Enjoy Paradise in South East Asia

Enjoy Paradise in South East Asia

This post is still under construction! Ask about my trip in the comments and I’ll add more details here. Thanks. Bye.

#TravellingToday I’ve had a nice brunch with my friend Betti who needed some travel advice for Thailand. After talking to her, I realized I’d have to come up with a small list or so in order to really help her and in order to keep this list structured, I thought I could also directly pack it into a new post and share it with all of you. So here it is: my perspective on this fascinating country and what to keep in mind when planning your trip.

Preparations

I have mixed feelings about preparing and planning trips. Sometimes, I want to be as free as possible, so all I do is book a flight and the first accommodation and that’s it. This style of traveling is awesome but it has it’s downs too. Nowadays I really try to plan ahead. So that I don’t have to when my precious journey has started. As always I make use of MANY (digital) tools and websites in order to simplify the process. And as always, it all comes together in one tool: Trello. The following board is the result of my sisters and my trip to Thailand in March 2018. Copy it, share it, do whatever you like with it.

For finding the best flight, I recommend momondo.de. Check some months before, observe price developments and when booking: use another device or incognito mode in Google Chrome. These portals know that you’re interested in this flight and they make use of it the more interest you show 😉 Also: check flights from Frankfurt and compare if it would make sense to travel there by train. Flights are much cheaper going from FFM.

Other useful sources for planning the trip:

  • Auswärtiges Amt
  • https://www.planetbackpack.de/
  • http://www.missesbackpack.de/
  • Destinations & Regions

    Looking at the country itself you can do a lot. So much that people come back here every year for decades. It’s crazy. I’ve been to Thailand two times now, each round about 2-3 weeks which is the minimum amount of time I’d recommend due to the long flights. So here are my top destinations to go to which will frame your journey and the rest of your planning.

    Of course you want to spend some time in this vibrant city that will be your point of arrival and departure – no matter if you’re a party or sex tourist or more of the bourgeoisie cultural boring type like me. I recommend:

  • one to two days exploring Bangkok’s marvelous buddhist temples like Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace
  • one day trip to Ayutthaya, Thailands old capital
  • one day shopping near MBK Center (or if you’re lucky Chatuchak Weekend Market)
  • an evening in one of the awesome sky bars
  • Accommodations:

  • BRB Hostel Bangkok Silom
  • Puck Hostel
  • at least one night at lebua State Tower (with breakfast). Spending the last night here is pure heaven and a grand finale for your trip. Believe me.
  • generally anything in Silom which is a vibrant central part of Bangkok with good connections anywhere else
  • Chiang Mai is the cultural epicenter of Thailand with more temples than you could count. Actually more than 300 or so, somebody counted them 😉 I’d recommend:

  • one day exploring the temples within the city core. Temples like Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh or Wat Suan Dok.
  • visiting some of the awesome night markets like Sunday Night Market or Ploen Ruedee Night Market.
  • one day trip to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park with temples like Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep or Wat Pha Lat and Montha Than Waterfall. We booked a private guide for this day which was really expensive (for Thai standards) but worth every cent. I strongly recommend:
  • Mr. Duangkham Senadee as a guide for one day. Add him as a friend on Facebook, send him my regards and book him for a trip to Doi Suthep. He will tell you every tale about every statue and painting in these temples, hike through the woods with you and and and. We booked this private tour by mistake but it was luck after all. I’m still philosophizing about buddhism with this guy 😉
  • one day trip to an elephant sanctuary where elephants that grew up in captivity are cared for and prepared to go back into the wild or used to teach tourists about these awesome animals and how to treat them with respect. Also wild water rafting is often part of these trips. I recommend Chang Thai Heritage Elephant Sanctuary.
  • evenings with Thai Massages. It’s awesome, nothing more to say. They start at 6,50 € per hour or even 90 minutes. But you should also try the more expensive spas for like 15 € per 2 hours. These are heaven. I recommend Zabai Thai Massage & Spa.
  • we were disappointed by Chiang Mai Grand Canyon. It looks nice on photos but it is in fact a building pit filled with water. Skip this shit and look forward to the paradise beaches on the islands.
  • if you have the time – which we did not – I’ve heard that a day trip to Chiang Rai is also very nice
  • Accommodations:

  • Galare Guest House. Nice rooms/apartments. River view. Nice restaurant and staff. Especially the lady organizing the day trips. She even brought us back to Chiang Mai airport early in the morning though it is normally not her job.
  • Fun Fact (important!):

    Some weeks around March/April it is „Burning Season“ in the North of Thailand. Fields, especially in Laos, are illegally burned to the ground in order to restore their crop growing capacities. The smoke makes the air very misty and you can read A LOT drama about it in blogs, etc. Speaking of health risks, speaking of people fleeing the area and spending their time in the south of Thailand. We nearly panicked and canceled our trip to Chiang Mai. Going there anyway, we didn’t experience any problems. From the top of a mountain, you didn’t have the perfect clear view down on the city as it would have been with cleaner air. But that was it. No headaches, no dizziness. Though the useful App „AirVisual“ showed us really bad air pollution around Chiang Mai. Our resume: don’t let this ruin your plans. Enjoy Chiang Mai!

    Read more at: www.chiangmai-thailand.de

    Awesome islands though we have just made it to Koh Chang and stayed there. No real cities, just some bungalow resorts and restaurants and bars around them. Big part of the island Koh Chang is a national park so hiking here should be pretty awesome. Other activities:

  • Yoga
  • snorkeling
  • Thai Cooking Classes
  • Thai Massages
  • exploring the paradise beaches (e. g. Bang Bao Beach) with your own scooter. Just do it. Don’t be afraid. It is super easy, super cheap and every day with a scooter is just a perfect day on these islands.
  • exploring the islands viewpoints
  • an evening at Bang Bao Peer
  • an evening at White Sand Beach Night Food Market (very small but nice)
  • evenings around Lonely Beach which is a very nice area to stay
  • Accommodations:

  • we wanted to change accommodations after Nature Beach Resort. But it was just awesome, so we stayed the whole week. Nice beach. Nice pool. Awesome lobby, restaurant and staff. And a wide range of bungalows for every budget.
  • by accident we discovered Tropical Beach Resort near Bang Bao Beach which was a little more expensive but I’d love to try it next time!

  • Read more at: iamkohchang.com

    These islands are more touristy but still not as much tourism as on Phuket, etc. Most people know Koh Phangan for the Fullmoon Partys that I’d also recommend, honestly. We didn’t attend the party but I regret it a little. We just enjoyed paradise here. In addition to most of the activities mentioned for the islands around Koh Chang, I’d recommend:

  • one day trip snorkeling around Koh Tao
  • evenings on Koh Samui can be interesting in the area called Fisherman’s Village Bophut though I’d not recommend staying there. The hotels are next to each other and the beach is not very natural anymore. We did not see much more of Koh Samui unfortunately.
  • evenings on Koh Phangan can be spent in Thong Sala. Nice restaurants. Good spas for massages. Shopping.
  • Phantip Food Night Market
  • Accommodations:

  • just stay at Sea Scene Resort. It is heaven on earth. Private beach, palms, just a few very nice bungalows. Run by a family who really takes care of the gardens between the bungalows and around the restaurant. Yeah, a nice restaurant too. They offer their own scooters for you to rent. We nearly did not leave this accommodation. And I’d love to return!
  • Tools and Apps and Good to Know

  • use maps.me for offline maps and GPS orientation
  • use Tripadvisor to check activities, find restaurants, spas etc.
  • use Booking.com and Agoda to find the best hostels and hotels and manage bookings
  • use GetYourGuide for awesome (private) tours
  • Mobility

  • use Grab and Uber, especially in Bangkok, to get from A to B. It’s cheap, trust me
  • use Nok Air or Air Asia for inland flights. It is also cheap
  • getting around in Thailand apart from these apps is possible via many means of transportation. Plan and book your transfers on 12Go Asia or FerrySamui.com
  • 1 Comment. Kommentar hinterlassen

    1. Betti

      Thank you so much for all the advice, Nils! AND the yummy brunch 😉

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