I'm still doing tons of reading but I was hoping for a little advise on a 14 day trip in Thailand with a small detour into Cambodia.
This is my first trip to Thailand, I'll be flying into BKK late Feb and I was thinking about checking out Bangkok and the surrounding areas, like Ayutthaya, then trying to head over to Cambodia, by bus to see the Ankor Wat and briefly explore Siem Reap, for maybe 2 days? I'd like to check out an island like Phi Phi but I think that will have to wait for the next trip.
Any advise/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
#1 badkarma has been a member since 21/12/2012. Posts: 3
If you're going to spend the time and cash, and make the effort to go to Angkor, you might want to think about staying a bit longer. Personally, I'd give it 3 nights at least, and would spend about a week in Cambodia.
If you go to Siem Reap, consider going south to Phnom Penh then to Sihanoukville, and either hit a beach or island along the southern coast of Cambodia, or cross back into Thailand via ferry and spend time on an island in Trat Province (Koh Chang, Koh Mak, Koh Wai, Koh Kut), or possibly on Koh Samet or Koh Si Chang further west. All of these islands are within a day's travel time to and from Bangkok.
If you can swallow the cost, and don't want to spend too much time in Cambodia, you might want to consider flying, at least, one way to/from Siem Reap. That's a long way to go by land and you'll be on a considerable time-budget.
It's tough with two weeks to spend, because the temptation is to try and include too much in your itinerary. I agree with Tilapia, however, that if you are going to make the trip to Siem Reap for Angkor Wat, give yourself at least three nights there. Staying three nights will give you two full days out at the ruins. One day just won't be enough, and depending on how much you like this kind of stuff even the two full days may seem rushed.
From there, getting to those islands of the coast of Trat wouldn't be too much of a chore, either by travelling through Cambodia or crossing back into Thailand and heading down. As long as you aren't travelling during monsoon season, you'll likely get a good feel for what you are looking for from that "Thai island experience". The town of Trat itself is a fun little stopover as well.
You could definitely get settled in Bangkok, visit Ayutthaya, travel to Siem Reap, and then hit the islands off Trat within those 14 days. Good luck.
I agree with the above. That's a long, miserable bus ride. If you want to hit Angkor up, fly. You just don't have the time to wend your way over there slowly and stop to smell the flowers. Hitting the environs of Bangkok, though, that's a good idea. I like Ayudahya and I really want to go to Kanchanaburi to pay my respects and see the history there. Bangkok has tons to see and do. If it were me, I'd stick with that plan. But if you really want to hit up Angkor, then fly.
#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Thank you for all the replies and advise.
So, I managed to squeeze a few more days in. Tickets are now booked. I'll now be there close to 3 weeks. I won't be able to afford to fly to Angkor, I was thinking I'd try to take a taxi or train, not a bus. Spend 3 days at Angkor/Siem Reap.
How difficult is it to travel into southern Cambodia and re-enter Thailand via ferry? Or with my time constraints would it be better to head back to Bangkok the way I came?
#5 badkarma has been a member since 21/12/2012. Posts: 3
^There are no ferries between Cambodia and Thailand. Since the road was upgraded between Sihanoukville and Ko Kong the ferries have stopped running. See http://www.canbypublications.com/maps/cambodia-south-overland-map.htm
Now it's a bus ride that takes about 4 hours to the border then another hour to Trat, and you could swing by Ko Chang for some beach time on your way to Bangkok.
Oooops! Sorry for the out-dated info. Too bad there's no more ferry. It was a great way to go.
Anyway, the border at Hat Lek/Ko Kong is a very popular, straightforward crossing. You can read about it here ... ... http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/visabordercrossings/172_visa-and-border-crossing-news---please-read-this-before-postting-#tc
No need to go back to Bangkok until it's time for you to head home.
Great that you managed a bit more time.
Thanks again for all the replies, I really do Appreciate all this help.
I barely managed the time extension, Lol. I’ll be arriving in the late afternoon of the 17th and departing in the late evening of the 8th.
With this timeframe in mind… I’m now looking at 4 days in Bangkok (including small side trips), 2 in Ayutthaya, 3 in Siem Reap/Angkor then down to Ko Kong for maybe a day. From there to Trat and Ko Chang for maybe 4 days. If I’m right that should give me 4-ish days to do whatever/buffer. Maybe a detour to Sukhothai or Phenom Phen or Pattaya? Or does this itinerary sound like I’m attempting to do too much? Also, any advice for departing BKK airport? Once again thank you for all the advice.
#8 badkarma has been a member since 21/12/2012. Posts: 3
Have a great trip. Let us know how it goes. Always nice to get feedback.
#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957