Guest post by mzustin
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
I am all about shopping for best prices, so when it comes to flights I am open to just about anything. Not to mention, I am a teacher and in the summer (Mid June-Late July) I am open to travel on any given day. On this particular trip I booked a flight through Priceline from Cleveland-Chicago-Tokyo-Bangkok. It was a round trip and it ran me about $1,600. From Bangkok-Phuket I booked a round trip as well with a different airline and that ran $170. Bangkok to Phuket is an hour and 45 minute flight.
Some strong notes for you to consider:
-Do not set up taxi services prior to your trip, JUST DO IT THERE. You will pay American prices for taxi services if you book prior to departure. Taxis are cheap and reliable form the airport.
-Do not cut corners and take minivans with other people. It is NOT worth it. You will save 5-10 bucks, but they will take you to their shops to sell you things. What should take 20 minutes turns into 2 hours. Just pay for the taxi, it is cheap.
-Do not put your feet up anywhere. Feet are the bottom of your soul/identity. To raise them up is highly disrespectful.
-Tipping is fine. I always told them why I was tipping and why we tip and the Thai were very thankful for it.
-In Bangkok if a taxi service is cheap it is because they take you to these suit/tuxedo shops. Decline this and just pay the small fee and move on.
-Did not stay in hostels because hotels are cheap. Hostels run 10-20 bucks a night, hotels are 30-70. 70 would be a big time hotel.
-Do NOT pack a ton! You can buy anything there for dirt cheap and dry cleaning is phenomenal and very very cheap!
-ANA Nippon is absolutely phenomenal airliner.
- ON8 Hotel
- Red Hog Bar & Tattoo
Landed in Bangkok. We stayed in the Sukhumvit district because it is right next to the Airtrain. This will get you anywhere you want to go. Plus we had some awesome bars and restaurants around us like The Red Hog.
On8 Sukhumvit was our hotel. Solid hotel for the price. We bar hopped the first night and had a blast.
Day 2: The Grand Palace
We spoke in the morning to our hotel people and they mentioned we check out the Grand Palace via a longtail boat ride through the canals of Bangkok. This was awesome and relatively cheap. Do it on the fly. No need to plan this out. Thailand is cheap.
For the Grand Palace you must have sleeves and pants. If for some reason you do not have them there, don’t worry they sell them outside for 50 cents. The pants are gangster! I still have mine! The palace closes early, get there by 3 at the latest.
Day 3: Golfing
We went golfing at the Bangkok Golf Club. It was freakin awesome. We rented everything and all together with golf, drinks, cleats, clubs, etc it cost 100 for each of us. It was worth it though. Who has golfed in Thailand! C’mon now!
Advice: Hook up with a taxi driver and if you like him, stay loyal to him! He will hook you up and be 10 minutes early for everything. Especially with crazy Bangkok traffic!
I got a massage when we got back. Be sure to ask your hotel people about the clean massage parlors. Massages are extremely popular in Thailand. They are everywhere. The clean ones are excellent and really are worth the cash. Note: Thai massages have a ton of crazy stretching with them. Stick with the Swedish or Oil massage.
Day 4: Nana Market
Walked around and enjoyed Bangkok. We just did whatever we wanted and traveled freely around the city. I encourage this as the true way to know the city. The NaNa market from 10 pm-3 am is unreal. You can find anything there.
Day 5: Flight to Phuket
Flew to Phuket. Bangkok has 2 major airports, keep this in mind.
Stayed at Banthai Beach resort and spa. Awesome location. Hit up the pools at the hotel and the beach. Great location!!!!!! Everything at hotel is pricey. Hotel did cost a little bit more than usual, but I was with a friend and we split it.
- Patong Beach
- Bangla Road
Beach day at Patong beach. Hotel is a 1-2 minute walk.
Great day! Party on Bangla Road at night. Unreal time!
Side note: at the end of (north bound) Bangla rd. take a left and there is a woman and her daughter who serve food from 10 pm-6 am on the right side of the road. You might need to walk down that road but they will have a picnic table and plastic chairs out. This is one of the best meals I have ever had in my life!
Day 7: Patong Beach
Beach and Pool day, partied at Bangla rd. at night!
- Kata Beach
- Karon Beach
- Nai Harn Beach
Phuket Beach day! This is a must!
Go up to an opened ended taxi small truck and book it for 8 hours. He will stay with you the whole time. This will cost 900-1200 bahts…. 30-45 bucks. You are renting him for the day and you will make his day, as he will earn a few days pay in one! You will be traveling down the southwest coast of Phuket. Your taxi driver will sit in the taxi and relax and trust me he will be happy to do so. It is almost like renting a limo for a wedding, he’ll follow you around everywhere.
Kata, Elephant ride, Karon, and Nai Harn: right down the line. Stay 2 hours at each.
Nai Harn is ranked as one of the greatest beaches in the world. It is! Place is unreal! Gorgeous is an understatement.
Elephant rides are alright. Make sure there are no signs of abuse. Buy a ton of bananas. I made it rain bananas for our elephant. Her name was Nadia and she was 8.
Day 9: Ferry to Koh Phi Phi Don
- P.P. Palmtree Resort
- Unni’s Restaurant
- Reggae Bar
Taxi to the ferry. Ferry is located on the southeast side of the island. It is a 35-40 minute ride. Don’t be late. Ferry is huge and you can chill on it. If you get there nearly you can get an awesome seat in air conditioning. The last 30 minutes you need to be outside and check out the island scenery. Its breathtaking!
Get to Phi Phi (Koh Phi Phi Don (the island where people stay)). No cars on Phi Phi. You can walk to your hotel, but your hotel will have a rep there and if you want they will put your luggage in a rolling cart and take it.
Phi Phi is Stupid! By that I means it’s freakin awesome!
We stayed at the P.P. Palmtree. It was a nice and location was alright. Not the best and certainly not the worst. I will try somewhere else when I go back.
Enjoy dinner at Unni’s! It will not disappoint. Place has awesome food. You will pay 25-30 for a plate (app, entree, drink) but this is worth it here.
Go to the Reggae Bar right down the way. They have live Muay Thai and drinks are cheap. An American from Chicago owns it. Good dude that likes talking sports.
Day 10: Monkey Beach
Get a taxi to Monkey Beach. Taxis are long-tailed boats. Shop around for the lowest price. Set a pick up time if you want. You don’t have to though. Make sure to take snorkeling equipment and shoes! When you get to Monkey beach enjoy the monkeys and go the left side (point out toward the ocean)and snorkel it. It is awesome!
Walked around Phi Phi and shopped. Phi Phi is sickkkkk, walking around is a must!
Day 11: Scuba Diving
Went scuba diving with The Adventure Club. You must do this. It costs 85 bucks but you go deep and see some unreal stuff. Remember to conserve your air when you are scuba diving. This will allow you to go longer.
Went out and enjoyed nightlife. Go wherever your heart takes ya!
Day 12: Phi Phi Viewpoint 3
Walked freely around the island…shopped, chilled, relaxed on last day.
2 things I still want to do: Hike up to the viewpoint in the early am and check the sunrise. Also we didn’t make it to Phi Phi Lei (we scuba dove all around it but we didn’t chill there). This is the island where the iconic Thailand rock structure and beach is. Its a cove with beauty all around. This is also where they filmed the movie “The Beach” with your boy Leonardo DiCaprio.
- The Slate
- Coqoon Spa Sakhu
Took a ferry back to Phuket and got a taxi up to northern phuket right by the airport. Make sure to get on the 9 am ferry. This will help your day a ton…ultimately preserving it!
You have to go to the Indigo Pearl (aka The Slate). Good Lord! Awesome hotel! Very expensive, but is known as one of the best in Thailand and region. $130 a night and the rooms are freakin’ awesome. They are a 2 roomed suite. Unbelievable to relax.
If you can and you know you are going there reserve spa treatment at the Coqoon Spa and request the coqoon. Good lord. You will be relaxed.
8 minute drive to the airport from the hotel. Lots of flights to get home the next day.
Traveled in July 2015