Hi, just wondering could some of you please critique my itinerary for an 8 week trip to SE Asia in October (going solo). Firstly, the things that would interest me involve nightlife, jungle trekking, diving, food (cooking), rafting, sightseeing.
The way I plan on doing the trip is Bangkok - Koh Samui - Koh Phagnan - Koh Tao - Phuket - Koh Phi Phi - Bangkok - Sukhothai- Chiang Mai- Huay Xai - Luang Prabang - Vang vieng - Si Phan Dhon - Strung Treng - Siem Reap - Sihanoukville - Bangkok - Home
Is 8 weeks enough time for all these places or should I eliminate one or two destinations from my itinerary? I realize that i'm going when the weather is likely to be rainy but oh well I suppose I can get over that.
Also I'm not sure exactly how to cross over from Laos to Cambodia? Thanks for any suggestions
#1 roro1990 has been a member since 9/8/2013. Posts: 38
This type of thing has been done to death on this forum, to the point of ridiculousness.
All I would say is do you really need to see the five Thai islands for 3/4/5 days each? Why not pick the one that you think you'd like most (based on food / nightlife / diving criteria etc) and spend 2-3 weeks there? Would cut down your costs a lot and allow you to really have a mini home for a few weeks.
#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
Apologies for asking! I definetely want to go to Koh Phagnan and experience a FMP, Koh Tao seems to be the best place to do the diving courses and I've wanted to visit Phi Phi since I watched The Beach! Are all 3 island essentially similar? I've read up on them all and they all sound unique in their own ways which is why I wanna visit them
#3 roro1990 has been a member since 9/8/2013. Posts: 38
Leonard is your man for the Thai islands. I haven't been but if I was going I would prefer to go to just one and really soak it up, rather than tick boxes, as such.
No need to apologise, all I was saying was that these types of itinerary questions are posted all the time and there is a lot of relevant info on this site that you may not be aware of.
#4 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
Dive courses can be done in many beach locations. Phi Phi and Tao are similar though I havent been to Tao. Both smallish islands surrounded by snorkelling and diving options.
What people often do is pick one side of the gulf. I prefer the Krabi side because I believe it's better value with better scenary and attractions. You can learn diving in Krabi and do other things like kayaking, hotsprings, rockclimbing.
South of Krabi there's Koh Lanta which is a laid back island and further south you have the Trang islands which are real nice to visit on a tour.
Samui/KPN on the other side do have nice beaches as well but Oct/Nov can be bad weather. Storms hit that area late Oct/Nov.
Over towards Cambodia the big island of Koh Chang is real nice as well. That's my fav island. Laid back island with excellent food. Boat tours there offer snorkelling and diving and real cheap. 550 baht for a full day snorkelling trip incl lunch and drinks. That's about $19. Diving is more of course.
Read the islands section on the site for more.
#5 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Thanks for the helpful responses re the islands. I'm gonna look into picking one side, but at the minute i'm keeping it as both sides. The thing about Phagnan i'm curious about and can't seem to find a definitive answer to is whether there will even be many people there for the October FMP? Or is it busy year round?
#6 roro1990 has been a member since 9/8/2013. Posts: 38
October isn't a great time to visit most of southern Thailand. Unfortunately the southern gulf gets worse in Nov and Dec isn't much better either.
You might want to consider going north first then through Laos down into Cambodia and then getting your island fix. Koh Chang will have good weather by then and has a fair bit to offer. Southern gulf of Thailand as mentioned still won't be great but Krabi area and Andaman coast will and there is plenty of night life in Phuket if you want your fill of that and good diving at Surin or Similian islands.
Khao Sok NP is a really nice place as well and would offer some nice lake views and jungle trekking and can be fit in from Krabi, Khao Lak, Phuket etc quite easily.
Yeah it seems as if I've picked quite a bad time to go to the places I want to go to, and to do the activities I wanna do. I can handle rain (i'm from a country where it rains a lot), but if I went to the islands and it rained constantly that would definetely ruin the experience. Not sure what activities I could do in the rain or what could preoccupy me, only so many books to read and massages to get! Seems as if it's all a matter of luck really.
#8 roro1990 has been a member since 9/8/2013. Posts: 38
The thing we are trying to explain to you is that it is possible to change your locations and get pretty much the same experiences.
Koh Chang, Krabi and Andaman coast all have diving as good as or better then Koh Tao. Koh Tao is just well known for being a backpacker island and perhaps slightly cheaper(cheap isn't everything and lots of people are disappointed with cheap dive courses).
The FMP is somewhat one of kind but I don't see how getting wasted and possibly drugged/robbed is such a great attraction for 1 night of fun. Lots of other places in Thailand you can easily have a fun night out and get wasted at if that is what you are looking for.
And doing Krabi area you would still be able to see Koh Phi Phi if not do your diving course there.
So pretty much the only thing you can possibly gain by doing your original plan is seeing a FMP which might happen to be during a rainy/stormy night. Do you really think it is worth it?
Just food for thought, I know I would be changing my itinerary in a heart beat.
FMPs are full of idiots year round. Probably the worst thing in Thailand to do bar the Tiger Temple.
#10 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
google phang nga and krabi photos. impressed by what you see?
rain- don't worry about rain. why do westerners stress out over rain? it might rain 1 hour a day or it might not even rain. thailand is hot and humid and that's more of a worry than rain.
#11 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Hi there - we spent about 9 weeks total in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, and although we skipped the beaches in Thailand, we really enjoyed the ones in Cambodia. We've been keeping a blog full of advice and details about our travels, so maybe it would help you to check it out? We started our trip in Feb 2013, so the prices and everything else are pretty updated.
Hope it helps!
#12 erohisms has been a member since 17/3/2013. Posts: 10
"FMPs are full of idiots year round. Probably the worst thing in Thailand to do bar the Tiger Temple."
How many people go to both? Clearly Darwin Award candidates!
#13 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957