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Thailand forum

Kanchanaburi or Chiang Dao ?

Posted by robbo on 15/10/2006 at 13:34


A minor dillemma. We thought we had our itinerary sorted out for our trip to Thailand / Laos next Jan /Feb but have just noticed Chiang Dao. Not the town so much but what sound like a couple of outstanding eco - friendly guesthouses located out of Chiang Dao ( Chiang Dao Nest and Mallees ).
To stay there though we would have to skip Kanchanaburi to fit it in. Would this be wise as Kanchanaburi sounds beaut too.
We will be staying in Chiang Mai also. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.
Many thanks.

#1 robbo has been a member since 6/3/2006. Posts: 23

Posted by marianwarren on 15/10/2006 at 16:46

Hi robbo

You sound like you come from oz too, no-one else says beaut! Read Exacto's trip reports - he has visited both places recently - maybe that feedback will allow you to make a decision on what experience you want to enjoy. Ultimately it's up to you ... trust in gut intuition or you may as well join an organised tour. If you're up for eco tourism in Luang Nam Tha, Nth Laos check out:-

It does depend on what time frame you're considering.

Travel well


#2 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270

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Posted by missy1980 on 15/10/2006 at 19:07

Hi Robbo

Kanchanaburi is amazing. When we went to thailand last year my boyf wanted to go there so we did and that was one of the best choices he made. The history, the bridge over the river kwai and the place is amazing. We did a 2 day tour which didnt cost much, were we had a guide taking us to different places around Kanchanaburi. Included in price was a nights stay on a riverboat on the river kwai, that was an amazing experience, esp waking up in the morning and outside your door was the river with no noise or traffic - it was like a dream.....

Do you want to plan were you are going before hand or decide when you get there? We paid for a week in koh phangnan, and on the beach there, we were talking about cambodia, the next day we just booked ourself on a flight there for a few days..........

#3 missy1980 has been a member since 15/10/2006. Posts: 2

Posted by somtam2000 on 15/10/2006 at 19:28 admin

Hi Robbo,

They're very different destinations. Kanchanaburi is far more touristed than Chiang Dao, but there's a lot more "to see" there -- museums, national parks, loads of restaurants and bars etc etc, Chiang Dao is much more a "soak it up" kind of place -- the natural setting is stunning, with some good trekking possibilities and so on.

How long are you spending in Chiang Mai as if you could shave a night or two off there, you could fit in Chiang Dao...

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,933
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Posted by exacto on 16/10/2006 at 10:21


Ouch! That's a Sophie's Choice kind of question. You know, I wrote Exacto's trip reports on Kanchanaburi and Chiang Dao and I'm having trouble suggesting which place to choose. Good ideas from everyone else above on deciding what type of experience you want and then picking the appropriate place, and Somtam's description of which place is like what are spot on accurate. I guess I'd want to know where else you'll be going before I made a suggestion one way or the other.

One thing to factor in is availability of a place to stay in Chiang Dao. Both Malee's and the Nest are small spots with limited accomodation. Why don't you check with those places for the days you're considering visiting to see if they have space for you.


#5 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by tuckere on 16/10/2006 at 12:54

Missy1980 - do you have details about who your tour was through? I;m heading there in 2 weeks and was thinking about booking a tour. The night on the boat sounds amazing! Would love info if you have any!

#6 tuckere has been a member since 10/8/2006. Posts: 11

Posted by robbo on 16/10/2006 at 19:27

Thank you all for your very helpfull advice.
Yes Marian I'm from oz. Thanks for the trust your gut intuition advice. Thats reassuring. We are staying at The Boat Landing when in Laos. We are travelling to Laos / Thailand for 10 weeks Jan/Feb/Mar 07 - 3 1/2 weeks Laos, 6 1/2 weeks Thailand. Both seniors and first time S.E.Asia we feel a little more secure if we sort of plan our trip but leave enough leeway to allow for some flexibility. Have booked some accommodation ( it is peak season!! ). Somtam, I think Chiang Dao sounds more like our type of place. After a 2 1/2 month trip to Europe last year where we belted around the place at 100mph and arrived exausted in Paris at the end we have decided for this our 2nd trip OS to be more selective and spend time in each place to get to know a little of the town/people/culture etc. Also some time to chill. Exacto, other places we plan to visit include Bangkok. Nong Khai, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Ayatthaya, Koh Chang and a wander around Isaan. Exacto how can I access your trip reports ?
Thanks again for your help. Cheers Doug & Jeanne ( Robbo )

#7 robbo has been a member since 6/3/2006. Posts: 23

Posted by somtam2000 on 16/10/2006 at 19:34 admin

Hi Robbo,

Exacto's story on Chiang Dao is here.

The trip reports are just a part of the messageboard -- they're all kept here.

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,933
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Posted by robbo on 16/10/2006 at 19:46

Thanks somtam,

I knew it was here somewhere. The mind is maybe not as alert as has been,especially after a few red wines.

Cheers Robbo.

#9 robbo has been a member since 6/3/2006. Posts: 23

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