You asked and now you’ve received. Here are my recommendations for where you should go and what your route should be for Thailand. A rough overview itinerary if you will.
I have been to this incredible country a few times, so I feel I have a good lay-of-the-land now. Unfortunately, it is getting more touristy and even more expensive to travel here because it’s become such a hot spot in recent years. If you are planning to travel to Thailand in your lifetime; now is the time. Granted, by “more expensive” I just mean it is getting pricier from what it used to be a few years ago. It’s still 1/1000000 of the cost of America and still extremely cheap by our standards.
What Season Is Best To Visit?
There really isn’t a bad time to go to Thailand honestly. I’ve been in July “the rainy season” and I’ve been in November. Both were relatively the same as far as sun and rain. However, I will say that it was definitely less hot and moist (lol) in November. I would say the best times to go are probably between November and April because it’s a little less humid and hot then, but you can go year-round. July-end of October are monsoon season, so I guess if possible avoid those months, but like I said I went in July and it was great; just hot.
Where to Fly and How Many Days:
Fly into Bangkok it’s the cheapest. Especially from *smart airports* like LAX! You can find flights for $500 round trip. Shit you not, but you can read more about cheap flights here.
Now, a common misconception is that Bangkok is this amazing city for travel and you can go for a week;
It’s a massive Asian city and that’s it. 1-2 days here to fly in, recoop from jet lag, and see a few temples and we’re good. If you want more specific recommendations for Bangkok click here.
Get out to Koh Samui to do Full Moon Party. You will fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui and then take the ferry to Koh Phagnan where full moon party is. The ferry ride takes about an hour and it’s CHEAP. Like $9 USD. The flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui will run you about $100 USD
You can see all dates for full moon party for 2020 here. Quick snapshot of 2020/2021 dates below.
Make sure you plan your trip around this date. You need to go to Full Moon at least ONCE in your life. I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s a lot of 19 year old’s just blacked out. I’m 25 and I did not get that vibe at all. It was the time of my life and I met people mostly my age and older. Even people in their thirties.
I’ll be releasing a Full Moon Guide soon, so happy planning. Good luck to you and your liver.
After you’ve lost 10 years on your life from Full Moon, take the ferry back to Koh Samui and spend 2-3 nights at this resort here. The SALA Samui Choengmon Beach Resort. WOW. I’ve never been to a more gorgeous resort in my life. UNREAL and so cheap for what you get it’s absurd. Check my Instagram “Koh Phangan” highlights to get a feel for it.
There’s not much to do in Koh Samui in my opinion. It’s kind of just a port to get to and from Full Moon party. I would have never looked twice at Koh Samui, but this resort is WORTH 2-3 nights to recoop from Full Moon. I could have stayed a week to be honest. Especially for recovery 😉 The Villas are UNREAL.
We had the SALA Pool Villa. $298 a night for 4 people, including an INSANE breakfast for us all on the beach. 2 levels, 3 beds, outdoor bathroom, outdoor showers, private pool, 2 outdoor jacuzzi tubs, I can’t say enough good things. It was massive. The price for what you get is insanity.
After Koh Samui fly down to Phuket. $100 USD. Yeah, this flight is on the more expensive side but use points if you really want to. It’s only 1:15 hr flight.
Phuket is south Thailand along the coast. It’s known for Patong Beach. Super lively area with all the restaurants, bars, street food, you could ever imagine. Everything is walkable and it’s definitely worth a few nights out here: very rowdy. I recommend staying in Phuket for 3-4 nights. There’s lot to do here and for more specific recommendations on what to do, where to stay check out the Phuket guide here!
After Phuket, take the ferry to Phi Phi Islands. Round trip ferry tickets are no more than $15 USD. CHEAP. Ferry is about 2 hours one way. Get to the ferry early so you can get a good seat outside.
Stay in Phi Phi for 2-3 nights. It’s gorgeous and unbelievable nightlife. I prefer Phi Phi to Krabi personally. You can take cruises around the islands, hike, go out, just lounge. It’s picturesque Thailand. Everyone says it’s “touristy”. Regardless, I loved it and think it’s WELL WORTH a visit.
After Phi Phi head back to Phuket on the ferry. Spend another night in Phuket because doing the ferry and then hitting the airport is a mission. You CAN do it, you’d just have the take an early ferry and have a later flight. But knowing myself and Phi Phi’s nightlife scene I wasn’t making no early ferry 🙂 I barely made the 11am 🙂
I personally just didn’t want to deal with it plus we had an incredible villa in Phuket that was literally three floors with beach access and our own private pool. So why the hell not stay an extra night. I talk more about this hotel and villa in my Phuket guide post.
After Phuket take a flight to Chiang Mai in the North. 4 nights here! It’s not along the coast like the others so you get more of a feel for inland Thailand. They have an amazing night market and so much stuff to do that’s different from the coast. If you book it correctly this flight should only cost you around $50 USD.
After Chiang Mai, you’ll head back to Bangkok for a night. This flight from Chiang Mai is literally as cheap as $27 USD. After your night in Bangkok you’ll then head back home. The trip should be around 2 weeks; however, you can cut things out if you want. I think the minimum amount of time (including travel days) that you should be taking for Thailand is 10 days to really enjoy it.
So, doing the math for you…the total cost of transport (flights and ferries) to visit 6 places in Thailand should and can be around $800-900 USD…TOTAL BABYY.
- Smart Airport – Bangkok Round trip = ~$500
- Bangkok – Koh Samui – ~$100
- Ferry Koh Samui – Koh Phangan – Koh Samui = ~$9
- Koh Samui – Phuket = ~$100
- Ferry Phuket – Phi Phi – Phuket = ~ $15
- Phuket – Chiang Mai = ~$50
- Chiang Mai – Bangkok = ~$30
If you need help planning just contact me for a full custom itinerary with flight prices, hotels, transport, budgeting, etc. here
And there you go folks, proof that it’s NOT that expensive to travel to the other side of the world for insane vacations in paradise.
- Bangkok: 1-2 nights
- Koh Phangan: 2-3 nights (three options)
- 2 nights: the night before the party and the night of the party
- 2 nights: the night of the party and the night after the party
- 3 nights: the night before, the night of, and the night after the party
- Koh Samui: 2-3 nights (if you are going to “X” anything from your trip it should be this, but like I said the resort is so worth it)
- Phuket: 3-4 nights: 3 full days minimum
- Phi Phi islands: 2-3 nights: two full days minimum
- 1 night
- or “X” and go straight to airport from Phi Phi, but that’s a mission
- Chiang Mai: 4 nights
- 1 night and then head home the following day.
- or “X” and book one way to Bangkok in the morning from Chiang Mai and take your flight home from Bangkok in the afternoon,
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