Being 24 and 27-year-old sisters, trying to fit as much Thailand into three weeks as possible shaped the way we decided to organise our trip. We felt we were much too old and grumpy to be staying in a 10 bed dorm full of 18-20 year olds; we need our sleep and are much too accustomed to the luxury of air conditioning and our own bathroom.
Time constraints also removed the option of night buses and sleeper trains for us, we simply didn’t have the time so flew between destinations on the trip.
It might be worth noting that we did save up for a long time to be able to afford to take this trip the way we did. It was difficult but definitely possible and made easier with such a fantastic goal to work towards.
Here is quick run down of where we stayed and how we got to and from destinations, it may be useful to give you an idea of some of the more popular destinations in Thailand to visit and even offer some inspiration for your own itinerary!
4th November- 5th November
We flew emirates from Manchester to Bangkok, we had a short stop over in Dubai- just long enough to freshen up and grab a bite to eat before boarding. The flights were between 6 and 7 hours each. We decided to fly straight up to Chiang Mai on the 5th, rather than staying in Bangkok for one night and flying out the next day.
We used to Bangkok airways to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, this flight was about 1-1.5 hours and an absolute breeze compared to our previous two!
Chiang Mai 05/11/2016- 09/11/2016
We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel which cost us 200 baht and checked into the Woodfield Resort.
We planned to use the 6th to relax and rest from the flights so wanted a quiet hotel with a pool. We stumbled across this gem:
This hotel is about 10 minutes drive from the Old City, but so peaceful. The beds were comfortable, the air conditioning fantastic and the showers hot so perfect for what we needed!
Peaceful, clean, comfortable, safe, close to amenities.
The hotel offers a free bus to the night markets which I highly recommend you make use of (a tip for the driver is appreciated)
I would give breakfast a miss, we attempted it one morning and found it had mostly been picked over by 8am. What was left was lukewarm and uncovered.
We ate one evening meal in the hotel after a long day trip and also found it to be quite expensive.
We booked this hotel here:
We made use of the hotels airport shuttle on the 9th to catch our next flight. Again we flew Bangkok Airways, this time to Koh Samui.
Koh Samui 09/11/2016- 14/11/2016
We landed at Koh Samui airport (a beauty in its own right, much like this entire island) and waited for our transfer shuttle which we had booked through our hotel.
We planned to use this as our “island time” to relax fully before we really picked up the pace. This is also one of the most stunning hotels I have stayed in.
There are honestly no words to describe the beauty of this place. The hotel’s infinity pool overlooks the beach and had a direct view of Koh Pha Ngan. This place is 500m away from a small village with plenty of places to eat and drink, but is still peaceful. I felt like I was in a palace in this hotel!
This place is beautiful, I have never known luxury like this.
Clean and an excellent shower (this became so important to us on our trip)
Breakfast is excellent
Close to bars and restaurants.
This hotel also offers a shuttle bus, Definitely get yourself to Fisherman’s Village on a friday evening!
Having to leave!
We booked this hotel here:
Koh Pha Ngan 14/11/2016- 16/11/2016
The next stop on our Trip was Koh Pha Ngan for the Full Moon Party!
We decided to book a package which included transfers to and from the pier, ferry tickets, transfers to and from the hotel, accommodation, taxis to and from the party and entrance into the party.
I’m glad that we booked a package for our first trip as it made everything very simple for us, however we have said next time that we would book this ourselves rather than as a package.
With the company we used you could choose which package you wanted but you did not choose your hotel. This is where the problems started, unfortunately this hotel was not as great as it looked.
We actually didn’t take many pictures here as we did not spend any time here, in fact here is the only picture we took in this hotel:
Our room was very basic, with the bathroom not fully constructed, the shower was very poor and fell out of the cradle regularly (usually hitting us!). We shared our room with bugs and had to padlock and bolt ourselves into the room (the only way to lock the doors). The waterproof sheets were stained as well as the towels.
I didn’t see the hotel reception open at any stage of our stay other than check in and check out, and there was no way to contact anybody with any issues we had.
I am not a hotel snob, but this hotel was very expensive to stay in (and our second choice of the ones offered) and such poor quality. I would say that staying here is the only time I didn’t feel safe on my entire trip!
It was close to a pub that was lovely and served good food.
Everything about this hotel (room, staff, pool.)
Hotel was in complete darkness when we returned from the Full Moon Party, luckily we were able to navigate the stairs to our room.
Package booking means that you have to check out of the hotel very early the day AFTER the Full Moon Party.
We booked our package here:
The package itself was very good and well organised- especially when dates needed to be changed following the death of the Thai King, unfortunately this hotel was very poor.
On our final morning we were picked up from the hotel and taken to the ferry port. We got on our ferry and again were met at the port to be taken to the airport.
We used Bangkok Airways to fly to Krabi, we ended up flying to Bangkok first and then onto Krabi due to an overbooked flight. This was no issue for us as we only arrived 30 minutes later than we would have and Bangkok Airways were fantastic and organised our ride to our hotel for us (we also received a token compensation payment to thank us for changing our flights).
We stayed at the Krabi Heritage Hotel, which I don’t actually have a photo of. This hotel was fantastic though, located just off the main street in Ao Nang beach but still very quiet. Staff here were amazing and couldn’t do enough to help you. We were on trips through most of our time in Krabi, but appreciated a nice hotel and some good food while we were here.
Comfortable and clean
Close to main street with shops, bars restaurants and 5 minutes from the beach.
Shower pressure and water temperature weren’t always consistent ( we hadn’t had a decent shower since Koh Samui at this point!)
We booked this hotel here:
We booked our onward travel to Koh Phi Phi Don with Phuketferry.com, we also booked our transport to the pier and to the airport on our return through these.
Koh Phi Phi Don 19/11/2016-21/11/2016
This ferry was probably the most “fragrant” boat I have ever been on in my life, but we soon found a lovely spot to sit in and spent a very surreal journey to Phi Phi with our feet dangling off the edge of the boat!
We arrived on Koh Phi Phi Don- the only Phi Phi Island that you are able to stay on and were met by a representative from our hotel. There are no roads on Phi Phi, so may hotels use large “taxi carts” to transport your luggage and get you to your hotel. We were guided through the winding streets and then up some very steep stairs (that helpfully tell you how many calories you are burning!)
Our room was basic but suited us perfectly, we had two beds and a bathroom and very good A/C- this was especially important to us as it was around 40 degrees celsius! Breakfast was included here and was delivered to your room each morning (you could choose when). We got tea or coffee, fruit juice, bread rolls, fruit and granola with yoghurt. Don’t eat this on your balcony unless you want to be mugged by a monkey though!
Unfortunately we were joined on our last night by an unwelcome guest, when we found a cockroach in our room. We eventually came to an understanding with her that we would stop screaming at her if she stopped running around. I sometimes miss Julie now.
Room facilities great
Not too close to nightlife so quiet
Staff absolutely lovely and always willing to help
The View from our balcony
Those stairs were a killer in the heat!
Julie the cockroach
We booked this hotel here:
The staff took our luggage to the pier for us on our last day and helped us find it again. We took the ferry back to Krabi and the taxi to the airport. We then flew with Thai Airways to Bangkok. In general we found this to be quite unorganised compared to Bangkok Airways.
Bangkok 21/11/2016- 26/11/2016
We had pre booked our taxi to the airport as we were landing so late in the evening and knew that the airport was a long way from the city.
We stayed at the Casa Nithra Hotel not far from Khao San Road (but far enough away to be quiet). This hotel was lovely and very well looked after, the staff were helpful and friendly. We didn’t end up eating breakfast here as we always left too early in the morning! This hotel had a gorgeous rooftop pool- which we used for about half an hour after returning from a trip!
This hotel was walking distance to bars, restaurants and shops, but you could always grab a taxi or Tuk Tuk if you wanted to (don’t pay any more than 100 baht for this journey!) It’s also very close to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
Clean, comfortable, safe
Taxi and Tuk Tuk drivers didn’t seem to know where this hotel was- reception do have “business cards” with the address in Thai on them, that I recommend taking out with you.
We booked this hotel here:
On the 26th we sadly left Thailand to make our way back to Sheffield. We booked a taxi through the hotel (500 baht) and flew from Bangkok to Dubai, then Dubai to Manchester. We had a longer layover this time- about 7 hours so we booked an airport lounge. I highly recommend this as it included the use of a shower, food and drinks!
So that was a quick run down of where we went and where we stayed! My next post will focus more on what we actually did and any trips we took. I’ll include details of where we booked these.
I’ll also include some extra links below on here to where we booked transport and the airport lounge if you’re interested.
If you think I’ve missed anything out or have any questions let me know!
We booked all of our hotel transfers either through the hotel or just grabbed a local taxi.
Bangkok Airways: http://www.bangkokair.com/
Thai Airways: http://www.thaiairways.com/
Phuket Ferry: http://www.phuketferry.com/