Im going to be backpacking in thailand for a month in mid december to mid january. I don't want to be surrounded by tourist but i always don't want to miss the fantastic places i can go and visit because of escaping the crowd. Should i wait to travel till after christmas and new years to travel in Phuket. And what kind of island hoping can i get involved in. Ive heard traveling to northern thailand is the best way to escape the crowds but i don't want to sacrifice all the beautiful beaches along the way. If you have any suggestions or input into nice places to stay with good people and for a backpacker on a budget, it is all appreciated. thanks in advance.
ps: how much US$ should a solo traveler be prepared to spend in a month worth of travel in thailand? I travel as cheap as i can but want to get a ballpark for that time of the year expenses.
keep on keeping on,
I will use Thai baht (TB) then convert to USD. You will be able to find rooms around 300TB in many places you plan on visiting. But not all. Let's go up to 500TB/day average room rate for your month: 15,00TB.
Food is cheap in almost every city you will visit and you can easily stay under 200TB/day if you eat with the locals or with backpackers. Add another 6K TB for the month.
Transport is cheap as well if you use the Thai bus system. Bus is cheaper than rail. Go over to the bus station and use the gov't buses. The Thais use this system, so should you. Avoid the private buses the travel shops push. You will get a better, safer ride using the gov't bus system. Of course the more you move around the more your transport costs will be. Let us use another 200TB/day or 6K for the month.
Tours & misc.
This is completely up to you. Organized tours, sightseeing, going out at night/alcohol are impossible to guess. Let's use another 200TB/day for misc. Another 6K TB for the month. This totals roughly 33,000 TB for the month. At the current exchange rate of 31 TB per UDS, we have around $1,100 for your month in Thailand.
Hope this helps with your planning.
if you want to avoid the crowd and enjoy beautiful places on islands, recommend:
- south-east peninsula (i think it's called long beach) of big koh chang island
- last settlement on the west coast of small koh chang
here, there are no parties. these are almost like robinson crusoe places with a few friendly backpackers. i lived on 700-800 bahts a day here, including bungalow, food and a few drinks. from a 1000 you have really good life.
same for north:
- do a scooter trip from pai to mae hong song and up to the "chinese village" at burma border
- chiang dao - try to sleep not on the hill but near the town at mama's place.
after thailand...you can go other country near and cheap!!!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Hey thanks everyone for the help, i appreciate it. Since its my first solo trip i want to do my homework before i go, so anything relevant helps.
@Kichikacha, I was thinking about buying a scooter when I arrived for cheap and riding it around thailand. is something like that possible or even smart? what kind of scooter trips are possible?
Keep on Keeping on,
"I was thinking about buying a scooter when I arrived for cheap and riding it around thailand. is something like that possible or even smart?"
Motorcycle/motorbike and scooters account for most of the tourist deaths in Thailand. Even Brits and Aussies who are experienced in driving on the the left still end up dead on the street!
"I don't want to be surrounded by tourist but i always don't want to miss the fantastic places i can go and visit because of escaping the crowd."
There is no way to see popular places without encountering other tourists!! It is tourist money that makes the highways and other amenities possible for you to even get to some places. Personally I like people around me, even if they are tourists!
@Karazyal- Hey thanks for the death toll tip, its a good piece of knowledge to have. I never said i wanted to go to "popular places", but maybe someone out there knows of some hidden places that are off the radar. I believe if you dig it up, its probably worth passing it on.
I don't have a problem with other tourist but its nice to feel like your the only one out there sometimes, but to have fellow travelers around you is always a positive thing. Its inspiring to meet fellow travelers who share the same look at life as I do.
Keep on Keeping on,
You can always hop on a long distance bus and see where it takes you. Spend a day or two in some out of the way city. If there is a temple worth seeing there will probably be other tourists there though. But don't get so far from other tourists that you are all alone. Being a foreigner you may be the richest person around and that could make you a target for thieves.
This is an old link for Koh Sukorn:
Take the train from Bangkok and stop off in a city a few hours from Bangkok. I have done the bus and train route before to some out of the way cities to check out different areas without tourists around. But have a English to Thai dictionary available (cheap one, maybe 100 baht or less) because the further away from tourists the fewer Thais speak English. You can point to the word or phrase you need when dealing with a Thai local.
I worked as a volunteer on archeology projects, this place is interesting, near Korat.
Unusual in Bangkok but open to tourists:
I hope Albert discouraged you from the buying a motorbike idea. Your chances of riding around Tland for a month w/o: getting stopped by the police, falling off, getting hit or hitting something are approaching zero. It is just not practical to try and see many parts of Tland on an underpowered bike. Use the gov't bus system. Good luck.