Me and my girlfriend have our hearts set on backpacking from Bangkok to the islands and Cambodia this November 2013 we have never done this and we are both very excited about it after some brief research we found the weather varies on the different islands around this time we want to catch as much sun as possible and see some beautifull deserted islands party and see some culture in Cambodia any suggestions on which islands will be the best in November as my girlfriend is now concerned about the weather mainly the word monsoon any help will be greatly appreciated thanks Kevin and jacey
Forgot to add the dates where traveling from the 5th of nov until the 5th of December our plan is to spend a few days in Bangkok khao San road pick some people's brains sleeper train to the south catch a ferry to the islands back to Bangkok then fly into Cambodia visit the Angkor temples quad bike stay a few nights there was gonna do a few islands there but not sure about the weather there back to Bangkok maybe kanchamabari ? Bangkok them home?? Does this sound achievable and any other suggestions would be great
In November the Andaman Coast islands in Thailand are great weather-wise. Here's some further reading to help narrow down your choice as there are quite a few islands to choose from:
Thai islands for nature lovers
Thai islands to lose yourself on
Andaman Sea Island hopper
And there is a BUNCH of stories on these islands on the Thailand blog here
Kanchanaburi will also be good in Nov.
For the Cambodian islands, this piece should be your starting point.
Weatherwise -- all the above will be brilliant in November.
You've got a month, so I'd suggest, read the above links to get an idea of what islands work for you. Pick two in Thailand, one in Cambodia.
Arrive Bangkok, hang out. 2 days
Train/plane/bus to the south and see the two islands you've settled on, then back to Bkk. 12 days
Kanchanaburi 2 days
Fly to Siem Reap, see Angkor Wat 2 days
Overland to Phnom Penh hang out 1 day
Overland to Sihanoukville overnight then to island of choice 3 days
Transfer back to Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, flight back to Bangkok and exit.
There goes a month!
Too rushed? Drop either Kanchanaburi or maybe the Cambodian islands - difficult call. Would advise flying some legs to save time and given how far in advance you are planning you'll brobably get some very very good fares with AirAsia and the other low cost carriers.
Hope that helps.
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,770
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The area which usually gets the most rain in November is the lower gulf of Thailand (Ko Tao, Ko Phangan, Ko Samui). Meanwhile November usually spells the end of the SW monsoon season so things should be drying out on the west coast and north of Thailand and Cambodia. The transition to dry season can be quite gradual so maybe a few late-day thundershowers but increasing chance of sunny weather toward December. No need to fear the word "monsoon" it is a fact of life here in the tropics, and those sudden short showers can be refreshing.
I wouldn't let the weather affect your plans too much.
As Bob says, a good downpour can often bring some much needed relief from the heat. It can also be quite romantic, kicking back on one's balcony with a refreshing cocktail in one hand and the missus in the other while the rain crashes all around.
#5 ProfessorFart has been a member since 18/1/2013. Posts: 8
Ditto the 3 above. Gotta add that the southern Gulf's wetter November is usually not too bad but every now and then (about one year in 4/5, not necessarily on a regular basis) this area has a shocker with prolonged rain and wind - prolonged rain is not real common in a normal Thai wet season: all my wet season trips have seen plenty of sunshine between the showers/storms and never a full day lost to rain.
I have to add that if I really really wanted to see Samui, Phangan and Tao in November I wouldn't hesitate - hell, that was the situation on my first Thailand trip and I got real good weather.
Note anecdotally and statistically wet season tends to end in the eastern Gulf earlier - so places like the Ko Chang islands and Ko Samet may be the safest in early November.
Snag is that Samet and Chang get rammed with cheapskate Russkies in November young Terrence....although some of the crumpet is of the highest quality.
#7 ProfessorFart has been a member since 18/1/2013. Posts: 8
guys thanks so much for this info proffesorfa-rt cracke dme up cocktail in one hand missus in the other admin that info is brilliant after research most of what you said i have found to be the same but hearing from people who have been is reassuring to hear should ease her worries a bit our plan is a bit different where thinking bangkok for 3 nights
sleeper train to phuket 1night there no more heard its a bit of a nightmare
then onto phi phi for 2nights inc day trip to maya bay
then onto ko lantra for 3 nights
then make the trek to ko lipe for 5 nights
then either back to mainland somehow and acorss to
ka tao and koh phangan
back to surat thani to fly to bangkok
stay there for a few nights recoup
then the mission to cambodia by land train taxi and all that polava
2 3 nights seeing the temples and sunrise
then down to ko chang
and maybe 1 other before heading to bangkok for the last few nights
if all permiting somehow fit in a trip to kanachamburi or however you spell it
we really love the cheap nothing to do vibe so im gonna look into the other island to loose yourself on link probabaly gonna make a few ammendments along the way but any advice is appreciatted guys
May I recommend that you delete the days staying at a location. I agree the idea of ambling along the the coast from Bangkok to Trat is a good idea (since you want to go to Cambodia), crossing into Cambodia and heading to Siem Reap and from there to PP and then fly back to Bangkok for you flight. But if you build this fixed itinerary with days at each place, in a way you are defeting the purpose. SEA is about chilling more than anything else. Following a tight schedule isn't chilling.