THAILAND/CAMBODIA/MALAYSIA

Dec 21, 1994 - Jan 5, 1995


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The highlights of this trip were the ancient capitals of Thailand and the kolossal city-state of Angkor Wat, probably the largest abandoned city in the world.
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Itinerary

  1. Dec 21: Thailand ($1 = 25 bhat). ++Bangkok. Taxi to city 230 baht. Guesthouse on Tanon Rd 85 baht. Dinners are about 150 baht.
  2. Dec 22: Hotel +Palace on Kaosan Rd 350 baht. Visited Chinatown and Golden Buddha, rather pathetic attractions compared to what one can find in nearby countries. ++Wat Phra Kaeo. +Wat Pho.
  3. Dec 23: Bangkok. +Wat Prayoon. +Wat Arun. Take boats instead of buses to go around Bangkok.
    Plane to Pnom Pen 7200 baht.
  4. Dec 23: Cambodia. Pnom Penh. Visa $20 and two photographs. Many kids wait outside with their motorcycles and rickshaws. Very hot.
    Hotel +Mokarat $15. Restaurant ++Chao Pra Yat $20.
  5. Dec 24: Flight to Seam Reap. Rented a guy with the motorcycle as my guide for $10 a day. ++Guest house near Kampuchea Airlines $6. Ticket to Angkor $20. +++Angkor (800-1400): +++Bayon (+Relief of the exploits of Khmer), +++Angkor Wat (+Relief of dancing girls), etc
  6. Dec 25: Boat to Pnom Penh. Toured Pnom Penh in rikshaws and motorcycles. Royal Palace. Prison.
    +Choeung Ek concentration camp is closed mondays.
    Hotel Indochine $10.
  7. Dec 26: Flight back to Bangkok. Thailand.
    Bus to Ayutthaya 20 baht. Ayutthaya new BJ guesthouse 100 baht.
  8. Dec 27: ++Ayutthaya (1400-1500) on bycicle.
    Bus to Lopburi 20 baht. Train to Philsanulok 69 baht.
  9. Dec 28: Buis to Sukhotai 20 baht. Visited ++Sukhotai (1200-1400) Historic Park on bike (bike rental 20 baht). +Si Satchanalai.
    Bus to Uttadit (15 baht). But to Lampang (67 baht). Transportation is cheap and excellent, but always delayed by hours. For short distances the most popular means is the "tuk tuk". Monuments are closed on mondays and sometimes tuesdays.
    Lampang: Hotel +Siam 160 baht. Restaurant +Riverside 150 baht.
  10. Dec 29: Lampang. + Lampang Luang.
    Lumpun: ++Wat H. Wat Chamdevi.
    +Chang Mai. Restaurant +Riverside 160 baht. Hotel +Arcade Inn 380 baht.
  11. Dec 30: Bus from Chang Mai to Udon (12 hours, 170 baht).
    Hotel Paradise 250 baht.
  12. Dec 31: Bus to Nong Khai (15 baht). Bus to Korat (90 baht). Phimai. Phimai Hotel 160 baht.
  13. Jan 1: Phimai. +Sanctuary (ticket 20 baht). Bus Korat (15 baht). Bus to Tako (30 baht). Motorcycle to Phanum Rung (100 baht). ++Phanum Rung (ticket 20 baht). Bus to Bangkok (100 baht).
  14. Jan 2: Bangkok. Bus to Mahon Phaton (40 baht).
  15. Jan 3: Malaysia ($1 = 2.5 rimrig). Flight to Kuala Lumpur (4000 baht). +Kuala Lumpur.
    Bus to town (1.5 R). Hotel Empire (on Jln Masjid, 55 R).
  16. Jan 4: Bus to Melaka (7 R). +Melaka.
  17. Jan 5: Bus to Singapore (12 R).
  18. Also worth it: Wat Rong Khun/ White Temple (1997) in Chiang Rai

Notes

Trip difficulty: moderate to strenuous
Season: November to February
Length: 20 days
  • Bangkok airport to downtown. Customs and immigration are notoriously very slow in Thailand. If you get out of the airport before midnight, bus A2 to downtown is still running. The bus stop is right outside arrivals. Taking taxis (anywhere in the world) is a good way to get in trouble (arguments, robberies, shortchanges you, overcharges you, takes you to the wrong place, takes you to his brother's hotel, etc) so I always discourage people from using taxis. But if you have to take a taxi, at least take an official one. Illegal taxi drivers will meet you as you walk out from customs. They often try to charge you twice more than the official rate and some of them are just dangerous crooks. Legal taxi drivers are not allowed to approach tourists. They are run by the airport authority. Check here for details on taxis from the airport. To get a taxi, look for a booth with the sign TAXI right after you exit customs. You pay them and they give you a piece of paper that you hand the taxi driver. You don't have to pay the taxi driver. They carpool, whether you like it or not. It is customary to tip the cab driver 20-30 baht ($0.50-75) per piece of luggage.
  • Khaosan Rd is the place to stay for backpackers, but beware: there is nothing authentic on Khaosan Rd. It is just a foreigners' outpost. It is good place to stay if you want to watch American movies and eat spaghetti, but not to get a feeling of Thai life. (A guide to Khaosan Rd).
  • Bangkok is the place to get visas for countries like Burma and Laos that still require one.
  • Accomodation and transportation in Thailand are generally very reasonable. Transportation is the best in Southeast Asia. Most buses are A/C and brand new. Roads are in good conditions. If you have seen the roads and the buses in the rest of Southeast Asia, you will be shocked by Thailand (and viceversa).
    Links
  • Pictures of Cambodia and Thailand
  • TM, ®, Copyright © 1999 Ulysses-Travel all rights reserved.