Hello! Me and my friend are planning a trip around Thailand and Cambodia (3th ofJuly - 5th of August). Our plan is first to stay in BKK for about a week and after that spend about 1 week in Northern Thailand, 1 week in Southern Thailandand 1 week in Cambodia.
And here's the plan. In our first week in BKK and its neighbourhood we would check outtiger's temple (Kanchanaburi) and Erawan's waterfalls. Is it better to take an organised daily trip orto go alone? What else would be worth seeing on the way there?
The next week we would take the sleeping train to Chiang Mai. There we would go trekking for about 3-4 days. What do you recommend? Because there are a lot of offers and not all are probably good. What are some good agencies offering trekking? And is it better going on a trekking in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai? We would also like to join monks in a temple for a few days (approx. 3). Does anyone have any experience regarding that? Which temple would be good to join and is it necessary to apply in advance? If we go to Chiang Mai, should we also go to Chiang Rai? Because these two cities are supposed to be quite similar.
Then we would go to village Pai. From the description it looks very funky :). Does anyone know of another similar place, that is more ''bohemian''?
On the third week we would go to the South on the islands. We heard that Phuket is nothing special and that people visiting it were mostly disappointed. So we are more likely to go on the Eastern islands - Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. Is it possible to surf and snorkel during monsoon season? Which are the other islands worth visiting on the South?
On the last week we are flying with AirAsia form BKK to Phnom Pehn and then going to Siem Reap and Angkor temple. Then we return back to BKK. How many days should we spend in Cambodia and what else should we visit beside mentioned? We are flying to Cambodia and returning to BKK with trains/buses.
We are students and we would like to make this trip as non-tourist and authentic aspossible. We would like to come in contact with the real lifestyle of Thailand and Cambodia. So we would ask for any advice on what is worth visiting in each country (of course we won't avoid all the tourist hot spots, but we would mostly like to find out about less known and interesting things to check out).
Do you recommend any good and interesting guesthouses?
Thank you very much for your answers! :)
the tiger temple - i haven't been there, but read that the tigers were drugged therefore so tame. not sure, need confirmation, if true i won't want to contribute to this.
Thailand has many attractive places to go, and always not enough time :-) Your itinerary is quite packed, but I'd like to add one place: Sukhothai - best ancient temple site in Thailand.
as for cambodia, if you only have 7 days, then PP and SR would be enough, don't add more or it'd be too rush. can consider going from PP to Battambang, then take the boat trip to SR on the Tonle Sap lake - quite a worthy experience.
Tiger temple is terrible in Kanch. The one near Chiang Mai is supposed to be a lot better. Think it's called the Tiger Kingdom.
You say you want non touristy spots then list all the mega touristy spots you want to visit.
If Bohemian means pretentious then yes Pai is that. Though the Lot Cave is very good 1 hour north of there.
If you want non touristy but interesting spots I would suggest Ubon/Khong Chiam, Koh Chang/Kood and Trang in the south. Chang is moderately touristy but not overdone like a lot of the places you listed.
"We heard that Phuket is nothing special and that people visiting it were mostly disappointed. So we are more likely to go on the Eastern islands - Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. Is it possible to surf and snorkel during monsoon season? Which are the other islands worth visiting on the South?"
Krabi is better than all of those places. Lots of snorkeling and kayaking tours and yes they operate year round and it's cheaper in low season. The Trang islands of Muk and Ngai are very nice.