I am new to Travellerspoint and i have read a few threads by enthusiastic travelers.
I want to share with you my itinerary as i'm overly eager to start it (within a few days)
This will be my once in a lifetime opportunity to go backpacking alone and i have decided to do it Thailand. Why only once? Its personal. But i can honestly say that there will be no 2nd backpacking experience for me.
I have read many online blogs and watch numerous youtube channels. I have only 3 full weeks for vacations to use and I plan on experiencing the whole backpacking experience. If i wanted leisure, i could do it on any other trips.
I will be staying at hostels throughout my trip
Day 1-3, i will visit bangkok (temple visit, floating market, eating lots)
Day 4, i will still be in bangkok for the day but will be taking an overnight bus/ferry to Koh Tao where i will be doing an open water diving course for 4 nights/5 days. i will also do sight seeing and explore the connecting island up north of koh tao.
Day 9 i will leave for koh phangan (full day in k.p)
day 10: i will leave for koh samui (full day in k.s)
day 11: i will leave for krabi (half day in krabi)
day 12: island hoping in krabi and maybe go take a quick longtail back and forth to railay
day 13: leaving krabi and go to phi phi island (explore the famous southern phi phi island of the "beach")
day 14: leave for phuket and flight to chiang mai
day 15: rent a scooter and go to pai
day 16. travel around pai and visit the canyon
day 17: bus back to chiang mai
day 18: train ride to bangkok
day 19: day trip to Ayutthaya and back to bkk
day 20/21 in BKK to explore further (and leave room for error in case any of the cities i've visited delayed me.
day 22: leave thailand
I know you all will say that i'm going to spend most of my time on transportation and not enough time exploring. To be honest, everyone is right. I have plan for this trip for over 2 years. Originally, i splanned on staying a few days in one city/town and was reduce to visiting only a few places. However, i just couldnt' resist visiting them all.
Again, this will be my one and only backpacking experience. i wanted to stay at hostels, travel on trains, buses and scootering as well.
The only thing in this trip that i could remove is the island hopping in krabi. The incentive on that is snorkeling.
I also left a few days in bangkok just to ensure i have plenty time to be back in bangkok before my return flight.
Please let me know what you all think
Many tourists do rent motorbikes and nothing happens. But every now and then they end up seriously hurt or dead. Have a proper license. Some bike rental places will rent with a dog license but when in an accident you will be wrong without proper license. Current drivers license for your own country plus International Drivers License. (IDL) Even experienced riders end up dead. Thailand is not a place to learn how to use a bike!
Bangkok is cheaper than many good beach areas. Bangkok has good cheap transportation (Chiang Mai is also cheaper than Phuket.)
After Bangkok not so many hostels. There are more today than 10 years ago but sometimes you may end up using a cheap guest house for convenience and better location.
You are an adult so the decisions you make you live with. Since there are no little kids with you staying in dodgy places only affects you.
You may end up modifying some of the places you visit because you meet up with new friends or in some cases fall in love with some cutie you meet in a bar. If you do travel with random people you meet always keep an eye on your valuables, passport and money!
Research scams to avoid! (Palace closed, bus scams, rent bikes and watercraft scams, etc.)
Right now is low season for hotel prices. Some rain and heat issues common to this time of the year. Many tourists like to visit this time of year to save money. Rainy season makes the plant life look more alive too. (For beach areas research surf and other conditions that affect safety.)
Have a credit card for emergencies that may come up. (Such as hit by a bus, fall off a bike, eat bad food, etc.) Maybe have some sort of insurance good for medical care overseas. If you are using a debit card for available cash have more than one card. Lose one single card or have it stolen or even crack it you will be out of spending money. Notify your bank that you will be using their cards in Thai ATMs before you leave home. Otherwise your withdrawal may be suspected of fraud when cash is requested from overseas suddenly. In Thailand cash is king! If you do bring cash stick with the largest denominations you can find. This will save room in your wallet. No old currency, no dirty or torn bills, no writing on the money. (I do not use debit cards in Thailand for cheap purchases, I use Thai baht for cheap purchases.)
Change your currency in Thailand for better rates. Most Western currencies no problem finding banks and small bank run money changers to change money. Thailand is very accommodating for changing money. Many bank kiosks open 7 days a week with good hours into the evening. Bank money changers available at the airport 24 hours a day. (There is a fee to use an ATM so take out the maximum you can at one time. The fee is the same for a small amount or the maximum you can withdraw.) For some remote destinations maybe get some money ahead of time. Rates are not fixed and can change more than once in a day.
Have copies of your passport information pages, copy the Visa stamp page too. Keep copies separate from your passport. Safeguard your passport and do not get it wet! (I keep mine in a waterproof container. Even sweat will make some of the ink stamps run and blur.)
(Look at a map of Thailand and Google up time required to get from place to place.)
Suggest you book only your first two or three nights in Bangkok to allow adjustments to your itinerary. Finding accommodations won't be a problem.
Also suggest that you go online to double-check ferry, train, bus and flight schedules to your destinations. Also, double-check the schedules once you're there. That's important, since your proposed itinerary leaves little, if any, room for delays and error.
Please note that there is a 6-hour time difference between London and Bangkok. Most people need some adjustment to account for the time difference ("jet lag"). Good luck!
Couple of points to your trip to factor in..
- Boat journeys can take between 1-5 hours so that will eat into your trip journeys.
- Ko Phangan is a dirty island and I would only recommend to go if you are going to a full moon party.
- Koh Lanta is amazing and you can pick up a cheap hut by the beach, I also heard koh tao is amazing, which I missed but will be going on my trip at the end of the year.
- Day 14/15, to fly to Chiang Mai and then get from the airport to the city and then organise a bus to Pai (which is 4-6 hours on a bus) and they only leave in the morning will be highly impossible.
- Day 16. travel around Pai and visit the canyon - Also visit the waterfall
I'm in the same situation as you, but a little less time.. I.e. explore Vietnam in 14 days!
No doubt your plan will change, enjoy your trip.
Also... Buses run like absolute clockwork so no issues there and I would recommend to buy a Thai sim card and top it up.. Couple of 100Baht .. Use the data and download either Hostelworld or booking.com... You can search for hostels whilst on the road and book in advance (And read reviews) so you know where is good to stay.