asia Travel

How to Travel From North-South Thailand in Under Two Weeks

 

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.

If you fly emirates, you will layover in Dubai and possibly even take a long weekend break here before heading to Thailand. The flight to Dubai is around seven and a half hours and Dubai to Thailand is around the same, possibly an hour shorter. So if you aren’t great at flying long-haul, a couple of days in Dubai could be the solution. Plus, you get to explore another destination in transit.

Bangkok

Duration: 2 nights

We have a separate itinerary on how to spend your first 48 hours in 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.

If you prefer to pre-book tickets anywhere in Asia head to 12go. As an intermediary, 12go manually purchase tickets from Thai Railways and although they might add a small fee, purchasing from them saves you the hassle of purchasing tickets when you are ready to leave. This is particularly handy to reduce the risk of your preferred cabin or even the entire train being sold out so it is 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 with both an upper and lower bunk, which are clean and comfortable with fresh bedding and air-con. Blankets are provided because it gets much cooler at night.

Chiangmai

While 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. You can often book through your hotel which is handy because they can arrange inclusive pick-up but not always drop-off post-match.

Day excursion to Chiangrai

Chiangrai is a mountainous province that is home to the stunning White Temple. It takes around 3hrs to reach from Chiangmai and the White Temple alone is 100% worth the long car ride. Plus, you can soak up the view of lush greenery and local Thai life on your way.

Tours tend to leave early (around 7.30am) so make sure you book on the excursion ahead of time and at least the day before. You will also get the chance to enjoy other activities depending on the tour you choose and whether you opt for half-day or full-day excursion.

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 flexible with your dates. We are 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.

Phuket

Duration: 3 nights

There is so much to do in Phuket. 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 temples such as the beautifully decorated Wat Chalong temple, and Wat Srisoonthorn, which is 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 where can admire the sheer limestone cliffs that sit vertically out of the emerald green waters.

Head to Patong’s Bangla road for a taste of the 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 because there is nothing that can prepare you for the Phuket nightlife!

If you began your trip in Bangkok you might be a little more prepared, but this place definitely took us 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 enjoy the island life. This is a place where can 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 local food by night.

The island remains 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 are on the beach front.

The Phi Phi islands are a great 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 sunset on the cruise back.

Fifth leg: Phi Phi Islands – Krabi

From Tonsai Pier take a 3hr boat trip to Krabi pier.

Krabi

Duration: 3 nights

Krabi is one of the most relaxing places in Thailand with white sand beaches such as Railay Beach, 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 while admiring the waterfall.

Sixth leg: Krabi-Next destination

There are many places to travel on from here and you will find cheap flights to nearby countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia. You can fly from Krabi airport direct to some destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, but if you are heading further afield such as Australia, South Korea, or Japan, you will likely have to fly to Bangkok first, which will also be the case if you are heading back to the UK.

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