A Guide to Planning a Trip to Thailand


Thailand is a beautiful and diverse country. It's proximity to Indian waters, cheap prices for touring the country, and friendly locals- all make it a great choice for your first international trip. Even in Thailand, I did not wish to cover the entire country in one go, as I was going with a toddler, so I decided to cover only Phuket and Phi Phi Island on this trip. Here I've covered all details that'll help you plan your trip to Thailand. For a detailed itinerary of our trip, check this out.

James Bond Island

Photo of A Guide to Planning a Trip to Thailand by Aparajita

1. Visa Requirements

Thailand offers Visa On Arrival (VOA) for Indians. However, you can also choose to take a visa prior to your travel. We chose Visa On Arrival, and paid 2200 THB per person. Phuket is a small airport and the VOA process took just about half an hour, which was contrasting to the stories of huge VoA queues in Bangkok.

We carried our passports, Visa photos (they have facility at the airport for photos but it's expensive), pen and glue stick separately to facilitate our visa process.

It is recommended to carry 10000THB for 1 person or 20000THB per family to show proof of means to stay in Thailand. They didn't check in Thailand, but in India, our airline asked for the currency conversion slip before issuing out boarding pass.

You can read the detailed requirements for Thailand Visa on Tripoto

2. Flights

We opted for a direct GoFirst flight from Bengaluru to Phuket (HKT). The return flight tickets cost around Rs. 23000 per person when we booked in the second week of September. However, direct flights to Phuket can be a bit costlier as compared to Bangkok. The time of visit can have a huge impact on the cost as flights were costing us around Rs. 31000 per person in October end, and November.

3. Currency Exchange

We took Thai Baht from India itself. We found Orient Exchange offers one of the most competitive rates for Asian currencies. SInce most places accepted cash only, we didn't miss buying any Forex Travel Card.

4. Best Time To Visit

It is usually recommended to visit Phuket between November and April when the sky is clear so that you may enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities.

May to October is monsoon season, and generally not highly recommended. However, we visited in September and found the weather to be balmy with slight intermittent showers. An advantage of visiting in September is that accommodations are very cheap and so are the flight tickets. The tourist rush is also very less, and you can enjoy many places almost to yourself. So we didn't quite feel the infamous tourist rush in Thailand.

5. Hotels

Accommodation in Phuket is cheap in monsoon, but it can shoot up to double the rates in peak season. We booked 2 rooms in Ramada Phuket for around Rs. 3500.

It cost us a similar amount for our Phi Phi stay in Phi Phi Banyan Villa. However, the rooms in Phuket were quite spacious while the rooms in Phi Phi were very small. Most budget accommodations in Phi Phi have small rooms, and the number of accomodations is not very high, so book well in advance.

6. Local Sim Card

You can buy a local sim card at the airport itself. The plans from Dtac and AIS are similar and include mobile data which is very useful for Google maps, cab aggregator apps etc. We used Google Maps frequently to find our way to Patong Beach from the hotel. It will cost you 200-300 THB for a week's plan and it is worth the investment.

7. What to Eat

If you love Thai or Asian food, don't miss Pad Thai(flat noodles), and Thai Curry. Indian restaurants are available in abundance, and not at skyrocketing prices either. Amritsr was one of the best Indian restaurants we went to in Phuket for authentic North Indian food. Pizzas, burgers and sandwiches are available in plenty of shops. If you are not planning on spending much on food, you can always get a frozen packet from the nearest seven-eleven store, get it heated and a meal is ready!

Their fresh fruits and shakes/juices must also be experienced. We loved the mango juices around Phi Phi and Phuket.

Pad Thai

Photo of A Guide to Planning a Trip to Thailand by Aparajita

8. What to Wear

Thailand is quite tolerant of different attires. We found bikinis and swimwear as the normal attire in Phi Phi. In the island tours, it is best to wear shorts as you may have to get in to water at times. When visiting temples like Big Buddha, be sure to cover your knees and shoulders as a mark of respect. These coverings are available at the temple itself, if you are not dressed appropriately.

9. Short Itinerary

Day 1

Day 1:

Land in Phuket. Phuket City Tour: Wat Chalong Temple-Big Buddha Phuket-Karon View Point

Stay in Ramada Phuket.

Wat Chalong Temple

Photo of A Guide to Planning a Trip to Thailand by Aparajita
Day 2

Day 2:

James Bond Island Tour: Wat Suwan Kuha(Recining Buddha)-ride through mangroves-Koh Panyi(Stilt Village)- James Bond Island(Koh Tapu)- Canoeing through sea caves at Koh Talu

Photo of A Guide to Planning a Trip to Thailand by Aparajita

Evening at Patong Beach

Day 3

Day 3:

Phuket to Phi Phi Transfer by ferry.

Stay at Phi Phi Banyan Villa

Explore Koh Phi Phi Don. Enjoy fire party at Loh Dalum Beach

Photo of A Guide to Planning a Trip to Thailand by Aparajita
Day 4

Day 4:

Phi Phi Island Tour: Viking Caves, Pi Leh Bay, Pi Leh Lagoon, Monkey Beach

Phi Phi Islands

Photo of A Guide to Planning a Trip to Thailand by Aparajita
Day 5

Day 5:

Phi Phi to Phuket Transfer

Evening at Patong Beach.

Sunset at Patong Beach

Photo of A Guide to Planning a Trip to Thailand by Aparajita

Day 6:

Return to India

If you are planning an international trip, then Phuket can be the perfect place for you! And if you've already explored Thailand, do let us know your adventures and recommendations in the comments or write about it on Tripoto

For more stories, follow me on Tripoto and Instagram