So first off I'd like to say thank you so much to everyone who answers everyone's questions and for all those who ask questions too. :) This site has been invaluable to me during my planning stages and it gets me so excited about my trip abroad this coming December/January 2011.
I'm just looking at general feedback on the itinerary so far. We don't want to overbook our time but want to see quite a bit of the area. I'm also including a bit on our budgets just to see if anyone has any must do's, must stays or other general feedback. Here goes. ;)
My girlfriend and I are arriving in Bangkok on December 28th and crashing hard for a night after a long day of travelling. Waking up, doing some shopping before boarding the overnight train down to Koh Samui. We've got reservations at Harry's for 3 nights and will be hitting up the NYE party to see some of the wild and crazy action before hopefully spending a bit more time on some beautiful and *quieter* beaches.
We're planning on freewheeling it for 3 days until our flight leaves from Phuket to Chiang Mai on January 5th. (Airasia) We'd love to spend this time on a beachy area and get some scuba dives in somewhere. Can anyone recommend a great dive location in and around the vicinity? We were thinking Krabi or Ko Tao. (Budget: about 1000BHT a night)
We've yet to book a place up in Chiang Mai when we arrive but are planning to stay here for about 5 days or so. Completely free-wheeling this as well. We want to do some treks, markets, temple tours and hopefully do a zip line tour before making our way into Laos via slow boat. Again, in and around 800 - 1000BHT a night would be good.
We'll be entering into Laos from there and I'll save the Laos questions for the Laos forum but plan to stay there for about 2 weeks or so before coming back to Bangkok. We will be coming back about 3 days before our flight leaves just to do some shopping and what not.
I guess my questions are am I risking too much by free wheeling it and not booking accommodation at every step of the way? Are we trying to fit in too much? Is 2000BHT/day enough of a budget for each of us?
Thoughts, feedback, etc are all appreciated. Again, can't say thank you enough for the resources.
#1 deegs has been a member since 22/10/2010. Posts: 2
We've been to Thailand first time this Feb for 4 weeks, going back next Jan for 6 weeks. Just Thailand, because there's soooo much to see, do, enjoy, indulge. That's why splitting Thailand and Laos sounds weird to me. That's very personal, but I don't recommend it.
You spend some time up North, which is good, Chiang Mai is great, we just can't get enough of it. Be prepared to not want to leave, or get kind of "homesick" and wanting to come back (or are we the only ones feeling that way?)
Freewheeling is just the way of getting around Thailand. You'll allways get a bed somewhere, everywhere. Maybe not that one special room in that one special hotel, but if your not that picky you'll get by and have some surprises.
I'm the kind of girl that checks out Internet and travelguides to have lists of acco's ready, I know where I want to stay first choice, second and third. I also know what I want to see and do in every area we plan to visit. However, I don't book anything, I let faith have some influence on our trip. We decide every day if we're up to it or not. I'm just the kind of controlfreak that doesn't book anything, but is prepared for everything!
It's really personal, do you like freewheeling or will it give you bad dreams?
For diving you want to go to The Similans and Surin Islands. This is some of the best diving in the world. Best to do this from is Khao Lak, which is around 1 1/2 hours North of Phuket . There are some beautiful beaches in that area as well. And it is very easy to then go to Phuket for your flight.
#3 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252
In Chiang Mai if you want an off the track trek check out:
59 Rajchapakinai Rd, Chiang Mai, 50200
Tel: (053)208-538 Mobile: (085)0414-971
My thoughts here:
Awesome, this is great stuff. I'll check out The Similans and Surin Islands and will check out this treking group in Chiang Mai.
@dutchgirl: I agree there is so much to see and do in Thailand but Laos really seem to jump out at me as a place I'd want to visit. Laid back, lazy rivers, a bit more of a 'real' experience if you will. I'm looking forward to seeing both cultures. Enjoy your trip in January!
#5 deegs has been a member since 22/10/2010. Posts: 2
2000 Baht a day each seems heaps to me! You'll be able to live well on that. Well, not like kings but certainly well for backpackers. We spent about half that each and were happy.