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Thailand forum

Backpacker needs help with planning

Posted by viny on 31/12/2012 at 01:25


I am planning to do a 9 days trip to Thailand. Need some help in planning

Tentative plan

Day 1 Reach Bangkok (11:30-12:00), enjoy local site seeing, overnight travel to phuket
Day 2 Phuket
Day 3 Leave for Ko Phi Phi in evening, over night stay
Day 4 Leave for Krabi , overnight Krabi to Don Sak
Day 5 Don Sak (ferry) - Ko Samui , over night stay
Day 6 Evening Ko Samui - Ko Phangan (full moon party) overnight
Day 7 Ko Phangan to Ko Tao
Day 8 Ko Tao to Bangkok
Day 9 Depart from Bangkok

Let me know your views how can i improve the itenary.
If any place needs more time, let me know i can cut one day from Phuket

I am a low cost backpacker, so idea is save money where ever possible, luxury is not seeked, hence would like to travel overnight, saving hotel stay cost as well as using time for travel. Comfortable with dorms or low cost hotels, budget is like 100 -300bht per day dorm and 500-600 for hotel room.

Focus of trip is on enjoying the nature at best.

I need further help per day wise

Day 1.
a. Where can we safely deposit our luggage while we travel across the city for 4-5hrs. Which places we can cover during this time
b. Whats the low cost method to move out from airport
b. Best method to travel to phuket, bus or train. Where should we go to book tickets? How much would it cost? Is AC necessary in Feb?

Day 2. (Phuket)
a. Where would a train or bus would drop us?
b. Which location is best to stay at low cost so that we can cover majority of phuket without burning hole paying transportation cost.
c. What places we should visit?
d. Is renting a two wheeler a good cost saver? any legal issues? Cost?
e. What is the cheapest mode of transportation?

Day 3: Phuket to Ko Phi Phi
a. Cheapest ferry or other method in afternoon (if there are things to enjoy in phuket in day time)? Which port?
b. Places to visit in Ko Phi Phi?
c. Where to stay in Ko Phi phi?

Day 4 : Ko phi phi - Krabi/Ao Nang - Surat Thani /Don Sak Pier
a. Cheapest early morning ferry or other method? Which port
b. Places to visit in Krabi/Ao Nang?
c. I see last bus from Krabi to Surat Thani is at 16:00 what about late night buses which could take me to Don Sak Pier to catch ferry for Ko Samui?

Day 5: Ko Samui
a. Places to visit and place to stay.

Day 6: Ko Samui to Ko Phangan (Full Moon Party)
a. Cheap method to travel to Ko Phangan, other than those big ferries, are the speed boats cheap and safe?
b. Which is the best beach to enjoy the party.
c. What else to enjoy other than beach party?

Day 7 : Ko Tao
a. Whats the cost of scuba diving and other activities, if costly which place is good place for scuba at low cost?
b. Where to stay over night? or should we move towards Bangkok overnight itself, giving extra day in bangkok?

Which places to visit, where to stay and where would the bus/train will drop us when we reach bangkok from Ko Tao

I know its a long post with way to many questions, please try to help with what ever knowledge you can share.


#1 viny has been a member since 31/12/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by altmtl on 31/12/2012 at 02:06

This is way too much moving around and very unrealistic, sorry. You need to do a little more research and slow down.

#2 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,003
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Posted by Xircal on 31/12/2012 at 04:01

Check out where you can stay for free with local residents.

To get around, trains are going to be your best option although there's no rail link to Phuket. See:

You can leave your luggage at Suvarnabhumi aiport when you arrive. It costs 100 Baht for a 24 hour period. See:

Other than that, I agree with altmtl. You need to rethink your plans given your budget limitations. Suggest you read this wikitravel guide:

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Posted by gregmccann1 on 31/12/2012 at 06:17

2 places max in 9 days. Personally, I don't like any of the places on your list (besides Bangkok), but I have never been to Ko Tao.

#4 gregmccann1 has been a member since 28/10/2009. Location: Taiwan. Posts: 183
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Posted by JohnnyM on 31/12/2012 at 06:49

Have a read of the travelfish website (that this forum is part of)- there's loads of reviews of accommodation & suggestions of places to go - or get a guidebook (Lonely Planet or Rough Guide are probably best).

Like everyone else has said - its just seems far too much to fit into 9 days - you'll just spend your entire time travelling. Maybe Bangkok for a day or two either side and some combination of samui/phangan/tao (but no more than two) if you're determined to see a couple of islands - though samui is far more expensive than ko phangan & ko tao if that makes a difference.

#5 JohnnyM has been a member since 2/9/2012. Posts: 26

Posted by viny on 31/12/2012 at 07:23


I know i am packing to many things in 9 days, but then it might be my only chance to visit thailand.
Hence trying to coverup as much as possible.

@Johhny: Which place is more worthwhile to stay if i want to see natures beauty at best among Ko Sui, Ko Phangan , Ko Tao, i dont mind chaning swapping time spent, if the destination has something unique to offer.

Also would like to know if its safe to pitch a tent on sea beach on the islands and enjoy night? Any rules regulation, any permissions required?

#6 viny has been a member since 31/12/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by caseyprich on 31/12/2012 at 09:22

I understand wanting to see the variety of things you can with your one visit to Thailand, but you aren't even packing in much variety here - these are all pretty much developed island where the best part of visiting is finding a quiet corner to relax in, interrupt that with a ruckus fool moon party with some friends you made the few days before - and then relax for a couple days before leaving. Also, the cost of all that travel would be better spent on an accommodation upgrade and maybe some diving.

I'd look into which coast has the best weather that time of year, and then let that help guide your decision. My initial thought is that you cut out the Andaman coast and hit up the Gulf Islands. There is some great diving for the natural highlights in Ko Tao and a few days there could get you some good experience. You could then head down to the Full Moon Party with little hassel.

#7 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by tezza on 1/1/2013 at 04:21

Wow, so much to deal with here. I'll stick to your itinerary, maybe get to your other questions later although I reckon you should post EACH as a separate question in the future. Lots of people with advice get overwhelmed with multi-part questions and give them a miss completely.

OK, your itinerary: Look if you really really want to see all those places you can do it - but the fact is you will be on the run just about constantly - and some parts don't work. Travelers don't stay in Don Sak. No doubt there is accommodation there, used by Thais, but travelers to the islands stay in Surathani, although if time is at a premium they grab the night ferry from Surathani pier. I love the various night ferries to the sothern Gulf islands.

What I suggest is you drop Phuket and Samui (unless again you really really want to see them). Unlike a lot of people on this forum I like both islands, but of your lot I reckon they are the two least appealing to budget traveling first-timers.
You can get an overnight bus from Phuket to Krabi for the Phi Phi ferry, go Phi Phi to Krabi (the direct boat to Railay/Ton Sai/Ao Nang saves a lot of time), get yourself across to Surathani town pier for the night boat to Phangan. Later hop a ferry to Tao and finally maybe Lomprayah's ferry/bus combo to Bangkok via Chumpon - the later daily version of which runs overnight back to Bangkok.
The above should give you two nights on most islands or at least 2 full days and 1 night seeing you are doing so much travelling at night.

#8 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by MADMAC on 1/1/2013 at 21:58


Don't fall into this trap:

"I know i am packing to many things in 9 days, but then it might be my only chance to visit thailand.
Hence trying to coverup as much as possible."

First of all, while some backpacker advocates like night buses to save hotel costs, you have to remmember that for many, if not most, people, you get a very bad nights sleep on the night bus. That means the next day you feel like you have a hangover, making it tough to enjoy the day.

Secondly, as Casey rightly points out, you are going t similar destinations which are about chilling out - which your movement schedule is not allowing you to do.

The more you move, the less you see (except for the inside of buses and bus terminals) and you incur a lot of costs not only for buses, but getting to and from the bus stations.

Nine days is nothing. It's not even enough to see a decent chunk of Bangkok. If it were me, I would pick one beach location that seems interesting, and spend a few days seeing Bangkok and the rest at your chosen destination. That way you can enjoy the experience instead of it being a blur.

#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by tezza on 3/1/2013 at 16:17

Well duh!
"You can get an overnight bus from Phuket to Krabi for the Phi Phi ferry,..."
My bad! Should read: "You can get an overnight bus from BANGKOK to Krabi for the Phi Phi ferry,.."

#10 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

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