Almost 4 months have passed since my Thailand journey in July 2016. I remember that I put quite a lot of effort in researching and setting up my route in preparation for my trip. I only had 2 weeks’ time and wanted to get the most out of my journey. My following itinerary shall provide some guidance and support in case you also want to travel Thailand. Which is something I would definitely recommend you to do.
My destinations at a glance:
Chiang Mai – Ko Samui – Marine Park – Nang Yuan – Phuket
DAY 1 – Arrival in Chiang Mai
As I have visited Bangkok a couple of years earlier (read more here) I decided to go straight to Chiang Mai, which is up in the North of Thailand. It is an authentic Thai town being especially popular among backpackers.
Read all about my Chiang Mai stay here.
DAY 2 – Strolling around Chiang Mai
The day after arrival I enjoyed walking around the city in order to acclimatize and get to know the area on foot or tuk-tuk. By doing so you can truly inhale the town’s atmosphere, get to know the hidden corners, stock yourself with books for some enjoyable holiday reads, gaze at the countless temples, get used to the climate and crazy traffic and simply get to know to the Thai life and style.
DAY 3 – More strolling around Chiang Mai
Unfortunately, I had to put up with a bad cold at the beginning of my trip. Therefore, I took it easy on my third day in Thailand. I found a cozy park (Nong Buak Haad), where I could rest in the midst of the busy city. I also took the time to explore the so called “NImman” area of Chiang Mai, which is the little more modern part of town. Still I liked the authentic old town as well as the popular night market the most about Chiang Mai.
DAY 4 – Thai cooking course in Chiang Mai
At my hostel’s booking table, I enrolled for a Thai cooking course, which I absolutely loved. That was the moment when I fell in love with the Thai taste and food.
DAY 5 – Jungle trekking day trip
You should definitely take the time to see the beautiful nature around Chiang Mai. One option is to book a trekking trip as offered by many local providers. Depending on your preferences the trips may include stop-overs at orchid farms, Thai village tribes or elephant rescue camps.
DAY 6 – Flight to Ko Samui
Due to the lack of time I decided to travel to Ko Samui by plane, which is by far the most expensive but fastest option. However, the best compromise for your monetary and time budget would be to take a plane from Chiang Mai to Surat Thani and take a ferry to Ko Samui from there.
DAY 7 – First day at Vikasa Yoga retreat
As you can read in this post, I spent one week at a stunning yoga retreat on Ko Samui: Vikasa Yoga. It was without any doubt the highlight of my trip as I literally enjoyed every single minute at that place.
DAY 8 – Chaweng Noi beach
Besides my daily meditation and yoga classes I took the time to explore the close by Chaweng Noi beach. It is located directly next to the famous Chaweng beach and host to the most luxurious hotels. It was even more beautiful than I expected it to be. I cannot share any experiences of the beach being crowded or touristy. In contrast, I enjoyed the calm atmosphere at the very long, white sanded beach with the turquoise sea in front and the flourishing jungle behind me.
DAY 9 – Ko Samui island tour
Straight after my morning yoga I went for a guided island trip in order to see more of Ko Samui. The trip included numerous stop-overs with some sights being more and others being less interesting:
- Lady Monk temple
- Big Buddha temple
- Panoramic view point
- Grandfather and Grandmother rocks
- Monkey farm and coconut plantation
- Mummy monk
- Namuang Waterfall
- Nathon town
DAY 10 – Day trip to Angthong Marine Park
The trip to Ko Samui’s close by Marine Park was recommended by the yoga retreat’s reception and totally worth the 3.000 Bhat (€ 77) and one-day yoga break. The Marine Park consists of more than 40 small paradise-like islands, of which we got to step on two of them, kayak around one and snorkel another one.
My personal highlight was the view of the so called “Blue Lagoon”, which could be climbed at one of the small islands. This was also a location, where “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio was shot.
DAY 11 – Scooter trip around the island
It turned out that tuk-tuks on Ko Samui are far more expensive than anywhere else in Thailand. Therefore, I recommend to rent a scooter yourself. I admit, traffic can be a little pain in the a** in the beginning but you will get used to it. Basically you find lots of different beach accesses when driving along the main road. Besides Chaweng Noi I can also recommend Lamai beach for swimming and Bhoput beach for relaxing.
DAY12 – Scooter trip to the jungle
Besides the low costs of renting a scooter (€4/day), they give you a great deal of flexibility to explore hidden parts of the island off the main roads. I was amazed by Ko Samui’s beautiful nature. Thanks to the daily rainfalls the landscape of the inner island is characterized by green rainforests and jungles.
DAY 13 – Trip to Nang Yuan
Ever since I saw pictures of Nang Yuan on Instagram & Co. this place has gained a top ranking on my bucket list. Therefore, it was a must-do once I was in Thailand. Truth is the place is crowded with tourists all over the place. As a result, the snorkeling spot shows first signs of consequent wear outs and people line up impatiently at the viewpoint. However, I do not regret the trip at all. The island is still truly beautiful and a second snorkeling spot convinced with a stunning underworld experience.
DAY 14 – Phuket
For traveling from Ko Samui to Phuket I recommend a ferry & bus tour. The trip was meant to last 6 hours, but in fact only took 4. Phuket is a great place for beach relaxation and activities, going out and shopping. From my point this was the most touristy place of my trip and for my taste it was enough to spend one night.
Overall, my Thailand journey outperformed all my expectations. The country delighted me with its friendly culture, hot and moist climate, green landscapes, budget friendly prices and especially the tasty food. In case you have any specific questions or want to share your own experiences I am looking forward to your comments.
WHERE I STAID (click on the pic)