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Thailand&Cambodia trip

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Hello! Me and my friend are planning a trip around Thailand and Cambodia (3th of July – 5th of August). Our plan is first to stay in BKK for about a week and after that spend about 1 week in Northern Thailand, 1 week in Southern Thailand and 1 week in Cambodia.

And here’s the plan. In our first week in BKK and its neighbourhood we would check out tiger’s temple (Kanchanaburi) and Erawan's waterfalls. Is it better to take an organised daily trip or to go alone? What else would be worth seeing on the way there?

The next week we would take the sleeping train to Chiang Mai. There we would go trekking for about 3-4 days. What do you recommend? Because there are a lot of offers and not all are probably good. What are some good agencies offering trekking? And is it better going on a trekking in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai? We would also like to join monks in a temple for a few days (approx. 3). Does anyone have any experience regarding that? Which temple would be good to join and is it necessary to apply in advance? If we go to Chiang Mai, should we also go to Chiang Rai? Because these two cities are supposed to be quite similar.
Then we would go to village Pai. From the description it looks very funky :). Does anyone know of another similar place, that is more ‘’bohemian’’?

On the third week we would go to the South on the islands. We heard that Phuket is nothing special and that people visiting it were mostly disappointed. So we are more likely to go on the Eastern islands – Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. Is it possible to surf and snorkel during monsoon season? Which are the other islands worth visiting on the South?

On the last week we are flying with AirAsia form BKK to Phnom Pehn and then going to Siem Reap and Angkor temple. Then we return back to BKK. How many days should we spend in Cambodia and what else should we visit beside mentioned? We are flying to Cambodia and returning to BKK with trains/buses.

We are students and we would like to make this trip as non-tourist and authentic as possible. We would like to come in contact with the real lifestyle of Thailand and Cambodia. So we would ask for any advice on what is worth visiting in each country (of course we won’t avoid all the tourist hot spots, but we would mostly like to find out about less known and interesting things to check out).
Do you recommend any good and interesting guesthouses?

Thank you very much for your answers! :)

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