I am off on a RTW trip in September and am in need of lots of advice.
My itinery is as follows
Thailand - 1 month
Vietnam /Loas/Cambodia - 2 months
Thailand again - 1 month
Australia - 4 months
New Zealand - 3 Months
India - 2 Months
I am starting of in Thailand. Can anyone suggest me an itinery for there. I have thought of Bangkok 3 days, followed by Ko Samui, Ko Phan Nang, Ko Toa, Phuket and the islands around. Maybe followed by Pattaya and back to Bangkok, before going to Loas/Cambodia and onto Vietnam.
Where should i stay in Bangkok? Is it cheap? What should i budget for a day? With regards to the islands what are the best islands to visit?
With regards to Cambodia and Loas, where are the best places to visit, and ebst things to see and do. I know it is cheap as chips here but any advice?
I really would appreciate all the help i can get.
My specialist experiences are in Thailand, so I will not comment on other countries:
If you plan a month in Thailand (Thai standard visa is 30days) so perfect timing, in terms of itinery, I would suggest the following to give you a more balanced visit:
1st Thailand visit:
Bangkok 3 days
Phuket - Krabi - Koh Lanta - Phi Phi Islands - Phang Nga Bay(James Bond Island) - Phuket = 10 days
follow map link:
Phuket - Koh Samui - Koh Phangan - Koh Tao - Hua Hin - Cha Am = 10 days
follow map link:
Cha Am - Pattaya - Koh Samet - Koh Chang - Bangkok = 7 days
follow map link:
if you follow on overall map of Thailand, that gives you a sensible route for your "Beaches Tour"
2nd Thailand visit: (if you arrive by air you get 30day visa, overland 15days !!
Bangkok ? - Chiang Mai - Pai - MaeHongson - Chiang Mai = 21 days
Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai = 3-4 days
Chiang Mai - Ayuttaya - Sukhothai - Bangkok = 4 days
again follow the map for the "Culture Tour".
This will give you a really great visit, and a nice mix of contrasts.
you seem to know a lot about Thailand so I wonder if you can answer my question as well... I'm coming into Thailand via Malaysia so I believe I'll only get a 15 day visa which is fine. I've been looking at the Thai Goverment website and they give me the impression that I might not get a visa at all as I can't prove I'm going to leave again apart from showing them my RTW ticket which says I'm flying out of Hong Kong 4 months later... Is it going to be a problem do you think? And once in the likes of Laos or Cambodia can I go back into Thailand for another 15 days?
your help would be appreciated, Thanks, G.
The Thai Immigration rules state that you SHOULD be in possession of a return air-ticket & so many thousands of Thai Baht, in practice they NEVER check, it is just there so that IF they want to "cut up rough" with someone they officially can do.
In all my experience of travelling to Thailand, in over 30+ visits in 10 years, I HAVE NEVER ONCE been asked to show either return ticket or Thai Baht.
You will be fine, just make sure you are not late leaving Thailand, or you will get a 500thb/day fine, a "ticket", and a ticking off by the immigration staff at the border !!.
If you have further questions, I am always happy to try and help.
That is fantastic, thank you so much for your help. If i could keep using your expertise i would greatly appreciate it.
Can you first help me with Bangkok? As i am travelling on my own i need to plan in detail.
I want a decent hotel but not too pricey for the first couple days then moving onto hostels. Any advice? What are the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days? Thai boxing is a must for me. How much should 3 nights in Bangkok cost me? Should i just turn up or book hotels/hostels in advance.
Also shall i get a train down to the islands? How much will it cost roughly for me to go from Bangkok to Ko Pha nang? I am going to be there start of October for full moon party so will heading there after Bangkok. Is accomodation cheap here? Sorry for the heavy questions but i am so excited i need so much help.
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I visited Thailand once and found it very cheap and the food is sooo spicy and yummy!!
If you are going on a long trip of Thailand then you can take a rented home.
Re: Bangkok hotel & things to do - if I were you I would start a new thread asking specifically the questions you want answering, the more focused your thread, the better quality answers you will get. I have a couple of friends on twitter who I have also asked for their help, so should get more info tomorrow - will update you then.
In terms of visiting the islands, you can either go by train to Surat Thani, then get a bus to Phuket or Samui, train fares are roughly 500thb and takes around 12 hours.
Bus driving times are the same, but prices are slightly lower, by bus you can go either directly to Phuket or again go to Surat Thani & onto Samui.
Services are good, lots of capacity, as you are travelling out of season you should book tickets just a day inadvance.
link to State Railways: http://www.railway.co.th/English/FareRate.asp
Accommodation throughout the South of Thailand starts at around 350thb/night, again if you want specific help, start a new thread - much more direct.
When you want to talk about Chiang Mai, that is where I can help you much more !!
Please feel free to ask further questions, I will always help where I can.
If you check out the following thread, which is a very similar subject to your question, it will help you with accommodation information.