I am a 20 year old female travelling alone to SE Asia in January of 2012. I will be there for 5-6 months. It is my first time backpacking/travelling alone and with all of the information about southeast asia online I am finding it quite overwhelming to plan everything!
I am looking for a trip where I can socialize, but also experience real culture of the countries.
I am planning my trip as follows:
Fly into bangkok
3-5 days Bangkok
Venture to Southern Thailand/Islands for about 3 weeks
fly from Phuket -Bankok-Yangon
3 weeks in Burma
Fly back to Bangkok and venture to Northern Thailand/Chiang Mai for about 3 weeks.
Since this is the Thailand forum I am primarily looking for information of where young backpackers will be more common, but I don't want to be overwhelmed with people; especially since I am travelling in peak season. I prefer to relax on the beach and not be too surrounded by partying people and am not planning on visiting Phuket other than the airport. I'm looking for laid back islands with good energy and not overly social/drunken atmospheres; is PhiPhi island worth going or do you think it would be too overwhelming that time of year?
I have looked at Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Tao - as those are more popular locations, no? and then (from info off travelfish) have found Raya/Racha island, Ko Adang, Ko Kho Khao, Ko Kradan, Ko Lanta, Ko Maak, Ko Muk, Ko Yao Ya and the Similan Islands to be looking interesting/beautiful/relaxed. I am trying to chisel down the # of islands and am not sure whether the islands I have listed are mostly day trips/which are commonly stayed at for a few days.
Also, at what point on my route in Thailand would it be appropriate to visit Kanachaburi? Before heading south or north from Bangkok?
Also wondering if anyone has some suggestions on places to stop on the way to Chiang Mai. I want to do a cooking class while there as well.
Sorry I know this is a lot of writing but I am grateful for anyone willing to help!
#1 jennakuz has been a member since 23/9/2011. Posts: 14
Let's start with social life: That one will just happen unless you don't want it to. If you are in a Thai environment, everyone will want to meet you and talk to you. If you are in a backpacker environment they all want to socialize too. So I wouldn't sweat that one.
As for an itinerary, you've got a lot of time, so just take it easy. Have a rough outline and know where you want to go next. When you get tired of one place, then it's time to move on.
Can't help you on the Island questions, but plenty of people here can. So no worries.
Have a great time!
#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Thanks for the input! Yeah I figure I'll just go with the flow because of my time span... I just am trying to pull together a route so i have more of an idea for my peace of mind.
Does anyone recommend any islands I shouldn't miss? I am also active and would love rock climbing, cycling, day treks etc. as well as a whole lot of R&R.
#3 jennakuz has been a member since 23/9/2011. Posts: 14
With all that time, I'd recommend that you give yourself a full month, at least, in Burma. It's worth it. Travel there is slow and the number of things to see and do there can be overwhelming. Also, you may want to consider visiting Burma before the really hot weather moves in. Travel in Burma takes a bit more effort than in the other SEA countries, and is usually a lot less comfortable. It's great to go there and then kick back in Thailand for a while.
If you are not going to have a multiple-entry visa for Thailand, it may be a good idea to use your full month Thai visa on arrival, go to Burma just before it expires, and then fly back to Thailand for another full month. With 2 months you can easily see most of Thailand. With one full month in Burma, you can see a bit ... but what you see will blow you away.
That's what my plan is thus far! Super excited for a month in Burma... sounds like it may just be the highlight of my trip.
#5 jennakuz has been a member since 23/9/2011. Posts: 14