I have recently got back from travelling all around europe and cannot wait to go off travelling again! I have always wanted to go to Thailand as so many people do and have been doing abit of reading about it recently and i think it is where i am going to plan to go next. Now having done research though i have realised how many interesting places there are out that way and want to expand on just Thailand. But i don't know how exactly to go about planning it all out and would really appreciate some tips and advice. I will be 20 summer and at the moment it looks like i will be setting off alone. I will have a budget of 3/4 grand, maybe a bit more.
Josh, to some degree it also depends on how many days you are going to take and what time of the year, rainy season versus dry season. My favorite time of the year is end of Sept through November, just after the rainy season when everything is lush and green.
If you have the time I would spend a couple days in Bangkok, and you can do this on the way in or out. See the sights in the city, Grand Palace, a must. Wat Po, Chinatown, the Sunday Market if there on the weekend etc..
Then I would head north, do a few days through the north, Chiang Mai, Chinag Dao, Chinag Rai or do the loop if you have enough days. Here like any big city you'll find it more relaxing outside of Chiang Mai.
We usually head south, great debates over the east versus the west coast, and agin, sometimes it does matter the season as it rains less on oen side than the other during certain seasons. We love the west coast, the Andaman side. We love the Khao Lak area just north of Phuket. We find the beaches better and the water better, not sure that I could explain why either. One of the reasons we find the west side better is it is more relaxing, less touristy and crowded. Also you have better access to Thailand's national parks system. We love to trek through the jungle and there are some great waterfalls that you can swim in and cool off. They are also usually vitually deserted of people. You can wander for hours and not see anyone else. This includes some of their beaches also.
We usaully head back into Bangkok for a couple days prior to heading out on a long flight back.
Pretty general but if you have the time I would try and shoot for no less than 3 weeks.
Thailand is great, but for a different perspective you should see Indochina too. I like Vietnam myself (many hate the place), but I prefer the simplicity/honesty/friendliness of the Vietnamese over the Thais. It's more than just a place to vacation, it's a new lifestyle experience. No one on this or other forums can coach you on where to go properly - you have to go and experience this yourself. Don't rush - SE Asia should be experienced slowly!
- SE Asia should be experienced slowly!
OH yea - my travel style - i explore one country at a time - this is especially true for SE Asia