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Ross Sparks

Fort Collins, Colorado

Is Thailand to touristy!

Hello friends! I am planing a trip to south east Asia in late October (October 27- november 17) for three weeks! I wanted to do Vietnam Cambodia and Thailand but I don't think three weeks will be enough time. I always try to do to much almost every trip!? Lol! So I was told to just do thailand, should hit most of the the things I want to do, culture first in the north, then bum around the islands, no Phuket for me thanks. 

My prob is that I keep reading about how over run with kids it is (im 33). And that it's played out and not authentic any more? Should I just  stick to Vietnam? On the other hand the same is said about costa rica, and I have been to every country in Central America, but I still love C.R. I just don't go to jaco, love the osa! So would the easiness of it be a good thing for my first trip? Aaahhhhhhhh?

about me, I will be with the wife, we are budgeting $50-$100 a day for everything. We rarely make hotel reservations, usually just the first couple nights and last night (Bangkok). Not afraid to sleep in our jungle hammocks in a pinch. Don't like a lot of tourism, a little is ok and unavoidable at the main sights. Love temples and pyramids. My style of travel is high end budget, if I don't bring my machete it's not vacation lol?

any help would be awesome, thanks so much I know that's a lot but $3000 in plane tickets is huge! 

                                                Ross

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  • Victoria Ancheva

    top answer by

    Ross, Thailand is definitely worth visiting. I have spend several winters there just my husband and I and loved it.

    Believe it or not, Phuket could be very nice if you plan it carefully. All you need to do is rent a house/condo and bike. Food is great and you can go to different beached every day. I like to stay around Bang Tao Beach area because of amazing breakfast place called BAKE in Cherngtalay (58 Lagoon Rd., Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket) website

    I like North-East area of Phuket, it is very quiet there.

    From there you could hop to different islands, there are plenty of beautiful little and big islands, worth spending several days such as Koh Lipe , Ko Lanta, Ko Samet , bungalows in national park and not crowded Koh Tarutao , koh chang - mountainous island known for several waterfalls, thriving coral reefs and rain forests, Koh Phangan .


    If you are not into island life, North Thailand along is worth 3 weeks. It is amazing and much cheaper.

    Start with Chiang Mai , then visit Mae Hong Son to see temples and local life and stay a couple of nights by the lake in Phayao . Sukhothai is the most striking of Thailand's spectacular ruins. Pick Chiang Rai as a good base for visiting nearby regional attractions.

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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Bang Tao Beach (attraction)
    2. BAKE (restaurant)
    3. Cherngtalay (restaurant)
    4. Koh Lipe (city)
    5. Ko Lanta (city)
    6. Ko Samet (city)
    7. Ko Tarutao (island)
    8. Koh Chang (island)
    9. Koh Phangan (island)
    10. Chiang Mai (city)
    11. Mae Hong Son (attraction)
    12. Phayao (city)
    13. Sukhothai (city)
    14. Chiang Rai (city)

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered by

    First of all, I absolutely love the term "high end budget"! Definitely the way I like to travel, too!

    Most of the hotels I know in Bangkok run a little over $100/night but you can leave your machete at home. I'll list a couple here in case they're useful and since you said Bangkok is one of the only places you'll be booking a hotel.

    As for places to see--Bangkok is a place where, I think, the major tourist attractions are actually really worth seeing. Among my favorites:

    • The reclining Buddha at Wat Pho is absolutely one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life. I just had some time to kill one morning and so I went and couldn't believe how extraordinary it was.
    • The Grand Palace is worth at least half a day although you could probably spend an entire day there and not see the whole thing. It's really a complex of palaces and temples that were started in the late 1700s and were used as the Royal residences until the 20th century. The detail on the buildings is just amazing. Do yourself a favor, though and look up the current dress codes before you go--the line for skirts, shirts, etc. is long and you don't want to be stuck in it.
    • Wat Arun Temple of the Dawn is pretty extraordinary, too. It's a series of temples almost on the water that you can climb up. Although they're all incredibly steep, you'll get the most amazing view and it's very easy to take a boat across to see Wat Pho. I don't know if this is true or not but the bartender at my hotel told me that Wat Arun was built because years and years ago when trade was done primarily by ship, returning captains needed something to balance out the ship so they stacked it with old dishes from wherever it was they had been. Once they got back to Thailand they needed to do something with the dishes so they covered the outside of Wat Arun with them. When he told me this I thought it sounded like an old wives tale, but when I looked closely at my pictures I realized the ceramic covering the temple was definitely from old dishes and cups, so who knows?
    • Jim Thompson House - this is basically the home of the man who is thought to be responsible for reviving the Thai silk trade and it's beautiful. Try to make a point of seeing it--lovely restaurant there, too.
    • Nightingale-Olympic - whatever you do, do NOT miss seeing this!!! It is the wackiest, craziest thing I've ever seen in any of my travels and I'm someone who makes a point of hunting down the wacky. This is basically an old department store that hasn't really operated since the 60s or 70s. It's completely stuck in time (there are literally boxes of hosiery and perfume from the 1950s) and no one knows any of the prices or what anything is. It's like walking into a ghost town. Most of the tuk-tuk drivers have no idea where the street it's on even is, so you might be better off just walking there.

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    • Ross S.

      Ross S.

      We'll feel free to use "high end budget" lol thanks a lot I was planning on 3 days in Bangkok, and figured it would be a little pricey but I'll make up for that else were. Love your info thanks a ton · (0 likelikes)

    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      I will! Three days in Bangkok should be just about right if you plan it well. My pleasure--have a great time on your trip!!! · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Bliston Hotel Bangkok (hotel)
    2. Grande Centre Point Hotel & Residence (hotel)
    3. W Hotel Bangkok (hotel)
    4. Wat Pho (attraction)
    5. Grand Palace (attraction)
    6. Wat Arun Temple of the Dawn (attraction)
    7. Jim Thompson House (attraction)
    8. Nightingale-Olympic (park)

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  • Rob Wise

    answered by

    All places in South East Asia are going to be touristy depending where you go. I didn't enjoy Vietnam but I was there 6 years ago, Thailand is touristy but if you walk 15 minutes from a touristy area you'll be in a place where nobody speaks English away from the tourists a lot of the time.

    I think if you really want to get away from the tourist trail and are looking for hiking, jungles adventure the North of Thailand is great, Start in Chiang Mai then you can organise to do jungle treks and go to the below places for culture, away from people:

    Sukhothai Chiang Rai Mae Sot Mae Sariang Lampang

    As for islands, Tourists go to phuket, Koh Samui and surrounding islands, avoid them.

    Go to the islands at the very south near the Malaysian border which are easy to get to and island hop between, no kids, no tourists and many islands are national parks so the only way you can stay on them is a tent, that's when you're machete will come in useful.

    Some island recommendations are below:

    Near Malaysia:

    Ko Tarutao Koh Lipe Koh Phra Thong Koh Mook Koh Ra

    An island near the Cambodian border you might also like is:

    Koh Kood

    These are just a selection of islands and towns that are also accessible, there are lots of other islands and towns.

    It's personal preference about what you really want to see, but it's it culture and beaches off the tourist track. I would skip Vietnam on a 3 week trip and focus on Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodia is about 8 hours from Bangkok on bus/train and a small country so you could easily get off the tourist trail and experience Cambodia, trek in the North of Thailand and still easily be able to spend time relaxing on the islands in Thailand.

    Another option is a slow boat down the Mekong from the North of Thailand through Laos and do South East Asia that way but not sure if that's what you're after, just something you could also consider.

    Feel free to contact me on here, twitter, facebook, google+ or my new website under the name of "TheWiseNomad" if you have any other questions.

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    1. Chiang Mai (city)
    2. Sukhothai (city)
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    5. Mae Sariang (city)
    6. Lampang (city)
    7. Ko Tarutao (island)
    8. Koh Lipe (city)
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  • David Taylor

    answered by

    Yes Thailand is overrun by 20 somethings but they're there for a reason. Thailand gives you the biggest range of scenery,the best food, culture and people of the neighboring countries. Vietnam is good but it really just doesn't stack up against Thailand.


    If all you're looking for is the most authentic experience I would suggest Laos or Burma instead of Vietnam.



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