I am SO excited about today’s post because it is ALL about my Thailand trip and what I did over the course of 12 days! We self-planned our trip, so it was an adventure in and of itself that I wanted to share. I will be releasing all the details in two posts so I can share our Thailand 12 day itinerary and all the tips in smaller, digestible pieces.
This is one of the only trips where I kept a travel journal every step of the way and it has been a nice little reminder to ensure I keep that on my next trip. It was also one of my top two favorite trips I have EVER taken – the people were great, the prices were cheap, there was so much culture, nature, a great nightlife and overall a ton of new things we had never seen. Personally, I would have liked to stay in Phuket maybe one more day and got rid of Bangkok, but Bangkok tends to be the cheapest city to fly into, so we took advantage and spent a day there.
12 day Thailand Itinerary
- Day 0/1 – LAX to Bangkok – red eye, arrive at 2am and get going right after a short nap
- Day 2-3 – Chiang Mai
- Day 4-8 – Phuket
- Day 9-11 – Phi Phi Islands
- Day 12 – BKK back to LAX
Getting ready to go to Thailand
I started off my journal entry to the trip talking about the things to take with you on a plane which I wrote more about in my other blog entry. A few other things that I want to add in for international flights are:
- A face mask – You are in circulating air for hours at a time, so it it helps to keep yourself healthy. We took multiple flights within Thailand so it was even more important.
- Stretch before you go – You will be sitting for many hours. Also make sure you force yourself to get up at least every 2 hours to ensure circulation.
- Buy water ahead of time – The water bottles you typically get from the airlines are small. If you are a heavy water drinker like I am, getting larger bottles is worth it.
Other things to prepare:
- Check the weather – We thought that because it wasn’t winter we didn’t need to take a jacket, but come to find out it still rains so it was worth it to pack a light rain jacket.
- Prepare for the temples – You will need to be covered up for many of the temples, so carry socks (sometimes you also have to take off your shoes), a long skirt/pants, something that covers your shoulders and a Hydroflask if you have one to stay hydrated and allow your water to stay cool in the humid weather. This is also why it is is a good idea to carry a bag/backpack large enough to carry these extra things with you. If you get really light clothing, the bag will not need to be too big and you can roll your clothes in there.
- Shots – Although shots aren’t required, we got ours just to be safe.
- Food pills – We bought Travelan to take prior to eating several meals to ensure we didn’t get sick. The two times we got sick was because we ate too many consecutive meals without taking the pills.
- Hand sanitizer – Many times there isn’t soap available, so make sure you have a way to keep your hands clean.
- Tissue – Some bathrooms we went to didn’t have toilet paper, so take some with you in small tissues.
- Safety – While I was there, I felt very safe although at times I did panic for my safety in uncomfortable situations (it was all in my head). It was interesting that throughout the entire trip we only saw 2 cops. Police aren’t very prevalent there, but if you have an emergency they have the tour police you can call at: 1155.
- Phone Service – Ensure your carrier works over there. You can use Uber and make calls as needed if you have service.
- Quick dry towel – If you are going to any of the islands or beach cities, I recommend you take one of these so that you aren’t carrying around a heavy wet towel with you.
- We flew from LAX to BKK airport and arrived at 2am. We almost got mugged and someone tried to say they were a taxi and they were NOT! Be careful and ensure that you double check who you are riding with and if things feel fishy, they likely ARE!
- We stayed at the Baan Wanglang Riverside hotel because we wanted to be near the Grand Palace. The view was nice and near the river, so it was nice to experience water transportation which is very prevalent there. The downside/upside is that this was in the locals area. It was in the middle of a market and a bunch of little shops. You got to see how families and businesses were ran – they woke up at 4am to start cooking so they can sell fresh food at their restaurants. There is a more touristy area but we didn’t stay there because we were more interested in being close to the Palace since we were there just for one day.
- Grand Palace – This was our first tourist spot and by far the most intimidating, beautiful and impressive. There were thousands of people there and the lines were separated by locals and tourists. Make sure that you go into the tourist line, as it tends to be shorter. The palace itself was majestic and had so much to see and learn from. It is definitely a must-see in Thailand.
- The Golden Buddah – This temple was OK in my view, there wasn’t a ton to see and felt more like a tourist trap.
- Wat Arun – This is the original location of the capital and had ancient temples. It is right by Pier 2, so you can take a water taxi there. The nice thing about these tourist locations is that most of them are right by each other. One thing to keep in mind when in Bangkok is that the traffic is crazy and they have tuk tuks (mopeds), cars, trucks and bikes all sharing one lane so going from one place to another can take a long time depending on the time of day.
- Massages – You can get a great deal on a massage. We got a full body 60 minute one for $20. Not gonna lie – they take the term “full body” very seriously and at a point I didn’t feel uncomfortable, but as soon as I told them, they stopped.
- Food – There are so many food options! Many of them which are small restaurants or even street food. They have a lot of fresh fruit everywhere, but be careful as the water that is used to clean the fruit is not the best for you. Just always be aware of how sanitary things look. If you take a pill before eating them, you should be fine.
- Nightlife – Bangkok’s nightlife was so much more than I expected. Khao San Road is a long boulevard with everything from small dive bars, hostels, clubs, massages, street food, fried bugs (this is very common there) and the BEST people watching. If anything, get a drink and sit down at a bar to watch all of the people walking by. We got the best Pad Thai on our trip from a street vendor here.
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I look forward to sharing more on my blog part 2 next week! 🙂