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North or South first?

  • Toxifer

    Joined Travelfish
    10th May, 2011
    Posts: 12

    So I'm leaving for Bangkok next week and I still haven't decided what to do first. I only have 4 months in my trip and I plan on seeing Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, giving each country about a month each. I only have a few places per country listed as places I really want to see, so that way I'm keeping myself flexible. However, I can't decide whether I should go south first(planning on seeing Krabi ) and then go north. Or should I go north, through the other countries, and fly from Vietnam to Bangkok and go south before flying home? Another option may be to not go south at all.

    I'm not a party person at all and am really just interested in seeing the culture and nature. So I feel like I wont be staying on any islands. For that reason the only place in the south I've marked down is Krabi because it seems to have a really nice landscape.

    Of course I have somewhat limited my research on the islands because I kind of generalized them all as party places, so please feel free to enlighten me. Thanks in advance for any tips you may have!

    This is my first time backpacking abroad, so do you think my 'plan' of very little planing will work out by just going to places other people recommend along the way? For example, for Laos and Cambodia I only have about 2-3 places each marked down to see.

    #1 Posted: 1/1/2012 - 12:24

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  • altmtl

    Click here to learn more about altmtl
    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2009
    Location Earth
    Posts: 826
    Total reviews: 5

    Start South and work your way up... Krabi is a good choice but there are a lot of less touristy places to go... which is what I'm doing... you'll find all the info you need on this site - my flight leaves in 4 hrs - :)

    #2 Posted: 1/1/2012 - 17:09

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2392
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
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    are you starting and ending your trip in bangkok? north or south, you won't go wrong either way. people starting and ending their trip in bangkok sometimes save part of their thailand trip for the very end, when they'll be back in thailand anyway for the return flight home. often times that's the relax on the beach portion of the trip, which could be southern thailand.

    krabi is nice. you should enjoy it there. but as you say, there are many other spots too, and working your way back up the peninsula is a good idea. i like the takuapa area and particularly khao lak on the andaman sea side, as an example.

    no matter what you decide, remember that crossing back into thailand overland only gets you a 15-day visa exemption, so that last leg will more or less be limited to 15 days if you are flying home from bangkok. second, remember that mid-April is a very busy travel time due to the Thai New Year celebrations. transportation will be booked solid and getting from place to place much more difficult than usual. it is also typically the hottest time of year.

    the loose intinerary thing is a great idea for a long trip like yours. smart to spend your time in only a few places too. that's much better than rushing from a to b to c, as it saves time, money, and gives you a chance to settle in and explore places in detail. cheers.

    #3 Posted: 1/1/2012 - 20:06

  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1218
    Total reviews: 53
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    At least 48

    It's always nice to end a long trip with the islands - relax after all the hiking about.

    #4 Posted: 1/1/2012 - 21:48

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2087
    Total reviews: 20
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    At least 107

    Yeah, what he said ^ !

    Leave the islands to the end. There's nothing like winding up a trip lying around the islands doing bugger all!

    #5 Posted: 2/1/2012 - 00:59

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    Great advice from exacto here. Have a great trip.

    #6 Posted: 2/1/2012 - 02:40

  • Toxifer

    Joined Travelfish
    10th May, 2011
    Posts: 12

    Thanks so much guys! Since I am flying in and out of Bangkok I think saving the south for a little relaxation at the end is going to be my plan! Agh, so excited now, haha.

    #7 Posted: 2/1/2012 - 19:10

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    If you get out to Mukdahan way, drop me a line.

    #8 Posted: 6/1/2012 - 01:39

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