Well I found this website recently and its absolutely amazing!
My partner and I are aiming to go traveling Jan 7th 2012 (seems so far away) our plan is basically to follow what travelfish has advised;
Bangkok then North
Down Loas into Cambodia
Across to Vientam and up.
But with the addition of flying back to Bangkok once we finish in Vietnam with the plan to head south down Thailand towards Malaysia.
Basically what I’m actually trying to ask is can anyone recommend any places that are a MUST SEE, places of interest, places to visit, Places with the most amazing views, places with the most interesting people, places with culture, places that shouldn’t be missed by any means on our way to Malaysia?
I really want to get this right as I won't get this chance again so I’ve researched so much but our problem is we want to go everywhere but due to a tight budget and timeframe it would be impossible LOL, so I’m after key pointers - anywhere people think was wonderful, different, would re-visit etc.
We will hopefully be on a 60 days visa if not a 30 days visa to get to Kuala Lumpur.
Also I have heard that there is an island in Thailand which is full of different breeds of monkeys, I love the little fellas so if anybody has any info on this I would really appreciate it.
Thanks ever so much everybody J
It really does depend on what you want. There are beautiful beaches, amazing temples, islands, cities and activities such as SCUBA diving, climbing etc. Are you able to narrow things down a little otherwise i will be listing alot of irrelevant places and activities.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Southern islands with the most amazing landscape/seascape - Phi Phi Ley (PP Don aint bad), Phang Nga Bay islands (do a daytrip, maybe stay overnight on the sea gypsy village on piers at Ko Panyi - very inexpensive) and Railay/Ton Sai at Krabi (technically aint an island).
Most amazing re fish, coral, clear water - Surins, Similans, Ko Rok. Note coral bleaching has knocked them around although supposedly in recovery mode now. And IMHO even in prime condition they are not up to the best in the world. But pretty good if you haven't seen best in the world.
Dunno about monkey island. You see a fair few at different places but I'm not aware of one island known for them.
Tarutao had lots of monkeys when I was there about 10 years ago. One beach (Ao Son I think) was swarming with them. Maybe they are still there. There are also plenty of monkeys in the Surins, a different larger species than the usual macaques.
Pity you didn't get to the Surins before now tezza. I usually spend 2 or 3 weeks there but didn't bother this year because of the bleaching. There are some "secret spots" ( not where the NP tour boats go) where the coral is ...well, was... very good indeed.
I've read that damage caused by the bleaching was far worse than the damage the tsunami caused so it may take years for the coral to recover. The first time I went there I saw blue and black marlin jumping, dolphins and a large rorqual whale surfaced right next to our NP snorkeling boat. Every year since the fish population has diminished and the fish have got smaller. Could be something to do with all the fishing boats that park there during the day.
I knew beforehand that the coral was in bad condition in the Surins - I don't go to islands to snorkel. Unless I can get me a haul of lobsters and abalone like most times at home or see world's best coral and fishies I can take it or leave it.
I go to islands to check the beaches and other attractions. I enjoyed NP islands like Tarutao and Adang immensely - forget about the snorkelling. The Surins disappointed me big time. The beach at camping area #2 was pretty nice (not so at #1- HQ) but the National Park restaurant food and staff were a disgrace. Camping/NP fees were over the top, but a bargain compared to the ridiculous price they want for their very average bungalows. There was only one (short) walking track and none of the paths to viewpoints and other beaches you see similar islands all over the world. Traditional colour TVs at the Moken Traditional Village.
I got the impression they have been relying on their rep for "world class" snorkelling for too long. And they haven't worried about good service or providing walking tracks, viewpoints etc. Now tourist numbers are down 70% on normal they are paying for it big time.
Apparently area #2 closed this week. HQ closes next week.
Oh yeah, I should add that at least 5 wooden bridges and stairways on the 1500 km track between HQ and beach #2 had rotted and collapsed. And by the looks of them, had done so at least a year ago. What does National Park do with our 400baht entry fees?
We have spent 3 weeks travelling by speed boat which is easy to arrange anywhere: Phi-Phi (must see but very busy island) Koh Lanta (third largest island in Thailand, so a bit build up but we loved it, the fires on the beach and reggae bars were fun),Koh Ngai (my favorite island, stunning!!! but its not a party island if thats what you are looking for), Ko Bulon Leh (this is even more beautiful, tiny tiny island),Ko Lipe (more lively than the small islands, so we enjoyed it, beautiful too) and Langkawi (which I never grew to like, I have an excellent picture to summarize the island, happy to share). Let us know where you choose to go and share your experience!
I would like to ask 'ThailandDiaries' where he stayed when he hired the speed boat for 3 weeks - did you stay in a differnt place each night? It sounds great - we are planning to live in Thailand for a year - see 'over 50' in the forum - and would really appreciate any ideas. thanks
#8 breatheagain has been a member since 28/4/2011. Posts: 29
Monkeys- One day in Krabi, on Ao Nang beach, we went to the beach just before sunset and walked to where the beach meets the limestone cliffs and HUNDREDS of monkeys suddenly began to climb down the cliffside to seemingly forrage for food among the rocks. It was an amazing and unexpected sight and i'm not sure if it happens every day, but there were so many of them! Old beat up ones, mothers with babies hanging off of them... definitely worth trying to see it if you're in the area! Try not to get too near them though- they'll come near you if you want them to but in my opinion it wouldn't be worth the risk of a bite... just stay near the water's edge (they won't go in the sea) and watch!
Also, there's a small bay that you can get a longtail boat/day trip to from Tonsai village on Phi Phi island where there are loads of monkeys (Monkey bay i think?)
Pran nang Beach in Krabi is so beautiful between dawn and 11am. A must see. As far a Monkey Island, that is part of a trip from Phi PHi on the way to Maya Bay. I went but stayed on the boat. A couple of people got bit recently because people are getting too familiar. The amount of breeds on the island may be over estimated.
Take it seriously.....rabies bites are much more prevalent here.