Hey there 🙂
Thailand is a popular place to visit nowadays. It’s tropical beaches, nice people and tasty food makes this country a bucket-list destination. It is good for budget travelling as well: you can have a good traditional dish even for 50 baht (~1,50 euro), acceptable room for 200 baht per night (~6 euro). Travelling on land is also not too bad, we used buses and trains for little money.
If you have more time to discover this amazing South-East Asian country, you may have difficulties dividing your time. There are many many things to see in Thailand, this itinerary is just an example, which worked quite good for us. Maybe it can help you as well 🙂 Obviously four weeks are not enough (that is how long we could stay as hungarian citizens for free). I could easily use another four weeks at least. So we skipped many places, but I think if I could do it again, I would do the same.
Day 0 – Boat ride from Langkawi to Koh Lanta
We arrived to Koh Lipe from Langkawi (Malaysia) with boat. This is one of the, well, land borders, where in a half an hour we had the stamp in our passports. We didn’t spend much time here, but if someone likes to lay on the beach, it can be pretty relaxing with stunning view.
Day 1-5 – Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is a quiet little island in Krabi Province, perfect for relaxing and exploring. We rented motorbikes, and rode around the island. The Lanta National park is really worth a visit, the old town with the pier as well. It also has some caves, but I don’t really like them, so we skipped it.
If you prefer the loud, full-of-life beach parties, this place is not for you. (Go to the famous Phi Phi island or Phuket, those are the party places. But the prices are lot higher as well. We skipped them.)
Day 5-11 – Ao Nang, Krabi
Must see stuff in Krabi:
- Emerald Pool and blue pool – very blue, natural pools, normally crowded
- Tiger cave temple– worth going up the 1237 steps even if you sweat your soul
- Phang Nga Bay and James Bond island – The bay is beautiful whit all those cliffs! I was a little bit dissapointed in the James Bond island, but deffinitely worth a visit. (I don’t really know what I expected to be fair)
- Sunset on the beach – every day is different. <3
- Railay Beach – even if we are not “relaxing on the beach” people, (normally I get bored after a half an hour and than I’m crying for days because I’m not tanned) this beach is worth a visit. You can only reach it by boat from other beaches, and it is surrounded by cliffs. Beautiful 🙂
Day 11-15 – Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park is a nature reserve in southern Thailand containing dense virgin jungle, towerlike limestone karst formations and the man-made Cheow Lan Lake. It is definitely a unique experience sailing on the lake in a long tail boat.The tour is not cheap, but there is no other way to see the lake. A full day tour with lunch, boat and jungle hike costs 1200 baht (35 euro).
There are many organised tours in the National Park, but you can go by yourself as well. The entrance fee is 300 baht (9 euro) and you have to pay every time you enter the park. We were hiking without tour guide which was nice, but in some places you can not go on your own because it’s dangerous. You can see lizards, snakes, monkeys, many different kind of birds on the road. 🙂
Day 15- 22 – Bangkok
Many travellers go to Bangkok for only a couple of days. Well, I felt like 7 days in the capital is not enough. So, what to do in Bangkok?
- Airplane Graveyard – not a very famous destination, because it is quite far from the centre. But it easy and cheap to reach with a local bus, just takes time (around 2 hours each way). It was my favourite destination, so in my opinion definitely worth the time. And you won’t see many tourists 🙂 A family is living on the teritory where the planes are, they are asking for an entry fee depending on their mood. Can be between 100 and 800 baht (3-23 euro)
- Railway Market and Floating Market – many information in my previous post
- Grand Palace – well. It is a must. But it is quite expensive (500 baht – 15 euro) and full full full of tourists. When It’s hard even to step forward. In baby steps. 🙁 And that, for me, can ruin the whole experience.
- National Museum of Thailand – well yeah, worth a visit. Maybe. I’m not a museum person at all. Entrance fee 200 baht. (~6 euro)
- Khao San road – if you want to do a little shopping (don’t forget to bargain!) feel the atmosphere of a night market and try the skorpion-snack. We did it 😀
- Ayuttaya – old city ruins, with Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. Definitely good for a day out from the busy Bangkok. You can book a tour or travel like the locals with train for 40 baht (~1.20 euro) return ticket.
- Wat Arun – beautiful Buddhist temple. At night is even more stunning. Take a look, at least from the outside 🙂
Day 22-26 – Kanchanaburi
Around 3 hours with bus from Bangkok, there is this little city. Famous of the Death Railway, which was built in the second world war. Around 100.000 people died during the construction of the railway. The train is still running, it is an interesting experience.
And after a good research all over Thailand, Kanchanaburi was the place where we found an ethical elephant sanctuary. Elephants World is saving animals from all over Thailand, having at the moment 22 elephants. The entrance fee is expensive. 1800 baht (~53 euro) for a half day. But it is a good case, and you can have a bath with the giant animals. (which was on my bucket list 😀 )
Erawan Waterfalls – 7 waterfalls on one river. You can visit all of them, there is a 2km hike up to the 7th one. All of them unique and beautiful 🙂
This is all what fit in 4 weeks for us. We didn’t have much time for the north, what I regret. A lot. But if we are rushing it, we wouldn’t enjoy this much so maybe next time. What we missed and we wanted to see: Chang Mai, Chang Rai, Koh Samui.
Facts and Tips:
- Dresscode – in all of the Buddhist temples you have to cover your shoulders and your knees. This is a must. The Royal Palace is very stickt with this. Also in Ayuttaya, some ruins you can visit only if you cover yourself. Be prepeared. 🙂
- Food – Pad Thai and Mango sticky rice are the two main thai dishes. DELICIOUS!!!
- Water – Not drinkable. Be careful. The best solution is to buy a big, 6 liter drinking water and leave it in the hostel. Fill up your bottle everytime you go out. Filter bottle can be also good, but we were scared to try them.
- People – Nice people but very few of them speak english.
- Money – Thai Baht. 100 baht = 3 euros. You can take cash out from your card but they charge for every transaction 220 baht which is a lot. So take cash with you but be carefull! Cash has to be in very good condition. They don’t take faded, old or creased money.
- How to get around – taxi is cheap, but local transport is lot cheaper. In Bangkok we payed 200 baht (6 euros) for a half hour drive, but 18 baht for a 2 hour bus. The buses are very specific, but definitely worth to see how local people travel. And you probably gonna be the only tourist on the bus, which is nice 🙂 Train to Ayuttaya was 20 baht, while day tours are around 600. Try the authentical tuk-tuk though. That’s a must!
- Weather – Thailand is usually very hot. There are two seasons: wet and dry. Dry is in wintertime, so that’s the best time to visit. Temperature was around 30-32 every day for us in January. But in dry season many people are visiting so it is full of tourists. Wet season – less people. You deciede 😀
- If you are white, you are rich – they think. Even if you are backpacking. That means, on the markets they gonna try to give you a lot higher price than usual. Don’t let yourself fooled! Offer half of what they said, and let`s see what happens!