has been a member since 12/10/2007. Posts: 6
Oooh and who are the discount carriers?
#4 mitchlou84 has been a member since 12/10/2007. Posts: 6
i don't have any personal knowledge of hotels near the new airport, but here is something our all-knowing host Somtam had to recommend in a similar post:
"For the new airport there's the Novotel Bang Na and the Royal Princess Srinakarin Hotel, both of which are pretty much cookie cutter mid-range hotels and both between US$60-70 a night. For something cheaper, (you're) better off to head into Sukhumvit."
As for discount air carriers to/from Chiang Mai and Phuket, you can start with Nok Air (flys through the old Don Muang airport?) and Air Asia. Even so, given your tight schedule, I'd pay the extra fare and travel with Thai for those flights for the convenience of the add'l flights/times. Cheers.
Air Asia has seven flights to Phuket each day (from BKK - Suvarnabhumi Airport), and is always quite a bit cheaper than Thai. They are running some promotional fares in Februaury right now, so you may want to check it out if you haven't purchased already.
Thanks thats great, those fares are much cheaper so i'll try to get them booked.
Is it expensive to get from central bangkok to the airport? Will we need adv transfers?
I'll look at those hotels too
#7 mitchlou84 has been a member since 12/10/2007. Posts: 6
From Sukhumvit 53 to the airport it costs around 100bht, but it depends on traffic. You are going early though so that shouldn't be a problem. If I remember correctly, it cost around 250bht from the hotel I stayed at on the Chao Phraya River last year.
i am looking at flying air asia from phuket to bangkok, then air asia onto hanoi. there is only 1h 25m between arrival and departure times. should i risk it or stay overnight in bangkok?
#9 macman1945 has been a member since 11/10/2007. Posts: 35