In November my brother and I will be spending 14 days in Thailand. We are flying in and out of BKK. Neither of us have been to Thailand before. We are interested in a relaxing trip - some culture (temples/markets), some beach, lots of massage. We would appreciate any and all suggestions on our itinerary. Thanks
#1 pzimmie has been a member since 16/8/2008. Posts: 2
Lots of amazing temples and markets in Bangkok. I like to stay near the river as it's possible to walk or take water taxis to most of the major temples. Also, you can get your fill of temples and Buddhas in Ayuthaya, which is great for a day trip or an overnight trip.
Sangkhlaburi is great for scenery and "culture." Worth checking out in my opinion, but definitely not on weekends or during Thai holidays.
Beaches ... if I were you, I'd stay close to Bangkok and avoid making any long trips. Lots to choose from around Trat Province, only about 5 hours by bus from Bangkok.
As usual Tilapia is spot on with these suggestions. I'd like to second the recommendations for hanging out in Bangkok for the amazing temples and markets and massages and also the side trip to Ayutthaya for serious temples and history.
I've also always been a fan of Kanchanaburi as a fun, guick getaway from Bangkok. It is particularly great for outdoors-type stuff. Kanchanaburi is pretty much directly on the route to Sangkhlaburi I think.
Samet Island is another beach option that is close to Bangkok and fairly easy to reach. It usually isn't too crowded either, as long as you aren't there on the weekend or during Thai holidays.
Two weeks should be enough to have a great experience on your first visit. Have fun. Cheers.
"We are interested in a relaxing trip - some culture (temples/markets), some beach, lots of massage"
Bangkok is anything but relaxing and ayuthaya is underwhelming.
Why not go to Nong Khai, then fly to krabi. Good mix there.
#4 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
For Bangkok choose a hotel near the Skytrain route and you will have an easy time getting around town.
Skytrain link: http://bangkok.sawadee.com/skytrain.htm
Probably the lower Sukhumvit Road area will be interesting. A hotel in this area will allow you to walk to many places such as travel agencies, malls, street vendors, bars, restaurants and internet shops.
Travel agencies are the places to go for tours. Just find the nearest travel agency to your hotel and check out their menu list of tours. Read up on Thailand before you leave home and see what interests you.
Things to see and do in Thailand:
Massage parlors are all over the city. Read up on taking a taxi or other transportation from the airport into town. There is an Airport Express bus too but two people sharing a meter taxi is about the same price and you get to your hotel in half the time. In Bangkok only pay the meter price when taking a taxi, meter taxi cabs are cheaper than tuk-tuks.
Closest beach to Bangkok is in the Pattaya area, Jomtien Beach is better than Pattaya and it is around 20 minutes away by baht bus. Lots of nightlife in Pattaya and cheaper hotels than Bangkok. Travel agencies, like Bangkok, make tour arrangements. Bus ride from Bangkok is around 2 hours from the Ekamai bus station (off a Skytrain stop.) Koh Larn Island is a nice trip from Pattaya (20 baht by ferry from the Bali Hai pier.)
Have a nice trip and don't fall in love with a pretty girl and forever send her money from home.