My Full Thailand Itinerary

Hi guys,

I’ve had a lot of emails/messages lately from bloggers/travellers asking how long I think they would need to travel different places in Asia. This was one of my main questions too when trying to work out how to fit it all in in under 4 months.

So im going to post my itinerary of each country in the hope that it helps some of you.

Here is the first 45days of my travels in Thailand and my opinions/feedback.  

 1-4th December: 3 nights in Bangkok (way too long. I weren’t a fan of Bangkok. 1 night here is enough, 2 at max as you’ll be returning here to travel North) 

4-7th: 3 nights in Kanchanaburi (we did a tour here that included elephants trekking, Tigers and other activities so the timing was perfect)

7-8th: overnight train to Phuket

8-12th: 4 nights in Phuket (This town reminded me a bit of Ibiza. It’s very touristy and there’s a really long bar strip. 3 nights here would’ve been enough for me)

12-15th: 3 nights in Koh Phi Phi (my favourite place. Beautiful beach and the Sunset day tour was epic: even know I was eaten alive by mosquitos)

15th – 18th 3 nights in Ko Lanta (super chill days. The only thing to do here is relax and spend a day island hopping) 

18th – 21st 3 nights in Krabi (you can get a day trip to Railay and many other islands and the bar strip is long)

21st-24th 3 nights in Koh samui (unfortunately it rained here for us so there weren’t much to do)

24th-27th 3 nights in Ko Panghan (only the left part of the island is utilised. Make sure you attend a full moon party!)

27th- 4th: 8 nights in Koh Tao (we spent extra long here because we did our scuba diving course over New Years so we were delayed. The ferry was also fully booked on the day we wanted to leave! I think 5-6 nights here would be perfect)

4-5th: overnight bus to Bangkok from Chumphon; after a 2 hour boat from Koh Tao

5th-6th: 1 night in Bangkok (the overnight bus arrive at 5am so we needed this night to sleep before heading to Chaing Mai by train)

6th-9th 3 nights in Chiang Mai (perfect amount of time: ethical, elephant sanctuary, ethical tiger sanctuary, night bazaar)

9th – 13th 4 nights in Pai (too long but I got food poisoning. 2 nights would be perfect)

13th-14th: Chiang Mai (had to come back here while we waited for our Visa Approval letter for Vietnam then flew to Bangkok 

14th-15th stayed overnight in Bangkok airport and departed for Vietnam at 6.30am

This is all of course, based on my opinion of each place. Taking away all the extra nights I spent in places that I don’t feel is necessary, i personally think you could do the whole of Thailand properly in 35 nights.

I will also be posting my budget and spendings in each country in future posts when I get a bit of spare time. 

If you would like further advice on your travels, where to miss/where is best for certain things, feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll be happy to help!

LwL x 

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Chiang Mai: Take 2

 Spending another 2 nights in Chiang Mai meant more exploring for us. I am actually glad we came here a second time as we missed our some vital places I can now share with you.

First of all, the night bazaar (take 2) opened us up to so much more of the road. A tuk tuk took us to the ‘start’ or finish, whatever way you look at it. The place in my last picture with the arch of lights I thought was a closed mall, is actually more shops and stalls. 

Remember this..

 
  Opposite that is another night bazaar that leads to bars, game stalls and another great big food court! 

  
   

 We also finally found where some nightlife is! (The city centre is pretty quiet and dead by midnight). The place to go is Loi Ak road, just before the bazaar. It is a long street of different bars that look like there open until the early hours. Unfortunately we found this on our last night..

  
  Don’t forget to head to Sompet Market in the day for a sweet coconut

   

 Here’s some other snaps of us touring the many temples Chiang Mai has to offer around the city centre: 

Three Kings Monument   
  

   
      
    
  

   
LwL X 

Touring Pai: Part 2

The following day we headed to Mor Paeng Waterfall and the Chinese Village. 

We decided to get a one way taxi to the waterfall costing 200 baht. The taxi driver explained that taxi’s come up to the waterfalls every so often if we wanted a return, but gave us his number just in case.

Mor Paeng Waterfall

  Mor Paeng Waterfall is beautiful and secluded. The best thing about it was that there were only a few other people there when we arrived around midday, so it was easy to wander around and enjoy the scenery.

   

  

 There were a groups of young Thai children jumping in the water and sliding down the rocks having a blast. It was so lovely to watch children playing outside having fun like they should, not like these days in Western countries where every kid is delved into some sort of uncommunicative technology. 

   

 The waterfall is a bit of a tough and slippery climb but it’s worth wandering up top to see all of it, so just make sure you’re careful! 

   


 
   

 After we had finished we headed to the lovely cafe down the road. There were no taxis to be seen so we had to ring the agency that brought us, we actually waited an hour for him to arrive! It’s lucky that the cafe had wifi and that the lady was very nice and rung the taxi for us. 

Chinese Village 

It cost us 300 baht to return as we wanted to stop off at the Chinese Village. We was only given 25 minutes there by our driver which unfortunately wasn’t enough time. I’d recommend an hour or two here wandering around, looking at the shops etc. and taking in all it has to offer. 

  
  
  
  
  

We paid a total of 250 baht each doing it our own way, with the added stress of waiting around for returns and being on a clock at the village. 

You can do tours in Pai for around 500 baht per person for the full day. This includes a number of different attractions and the transport, but you are time bound by the drivers. 

The alternative is to get a moped for the day and drive to places yourself. A lot of people seemed to have this idea at the waterfall. It is easier and cheaper, however I am not a fan of mopeds out here or the way people drive and lack of ‘rules’ on the road. It’s chaos. In my time in Thailand I’ve seen/met over 40 tourists with injuries from driving mopeds including my friend Nathan!

So get one at your own risk and be very responsible and cautious if you do, just do not opt for doing it yourself with no guaranteed transport, you’ll waste a lot of your time and money. 

LwL X 

Touring Pai – Part 1

Pai is a small town in Northern Thailand, near the Myanmar border and is a very bumpy 146km ride from Chiang Mai.

There are a number of different attractions in Pai, and if your doing the ‘SE Asia banana route’ it’s worth heading here for a couple of nights before moving West into Laos.

In the two days in Pai we had, before I got food poisoning, we see 4 different attractions that Pai has to offer. There are about 12 or so altogether, most of which are drawn on this map..

  
Most tour operators in Pai do different day trip and packages that allow you to see multiple of these attractions in just one day/afternoon etc.  

  At first, I thought it was cramming too much in to do a package, so we decided to do the attractions on our own at our own pace.

On the afternoon we arrived, we headed to the World War II Memorial Bridge and then over to the Pai Canyon to watch the sunset. It cost 200 baht in a one way taxi just to get to the bridge. It was then that we realised that organised day trips are much cheaper! 

WWII Memorial Bridge 

The bridge was built during WWII by Thai prisoners of the Japanese Army in order for Japan to invade Burma, which at the time was a British colony. 

   
 
 
   Since then a new accessible bridge has been built alongside for transport. I would be surprised if you need more than 20 minutes here to explore. 


We then walked 1km to the Pai Canyon from memorial bridge. It’s a pretty straight and easy walk but be careful of the cars (there are no pavements in true Thai style, just gaps at the side of the road)

  
Pai Canyon

  This was my favourite. The Canyon is unreal and you can walk across most of it, at your own risk of course. 

  
    


   
  


   


  
  
   

  

 Both attractions could be done in under 2 hours, but as we got to the canyon at 4.30pm we stayed much longer just to watch the sunset. 

Luckily on this occasion we managed to jump onto a tour taxi heading back to the city centre for 50 baht each. No such luck in part 2.

To be continued..

LwL X

Mishaps, poisoning and plan changes in Pai 

BEWARE: NOVEL ALERT. A lot of rambling and ranting is to follow so enter wth caution. 

We have just spent the last 4 days in Pai, Northern Thailand. We were only expecting to spend 1 night there but events along the way unwillingly amended our plans. 

While Pai is a lovely place, 4 days is far too long in my opinion. I think 2 nights would be perfect for anyone in normal circumstances. 

Our mishaps along the way have resulted in us staying there double the time and losing/spending lots of money in the process. I therefore grew to be a bit fed up of the town by the time we left this afternoon. 

I have to say, this is mainly because I’ve been dealing with food poisoning the last 2 days! So it’s not technically the towns fault. At first, I thought my stomach pains and headache was the side effects of my antimalarials, especially as Liam and I shared the same symptoms. However, after speaking to the pharmacist, he seemed adamant that it was actually food poisoning. 

We had eaten street food the night before, but I couldn’t tell you what the cause was, I ate a lot of stuff! (Regardless, I’ve also stopped taking my antimalarials just in case). 

 

Could’ve been this…
  
 
or this..
 
As a result of being ill, we couldn’t do our planned slow boat trip to Laos on Sunday night. The thought of a 3 day trip on very cramped boats and buses was not at all appealing to me at the best of times, let alone when I feel like I’m dying. 

Thankfully the nice lady gave us 2/3’s of our money back; we were very lucky as it clearly states ‘no refund’ on the ticket. Unfortunately we still lost around £30. Obviously this may not seem a lot to your average Westerner, but my fellow travellers will know that that’s 2 days worth of spending money in Asia! 

  During our new found spare time we discovered Vietnams ‘visa on arrival’ service. The main reason I wanted to head to Laos in the first place was to obtain a Vietnam visa. Its turns out that you can now get an approval letter emailed to you to hand in at the airport! 

As none of us were keen on the long border crossing experience and weren’t too fussed about seeing Laos, we decided to skip it altogether in the end and head straight to Vietnam. 

We used the travel agent in front of Hotel Pailafornia to book our flights. We booked for 3 days time to allow for our Vietnam approval letter to be sent to us.

We have a national flight from Chaing Mai to Bangkok, then Bangkok to Hanoi. This ended up costing £128 each. Believe it or not, the travel agency was actually cheaper than anything we could find on skyscanner; I don’t even think the nice Dutch guy took any commission! (they must make their money from the travel companies?). If you are looking to book things I’d definitely recommend this place. 

So with 2 extra nights I had plenty of time to spend trying to sleep in rooms, being sick every so often, too weak to go out and having to starve myself to shake of the virus. Yay me. 

In an act of desperation after searching frantically around for rooms to stay the next day  (they’re hard to come by in Pai), we had to book in to an 800 baht per night hotel called ‘Nanu’. It seemed quite new with stone interior, so was nice but made the place naturally cold. Liam also had to give 300 baht deposit for the key. At checkout, as he lost the receipt the receptionist refused to believe that he paid 300 and would only give us 200 back! Very rude and tried to put the price of the room up to 1000 baht the day before. Beware of this place. 

This morning we booked a bus for 1pm to head back to Chaing Mai as I’m feeling ok enough to travel (reluctantly on the crazy mountain roads). As 1pm came round our bags were flown on top of a bus, only to be taken off again. After being to and thrown between the desk receptionists and bus drivers, it turns out that the receptionist booked our tickets for the wrong day, no space on the 1pm!

With no apology at all, no acknowledgment of her mistake and no sympathy shown whatsoever, we were presented with a new reciept for today’s 4.30pm bus. So we’ve had 3 and a half extra hours to kill in Pai, as if we needed more time there! 

Now we’re back safe and sound in Chaing Mai until we set off. Thailand has been great but I’m very ready to move on now. 

Apart from all this, our first two days in Pai were great. I’ll post about these in a separate post, with a much lighter tone and a lot more positives. Promise! 

LwL X  

Travelling Thailand: December video

Hi guys,

I’ll be posting about our past few days in Pai tonight; great places to eat, a few photos of our trips and also about our massive change of plans due to me having food poisoning the past few days!

In the meantime I thought I’d share a video that I’ve made of my December in Thailand. 

Please take the time to click on the pic below and watch if you can, I’d appreciate any feedback as I’m going to make one each month i’m travelling. 

  
Places I travelled in December (in order) were:

Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Krabi/Railay, Koh Samui, Koh Panghan, Koh Tao. 

I hope you like it!

LwL x 

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

A 15/20 minute walk outside the west of the city centre or a short 5 minute tuk tuk ride away lies Chiang Mai’s Ploen Ruedee Night Bazaar. 

 Thai, Italian, American, French, Mexican, Indian and Japanese cuisine!

There are cocktail stalls, healthy stalls, shakes, pancakes, milkshakes and a band to entertain you while you sit on bundles of hay stuffing your face. Heaven. 

  

 
  

  

  
 

This food court is the mother of all food courts, you have to visit here! 

Beef noodle soup from ‘noodle soup’
Chicken katsu kare from ‘Yummy Curry’

We took full advantage eating 5 different dishes between us!

Lemon red soda

There is also a really cool stall that does fresh soda flavours and unusual mojitos  

 
Just to the right of the square is where the shopping night bazaar begins.. 

  Rows and rows of elephant print shirts and shorts , paintings, handmade jewellery, souvenirs, copies of DVDs, shoes and trainers, blankets; it’s like a Thai eBay that you don’t have to pay postage and packaging for. 

   

 
  The bazaar is open until midnight every night.  

LwL x 

Chiang Mai: The Elephant Experience 

Yesterday we booked ourselves on to a half day your to an elephant sanctuary where we can feed, play and bathe the elephants. I’ve heard from many people that Chiang Mai is the best place to do this so I followed it up, as I didn’t find our previous visit to an Elephant Camp extremely satisfying. 

Everyone was right. I enjoyed this so much more than the camp we went to in Kanchanaburi. It was a lot more ethical. First and most importantly the trainers didn’t use sharp sticks to poke the elephants!

When we arrived, our lovely Guide for the day, Si, taught us some Thai language to use when riding our designated elephant, Johnny. To be honest, originally I weren’t sure about riding as I heard it’s not good for the elephants, but apparently that’s only when chairs are used on their back, and not when you ride freely?? 

  Johnny was little , cute and only five years old but he could already follow commands. 

  
We rode him for a little bit, fed him and then took him for a bath in the lake, it was so much fun! 

  
There are so many different elephant homes available in Chiang Mai that it can be quite difficult to choose. We decided to do a half day package which was 1500 baht each (around £30). Full days are around 2400 baht. 

   
I’ve heard good things about Hug Elephants and Woodies, but to be honest I think they’re all pretty much the same, just make sure you go for a sanctuary and not a camp! 

Feel free to add your Chiang Mai recommendations below! 

LwL x 

5 things to do on a night in Bangkok

I spent my second time in this city for the past day and a half. Although its one of my least favourite places I’ve visited in Thailand, I admire it and I will never forget the first night i walked in to Ko San Road. Culture shock city.  

  
When travelling across Thailand it’s very likely that you’ll see Bangkok more than once, as it is a main hub to travel North to South (We’ve just arrived in Chiang Mai). 

After spending a total of four nights there between two trips, I have come up with 5 things that I would recommend to do on a night in Bangkok. 

  

1. Buy friendship bands

If you’re with a group this is a must, or if you want to take small presents home. Many stalls do 25 baht each or 5 for 100 on bracelets and different necklaces. I am yet to see anywhere cheaper than that. I grabbed 5 of these for my friends back home, they don’t take up hardly any space in my bag either. Winning. 

2. Get a Thai massage

I spent a whole month in the South of Thailand and no where is cheaper for a massage or for shopping than Bangkok. A 1/2 hour shoulder, back and neck massage is just 3 English pound. (I have a further post to come on my Thai massage experience)
  
3. Grab a bucket (or 2, or 3) on the street

Street vendors off of Koh San road are much cheaper, you can get a bucket of rum, Coke and red bull for just 150/200 baht. If you want to take a stroll with a drink down the strip, this is the way to do it. Bars can charge as much as 350 baht a bucket. 

   
 4. Eat the street food

40 baht for a chicken pad Thai made fresh in front of your eyes? Yes please. Not only are the vendors 3x cheaper than going in a restaurant, the food tastes twice as tasty! 

  5. Beetle on a stick? 

Bear Grylls eat your heart out. There are many a stalls that serve some lovely insect treats! With a varied range for you to choose from, including small maggots and scarily oversized cockroaches, I’m sure you’ll find something that ticked your fancy. 

I have to admit, I’m a scaredy cat and failed to have one of these but the boys did. Go for it if you’re brave enough. 

Any other recommendations for Bangkok? Feel free to share below!

LwL x 

Scubadiving in Koh Tao

After 4 days of dives, mask clears, emergency ascents, decompression tables , homework and the risk of being attacked by triggerfish; myself and Liam are finally Open Water qualified!

Minus New Year’s Day off, its been pretty intense. 

On our first full day we crammed in 6 hours of scuba diving skills in a swimming pool, with an intense afternoon session of theory ending with an exam.

en route to the Pier

On the 2nd and 3rd January we completed two amazing yet exhausting dives each day. Our final day was a 6am start. I cannot even remember the last time I got up that early. Ever. In my life. On the plus side we got to see the sunrise over the mountains. 

  
  
  

It was well worth it to see the beauty of the underwater world. Unfortunately you are not allowed underwater cameras while you train which makes sense as learning is your priority, so most of our pictures are preparing on  the boat. 

    
  
 
 

  


 
 

Scuba Selfie
 

We were also given dive logs to record all of our info and all of the fish that we see.
  
If you are ever planning on diving in Koh Tao I would highly recommend Roctopus. It was a smooth course from start to finish. Our instructor Matt had years of experience which made me feel safe. He had so much patience! (I don’t think I could ever be a teacher). Our group also had a Dive Master Trainer on hand called Max, and upbeat, funny character from the Netherlands who was there to help us too. 

Liam & Max

The whole team are cool, fun, a good laugh and great people to develop and learn with. 

We are now qualified up to 18 metres and would definitely recommend an Open Water course to anyone! 

  
I can’t wait to dive in Koh Rong, Bali and wherever else we can on this travelling trip! 

LwL x