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Thailand -22/01 - 11/02 - Advice needed on itinerary

Thailand -22/01 - 11/02 - Advice needed on itinerary

Old Oct 25th, 2022, 12:39 PM
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Thailand -22/01 - 11/02 - Advice needed on itinerary

Hello everyone,

I will reach Bangkok from 22/01 and leave the same city from 11/02. So I was wondering if you guys can share some advice on itinerary.
My focus would be more on laid back nature, nature, good food, beach, islands, snorkeling.
Less emphasis on big crowds, too touristic and too crowded places.

So I am thinking;
  • Bangkok (maybe 2 days)
  • Ayutthaya ( 1 day trip)
  • Chang Mai (flight to there and then 2-3 days)
  • Phuket (flight there. excellent base to go to different islands)

It is from Phuket that I am bit stuck on going deciding on which other locations. I am thinking of visiting the different island; for the beaches, snorkeling and visit the local flora and fauna. I don't think it is necessary to go to the east coast islands, so to avoid additional travelling. West coast islands should be just fine.

The question is which islands?

So my idea is
  • Phuket (several days)
  • Phi Phi (day trip or overnight or longer days?)
  • Similan Islands (day trip or overnight or longer days?)
  • Krabi - for nature and backpacking etc (several days)
  • Then after Krabi, fly back to Bangkok, which the next day flight back to home.

So what do you guys think? Should I add more islands or locations? Is staying several days as Phuket, PhiPhi etc ok for just too long. I have in total approximately 20 days to spend.
Ghostdog78 is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2022, 12:57 AM
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I can't comment on beach stuff as it's not something we like / do.

For Bangkok and Ayutthaya, personally I'd give longer but that's according to my interests, so of course may not suit for you.

We did 2 nights in Ayutthaya
which gave us more time to enjoy the lovely city, to relax, to visit some of the markets as well as the usual sights.
If you're into nature you may also enjoy a two night experience visiting an elephant sanctuary and overnighting in a floating rainforest camp.
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Old Nov 26th, 2022, 10:07 AM
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If you are looking for five star hotels and splendid isolation then Phuket is for you. It also has some terrific beaches. No hotels on Similan , only camping. Mostly visited by divers on liveaboards - the diving is excellent!
Donít waste your time with Phi Phi. Ravaged by over tourism years ago. With the time you have I would just head for Krabi and maybe take some boat trips out from there to some of the smaller islands. Travel fish.org has the best lowdown on Thai islands.

To options for Ayuthaya. Get the train or get a boat and car combo tour. A day there would be plenty for most people unless you a really into ruins.
If you want to include Chiang Mai, I would make sure to put it at the beginning of your trip before the burning season starts in earnest. The smoke can be unbearable.

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Old Nov 27th, 2022, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghostdog78 View Post
Hello everyone,
So I am thinking;
  • Bangkok (maybe 2 days)
  • Ayutthaya ( 1 day trip)
  • Chang Mai (flight to there and then 2-3 days)
  • Phuket (flight there. excellent base to go to different islands)
Ghostdog78 consider stopping in Sukhothai as well. Maybe less known that Ayuthaya, but at least as stunning.
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Old Nov 27th, 2022, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by crellston View Post
No hotels on Similan , only camping [...] With the time you have I would just head for Krabi and maybe take some boat trips out from there to some of the smaller islands. Travel fish.org has the best lowdown on Thai islands.
crellston I read your comment with great interest, I am looking for a good island/beach to spend a few days to rest before starting a sort of road trip through north east Thailand and Laos.

Would Koh Chang be a valid alternative compared to e.g. Krabi or the Similan? I am looking at it as it's convenient from Bangkok and I might use as an excuse to travel through North West Cambodia, but it's not essential.
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Old Nov 27th, 2022, 10:28 AM
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Koh Chang is nothing like Krabi or Similian Islands. It is convenient for crossing the border into Cambodia ( although overland border crossings into Cambodia are never easy) . It wouldn’t be my first choice.

I would strongly suggest looking at the logistics of getting from A to B to C , especially on a short trip, otherwise you will end up spending half your time in transit. . Travelling in Asia, less really can be more! What seems to be a relatively easy transfer , say Bangkok to Chiang Mai, can easily end up taking half a day or more if you dont pick the right flights etc. Direct flights as opposed to a transfer in BKK can save a huge amount of time
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Old Nov 27th, 2022, 11:27 AM
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I agree, I have been in the region before and I know the challenge. I haven't looked into travel time in Laos yet, but the plan is to spend 1 week in Thailand and up to 2 weeks in Laos. I don't want to highjack the thread with Laos talk, though, that's why I am focussing on where on the Thai coast would be best to spend 4-6 nights beyond the "obvious" Phuket (and excluding Koh Chang - reviews are not enthusiastic, and you confirmed it)

Two most likely options seem to be:
* North Andaman, between Ranong (there's a Koh Chang there as well!) and Khura Buri. This has access to Surin and Similan islands, as well as to Khao Sok National Park (see Kavey's post).
* Krabi. I haven't studied it much yet, but it seems to be a crowded, more "standard", type of staying? (I hope you understand what I mean with "standard" - it's not intended to be negative)
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Old Nov 29th, 2022, 09:25 AM
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Alessandro - I do understand what you mean as "standard". It is a long time since I have been to a beach destination in Thailand, for that very reason. The mainstream beach destinations became overcrowded and over touristed many years ago. The only reason I would go to many would be to stay in a "destination hotel" . . It is so long ago that I have been to Ranong that I can't really recall much about it. However, for a reliable , firsthand assessment of Thai Island and beach destinations I would have a look at https://www.travelfish.org . The website is a bit clunky but it does have some great info on smaller, out of the way places if you dig around.

Years ago we island hopped down the coast to Malaysia by bus, train and boat staying a night or two at several of the islands the ones I can remember are Koh Libong, Koh Lanta, Koh Lipe. Not the easiest to get to but if you want less crowded it maybe a price you need to pay. Khao Lak is another option worth considering if you wanted to included chaos Sok NP. Happy to answers any questions on Laos but probably better in another thread.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 04:00 AM
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Crelston, thank you, I hadn't considered Khao Lak. It's also very convenient both for the park and Phuket Airport.
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