My fiancé and I are backpacking for a month(ish) through Thailand. We have a general idea on what we want to do, but I am getting overwhelmed with all the information and possible places. We aren't hardcore party people, we tend to avoid clubs, but do enjoy several drinks at a more quiet bar. We want to enjoy the usual touristy things like riding elephants, maybe a trek, rafting, petting a tiger, etc. We would also like to go to places not filled with tourists (I know we are tourists) and enjoy the culture.
We know that we will initially spend about 4 nights in Bangkok. Does anyone have a cheap (but not scummy) hostel/guest house they could recommend that is near to a metro and/or would be easy to travel to most popular attractions?
We plan on going to Ayutthaya next for a night before heading to Chang Mai. Is there somewhere you would recommend is worth a stop between Ayutthaya and Chang Mai? Or should we just go straight through?
We aren't sure how long we are staying in Chang Mai, there seems to be a lot we want to do. We will visit the Tiger Kingdom, do the Flight of the Gibbon, maybe some rafting (recommendations?), maybe visit an elephant park (recommendations?), and some general exploring.
We don't want everything planned (maybe we are trying to avoid this banana pancake trial everyone speaks of) but I like to have a list of things I'd like to do. That is all that we have semi-planned so far, everything will be open for the end of our trip. We do know that we want to spend the end, at least a week, just laying on beaches in the South before heading home or to the full moon party. Does anyone have beach/island suggestions? We want something that isn't overcrowded, a really nice place to swim and just relax with a book.
Also, we really want to find a nice place to stop between Chang Mai and the South. A place we can just spend a couple days exploring. Any suggestions?
I know this type of question is asked all the time. Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.
#1 Whispy has been a member since 10/1/2012. Posts: 7
Thank you for asking direct questions. A good stopover, and more or less halfway is Sukhothai. It's also a city of ruins, a bit like Ayutthaya . The difference is that the ruins are contained in a historical park. The city of Ayutthaya is built around the ruins. I recommend Sabaidee Guesthouse there, it's fabulous.
In Bangkok, you'll be heading to Khao San. It's got the highest concentration of cheap accommodation in BKK and tourist services. It's walking distance to a lot of tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace, a few markets, and some famous temples.
In Chiang Mai , the rafting isn't a good idea now because it's dry season. It's not rafting, more like a gentle ride down a creek.
A good elephant camp is The Elephant Nature Park.
Most elephant camps abuse their elephants, this place rehabilitates them. It's not an elephant riding torture park, they actually treat their beasts with respect. Make sure you're aware of these things when you're traveling, ok? Don't perpetuate the abuse to save $10 USD or so.
My favorite island in the south is Koh Lanta. Perfect mix of chill, cheap, a bit lively if you'd like (beach bars), beautiful, plenty of activities (waterfalls, day trips, almost deserted island a 5 minute ferry ride away), and great swimming beaches. I recommend Kantiang Bay and Top View Resort. Lovely!
If you're looking to break up your trip between Chiang Mai and the south, I've heard great things about Prachuap Khiri Khan. Someone on here is the PKK advocate, I forget who but check other recent threads and they've outlined what's going on there.
Good luck on your trip!
#2 whardy has been a member since 14/11/2011. Posts: 66
Every time I visit Chiang Mai, I do two things:
1.Go to Doi Suthep, a temple in the city situated on the top of an overlooking hill. (Though, I would make sure it's not the weekend! Or, you will be accompanied by half the town on your visit.)
2. Go to Doi Inthanon, the tallest point in Thailand. To get there, you must go a few dozen kilometers south. You can arrange a day-trip on a van for a couple hundred baht. They'll provide lunch and stop at all the waterfalls, a market, and the top for a good length of time. You can also camp near the middle of the mountain if you were interested.