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, 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
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 Ko 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.
Mentioned in this answer:
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:
Mentioned in this answer:
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:
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:
An island near the Cambodian border you might also like is:
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.
Mentioned in this answer:
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.