Thailand in 9 Days

Below is a travel itinerary for Thailand (Bangkok and a few islands) in 9 days. This is what we did in December 2011. I will also share some tips with you at the end.

Day 1

Arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport. You may take a the train or cab to the city based on the location of your hotel. We chose to rest all day and head out in the evening. There are a lot of things to do in Bangkok in the night and you can choose what suits your holiday the best. 

Day 2

Breakfast at hotel and check out. Head to Suvarnabhumi Airport and fly to Krabi. Take cab from the airport to the ferry terminal and head to Phi Phi. Check in at hotel. There are a lot of things to do in Phi Phi in the night and you can choose what suits your holiday the best. 

Day 3

Breafast at hotel. Leave hotel by 2.00 pm and take the boat to Maya Bay. Snorkel at 1-2 spots before reaching Maya Bay. Overnight at Maya Bay.

Day 4 

Breakfast at Maya Bay. Depart from Maya Bay at 10.00 am. Snorkel at 1 spot before reaching Phi Phi. Relax in Phi Phi the rest of the day.

Day 5 

Breakfast at the hotel. We used this day to scuba dive and then check-out. Take a ferry to Aonang. Check into hotel. In the evening walk around Aonang beach. You have some places to shop, eat and party.

Day 6

Breakfast at hotel. There are many daytrips in Krabi. We chose to go island hopping. The day trip usually lasts 8 hours. You have the evening to relax.

Day 7

Breakfast at hotel. There are many daytrips in Krabi. We chose to go on an elephant safari and visit the Emerald Pool. The day trip usually lasts 8 hours. You have the evening to relax.

Day 8

Breakfast at the hotel. We took a day’s break to relax at the hotel. We lazed by the pool. In the evening we walked by the beach and went for a massage and me for a manicure. We needed a break before he headed to Singapore. Else, you can check out on day 8.

Day 9.

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out and head to Singapore.

Tips

1. Phi Phi has a wide range of hotels. Choose your hotel based on the type of activity you are looking for. For instance, we wanted some quiet and chose Mama Residence. To be in the midst of the night life you will have to look at hotels located in the centre of the island.

2. Phi Phi can also be visited from Phuket or Krabi as a day trip.

3. It is advisable to pre-book your camping day at Maya Bay especially during peak season.

4. A day trip from Phi Phi can also be planned to Maya Bay. If you do this try to leave early so that you get a quieter beach.

5. Rock climbing is also a popular activity in Phi Phi.

6. For the first dive you need not know swimming! You are shown a video, asked to sign some papers and then trained. We did this over 2 days. The video was about 20-30 minutes and the paper signing takes you another 10 minutes. We were taught most of the basic skills when on the boat. We did 2 dives up to 12 metres.

7. Plan your scuba diving session at good 48 hours before you board your flight.

8. Krabi is a more crowded place and you could reduce your stay by a day. After Phi Phi, Krabi was a let-down. I would suggest you pick out day trips and make your stay in Krabi worth your while. The other option is to stay at a 5-star resort and not get out much.

If you need any other advice just ask me.

Amazing Thailand from VeeKarnik on Vimeo.

Photos and some videos from our vacation in Thailand in December 2011. We visited Bangkok, Ko Phi Phi, Maya Bay and Aoanang in Krabi. This was a trip of many firsts and a visit to Ko Phi Phi comes strongly recommended by me. Read more here - tumblevee.tumblr.com/tagged/dec2011

Soundtrack - ‘Pure Shores’ by All Saints. All rights reserved by All Saints.

The second day in Krabi we booked ourselves on a day tour that covered the Hot Springs, a visit to the Emerald Pool, Elephant Trekking and Tiger Cave Temple. It was a nice change from all the sea, sand and island hopping we had the last few days.

The tour gave us time to take a dip in the hot springs and also swim in the Emerald Pool which is surreal. Be sure to be in your swimwear for these visits. Both places have changing rooms, but they aren’t clean. It is better f you carry a towel and Sarong so that you can avoid changing out of the swimwear.

The warm weather will dry you up soon and then you can head on to the Elephant Trek. You get to ride an elephant while it takes deep in a pond. At the end of the ride we even fed the elephant. Being from India interacting with elephants is not rare, but I just love that animal. Always a pleasure to spend time with them - so big, yet so gentle.

The last stop was the Tiger Cave Temple. Now we just visited the temple in the cave. If you are more adventurous and have time then you can also climb up to the top to visit other parts of the temple.

Usually as the tour has a group of people, time is restricted. Again you can book these tours at the hotel.

We did a full day trip to Hong island and Paradise island in Krabi. The tour can be fixed from the hotel. We booked it the day we landed in Krabi while we waited for the ferry to Phi Phi.

We spent most of our time in Hong Island where we hiked, swam and snorkeled. We also kayaked for the first time in our lives for 5 km in the sea. The route was around the island and into a cove which had a shallow bed filled with star fishes. It was quite spectacular. Tarun and I did fight a lot while kayaking…it really needs great communication and understanding especially for first-timers!

On our way back to Ao Nang we did stop at paradise Island for a bit, but as it started raining we had to head back. The tour includes pick up and drop to hotel, lunch and some refreshments as well as equipment for kayaking and snorkeling. The operators are able to speak in English which is useful and they were also able to help me with some vegetarian food (steamed veggies with rice).

There are several island hopping day trips to choose from in Krabi. We were keen on kayaking and hence chose this one. You look up some others here.

We stayed at Aonang Paradise in Krabi in December  2011. The video is of the Deluxe Premium Cliff View room. We stayed here for 3 nights. The resort is a 5 min walk to the beach and also very close to many restaurants.

The resort serves you good breakfast which is included with the stay. They are also very helpful in arranging day trips around Krabi.

I must say they have a lovely pool with the view of the fields and the cliff. Do not miss to spend some time there.

Lastly, I thought even their basic room was lovely. So if you are on a tight budget choose one of their other rooms which are as well designed and convenient.

New Experiences at Phi Phi

The only way to reach is Phi Phi is on a ferry. We took the ferry from Krabi town. You may also take one from Phuket which is another popular choice. Most tourists - especially the ones in big tour groups - do a day trip to Phi Phi island. But this is so not enough…let me tell you why…

The Arrival

As we got off the ferry at Ton Sai Bay, I remember looking for some one at the pier from Mama Bay Residence to receive us. We missed this person and what followed was a rather longish walk to the hotel. Longish because I had to tug my trolley bag over a mix of cobbled path and sand.

I remember reaching the colorful reception at Mama Beach Residence to be told that we had missed the porter. He was there to take our luggage in a wheel barrow and escort us to the hotel.

Why no taxi you ask? Well, Phi Pi has no taxis, or cars, or buses, or trains…just the simple cycle or simpler your feet!

Drinking Buckets

Now that is not entirely indicative of the amount we drank but more about what we drank from. Plastic buckets were the go to drink serving vessel on the island. It was a bit odd the first time as in India the plastic bucket is associated with lavatory activities.

But with a few buckets down…no one really cares. And over the years this is a story we love telling our friends.

A Night Under the Stars

One of the activities we wanted to do on our trip to Phi Phi was camp at the now overtly famous Maya Bay. We booked this online about 3 months in advance. The trip starts at 3.00 pm. You leave Ton Sai Bay and on your way to Maya Bay you stop off to snorkel. The boat ride is quite beautiful with all the limestone islands you see around.

And then suddenly in betweens these huge rock islands, you suddenly see the beautiful Maya Bay. It is wise to do the overnight stay as you avoid the crowd of the day trippers (from Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi…) and it is just about 20 of you on the island from 5 in the evening till 9 the next morning. 

The trip includes the dinner plus one drink each - this is a BIG drink as it fills the plastic bucket. You are allowed to carry your own food and drink. The entertainment is group dependant. So we had music playing off someone’s phone and then a few party games. The organizers also have a fire show which is great fun to watch.

Everyone is given sleeping bags and you are free to choose any spot on the island. I remember Tarun waking me up in the middle of the night and we just lay there on the beach looking up at the sky filled with sparkling stars of all brightness-es and sizes.

The next morning we woke up to catch the sun rise, but it was a bit cloudy. Sometimes I believe you get a fantastic view. So this is pure luck. But my favorite part of the day was my swim in the empty ocean as the day trippers had still not come in. After breakfast you head back to Phi Phi with another stop to snorkel. 

This is something you have to experience…so make that trip to Phi Phi! Here is the photo story…

Trying Something For the First Time

It all happened on the first night as we sipped drinks from our plastic buckets. We met Mark or Max (memory fails me now)  who over a conversation convinced us that scuba diving at Phi Phi is something we should not miss. It was crazy because Tarun does not know how to swim and yet he was the one telling me we should give it a shot.

The scuba experience was scary, exciting and tiring. Being in a different medium was unsettling at first but soon I was enamored by what surrounded me. And then there was no looking back…or should I say looking up?

We did 2 dives and went down to about 12 metres. The feeling of no gravity is so confusing at times that we would suddenly be bobbing out of sync. Just wish we had videos of our first dive…would have made hilarious home videos!

Why Should You Go?

After my trip to Phi Phi, I have told anyone who likes to travel that they have to visit this island. The food is good, you get buckets to drink (I think I am on the pun overdose!), you have the sea, you have rock climbing, scuba diving and so much more and you have luxury resorts to bum around in if that is your choice. Everything is a walk or a swim away.

Seeing the ‘Run Here For Cover’ signs all across the island directing you to tsunami safe zones is a bit a unnerving, but if you ignore that Phi Phi is truly beach paradise.

We stayed at Mama Beach Residence on Phi Phi island. I have forgotten the room category, but it was on the ground floor and we could just walk to the beach.

Mama Beach Residence has its own sun deck with access to the beach. It is located at the far end of the island, away from all the noise. It is a 15 minute walk to the pier and about 20 minutes away from where all the activity, but as it is so easy to walk around the island we did not mind this. So if you want some calm and quiet then this is where you should stay.

Unlike some other cheaper stays we came across Mama Beach Residence has some style and class at a more affordable price (compared to the beach properties on the island). This one definitely gets a thumbs up from me.

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