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You're going to want to spend at least 4 days in Bangkok. That narrows it down to 8 days for the rest and you don't want all of those to be travel days. So narrow down what you want to see. Are you interested in primarily a beach vacation (Phuket/Ko Samui) or do you want more cultural experiences (Chang Mai/Chang Rai/Sukothai). I think that when you answer those questions, you'll have a better idea of how you want to structure the vacation.
I am new here and was hoping to get some ideas on going about making our itineraries for a Travel to Thailand and Malaysia. I am based in Canada (Toronto
) and the wife and I are planning for a 18 day trip around Dec 1st 2015 to Thailand and Malaysia. From what I can see Thailand has a lot of options and I have narrowed it down to the following :
I was hoping to explore Thailand first for around 12 days and then maybe Malaysia for the remaining 6. Was checking with people who have done trips befoe if the list above is reasonable for 12 days in Thailand or maybe if someone can suggest a better itinerary to get the full experience in the given timeframe, I am sure if Malaysia does not thave a lot to see we can increase time in Thailand by a bit. Are they any good local guided tour comanies in Thailand which can offer a tour to take us to those palces or a breakdown of first doing northern Thailand and then Southern Thailand?
Very good advice above from Pauline. As many travelers do, most want to fit in as much in as possible and usually time available and the list of places planned to visit have not considered the impact that travel can have on moving around in Asian countries. When planning, I use as a general rule setting aside a day of travel between each destination, plus you have the day of arrival and departure to consider, unless I'm positive it can be reached in an hour or two, or know in advance it will take longer. Then depending on departure/arrival times I may fit in some sightseeing before or after the transit. It has always been my recommendation with tourist travel that less is more. You'll have a much better travel experience if you don't spend most of your time in cars, in airports, on airplanes, in train/bus stations, and on trains or buses; select the sights that most interest you and then stay at least a full day not including arrival and departure and of course stay longer if the sights warrant more than a full day of sightseeing, such as in Bangkok.
I would spend 3/4 days in Bangkok first, taking a day trip to Ayutthaya and Bang Pa In (the king's summer residence), then go to the Northern part of Thailand, to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai for other 3/4 days and then relax on Krabi Beaches!