Exploring Southeast Asia -
Our unorganized but totally amazing route thru Thailand
I read numerous blog posts on certain 'routes' to take in and around Southeast Asia - ours followed none of these but was certainly amazing, spectacular and filled with beach days and tons of sun rays. Because our trip to Thailand was rather impromptu we didn't really have the ability to hit all the most scenic and must-visit regions but we did our best crossing off areas that are spectacular to visit.
Our travels thru Thailand went like this - with our accommodations list next to the duration:
Stop 1: Phuket, Patong Beach (about 9 days) - Siam Guest House
Stop 2: Koh Phi Phi Don (about 8 days) - Sea Sand View Koh Phi Phi
Stop 3: Krabi Town, Krabi, Thailand (about 5 days and 4 nights to be situated by the airport to head up to Chiang Mai) - City View Krabi Town
Stop 4: Chiang Mai, Thailand (about 6 days and 5 nights) - the Dozy House
Then we depart to Bali, Indonesia - after a total of 28 days - do not overstay your month in Thailand without permission from Visa departments, you will run into serious issues trying to leave the country.
We spent too long in Patong - a very tourist heavy area that will suck any backpackers wallet dry very quick (unless you score reasonable accommodations like us at the Siam Cafe). We got trapped on Koh Phi Phi because we wanted too and Emily is a beach lover - along with the endless photography opportunities that exist on and around this island. Our time frame for Krabi Town was just right - a few days to visit Railay Beach and a few nights explore the night markets (also called night bazaars).
Chiang Mai was an absolutely delightful place to end our time in Thailand - but I will say that 30 days isn't enough to see and do everything in this region. Our route is perfect for the beach-going lover and picture snapping fanatic (which we both are) I wouldn't change any destination in the future except I would spend less time in certain places. Nomadic Matt has some wonderful suggestions on routes planned thru - Southeast Asia - but keep in mind many of these routes are definitely aimed at the true backpacker. Another site we used to gather information about the different regions in Thailand was: The Traveling Fish.org - check this site out if your looking for other routes, places to stay and must visit spots. We like to settle into an area and really get to understand each place before rushing to quickly tackle all the tourist spots - decide what kind of trip your after but take these suggestions.
Our suggestions for our second round to visit Thailand in the future:
-Really only spend 5 days max. on an island like Koh Phi Phi, Thailand - you can only see so many fire spinning shows before this gets kind of old
-Spend less time near Patong Beach, Phuket instead head to a different area - Patong Beach and all the tourists, ping pong shows got old to me quick, there's only so much to do and see in this area
-Must visit National Parks such as: Khao Phra Thaeo and also the Khao Sok National Park - spend a few days in or around Khao Sok NP
-Chiang Mai has endless opportunities of adventures to go after, maybe spend a week here or venture out to a city called Pai, Thialand (VERY very rural, backpacker's haven - 145km northwest of Chiang Mai so cannot be done in a day trip)
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