My husband and I are planning on travelling around thailand for 3 months. We are flying into Bangkok and are planning on doing a round trip to Chaing Mai. Then down to the south. Are there any places that we should go to or must see or places that we should definately avoid.
We are looking to avoid the majority of the tourist traps and get a real feel for Thailand.
Any advice would be gratefully appreciated!
#1 keelyandmark has been a member since 28/7/2009. Posts: 1
There are some basic outlines of trips for Thailand here: http://www.travelfish.org/itineraries/thailand but they're mostly tailored to short trips -- in three months you can see a lot.
Broad strokes, I'd say a month up north, two weeks in the northeast a month down south and two weeks for Bangkok and surrounds (from Ko Chang across to Kanchanaburi).
Also see the Thailand section of feature stories -- there's a lot of info in there.
Hope that helps
Soi Cowboy in Bangkok
Nana Plaza in Bangkok
The Reclining Buddha
Jim Thompson House
#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Go to an older version of Lonely Planet and look at the 'roads less travelled'. I suggest you'll fare well that way.
So, from Chiang Mai, head to Mae Hong Son (via Pai, and maybe a side trip to Chiang Dao), then track down to Mae Sariang, onto Mae Sot , down to Um Phang. Back to Mae Sot and across to Sukhothai. Then, unless you want to enjoy the wonder of Isaan, go back to Bangkok. head (via morning floating market) to Kanchanaburi, and wander down to the royal town of Hua Hin via Petchaburi & the National Park nearby. From there, the southern isthmus is yours to enjoy.
You don't spend much time in Isaan do you? I get the feeling you skip right over it and head straight into Laos.
#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Mac, you're kidding right? Cowboy, Nana and Pattaya, but skip Jimbo's and Kanch? Each to his own I guess.
Do agree though re Isaan especially with three months. That Phanom, Ubon, Khong Chiam, Ban Ahong, Sangkhom all well worth a look.
Phang Nga Bay (James Bond island there can be considered a tourist trap but because of limited room for boats most visits spend little time on the island)
West Railay when uncrowded (around sunset and also low season)
Emerald Cave on Ko Muk
Donald Duck Bay Similans
Maya Bay, Phi Phi Ley when uncrowded (maybe before abt 1000)
Ang Thong Marine National Park near Samui and Phangan
Patong Beach Phuket high season
Chaweng and Lamai Beaches Samui high season
Hat Rin Phangan around Full Moon Party
Ton Sai/Loh Dalum area of Phi Phi Don high season.
Railay high season most daylight hours. Nearby Ao Nang all hours.
Maya Bay when crowded.
Most of Andaman Beach Ko lipe high season.
if you decide to head from CM to Mae Hong Son, don't miss the quiet market town of Soppong, Pangmapha District, and the immense Tham Lod Cave system nearby. The area has many caves and villages, some that can be explored on foot from town.
Over the years, I've spent much time in Isaan. But, while I might have a penchant for the region, I appreciate many tourists on the city-hop approach would get turned off by the distances between cities, the relative flatter topography, and the lack of the westernised tourist 'ghetto's.
BTW, I was centred in Amnat Charoen for a while and really enjoyed the southern Isaan area.
But, as said, I recognise the wonders of Isaan are not on LP's banana pancake trail.