04 Apr Banana Pancake Trail Worth it or not?
If you have looked into traveling to Southeast asia at any given point, chances are you have heard or read about the Banana Pancake Trail. This so called trail refers to undefined but general route for many backpackers looking to explore Southeast Asia on a longer term trip while staying to a budget.
The name itself refers to the fact that many of the original trekkers of the Banana Pancake Trail were western travelers who would seek hostels and hotels that provided creature comforts, such as banana pancakes, while on a long term travel route traversing many asian countries. Generally speaking, The Banana Pancake Trail is more of an idea that serves as a framework for travel in the region and often includes destinations in countries including some of, but not necessarily all of the following; Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and China.
Dating back to the 60s and 70s, this route has become a bit of a controversial topic among travelers nowadays. Many experienced travellers argue that this route is too ‘easy’ and has stripped the authenticity and real cultural experiences since it has been so well traversed and now largely caters to tourists. Internet cafes, hostels,
Western-style restaurants, and bars have popped up all along it to accommodate the influx of budget travelers. In fact, it is not uncommon for locals to speak some level of English. While some find these elements to be off putting, on the other hand many believe that this makes travel in the region safer, more accessible, and well-defined for solo or new travelers who are looking to explore the area.
So, to take The Banana Pancake trail not? That is not certain, but one thing that is for sure, is that regardless of which route you take, you will need a place to stay! Luckily enough, these countries offer a great variety of accommodations that range from budget to luxury, and quirky to more standard to accommodate all types of travelers. We have rounded up 3 of our favorite places in Thailand since it often serves as the starting point for any trip in Southeast Asia.
These eco-friendly bungalows are perfect for those travelers that are more of a budget, with a wallet friendly price of $44 per night for two people- that’s $22 per night for each person. Not only is the price a steal, but the setting is absolutely amazing as they bungalows are tucked away high in the mountains of the Mae Wang area in Thailand, just about a 1.5-hour drive away from Chiang Mai City (the property offers pick-up and drop-off services). The lodge consists of mountain bungalows that allow you to experience the pristine northern Thai nature. Wake up to breezes of fresh mountain air and look out over the lush jungle. The local villagers lead a truly authentic Thai way of life that is perfect for travelers that are looking for that off the beaten track.
These beachfront luxury tents are located on Ruwai Beach in the famous island of Phuket, Thailand and are in perfect walking distance of many popular bars, restaurants, and nightlife activities on the island. Visitors are encouraged to take a boat for island-hopping to the Ko Phi Phi islands, known as some of the most gorgeous yet accessible islands in the world.
Those looking for a more luxurious stay while visiting Thailand should consider a stay at this lovely Villa that is secluded perfection. Surrounded by acres of private grounds with gardens, ponds, and orchards, it is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway. The property also grows its own mangos, bananas and passion fruit, as well as chilies, basil, papaya, lemongrass, and more, which are often used for the daily breakfast which is provided to guests of the property. Plenty of other services such as day trips, massages, and cooking classes are offered on site as well.
The Banana Pancake can iIf anything, serve as a great place to start for those exploring the area. And if that feels too inauthentic, travelers can certainly veer off onto more adventurous and less explored areas. Regardless of whether travelers choose to follow The Banana Pancake or not, this region of the world is truly stunning.
Article contributed by Giovanna Tapia