I'm set to graduate from veterinary school in early December. Unfortunately its a good idea for me to start a job in january or at least early february so i don't forget everything i've learnt!
I definately want to visit Cambodia and the Angkor temples, and definately want to go to Chiang Mai (desperately want to visit the Elephant Nature Park). I've also entertained the idea of crossing over into Laos.
Rough itinerary? For 5 weeks...
I figured I'd fly into Bangkok as its cheap. I am open to paying for flights and spending more time in places than attempting to visit too many places.
I was thinking....for 5 weeks....
Day 1-10 Cambodia: Phnom Penh (3 days), bus to Siem Reap (4 days). I still can't decide if Sihanoukville is worth a visit? I'm not really into the party scene.
Day 11-20: Overland from Siem Reap to Laos? (Is this recommended or should I fly?) Was thinking Vientane for 2 days, skip Vang Vieng and 4 days in Luang Prabang
Day 21-35 Fly To Chiang Rai (4 days - trekking), bus to Chiang Mai (3 days), Fly to Bangkok and then train down to Krabi/islands for maybe 3 days. I'm unsure as to what to do with the extra few days? Was thinking of maybe flying home from Phuket even though I don't really want to go there.
Thank you so much to anyone who replies!! This will be my first experience of solo travel and my last little bit of freedom for a while....I am hoping for a relatively relaxing holiday with trekking, nature, temples and some beach time.
congratulations on graduating from vet school! and glad that you'll have some time to enjoy before hitting the daily grind.
anyway, i think flying in and out of bangkok (or nearby) is a good start. two quick comments i have before others chime in are:
1. i don't think there is a flight from luang prabang to chiang rai, so you'd either need to go by boat/road or fly from LP to chiang mai. you could always do your trekking out of chiang mai or nearby places like chiang dao.
2. i don't know how much your heart is set on krabi, but that time of year the islands off trat are very nice (ko chang, ko maak, etc.) and may be a good, nearer to BKK alternative. if you were to visit trat and ko chang instead of krabi, you might consider reversing the direction of your travel by starting in bangkok, going to chiang mai (overnight train is a fun adventure), flying to luang prabang, working your way down through laos (by combo of bus and air) and into cambodia, visiting angkor, phnom penh, etc, then finishing up in trat/ko chang before returning to bangkok for final shopping and the flight home.
anyway..... hope that helps. regards.
Thanks! Some good ideas there! Ko Chang might be the go, as I am likely to return to Thailand at some point, hopefully to help with all the stray dogs in the south islands, so maybe I'll skip the south this time. I will probably get bored after a couple of days of beach time too :)