Post # 1
Our plan is to go to Thailand for our honeymoon. We’re from the US and have never been to Asia at all, so we’re really excited! We will be going in December 2017. We want to island hop and go to Bangkok. I’ve researched a lot but still feel sort of confused re: all of the islands and which are best to visit! I’ve narrowed down to 2 group travel itineraries and would love your thoughts on these possibilities/which you’d recommend:
trip 1: Bangkok 2 days > Koh Samui 2 days > Khao Sok National Park 1 day > Ao Nang 4 days
trip 2: Phuket 3 days > Koh Phi Phi 3 days > Ao Nang 2 days > ends back in Phuket
And both of course have options for day trips, half day trips, excursions, etc. and include travel to each island.
A few things–
- we will probably fly in and out of Bangkok in either case and spend a few extra days there (or add it on if we did trip 2)
- we like hiking/being active, beautiful scenery, beaches, and trying local food. not super big drinkers/partiers.
- some may think it’s weird to do a tour group for a honeymoon, but we travel a lot and live together so I’m not really concerned with it; I think it’s the best way to see many places. (Plus we’re doing a big DIY wedding so my brain is kind of drained with planning!) The groups are also for “young” travelers and will be in our age range, mid/late 20s.
- or would you recommend a different interary entirely/seeing different areas??
If you’ve read all of that: thanks!!!
If not, and you’ve been to Thailand, any general suggestions or experiences are welcomed and appreciated 🙂 🙂
Post # 2
I would definitely choose trip 1 personally. In Thailand, I have been to Bangkok, Ao Nang, Chiang Mai and Phuket. Bangkok is an awesome city with heaps to see and do. Ao Nang is great, more laid back than Phuket and way less trashy. You can also do some great day trips from there, we did one that went to Phi Phi, Hong Island (awesome island!) and a few other spots. Don’t stay on Phi Phi, it’s very overcrowded and touristy. I have been there twice on day trips – in 2009 it was beautiful but last time I went (2015) it was awful, so crowded that you could barely see any of the sand on Maya Bay.
From Ao Nang you can also visit Railay Beach which is lovely. Haven’t been to Koh Samui but I have heard good things 🙂
Post # 3
cinnapep : Thank you!! Just from word of mouth I had always heard that Phuket is a “must go”, but upon doing more research I’m thinking maybe it’s not for us- too touristy/partyish. I also didn’t know that about Phi Phi, so that’s really helpful.
Would you still recommend doing a day trip like the one you did to a few spots, or skip Phi Phi all together? And just see Hong or Railay? The tour group has activites planned for two of the days in Ao Nang but the other two we would have to do whatever we want. (or maybe just one, because I don’t know what time we’d be flying back to Bangkok the last day)
Post # 4
happycitybee04 : Agree with on trip 1. Phi Phi Don is basically a smaller Patong- full of drunk tourists and party party plus overcrowded.
I know you said you don’t mind the tour group thing but Thailand is so easy to navigate that I would personally skip the tour and DIY. You will spend a lot of time visiting shops that gets the tour leader/company kick backs.
Post # 5
j_jaye : Yeah, that could be the case. These groups claim they’re more ‘hands off’ and are more geared towards younger travelers/explore on your own type thing (other than a few orientations in the mornings to get you acquainted) but you do raise a good point!
Thanks for the feedback about which trip though! For sure more interested in #1 now!
Post # 6
Definitely option #1! I lived in Thailand for six months on a work contract and so I’ve seen most of the places on your list. The second itinerary will be on some of the more touristy beaches and I think you might get a little “beached out” vs. having some time in BKK and Khao Sok. Also, if you were going to take those couple of extra days for Bangkok on the second itinerary, which you will free up when the tour starts there, I would suggest you route your return flight out of somewhere like Chiang Mai and spend two days there first. It will be a nice change from the beach and is a very different cultural experience up North.
Post # 7
I would also agree with itinerary number 1. I have been to Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but I have heard only great things about Koh Samui from friends who live in Thailand. It is definitely on my list for when I go back next time! (My first trip there was more adventurous, which I LOVED. But next time, I would wanna see all the beautiful beaches). Thailand is so beautiful, what a great honeymoon spot!
Post # 8
IMO, if you’re not into drinking or crowds, avoid Phi Phi Island. It’s usually jam packed with young tourists who want to drink and party 24/7.
Have you thought of splitting your time between Thailand and Malaysia? I’d highly recommend looking at Langkawi if you like beach, relaxation, all the watersport activities you have in Thailand, and hiking in ranforests. There are WAY less people, plus the food is arguably just as delicious (my family is from there, so I’m biased). If you want to see culture, history, and excellent food, I recommend Penang, Malaysia. You won’t get better Malaysian food anywhere else.
Post # 9
Agree with everyone else, trip #1 sounds awesome. It’s definitely the more scenic, authentic Thai trip; the second option is the party focused trip.
Ao Nang’s Phra Nang beach is my favorite place in the world! Also, Bangkok is awesome but huge, so you’ll need the time to explore different areas.
Ko Phi Phi is neat but it is really crowded and full of young, drunk/high partiers… doesn’t sound great for you. Phuket was my least favorite part of Thailand. The water was very rough and deep so swimming / snorkeling were no good and the town felt less authentic. It felt more like the Caribbean, and everything was expensive.
We didn’t go to Koh Samui but the scenery looks stunning & natural in pics 🙂
You’re going to have an amazing time!
Post # 10
- Wedding: December 1969 - City, State
Agree with PP about Phi Phi. It is overrated.
Koh Samui is beautiful. Apparently people there have caught the yoga bug and there are a few boutique hotels that offer yoga teacher training and yoga classes(if you are into that). The beaches there are less crowded too.
Post # 11
Hi 🙂 I’ve lived in Thailand for the last four years. Trip 1 sounds like the better option of the 2. Khao Sok is beautiful, you might want to schedule in more than one day if you like hiking etc. Phi Phi is busy and full of gap year party kids, avoid it – check out Koh Lanta instead. Ao nang is ok but 4 days is a long time unless you’re including doing trips to Railay or somewhere too. Also I would advise against doing a tour – it’s pretty easy to get around Thailand and most the time on the tours is spent hanging around in overpriced places.
Post # 12
happycitybee04 : I heard Chiang Mai is awesome! Phuket is really a bit trashy and touristy.
Post # 13
Definitely #1 if you are looking to relax and enjoy nature. Trip #2 is a good option if you are they partying type 😉
Post # 14
Railay is amazing – I always stay there (well normally stay on tonsai as it is cheaper but railay is so gorgeous). If you’re interested in rock climbing then it is a fabulous place to try it out.
i love Thailand! I’d probably do the tour without Bangkok if you’re adding it on anyway.
Post # 15
Actually, I’d do the one with Bangkok as you go to Ao nang for longer and khao sold too