On december 2nd I will start my South East Asia journey in Phuket. In the beginning I wanna take my time in the south of Thailand and then head up north till the border with Laos. After Laos I will also visit Cambodia and Vietnam (maybe good to know if you want to give me some advice). I am a quite experienced traveller but it’s my first time in SE Asia so it’s always good to get some good and actual advice. I don’t care about luxury (and prefer atmosphere above that): a private, clean and basic room (with fan) will be fine for me.
Here’s my global itinerary for Thailand:
Phuket (2-3), Ko Phi Phi (4-5), Krabi (6-7), Phang-Nga (8-9), Khao Sok NP (10-11), Ranong* (12-13), Ratburi (14, visiting Damnoen Saduak very early next day), Kanchanaburi/River Kwai(15-16-17), Bangkok (18-19-20), Ayuthaya (21-22), Phitsanulok/Sukothai (23-24), Chang Mai (25-26), trekking to or near Mae Hong Son (27-28-29), Chang Mai (30), Chang Rai/golden traigle (31- jan 1 st.), Chiang Khong (jan 2nd) and crossing the Laos border to Huay Xai.
* I want to extend my visa crossing the border at Ranong so I won’t overstay my visa staying some days longer in Thailand than 1 month.
Some questions about my itinerary (detailled questions will follow later):
1. While travelling in december, will it be necessary to make any reservations for transport, accomodation or local tours, if yes, when and for what?
2. Wanna do one trekking in Thailand, the Mae Hong Son area is good for this? Can I do a trekking from Chang Mai to Mae Hong Son or is it better to go to Mae Hong Son and to the trekking starting from there?
3. Is it worth inserting a visit to Khao Yai NP from Ayuthaya?
4. The route is logical? I know the places are more or less standard but are there any places which I should insert or maybe skip?
Thanks in advance for you answers,
#1 Harry05 has been a member since 9/9/2007. Posts: 60
1) no reservations needed for transport as I assume you're doing most of this by bus. For accommodation, you may want to consider reserving something in Chiang Mai over X-mas, but only if you've really got your mind set on somewhere in particular -- otherwise, as long as you're reasonably flexible, you should be fine.
2) You can do a trek from Chiang Mai to MHS but it takes 7 days. MHS is a good trekking centre, while Pai, halfway between the two has a more "traveller vibe" to it. For excellent trekking (meaning natural scenery rather than tribes, checkout Nan (though you'd need to modify your route a little).
3) Given you're already seeing Khao Sok, I'd say no. For two reasons -- it's a long diversion from Ayutthaya -- you'd need to allow at least 3-4 days for it to be worthwhile; and secondly, Khao Sok is the prettier park!
4) My only suggestion would be regarding Damnoen Saduak -- you can actually stay in the town (rather than Ratchaburi) which will allow you to get to the market even earlier. Note the market, even at the crack of dawn, is very touristy.