Thailand is one of the easiest places to travel in Asia - there is a lot to see and you can get around easily day and night. If you are considering a trip to Thailand, we have a sample itinerary that might inspire your own planning.
For the purpose of sharing an example of what we did - we have included recommended stays and timelines, but use this as a jumping off point when planning your own adventure.
When we visited Thailand, we stayed in Bangkok for 2 nights when we landed and then flew to Chiang Mai (inter-flight) and stayed there for 5 nights (where we did most of our excursions). After that, we flew to Phuket as a stop and took a boat to Phi Phi Islands for 4 nights (highly recommend as it is a piece of paradise where you can slow down and relax before going further in your trip. It is so beautiful and worth taking the time to rest and relax. Many folks told us it is worth seeing Phuket, so we flew back there and stayed for 2 nights. Sadly then, our trip was coming to an end, so we flew back to Bangkok for 2 nights before heading home.
For some ideas of what to do - we have included our experiences here:
We did two day trips with Tong Tours in Bangkok
Day trip to see the city with a guide named Jerry (hopefully he is still there has he was amazing). We visited incredible temples and palaces. We recommend visiting Eat Phra Chetuphon, which features the Reclining Buddha; the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Temple of the Golden Buddha; and the Temple of Dawn - the steep stairs is a challenge but worth it for the views at the top.
During our last couple days we booked another tour to see the Train Market, Floating Market and the Fishing Village – definitely do all three. Amazing to see! If you can ask for Jerry do so – otherwise all guides Tong hires are fluent in English, personable and very patient
In Chiang Mai we booked some time to visit an elephant sanctuary - be sure to do you research and ensure it is in fact a sanctuary where elephants are protected and cared for. If they offer rides and related activities - it is NOT a legit sanctuary.
Make sure it's a true sanctuary where you can visit the animals – but not ride. So many tours are responsible for mistreating the elephants and it is heartbreaking. But to visit with them is beautiful.
Tiger Sanctuary – get up close and personal with some tigers – big and baby ones – again amazing and a must do! The one we went to stated they they don't use anything to subdue the animals, so they are awake and at times frisky. They are a beautiful animal as well – and from the reviews we read, it was the one where they were treated the best. Again, do your research and be sure you are supporting those companies that have the best interest of the animals at the hear of what they do.
Orchid Farm – cool and pretty and a nice break for tea/drink - there were also beautiful birds and butterflies everywhere.
Before we took part in the above, we had an early start to the day and were able to visit an early morning market to pick up our local breakfast (sticky rice and fried chicken!) before we started our day
There's also a cooking class in Chiang Mai on a farm with all natural ingredients - Ask for Embee … she's amazing! This is highly recommended - so fun and educational! Make reservations in advance visit this site.
When visiting the Phi Phi Islands, try to book a stay at the Out Rigger Resort – and do the resort massage and body scrub – two hours of heaven for the equivalent of $50!
There is a hike you can go on at Phi Phi – (ask the locals/resort) it is very cool – and you will end up at the main tourist spot – it’s overwhelming – but might a must see. Also, if you stay at the Out Rigger resort – there is a strip behind the hotel that has local restaurants with amazing food and drinks.
Phuket is much different from all of the other places we went. We visited the BIG Buddha, but the rest of the time we spent enjoying the amazing food and walked around. The beaches are also beautiful and clean. However, it is worth noting that it’s a bit wild (depending where you go) basically a European Vegas/South Beach – you can skip it if you want to spend time elsewhere.
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