I am currrently booked to fly in and out of Bangkok for 3 weeks. I am a 22 year old male from Canada travelling alone. I would certainly like to see the southern islands of Thailand, and am also thinking about seeing Vietnam, Cambodia and perhaps Laos. What do you guys recommend in terms of other countries, btw I am not that keen on any kind of lengthy bus rides, and the airfare seems somewhat steep. As well I am a little confused as to the visa requirements of some of these countries too.
As well, seeing as I am flying into and out of Bangkok, where do you recommend staying, I am looking for something quiet, yet close to the tourist places, and perhaps near the skytrain. I also arrive very late into BKK, so a safer area would likely be better as well. Thanks
#1 shore9 has been a member since 4/10/2007. Posts: 17
With three weeks I'd maybe pick one country out of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and spend the rest of the time in Thailand. If you don't like buses, you could fly to Phnom Penh (I love it!) cheap with Air Asia and then see some of Cambodia. Visa on arrival no problem, 20 $. I believe there's affordable flights to Vietnam too, but I haven't been so can't comment on that.
For going to the southern islands you can use the comfortable and affordable trains.
For Bangkok, if you want to stay at a very central location, right next to the National Stadium Skytrain station, have a look at the places on Soi Kasem San 1 listed here on Travelfish ("Siam Square and surrounds" in the Bangkok entry). A very safe area and most of the guesthouses are surprisingly quiet too considering the location. Many of the "tourist places" are further west near Banglamphu, but then there's no Skytrain there.
I have heard mixed reviews about getting a passport on arrival into Cambodia. Would 10 days or so be enough to see the islands in the south, perhaps 4 or 5 days in BKK and then the rest in Cambodia, visiting Phnom Penh, Siam Reap and the surrounding areas?
#3 shore9 has been a member since 4/10/2007. Posts: 17
I don't know what you mean by mixed reviews, but visa (though not passport :)) on arrival is available at the international airports and most overland crossings. If crossing by land you will most likely have to pay a bit more than 20 $ though, due to corruption.
Anyway, that plan sounds good to me.
Visa on arrival, as Lother says, is straightforward - particularly if you're flying in.
Also agree with their suggestion to pick one country and save the others for another trip.
Another option would be to take a cheap flight from Bangkok to Hanoi (start at US$40 with Thai AirAsia) and spend a cople of weeks kicking around northern Vietnam -- Ha Long Bay, Sapa, relaxing in Hanoi...
Re ten days in the islands, you don't say when you're coming, but be sure to check our Thai weather map to check your beach days will be dry and sunny.