2-week Thailand Itinerary
Overview of the route:
UK – Bangkok – Chiangmai – Chiangrai – Bangkok – Phuket – Phi Phi Islands – Krabi – UK
First leg: UK-Bangkok
Approx travel time: 21 hours.
Return flights from UK airports to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport usually average somewhere between £380-£450 depending on the time of year you go. In the height of British summertime (July/August) prices can increase dramatically so take this into consideration when planning your trip dates.
Airlines tend to head to Dubai for a stop-off first, which is approximately 7hr 30 minutes from the UK. Then 1hr 30minutes in the airport, and back on board for another 8hrs from Dubai to Bangkok.
Duration: 2 nights
Check out my post on how to spend your first 48 hours in the capital of Bangkok.
Second leg: Bangkok-Chiangmai (Northern Thailand)
Duration: 3 nights
Take the overnight sleeper train from Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok to Chiangmai for around £25 one-way depending on your cabin preference. Seat 61 has extensive information regarding travel by train across South East Asia, Europe, UK, Africa, America, and Australasia, so it is very handy to make note of this site whenever you are planning rail travel. However, to pre-book tickets for Asia head to 12go. As an intermediary, 12go manually purchase tickets from Thai Railways, however, it saves you the hassle of purchasing tickets when you are ready to leave because you run the risk of your preferred cabin, or even the entire train, being a total sell-out. So, best to grab your tickets before you go from here. The company are highly reputable and have official offices directly opposite Bangkok railway station.
For £25pp you will get a second-class cabin which has both an upper and lower bunk, and is clean and comfortable, with fresh bedding and air-con. It can get slightly cooler at night so you will be glad for the blanket provided.
Whilst in Chiangmai, grab a real taste of Thai culture by experiencing a Muay Thai Boxing match at one of the many stadiums around such as the Thapea Boxing Stadium and the Kawila Boxing Stadium. Tickets tend to cost around 400-600 baht depending on where you decide to sit, and you can often book through your hotel as they will arrange inclusive pick-up but not drop-off post-match.
Day excursion to Chiangrai
Chiangrai is a mountainous province that is home to the magnificent White Temple. It takes around 3hrs to reach from Chiangmai but I can assure you the White Temple alone is 100% worth the visit. Plus, you can soak up the view of lush greenery and local Thai life on your journey. Tours tend to leave early, around 7.30am, so make sure you book on the day before. You will also get the chance to enjoy other activities depending on your tour choice, and whether you opt for half-day or full-day tour.
Once you have enjoyed your time up north, it’s time to head south. Take the overnight sleeper back to Bangkok for cheap flights to Southern Thailand. Alternatively, Chiangmai has its own airport that provides direct flights to Phuket, taking around 2hrs and costing around £50.
Third leg: Bangkok-Phuket (Southern Thailand)
Approx travel time: 1hr 30minutes.
Flights from Bangkok to Phuket can cost as little as £30 one-way, maybe even less if you are lucky. I am always keeping an eye on Skyscanner when planning a trip because you can save a good amount as prices drop and increase from day to day.
Duration: 3 nights
There is so much to do in Phuket you will be spoilt for choice. A full day tour is a great way to see top sites such as the breathtaking Big Buddha that sits 45-metres tall on the top of the Nakkered Hills and overlooks Chalong, Kata, and Rawai. You will also get to visit stunning temples such as the beautifully decorated Wat Chalong temple, and Wat Srisoonthorn, a 29-metre-high sleeping Buddha.
Phuket is home to Patong Beach, which is laced with many beach resorts, bars, clubs, and restaurants, and a great place to spend both day and night. If you fancy a day out, Phang Nga Bay in the north east of Phuket is 100% worth the trip. The experience is unforgettable, and the stunning sheer limestone cliffs that sit vertically out of the emerald green waters will have you in awe.
Head to Patong’s Bangla road for a taste of the crazy nightlife Phuket has to offer. If you are looking to have some fun, be sure to keep an open mind and a sense of humour as there is nothing that can prepare you for the madness that you will face here. If you begun your trip in Bangkok you might be a little more prepared, but this place definitely took my boyfriend and I by surprise and we had spent a couple of days in Bangkok prior! If you are looking for more low-key entertainment, check out a Simon Cabaret show at Patong beach or FantaSea show at Kamala beach.
Fourth leg: Phuket-Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands
Duration: 3 nights
Take a boat ride from Phuket pier to Tonsai Pier on the Phi Phi islands to be blown away by crystal clear waters, and a slice of island life. Here you can really switch off from your hectic life back home and waste days lazing around on the beach under the blazing sun, and enjoy fire dance shows, and fresh seafood by night.
The island remains beautiful with a rugged edge because it suffered from a Tsunami in 2005. Further inland some wreckage remains, but the locals have done a great job at rebuilding businesses, particularly tourist hotspots along the coast. Having said that, there really is no reason to venture inland when the majority of restaurants, bars, and hotels and resorts grace the beach front.
The Phi Phi islands are the perfect location to try your hand at diving, or if your a pro, there are some great tours here that head to Phi Phi Leh, the island where “The Beach” ft. Leo Decaprio is filmed, and the famous James Bond island featured in “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Dive stores are a plenty here, but if you don’t feel like diving you can take an island-hopping boat tour. The boat tours are great for scuba diving and catching the wonderful sunset on the cruise back.
Fifth leg: Phi Phi Islands – Krabi
From Tonsai Pier head to Krabi pier by boat, which will take around 3hrs.
Duration: 3 nights
Krabi is one of the most relaxing places in Thailand. Graced with stunning white beaches such as Railay Beach, breathtaking scenery including limestone cliffs, a jungle, and a coastline that stretches over 200 miles. Head to Thung Teao Forest Natural Park to experience some of the most outstanding natural beauty in the whole of Thailand. The Crystal Lagoon, also known as Emerald Lagoon, contains clear, warm waters where you can take a dip and float away whilst admiring the waterfall.
Sixth leg: Krabi-Next destination
The world is your playground now, where do you go?
My boyfriend and I decided to head over to Vietnam for a 6-days before heading off to Dubai for a long weekend. Considering Dubai? Check out my latest post on what to expect – Dubai – Don’t Listen to What They Say, Go See! and the Top 5 Activities to enjoy whilst you are there.