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    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 11th Oct 17, 7:41 PM
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    cubegame
    0 WOW
    A Thai Roadtrip-ish holiday......
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 7:41 PM
    0 WOW
    A Thai Roadtrip-ish holiday...... 11th Oct 17 at 7:41 PM
    Hi all.

    I've seen another thread about Thailand on the second page but I though I would post again so as not to hijack.

    My partner and I have booked flights to Bangkok in November and are going to be spending two weeks in Thailand.

    We intend to start with a few days in Bangkok to shake off Jet Lag but then are going to embark on a road trip so I'm looking for destination advice.

    We're most keen on scenery, flora & fauna so my initial thought is that we will grab an internal flight to Chiang Mai and start driving from there. We'e not really beach people but would certainly consider heading down South (probably not by car) if the scenery is unmissable.

    What are everyone's thoughts on must-sees?

    O
Page 1
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 11th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
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    Voyager2002
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
    To shake off jet-lag: Bangkok is very far from being a relaxing city. I suggest what I did once: sleep in an airport hotel and set off early the next morning for the coast. Koh Samet is a fairly short bus ride from Bangkok, and offers tropical beaches, rustic accommodation; fresh tropical fruit and everything you need to relax.

    And rather than driving on the dangerous and unpredictable roads, get around by public transport. The sleeper trains to Chiang Mai are very good, and the buses are excellent.

    Some of the best scenery (and wildlife) that I have ever seen was in the Kao Yai national park. Getting charged by an elephant was perhaps a little bit too exciting...
    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 11th Oct 17, 8:52 PM
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    cubegame
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:52 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:52 PM
    I'm not worried about driving at all really. Opinion seems to suggest that the Thai's aggressiveness baseline is just a lot higher than ours. That said; I'm a very aggressive driver anyway and it won't be my own car. :-)

    I'm certainly willing to take the risk to allow us as much freedom as possible.
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 12th Oct 17, 1:02 AM
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    eDicky
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 17, 1:02 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 17, 1:02 AM
    I'm not worried about driving at all really. Opinion seems to suggest that the Thai's aggressiveness baseline is just a lot higher than ours. That said; I'm a very aggressive driver anyway and it won't be my own car. :-)

    I'm certainly willing to take the risk to allow us as much freedom as possible.
    Originally posted by cubegame
    A certain amount of aggressiveness on the road in Thailand is quite acceptable and often necessary, but don't push your luck, especially with personal interaction. Casual display of anger is considered a weakness of character, using the pistol carried in the door pocket by many rural drivers is not.

    The Thai road network and highway quality in general is excellent these days, so by all means go for it, but don't expect any semblance of the lane discipline and logical road behavior that you are used to in the UK. Be constantly prepared for any unexpected moves and manoeuvres, don't bother getting annoyed when they occur, and you should be fine.

    Speed traps on the highway are invisible, pull over immediately if the police flag you down. Be friendly and respectful and you can pay Bt.100-200 on the spot 'fine', you can haggle if they ask for more.
    Last edited by eDicky; 12-10-2017 at 5:28 AM.
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 12th Oct 17, 7:45 AM
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    bigadaj
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 17, 7:45 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 17, 7:45 AM
    We're currently in Thailand in hua hin. Have taken two weeks from Bangkok to pak chong/ khao yai national park, then ayutthaya for temples and history, kanchnaburi for bridge over the river Kwai and scenery and then hua hin, back to Bangkok and flying back on Sunday.

    We've taken train, train, minibus, minibus, just booking a taxi back to Bangkok for tomorrow, hiring a car might give flexibility but traffic is often manic and taxis cheap, we're looking at just over £40 for a three to four hour transfer back to our Bangkok hotel tomorrow, door to door.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 12th Oct 17, 7:52 AM
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    PompeyPete
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 7:52 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 7:52 AM
    Bigadaj......did you get to Hellfire Pass during your Kanchanaburi leg?
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 12th Oct 17, 8:04 AM
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    bigadaj
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 17, 8:04 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 17, 8:04 AM
    Bigadaj......did you get to Hellfire Pass during your Kanchanaburi leg?
    Originally posted by PompeyPete
    Yes, did the day tour thing, very good museum and layout. Missus fell over on the walk back up the very steep route that the prisoners used to take, I think the walk back up was more than enough for her.
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 12th Oct 17, 8:45 AM
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    Doshwaster
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 17, 8:45 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 17, 8:45 AM
    I love Thailand and have been there multiple times but I have never been tempted to hire a car (or a motorbike either). I drive a lot for work so a big part of a holiday for me is getting away from being behind the wheel.

    Yes, traffic in Thailand can be bad but having just got back from 2 weeks in Vietnam, Bangkok is motoring heaven compared to Hanoi or Saigon. If the OP survive their Thai road trip then Vietnam would be the next level.

    The only other thing I would say is that 2 weeks really isn't that long if you want to do a road trip around the country. You could easily spend 2 weeks in the Golden Triangle around Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai and Pai without ever going south.
    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 12th Oct 17, 9:28 AM
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    cubegame
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:28 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:28 AM
    We like to cram lots in. We're the sort of people who come back from holidays exhausted and it seems to work so far.

    It would be wonderful to have more than 2 weeks but that's work for you!
    • Heliflyguy
    • By Heliflyguy 12th Oct 17, 11:21 AM
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    Heliflyguy
    Having driven around many parts of Thailand on a MC and in a car a few times I would say that its not too bad but any distance driving is going to eat into your 2 weeks.

    Things to look out for include the notorious U turn gaps especially cars turning across your lane.

    Cars and MC's will be driving towards you in your lane on the hard shoulder or any gap between the road and the adjoining land.

    Any safe gap you leave between you and the car in front is considered fair game for a car behind to overtake and use if stuck behind a slow vehicle.

    Beware light operated crossroads even if you have right of way, some crossroads will only have a flashing amber light.

    Dont stay in the outside lane you will get a ticket if the boys in brown see you.

    Flashing high beam means Im coming through not after you.

    On tight bends you may find a large vehicle on your side of the road because they took the bend to fast on their side.

    In cities there are motorcycles everywhere probably not as bad as other SEA countries though.

    Stay calm do not loose face.

    Otherwise in some parts its a joy to drive as the roads are far less congested than where I live in the UK.

    I normally use a pickup loaned by family, last trip last year was Chanthaburi to Koh Chang and back to Khao Soi Dao mountain area.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 13th Oct 17, 5:09 AM
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    PompeyPete
    Yes, did the day tour thing, very good museum and layout. Missus fell over on the walk back up the very steep route that the prisoners used to take, I think the walk back up was more than enough for her.
    Originally posted by bigadaj
    Yep, unless you've got the right gear on and plenty of water, the terrain along the track and the number of steps to climb can make the sun and heat unrelenting and unforgiving.....just like it was for all those POW in WWII.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 13th Oct 17, 5:28 AM
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    PompeyPete
    Cubegame.....as well as looking at Chiang Mai and the north, which is over touristed, have a look to west of Bangkok at Sangkhlaburi,
    3 Pagoda Pass, and the area that borders with that part of Burma.

    You might find this link interesting too...

    https://www.seat61.com/Bridge-on-the-River-Kwai.htm

    I love Kanchanaburi, and all the WWII history in that area. It's quite touristy, mainly day trippers, but there's plenty to see and do. It's also on the way to Sangkhlaburi.

    Isaan, in the north east is also worth a look. Not many tourists, but heaps of stuff to see and do, particularly if you've got a vehicle. Nong Khai on the Thai-Laos Border sits right by the Mekong River, and is a beautiful spot for a couple of days.
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 13th Oct 17, 7:57 AM
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    bigadaj
    Yep, unless you've got the right gear on and plenty of water, the terrain along the track and the number of steps to climb can make the sun and heat unrelenting and unforgiving.....just like it was for all those POW in WWII.
    Originally posted by PompeyPete
    Well, not just like it was.......
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 13th Oct 17, 6:20 PM
    • 22,613 Posts
    • 58,111 Thanks
    pollypenny
    Yep, unless you've got the right gear on and plenty of water, the terrain along the track and the number of steps to climb can make the sun and heat unrelenting and unforgiving.....just like it was for all those POW in WWII.
    Originally posted by PompeyPete


    We arrived there around midday, worse time. However, I felt it was a duty to do the walk to bear witness. We weren't working there for 12 hours and we were healthy, well-fed people.

    Unbelievable what those men went through.

    Have you read The Narrow Road to the Deep North? It's Richard Flanagan's semi-biographical novel based on his father's experience in, and after, WW2. Made me cry.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 14th Oct 17, 7:17 AM
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    bigadaj
    We arrived there around midday, worse time. However, I felt it was a duty to do the walk to bear witness. We weren't working there for 12 hours and we were healthy, well-fed people.

    Unbelievable what those men went through.

    Have you read The Narrow Road to the Deep North? It's Richard Flanagan's semi-biographical novel based on his father's experience in, and after, WW2. Made me cry.
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    Though the allied troops also had it far easier than the local and neighbouring countries workers, tens of thousands of deaths rather than thousands.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 14th Oct 17, 8:49 AM
    • 4,638 Posts
    • 6,110 Thanks
    PompeyPete
    We arrived there around midday, worse time. However, I felt it was a duty to do the walk to bear witness. We weren't working there for 12 hours and we were healthy, well-fed people.

    Unbelievable what those men went through.

    Have you read The Narrow Road to the Deep North? It's Richard Flanagan's semi-biographical novel based on his father's experience in, and after, WW2. Made me cry.
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    No I haven't, but I've picked up a useful bunch of material during our trips to the Kanchanaburi area. The Don Rak Commonwealth War Cemetery in Kanchanaburi, and the lesser visited Chungkai Cemetery just outside of town are both very emotive places, and like you and many other I've shed a few tears while paying my respects.

    Last time we visited Hellfire Pass was in early February this year, and like you were there in the unforgiving heat of the day, and spent almost 3 hours onsite. We spent 3 full days independently in the area, as I think for anyone really interested in what went on there during WWII it's a place where it's best to linger for a while in order to take in the unique atmosphere.

    I think I'll start a thread about the best way [imo] to visit Kanchanaburi as a side-trip from Bangkok.
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