Myself and my boyfriend are travelling to Asia in August, were hoping to fly to Bangkok and we want to travel around for 3 months then go to Australia flying to Sydney from Singapore possibly to work for a year.
I'm just wondering does anyone have any good route ideas that will make our money go further. Or how much would you need realistically for 3 months in Asia?
Bangkok>Pattaya>Koh Samui>Koh Phangan>KL>Singapore ]
I heard this route is quite good!!
Hey, it really depends where you want to visit in aisa? I am not sure who told you that route is good - it certainly wouldn't be my 1st choice. I am currently in Thailand (chiang mai) and have been here since 28th dec. I was meeeting friends for new year and going to th full moon party so we flew bangkok-koh samui then ferry to koh phangan which took just over an hour. We stayed on the haad rin beach where the full moon party takes place this is definately not the nicest beach on that island - very very dirty due to the partying so i would suggest visiting the other beaches around the island (I did not...) but i have heard there are nicer and much quieter beaches on the island.
I then went to Koh Samui and spent 6 nights here again i stayed in a touristy spot with my friends - chaweng and i don't recomend it, i thought the place was smelly, cramped and over priced, but again i have heard the less touristy spots are much nicer - do your research.
Then I went to Koh Tao for just over a week and loved it - actually paradise, I stayed at buddha view diving resort (you dont need to be diving to stay here) in Chalok Ban - lovely white beaches, excellent areas for snorkelling at freedom beach and the waters are torquoise-green clear! so so nice, could have stayed for longer. Little more expensive than the other islands i mentioned but its worth it, if you stay here i definately recomend the chalok ban side much nicer than the other side where shark bay is, if you stay in chalok ban you must go to Tukta restaurant - the best thai food ever especially the pad thai so so so good!! and very cheap.
I would budget £100 a week (this can last you a bit longer depenidng on what you do) thats about 1000 baht aday - ive not been spending a 1000 baht a day ive been spending less unless im doing some attraction! but that £100 a week will cover food, accom, local transport and some activities.
if you are staying for 3 months in asia i would definately recomend either heading over to the west coast - krabi/phuket/phi phi island as it is meant to be gorgeous but again more expensive and i highly recomend you go north thailand and visit chiang mai - its so so cheap and everyone is so friendly!! there is also a lot to do - treks, elephant camps where you can help out, tiger kingdom (i went here and loved it animals are treatwd very well, not tied up or anything really enjoyed that day), thai cookery course (i recomend the best thai cookery school - the chef/owner - permpoon is hillarious)...after that you should maybe see about heading to laos for a couple weeks, then visit cambodia and then maybe vietnam.
You really need to do some research find out where you want to go and what you want to see. As for pataya ive heard no good things and th elocals all tell me it is run by the mafia and its quite a sleazy/expensive place!
That £100 a week is for thailand only im not sure of other places but i would presume laos/cambodia/vietnam is cheaper than thailand - and you could easily visit these places in 3 months i would recomend - i have spent a month in thailand by the time i leave though!
Hi Ashleigh87, your post was really helpful to me! I am struggling to come up with route i want to take in Thailand and this has made it a lot clearer to me! many thanks
Thanks so much for you're advice. Were just about to book our tickets soon and I'm trying to get an idea money wise how much money I will need. Also we have a few months to plan all we need to do. I'm going to research it as much as I can. I would like to do Laos, Cambodia and KL.
Also definitely doing the full moon party. There is one on 2nd week in August I think were gonna go to. Did you stay near where it was?
I would like to go to a thai cookery school too, I heard there really good. The diving resort sounds amazing and something I think we would like to do.Did you do all this over ground on buses? Are you staying in hostels?
Appreciate all the advice given!!
Hey - no worries.
Kl there isnt much to do - Id say 5 days tops for there. Cambodia about 2-3 weeks, vietnam probably 3-4 weeks, thailand at least 4-5 weeks and laos agaian 2-3 weeks - that should give you time enough to see everything you want to and if you want to stay longer in bits then you can!
I stayed on the haad rin beach which is where the full moon party takes place, i stayed at palita lodge and highly recomend them reallly nice!! Coral bungalows meant to be good too - not sure about the other side of the island, does not matter if you dont stay on that beach, just stay on the island though as getting back to your own island can be a nightmare, but if you stay at other beaches its just a short ride away!
Ive not stayed in hostels in thailand just guesthouses. You definately can't use buses to get to other islands..haha...you need to use ferrys! So koh phangan - koh samui was a ferry and koh samui to koh tao is another ferry. Most people head Koh Phangan - Koh Tao - Koh samui and leave the islands from there either to go to the west coast or travel north.
To get to bangkok - i went to Chumpon and caught a 7 hour bus ride, to get to chiang mai i got a train which lasted a horrific 15.5 hours due to too manyd elays - should have taken 12 hours, i dont recomend doing this through the day definately get the overnight sleeper train which is what im suing to head back to bangkok tomo.
May-October is monsoon soon, so ferrys etc could be delayed due to the weather but ive been told the showers can last for 2 hours to a few days so just got to chance it i guess!!
Unfortunately theft is a growing problem in Asia, but by using a bit of common sense you'll most likely be able to avoid any problems.
Money belts are the most popular way to protect valuables like passports, travellers cheques and credit cards.
In looking for a money belt (they're mostly worn around the waist) look for one made of lightweight material (silk is good) that will not sweat up in the Asian heat and humidity. Also make sure the clasp is sturdy. Multiple zipper-sealed pockets are handy. Lastly, make sure that the money belt is reasonably easy for you to access -- there's nothing worse than a belt that needs to be taken off to be opened!
Money belts can also be purchased in a pouch style that is worn around the neck. While equally popular, we'd lean towards recommeneding a waist belt as they are more secure, if slightly less comfortable.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Here's a travel budget calculator
I stay in hostels in Australia and NZ, but in Asia, guesthouses are better. The YHA hostel in Bangkok and Penang (Malaysia) cost more than the guesthouse.
Price for accommodation is dependent on what your requirements are. For example - for 21 nights in Thailand and Laos accommodation for me is around $525, plus two overnight trains. That's with air con and private bathroom facilities, and television. And except for four nights, they all include breakfast.
A fan room is cheaper, but I'd recommend one with air con. Change your currency when your arrive in Thailand, you'll get better rates. If I had three months to travel in Asia, I'd want to see more than the beaches, there is so much more to Thailand than over-populated, touristy islands covered in umbrellas. Pattaya isn't all that great - lots of expats, ping-pong girls, go go bars and bar girls. Which is why it's very popular with Western male tourists - you'll see plenty of old white blokes with young Thai girls on their arm.
In your time frame you could easily see the the northern provinces and a number of other places. The "classic" route is something along the lines of BKK>Kanchanaburi>Chiang Mai>Chiang Rai, then either back to BKK or on to Chiang Khong and across the border to Laos.
[ Edit: Edited on 30-Jan-2011, at 01:58 by Araluen ]