THAILAND: Jungle and islands - Islands and more islands
Just some suggestions
A trip to Thailand isn't complete without at least a little down time on the islands, and this trip has plenty. You'll touch on many of the favourite traveller scenes in Thailand, with opportunity for a bit of jungle, culture and history before heading south for the islands.
This isn't an "off the beaten path adventure", but remember the beaten path is so beaten for a good reason!
One advantage of using a trip like this as a base, is that there's lots of potential for sidetrips, and that two to three week-long stay can easily stretch out over a month.
A good way to minimise your time in transit is to make good use of Thailand's network of domestic budget airlines.
Pay attention to the weather! There's few things as miserable as a weeklong long sojourn on a sodden island. More climate information can be found here: Travelfish interactive weather map.
Suggest trip length
The suggested minimum time for a trip like this is three week, though four to five weeks is far more comfortable.
1) Bangkok -> Kanchanaburi (lush scenery, river trips, national parks, trekking, historical interest)
2) Kanchanaburi -> Sangkhlaburi (Stunning scenery, trekking, boat trips, underwater town)
3) Sangkhlaburi -> Chumphon -> Ko Tao (island, diving, beach life, backpacker scene)
4) Ko Tao -> Ko Pha Ngan (island, full moon party diving, beach life, backpacker scene)
5) Ko Pha Ngan -> Ko Samui (island, beach life, tourist scene, clubs and nightlife)
6) Ko Samui -> Bangkok
7) Bangkok -> Ko Samet (island, beach life, backpacker scene)
8) Ko Samet -> Ko Chang (island, beach life, backpacker scene)
Save some time
Two days: fly from Bangkok to Ko Samui return
Three days: Visit Kanchanaburi as a long day-trip (not recommended)
Take a side trip
One day: Strike north from Bangkok to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. While it can be visited as a long day-trip, an overnight stay is recommended.
One day: Break-up the trip south with an overnight stay at Phetburi and visit the amazing Kaeng Krachan National Park
Two days: Fit another island in at stunning Ko Mun Nork -- not cheap, but it is lovely.
Three days: Strike out from Ko Chang for some more island-downtime on the very popular neighbouring islands of Ko Maak or Ko Kut.
Combine trip plans
View Four to five weeks in Thailand in a larger map
Sample Trip Times (in hours)
To help you work out how you'll get around, we've listed the trip durations for the various forms of transport available. Note that with the exception of flight times, these are average trip times, so no hate mail if you take the slow train.
|THAILAND: Jungle and islands - Islands and more islands|
|Ko Samui||Surat Thani||-||-||-||1:20|
|Ko Pha Ngan||Surat Thani||-||-||-||5:00|
|Ko Tao||Surat Thani||-||-||-||6:30|
|Bangkok||Ban Phe (for Ko Samet)||-||3:00||-||-|
|Ban Phe||Ko Samet||-||-||-||1:00|
|Ban Phe||Klaeng (for Ko Mun Nork)||-||1:30||-||-|
|Kleang||Ko Mun Nork||-||-||-||1:00|
|Ban Phe||Trat (for Ko Chang)||-||3:00||-||-|
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