It is rightly said, “The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” — Sir Richard Burton.
Thailand is not just the land of culture and the land of serene islands but also the land of memories. Even if you travel to this place without having any plan in hand you would easily spend your days with joy, happiness and in peace. The country has two sides to it. The northern part of Thailand is popularly known for its cultural sites and is densely covered by mountains and river valleys. The souther part has beautiful islands and serene beaches. If you are looking for 8 days itinerary to spend across the southern part of Thailand, here is what I have done.
DAY 1: Bangkok
Woaahh! Finally I landed in Suvarnambhumi International Airport, Bangkok, from India. As I did not have visa before hand, I received my visa on arrival. The visa on arrival option is available for only 21 countries. You can check with the embassy or through internet for information. After getting the visa, I moved to a near-by hostel which was around 5 kilometers from the airport. The name of the hostel is STAYING HOSTEL. There are 2 types of taxi services available from airport which includes small distance and large distance. I took a small distance taxi from the airport for 150 Thai Baht to reach the hostel. Thailand is the hub for backpacker hostels. A traveler can find dormitory beds starting 150 Baht. You can check for the information about hostels through ‘HostelWorld.com’, ‘bookings.com’ or ‘hostels.com’.
After seeing the far ranging array of clothes, shoes, bags, electronics and many others, the butterflies in my stomach which were craving for food just flew away at the ChatuChak market as items were available at very cheap prices. However, certain things must be carefully purchased as there might be issues with the quality of products. I so wanted to purchase clothes, shoes and other things, but looking at the size of my rug sack I didn’t dare to purchase much. The other well-known markets in Bangkok include the Floating market, Pratunam, Bobae, Klongsan Market for such items.
From Chatuchak market, I took a cab to SAI TAI MAI, the bus station to various other parts of Thailand. The cab charged me around 500 Baht. There are buses as well to commute till Sai Tai Mai.
I boarded an overnight bus to Krabi Town from Sai Tai Mai at 6 30 PM. I purchased the ticket at SAI TAI MAI station at 570 Baht. It is advised to purchase the tickets directly at the station instead of taking it from any agency.
TIP: It’s better to research about public transport and commute using them as it is reasonable. The public transport here includes skyrail, buses, boats and you might also find some mini vans. The taxis and tuk tuk sometimes costs you a bomb.
There are many beautiful places to visit in Bangkok. You can visit the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew, Khaosan Road, Kanchanbury Tiger Sanctuary, Buddha temple tours and so on.
DAY 2: Krabi, AO Nang, Naga Peak
Krabi, is not just the land of beaches, but the land of adventures. It is located on the west coast of Southern Thailand. This is a center point to many other islands across the west coast. This place is a must explore zone for all the backpackers.
As I reached Krabi in the morning, I could completely feel my excitement towards my first international backpacking trip. Yayyyy!!! I am in Thailand!
From the Krabi bus station I took a bus to AO Nang beach road for 150 Baht. The tuk tuk outside the bus station would cost around 50 Baht. I got down at a place where I could see a lot of Backpacker Hostels around. This place was 2 kilometers before Ao Nang beach. I found an Indian hostel called Babaji Hostel. Woahh! Indian hostel in Thailand. This place was available at 200 Baht per night.
I and my dear friend had some yum breakfast after a fruit diet in Bangkok. You might think why diet in Thailand? Let me tell you, Vegetarians, you don’t have a life in Thailand. :D It is difficult to find vegetarian food. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, whatever you take ensure that you check with the vendors around :D
After that delicious breakfast, we took a vehicle for rent and started exploring Ao Nang and Krabi. Our plan was to ascend the Naga Peak and live the panoramic view point from the top. Hence we started towards the Naga base. It was near Tub Kaek beach. The ride till the Naga base was surrounded by dense forest on both the sides. On the way, we saw Cat Fish Farm, Elephant Farm, Elephant Trekking and many other tourist attractions. Soon, we reached the base of Naga and understood that the trek was for around 3.7 kilometers. Though, mentally we were not prepared, the greed to view the sprouting beauty of the nature from the Naga top has pushed us to start the trek. This place had amazing view points and a tiny waterfall covered in dense forest.
It took 3 hours to reach the top. The scenic view of mountains and beaches from the top was fascinating. After a few selfies and pictures with the Naga landscape, we started descending to the base. The massive downpour from the sky while descending the hill was cherry on the cake.
The route became sludgy and the gaunt on the way made it strenuous to reach the base. Nevertheless, me and my friend enjoyed the descend on the leaf carpeted path with the sounds of crunching twigs, and chirping birds.
By the time we reached the base it was dark, we both were desperately craving for food. Soon we stopped at place called Talay Bar for some delicious vegetarian food. The staff was friendly and generous, renowned for their amazing hospitality. We had our food with some live music along with the sweet sound of the gushy waves. We had good laughs with the staff itself and had a blast at the bar.
DAY 3: RAILEY Beach, Ton Sai Beach
The day had finally arrived to experience the sprinkling waters of Thailand. Both of us were super excited. We rushed and had breakfast and started towards Ao Nang beach as we were heading to Railey Beach :) The boat services to Railey and Ton Sai beach are available from AO Nang beach. The to and fro charges for the boat to Railey beach was around 200 baht. As the boat started towards the Railey beach, this beautiful sea had the rhythmic pulse which was completely incomparable with other parts of the nature. The seascape of the tiny mountains inside the sea was a retreat. It was a 20 minute ride to Railey beach. Though the place was crowded, the magnificence of the beach was placid. There were a lot of activities such as Kayaking, Water rides, surfing, etc. Not to forget, also there are a few massage centers on the beach side.
On the other side of the beach, there was a route that would take us to Ton Sai Beach. It was 10 minute ascend. Ton Sai is truly a climber’s paradise. It was astonishing to see various climbers from different places of the world climbing on the beach. The beach was turquoise green with the waves crawling gently to the shore wetting the sand steadily.
We took the last ferry from Railey beach to Ao Nang beach. There are facilities to stay on the Railey Island. However, this place is expensive.
DAY 4: PHI PHI Islands Tour
One of the most fascinating days of Thailand had arrived. Yayy!! It was a PHI PHI day. We took the Phi Phi island tour package for 1100 baht with a travel agency nearby. The agency folks picked us up from the hostel and took us to Nopparat thara beach which is next to Ao Nang beach. The Nopparat thara itself was serene and beautiful. The boat started around 9 30 AM towards the first Island and that is Bamboo Island.
Koh Phai (Bamboo) Island
This beach was a dreamy beach. The scintillating waves were soothing the soul. The water was unblemished and the white sand on the beach replicated the snow in the mountains. The huge bamboo twigs and logs across the shore were enthralling. The waves were pristine and the fishes were clearly visible. This beach was truly hypnotic.
We jumped into the lucid sea which was close to Ko Phi Phi Don. I was whooping with the sight of lined tropical fishes and the view of beautiful coral reef. Sometimes, the creation of this universe itself is a huge amazement. This was one of the terrific experiences of life. I could hardly be in the ocean, as I was pretty scared of even fishes. My bad. :(
Maya Bay Island
This beach was turquoise green again but even more pristine. The boat passed through the two lush green hills on both the sides. Wow!!! What a place to be in. A must visit tour if you are in Thailand.
The other places covered were Monkey Island, Viking Caves, Koh Phi Phi Don.
There are options to stay back at PHI PHI Island as it is one of the most fascinating attractions of Thailand. Phi Phi is known as the land of Parties and every night there are beach parties organized for the tourists and travelers. However, this place is too crowded which didn’t allure me to stay there.
Hence, I took the package which could drop me at AO Nang beach. It was 1 hour long ride from Phi Phi Islands to Noppararat thara beach with amazing mountains amidst the sea. These agency folks dropped us back to the hostel.
We spent the evening at Talay Bar and around the beach side enjoying the warm of the beach.
DAY 5: Travel to Koh Lanta
This place was the most awaited place of the plan. My friend and I parted our ways and I started traveling to Koh Lanta.
There are many mini vans and ferries which take you to Koh Lanta. Koh Lanta is an island which is in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Thailand. It takes 3 hours to reach this beautiful island from Krabi. This island is surrounded by many other tiny islands and with dense mangrove forest. Lanta offers a lot of adventure activities such as trekking, Elephant ride, Kayaking, Boat tours, rafting and many others.
I reached in the evening and stayed at a hostel called CHILL OUT house. This has been the best hostel I have stayed in Thailand. More than the place, the hospitality of the people was just amazing. It was the networking hub. This place gave me opportunities to meet many other solo travelers. I rented the bike and went for a long ride. I visited the bright and delighting night market at Koh Lanta.
DAY 6: Kayaking and Beach Hopping in Koh Lanta
I did not plan anything for the day. I randomly went on a bike ride and figured out a place called Tung Yee Peng which was around 12 kilometers from the main Lanta. The road was beautiful with huge trees on both sides. After a long travel, I reached a place called Tung Yee Peng which was around 16 kilometers from my hostel. I decide to go for Kayaking. The route was so beautiful through the Mangroves forest leading towards the humongous Andaman Sea. This was just one of the breadth taking experiences. Unlike other places this Island had less number of people and I was the only one Kayaking. I could hardly find people around me. After kayaking for almost 2 hours, I started moving towards Saladan, Lanta.
I visited Klong Dao Beach, Klong Nin Beach, and Phra Ae Beach. Everyone was sitting across the beach and waiting for the Sunset. Yes, it was worth it. :)
It was pretty hard to leave this place as it gave me true sense of backpacking as I met so many solo travelers coming from various countries to exchange our thoughts and cultures along the beach. :)
Bidding good bye to this place was very hard as in Lanta I could feel the true explorer within me. I could connect myself because of the freshness in its air, the warmth of the sun set view, the sun kissing experience of Kayaking and the serenity of the waves.
DAY 7: Ferry to Krabi, Bus to Bangkok
While there are many other routes to reach Bangkok, I chose to go back to Krabi and take a bus from Krabi to Bangkok. The other most popular route could also be from Lanta to Phuket and Phuket to Krabi.
Ferries and vans are available. I took a ferry for 300 baht from Lanta till Krabi. It was heavily drizzling and the ferry turned out to be a beautiful ride. It was worth getting drenched in the rain. The entire day went in travelling towards Bangkok city.
Then, I took a bus from Krabi to Khaosan Rd, Bangkok for 500 Baht.
DAY 8: Bangkok Day
I reached around 6 AM in the morning. This place has many hostels but the check in time is after 2 PM. Somehow, I managed to find a hostel. It was 31st December and the streets were bright and colorful.
I planned to visit the Pratunam Market and shop for my near and dear. From Khaosan, I walked till Pan Fa, and took a boat ride to Pratunam Market. I also visited the nearby temples in Khaosan.
For more information about boats, see Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat
It was New Year’s Eve, and the festive vibes were omnipresent. The outlets on the streets were decorated with colorful lightings. As I walked along the Khaosan street, there was PARTY ZONE where you could see people drinking on the street. I settled in a place where I met 2 guys from Mallorca, Spain who had been travelling in Thailand for a month without knowing English. It was amazing spending my NYE with these people, as our conversations about topics such as cultures, travels, thoughts, adventure and so on was just through sign language. It really was an amazing moment as any barrier can be broken if people really want to connect.
Yayy! It was Happy New Year time! I could see the colorful fireworks in the sky. Wished Happy New Year to the people around and soon bid adieu to khaosan and took a taxi to Suvarnabhumi Internation Airport.
My flight was at 5 AM and was all set to spend my new year in the flight. L It was difficult to say good bye to the beautiful country of Thailand. As it was my first international backpacking I created a lot of memories to last forever with me.
If you are planning to travel to Thailand, do not forget to learn the following:
See You Soon: Pop gan mai
Thank you: Khob-khun-Kha
Like it’s said, “Wherever you go, it becomes a part of YOU forever” and hence, undoubtedly Thailand has become part of my existence today.
Khob-khun-Kha Thailand for the beautiful memories. I will come back soon :)