My One Week Thailand Itinerary: Temples, Ruins, and Island-hopping

My Thai friend from grad school moved back to Bangkok a few year back and since then she had invited me to visit the friendly country of Thailand. Amazingly, my boyfriend, who normally doesn’t enjoy travel as much as I do, suggested the country to be on our Asia trip thanks to its flavorful food, historical sights, not to mention its (relatively) low prices. In eight days, I managed to pack temples, Ayutthaya ruins, some relaxing time on the islands, plus a high school friend’s destination wedding! We had a blast and here is our itinerary.

Day 1: Bangkok- Visit the three major temples (Grand Palace,Wat Pho, Wat Arun) in Thailand, got a massage recommended by a friend, and had the best seafood meal, (Read: Bangkok Day 1: Gempling)

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Day 2: Join a tour to Ayutthaya with Sun River Cruise via Hotels2Thailand. You can read my trip report here

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Day 3: Fly into Ao Nang and take a  boat tour to Railay Beach. My favorite beach in Thailand!

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Day 4: From Ao Nang, took a ferry to Phi Phi Island and hike up to Koh Phi Phi View Point.

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Day 5: From Phi Phi island, hire a longtail boat to Maya Beach. It was a bumpy ride and we should have joined a speedboat tour instead. (Read: Wish I had known: Five Things I Should Have Done on Phi Phi Island.)

Day 6-8: Ferry from Phi Phi Island to Phuket for my friend’s bridal Shower and wedding at Kata beach. We spent the rest of our time at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa and the beaches nearby.

My Observations

1.Taxi is cheap in Bangkok (but not in Phuket). For example, we got taxi ride from and to airport about $6 USD one way. The key is to make sure that the meter is on. Half of the Taxi driver will try to talk you into pay them double the amount with the meter off. A few times they also made detour so that the ride will cost you more. When this happens, we would turn on our google map really loud so that they know we know what’s going on.

2. Bangkok is hot and the temples make you cover up. We were there in December, which was supposed to be cooler time of the year, but it was still searing hot. We wore shorts and dresses to everywhere except temples. Luckily, there are shops close by that would sell you long, thin pants for USD$3  each, so I didn’t drench my jeans with sweats. The pants they sold have cute elephant prints and ended up being very good souvenirs!

3. Mosquito was a huge problem for us on the islands. Try to stay somewhere with AC. (Read: Wish I had known: Five Things I Should Have Done on Phi Phi Island.)

4. In Phuket, we didn’t do much outside of our hotel except going to my friend’s bridal shower and wedding. On our last day there, my sister and other friends went into town to shop and watch a lady boy show. We stayed by the hotel pool instead and were told that we didn’t miss much. To me, Phuket feels more like a city than an island. We had great Thai food and wonderful time with friends but as far as sights goes, there wasn’t anything special except for maybe ladyboy shows, which is not of interest to me. The beaches weren’t impressive either. If not for my friend’s wedding I would probably have spent more time in Ao Nang instead. It was my favorite island of all three, with Railay beach and night market.

My Accommodations

Bangkok – This Airbnb(Good) Very clean and in a residential area with cheap eats nearby. The primary reason I picked this was due to its proximity to our Ayutthaya tour pick up point. It’s reasonably close to sights, but not in the center of action. I got a good feel of everyday Bangkok life as I walked down the street to buy breakfast. For Bangkok a super-central location didn’t matter much to me since the first day we got a ride from our friend and the second day we joined an Ayutthaya tour.

Ao Nang – Deevana Plaza Krabi Aonang (Awesome) It was in a serene setting – everything you would dream of from a beach location hotel. Very modern decor. 10 minute walk to beach to catch longtail boat to Railay beach, my favorite beach in Thailand. There are onsite restaurants but it is also close to night street market and cheap eats.

Phi Phi Island – Viking nature resort (won’t stay there again). I have written about my experience here.

Phuket – Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa– Superb (As a gold members, I booked with point+cash and got free buffet breakfast, evening cocktail, and suite upgrade)

After Thailand, we went to Malaysia to visit Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, a UNESCO world heritage site. You can see here for my trip report to Melaka.

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