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First time Backpacker to Asia

Travel Forums Asia First time Backpacker to Asia

1. Posted by sm428 (Budding Member, 6 posts) 12 Feb '13 06:53

Hi,
I am planning my first trip to Asia with my gf and we are trying to figure out the details at the moment. We are planning to go from July to September (roughly 11 weeks) and travel on a relatively tight budget.
I guess the main issue is after the standard itinerary around Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia we would like to head to a beach and chill for 1 week or so. However during the monsoon season that may be a bit difficult. I don’t mind traveling during the monsoon but at the end of the trip I will be gutted if we get rained out and in September that’s a possible scenario.
Where is the best place to go to escape the monsoon? East Coast of Thailand? East Coast of Malaysia?
I have been looking at flights and have found some good deals to travel from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur back home. Therefore I was thinking it may be better to get an AirAsia flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and head to the East Coast of Malaysia and chill on the beach there? How does the overland route on the East Coast from Bangkok to Malaysia look like? If we did the overland route would we have to cut time off our itinerary?
Besides Malaysia or East Coast of Thailand have you got any further ideas? Tips to escape the monsoon? Tips generally on traveling during the monsoon?
All feedback much appreciated.

Thanks

2. Posted by opospa (Travel Guru, 1836 posts) 24 Feb '13 03:09

Hi,

To escape monsoon, just visit islands or beaches over the West Coast of Malaysia or Andaman side of Thailand. There are few beautiful islands like Phuket, Phi Phi and beaches in Krabi, Trang in Thailand. As for Malaysia, you can try Penang, Langkawi, Pangkor.

If I'm not mistaken, surfers loves Tioman Island during Monsoon as the waves are big enough for them to surf.

Overland route from Bangkok to the East Coast of Malaysia sounds a little bit dangerous. Esspecially on the Thai side. Train from Bangkok will stop at Sungai Golok of Thailand and there were few bombings and shooting around in that area. The latest was Thai army shot dead 16 teenagers suspected to be militants trying to ambush the army camp. From Sungai Golok, take a tuk tuk or motorcycle taxi to Malaysian border which is very near and then cross over to Kelantan. Officially you are in Malaysian East Coast once you step on the soil in Kelantan.;)

If you really would like to visit the Malaysian East Coast, I would suggest take Air Asia from Bkk to Kuala Lumpur. From Kuala Lumpur, take the jungle train to the East Coast. or express bus to any of the east coast destination. Normally Kuala Besut as there's a jetty from the mainland to the Perhentian Island. I'm not sure if they island is open during the time you arrive or not because there's some period during monsoon where they close the island because boats cant go through huge waves and it might be dangerous.