Thailand is always on the top 10 bucket list of travelers from all over the world, but with so many destinations and things to do in this beautiful country, one is left with “analysis paralysis” or an inability to make a decision. So, we’ve taken the liberty of planning this next trip. We got you!
Here’s a proposed itinerary that will make it worth the trip and give you an efficient route around the country.
Start off with Phuket.
Getting into Phuket is a breeze with it’s newly renovated international airport. Flights to this destination are almost limitless and inexpensive, especially during the off-season. This makes for a good entry point to Thailand. With so many different things to do and see in Phuket where do you start though?
After a very thorough & extensive research, (Cavespeak: basically a lot of googling and consultations with other local cavemen) here’s the Phuket rundown.
Best Beach within driving distance from the airport (approx 1 hour without too much traffic): NAI HARN Beach
Aside from the fact that it’s not as congested & commercialized as other Phuket beaches…the sand is fine and shallow (safe for kids), the water is clear and the accommodations are not too shabby at all. It’s also near a lot of great attractions, cultural experiences and great food. There’s a lot more other more beautiful beaches in Phuket, but aside from the fact that you’d have to take another long speedboat ride, it won’t be cheap. So if you’re in the mood to just go jump into the beach…
We recommend you book a stay at The NAI HARN for an amazing beachfront/cliff view. Great service and accommodations and it’s right smack by the beach. They let you borrow bicycles to go around and provide a lot of great add-on services like free yoga lessons, a nice beach bag and free use of beach mats and watersport facilities like kayaks.
For more affordable options check out Airbnb units around the area but set the filter to Nai Harn Beach as your landmark.
What do to while in Nai Harn Beach
First order of business — Get to the beach and get a tan. This beach is perfect for laying out, with its fine sand, wide space and flat terrain.
Then the next day, rent a mopehead (Scooter in asiaspeak) through your hotel or any local shop around the area for roughly 300-400 baht per day plus fuel. Go around and explore Phuket.
Insider Tip: Be sure to have a scooter license and (per advise of the locals) have some handy loose bills to hand out, in case some cops try to find fault in your touristy way of driving.
Take this one day route riding around Phuket starting from Nai Harn beach:
Big Buddha – 20 mins from Nai Harn, experience being awed by it’s majestic and spiritual vibe. Considered to be one of the major iconic symbols of the Thai’s devotion to Buddha, the statue is 45 meters tall, made of white marble and is visible from anywhere in the southern part of Phuket. It features some very interesting activities like getting blessed by a Buddhist monk, luck ceremonies, amulet shopping and meditation sessions. Certified instagram worthy.
Insider Tip: Whatever happens, don’t disrespect the Blessed Buddha in any way (e.g. buying keychains or any souvenir that has an actual buddha) as it is considered a major offense and can get you fined or jailed in Thailand.
Chaithararam Temple – Wat Chalong – full of culture and tradition, experience and learn first-hand the devotion of the predominantly Buddhist Thais. The architecture and design are also mesmerizing.
If the stars align and the clouds dissipate, nothing beats a sunset in this lighthouse hill. Perhaps the island’s most photogenic and best-known destination, get there a little early before you lose your spot to watch the free show — Phukets amazing sunset.
After a picturesque sunset head down over to Rawai Pier
Eat like the locals, coz it doesn’t get as fresh as this. Fresh seafood cooked and served Thai style from lobsters to sea bass to crabs. I’m salivating just writing this. Take me back! Situated right by the famous pier of Rawai its a 15-minute mopehead drive from Nai Harn.
After the relaxed atmosphere of Nai Harn, its time to get the party started in the country’s capital. A short one-hour flight to Bangkok is next.
How to get there: Multiple daily flights make it cheap to fly from HKT to BKK.
Where to stay: we’ve got two exceptional options for you.
Option 1: Dusit Thani Bangkok
Aside from the fact that its right in the middle of the city. You will feel like you’re in an oasis in the middle of the urban jungle of BKK. With so many things to do inside the hotel alone, you might find it hard to get yourself out of the hotel door to explore the city.
Option 2: Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Place
We love a stylish hotel room—and at Marriott Marquis BKK, you’ve got a couple of options to choose from, including the Deluxe King Suite, the Grand Marquis Suite Bedroom and the M Suite Room, to name a few. The Deluxe King Suite alone will spoil you with a view of the pool and the North Building, and it’s equipped with a king-sized bed, a cable TV, a closet, a lovely office corner, a really nice bathroom and of course, excellent Wi-Fi.
Just a three-minute walk to Phrom Phong’s BTS Skytrain Station will give you easy access to the key places around the metro. The Benjasiri Park is also accessible through the back entrance of the hotel. There’s also a lifestyle mall nearby called EmQuartier, if you’re in the mood for some shopping.
3 “-ING” THINGS TO DO IN BKK
1. Strolling Parks – Thai people love their parks and love their outdoor aerobics. Stroll around and get some snaps in parks like Lumpini (right across Dusit) and get some cardio going.
2. Shopping – Probably the host to the best shopping in Southeast Asia, BKK has something for every type of shopper. From luxury brands to class A knock offs to awesome BKK designers to just plain cheap electronics and seemingly useful small finds, all you need to do is find the right mall for your fetish. They are mostly conveniently located along the city’s MRT (Metro Rail). Our personal favorite MBK and the airport themed mall Terminal 21.
3. Dining – Thai food is definitely up there when it comes to best cuisines in the world. So almost every little nook that serves up the local fare is almost guaranteed to suffice. If you’re not in the mood to experiment and try the floating restaurants for fear of weak stomachs, we would highly recommend this amazing restaurant find – Suhrings. Owned by twin German partners, the ambiance is as delectable as the menu. It may cost you a bit, but every bite is worth the buck or baht in this case.
4. Nightlife Explor-ING – Start off your night at Maggie Choos for a time travel experience back to Shanghai in the 1930s. The latest creation of the increasingly popular designer Ashley Sutton, the man behind the incredible ‘Bookshop’ and ‘Iron Fairies’ bars in Hong Kong. They describe the place to be a magical underground cabaret full of mystery, romance & and all that jazz. Need we say more?
Rooftop bars rock and the Sky Bar at the Lebua is not an exception. Serving up really good cocktails, the view of the city compliments this scenic night spot that gathers quite a diverse group of revellers.
After the hustle and bustle of the city. Just a 2-hour drive away from BKK or Bangkok is …
The perfect way to end your Thailand trip is to go back to the beach but this time with a different flavor. Locals and tourists alike have the perfect escape to the beach from Bangkok in a place called Pattaya. Although locals prefer Hua Hin as it is less commercialized and tourist invaded (this is also where the royal summer residences are located), Pattaya is a more popular choice just because of the fact that there are so many more things to do and see. Although known more for its sex tag in the past, it has been slowly trying to renew its image with more cultural activities, great shops & restaurants. To top it off, it hosts one of the most unique music and art’s festival we’ve ever experienced called WONDERFRUIT
How to get there: Dusit offers a hotel to hotel transfer from BKK but varied van rentals or taxis regularly ply this route to Pattaya. Expect to shell out around 1000-1500 baht per way, depending on your negotiating skills.
Where to stay: DUSIT Thani Pattaya
Situated perfectly by Jomtien beach (probably the best beach in Pattaya) and beside everything you’ll ever need from 200 baht Thai Massages to great food & shopping finds, Dusit is also conveniently the shuttle stop for Wonderfruit.
Once in awhile you encounter a life experience that sticks with you for a lifetime. Enter Wonderfruit. Although still in its infancy stage, the event was massive and had all the right elements to make a perfect 4-day weekend worth the trip from wherever you’re coming from. Now on its 3rd year, we predict Wonderfruit will blow up like the Tomorrowland and Burning Mans of the world within the next 2 years. Hopefully, it doesn’t lose it’s authentic and uncommercialized vibe. We’d be selfish if we said…”let’s keep it our little secret”, check out our aftermovie video and find out HERE why you should go .