10 Days, 16 Islands! - A Solo Trip, Backpacking Guide to the Best of Thailand #BestOfTravel

2nd Mar 2018

In order to find places to escape and a big room to make mistakes, adapt and take shape of the locals to feel better than the reality.

It was the southern coast of Thailand to have felt home for the coming days. I'd like to call my 'itinerary', an integration of the Hub & Spoke model. Lol MBA.

Day 1

While Alex Photobombed :/

Photo of Bangkok, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

I flew Bangkok to connect with the first hub of my itinerary. Got to spend a few hours because of the long layover. I got to see some temples and had a good Pad Thai to eat in the city centre with my mates, Alex & David and rushed back to the airport to catch a flight that destined Phuket. Eating street food there was my catch for not spending out of my budget. So I followed it everywhere I went. And it turned out to be a good news as I ate variety! I got to try squids, oysters and crabs which were a part of their street food culture. And they gave me a weird feeling before I ate them but I never thought some of their meat would be so smooth and sweet on my buds :)

Day 2

It started with the Paradise Beach - Phuket

Photo of Phuket, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

Phuket that tends to be my first hub island for covering almost 5 islands. Got me a bed at the Slumber Party Hostel by Bodega at Patong Beach which turned out to be cheap and fun! Just to tell, Bangla Walking Street ain't for kids in the late of evening :p But to find the best deals to tour the islands I bought combined tickets for each island from a single tour operator. I bargained him up to 2200 THB altogether. I almost tried to find places that offered beds around 300TBH per night. And it's interesting that decent hostels offered such a price even for spot bookings. :D

Courtesy: PhuketTourism

Photo of Similan Island Tours, Chalong, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

I took a ferry from for the Similan Islands which included a 90 min drive to the Bang Rong Pier, right in the morning and got myself a starstruck with the beauty and clear waters to dive. I took a day out for these gorgeous lands and mini forests to trek which was easy to hang around. They even displayed some rubber cultivation and agricultural demonstrations around the jungles.

Day 3

Koh Yao Yai

Photo of Ko Yao Yai, Ko Yao District, Phang-nga, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

Cliff Jumping Site :D

Photo of Ko Yao Yai, Ko Yao District, Phang-nga, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

The Koh Yao islands do not have any popular viewpoint or a landmark but that makes it a low crowded place to spend time with ease. And this won't hurt your pocket. And the best part was having jumped from a decent heighten cliff at Koh Yao Nai guided by one of my local friend, Mr. Chuck.

Lazing around was contagious as it slowed down the exploring but I kept myself stuck with the sunset on a beach on the other Koh Yao island while it offered me an experience of sheer calmness.

Day 4

Courtesy: AlohatoLove

Photo of Coconut Island, Ko Kaeo, Mueang Phuket District, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

This piece of land comprised less of beaches and more of floating restaurants and grounds covered with lush greenery. I had some good oysters at one of such setup. I ended my day here with a dive at the coast of the Andaman Sea. Getting here was not a big deal it takes a ferry/private boat from the Rassada Pier(Phuket). It was better to book ferry tickets there and not pre-booking them I feel as they were easily bargained.

Day 6
Photo of Phi Phi Islands, Krabi, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

Took a transfer to this Island from Phuket with a two-hour ferry ride and was breathtaking to have stepped into gazing the tranquil waters and surrounded by sights of green dense hills. One of the best beaches of Thailand is supposed to be here. It cost me 350TBH for the ferry ride. There's a street filled with food marts near the entrance of the Phi Phi Pier.

Photo of Maya Bay, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

Since I took a day tour of Phi Phi Island & Maya Bay inclusive, I further came down to this spot which was filled with tourists all around. This place didn't take much time of mine to have visited well. And it is said to be shut from September 2018 for the reason being an overcrowd. It cost me another 150 TBH for a ferry ride to this part of Koh Phi Phi Islands as the distance ain't far between them.

Day 7

I took an evening ferry around 5:00 pm for the next island hub, Ao Nang - Krabi. Ferries from Phi Phi Pier offers you a ride not less than for 400TBH. Once you reach the Ao Nang ferry depot, you get a free ride to the hotel arranged by the company managing the same ferry. It was a fabulous gesture from the Slumber Party Hostel by Bodega that I was welcomed with a free shot. I found easy to get along with the hostel-mates at this party hostel. Their island tours and pub crawls were highlights of my stay. Hopefully, I signed up for their island tours the very next morning to cover four more islands.

Day 8

From the viewpointt!

Photo of Ko Poda Krabi, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

Near Koh Poda Island!

Photo of Ko Poda Krabi, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

We started off playing drinking games and egging on each other for a point to have a healthy hair, proven. Koh Poda was a huge rock which stood tall under the sparkling tranquil waters which were almost a treat to have seen. We climbed up at a viewpoint which was quite a difficult but an adventure task.

Chicken Shaped Rock Island!

Photo of Chicken Island, Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

Hanging around this island for a short while and hogging some fried rice was nice! We were told to guess the story about this rock and it was nice listening to some stupid ones. They say the rock took this shape naturally and was there for decades.

People climbed the rock here.

Photo of Hong Island, Nong Thale, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

We swam upon the deep waters of this island. Snorkeled, and tried to relax in the waters. Tiger fishes were in a large numbers to have been seen and touched here. Diving our heart out is the major thing I miss! It is important for me to mention this that none of such island hosts banking facilities and it was better to get cash from the town or the bigger(hub) islands. It costs around 220TBH as a withdrawal fee in almost every ATM. Many of the stalls and shops in Thailand weren't accepting cards much or might have charged a percent of the fee so it was best to transact for cash every-time. And I found it better to take a decent bulk money out or get the foreign currency exchanges at the airports. That always helped me save a tiny percentage of the budget. And it was always safe to not carry precious and valuable items while touring beaches and while participating in island activities.

Railay Caves.

Photo of Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

A good thing about this beach was the caves that had secret spots to visit and swim as well. Climbing some of them is a difficult task when done barefooted but its the only good way to hike them. The rocks found around the caves gave a shape of a melting one. Railay had a story of a princess who people worshipped for the beauty and faith of the island that may save humans from the destruction or drowning of the island any day. We drive back to the hostel witnessing a beautiful sunset on our way. It was supposed to be one of the amazing tours out there.

Day 9

Having stayed in Krabi town for a while I hopped on the minibus which took 3 hours to reach Surat Thani town. And that took me a hundred and fifty TBH. I bought a combined road+ferry ticket to Koh Pha Ngan(Thong Sala Pier) for the same day it took me 3 hours to reach the island and it cost me 400TBH. I checked in to another hostel here for a couple of nights. I took some rest for a night there.

The best mini Island!

Photo of Ko Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

It takes approximately an hour to reach Koh Tao form Koh Pha Ngan. One should pay not more than 250 TBH for a normal ferry ride to Mae Haad Pier. Ah! Koh Tao seemed liked a pretty fable land and had one of the best sites to snorkel in Thailand! I took half of the day to be here and that turned out to be pretty sufficient with a good Thai food. Mango Rice is one of a good dessert which indians may love having it. Much love to Chuck for lending me his snorkel kit. But the waters here are a treat to watch and to be in. I fell in love with the colors they wore. You almost get a chance to swim between the fishes here on their coasts. A highly recommended place to be!

Day 10

We all know why!

Photo of Ko Pha-ngan, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani, Thailand by Vishnu Modi

I returned back to Koh Pha Ngan Island then, and it was the night of this Festival! The dates are usually announced in advance on their website here: Half Moon Party Festival. But you get a 100TBH discount if you purchase the tickets online. It costs around 1400 TBH as an entry fee for this festival. Almost a crowd numbering up to 5000 are here to party! It is a great experience for trance lovers! People sell you buckets for around 150 TBH that goes enough for your system to get the party started! :p Besides that, you have a good bunch of activities awaiting you on this island. The beaches are truly amazing and suit best for the sunset. One of the best treks were to the Bottle beach in the north. One of the best views to get yourself an easy relaxing time.

Day 12

Apart from keeping my stays much like a budget traveler, I took a fancy hotel on this island to experience some leisurely vibes. It just takes half an hour to be on this island from Koh Pha Ngan. They sell the ferry tickets for not more than 200 TBH to Maenam Pier(Koh Samui). Comparatively, one can find a good number of properties equipped with fancy interiors and inexpensive to stay. My To-Do list here comprised of Chewang beach, Food at Bophut's Fisherman Village, and Namuang waterfalls. And I regret none of that choice. And to add, there is a secret Buddha garden which comprises of mini scattered Buddha statues around the forest nearby to the waterfall. People even find mining sites to visit here.

Courtesy- thailandguide.org

Photo of Ko Samui, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand by Vishnu Modi
Day 13

Having stayed for a couple of days at Koh Pha Ngan & Koh Samui, I left for Tapee Pier(Surat Thani) via a ferry that took me 3 hours to reach the town. I stayed back for a night to get myself some rest and wanted to explore the market around the town. Took an evening flight to Bangkok to fly back to Mumbai with memories to miss. I believe to having it called much of a rushed plan all over, but I got the energy and motivation from the landscapes that Thailand is blessed with. I feel fortunate to carry many moments and lessons home.

1 Comment(s)
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how much you did you spend on the entire trip ?
Mon 06 11 18, 02:57 · Reply · Report