Thailand recommendations

Biggins Jul 4, 2012

  1. Biggins

    Biggins Cake Or Death

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    Hi There,

    Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for nice places to visit in thailand. Not really looking for craziness or parties, more like cool old stuff and cultural things. Also keen on checking out interesting geological phenomena if there are any. Short/Day walks also possible.

    We're pretty flexible on what areas we can head for as we have no plans but generally i think we'll be heading north or east from Bangkok and passing on the beaches down south. Kinda keen to check out Chiang Mai/pai (but only cos they have bene recommended as being nice)

    If anyone has any tips on stuff that is not massively touristy, that would be great (although i accept it might be kinda tricky to get away from all that)

    many thanks in advance
    Biggins :0)
     
  2. BlipBlop

    BlipBlop deeper beeper

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    Pai, Pai, Pai, Pai, PAI!

    Seriously this place is amazing - chilled out with loads of live music and such a nice vibe. Loads of places just a short scooter trip away to visit and quite close to the border and some minority villages if you want to get out of it a bit and head into the fray. Also if you're going to Chank Mai... you could always catch a (cheapish) flight over to Mandalay and see beautiful Myanmar which is more open to tourism now (although July is peak monsoon season but it should be chilling out come August).

    For great food, lovely music and a relaxed vibe check out the Jazz Cafe in Pai. Also if you fancy some free accomodation you can stay at the organic farm up the road in return for a bit of labor work during the day. Plenty of cool cats up there too.

    Always good to check out http://www.responsibletravel.com for culturally and environmentally aware trips although their prices can sometimes be quite high.

    In terms of natural beauty there's a shed load of waterfalls and if you do any of the treks around chang mai, chang rai or pai you're sure to see some beauties. Also lots of elephants. If you want to go play with Tigers there are few reputable places - the majority just tranq them up so you can go hug one, the Tiger Watt been the most famous.

    There is a lovely Elephant Nature park up there though which a friend of mine went to and it has had rave reviews. You can get there from Chang Mai no problem. Here's what they say on trip advisor... Elephant Nature Park - 800 Reviews of Elephant Nature Park - TripAdvisor
     
  3. Michael

    Michael comfortable middle class disco botherer

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    i've been on Pai, lovely place.. i hired a motor bike in Chaing Mai and rode there, nice journey..i stayed right by the river in some lovely bungalows.. there's trekking in Pai also..

    also if you are up in that region the Chaing Mai - Pai - Sappong - Mae Hong Son loop is very popular.. i didn't do it myself but others did and recommended it

    it's been a long time since i went to Thailand.. i would recommend (if you really want to go somewhere natural/more traditionally Thai) the North East is worth going to.. Nong Kai areas are very natural/nice,also nearby; Loei, i went there after it recommended by a Thai friend as "their favourite place in Thailand" ... i stayed by the river, nice views etc.







    The North East has always been more traditionally Thai and unspoilt than the rest of Thailand and is still probably a lot cheaper

    i love that country

    have a great time mate!
     
  4. Biggins

    Biggins Cake Or Death

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    hey michael (& BB), thanks for the tips. Cool, reckon Pai is defo on the cards. Also, like the sound of the North East, we're planning on cruising through to Laos so that would work for us i guess.

    BB - you know if there is an overland crossing to Myanmar up there or do you have to fly in?
     
  5. BlipBlop

    BlipBlop deeper beeper

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    Its a bit weird - basically you CAN cross overland but cannot cross into any other place apart from the border town you hit (afaik). The border towns are likely to be full of casinos and not much else. I have been told that flying in is the only way access central Myanmar and begin the loop. It's still got a long way to go in terms of tourist infrastructure (but that's not such a bad thing :Wink3:)

    Can confirm what Michael said too - the north is significantly cheaper then the south.
     
  6. Biggins

    Biggins Cake Or Death

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    umm....so, just so i'm reading it right. You can cross the border into a town but not travel beyond that town? I had a look and the Book of Lies and Half Truths seemed to also indicate that you could cross overland in one place. Can't remember the name exactly tho.

    Thats good to know.....
     
  7. Michael

    Michael comfortable middle class disco botherer

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    Biggins: it looks like i'll be coming out to Thailand in December.. will you be there then?
     
  8. .twizdit.

    .twizdit. Its got goblins in....

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    Unless the visa rules have changed recently your visa on arrival is 30 days if you come in by air, and 15 if you come in by land. If you get a visa at the embassy or cunsulate in london or hull you can get that extended to 60 days. Plus you can get multiple entry visas if you get it before you get there, but the visa is only valid 6 months from date of issue.
    Thailand Visa, U.K. - Application, Requirements. Apply for Thai Visas Online.

    Ive been to thailand a few times, definitely the south is more commercial than the north, We're heading there again in December as we backpack our way thru se asia on the way to australia. We wont be going south of Bangkok at all. The first place we're hitting is the elephant conservation park, its a way to help the elephants instead of just riding them, but you do need to book in advance for the overnight stay.
    Elephant Nature Park - elephant rescue and rehabilitation center in Northern Thailand


    Once you hit chiang mai it's pretty easy to lose yourself in the rural north. Just catch a bus in whatever direction you want to go. Trekking, hill tribes, just go. :Smile3:

    Northern Thailand travel guide - Wikitravel

    For train travel info use The Man in Seat Sixty-One...

    Train travel in Myanmar (Burma)| Train times, fares, photos, how to buy tickets
     
  9. .twizdit.

    .twizdit. Its got goblins in....

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    We've organised it so our flight arrives in bangkok around midday, and our overnight first class sleeper train to chiang mai is 630 that night, arrives 830am next day. Cant book trains until 60 days before travel though, the sleeper was $25 AUD last i looked so like £18.
     
  10. Nanook

    Nanook In the kitchen, studio or gym.

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    You taking the sprog away travelling Biggins, or you just having a quick holiday? :Smile3:
     
  11. Foreverblind

    Foreverblind Distant Tremor

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    Also been looking into Thailand for sometime next year, be keeping my eye on this thread fo sure! :Grin:

    Good luck with ya planning!
     
  12. molecule

    molecule Ben

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    just came back from 5 months in se asia & pai was one of my favorite places ! , if you ever head to the islands then tonsai bay near krabi is incredible full of rock climbers hippies and lovely people as well as a v chilled vibe and incredible scenery :Smile3:
     
  13. Biggins

    Biggins Cake Or Death

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    @michel we'll be there from the 4th of december. Unfortunstely our flight arrvies late in the evening so we'll probs stop in bangkok for a few days to settle the little un/ find our feet. then cruise upto the north. gonna apply for a 60 day visa before leaving.

    @twizdit are you travelling overland back to Aus from the UK?

    nook - we're travelling for a bit. South East Asia and then to the UK via the states. If all goes swimmingly we'll be in the UK by the end of march and plan to be there for about 8 weeks.
     
  14. .twizdit.

    .twizdit. Its got goblins in....

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    My itinerary :Smile3:
    Flying from London Xmas eve, arriving Bangkok about midday xmas day, catching overnight train to chiang mai xmas night at i think it was 630, not booked yet. Meeting some friends from oz in chiang mai and going to the elephant park, flying to Luang Prabang on the 2nd, its cheaper to do by land but takes 2-3 days.
    Luang prabang slowly down to vientiane, not staying a second longer than I have to there, i really dont like vientiane, so aiming to arrive in vientiane by midday to catch the sleeper from vientiane/Udon Thani down to bangkok, one day in bangkok and then the 530am train to the Cambodian border and across to siem reap.
    Back to bangkok by the 18th january, ditch the friends, and then back on the sleeper train so the gf and I can spend a month at santai gym just outside chiang mai for muay thai, then my mother arrives in bangkok on the 19th feb and we fly to Nepal for month, ditch the mother and make our way thru india. Once we're over travelling we'll head for oz.
    All up im expecting to be travelling for about 6 months. Soooooo exciting.
     
  15. Nanook

    Nanook In the kitchen, studio or gym.

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    Brilliant!
    Looking forward to an Ale with you bro. I hope you can find an evening out of that 8 weeks to catch up? :Smile3:
     
  16. Biggins

    Biggins Cake Or Death

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    I would say so. TBH the concept of being back in the UK (and only for about 8 wks) is a bit daunting but I'm totally keen to catch up.

    That sounds like an awesome adventure. Air Asia are now flying to Katmandu (if you didn't know already)
     
  17. .twizdit.

    .twizdit. Its got goblins in....

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    No I didnt know, last time we flew thai to ktm, but their prices are ridiculous now. I'll look into asia air, this is the only flight I havent booked yet, thanks.
     
  18. Nanook

    Nanook In the kitchen, studio or gym.

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    Living upside down has made you soft! :P

    Nah...I can understand that. I also know you'll have a lot to do catching up with your fam and being busy with the baby. ...but you know where we are if you fancy :Smile3:
     
  19. .twizdit.

    .twizdit. Its got goblins in....

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    Air asia is only flying to Kathmandu from Kulala Lumpur, and on tues thurs and sat.. BUT the flight is 82 fucking pounds!! The cheapest Ive found is £190 from Bangkok. Im going to have to contact them and see about thru flights, their website isnt exactly the most helpful. I do like Airasia, despite one of their empolyees fucking my shit up and laughing at me in phnomh penh. The airline itself is pretty quality, it doesnt leave me feeling like im in a fred flinstone plane like thomas fucking cook and ryanair do.
     
  20. Biggins

    Biggins Cake Or Death

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    Train to KL then fly maybe?

    nook - nah, will catch up for sure. its just trying to work out whgen where how (manc is just down the road mind so it shouldn't be to tricky to sort out :Wink3:
     
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