(Closed) Thailand travel recommendations

posted 5 years ago in Travel
Post # 2
597 posts
Busy bee

We had done bangkok and koh samui for our honeymoon. We had an absolutely fantastic time at both! We were in Bangkok for 5 days and koh samui for 7. (We also made a pit stop to Vietnam in between for 4 days) We also were not into the party/crowds and wanted to experience more culture so if you had any interest in either Bangkok or Koh Samui, I would be more than happy to give you some ideas! One of the coolest things we did was a local cooking class in Bangkok where they took us to the market to shop for our ingradients and then cooked a 4 course meal. The best part about Koh Samui was the secludedness. It was almost like you were on a private beach. If you look closely at this picture, the only two beach chairs out there were mine and my husbands!

Post # 3
3310 posts
Sugar bee

My SO and I are leaving for Thailand & Cambodia tomorrow morning. We have been to Bangkok, Phuket (Patong) and Chiang Mai before. Don’t go to Patong if you are not partiers. My SO and I have booked a nice resort down the south end of Phuket this time (Rawai), apparently the nearby beach is basically all yours.

If you like a slower, less touristy pace – DEFINITELY visit Chiang Mai. I would reccommend the overnight sleeper trains from Bangkok.

We were planning to go to Khao Sok too but decided against it since it was going to cost us too much to hire a car for three days and drive from Phuket (2-3hours). Not sure if it was just really expensive because its the Christmas and new years period!?

Bangkok is amazingly easy to get around. Definitely go and see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Royal Palace (in the same complex). I would allocate at least a half to full day there. The Temple will blow you away and photo’s do NOT do it justice. I am going there for a second time 🙂

There is also a lesser known gem of an island called Bang Krachao in the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. I only found out about it yesterday, so it is on the top of our to do list while in Bangkok. Proper authentic street food and villages, bike paths that run the entire island. A green haven! Also temples!

I have found this website extremely helpful in keeping our transportation costs down https://www.rome2rio.com Rather than spending $240 booking return tickets on a tourist bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap we are travelling there and back for around $20pp. No thanks to this guys site http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm .It even shows you what the buses and trains are like with photos 🙂

There is also the Mu Ko Ang Thong National park which you can reach by a bus to Chumphon, a ferry to Koh Samui and then onto the national park. Not sure how long you have to plan your holiday, but the NP has very basic accommodation (cold showers, no electricity) which I think you have to book a fair way in advance (depending on whether you are traveling in peak season). Here is more info


I hope this helps you plan your trip! 🙂

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  RaccoonKitty.
Post # 5
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

ah I am so jealous. My best friend lives in Thailand and is from Phuket. I would love to go to Thailand to visit her some day. 

Post # 6
597 posts
Busy bee

Sorry I had a problem uploading this pic earlier!

Post # 7
273 posts
Helper bee

If you’re into diving and a backpacker budget, Koh Tao is amazing! It has a great nightlife, but you can mix it up between wild parties and chilled out beach bars. I had a fairly disastrous diving experience (but that was totally me freaking out as a novice diver, the shop were amazing!), but my friends all rave about how amazing the sights are there. Even snorkelling, I saw a lot of cool fish. It seems like everyone on the island is a diver/instructor sometimes! 


If you take night trains, I think you could do North and South Thailand in a 12 day trip. We spent 14 days in Thailand and did Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. And we were there for full moon, so we had to spend 5 days on Koh Phangan because of hotel policies. So we visited both North and South in 9 days, and I didn’t feel overly rushed. 

From Bangkok, it’s a 12 hour train ride up to Chiang Mai, which is a popular expat town because of all the temples, nice restaurants and cafes, night market etc. It’s very laid back and a good place to unwind, but you can also do mountain/jungle treks as well. 

I think it was about 12 hours from Bangkok to Surat Thani as well (S.T is the gateway to Koh Tao/Samui/Phangan). The sleeper trains were all amazingly comfortable with surprisingly good food, so you wouldn’t be sacrificing a night’s sleep, you’d save on accommodation and you wouldn’t have to waste any days travelling. 

We got a bus from Surat Thani to Phucket and I seem to remember it being about 4 hours, but I couldn’t swear it. It was short enough that we did it in a full six seater minivan and I don’t remember being traumatised by the lack of leg room, so it can’t have been awfully far.

And even if you leave aside overland travel, Thailand has loads of awesome budget airlines. AirAsia, Jetstar and Tiger are all super cheap. If time is a concern for you, you could always do the long hops (Phuket to Bangkok for example) by plane- although bear in mind that flights take up daytime hours so a 1 hour flight could cost you more sightseeing time than a 12 hour overnight train.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  AmyJCardiff.
  • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  AmyJCardiff.
Post # 8
1198 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

LOVE love phuket. the hotel i stayed in was avista and it was amazing! took some cooking classes there. 

i also went for an elephant ride at kok chang, which is one of the nicer places that treat the animals better. 

Post # 9
3310 posts
Sugar bee

I’ve just come back from Thailand… To anyone looking at going to Phuket – Don’t pay $2k to stay a week at the Mangosteen Resort in Rawai… We paid $250 for a weeks accommodation on a voucher. I would have been mighty pissed off if we had of forked out $2k to stay there, not worth it!

Post # 10
86 posts
Worker bee

I have been to Khao sok and Krabi and they were awesome! Khao sok cliff and river hotel was awesome and fairly cheap and had a great restaurant,   it was my favorite part of out trip.  Sounds like you have a few good plans, and I definitely don’t think you have time to go north as well

Post # 11
372 posts
Helper bee

I’ve been to Thailand 3 times now coming from Australia it’s nice and close, the first was about 10 years ago though and on that trip I did the full moon party thing and I thought it was pretty cheesy even as a 21year old so I don’t know how old you are now but I would skip it altogether if I were you.

Last year on one trip I went to Krabi, for diving like yourself, we stayed on Krabi but did a daytrip to railey beach – if you like to rock climb, it is the place for you. There were a few resorts on there too that looked pretty nice and you can actually swim there, where we stayed in Krabi there were no actual swimming beaches. Railey was like a short boat trip from Krabi so definitely possible to stay there instead of Krabi if you like.

On another trip I went to Phuket just for a week and we stayed in Karon, basically in Phuket you can stay in Patong which is the main hub and the most touristy part, Kata and Karon are known as the honeymoon locations. I loved Karon but we had to take taxis everywhere and they were really expensive, think like up to $10 for less than a 5minute ride, so if I went back I’d rather stay in Kata or Patong because Karon didn’t really have many  nice restaurants or bars. We did eat at the Boathouse in Kata and it was aaaaaaamazing french food and they are a hotel as well so I would stay there if I went again.

When I went in 2013, we went north instead to Chiang Mai and that was amazing as well and a bit cooler temperature wise. It really depends what you want to do, Chiang Mai is for nature lovers who want to trek and see elephants in the wild etc whereas the islands are fabulous for the beach and diving.

I would fly everywhere since you haven’t got a lot of time, I’ve flown NOK for internal flights, easy to book online in Thailand if you’re not sure what you want to do when you get there and you can kinda see what kind of routes are possible.

I reckon you should do maybe Bangkok-Krabi-Phuket-Bangkok and save the temples for a separate trip.

Edit – also try Bangkok Air

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  navzkore.
Post # 12
9048 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
aroger:  If you like to drive then Khao Lak is the place to go. It is a divers gateway to some of the best dive sites in Thailand but you do have to check the opening times of the national park reserve (a chain of Islands) as it closes during rougher weather.

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