This post is part of the series Thailand
Other posts in this series:
- 3 Week Thailand Itinerary (Current)
- Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand
- Wat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in Bangkok
Ah, Thailand! I started with research on Thailand in 2017, but we ended up visiting Malaysia that year. The reason was the death of Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand. A year-long period of mourning was subsequently announced, which involved many restrictions in everyday life, also for the tourists. So, we decided to wait one more year for our long-dreamed trip to Thailand!
Check my latest Blog Posts from Malaysia here:
When planning our very first trip to Thailand, I was extremely overwhelmed … and probably you’ll be too. Because being “overwhelmed” is very common in every sense when it comes to Thailand. Especially, when you want to go everywhere as I did!
But the truth is – there is no wrong way to do Thailand! Thailand is a remarkable country and a dream destination for many people. And there are hundreds of reasons about that! Thailand has something for everyone – amazing cities, tropical sandy beaches, dizzying nature, an amazing culture, delicious food, and friendly people! There is just so much to see and do! You can go for e.g.:
- Diving into the buzzy city life and culture of Bangkok
- Visiting the historical and religious sites in the north of Thailand
- Jungle trekking and all kinds of outdoor activities in the National Parks
- Island hopping! … in the Gulf of Thailand or the Andaman Sea
On our trip to Thailand, we spent 24 days travelling around the country… but we could have probably spent another couple of months here. Thailand is filled with wonderful sights, but they can be a little spread apart.
Ah, Thailand! A bit longer than 3 weeks of pure happiness!
So, what did we chose? Since I wanted to see all different things and truly feel the county, we did pretty everything. From adventure to relaxation. From Bangkok to Chiang Mai, through the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea and the amazing wild nature of Krabi. This option, however, was intense … but every second worth it!
Day 1: Fight to Bangkok
(08.03 to 09.03)
On the 8th of March, we flew with the Emirates from Munich (the outside temperature was 4° ) to Bangkok (the outside temperature was 34°) for about 14 hours. The flight was pleasant, but the difference of 30° and 7 hours felt like a massive hangover!
Day 2, 3, 4, 5: Bangkok!
(09.03 to 13.03) Jet lag, Thai Boxing, Temple-Hipping, Crazy Markets, Tuk-Tuks
Where to stay: Adelphi Suites Bangkok
On the next photo, you can see my very first impression of Bangkok: the Cable Monster! Cable Monsters are everywhere in the city! To be honest, I’ve never seen something like this before … Even the Balkan Cable Monsters are mini, tiny butterflies compared to these in Bangkok!
You may probably have heard that you can skip Bangkok when travelling to Thailand?
Bangkok is like New York City on LSD with Green Curry Sauce!
Bangkok is buzzy. Loud. Colourful. Heavy. Bizarre. Fancy. Vintage. Stinky. Sparkling. Мystifying.
Anyway. There is so much you can do in the Capital of Thailand! Discover the city by Tuk-Tuk driving. Visit the most sparkling Temples. Enjoy a rooftop party. Bargain at Chatuchak Market. Have a Thai-Massage. Or two. Or three. Go and watch some Thai Boxing. Or learn how to box. Get drunk on Khao San Road. (Please make sure, the last one comes after learning how to box! Just kidding 😉 )
Day 6, 7, 8, 9: Chiang Mai!
(13.03 to 17.03) Green Curry Chicken, Temple-Hopping, Elephant Sanctuary
Where to stay: Pingviman Hotel
Second stop, Chiang Mai! The real Thailand … as the locals used to say.
You could head towards Chiang Mai in several ways, but I would strongly recommend you to book a flight (50 min flight from Bangkok). But if you have enough time for slow travel, then you can go for the night train. The ride will take about 11h.
I recommend checking out Air Asia, Thai Airways and Nok Air’s discounted flights. We paid something about 40 € p.p. so it was totally worth saving the hours for something better than sitting in a train…
But what about Chiang Mai? I was completely blown away! It is a vibrant city with numerous night markets and 1001 Buddhist temples. Visit one of the Elephant Sanctuaries. You can enjoy the best Thai Food in the whole World… and the best Thai Green Chicken Curry… and the best Mango Sticky Rise!!! You can go trekking in the mountains. Or just chill by the pool. Your Holidays. Your decision.
Day 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Koh Tao!
(17.03 to 22.03) Diving, Snorkelling, Scooter-ing, Chilling
Where to stay: Koh Tao Heights Exclusive Apartments
After the whole week spent in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, it was finally time for Island Hopping!
First stop – Koh Tao. We woke up at 4:30 and took the Flight from Chiang Mai to Surat Thani at 6:00 am. At 7:30 we were already in Surat Thani and at 9:00 am on the ferry to Koh Tao! Some 6 Hours and some amazing views over the Chumphon Archipelago later, we arrived at Koh Tao! We literally broke the World Record for fastest transit from Chiang Mai to Koh Tao!
Koh Tao island is part of the Chumphon Archipelago located in the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. The other 2 main islands are Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. You can also choose Koh Samui – famous for being a place for package tourism. Or Koh Pha Ngan – famous for its Full Moon parties and Mushroom Mountain (Mellow Mountain).
So, no kids, and no magic mushrooms – your place is Koh Tao!
… Long story, short: Koh Tao became my favourite island! Like ever, EVER!
We stayed near Sairee Beach – the best area of Koh Tao where everything is happening! And the sunsets are just AMAZING!
Day 15, 16, 17 Koh Phi Phi!
(22.03 to 25.03) White Sandy Beaches, 1001 Cats, Maya Bay
Where to stay: HIP Seaview Resort @ Phi Phi
Next stop – Koh Phi Phi Don!
We took the first ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Samui at 7:00 and flew from Koh Samui to Krabi. From Krabi, we took the ferry to Koh Phi Phi Don. All in all, 7 hours instead of 20 hours without flying!
Koh Phi Phi Islands are situated in the Andaman Sea, between Krabi and Phuket. Although they are famous for being party islands, nature there is simply marvellous! You can escape the crowd like we did if you stay at Long Beach on Phi Phi Don. Simply Paradise! … and one of the most beautiful spots in the country.
We spent 3 days here: snorkelling, sunbathing, island hopping, Maya Bay, Monkey Bay … I still cannot believe how beautiful this place is!
Day 18, 19, 20 Koh Lanta!
(25.03 to 28.03) Scootering, 1001 Beaches, Cocktail-ing
Where to stay: Sayang Beach Resort Koh Lanta
Timeout – we needed some holidays from holidays. There is no better choice than hopping to Koh Lanta!
Koh Lanta = fewer crowds, wild beaches, clean waters, reasonable prices. I’ve never seen so many beautiful and empty beaches in my entire life.
We did love zipping in Thailand on a moped and Koh Lanta was a great place for it. We rented a moped and explored the whole Island.
Koh Lanta (27 km long) is much bigger than Koh Tao, for example, so you definitely will need a scooter if you want to explore the island on your own.
I think the best area to stay in Koh Lanta is Long Beach which is located in the northern part of the island. Some of my favourite beaches in Koh Lanta are Kantiang Bay, Ao Klong Jarkand Bamboo Bay.
Day 21, 22, 23 Railay Beach!
(28.03 to 31.03) Limestone Mountains, Hiking, Thai Massage
Where to stay: Railay Princess Resort & Spa
No Thailand trip is complete, without hopping on a ferry to Krabi! Or even better – a ferry to Railay!
We took the direct ferry from Koh Lanta to Railay Beach and although we travelled only 1:30 hours, it was the most expensive ferry that we had in Thailand.
We spent out 3 last days here. Railay Beach is just a stunning place… And is one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand for sure!
3 days in 3 words: sun-bathing, rock-climbing, Thai-massage!
Day 24: Fight to Munich!
(31.03 to 01.04) … It’s Hard to say “Goodbye!”
… But since we had to head back to Munich airport, we flew back to Bangkok first! We had to wait almost 8 hours until boarding, so we took a taxi and went to the nearest shopping centre “The Paseo Mall”, which is only 10 min. of a drive to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
I hope you enjoyed the article, and have a super fun trip to Thailand! Throughout the next coming weeks, I will write about each visited location, so stay tuned!
Enjoy the day!
Continue reading this series:
Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand