This was my fourth trip to Thailand, and the best yet. I’m a thorough researcher to say the least, and spent months planning the trip, It was my husband and cousin’s first trip, so I wanted to make sure they had the best first impression of the country possible. The hours and hours spent with my lonely planet guide in one hand, and iPad in the other, were well worth it. All apart from one of the islands (I’ll get to that in a moment) were fantastic, and so I thought I’d share my itinerary for anyone considering a holiday to Thailand, to save you hours of research yourselves!
We went for two weeks (14 nights exactly) and the itinerary was as follows;
Day 1-3 We flew overnight directly from London Heathrow to Bangkok, arriving in the evening of the following day. Bangkok is a hot and humid city, and can be a bit of an attack on the senses! I didn’t like the city at all the first time I arrived, and within hours had booked my bus to leave the next day. So the key to enjoying Bangkok is not to stay too long, and chose your hotel wisely. We stayed for two nights at the badly named, but modern, clean, friendly and with a rooftop pool, Chillax hotel. It’s close to the Koh San Road (5 mins walk), which is a popular backpackers area, and a lively place to go for a meal and drinks in the evening, and to pick up any cheap supplies you need- sunnies, t-shirts etc. This gave us one full day for sight seeing, so we went to the Grand Palace and to Wat Pho, which are the two best tourist attractions in my opinion. We also went on a canal tour, to see how a lot of people live in wooden houses along the canals. Dinner was at the fabulous Sala Rattanakosin, which was a 10 minute tuk tuk ride from our hotel, and is located on the river close to Wat Pho and has a fabulous rooftop bar with stunning views across the river to Wat Arun (the Dawn Temple). I highly recommend the Lychee Martini there! The food was fabulous too.
Day 3-6 We flew (1 hour) south to Trat airport, where we were collected by the Coco Cottage staff who drove us to the harbour (45 mins) where we hopped onto their long tail boat (another 45 mins). As we arrived at Koh Ngai island it really was the Thailand you dream about. It’s a tiny island, with no roads, and Coco Cottage is a small resort with a few wooden bungalows, an amazing restaurant, and is backed by palm trees. The food was some of the best we ate on the whole trip, and our bungalow was on the front row with views of the sea as you lay in bed. It was pure bliss. The colour of the sea was also the most beautiful we saw (the photo below of the man in the blue/white/orange canoe is from Coco’s beach). We did little else but read and relax for the whole 3 days at Coco, it’s a quiet island perfect for couples and families, or those looking for total relaxation.
Dat 6-9 We got a boat (1 hour) north to Koh Lanta, staying in the Sri Lanta resort. This was the only part of the trip I wouldn’t recommend. Though I’m sure many people who visited Koh Lanta enjoy it, it was too large and too built up for my liking. It lacked the view from the beach, and the palm trees, that we loved on Koh Ngai. The beaches have more bars and it’s more lively, so if this is what you want then so be it. But if I could change this part of the trip I’d recommend going to nearby Koh Phi Phi instead. However, this island has a really tacky party area, so if you go to this island stay on the east side of the island (either at Phi Phi Relax if you’re on a budget, or Phi Phi Resort if you want to splash out- I’ve stayed at Relax in the past, but I hear good things about Resort). This way you get the beauty and relaxation of the island, and if you want a night out you just hop of a long tail boat round to the tourist part of the island for the beach parties.
Day 9-14 From Koh Lanta we got a speedboat (3 hours) north to Railai Beach West, which is a peninsular close to Krabi, but you can only get there by boat so it has the feeling of being on an island. We stayed in the fabulous Railai Beach Club, which is a collection of self catering houses set in the jungle next to the beach. The views from this beach are outstanding, as it’s surrounded by high cliffs and is the area famed for its karst rock formations, the typical images you see of the country. Although they don’t have an on-site restaurant, they do have a reception and clubhouse, which you can purchase snacks from and they can arrange for their chefs to come and cook for you in your house (well worth it, at averagely £15pp it doesn’t break the bank and they cook you tons of fresh amazing food). We did this for 2 of the 5 nights we stayed there, as the quality was so much better than the nearby restaurants. You can also hire their masseur to come to your house and pummel you within an inch of your life, it was one of the best massages we had there (and I had 8 massages in the 14 nights, so I feel more than able to comment on the quality!). We were visited daily by monkeys, and had the most wonderful evenings playing cards on the deck of our outdoor living room.
Day 14 We flew from Krabi back to Bangkok for the final night, and stayed on the river at the small family run Inn A Day, which was a former warehouse. The stayed in the 1pm ‘Restaurant’ room, with a balcony over looking the river and Wat Arun. The staff were some of the nicest and most helpful we met on the trip, and the food here was also outstanding, so we had our final dinner and then popped next door to the Sala Rattanakosin rooftop bar, which we’d visited at the beginning of the trip and loved.
The whole trip (flight and internal flights, boat transfers, and accommodation which often included breakfast) cost around £900-1000pp for 14 days, plus spending money (around £400-500 each).
Below are just a handful of less personal (i.e. no selfies) photos of the trip, and I hope will give you a little flavour of what this fantastic country has to offer.
Travel photography Thailand