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Thailand&Cambodia trip (non-tourist spots)

Travel Forums Asia Thailand&Cambodia trip (non-tourist spots)

1. Posted by lucijag (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3y

Hello! Me and my friend are planning a trip around Thailand and Cambodia (3th ofJuly - 5th of August). Our plan is first to stay in BKK for about a week and after that spend about 1 week in Northern Thailand, 1 week in Southern Thailandand 1 week in Cambodia.

And here's the plan. In our first week in BKK and its neighbourhood we would check outtiger's temple (Kanchanaburi) and Erawan's waterfalls. Is it better to take an organised daily trip orto go alone? What else would be worth seeing on the way there?

The next week we would take the sleeping train to Chiang Mai. There we would go trekking for about 3-4 days. What do you recommend? Because there are a lot of offers and not all are probably good. What are some good agencies offering trekking? And is it better going on a trekking in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai? We would also like to join monks in a temple for a few days (approx. 3). Does anyone have any experience regarding that? Which temple would be good to join and is it necessary to apply in advance? If we go to Chiang Mai, should we also go to Chiang Rai? Because these two cities are supposed to be quite similar.

Then we would go to village Pai. From the description it looks very funky . Does anyone know of another similar place, that is more bohemian?

On the third week we would go to the South on the islands. We heard that Phuket is nothing special and that people visiting it were mostly disappointed. So we are more likely to go on the Eastern islands - Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. Is it possible to surf and snorkel during monsoon season? Which are the other islands worth visiting on the South?

On the last week we are flying with AirAsia form BKK to Phnom Pehn and then going to Siem Reap and Angkor temple. Then we return back to BKK. How many days should we spend in Cambodia and what else should we visit beside mentioned? We are flying to Cambodia and returning to BKK with trains/buses.

We are students and we would like to make this trip as non-tourist and authentic aspossible. We would like to come in contact with the real lifestyle of Thailand and Cambodia. So we would ask for any advice on what is worth visiting in each country (of course we won't avoid all the tourist hot spots, but we would mostly like to find out about less known and interesting things to check out).

Do you recommend any good and interesting guesthouses?

Thank you very much for your answers! ;)

2. Posted by Packbacker26 (Budding Member 49 posts) 3y

I'm going to start by answering your last question. Siem Reap Hostel is my recommendation for there (super nice and super cheap). On Koh Pha Ngan I suggest Baan Tai backpackers, owners is awesome! On that note I would suggest Koh Tao over Koh Samui. Yes it is possible to snorkel and whatnot but visibility will be low.

As far as non touristy goes. All the places you picked are on the main trail circuit for SE Asia, however there will be less people if you go in monsoon season.

One suggestion I have is to spend less time in Bangkok, yeah it's a great city but a week is a long time, maybe cut it to 4 days. Phuket is VERY skippable to be nice about it. Remember to factor in the long bus trips ino your time frame. ( Chiang mai to koh pha Ngan is a solid day itself).

Cheers

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 3y

Luci,
I agree with Ryan, above post. A week in BKK is too much unless you are making day trips:
Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, etc. I agree with overnight train to CM. This website has plenty of good info on train travel. I would read the many blogs on trekking in Northern Tland. Here are a few. Read blogs on what others have to say. After reading a few, Chiang Rai will probably be your best bet. Or perhaps Mae Hon Song? You want to be off the beaten path, you need to some reading while at home.

Now the southern islands. All the ones you have heard of are heavily visited. Perhaps Koh Jum, Koh Lanta, Phayam or the small islands around there would be a better option.

Cambodia. A week should be about right, 3 days PP, bus up to Siem Reap, 3 days Angkor Wat, one long day back to BKK. Here is a good resource for all things Cambodia. Good luck with your planning.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Jun-2013, at 17:43 by vegasmike6 ]