Hope you are all keeping well.
Me and my boyfriend are both in our late twenties and are planning our first trip to Thailand in April 2014 for 2 weeks. I have done loads of research and have came up with an sample itinerary which is as follows:
11th April: Land in Bangkok early morning
12th April: Day trip to Ayutthaya
13th April: Songkran
14th April: Fly to Koh Samui and spend the night
15th April: Ferry to Koh Tao and spend 2 nights here (boyfriend wants to do some diving)
17th April: Ferry to Koh Phangan and spend the night
18th April: Ferry to Koh Samui for a flight to [url=http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Tourism-g293920- Phuket -Vacations.html]Phuket[/url]. Land in Phuket early afternoon and spend the night
19th April: Ferry to Phi Phi for the night
20th April: Ferry to Lanta for the night.
21st April: Ferry back to Phuket and stay the night
22nd April: Get taxi to Koh Lak and stay for 3 nights
24th April: Flight from Phuket to Bangkok for flight at 01.50 on Friday 25th April.
This seems like a lot of travelling as we do want to be able relax and do some activities etc and not have a holiday spent on a ferry but I am finding it really hard to leave anything out.
What are your opinions? Should I do one set of islands e.g. Ko Tao, Ko Phangan, Ko Samui or Ko Phi Phi, Lanta? Or should I do one from each set of islands? We want to be able to relax during the day but have a bit of nightlife at night that we can go for a few drinks and a dance.
Is Koh Lak worth spending 3 nights or would you spend those nights somewhere else and leave out Koh Lak altogether? I have heard that the diving is very good around the Similan Islands?
Also I have read about Hua Hin since I did the itinerary above and that really appeals to me too. Would it be worth chopping one of the islands to go here?
I really look forward to hearing your opinions. Thailand has me completely baffled because everywhere just sounds as amazing as each other.
Thank you in advance.
#1 lisanolan2204 has been a member since 10/8/2012. Posts: 6
Hi, I am by no means an expert like lots of others on here. I have however been to Thailand twice (still have LOADS left I want to see hence planning my third trip there this year for honeymoon).
We quite like moving around a lot, but I will say from experience you are probably moving around too much. Personally I'd pick one side of coast and stick to that.
I'd also spend longer in BKK. I think you're likely to be tired the first full day there and personally would explore the city a little and go to Ayuthaya the next day (but I appreciate the city is not for everyone so you may not want to do this).
Spending just the one night in Koh Samui is also possible an area I'd look at changing - by the time you check in and see anything you'll be checking out again - but perhaps you have to stay due to flights?
Ko Tao and Koh Phangnan are both great and personally I'd say worthy of a longer stay than you plan. Different areas of the islands are totally different so its worth exploring.
Boat trips across the islands take a lot longer than you imagine - you have to get to the pier, queue to get on, queue to get off, get to your next accommodation so you'll actually spend a lot of time doing this so personally I'd want to spend more time in my destination.
Having spent just two nights in some places myself on my travels I'm trying to make sure I do a minimum of 3 this time around.
Hope this helps and its just my personal views - others may have very different opinions!
#2 sarah6969pink has been a member since 28/10/2013. Posts: 26
You only have two weeks so I would suggest a few more days in Bangkok and the Andaman side of things.
Take a few days trips in and around Bangkok - Chatuchak market, Kanchanaburi or Ayutthaya (to name but a few)
A couple of nights in one or more of Krabi, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta will kill your time. You could also consider getting to Trang by flight and seeing the Islands more south as an alternative...
April weather around Koh Phangan can be a bit rough and muck up the diving there...
Whatever you do - remember that each desitnation will likely cost you the better part of a day. With your time frame I'd keep it to no more than 3 destinations.
Islands on either side are good. It's best to stay 3-5 nights rather than rush around.
My opinions on individual places:
Hua Hin - busy city on an average beach. 3/10
Samui - great beaches but very touristy and expensive for thailand 7/10
ko pha ngan - great beaches but nothing much to do and ordinary snorkelling - 6/10
Tao - havent been
Phi Phi - good snorkelling here but pricey hotels. small island. not much to do apart from snorkelling 6/10
Lanta - long narrow island. Decent beaches but not much snorkelling. Can do a tour to trang islands for snorkelling (google emerald lagoon cave ko mook) 6/10
krabi - mainland location. I normally stay here because there's heaps of tours and access to islands. google khlong thom crystal lagoon, bor thor kayaking, thalen bay kayaking and ko hong 8/10
#4 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I think you are right about sticking to one set of islands, it is just a matter of choosing which set now.
If I stuck with the Andaman side, where in your opinion, would be the best place to base ourselves, Krabi or Phuket ?? I have been advised to visit the islands from Krabi and leave Phuket out altogether but I was under the assumption that Phuket is a must see in Thailand?
#5 lisanolan2204 has been a member since 10/8/2012. Posts: 6
Nothing special about Phuket. Good beaches but pricey and touristy.
#6 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Okay well that solves one of my problems then. I will go to Krabi instead of Phuket.
Koh Lipe was one of the islands I wanted to go to when I initially started researching Thailand but I didn't think we would have the time. Would this island be worth going to and leave Koh Lak out altogether?
Thanks again for your opinions. They really help.
#8 lisanolan2204 has been a member since 10/8/2012. Posts: 6
It all depends on what you want to do...depends on your preferences. You'll here pros and cons about both places and differing opinions from different people.
I think you just need to pick one and go. The other location waits for the next visit...
Khao Lak makes sense if u go to phuket.
If krabi u could go to lanta, trang islands and lipe.
Airports in krabi and trang
Work out a route so no need to back track
Phi phi can be done on day tour snorkelling so no need to stay there
Krabi to lanta to mook to lipe and back to trang town for flight
#10 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Thanks Tyler and Leonard for your help. It has been very helpful. I think I have finally made up my mind about what to do.
#11 lisanolan2204 has been a member since 10/8/2012. Posts: 6
From my research on Thailand so far, I really like the itinerary you suggested here above. We're also a couple in our 30's planning our first visit to Thailand for 2 or 3 weeks in April. I wanted to ask - how much time would you suggest for this intinerary: Krabi to lanta to mook to lipe and back to trang town for flight ?
Assuming we want to take it easy and relax, are we looking at 1 or 2 weeks?
#12 vermishel has been a member since 29/1/2014. Posts: 6
2 weeks at least. Too rushed doing it in less time.
Good trip if u r a beach person.
#13 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148