Thailand in general

Before coming to Thailand our vision was to encounter many tourist, easy travel, cheap prices and police controls. We found this to be partially true but were also surprised in many ways (both positive and negative). 

Our timing

We traveled in Thailand between early January and early February.

Weather wise this meant tropical heat in the day around 30 degrees celsius. It did cool off a bit in the nights, especially in the mountainous areas (Khao Sok and Pai).

It also meant high season for tourists although we thought the crowds were not too bad. The peak was around Lunar New Year. Sometimes this made booking a good accommodation for a nice price a little more difficult. 

Our route

We flew with AirAsia from Malaysia to Phuket, took a minivan from Phuket to Krabi, another minivan from Krabi to Khao Sok, the third minivan from Khao Sok to Surat Thani and from there a ferry to Koh Samui. Then from Koh Samui the same way back to Surat Thani from where we boarded the AirAsia plane to Bangkok. From Bangkok onwards we rode the train, first to Ayutthaya and then to Chiang Mai. A rental motorbike was our mode of transportation for a few days in Pai and then back at Chiang Mai, we took the GreenBus to Chiang Rai. For the last part in Thailand a local bus took us to the border town of Chiang Khong for the crossing to Laos.

Conclusion (personal)

Overall, our expectations were a bit higher in the sense that Thailand turned out more expensive than we thought (blame high season or after-covid?). Also, you hear people raving about how easy it is to travel across this land but we did not experience this in the same way. The minivans were often extremely crowded both with people and luggage. It's not always possible to book your transport ahead so you just have to hope there is a spot left. Lastly, Thai people are very smart and know very well how to deal with tourists. This makes for good and bad situations.

However, we did not have any problems with the police. Only once we were stopped on the motorbike, the officer checked our Dutch ánd international drivers licence and we were off again. Do note that it is officially illegal to drive a motorbike in Thailand without having a motorcycle license in your home country. Many people think knowing how to drive a scooter/scooter bike/moped/however you want to call it, is enough but Thai motorbike have way more power than these vehicles! 

For now, we enjoyed the north more than the south but we'll have to give that another chance to be fully informed. 

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