A friend and I will spend 30ish days backpacking up through southern Thailand on our way from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok in May of 2010.
Budget and time constraints are keeping us out of the north unfortunately. We're slow travelers and like to camp (will have tent). We like to walk and trek and aren't really partiers. We don't mind if the resorts are closed as long as there's somewhere to stay and somewhere to eat.
I poked around the forums but didn't see any solid info on where to be in May/June. Are there any good out of the way places this time of year? I know it isn't the ideal time, but it when we'll be there as we work our way home from Africa.
I did find this page detailing that a lot of parks would be closed when we'd be there. Are any of ones open until June worth spending 5-7 days in?
#1 fliplap has been a member since 16/9/2009. Posts: 6
Kaeng Krachan NP in Phetburi/Prachuap provinces would be my first suggestion. Thanks for this list of closed parks -- that's a very useful reference.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,770
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Wow that place sounds great! We'll have just finished up city life in India and KL when we arrive so we'll be looking to get away for a bit before Bangkok and around.
The current, rough and very subject to change, itinerary is:
Arrival Date (Days) - Destination
Apr 28 - Kuala Lumpur (7)
May 7 - Satun ( Ko Tarutao ?) (7)
May 15 - Nakhon Si Thammarat (8)
May 24 - Kaeng Krachan NP (3)
May 28 - Bangkok/Ayutthaya area (9)
June 8 - Fly on
Will Ko Tarutao be too wet to enjoy then? Are we spending too much time in Nakhon Si Thammarat? Are we missing out if we don't schedule in a couple days near Samui or somewhere else touristy? Is 9 days enough time to soak up a bit of Bangkok and see the ruins in Ayutthaya?
We try to leave at least 1 full day of travel between each destination. Is that reasonable? Neither of us has been to Asia - we're used to the 3 or 4 day bus trips between major points in Africa.
Planning all this reminds me of the first train I took in Africa: a fist fight, a gun shot and 4 hours later the train showed up - on fire.
#3 fliplap has been a member since 16/9/2009. Posts: 6
My GF's friend owns a campsite/resort type thing in Kaeng Krachan NP.
Where will u be staying? Maybe i could hook u up!
#4 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180
Yep, that link is real useful - so many of us are thinking Surins, Similans kick off again mid November as per - not Oct 31.
Will Ko Tarutao be too wet to enjoy then?
Nope - not if next May is typical.
May is kinda tricky, because if you look at the stats, most places get a little blip of extra rain compared to surrounding months.
The stats also tell you the places with least rain are the southern Gulf islands (Phangan and neighbours) and Ko Samet.
Other places are normally quite okay to visit even though wet season has usually kicked in, with enough sun to make a beach holiday okay - the only thing you need check is that transport links are still running.
Are we spending too much time in Nakhon Si Thammarat? Are we missing out if we don't schedule in a couple days near Samui or somewhere else touristy?
I've never been to Kakhon, but if it's like other regional capitals I reckon 4 days should be easy enough to see it and the surrounding attractions.
I would spend the other 4 or more (I'd cut a day or two of Bangkok) in the southern Gulf islands - true Samui is largely touristy although there are some nice locations, but neighbouring Phangan and Tao are more traveller oriented and have some very laid back locations.
Great tips, perhaps cutting down on the beaches around Nakhon Si Thammarat and making a stopover in Ko Tao would be nice before hitting the big big city. A lot of our time will be spent lounging on the beach and walking around.
We figured on breaking up the time in Bangkok with a couple days in Ayutthaya - it sounds like there's enough to do there in a couple days if we rent bikes.
#6 fliplap has been a member since 16/9/2009. Posts: 6
I was kinda thinking if it was me I'd also split a few days off Tarutao and stay on Adang, which is part of Tarutao National Park.
I thought it was nicer than Tarutao and I did like Tarutao.
You will blow about an hour travelling across to Adang if the speedboat service Pak Bara-Tarutao-Lipe/Adang is running in May.