I have 3 weeks off work at the end of April and want to go experience Thailand. I did Australia last year for 5 months alone and loved it. I am a little scared of Thailand as it is a bit of a different culture experience but I think I can do the challenge again alone, can't find anyone to go with me around that time. My plan is to arrive in Bangkok then go up to Chiang Mai and then down to Ko Phi Phi. I don't really want to be hustling all over the place. Can anyone suggest any itineraries for 3 weeks...
Your itinerary will depend on what you like and we're all different.
April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand. It is also very busy so book rooms and flights before arriving. AirAsia is a basic budget airline which is booked online and increasingly in a number of offices (in Tesco malls, etc).
I would leave Bangkok to last because it is one big shopping centre and if you buy stuff there you don't want to carry it all around Thailand with you.
There are many sites with example itineraries like Travelfish. Check a regular LP guide, not the new discovery ones. Figure out what you really want to see or do then ask us so we can really help you.
Thailand should be cheaper than Australia unless you were living with relatives.
My advice is to spend a few days in Bangkok right in the beginning. You do not have to buy any tourist items during that time. But you could arrange your flights, train rides or bus rides to other places. Also, the hotel you stay at may hold some items for you expecting you to book another night with them before you fly home. In Thailand local travel agencies provide tours, find one today leave the following morning. Very easy and not too expensive. They pick up at your hotel and return you there. Same for Chiang Mai.
Too many travelers fly into Bangkok and then try to immediately fly out to another city. Then they run into connecting times between flights, or looking for hotels near airports because they foolishly booked the earliest flight of the day instead of sleeping in a little. See Bangkok, do some tours, get some sleep if you want - play tourist!
From the airport you have excellent transportation, at least up to midnight, after midnight you have the public taxi at that time. You have the Airport Bus, local buses and now the new Airport Rail Link. A hotel near the Skytrain route will make it easy for you to get around Bangkok.
Bangkok, Chiang Mai and a visit to some beach area and back to Bangkok sounds okay. When you have a budget figured out and know how much per night you want to spend on hotels you can ask for recommendations in that price range. Don't say cheap! Use a baht figure. Wait until you get to Thailand to change any money over. Notify your banks if you intend to use credit or debit cards in Thailand. If you don't tell your bank that you will be overseas they may not authorize any ATM withdrawals. By the way, travelers checks are also easy to cash in Thailand. The fee to use an ATM is 150 baht and the fee to cash a travelers check is 33 baht.
You have some time to work things out and get help with specific questions. One popular method to get to Chiang Mai is to use the overnight sleeper train. If you go with the train get the ticket as soon as you get to Bangkok. Many Thais speak enough English for you to get your point across. You could also purchase a cheap English to Thai dictionary in Bangkok when you need a more specific word. There are many internet shops, good restaurants serving Western and Thai specialties. You should have a nice holiday in Thailand.
Haha wow your itinerary sounds exactly like mine. I'll be coming in from Laos around the beginning of April and spending a week in Bangkok, a week in Chiang Mai and a week down south in the Phuket/Ko Phi Phi area. What area do you plan on being in for Songkran- thai new year. I've been looking into the best place and it seems to be a toss up between Chaing Mai and Bangkok. Chiang Mai partying longer. I think I might just stick around Bangkok for the new year's as the idea of getting doused with water for more than one day doesn't bode well with me haha.
I will be flying into Bangkok on the 20th April and travelling round Thailand for 2 months so could meet up and discuss some travel plans or just have a few drinks somewhere.
Let me know