Will be arriving in the North of Thailand on July 15th and leaving into Malaysia on the 1st of August and I would like to fit in as many places as possible.
I am keen to make a detailed travel itinerary for when I am there, but am not sure what the best things to there are. If you could give me any suggestions on what you would do in this time I would be hugely appreciated. What are the best things to see and where to go?
Thank you very much for you're time, I look forward to you're suggestions and experience!
With kindest regards,
Plan a Thai village home stay as part of your itinerary in the North.
You will be able to see first-hand, how your money
benefits local communities. A supplementary income
support a better quality of life in a rice farming village.
PM me for the home stay website.
While you're in the north, go to Chiang Mai, take a bus to Mae Hong Son (rent a motorbike, do a little trek and skip Pai), back to CM and make your way down by bus and train, stopping in the historical parks of Si Satchanalai, Ayuthaya and Sukothai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_parks_of_Thailand, you have plenty of time to do this before you go to Bangkok and the beaches!
Hmmn.. you will come here during rainy season.
I think you cannot go some far but beautiful islands in Andaman sea, but you probably can go to some in Thai Gulf.
If you like to go some island, I suggest Samed island, Mun Nok island, Kao island, Youan island, etc.
Anyhow, please check the weather at that time and check info of these islands.
By the way, I agree with ekay about home stay trip. I suggest Pang Ma Phra which is in Mae Hong Son province. The village is still kind of tradition, not commercial.
My favourite islands are Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Phi Phi. Even in the wet season you usually get sunny spells. Like, the last time I was at Koh Phi Phi during the wet season it would be sunny in the mornign then you'd get a total downpour in the late afternoon/evening.
If you like partying try to get to Koh Pha Ngan when a Full Moon Party is on. Thousands and thusand of people on the beach partying all night. These are the dates: June 26th, July 28th, August 25th. If you decide to go to a Full Moon Party though, I'd recommend arriving five days before cs all the accomodation gets booked up if you leave it too late.
I'd also recommend spending a day or two in Kanchanaburi (on the Burmese border) and visiting the Bridge Over The River Kwai, the Jeath Museum and the Death Railway. It's only a couple of hours from Bangkok.
An earlier post mentioned Mae Hong Son, but be careful and check the US Department of State website for warnings. I was held at gunpoint on an overnight hike just outside of Mae Hong Son and we later found out that two other groups disapeared within the two weeks prior to our trip (one japanese group and two italians). Since two people in our group spoke thai, we were able to find out that the reason they left us alone after a bribe and about an hour of negotiating was because they were worried about reprisals from the Thai military because they thought my thai husband might be a spy. The US DofS website had warnings about this area had we looked before hand. By the way, the group that was holding us were Karen, a nomadic hill tribe. Don't get me wrong, I love Thailand but you just have to take more precautions around its boarders and there are a lot of things going on in the Mae Hong Son region (political border disputes, drug, human and jem trafficking).
On your way down South go to Koh Samet Island, very easy and cheap near Rayong, Perfect place for a couple days R & R from a lot of travelling, into Pattaya for a bit of crazy fun night-life and a trip to the Temple of Truth, completely carved out of Teak and still working on it, fascinating.