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26 days arround Thailand. Help planning ?

Posted by pittz on 16/4/2012 at 08:09

Me and my GF just bought tickets to Bangkok form the 26.06 till the 22.07. and now general route plannig kicks in.
We are planning to backpack, so no hotel reservation in advance, just take our time and see the country. Our general idea is to strat by slowly going North up to Chang Mai (do the temple run) and then get down to south and relax in beaches.

This far we have the following idea:
1) Bangkok (at 1st we dont plan to stay there for long, as we will spend out last 2-3 days here to do the shopping (women :P) and the the city)
2) Kanchanaburi - see the sarafi / national park that is nearby, take some time so devote to the WWII events
3) Ayutthaya - see some sightseeing and temples.
4) Take the night train form there to Chiang Mai.
Here we could make a base camp for a few days and see the North of Thailand.
There seems so many things to do, i think we`ll only know what we want once we get there. So any suggestion on the highlighits would be great :)
5) form North, most likely Chiang Mai, fly down South. That leaves uz with 2 destinations: Puket or Ko Samui. I heared that Puket is not the best place to visit, that the tourist masses have ruined it, so it`s more likely that we will choose Ko Samui, but who nows.
Any info regarding the places to visit down South would be really welcome.ATM it looks like most likely will be the islands (Ko Pha-ngan, Ko Tao, Ko Phi Pi, Ko Lanta and such) and the beachs arround Krabi, maybe wonder futher south, though i read as wel lthat the very low South are rather unsafe.
We dont want to rush things, to see all of the Thailand in a month is impossible, but never the less we would like to combine the Temples and the beaches.

Any input would be helpfull. TY.
Is any additional info needed, ask :)

#1 pittz has been a member since 16/4/2012. Posts: 5
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Posted by inspiredbykrissi on 16/4/2012 at 09:55

If you go to Kanchanaburi go to Erwan waterfalls there. Simply amazing. In my oppinion, Sukothai is much more fascianting than Ayuthaya. Although both are on the way to Chiang Mai .

Chiang Mai, for me its about jumping on a bike and going for a ride in the mountains. Pai, sappong (with Lot Cave), Mae Hong Son and Doi Inthanon (the highest point in Thailand). In Chiang Mai itself its a charming scity with amazing weekend markets (try and be here on the weekend). Take a drive up the mountain for around dusk and see the city lit up at night.

I suggest fly to Phuket , the flight will be much cheaper. Then get the hell outta Phuket and get yourself to Krabi , railay beach and the Lagoon is amazing. then get to Koh Lanta.. This is a good place if you like to SCUBA. From Koh Lanta you can get to Phi Phi for a day trip which is my preference as im not into heavy parties on a beautiful beach. (lame i know, maybe my age)

I suggest trying to visit fewer places and appreciate those places rather than rushing from place to place.

Bangkok, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Pai, Phuket quicky then Krabi and Koh Lanta. Then back to Bangkok. This would be my advice.

Have fun and hit me up if you fancy a coffee in Chiang Mai or want any more help.

Good luck!

#2 inspiredbykrissi has been a member since 9/12/2011. Posts: 68
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Posted by pittz on 17/4/2012 at 01:16

Thank you very much for the information shared. I will look into Sukothai, maybe we can do both :)
I also have the feeling that rush is unnecessary, but once there u want to see the most of it.
The real situation we`ll only see when we arrive, how we will feel with the backpacking thing.
So on one hand i dont want to plan every day of our trip there, but dont want to go blind as well.
I`ll look into the place you suggested, and see you in Chiang Mai :)
Thank you.

#3 pittz has been a member since 16/4/2012. Posts: 5
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Posted by MADMAC on 17/4/2012 at 04:08

"I heared that Puket is not the best place to visit, that the tourist masses have ruined it, so it`s more likely that we will choose Ko Samui, but who nows."

I would not say they have ruined it. It is well developed. It offers a lot of international cuisine, a lot of good nightlife, and there are still plenty of decent beaches there. For those who want the rustic, natural kind of place, it's obviously not that anymore. But for those who want a nice beach vacation with ameneties, Phuket has a lot going for it. It doesn't draw masses of tourists for no reason.

#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by Captain_Bob on 17/4/2012 at 05:59

June/July the better weather is on the east side in the lower gulf of Thailand (Ko Tao/Phangan/Samui). Direct flight CM-Samui is expensive, around 7000 baht, but you can save money flying CM-Bangkok-SuratThani then get a ferry to the islands. CM- Phuket direct can be relatively cheap if you book well in advance ( Phuket is a huge island and when people talk about it being "ruined" they are probably referring to Patong or Karon the two busiest holiday beaches. But there are still plenty of relaxing scenic beaches to choose from. Same could be said for Samui which is really built-up along Chaweng/Lamai area but not so much on the west and south coasts. Both Phuket and Samui are expensive compared to other islands like Ko Phangan, Ko Lanta, etc.

In Chiang Mai (where I have lived 8 years) it's good to get a mix of in-town stuff (markets, food, temples) and get out of town as well. Go up to Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon, visit some hilltribe villages (not the longnecks though, that is a total zoo), do some rafting on the Taeng river, go ziplining, visit the Tiger Kingdom and an elephant camp, do a Thai cooking course. The Sunday evening street market is a must, and you have to come try my Khao Soy (northern specialty). Trying lots of different food is an adventure here.

#5 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,950

Posted by pittz on 17/4/2012 at 09:34

Captain, Thank you as wll for your input :)
We wont book in advance, as that would set us to any specific dates, and we want to avoid that. The 1`st idea was to take the train back form Chiang Mai to South, but that`s 2 nights on a train, so we decided to fly.. it saves us some time.
Now we think that maybe we should fly to Puket (as it should be cheaper) see the Krabi and the surrounding islands, and the leave it to chance - if we have enough time and we are willing, we might travel to the other (east) side of the mainland, if not - well, we cnat have it all. The main idea is to have fun and relax, not to rush arround the county like mad.

TY all for input. More is always welcome :)

#6 pittz has been a member since 16/4/2012. Posts: 5
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Posted by longbeach on 17/4/2012 at 22:09

You can fly direct to Krabi unless you really want to see Phuket. Personally I'm not that keen on Phuket. It's a big island that has some quieter beaches too but there's nothing there you can't find on the other islands unless you want to go to some over the top caberet show. Check AirAsia for flight prices and times.

#7 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307

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