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pete325is

Advice Needed For Visiting Northern Thailand

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I'm planning for my trip to the northern part of the kingdom around later half of Nov. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions as this will be my first ever trip up there. Btw, I'll spend about 1 to 1.5 week up there.

1. I would like to visit Chaing Mai, Pai, Chiang Rai, golden triangle (and maybe even a short venture into Laos). Should I base myself in Chaing Mai (as its the hub in the northern region) or should I move around according to my itinerary?

2. Speaking of itinerary, what would be the best way to go about visiting all of the above places? I'm sure I'll start from CM as I'll be flying in from BKK.

3. Any info on the hot springs resorts? Are they closest to Pai??

TIA :o

Pete

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I would drop either Pai or Chiang Rai, then you can travel around. Personally Chiang Rai doesn't excite me so much, and especially the "Golden Triangle' is just a tourist market really. However if you go into Laos (Excellent idea) then going past Chiang Rai suddenly makes a lot more sense. You'd likley want to spend more than 1-1.5 week on that though.

So if you go to Laos then drop Pai. If not, then drop Chiang Rai.

All strictly my humble opinion; I'd sincerely hope many people disagree. :o

Cheers,

Chanchao

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Yeah, I would personally agree with Chanchao that Chiang Rai / Golden Triangle isn't that interesting. Still, you could do a 1 day tour trip of that area via a travel agent in Chiang Mai for about 700 baht.

Actually, I did this trip quite recently as I had to do a visa run up to Mae Sai and the schedules with the tour buses meant I couldn't get a direct bus there one the day I wanted to go so.. anyway, yeah, I guess as an expat who's lived here for 1.5 years and can speak a reasonable amount of Thai, I was quite unimpressed with the trip insofar as it seems like one big tourist thing. But you know, my views, and the views of others here who live in Thailand may be somewhat different from the views of other travellers.

Personally if I had to choose between Chiang Rai or Pai, I'd choose Pai, but then I guess it really depends on what your looking for from your vacation.

Certainly Pai is good, because heading up into the mountains you get some really nice cool air. (Remember to take a jacket!)

I also quite like heading down to Lamphun and Lampang for a weekend trip, which is quite easy to do.. but maybe I'm too much of a city boy? :-)

I dunno if you've ever been to Thailand before, or what you'd like to experience from your trip.. I guess if I was coming here as a tourist with 1-1.5 weeks, I'd probably land in Bangkok, take the train up to Ayutthaya or Sukothai, spend a few days there, head up to Chiang Mai, a few days there, do a 2 day trip to Pai and then come back down to Bangkok for a final day or two.

Yeah, once again, I'd agree with Chanchao that Laos really needs a longer time period, particularly if you want to travel up to Luang Prabang. You could grab a flight from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang if finances weren't an issue though. Vientiane is interesting for a couple of days, but is the sleepiest capital city I've ever been to!

Cheers,

Rich

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Wasn't Pai washed away in the floods?

Once in Chiang Rai, it's definitely worth to travel onwards to Chiang Khong and take the ferry to Huay Xai. Then you are suddenly in Laos - in a different world. If you want to travel further on the path of the green Emerald Buddha (sounds like out of the TAT catalogue, doesn't it?), there's a boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang and then further south to Vientianne. A couple of years ago this was a bit of an an adventure, but now there are a lot of backpackers on this route.

Cheers, X-Pat

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Thanks for all your suggestions. I've been to LOS a few times before, but never get the chance to venture up to the north. So on this upcoming trip, I'll skip BKK and go straight to CM and make it as my base.

So, what's the lastest news with Pai? Last I heard is some places are not that badly affected by the flood. Lastly, any info/experience on the spa thing over at Pai??

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