I'm a twenty one year old female and currently planning my first trip alone.
I've got 7 weeks, starting at the beginning of December, to travel through Thailand to Singapore before I fly to Australia. I'm currently putting together a vague itinerary and just wanted some advice please on where I should visit/how long I should stay in places?
I'm starting in the north and want to visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi and possibly stay in Khao Yai National Park for a night. While in the north I want to visit a Tiger Temple, go elephant trekking/visit an elephant sanctuary, do a Thai cooking course, trek through the jungle(?) and possibly visit a tribe.
I then want to visit Koh Tao (want to do the padi diving course here), Koh Pha Ngan (for the NYE full moon party), Koh Samui, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Krabi and Trang. So pretty much the main tourist-y places.
How long would you recommend staying on each island?
I don't want to rush everything and try to fit too much in but I would like to see as much as I can. I'm planning to split the last week between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Sorry for the essay! I've never been travelling before and ridiculously excited/scared/worried I won't plan it right haha
Thanks for any suggestions!
I just wanted to say that I'm doing the same thing so can totally relate and I'll be partying with you NYE at the full moon party for sure!
I'm afraid I'm not going to be THAT much help to you, but from experience..
I do think your trying to fit too much into your schedule, you have about ten places, why dont you try do a week in each place and reduce it to 7 to incorporate travel time.
I'm guessing you will be staying in hostels? Your going to end up meeting loads of people and probably end up going to some places with them so try not to plan to much and go with the flow :)
Good luck on your trip!
#2 Booktitpackedit has been a member since 20/7/2012. Posts: 2
"I'm starting in the north and want to visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi and possibly stay in Khao Yai National Park for a night. While in the north I want to visit a Tiger Temple, go elephant trekking/visit an elephant sanctuary, do a Thai cooking course, trek through the jungle(?) and possibly visit a tribe.
I then want to visit Koh Tao (want to do the padi diving course here), Koh Pha Ngan (for the NYE full moon party), "
You and 1 million others before you. It's like you copied the most stereotypical LP guide straight from the book!!
It's funny how all these kids do padi courses then never dive again for 20 yrs and FMPs are just sad druggie loser hangouts. Waste of time.
The only non touristy place on your list is Trang and perhaps Khao Yai.
#3 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
"I'm guessing you will be staying in hostels? "
Thailand doesn't have many hostels. No need. Rooms are cheap. They have guesthouses from $10 a night.
#4 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
Rather than have a big checklist (yawn) simply book airasia flights to a few places and work it out as you go. Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Krabi. Or add in Ubon if you want a taste of Thailand away from repetitive backpacker sheep following each other around.
#5 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
long beach, ever heard of got nothing nice to say then dont say anything at all?
maybe some constructive critisism might be of help..
why dont you suggest some good places for us novices if you're such a know it all?
I'm all for just booking a flight and seeing what happens though, thats my plan..
#6 Booktitpackedit has been a member since 20/7/2012. Posts: 2
I did give some constructive criticism. You didn't. Dec/Jan is peak season so all those tourist hotspots will be crowded. If you must visit touristy things do it off season or go elsewhere.
#7 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
@longbeach - you're under no obligation to answer any post on this forum. If you're unable to make a post without taking a cheap shot or denigrating another poster, don't post.
#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,738
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six weeks to spend sounds like enough to me to visit most of what you want to do. i imagine you are flying into bangkok, and will want to spend a few days there to get past jet lag and get your feet under you. from there you can easily fly or take an overnight sleeper train to chiang mai, where you'd have a bit better than two weeks to do the things you've mentioned. chiang mai is one of my favorite places. it is fun to discover all on your own and a great place to take a thai cooking course.
you can break up your trip down south with a stopover in kanchanaburi. it is great for history and outdoors stuff.
once you get down south, you can play it by ear and move around however you want. if the full moon party is important to you, then i imagine you'd want to build the trip around those dates. you might be able to build a bit of flexibility into your itinerary by visiting kanchanaburi before you head up to chiang mai and then scheduling the diving course either before or after the full moon party.
anyway, have a look around the website to get lots of good info on the places you want to visit and the things you want to do. flying from chiang mai directly down south (you'll likely need to change planes in bangkok) may be a great way to save time (if you visit kanchanaburi before you go to chiang mai).
i hope that helps. have a great time. cheers.
I gave good advice. Dec/Jan in tourist hotspots would be a nightmare. Pick some different spots and be rewarded or just be another sheep in line. Up to you.
#10 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
@Booktitpack-edit - Might see you out there! I think you're right about trying not to fit too much in. I don't want to spend the whole time travelling to places only to be able to stay 1-2 nights and having to rush everything.
@longbeach - Surely there's a reason everyone follows the same route..I appreciate the places I want to visit are the most 'touristy' and the time I'm going is the most popular but as this is my first travelling experience and I'm going on my own, I think it's best to stick to places I know I'll meet other like-minded people. I'd rather be in a herd of sheep than lost and lonely...I'm also planning to do the padi so I can teach it in Australia.
@exacto - thanks very much for your advice! I've got my first three nights already booked in Bangkok so I think I might head to Kanchanaburi en route to Chiang Mai then fly directly to Koh Samui, as suggested. I'm more than happy to just see what happens though so other than booking somewhere down south for Christmas and New Years, I'm not going to worry about booking anywhere in advance. Everyone I've spoken to about Chiang Mai has said how lovely it is there.
@Eithan - Glad you think so!
I really appreciate your replies, thank you!