Ever wanted to travel Thailand but you don’t have the luxury of taking a few months off work? Well not to worry, I travelled Thailand in just under 3 weeks and will help you to do the same! I am going to give you all the details of where I went, where I stayed and how I got from A to B. Hope you enjoy!
Firstly, the Journey:
We booked our flights 7 months in advance for a roundtrip, Dublin – Bangkok, and paid 692.91 euros each. We flew with Emirates and but booked through a third party, which we found on Skyscanner, and had a short stop over in Dubai International Airport. We planned how we would get from island to island in advance, so here is the route we took:
- Bangkok – Koh Samui: We flew from Bangkok to Koh Samui with Bangkok Airways and it cost 136 euros. The flight took about 1 hour and we booked through Skyscanner.
- Koh Samui – Koh Tao: We took a fast ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao which took about 2 hours. We bought our tickets for the ferry at a local shop and it cost around 17 euros.
- Koh Tao – Koh Phangan: It takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to get from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan and it cost 15 euros. Again we bought tickets for the fast ferry, and they were sold in local shops.
- Koh Phangan – Phi Phi Islands: This was a bit more complex than the others but worked out just fine. We bought a joint ticket for 25 euros, which included a boat ride, then a bus ride and then another boat ride. It is around 8 hours travelling in total, so I tried to sleep on the bus, but so worth the journey. The boat we tried to stay on top so we could at least sunbathe. There is a shop on the boats so you won’t go hungry or thirsty.
- Phi Phi Islands – Phuket: We took the speed boat (or fast boat) from Phi Phi to Phuket and it took roughly an hour, costing 26 euros.
- Phuket – Bangkok: We booked a flight from Phuket to Bangkok with Trip.com and it cost roughly 24 euro each. It took 1 hour and 30 mins to get to Bangkok.
In terms of getting to our hotels from airports or ferry’s, we used local taxis mostly and in Phi Phi we had someone from our hotel help us with our bags as there are no vehicles there. Always check when you get off the ferry if there is a person there from your hotel with your name on a list as some arrange transport which saves you looking for it yourself. It is however relatively cheap to get taxis to and from hotels/restaurants on the islands where there are vehicles, if you don’t feel like walking.
Our accommodation was all booked through Booking.com. We booked most of it before our trip but some we changed last minute, without hassle. You could definitely book hotels as you go but on a tight schedule like ours, we thought it best to book most of it before we got there. All prices are noted below for each hotel.
We arrived in Bangkok and stayed for one night in Nouva City Hotel. To be honest the one night was enough for us, as Bangkok was crazy. You must go to Koh San Road though and experience the madness, we went for dinner and bucket(s) in one of the bars and danced all night which was a lot of fun. There are loads of bars where you can eat and drink with a good view of the road, as people watching is essential here. Beware that every promotor will want you to come to their bar so you will be approached a lot, and the streets are very busy so it’s important to stay together and keep your bag close to you. The hotel we stayed in was fab so we booked it for the route home too.
Hotel: Nouva City Hotel
Nights stayed: 1 night on the way / 1 night on the way home
Cost per night: 28 euros each
Next we moved on to Koh Samui and we stayed in Ark Bar. If you go to Koh Samui, you have to stay here or at least buy a day pass because it is amazing. Firstly, you are right on the beach so you can enjoy either the pool (with a bar) or the beach with comfy sun loungers that you can sit on for free, and secondly there is a DJ at the pool every afternoon which then continues into the evening and night for a beach party. The food in both restaurants at ark bar is reasonable and delicious, and the cocktails by the pool are so good. If you aren’t staying here you can purchase a day pass to the pool and enjoy the drinks/DJ but the beach party is open to everyone on the island with free entry. The beach party has fire shows (my absolute favourite), where you can skip the fire rope or just enjoy the performances and dance the night away. The DJ plays til late but not to worry if the music stops before your ready to go home, everyone tends to go on to the Green Mango from Ark Bar so just follow the crowd and you are sure to end up there. The Green Mango is a bar/nightclub and again so much fun. This island really is just a whole lot of fun, sunbathing all day and partying all night – highly recommend!
Hotel: Ark Bar Resort
Nights stayed: 4 nights
Cost per night: 105 euros each
After spending a few nights in Koh Samui with constant pool parties leading into beach parties, we were looking forward to visiting Koh Tao for a bit of a break before heading to the island of the Full Moon Party. Koh Tao was beautiful, we stayed in Blue Diamond Resort where we had our own little hut looking onto the complex pool. We were right on the beach and a short walk to some great cafes, restaurants and shops. We ended up going on the Koh Tao pub crawl the first night we arrived which was brilliant, starting out at Chopper’s pub and leading us to pool parties and other bars around the island (click here). We quickly learnt that the nightlife in Koh Tao was anything but quiet! The hotel we stayed in was a good distance from the most popular places to stay around the bars, but it was nice for a bit of a breather. Koh Tao is a favourite for visitors who want to get their scuba diving licenses, but as we were short on time we opted for snorkelling which was also amazing. In terms of food, I would highly recommend Coconut Monkey. I think we went everyday that we were in Koh Tao for breakfast, sometimes we even went twice in one day (breakfast and late lunch). The food was healthy, wholesome and nothing short of amazing and the views were incredible from there.
Hotel:Blue Diamond Resort
Nights stayed: 4 nights
Cost: Approx 85 euros each
Next up was Koh Phangan. In Koh Phangan, there were two main events that we enjoyed. First was the Jungle Party Experience – I would seriously recommend this to everyone, it is set up in the mountain in a jungle and and the music and atmosphere is incredible. You can buy tickets from any of the shops or restaurants on Koh Phangan island and it is usually the night before the full moon. The second event is of course the full moon. The hotel we stayed in was directly on the Hat Rin beach. There was definitely an advantage having our room’s balcony overlooking the beach where the Full Moon was on but the only downfall was the following night when we were trying sleep before the early morning boat ride, we could hear music from the beach all night. Originally we were supposed to leave to go to Phi Phi Islands the day after the Full Moon party, but we decided to book an extra day as we knew that we would be up all night at the full moon party. I would seriously recommend not travelling the day after the full moon as it is manic getting on the boats and not too great on an already uneasy stomach.
Hotel: Little Paradise
Nights Stayed: 3 nights
Cost: 167 euros each
Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands are absolutely beautiful and I would recommend everyone to visit here. Our hotel was lovely but unfortunately it wasn’t in a great location, the hotel I would recommend everyone to stay in though would be the PP Princess Resort which is a better location and has incredible views. Phi Phi for me was the island I was most looking forward to. It really is the perfect picture you see on postcards. We wanted to do a few activities in Phi Phi so we started with a boat party, with Black Sails Phi Phi Adventures. With this package, we got to snorkel with baby sharks, go to monkey beach, watch the sunset in the middle of the ocean, swim with plankton in the dark and visit a private beach for a group lunch. It was one of the best experiences, spending the day out at sea and you can book directly with them at stands in Phi Phi. For food, one place I would definitely recommend is the Banana Rooftop bar, which has incredible Mexican food, delicious cocktails and outdoor movies! Another thing that is a must is the view points in Phi Phi, make sure you make time to see these as they are honestly breathtaking. I have never seen such a beautiful landscape and only wish we had longer than 5 nights to spend here.
Hotel: Phi Phi Andaman beach resort
Nights stayed: 5 nights
Cost: 85 euros each
Hotel Recommendation: PP Princess Resort
From Phi Phi, we wanted to go to either Phuket or Chang Mai to the elephant sanctuary. We chose to go to Phuket and stayed in the Royal Paradise hotel. The hotel was gorgeous, and luxury that we weren’t used to! They had a restaurant with buffet breakfast and dinner available. we went for a walk to see the markets near by but we didn’t last long as it was quite crowded, dirty and we we booked The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary for the next morning. We booked through this website, where you can arrange transport too. Visiting the sanctuary was the best way to end the trip, as the elephants were so happy and well cared for. We got picked up at around 7.30am and spent the morning and afternoon feeding, playing and bathing with the beautiful elephants. We also got to learn a lot about the asian elephants and the good work the sanctuary do. This was the main reason we came to Phuket so we only stayed 2 nights before we began our journey back to Bangkok for one night, before departing for Dublin via Dubai.
Hotel: The Royal Paradise Hotel
Nights stayed: 2 nights
Cost: 20 euros each
Thailand was one of my favourite ever holidays so far, and I already can’t wait to go back and explore more of the islands and visit some of my favourites such as Phi Phi and Koh Tao. Hope you enjoyed this post – if you have any questions about what to pack, how much money is needed or activities available at each destination, just send me a message. I hope to have lots more posts up though on those.