In Thailand for 60 days then onto Malaysia for 2 weeks, from September until November this year.
Haven't got much of a clue where to go and how long I should spend in each place... But on the recommended list so far is;
Bangkok (not for long, heard its chaotic!)
have anyone got any recommendations of where to go, and how long I should spend? I want a bit of everything, local culture, adventure, activities and them relaxing days lounging at the beach :D Also I haven't looked into travelling around either but been told trains are really good in SE Asia...
Any help/advise would be great
these are a bit off from the a main tourist trail. however, they are very nice.
i recommend pai and mea hong song and from there up to the "chinese" village at the burmese border. (only) if you are an experienced driver - you can get cheap fares to rent a scooter in pai and ride along the above route. you can also stop at some small villages off the route between pai and mea hong song, and there is a nice cave too.
also still on the north not far from chang mai: chang dao is an amazing place to spend a few days. lodgings around the hill are expensive, however at the junction if you turn right towards the main town, there is an old lady renting out small bungalows and cooks delicious dinner on request. this is the place to rest and enjoy amazing tranquil and scenery.
for heritage sights, i personally found ayuttaya nicer (and cheaper) than the touristy sukothai. however, near sukothai there is a lesser known site: si satchanalai which small, but still covered by the dense forest. it is a bit difficult to get here and optionally you will have to camp at the site renting a tent from the park warden.
there are some islands that are not so touristy, thus they still kept their beauty: try long beach on the south east part of big koh chang island, and anywhere on the little koh chang island (first island is located in the bay, south-east from bangkok, the second one is along the west coast, just at the corner where burma and thailand meet)
there is also a beautiful island that belongs to a national reserve, thus you can only camp there for a night. it is expensive to get there and back, but they say it's very beautiful. it is far from the shore and somewhere south of little koh chang (maybe at kura bhuri).
also very nice and off the tourist trail in malaysia: if you take the train from north (thai border) on the east side of malaysia down towards the south. the train runs along the rain forest, there are some beautiful hills on the way and you can also get down to a town where you can access taman negara national park from.
note: the islands (that are accessible) in thailand are cheaper and can be nicer too than the ones in malaysia. this is of course not true if you have your own sailing boat...
have a very nice trip!
You won't go wrong with Malaysia, it's a breath-taking country. But keep in mind that November will be pushing the NE monsoon. It can be rainy and rather drab around that time, especially the East Coast. It's not usually in full swing by then, but it's good to keep it in mind all the same.
Krabi is nice but it's just a town. I'd say you'd be better off going to one of the islands off Krabi, such as Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta. Or maybe up the coast slightly to Railay Beach or Tonsai.
Having said that, it's worth basing yourself in Krabi for a couple of days, as there are some decent day trips you can do from there. The Tiger Cave Temple is one that's worth visiting.
Ar, and yeah, Koh Pha Ngan is a good choice. You probably already know this but try to time it so you get there for a Full Moon Party. Also, I'd recommend arriving four or five days before Full Moon so that you get the best choice of accommodation in Haad Rin. Or getting there three days before is okay but by then the prices have started going up and the best choices have started filling up.
wish could guide you around in Malaysia, however I will be in Europe in November.
Hi Tom, there's a monsoon season in East Coast Peninsular Malaysia. It'll be a heavy rainfall in Perhentian Island. If you are up to Penang, you can also travel to Langkawi Island.
Thanks for all your advice guys, have finally sorted my Itinerary. I have added Laos and Singapore to my list
My Itinerary includes;
Koh Phi Phi
Ko Phangan (for full moon party )
Chiang Rai/golden Triangle
Ban Na / Tad Leuk
Again guys thanks a lot, you have all been a great help
Unless you have a flight out of Singapore, I wouldn't make a special trip down there. After all the other places you are going you'll be stuck for things to do in Singapore. Maybe substitute it for Melaka just south of KL
BTW. Don't discount Bangkok. I love it there. Friendly people, great food choices, good place to meet up with other travelers, lots to do. I always love the start of the movie The Beach. I think the beginning of the movie depicts the vibe of Bangkok very well, right down to the nutter next door!.
[ Edit: Edited on 03-Apr-2011, at 14:42 by Dodger ]