I'm a 25 year old female from the UK planning my first solo trip; I'll be flying into Bangkok at the end of January, then flying onto Australia (again from BKK) on 17th March, giving me around 7 weeks in SE Asia. The only thing I have booked so far - other than those 2 flights - is a week at the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai at the end of my trip. I plan to spend a few days in Chiang Mai prior to that, then the couple of days after, before my onwards flight, in Chiang Rai. This leaves me around 5 weeks to fill with adventures!
I looked at trying to cover Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam but don't want to spend half of my time on buses and trains because I'm trying to cram too much in. So I've been looking at 2.5 weeks in South Thailand (on top of the 2 weeks in the North) and 2.5 weeks in Cambodia, leaving Vietnam for another trip. However I've been speaking to some friends who have travelled who've suggested leaving out South Thailand to do Vietnam instead, so I'm a bit torn!
I'm planning to go with the flow once I arrive in Bangkok but would like to have a fairly good idea of places (and certainly countries!) I'd like to visit.
In South Thailand I wanted to go to Khao Sok National Park and then visit the main islands, but it's probably important to note that I'm not a big party person - I'm keen to have a few drinks with new friends but attending FMP isn't necessarily on my bucket list! I'm much more interested in seeing the culture of the cities I visit, exploring as much as possible and meeting new people with a healthy dose of relaxation.
After a couple of weeks in the South of Thailand I planned to travel to Cambodia to visit Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and spend a few days relaxing on Koh Rong. Following that I was going to head back to Chiang Mai.
So I suppose my real question is whether I should focus on Thailand and Cambodia, leaving Vietnam for another trip, or leave out visiting the South of Thailand in favour of going to Vietnam instead. Or if anyone thinks that it may actually be possible to somehow do all 3 I'd love to hear your thoughts!
I've thought about going to Vietnam and just staying in the South but if I go I wouldn't want to miss visiting Halong Bay and Hanoi.
I don't have a strict budget but I'd like to stick to an average of around Â£25 per day to include travel costs.
Also, what are your thoughts/experiences on booking short haul flights a couple of days prior to travel? As I don't want to plan too much I don't want to restrict myself by having flights booked in advance, but if I'm short on time there are instances where I'd consider a flight rather than bus/train to get from place to place, but only if the time I save is worth the additional cost.
I hope this all makes sense and thanks in advance for your help! Happy to provide any more info if required :)
#1spamcakes has been a member since 4/9/2015. Posts: 1
I think that saving Vietnam for another time might be best and there is far more to see in Cambodia than you have listed.
On your budget you are going to have problems with flights especially at last minute.
In Thailand for the longer trips overnight trains are cheap and save time
You are right in not wanting to plan too much and going with the flow and you might want to think if it is worth visiting lots of islands or just getting some beach time for a few days at different times of your travels
#2amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 976
Posted by Gogomobile on 4/9/2015 at 08:16
I find the south more interesting than the north. Northern Thais are laid back and friendly but the region has less wow factor and doesn't compare with the stunning beaches and bays in the south.
I would put the Trang/Krabi/Phang Nga region way ahead of Chiang Mai . I would also rank Koh Chang/Kood area ahead as well. Even Kanchanaburi has better scenary than Chiang Mai and its 2 hours from Bangkok.
#3Gogomobile has been a member since 14/4/2015. Posts: 412
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