We are getting married June 19th and are planning a honeymoon to South East Asia. We have 3, perhaps 4 weeks to spend. We want a relaxing holiday, so we don't wanna try to see it all, but hope to do the following:
1. A week at a beautiful beach (good snorkling important)
2. Trekking/adventure in national park/jungle
3. Ankor Wat (dreamt of it since I was little..) and perhaps other historic/cultural places
First we thought Southern Gulf Islands (Ko Tao or Samui), Chiang Mai and Siem Reap, but distances are long, and we consider skipping Chiang Mai and go to for instance Khao Sok instead.
But, because of the rainy season we now consider going to Malaysia instead of Thailand - Perhentians or Tioman, and Taman Negara. And AirAsia KL - Siem Reap. But this will probably be more expensive, flights from home to Bangkok are cheaper than to KL and I've heard Malaysia is generally more expensive than Thailand.
Any opinions or alternative ideas will be much appreciated!
#1 maribsa has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 7
I'm a Tioman fan - Panuba Inn has your ask on a budget thru to lower midrange price level - Paya Beach will do the same more upmarket.
Tioman has also got some pretty good trekking thru the rainforest/over the hills between the beaches.
But note that the southern Gulf islands have the same climatic pattern as Tioman/Perhentians - wet season normally doesn't kick in until Oct.
Out of Samui/Phangan/Tao, the latter has the best snorkelling - for good snorkelling off the sand, outstanding views and a flashpacker-midrange standard google Ko Nangyuan Dive Resort (non-divers welcome).
Thanks for your advice! So weather shouldn't be the decisive factor when deciding between the beach destinations then.
But what about Khao Sok? Anybody been there in July? Toooo wet? And does anybody think we'll make a fundamental error by skipping northern Thailand?
#3 maribsa has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 7
Um, Khao Sok. Well it does stay open wet season, but the highest part of the isthmus does catch a lot of rain that time of year.
Going is up to you - but if you take the Lake Trip, maybe stay away from the cave walk - some travellers were caught by a flash flood after a storm several wet seasons back and a lot of them didn't make it.
Can't help you on north Thailand - except as a weather nerd I know it is normally not as wet as further south. Me, if I wanted to see it that time of year, I would.
Thailand has the "Sanook" thing going (concept of fun, playfulness) whereas Malaysia IMHO is missing out. Whenever I go down to Malaysia and come back to Thailand, even right at the border the Sanook vibe returns - people smile and relax more than their too-serious southern cousins.
June is a fine time to come up north to Chiang Mai and vicinity. Just be sure to get out of the city to somewhere like Chiang Dao or Thaton or Mae Hong Son . I recommend a couple nights at Chiang Dao Nest http://nest.chiangdao.com about 70km north of Chiang Mai. Or if you head out to Pai and Mae Hong Son stop in between at the small town of Soppong which has the superb Cave Lodge http://cavelodge.com. I was just there a couple weeks ago and would go back longer next time. Nice bungalows tucked into a hillside overlooking a small river, and a huge hanging-out space with good food and peaceful vibe.
Khao Sok NP is also excellent, but bring your umbrella it's just about the wettest spot in Thailand which is why it's so lush and green. The park headquarters at the park entrance has trekking guides for hire, and you'd want to spend at least a day or two out on the lake, preferably sleeping in one of the floating raft huts. Google "Tone Toey Khao Sok" for more info. Also check out Art's Riverview Lodge http://krabidir.com/artsriverviewlodge/index.htm.
With 4 weeks I'd do something like fly bangkok to Siem Reap, spend a few days at Angkor, then fly to Surat Thani via Bangkok and hit Ko Phangan or Ko Samui for a week then boat back to the mainland and a few days at Khao Sok with at least one night near the park entrance and on the lake, then come up to Chiang Mai and the far north for a full week.