Journey Ideas/Suggestions/Meet-Ups: Bangkok - Chiang Mai.
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Feb 12, 2013 7:41 AM Last Post By: TheSpade
Feb 10, 2013 7:55 AM
Now before I start waffling away about my questions I think I should introduce myself and state the basic/necessary facts to help you get an idea of the information/suggestions/ideas I am looking for!
I wish to travel around for a fairly long time (6 months), which means I have a lot of flexibility and can certainly take my time admiring all of what South East Asia has to offer (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia + Taiwan are on my list)! I have 1 month to take in as much as I can that Thailand has to offer but don't want to rush things too much!
I am an outgoing guy, love to meet new people, am not afraid to try new things and I am a keen photographer. (www.flickr.com/smallster - if you want to take a look)
I am certainly not fussy in terms of accommodation/living conditions, most things 'cheap' will do. Could probably even live without aircon I guess...
That's the basics done, now onto the important bit:
I wish to travel from Bangkok up to Chiang Mai, where I plan to cross the border OVERLAND into Laos at Chiang Khong! I would prefer to travel by land, especially as I have a lot of time to play with here - I'm fine with anything, bus, boat, train, whatever! :)
I'd like to see all the main highlights of Thailand, but would also like to mix it up with some stuff 'off the beaten track! I do prefer non-touristy places but I still want to see the main highlights!
In a short and simple sentence/question, Has anyone done anything like this before? If so, a rough route/itinerary would be a great help! I have a rough-guide made up on Google Maps, stopping at some major-ish cities a long the way (More travel options if I am near civilisation of course!) which you can see here if it helps - http://goo.gl/maps/LA70I
Even if you haven't gone all the way from Bangkok to Chiang Mai It'd still be a great help if you travelled North towards that area in anyway, I can always link partial routes together.
Any websites/resources you can suggest would be also be fantastic, I have the 'South East Asia on a Shoestring' LP guide which has a lot of helpful stuff in it! :)
Also, if anyone is going to be in Bangkok/Khaosan Road from 19th onwards and are looking to do the same/similar things as me + would like a travel companion then please do let me know. :)
Hopefully I've given you enough information about what I'd like to do!
Look forward to getting some replies soon,
If you'd rather contact me via FB you can do so by adding me/leaving a short message here - http://www.facebook.com/Smallster :)
Many thanks in advance,
Feb 10, 2013 8:26 AM
1I tweaked your map ;-)
You don't need to come back to Bangkok after Kanchanburi, just keep going by bus to Ayutthaya. Shoot off to Isaan at Khon Kaen and Loei for a few days, cut back across to Sukhothai and Mae Sot, then north along the Myanmar border through Mae Hong Son province to Chiang Mai. North to Chiang Dao and Thaton, then by boat to Chiang Rai, Golden Triangle, Chiang Khong. Give that a month and get a bit more off the tourist trail.
Feb 10, 2013 10:52 AM
2In a short and simple sentence/question, Has anyone done anything like this before?
No they've not. You are the first person EVER to travel round SE Asia by land over several months seeing both the highlights and things off the beaten track. Not sure why no one ever thought of it before. Be sure to tell us how it goes Colombus. ;-)
Also, if anyone is going to be in Khaosan Road
You're definitely the adventurous type. Straight to KSR.
Feb 10, 2013 6:33 PM
3Captain_Bob - Thanks very much for the route idea, I'll have a look into the stops a bit further!
TheSpade - Haha on reflection the question does sound a bit stupid :P But I'm sure you understood what I meant!
Is there something wrong with KSR then, I just thought seeing as most of the backpackers go there it'd be a good place to start! :)
Feb 10, 2013 6:40 PM
4No, theres definitely NOT something wrong with KSR in your case. Its always been the ideal location for those looking to hook up with others. Its also where we started off on our first trips to Bangkok in 1990 and 1995. And rather than KSR, we headed back to the close by street of Soi Rambuttri every trip since then.
Feb 11, 2013 1:32 AM
Here is a bit of advice that might be too abstract for you, but I'll throew it out there anyway.
First-timers, even the adventurous types, tend to pre-plan too much as a way of dealing with the uncertain future that looms in front of them. You do not need itineraries approved or ideas for where to go. Not in reality. Most of these things take shape once you are underway, you get as better feeling for how thibgs work in the countries, what you are interested in, and so on. Treat it all as a learning experience.
Asking for advice for off-the-beaten-track destinations undermines the spirit of adventure as far as I'm concerned. The fun is in finding your own places.
Of course, you sound as though you're something of a of a group-person, and there are degrees of independence and going to alone. Either way, it's more efficient to sit down somewhere, get chatting with the people at the next table, and tell them more or less the same as what you've just written up. That's when it comes together.
Feb 11, 2013 6:50 AM
Feb 11, 2013 8:02 AM
Feb 11, 2013 10:53 AM
8Is there something wrong with KSR then, I just thought seeing as most of the backpackers go there it'd be a good place to start!
The fact that all the backpackers go there makes it a good reason to avoid it. Especially for the adventurous types like yourself. I think you should just accept that you're going to do KSR, KPN for a full moon party, island hop around the main touristy islands, head up north to Chaing Mai, go to Pai and then claim you've 'done Thailand'.
Feb 11, 2013 6:39 PM
9For an 18yr old backpacker, KSR IS the ideal place to start. I have a 20yr old son and I know damned well its where he'd head first off.
OP, some like Spade spend so long in Bangkok, they get cynical about the place and forget to look at things through the eyes of teenagers.
Feb 11, 2013 7:38 PM
10Thanks for the suggestions all, I can totally understand the point of 'not planning' too much, I was just after some rough/basic route ideas that will help me make my up to Chiang Mai! :) It's likely I won't follow them exactly but I like to have some 'plans' as in I'd like to end up at a city every now and then so I can then look at where I can go from there.
I guess that with the time I have I should probably just look forward to having spontaneous ideas! :)
Feb 12, 2013 7:41 AM
11OP, some like Spade spend so long in Bangkok, they get cynical about the place and forget to look at things through the eyes of teenagers
Cynical about BKK? It's my favourite city on earth and I wish I was there now. No cynicism from me about the city of angels.
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