I just got back from Thailand! Before I go (and while I’m there), I have done my research and it turns out that these 4 provinces are the most ideal places to spend your holiday if you plan to visit the beautiful country of smiles and is creating your Thailand Itinerary.
My time is very limited though so if you have at least 2 weeks at your disposal, these are the perfect places to see based on my experience and the experiences of other travelers that I talked to during my stay.
Thailand Itinerary – Bangkok
Day 1: Temple Hopping during the day, Rooftop Bar during the night
My most coveted tip: Please don’t get drunk. Rooftop bars are ideal for your first day because it’s too expensive. You sure won’t get drunk than if you go to Khao San or Sukhumvit. The reason why you can’t is because you have to go to the floating market the morning. It’s sort of far so you have to wake up early. I lost some of my paid tours because I’m too hungover to wake up. Don’t do that. Be a rsponsible and sane adult.
Day 2: Floating Market during the day, Michelin Star restaurant During the night
I love the floating market. If you liked spices, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is your thing. If you’re looking for food, clothes, and other things, the Maeklong Train Market is the place to go. Wear the most comfortable clothing you have though. saying that it’s hot is an understatement. I came from a hot and humid country but Thailand is on a whole ‘nother level.
Bangkok is also famous for its Michelin star restaurants. You can find the list of them here. If your budget is tight, just opt for a secret bar. I love secret bars because you can enjoy your drink in peace.
Day 3: Cooking Class in the morning, Chatuchak Weekend Market during the afternoon, Khao San Road During the night.
The day has come. It’s your last day in Bangkok and tomorrow, you’re heading for Chiang Mai. You can now get drunk at Khao San Road and enjoy cheap alcohol. But before that, try some cooking classes. This is probably the highlight of my stay. I love Thai Food! The flavors are well blended. I believe that a country’s culture starts with their food, so I strongly recommend you do this!
Aside from that, don’t miss out Chatuchak Weekend Market! Ideally, your day 3 should be a Saturday so you’ll have Chatuchak Weekend Market and Khao San Road at its peak day!
Thailand Itinerary – Chiang Mai:
Day 4: Gap Day
We all need a rest day. Believe me, you need it. I didn’t think I do when I travel the first time and I ended up more stressed for the whole trip than when I’m talking to problematic clients. I suggest you take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. You’ll get to see a lot of scenery since it’s day time. You can also do night train rides if you’re way too hungover. It’s your gap day! Use it wisely.
I’m a notorious hotel hopper. During my gap days, I usually stay in hotels with pools and/or bath tub so I can relax in peace. I only stay for a day though, the rest of the days will be spent in hostels again.
Day 5: Temple Hopping in the morning, Lantern Festival in the evening
Chiang mai has the most beautiful temples I have ever seen in my entire existence – so far. And the most sought-after festival in Chiang Mai is the Lantern Festival. The ticket is so expensive, but if you don’t want to splurge, you can just enjoy it from afar.
There are a lot of countries who offer the same experience of lightning a lantern, but the grandness of this festival in Chiang Mai is a must-see!
Day 6: Elephant Sanctuary in the morning, Food Crawl in the afternoon, bar in the evening
Oh man, your day 6 will be so packed. Like I said, use your Gap Day wisely and recharge. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We all love the YOLO lifestyle but please don’t get too drunk. It’s fun while you’re at it but when the morning came and you have a tour to attend to, it’s not worth it.
I usually do my pub crawls during the days when I don’t have to wake up early the next morning. If I have to wake up early but I really want to drink, I make sure to not get too drunk – something that I’ve learned the hard way.
Day 7: Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is closer to Chiang Mai and has a lot of pretty temples as well. I liked the red lotus river. In fact, since my time is limited, I wasn’t able to go but it’s in my bucket list (I will do another trip for Indochina in 2019 and will squeeze this in)
Thailand Itinerary – Phuket
Day 8: Patong Beach, Gap Day
Again, use your gap day wisely. As much as possible, find a hostel near the beach like Paradise Hostel in Paradise Beach around Patong area. You can have a massage if you want to as well.
I suggest for you to book a flight straight from Chiang Mai to Phuket. You can do land travel but that would take you at least 16 hours and will be very, very tiring.
Day 9: Koh Phi Phi
Do not book tours ahead of time. I repeat, do not book PHUKET tours ahead of time. It’s more expensive. And every single accommodation in the area offers the same tour for half the price!
From your hostel/hotel, book a ferry bound to Koh Phi Phi. And from there, book your island hopping and snorkeling tour.
Day 10: Koh Pangan, Full Moon Party
Same goes with Koh Pangan. Just take a ferry and book your tour from your koh Pangan accommodation, if you want to. Either book a tour or chill by the beach. It’s your holiday after all.
The southern part of Thailand is famous for its full moon party. Make sure to put your day 10 during the full moon party. You can mix and match this itinerary if you want to as well.
Day 11: Beach Hopping around Phuket, Phuket Old Town, Wat Chalong
Taxis are so expensive in Phuket and other Islands. One trip will cost you 1,000 baht – which is out of the question when you’re travelling alone. The best way for you to travel around is to rent a motorbike. If you don’t know how to ride one, you can rent a car. Or just book a motorcycle taxi.
Thailand Itinerary – Koh Samui
Day 12: Secret Buddha Garden in the morning, fisherman’s village in the evening
Koh Samui is the milder version of Phuket but it’s great all the same. I think all of the places have their own type of charm.
I am in awe of Secret Buddha Garden. It’s calm and very peaceful – something that you’ll need after Phuket. This is another plane flight for you. Phuket to Koh Samui doesn’t cost as much as Chiang Mai to Phuket so I think you’ll do just fine.
At night, you can go to Fisherman’s Village and just enjoy the sea breeze with a bottle of beer or two. Again, please don’t get too drunk. I suggest you drink beers instead of cocktails because their cocktails are so crappy. I love passionfriut but after the pubcrawl, I hated even the smell of it.
Day 13: Temple hopping in the morning, Ladyboy Cabaret Show in the evening
If you don’t want to see any temples anymore, you can make this day as a gap day. I loved temples so much because we only have cathedrals in the Philippines. No matter which country I go, temples never fails to amaze me.
Another must-see in Thailand is their ladyboy culture. You can buy a ticket and see the Ladyboy Cabaret show. It’s not that grand like cirque du soleil but seeing all these beautiful ladies who spend thousands of dollars for the sake of looking like a female is awesome and very inspiring.
Day 14: Ang Thong National Park in the morning, Koh Tao Beach in the afternoon.
Beach Day is here! Get your last pair of swimwear and enjoy the last few rays of Sunshine that you’ll have in Thailand. Go to Ang Thong beach in the morning for a dip then work your way up to Koh Tao. You won’t regret it. It’s the perfect day to just relax by the sea and take it all in. The greatness of this holiday and the next adventure you’ll have.
Day 15: Reflection
Your holiday finally came to an end. You’ll now go back to your apartment with all of these memories. I always put the last day of every single trip I had as a reflection day. What did I learned during my trip? What learnings can I take home with me?
As an answer to those questions, I’ve learned that I have been too preoccupied by non-important things. Like Instagram, for example. When I lost my phone, all of my fears came in. What if I get lost? how can I book taxis? how can I take pictures? How can I post in Instagram? What about my instagram followers?
But because I’ve lost my phone, I’ve been very submerged to every conversation that I had. I’ve been listening intently (like what every decent human being should do). I’ve learned how to ask for help and I’ve talked to more people than necessary.
For Instance, I’ve been inspired to travel India because I’ve talked to a fellow Indian traveler – and contrary to how I judged them in the past, Indians are the most respectful people I’ve met in a while. No indecent proposals, no predator-like feeling, and others.
I lived in a country with 7,000 plus islands and I think I’ve seen it all. But seeing a different sunset in a different place gives me this overwhelming sense of peace and pride and fulfillment. And I always find myself thinking that “yes, this is why I travel”.
Bonus: I have more time than 15 days!
So you got more time. Great! more gap days for you! Most of the people would suggest that you go to the neighboring countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and others. I would suggest otherwise. I suggest you go to Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Krabi, and Kanchanaburi. Or you can spend one or two more days in Koh Phi Phi, Koh Pangan, and Koh Samui. Enjoy the slowness of it all. Immerse yourself and enjoy Thailand as a whole.
After all, we don’t travel to collect countries. If you do, you’re technically a tourist. We travel because life back home sucks and we need some place to breathe for a while. Our instagram posts and stories won’t matter when we are all graying and wrinkly individuals. What matters most is the connection you made with other people. The amount of empathy and fun times and drunken talks you had with strangers who leaves and who stays. That’s the beauty of traveling.
Before You Visit Thailand:
Make sure to do your research. This blog post will give you an idea about where to go in Thailand. But if you’re travelling alone, you are responsible for yourself. Don’t forget to always be street smart and don’t trust people easily.
I’ve watched a couple of documentaries featuring Thailand like Somebody Feed Phil and a movie called Genius. It gives me an idea of what to expect. I suggest you do the same. The people are mostly great, but again, I’ve lost my phone in Phuket so you’ll never really know.
I hope you enjoy your holiday in Thailand! I loved it so much and will definitely go back again!
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