Saturday, May 28, 2011

12 Days Thailand Backpacking Itinerary

I had been acting on a few very taxing roles for the past months tirelessly, an employee in my agency, and taking over the role of my dad making every decision with the board in his security arm force business, a grown up kid who was seemed to be capable of making all the toughest call in the family, a runner to keep track of all my dad's personal matters, etc.

Feeling that I was running out of steam eventually I made a decision that I could really use a break during this defining moment to decide what needs to be decided, plan what needs to be planned, and do what needs to be done especially after dad had fallen sick two months ago.

I almost couldn't make this trip, after speaking to mom, I knew she wanted me to be around when she needed me most, I had to go on the trip and she understood. It's not an easy decision, trust me. It's been two months from initially in and out to hospital, dad was finally home when he was at 25% consciousness.

Now, he's at 70%, we are a bit relieved.

Synopsis of My Thailand trip

My original itinerary for Thailand was a mixed trip that include some of the most experiential cultural explorations, quiet exotic rural villages set towards the northwest border of Thailand, and vibrant busy Bangkok city schedule, and a little moment at the famous Koh Chang.

I've kept half of the original list of places to visit, and dropped some at the very last minute every time I was on the brink of leaving each town or city. Not because they weren't worth visiting, just some impromptu adjustments due to weather and other considerations like travel mates.

After spending a few days in Bangkok for shopping and clubbing, I went on west to rather quiet town Kanchanaburi, it was low season, hardly saw any travelers on the main street otherwise going to be busy town.

Vibrant and busy city traffics in Bangkok
The maddest food at Khao San road
Death railway at Kanchanaburi
Cemetery of the prisoner of war in World War  2

Ayutthaya, the ancient city of Siamese kingdom that existed between 1351 - 1767 was as amazing as told by all the sources I have heard whether from the mouth of the backpackers or the Internet.  

Ancient pagodas' remain in Ayutthaya
The amazing Wat Chai Watthanar

The amazing Wat Chai Watthanar

I was back to Bangkok for transit to Koh Samui, spent couple of night at Chaweng beach. It's the weather at the beach I worried so much it turned out to be better than expected unlike in Bangkok where it rained every day. 

Sunny day on Chaweng beach, Koh Samui

And came home on a super comfortable bus (each passenger has his/her own TV) through Hatyai, Sadao and passed the border Dan nok and Bukit Kayu Hitam back to Kuala Lumpur.

Thailand Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Bangkok
Day 2 - Bangkok
Day 3 - Bangkok
Day 4 - Bangkok > Kanchanaburi
Day 5 - Kanchanaburi
Day 6 - Kanchanaburi > Ayutthaya
Day 7 - Ayutthaya > Bangkok > Koh Samui
Day 8 - Koh Samui
Day 9 - Koh Samui
Day 10 - Koh Samui > Hatyai > Dan nok
Day 11 - Dan nok
Day 12 - Dan nok > Kuala Lumpur

View [Thailand] Backpack sampler in 2011 in a larger map

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thailand: 12 Days Central Backpacking Itinerary Sampler

This is a preview of my imminent trip to Thailand. Thorough research was done as usual before any trip, I intended to post a detail list of places and things I want to do but figured that I would have changed it anytime during the trip if I don't like them.

So, keeping it simpler, this post was intended to help anyone who wants to travel to Thailand as a kick start information gathering blog, and hopefully it would help you in any way it could.

The sampler is a rather robust and mixed trip that includes some of the most experiential cultural explorations, quiet exotic rural villages set towards the northwest border of Thailand, and vibrant busy Bangkok city schedule, yet not forgetting a little moment at the famous Thailand must-go beaches.

Suggest trip length

The suggested trip length for this itinerary is twelve days in exact, though anything more than that is far more comfortable. If you have lesser than ten days, you may skip one of the trip out of the city (east, west or north in its category) to make yourself more comfortably settling into your pace.

Sample plan

Day 1 - Arrival in Bangkok
Day 2 - Bangkok
Day 3 - Bangkok > Kanchanaburi (2.45 hours)
Day 4 - Kanchanaburi > Sangkhlaburi (5 hours)
Day 5 - Sangkhlaburi
Day 6 - Sangkhlaburi > Bangkok (7.45 hours)
Day 7 - Bangkok > Ayutthaya (2 hours)
Day 8 - Ayutthaya > Lopburi (1.45 hours), Lopburi > Aytthaya (1.45 hours)
Day 9 - Ayutthaya > Bangkok (1.45 hours) > Ban Phe (3 hours) > Trat (3 hours) > Koh Chang (1 hour)
Day 10 - Koh Chang (Khlong Prao)
Day 11 - Koh Chang (Khlong Prao) > Bangkok (10 hours)
Day 12 - Departure from Bangkok

Main Attractions

Bangkok for the good and bad =)

Bangkok city

Kanchanaburi for lives on the river and death railway.

Sanglhaburi for exotic rural village, trekking and elephant riding.

Ayatthaya for the cultural structures and monuments.

Lopburi for monkey temples.

Koh Ching for the beaches and The Sun, and sands, and water sports. I could enjoy some Sun tanning and quiet moments.

Koh Chang