Thailand Itinerary pt. 3

Hi friend!

Thank you for following along this amazing journey with me and sticking through the three part series of my Thailand Itinerary. You can see the first and second parts of this blog prior to reading this blog to learn more pre-planning and what to expect from Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

In this final blog I will focus on our last two cities which were Phuket and Phi Phi Islands. I LOVE island vacations, so I am super excited to share more about my experience here!!

Phuket

  • There are three main beaches in Phuket and we stayed at Patong beach which is the most northern of them. They say this is the “least” nicest because it is the party town. We spent all our time here, and I wish we would have spent one night at Kata beach to explore it, as we heard it is the nicest one. The beaches are close enough to each other to where you can take a boat or rent a moped. The boats were too expensive for two people to rent for a day trip and I was way too terrified for a moped, so we just stayed local. We stayed at the Patong Signature Hotel which was cheap, right across the street from the beach and walking distance from Bangla Road (party street).
  • We decided to buy a tour through “Raya Princess” which was recommended to us by our hotel and it was horrible! Do not use them. Despite what the hotels may say, TripAdvisor is a great resource to use when deciding what company to book your tour with. Although the tour company wasn’t great, Raya beach was absolutely beautiful! The water was the clearest I have ever seen (I have been to the Bahamas, Cancun and Hawaii)! The only negative part about the beach is that it gets really crowded (like most tourist beaches), so I recommend you go early.

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  • The next day we went on the John Grey’s Sea Canoe which was amazing! We took the starlight tour because we wanted the night activity. You start off your day with lunch and then go kayak through different caves. At night you make a Krathong, which is a little floating plant designed for you and you get to put it in the water with a little candle and make a wish. The process of making the Krathong was so awesome because we used leaves and flowers to make a little planter looking thing. We also got to see the glowing plankton at night. This is a much more simplistic version of what we saw, but it was breathtaking to be able to be kayaking through the water with the giant rocks, going through caves and making memories. The only negative on this trip was that I got a stomach ache from it. I am not sure if it was from the food (they have very fresh delicious food) or the water I was drinking. Considering everything is made on the boat, I recommend you take your own water and only eat cooked things if your stomach is delicate.

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  • Once we got back, we made sure to go check out the nightlife. Bangla Road is the place to be! It is unfortunate that lady boys are so prevalent over there which promotes prostitution, but overall there were many choices in regards to bars and clubs. We walked the road once just to observe, then re-walked it to see where we should stop. Needless to say, the people watching is great! This road also had an upscale club called Illuzion that had celebrity DJ’s. Although “upscale” it was interesting because the night we went it was free cover so we went to check it out.

Phi Phi

  • Our final stop on the trip was Phi Phi Islands. We bought a ferry ticket with transport from the Phuket port to Phi Phi. This also included a shuttle when we got back from the islands to take us to the airport which is approximately 1 hour away. One thing to note about ‘Thai time” is that they generally run 10-15 minutes late, so if you are running a little late, you should be fine.
  • Once in Phi Phi, we took another small boat to our hotel at the Viking Nature Resort and walked into the town which was about 15 minutes away during the day and about 25 minutes away in the dark because of all the uneven pavement and lack of lighting. The resort itself was pretty cool and creepy at the same time! I was insistent on staying in a treehouse and that is what I got – a treehouse. It was pretty cool the way things were put together, but there wasn’t a high level of security with your room so I would recommend to take a lock with your luggage; although we and our things were 100% fine the whole time. There was also a chance you would have bugs in your room, which they warn you about. This was the main reason I took heavy duty bug spray and protected myself. But hey, you’re in the jungle right? We had hammocks in our room patio which was super nice and relaxing until the gecko’s were hanging out on the lamp above us LOL The resort itself also has, what felt like, a village as part of the property which is a little weird. The guys would play soccer around 5pm, and if your room was by them, you would hear their game for about an hour. I would stay here again, but only for 2 nights and spend the rest of my time in the little town/city to be closer to more activities.
  • We found out that you can Padi scuba dive through a company called PP Aquanauts. They give you a short tutorial the morning of your dive, then you get some training in the water the next day and you get let into the water. I recommend you book this tour on the first day you get to the islands because they can get booked up and they start very early. This was such an amazing experience for us because we usually only snorkel, not dive. Being that deep under water changed my perspective of the sea and I was so glad that we did it! We saw some breathtaking coral and other sea life. That night we took at cooking class at Pum’s cooking school which was also really fun to learn how to make traditional Thai dishes. During the class we met a woman who showed us around the nightlife in the town and on the beach. It was wild to see fire shows and partying all along the beach. There were bars and clubs with a variety of different music, so you will for sure find something that fits your taste. The night scene here was very wild; definitely the most wild we have ever seen. However, if you want something chill, you can also find a lounge!

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Overall, this trip was in my top two favorites EVER! It was life-changing and Thailand gave me all the mystical vibes I was hoping for. I learned so much about another culture, got to try new experiences I never had before and got to fully plan our first overseas trip alone for the first time. Throughout the trip we met so many great people, so if you are someone who will travel alone, don’t worry! There are plenty of nice people along the way.

Curious to hear your thoughts about the trip and any of your favorite Thailand memories!

XO,

Gina

 

Thailand Itinerary pt. 1

Hi friend!

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.

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Bangkok

  • 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.

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I hope that you enjoyed this post! I look forward to sharing more on my blog part 2 next week! 🙂

READ MORE:

Part 2

Part 3

XO,

Gina