Hi I am a 24 M spending about 2 months in Thailand, a mix of touring and volunteering.
I plan to visit a friend for a week in malaysia, but I don't know her schedule. So the beginning and end of this trip is left open.
I am also traveling with a friend. She can only spend about a month with me.
Here is the itinerary:
June 13 - Chiang Mai (3 days to explore before volunteer work)
June 16 to 20 - Chiang Mai volunteer work (committed to these dates)
Jun 21 - Last day in Chiang Mai
June 22 - Travel to Lampang to see ancient capital (1 day)
June 23 and 24 - Travel to Phitsanulok/Sukhothai (2 days)
June 25 and 26 - Mae Sot (2 days)
June 27 to June 29 - Burmese Orphanage volunteering (3 day commitment)
June 30 to July 1- Travel to Ayuthaya (2 days)
July 2 to July 4 - Head to Bangkok but transfer to Kanchanaburi ( 3 days)
July 5 to July 10 - head to Bangkok (6 days), plan on visiting Khao Yai Park
July 11 to July 15 - head to Koh Phangan, with Full Moon party of July 13th! ( 5 days)
July 16 to July 21 - Koh Tao
July 22 - Travel to Ranong to get to Pak Song for Volunteer work
July 23 to July 29 - Volunteer program south of Ranong, must be wednesday to tuesday
July 30 to August 2 - Phuket, day trip to Ko Phi Phi, Phang-Nga day trip, Koh Sok National Park
August 3 - Open to suggestions! Back to Bangkok then somewhere else like Cambodia? Or stay in South and see Krabi or Trang?
The help I need is the following:
How feasible is this trip?
When and where will I be able to train/bus/fly? If someone could add the best ways to travel from place to place, that would be wonderful.
Any adjustments to the days I spend at each location? Any addition places to see?
If I want to spend 3 or 4 days in Cambodia at the end of my trip, where should I go?
Thanks for the help!
#1 jbreyfogle has been a member since 23/1/2014. Posts: 3
2 months in Southeast Asia? I wouldn't plan every second. Plan the 4-5 major things you need to do and choose the dates, then move around without an itinerary when you arrive. No matter how much I plan, I can never follow an itinerary. When you get to your location, information may change. You may meet someone who gives you some advice or tells you of a new place. I'd spend less time planning on "where" and put in some effort to learn basic low level language. A little bit of language will help you 100x more than a good itinerary.
Also, I don't think anyone can answer the question of "where should I go". What do you want to do in Cambodia? You can see Siem Reap for some culture/history or you can drop down south to Kampot and relax in a bamboo hut.
I would not go Kanchanaburi via Bangkok if you're starting in Ayuthaya. Take a bus from Ayuthaya to Suphanburi, and then a bus from Suphanburi to Kanchanaburi. It will take just over 3 hours. Buses leave very frequently. This way you can avoid the Bangkok gridlock and won't have to double-back when you do go to Bangkok and then Khao Yai.
Sangkhlaburi is pretty nice for a couple of nights if you want to continue beyond Kanchanaburi towards the Burmese border.
When going back to Bangkok from Kanchanaburi, the train is a pretty good way to go. It's slower and more expensive than the bus, but it's more interesting and drops you off at Thonburi Railway Station which is walking distance from the Chao Phraya River and two ferry piers where you can get a boat across the river to Banglamphu. Kanchanaburi Railway Station is also walking distance from many of the guest houses near the river. The bus terminal is a bit of a hike.
3 or 4 days in Cambodia at the end? Depends on what you like. Personally, if I'd never been, I'd fly from Bangkok to Siem Reap for 3 or 4 nights.
Good information from Tilapia, as always. Definitely go the back route from Ayutthaya through Suphanburi to Kanchanaburi . By the time you get to that point of your trip, you'll already be an old hand at getting around and this route less taken will be easy and fun. I'd also second Tilapia's suggestion on the train from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok. You travel over some of the same kms of historic track from the WWII era.
You should be able to take long haul trains to Chiang Mai and then again from Bangkok to Surat Thani before you transfer for the boat trip to Koh Phangan. You could also take the train from Lampang down to Phitsanulok, but I'm not sure the train times will be convenient. Otherwise, it looks like you'll mostly be travelling by bus, but you should be okay since your trips will be reasonably short.
You might also look into flying from BKK-Chiang Mai and then again BKK to Surat Thani.
Like Velvet says, you don't want to overplan your itinerary, particularly if you have as long as two months to spend. Have a general idea of where you'd like to go and then just go with the flow. You'll know when the time comes if you want to hang out in Trang and Krabi or head over to Cambodia and Angkor Wat. You can't go wrong either way. Both options are great.
Finally, I'd love to hear how the volunteering gig goes. I've read quite a bit of negative feedback about volunteering too, and I'd like to hear your first-hand report on how it went and what you thought of the experience.
Two months sounds awesome. Have a great time. Regards.