a VirtualTourist member
Hi, me and my boyfriend are planning on travelling around thailand for 3-4 weeks but not backpacking. our travel agent suggested getting a flight from london to chiang mai then internal flights to bagkok, phuket and going to the southern islands. Im not sure whether flying to chiang mai rather than bangkok is a good idea or not financial wise but seems more practical as we want to go to chiang mai first?! We are completely lost on what to pre-book! We have a number of things we would like to see so we're thinking booking them once we arrive, however what to do about accommodation? we have noticed that alot of tours in chiang mai are 3 days so how should we book our hotel? or can we stick to doing day tours with-out missing out on anything and just book the hotel for the length of time we are going to be there? i would be very grateful of some feedback on what is best to do please :)
Book once you arrive.
You cannot swing a cat w/out hitting a tour desk/tour operator.
You will find plenty all throughout Thailand in hotels, airport, street - anywhere!
DO NOT book from a cab driver or a tuk tuk driver.
Shop around, ask questions, see what they (the tours) entail.
This applies to Bangkok, Phuket, Ayutthaya, etc.
DO pre-book (although not necessary) your internal flights.
Go directly to the www.bangkokair.com website or www.airasia.com websites.
They often times have great sales and it might help to check closer to your date, otherwise, no problems getting last minute flights usually.
Also, for hotels, we always found www.asiarooms.com to have the best rates.
We've booked with them for years w/out any problems.
A week in Chiang Mai would be enough, maybe less. You can take a day tour to 'Flight of the Gibbons (ziplining in the jungle), rafting and elephant camp, Doi suthep and other attractions, a day or two in Chiang Mai wandering around the temples and old city.
Best to find accommodation near the old part of the city as some of the hotels are on the outskirts and miles from anywhere.
I would advise you to fly to Phuket after that and perhaps stay on one of the islands duch as ko Lanta which is big enough to explore by motorbike and has a good selection of accommodation to suit all budgets. Tour Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island, PhiPhi
Leave Bangkok to last as you may want to take advantage of the excellent shopping there.
In Bangkok visit the Grand Palace, Chinatown, take a boat on the Chao Phraya River, and see Wat Arun.
Possible Day Trips---Ayutthaya, Bang-Pa In, Kanchanaburi and Bridge over River Kwai, floating market at Damneon Saduk or the railway market at Mae Klong, or take a fast boat to the river island of Ko Kred which is 10 kms along the river, easy to walk round and see how the Mon people live, visit the 78th floor of Bai Yok tower for great view over the city, and eat at one of the restaurants on the next floors.
I would not book any tours until you arrive as there are many tour agencies and you will not have a problem in that regard.
So start planning now. What month are you planning on visiting? as this makes a difference on prices?
Chiang Mai is a very small city, in fact the old town is only 1 mile square. For you accommodation there are plenty, you do not have to pre-book as now is the off season, and the accommodation are relatively economical. If you can ride a motor cycle then you do not need a travel booking unless you want to visit out of Chiang Mai, e.g. Doi Inthanon or jungle tracking destination. I have a few information on Chiang Mai and surounding areas on my page.
The tour agent for the 3 day trip in Chiang Mai will be able to look after your luggage, so just book the hotel for before and after the trip, the tour agent will arrange a pick up and drop off.
I suggest Golden Triangle --close to Chiang Rai airport (one hour drive).
please visit my travel page for details.
Hi! One notice..If you'll arrive Chiangmai during Songran festival(Thai new year) during 12-16 April,hotels may be fully booked cuz this is very famous festival for both local and tourist.I don't ask you guys to avoid the festival,on the contrary..lets try to come and enjoy it,it's so fun.just prepare a bit in advance for the hotel.Even there are so many rooms in Chiangmai but the 'good price' room may already be taken by locals.Have fun : )
Yes, I agree with fellow members, The most important thing when you arrived in Chiang Mai is the accommodation, because you are going there during Songkhran festival. that's 13-15 April. but I have a reasonable hostel inside old Chiang Mai town that own and run by husband and wife, the husband is an Italian origin, very friendly, in my Chiang Mai page. just e-mail or you can phone them for reservation, they speak English very well. For the travel agency there shouldn't be any problems, there are plenty agency doing daily trips to the out skirt of Chiang Mai. I suggest you make a trip Doi Inthanon ( the highest mountain in Thailand.)
Thank u so much ill have a look on those websites!
Everything which has been said is really helpful thanks for all the information!