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Less Touristy Parts of Thailand

Travel Forums Asia Less Touristy Parts of Thailand

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1. Posted by mashed (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y

Hi

Me and a friend are stopping over in Thailand for about a month starting in late April whilst en-route to Oz. We are planning to stay in Bangkok for a couple of weeks but would also like to spend some time on the coast. Ideally we want somewhere where there are things to do, a fair amount of young people (late teens/early twenties) that we can meet and reasonable nightlife but without too many holliday resorts or completely packed out beaches. I am aware that we are going out of season so there will probably be less tourists in general but it would be good to get some suggestions about places people have gone, or are planning to go to that are slightly out of the way but still good for meeting people and going out?

Cheers

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 4y

I think you should consider Laos. I think you would soon tire of the traffic and pollution of Bangkok - it's great for a few days, but pretty bad for "a couple of weeks"! Any good beach destination in Thailand will be overrun with foreign tourists - they all want a "beach". Laos presents a much more laid back experience, lower prices, and fewer crowds.

3. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 4y

It's not as bad as Daawgon implies. Daawgon is very old, so has a different perspective to most other travelers here.

I love Bangkok, getting around by MRT or the water ferry's is easy and fun, and the nightlife, well it's everything you heard! I can spend a week or two,,oh wait I have, just wandering the narrow streets and alley's and being amazed at all I see. Find your favorite street food, take a kick boxing class, hang in a cafe and chat with other travelers, or walk the fish markets and share a laugh with the locals.

As for beaches you can still find plenty of beaches that maybe you wont totally have to yourself but they are certainly not overrun. The island of Koh Tao is first that comes to mind. Its the furthest of the three islands on the western side of the Gulf of Thailand.

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 4y

There are still some Thai beaches that are not packed out. Many are in the Krabi area. I would head for Krabi town either by overnight bus or cheap flight. Go into any travel shop in Krabi and tell them what you want. There are some beaches that are just too quiet for me, you as well I would bet. See what they have with some nightlife but not crowded. You could stay in Krabi town and day trip the beaches. Railay Beach is close enough for a day trip, as in Ao Nang. You can also island hop and visit islands that are totally deserted. Can't get quieter than that! Koh Jum and Koh Lanta might be what you are looking for as well.

BKK is worth 3-4 days IMO. Then get out of there and take a look at the rest of Thailand. You might want to spend a few days in Pattaya. World famous for naughty nightlife, it can be a lot of fun for single guys! There is a decent beach option just a short boat ride away. My blog covers my last time on Koh Larn. I would give Pattaya a try and see if you like it. If not, BKK is only a few hours away via bus. Good luck with your planning.

5. Posted by Dauce (Budding Member 68 posts) 4y

Hey,

I'm heading there at similar time landing on the 24th of April will be staying in Bangkok for a bit then heading off to koh phangan for the full moon party. After that I'm going to head to koh jum for a nice relaxed beach experience!

When do u land in Bkk? Be good to meet up in khao San road for a drink or something?

Cheers

Dave

6. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 4y

Quoting Dodger

Daawgon is very old, so has a different perspective to most other travelers here.

I beg your pardon, age has nothing to do with it! As a matter of fact, I'll be in Bangkok myself later this year. It's simply that Bangkok is so large, so prosperous and so crowded - hardly the "paradise" that most Westerners want in the tropics. Actually, Thailand as a whole is a little too refined for my taste - I prefer the less developed countries of Indochina (maybe because I'm poor myself, and find the people there more genuine.)

7. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 4y

Quoting Daawgon

Quoting Dodger

Daawgon is very old, so has a different perspective to most other travelers here.

I beg your pardon, age has nothing to do with it! As a matter of fact, I'll be in Bangkok myself later this year. It's simply that Bangkok is so large, so prosperous and so crowded - hardly the "paradise" that most Westerners want in the tropics. Actually, Thailand as a whole is a little too refined for my taste - I prefer the less developed countries of Indochina (maybe because I'm poor myself, and find the people there more genuine.)

HAha you can beg all you want. :)

Your first post implies that going to a beach in Thailand will be a waste of time. "Any good beach destination in Thailand will be overrun with foreign tourists"

As far as Thailand being too refined, again this seems to point to your age and probability of not being able to explore little nooks and crannies without the aid of a tour guide. Some of us prefer to travel on our own steam rather than booking some beach stalag and sitting there all day in fear of getting out to see the real country.

I don't think anyone would, or has called Bangkok a paradise. but its far from the mess you paint it to be.

I really don't understand what you get from travel, all your advice seems to revolve around how much you dislike places.

8. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 403 posts) 4y

Well I won't get involved in the apparently personal battle going on here.

However, I do LOVE Bangkok. I think it's a city I could actually live in. That said there is a wild, wild west (or east if you prefer) aspect to Bangkok and in fact much of Thailand - where anything can go.

Are there still deserted and special nooks of Thailand? you bet. But places become more and more a part of the tourist trail every single day. Massive development is pushing a lot of places in Thailand. Koh Tao, which I just visited again in July, unfortunately has I'm my opinion become one of them. What once was a quiet special island is a lot less of that than it was just 4 years ago.

Still I'd say you can find many, many great places. The Krabi area is a good place to look as is out near Trat, or some of the more outlying islands. The problem with many of them is that I'm not sure how easily you'll get to them, or find the specific crowd you are looking for.

In Koh Tao everyone pretty much is a tourist, or serves that industry. The same is true of Koh Lanta, Samui, Phi Phi, and even Koh Chang. That's not to say you won't find the solitude you are looking for, but that romantic isolated island is becoming harder and harder to find and often is difficult to get to.

There are islands that meet your criteria, but you'll find the populations there to be mostly locals. if you speak Thai you'll find plenty of nightlife in those places, if you don't you might not find people to go out with.

I love the country and would happily live there - I've spent at least 18 months there in the last six years and there are tons of places worth going, but realize that the tourist trail and the backpacker trails exist because many of those places are special and are worth going to - even if they are a bit more crowded than they used to be.

For undiscovered places that meet your criteria, you'd find more of them, and easier ones to access in some other SE asian countries.

The tour touts on Khao Sarn will push just about anyplace they can send young people to - and some of them are great. But fewer and fewer are really undeveloped, and most of the more renowned backpacker haunts have become far more touristy with mainstream tourists and developers taking note of all the great places that backpackers loved.

9. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 403 posts) 4y

well that got a bit scrambled and seems a bit disjointed, but basically the info is all there.

10. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 4y

Quoting Dodger

Quoting Daawgon

Quoting Dodger

Daawgon is very old, so has a different perspective to most other travelers here.

I beg your pardon, age has nothing to do with it! As a matter of fact, I'll be in Bangkok myself later this year. It's simply that Bangkok is so large, so prosperous and so crowded - hardly the "paradise" that most Westerners want in the tropics. Actually, Thailand as a whole is a little too refined for my taste - I prefer the less developed countries of Indochina (maybe because I'm poor myself, and find the people there more genuine.)

HAha you can beg all you want. :)

Your first post implies that going to a beach in Thailand will be a waste of time. "Any good beach destination in Thailand will be overrun with foreign tourists"

As far as Thailand being too refined, again this seems to point to your age and probability of not being able to explore little nooks and crannies without the aid of a tour guide. Some of us prefer to travel on our own steam rather than booking some beach stalag and sitting there all day in fear of getting out to see the real country.

I don't think anyone would, or has called Bangkok a paradise. but its far from the mess you paint it to be.

I really don't understand what you get from travel, all your advice seems to revolve around how much you dislike places.

Hmmm, let's keep this nice... I don't think him recommending an even more off the beaten track destination not known for its beaches points to age or enjoying beach stalags at all?! I also certainly understand where Daawgon is coming from. Thailand is quite popular with tourists, and Bangkok, certainly at the moment, is quite a mess. That's not to say there's anything wrong with that; heck, there's a reason tourists love it, and that generally does revolve around beaches, which is why I was considering a trip there myself later this year :) Sadly it won't be happening as planned, but I will probably be back in not too long. There's some great spots to head to with little kids, and of course others where you don't really want to hang out with little kids