Hi there, first post on Travellers Point.
I was wondering for those who have been to Thailand- do you think 5 and a half weeks is too long to spend travelling around the country?
Also any recommendations of things to do/see and places to stay?
Thanks for any help
There's people who go to Thailand and never leave so five and a half weeks wouldn't be nearly long enough for some people. It depends entirely on your personal travel style what is too long or short short. Remember you have lots of nearby countries that are simple to reach too.
Can't give recommendations when you give no clue as to your budget, likes/dislikes, time of year you're visiting, interests, etc. but since Thailand is one of the most popular backpacking destinations on the planet it is covered in great detail by a multitude of guide books. Do some minimal research then come back with more specific questions.
Well you will need a tourist visa for your length of time in Thailand. You must get this ahead of time.
Some tourists would find 2 months not enough and others would include a side trip to another country for part of this time period.
Some tourists are satisfied by plunking down in a hotel and just relaxing on the front veranda for the entire time. Usually in an area where there is cheap hotels, good restaurants, malls, doctors and cheap transportation. Maybe a cheap beach area like Pattaya. (Crappy beach but some hotels have pools.) Some tourists use their time for dental work cheaper than back home. Some are happy hitting beer bars and other nightlife. Some travelers want to see every temple in Thailand! Then there are tourists who only visit beaches and ignore everything else.
Buy or borrow a travel guide on Thailand. See what interests you. What you do depends on your budget. Thailand does have some cheap transportation allowing you to get from top to bottom pretty easy. But 1 hour on a plane beats 12 hours on a bus or train! (Thailand is larger than the U.K.)
You can get to Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia overland. There are discount airlines available that can fly you around, sometimes not much more than the price of a train ride.
Read over some of the old posts on Thailand for additional help. (Where you stay depends on your daily budget.) You can find a hotel with A/C, private bathroom, TV and maid service from 600 baht a night to 6000 baht per night.
[ Edit: Edited on 11-May-2014, at 19:11 by karazyal ]
Thanks CheersT and karazyal for your replies! I'm on a backpacker to medium-range budget; travelling in a couple. Going to be there for all of July and some of August. I'd like to see some of the culture but also activities such as diving etc.
Have either of you been to Chang Mai or Pai- looking at some of the treks but there's a bewilderingly large selection?!
I just spent two weeks in Chang Mai last January. I didn't do any treks but I did a pile of motorcycling throughout Northern Thailand and crossed into Myanmar. (On foot, wasn't allowed to take the bike across the border.)
It was a fabulous time and the bike gave easy access to way off the beaten path places with no tourists.
5 and a half weeks is plenty of time to be able to explore different areas of thailand as it is so easy to travel around with sleeper trains, overnight ferries, buses, etc.
Koh Tao is the cheapest place to dive in thailand, has beautiful beaches some busy, some quiet.
Pai and Chiang Mai are great for culture, there were very few tourists in Pai when I visited in April just after Songkran. Pai was great for quiet bike rides and walking, perhaps visit the viewpoint. Chiang Mai has great things to visit Temples, Hot Springs, Markets, etc but is also great for activities e.g. visiting a cooking school, trekking, flight of the gibbons, elephant sanctuaries (be wary of which "sanctuary" you choose).
If you pass by phuket, which is obviously very touristy, but easy to travel to Koh PhiPhi from, I reccommend staying at Bodega Hostel, the guys who run it are the best and it's such a friendly place.
Hope this is helpful to you :-) Anything else you want to know about, feel free to ask!
Major cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and Hua Hin you can sign on to tours through travel agencies. Some hotels may have tour desks too.
Stop in a travel agency and look over their tour choices. The tour company will pick you up at your hotel front door. Bring you back at the end of the tour. In Chiang Mai you have some treks where you are driven to a drop off point and they pick you up after a short walk/trek. Some are overnight. You decide.
From Chiang Mai "Orchid and Butterfly" tours and "Golden Triangle" tours are available. From Chiang Rai you can visit Don Sao island in Laos.