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Travel Route From North Thailand to Southern Islands in October and November

Posted by xgeneration on 9/8/2012 at 11:58

Hello all, I am planning my first trip to Thailand in the upcoming October and November. I am backpacking and planning to stay within budget ($500USD excluding return flight from Hong Kong). I am wondering what is your opinion for my following trip in terms of time, physical demands, and feasibility. Btw I am a 26 yrs old male is good physical condition (exercise everyday). I don't want to have a very tight schedule, will rather go to less places and more in-depth. Nothing is set in concrete and stone yet, except that I would like to attend the Full Moon Party at Koh Pha Ngan on Oct. 30. So here is my plan, main transportations will be train and bus.

Oct. 16 HK->Bangkok
Oct. 16 - 21 Chiang Mai / Pai
Oct. 21 - 23 Chiang Rai
Oct. 24 - 25 Ayutthaya
Oct. 26 - 28 Siem Reap
Oct. 29 - 31 Koh Pha Ngan (Full Moon Party)
Nov. 1 - 2 Koh Phi Phi
Nov. 3 - 6 Pattaya
Nov. 6 - 12 Bangkok

What I am looking forward in this trip are temples and religious culture from northern Thailand and Cambodia, crazy nightlife and good food in Bangkok, advanturous activities (zip lining, parachuting, sky diving, snorkelling and seeing dolphin) and beautiful beaches on the islands.

Any recommendation on my route is more than welcome, and if you can suggest other islands or alternatives, feel free to do so as well. One last thing, I just realized October is wet season in Thailand, espeically on the islands, is that a big concern, should i skip the islands as a whole and focus on northern Thailand and Bangkok Pattaya?

Thank you very much!

Jacky

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 9/8/2012 at 22:47

If my math is correct, your budget comes to about USD20 (THB600) per day. This is a very low budget so you might not be able to afford all those activities (crazy nightlife, zip lining, parachuting, sky diving, snorkelling, etc.) One night of partying can easily eat through a couple thousand baht or more, and accommodation on popular beaches like Phi Phi it's hard to find anything close to 600 baht. There are still some cheap places on Ko Phangan, but the FMP scene can easily make up for that expence-wise. On your budget you'll need to watch expenses very closely, use local transport, eat at food stalls, stay in the cheapest room possible, etc.

Some of the places on your list are far apart and will take some effort and expense. Like Ayutthaya to Siem Reap hopefully you can get to the Aranya Prathet / Poipet border without back-tracking to Bangkok. Same for Siem Reap to Ko Phangan - it's a long way and can take up to 24 hours by bus with the usual changes/delays. Try to take overnight transport when possible to save on room costs.

Oct/Nov can be pretty rainy, but it can also be sunny and anyway always warm/hot. It's the tropics so is very unpredictable. In general the rainy season ends sooner up north so you might want to focus more of your time around Chiang Mai/Rai&Pai - it's also a lot cheaper up here than down on the southern beaches. Hope some of this info is helpful.

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Posted by xgeneration on 9/8/2012 at 23:15

Thank you Bob. Budget aside, is my schedule very tight? Is there any other island that can replace Phi Phi? Or can Pattaya replace the scenery down south?

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Posted by RiniRabbit on 9/8/2012 at 23:25

Hi xgeneration

In Bangkok everywhere have a good food :P ,
nightlife in bangkok? (Khao San Road,Sukhumvit,Siam)
Here I'll put the name of temple that you may like to visit in Chiang Mai
- Wat Chiang Man
- Wat Phra Sing
- Wat Prasat
- Wat Chedi Chet Yot
- Wat Chedi Luang

In October Andaman sea it's still rainy maybe just a bit.
but 1-2 in Koh Phi Phi to Pattaya that might be rush for you? (you might have to spend more budget)

you can stay longer in Koh Pha Nagan also can do one day trip to Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan and then heading to Pattaya for nightlife(?) and back to Bangkok by take Van or Bus ,cost about 150 - 180 baht or maybe less.
If you do lots of activites it probably need more budget for these trip.

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Posted by xgeneration on 10/8/2012 at 10:34

I think a day trip to Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan is more feasible. I really have no preference regarding the islands, I am sure they are more or less the same. If the weather is as bad as last year with the floods, I might have to skip the entire southern thai islands and focus on the north and bangkok.

Do you guys think my schedule is too tight? Will it be better to skip the islands and Koh Pha Ngan as a whole?

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Posted by guava_girl on 10/8/2012 at 20:50

It will take you a full day to get from Koh Phangan to Phi Phi. You are much better off just staying on Koh Phangan, especially considering your budget. Phi Phi can be quite expensive.

Same for Siem Reap, it is a long journey. You will have to leave quite early in the morning to get to BKK and then catch the overnight train down.

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Posted by xgeneration on 10/8/2012 at 21:01

Alrighty, looks like the following schedule is more reasonable.

Oct. 16 HK->Bangkok
Oct. 16-22 Chiang Mai/Pai
Oct. 22-24 Chiang Rai
Oct. 25-28 Ayutthaya
Oct. 28-31 Siem Reap
Nov. 1-4 Pattaya
Nov. 5-12 Bangkok

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Posted by Tilapia on 11/8/2012 at 15:37

Hi xgeneration,

Why not dump Pattaya for one of the islands like Koh Chang, Koh Mak, Koh Wai, or even Koh Si Chang? All of them are fairly close to the Cambodian border and within a day's travel of Bangkok (or closer). You'll probably find more affordable accommodations, and you'll get your island fix in. You can still get beach bungalows on Koh Wai for around 250 baht, and food is (or, at least, was) very reasonable when I was last there.

You might also think about going to one of the Cambodian islands or beaches, instead. You're going to be paying for the visa, so why not stick around a bit longer and check out some other parts of the country? If you skip Pattaya, shave a day or two off of Bangkok at the end, and maybe a day from Ayuthaya, you'll have about an extra week to check out the Cambodia south coast, or some of the islands in Trat Province as mentioned above.

You probably won't regret not going to Pattaya if that's what happens.

With your budget, go for dorm rooms, or non-a/c single rooms with shared bathrooms. Lots and lots of options in Bangkok, especially in the Banglamphu district near the river. This site has lots of cheapies, as well as a fairly good hand-drawn map of the area (http://www.chiang-mai.org/cheap-hotels-in-bangkok.html). I've always liked Apple II Guest House, and The Green House, right across the alleyway, is also quite decent and very inexpensive. These places are also close to the water taxi and are littered with hundreds of cheap street food places.

Avoid VIP buses and stick to the regular buses at the bus terminals (Ekemai, Morchit, and Sai Tai). Third class trains are also very, very cheap to travel on. City buses, as well, rather than taxis and tuk tuks.

Have a great time.

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Posted by xgeneration on 12/8/2012 at 11:31

I still really want to join the full moon party, do I have time to travel from Siem Reap to Koh Pha Ngan? and go to one of the drier islands near Koh Pha Ngan.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 12/8/2012 at 18:31

"Btw I am a 26 yrs old male is good physical condition (exercise everyday). "

Not sure how that matters.

"I don't want to have a very tight schedule, will rather go to less places and more in-depth."

Then why do you want to visit 9 places then? Take off 4 of them.

"Nothing is set in concrete and stone yet, except that I would like to attend the Full Moon Party at Koh Pha Ngan on Oct. 30."

Why? probably the worst thing to do in Thailand as a tourist.

Your budget of $500 works out at $18.50 per day yet you want to visit all of these places. No hope. As a minimum you should have about $300 per week so about $1200 if you want some cash to do things.

"parachuting, sky diving, snorkelling and seeing dolphin"

Sky diving and parachuting are the same are they not? That alone must be at least 1/3 of your total budget so you can forget that. Snorkelling trips are cheap by slow boat but still 500 baht which is $16 and 95% of your daily budget so you can forget doing more than 1 of them.

I suspect your post is a troll unless you really are naive about prices.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 12/8/2012 at 18:34

"Have a great time"

Not on $18.50 a day he won't. Even basic rooms cost around $10 and then he has $8.50 for food and drinks which isnt much and will have to hitchhike to travel.

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Posted by xgeneration on 12/8/2012 at 21:03

appreciate your inputs Leonard but don't appreciate your attitude, you might as well keep the comments to yourself. thanks.

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Posted by xgeneration on 12/8/2012 at 21:12

not sure if I should take the comments from a person who can't distinguish between skydiving and parachuting as well as how the gender and age affect the travel planning (not being discriminating) seriously.

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Posted by busylizzy on 12/8/2012 at 21:26

Leonard - I'm sure you've been told before that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't bother saying anything. In fact, I'm sure that you've been told words to that effect several times over the last few years.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 12/8/2012 at 21:33

I'm giving some good advice here. You really can't do much with $500 for 27 days. Having been to Thailand more than 10 times and travelled north to south I have a fair idea what things cost and having done skydiving with a PARACHUTE I know something about that as well.

"gender and age affect the travel planning (not being discriminating) seriously"

So older males or females can't go skydiving?

80yo females have done it.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 12/8/2012 at 21:36

"you've been told before that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't bother saying anything"

I'm giving sound advice. If your budget is $18.50 a day you really can't do much. That's not being nice or nasty - that's just honest.

It would be misleading to tell a tourist they can do much with $18.50 a day and coating it with sugar and plums does them no help at all.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 12/8/2012 at 21:40

http://www.thaiskyadventures.com/book-a-skydive.html

9950 baht for a skydive in Thailand and they even throw in a free parachute to use.

That's approx $310 which is more than 60% of your entire budget.
So that leaves $7 a day for everything else. Impossible unless you live on the streets.

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Posted by xgeneration on 12/8/2012 at 21:41

It is not my intention to start a battle of words, it means nothing to me and doesn't help me to plan my trip. I appreciate your inputs and I respect the fact that you traveled in Thailand many times and I didn't, that's my purpose to start this thread and ask experienced people like you. However, I don't take your attitude kindly. You made your point, my budget is low, so perhaps I should reconsider my budget.

Again, I am not being discriminating regarding gender and age, just to give more background information to the readers so that they can make sounded suggestion. I am sure many people in this forum wouldn't suggest an 80-year-old to take 3rd class overnight train without guarantee seat, even under tight budget.

Cheers.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 12/8/2012 at 21:43

"distinguish between skydiving and parachuting"

I think you are confused with parasailing, another expensive hobby.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 12/8/2012 at 21:45

"However, I don't take your attitude kindly. You made your point, my budget is low, so perhaps I should reconsider my budget"

What attitude? You're the one with the bad attitude. When someone gives you sound advice you don't abuse them.

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Posted by xgeneration on 12/8/2012 at 21:55

My initial thought with the difference of skydiving and parachuting is similar to this link, thought there will be straight parachuting from the cliff or what not. Wasn't referring to parasailing. However, with that kind of price, I might as well do it here in Toronto.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_parachuting_and_skydiving

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Posted by somtam2000 on 12/8/2012 at 21:58 admin

LeonardCohen1 -- I think it's you who has the bad attitude as evidenced by a number of comments on this thread.

Your advise has been given -- let's just leave it at that.

Thanks.

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Posted by xgeneration on 12/8/2012 at 22:32

Anyway, let's get back to the topic, has anyone done travelling from Siem Reap to Trat Province? To any of the Koh Chong, Koh Wai, Koh Mak islands? I like the idea of one of the previous poster, perhaps I can drop Pattaya and do snorkeling and bungalow in Koh Chong for a few days.

Now what will be the better route to take from SR to Trat? Going back to the Thai border at Ayutthaya first or travel to Phnom Penh and go across to Trat?

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Posted by exacto on 12/8/2012 at 22:33

the person currently posting as Leonard has already been banned several times under several different screen names for this same abusive behavior. why wait?

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 13/8/2012 at 08:54

Not abusive at all. Was the only one who gave detailed budget advice. It's no wonder this site is so quiet when people who want to add to the forum and give advice are told to go away.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 13/8/2012 at 08:56

Ayuthaya isn't on the border and is near Bangkok.
Chang and nearby islands are really nice.

(Skydiving is always going to be expensive - u cant operate a small plane cheaply, though it is great fun)

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Posted by exacto on 13/8/2012 at 09:31

if you read the entire thread, you'll see that four people including me have complained about you Leonard, and this is just one thread. you are abusive, even though you aren't intellectually honest enough to admit it. plus, its a cost-benefit analysis: the limited advice you give simply isn't worth wading past the prickly personality that comes with it.

as for the site being quiet? funny thing, but during the times inbetween travelrock and krabiman and longbeach and your other screen names, the activity on the message board has been much higher. i believe that is because people felt free to ask a question without fear of an abusive response from you.

do us all a favor. learn to be nice or go away. thanks.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 13/8/2012 at 09:44

You have made 2 posts here and neither have anything to do with travel. I''m talking about TRAVEL, you are not.

"do us all a favor"

What all 3 of you trying to bully me. No wonder it's so quiet here.

Stop trying to bully me and talk about travel or go away.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 13/8/2012 at 10:04 admin

Back on topic:
Siem Reap to Ko Chang, see this story: https://www.travelfish.org/feature/111 (prices will be somewhat dated but the logistics are pretty much the same)

Leonard etc - it's not about bullying, it's about being civil, which seems to be something you struggle with -- if you're incapable of that then I'd prefer you didn't participate in the forum.

Thanks

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 13/8/2012 at 10:24

" you are abusive, eventhough you aren't intellectually honest enough to admit it"

What is this nonsense? You abuse me with this and don't talk about travel unlike myself who gave more useful budget advice than anyone.

"the limited advice you give"

Actually I give detailed advice and I haven't seen you give any - just bully me.

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Posted by Tilapia on 13/8/2012 at 10:31

Hey xgeneration,

Send me a note using the private message function. You aren't too far away from where I live.

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Posted by xgeneration on 13/8/2012 at 13:54

Somtam, I did read that thread that you mentioned. I also came across someone sugguestion to go through Phnom Penh and cut across to Koh Chong, have you came across any thread on that?

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