How to plan a trip to Thailand?

Thailand means Freeland with no boundaries. We went to explore Thailand for 10 days. However, 2 -3 more days would have been justified for relaxation and shopping. Bachelors, as well as a family both, can enjoy many activities as per their interest. I went to Thailand with my husband, my childhood friend, and her husband. It was a ten days trip from the 7th to the 17th of August 2022. Though it was rainy and kind of off-season for visiting Thailand, we enjoyed the voyage a lot. During our stay in Thailand, it rained only twice and that was too late at night so it didn’t affect our trip. It was a well-planned journey after reading many reviews and doing thorough research. We took help from ‘Make My Trip’ to manage transport in Thailand and also to get good deals on hotel bookings, activities, and guides. MMT saved our time by comparing the cost of activities that we wanted to do. Also, they provided us with local coordinators and guides during our entire trip. They designed the trip exactly as per our instructions and took full responsibility for our bookings, commute, and internal local flight. It was worth booking the traveling packages through MMT. Our entire package was booked by MMT, except for our international flights.

To go to Thailand, we booked round-trip tickets by ourselves with ‘Go First’ airlines. The price was less by 1 to 1.5 thousand compared to other airlines and initially, both flights were direct. Also, the timings were comfortable, so we booked it without any second thought. This was our first time flying with ‘Go First’ Airlines. After 10 days of booking, the airline called us to inform us that our flight from Mumbai to Thailand is no longer direct. Due to some technical problem, we have rescheduled your flight with six hours of stop at Delhi airport. We didn’t want to start our trip with a red-eye flight so we requested another solution. However, they didn’t even bother to arrange a complimentary meal or room to rest. Luckily we four had access to the Delhi Airport Lounge and rested there for a while. While coming from Phuket to Mumbai the flight was direct. Though in the flight of five and half hours, they do not offer you a single complimentary cup of coffee or tea. They do provide water bottles, but only if you ask. Rest everything is paid. If you are planning your first international trip, then avoid booking with ‘Go First’ Airlines, because it will not give you an international flight experience.

8th of August — Bangkok

On the 8th of August, we reached Bangkok and checked in at Baiyoke Sky Hotel. The hotel is an 84-floor building with a 360-degree revolving top, from where you can enjoy the full city view. It is situated in the center of all the major shopping places. The rooms are spacious with an excellent view of the city, huge bathrooms with a bathtub, and they have several cafes and restaurants inside the hotel. They also have a Thai massage counter and a sports bar. However, the cost of Thai massage is similar to the other roadside massage centers. We did not manage to receive a slot for a massage at the hotel as it was overly booked for two entire days. Hence we recommend you book the slot at the time of check-in. They take 3000 Thai Baht as a deposit for each room at the time of check-in. We had booked breakfast as well in the same hotel during our stay. At breakfast, they have several food options in Thai, Indian, and Chinese cuisines. More than 10 live counters were serving a variety of dishes. However, those who are pure vegetarians and cannot even stand the smell of eggs may not like the food and the breakfast area. At dinner, they provide an exclusive international seafood buffet.

View from the top floor of Baiyoke Sky Hotel

In Thailand a maximum number of people are non-vegetarians. They cook most of the food in fish oil. Also, the Thai food we eat in India is way different from the Thai food we eat in Thailand. There are open markets for street food including a variety of meat and fish. However, we did not try any street food due to the unbearable odor of seafood and we ate our dinner in Indian restaurants for the first 3 days. As my husband is a pure vegetarian it becomes challenging for him for 1st 2 days. However, we did enjoy delicious food throughout our trip.

Street Market in Bangkok

Later in the afternoon, we explored the nearby area of the hotel on foot. We went to Indra Square. Also, there was a night street market in front of our hotel. This market is full of local food, clothes, accessories, footwear, etc. In this area, you can find many cafes for bubble tea. We loved the shakes with fruit poppers, they were delicious. However, maximum shops close by 6 pm and then the night market starts. Hence, if you want to shop in the malls and enjoy bubble tea, start a bit early.

At the end of the day, we decided to eat dinner in an Indian restaurant as we were skeptical about trying Thai food or any street food due to the strong fish oil odor. At the same time, we were super hungry and wanted to eat familiar food. There were many Indian restaurants in the surrounding area of our stay. We went to the ‘Indian Spices Restaurant’ by Khurana Inn. This is a nice clean place to eat. The staff is very friendly and greets you well. Although they play loud Punjabi songs all the time, the food is decent.

9th August — Bangkok

In the first half, we went to the Grand Palace & Wat Pho. Grand Palace is the house of the kings of Thailand. It is a beautiful place to see and get to know about the Thai kings from Rama 1 to Rama 11. Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple known for its huge reclining buddha. To enter this temple all full-length clothes are mandatory. We were unaware of the rule and hence both the boys from the group had to purchase the full-length pants for 150 TBH each as they were in the shorts. For females, they have an option of the scarf which can be used as a skirt, but luckily my friend and I, both were wearing longer-than-knee-length dresses. This rule is applicable in maximum Buddhist temples in Thailand. So if you are planning to visit any temple make sure your clothes are below knee length. On the side of the temple, one can notice the painted story of Ramayana on the walls. Thai people worship Hanuman and the people named their king, ‘Rama’ inspired by Ramayana. This was completely gratifying. Many local people come here daily for prayers.

Wat Pho

After this, we visited the emerald factory. The documentary was very informative but we did not buy anything from there. But one can find nice sapphires here. From there we went to Platinum Fashion Mall. This is a huge mall packed with shops selling all the local items including clothes, accessories, bags, footwear, and many more. We loved the variety. However, there is no scope for bargaining. Shops in the mall start getting closed after 6.30 pm. On the top floor of the mall, there is a food court. However, not many vegetarian food options or even chicken dishes are available. KFC and Mcdonald’s also do not have vegetarian meal options. Furthermore, there are many food stalls located surrounding the mall in the same situation. You may get a nicely cut variety of fruits, coconut water, and fresh juices everywhere. On this day, our lunch was not much happening due to limited options in veg and chicken; hence we decided to eat dinner at an Indian restaurant again. This time we visited ‘Copper Chimney. They have an open glass kitchen so that you can witness the hygiene levels during the food preparation. The taste is good, but the quantity is less. We enjoyed the food a lot. The service is fast, and the staff is attentive.

10th August — Bangkok

On the third day of our trip, we went to Safari World — Safari Park & Marine Park. Visiting the safari world is a must-do activity on your Thailand trip. It is full of fun and excitement. We enjoyed the elephant show, dolphin show, and sea lion show. However, we missed the Orangutan Show. We fed the giraffes and dears. On the safari, we saw many lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, and bears. Watching bears playing with each other is a treat to the eyes. There were many species of animals and birds. However, clicking pictures with Orangutans (monkeys), and feeding milk to cubs is something we disliked and didn’t support. As soon as we enter the park we see more than 100 colorful macaws. They were completely gorgeous. This park has many cafes. Our lunch was included in the safari package. We ate in an Indian restaurant serving an upright buffet of veg and chicken curries.

Safari World

The weather was humid and sunny. Also, you have to walk a lot inside the safari world. Every time and everywhere you have to buy water. There are no water filters or drinking water options available. Generally, we prefer to carry our steel bottle and refill it every time which can help us to stay hydrated and we can avoid buying more and more plastic bottles. This saves money and helps in controlling plastic waste pollution. So choose your outfit for the day and pack your bag wisely. In the open safari if you have your vehicle then it is better otherwise there are taxi options available.

Dolphin Show

After a tiring tour of safari, we still wanted to make the most out of the day as this was our last day in Bangkok. We decided to have our dinner at Cabbages & Condoms, suggested by my friend as it supports and promotes public health. Being a public health specialist I was super excited to visit this cafe with such a unique concept. The ambiance is peaceful and romantic. At the entrance, they have many arts made out of condoms. They also mentioned the cause behind the restaurants. They donate all the profits to health causes. The food was up to the mark but we enjoyed the smoothies most. In the end, they give you free condoms in 3 different flavors. You can take as much as you want. They also have a souvenir shop. This is a must-visit place.

11th August — Bangkok to Krabi

We flew from Bangkok to Krabi with Thai Lion Airways. The flight was comfortable and we reached Krabi in 1h 25 mins. We had a priority pass so we chose to have breakfast at Bangkok Airport Lounge. They serve delicious breakfasts. I loved the butter cake and spring roll. In Krabi, we checked into ‘Centra By Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi’. The view of the hotel is simply breathtaking. It is a perfect location for us. It is situated 2 km from Ao Nang Beach which helped us explore Krabi on foot. The rooms were small but with a calm view. If you want a swimming pool view, then you have to pay extra money. On the first day, the AC of the room was not working so we had to complain. However, they fixed the problem after 2 hours. The restaurant in the hotel serves delicious food and drinks with amazing scenery around. Their yogurt-based smoothies and tropical chillers are worth trying. The restaurant staff is friendly and modifies the food perfectly as per our suggestions. Loved the hospitality of the restaurant staff. However, the restaurant closes at 9 pm. On the route from our hotel to the beach, numerous restaurants, cafes, massage centers, and shopping options were available.

Every day we made at least 1 trip to Ao Nang Beach. The beach is a clean and amazing place to enjoy the sunset. There are no watersports on this beach but it is surrounded by numerous restaurants and hotels, where you can sit and enjoy the sunset with delicious drinks. We were late for dinner. It was 9.45 so many restaurants near our hotel were closed so we had to walk towards the beach. Luckily we found an Indian guy standing in front of his restaurant and greeted us sweetly. There was no second thought when we went inside his restaurant called Ali Baba. Small place but the owner is welcoming and makes you comfortable. We ate delicious chicken and lassi. We were their last customer for the day yet they served us enthusiastically which compelled us to visit his other 2 restaurants in the next 2 days.

Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi

12th August — Krabi — Phi Phi Island — Krabi

If you want to explore Phi phi island, 4 islands, and another such island then Krabi is the nearest city from where you can take the ferry. All the islands are a half-day trip from Krabi. One can also choose to stay on the island. There are many beautiful resorts available. However, if you are going in a rainy season then it is a bit risky because ferries may get canceled. We did not book any island stay. We left the hotel at around 8.30 am to go to Phi phi island with the Wang Sai Speed Boat Tour Agency. They offered us the best service. Super engaging guide and instructor. They gave us proper guidance for diving, and snorkeling, provided the glasses needed for snorkeling, answered all the questions, voluntarily clicked many pictures and suggested the posts for the pictures, and helped tourists who swim and snorkel who were afraid of going into the water. They picked us up by bus from the hotel to the seashore from where we were supposed to take a ferry. On our arrival, they arranged tea, coffee, and juice for us to start with. The boat was spacious. However, only four people can sit in the open area and get the full view. The rest of the area is covered. We didn’t mind sitting in the covered area as it got super sunny. Do not forget to apply sunscreen and carry it with you. First, we went to Bamboo Island beach. Where the guide came to each group and volunteered to take a picture. It is an excellent place to swim and chill. The beach is clean and the water is absolutely clear. After that, we went to Phi phi lay where we snorkeled and dived into the water. We also went to Maya island which was closed due to increased water levels. We stopped at Phi Phi don for lunch. If you are vegetarian you have to inform them prior so they can arrange food for you. The food was decent. They also serve coffee, bread, butter, and fruits along with lunch. After that, we went to a tiny cave for snorkeling. Then we headed back to the starting point. While coming on the boat they offered us a carbonated cold drink and freshly cut pineapples and watermelon. They were serving it with lots of fun and energy. The guide, helper, and driver interacted with almost all the tourists on the boat, which was sweet. During the entire trip, they offered us an unlimited cold bottle of water.

Phi Phi Island

It was a tiring activity so we decided to rest at the hotel and then go shopping. We shopped for some cool tie and dye clothes for the four of us which will go with the vibe. The clothes are not very expensive, however, there is no scope for a bargain. Visit Watson’s shop if you want to buy a nice and affordable variety of beauty products. This can be a perfect souvenir to give to your family and friends. After shopping, we went to a cafe called 8.98 for dessert. Their burnt cheesecake and homemade chocolate cake were mouth-watering. This is a must-visit place. And hence we visited this place thrice. The next day for lunch and the day after that for dessert again. Their make-your-own bowl is amazing. We loved the food, ambiance, and staff. We tried burgers, smoothies, Chicken Fajita, and a yogurt bowl. All the food was delicious and full of flavors.

Cafe 8.98

13th August — Krabi

This was our leisure day so we decided to go for a Thai Massage. You may find many massage centers all over Thailand. We four took a foot massage as we were walking a lot. For me and my female friend, the pressure was a bit hard, however, both the guys enjoyed it. After that, we shopped for a bit, enjoyed our lunch, and headed towards Ao Nang beach for sunset. The sunset was serene and one can enjoy the walk along the beach or can sit and enjoy a drink sunset. We spent the rest of our evening on the beach and then decided to try another Indian restaurant in Krabi, Kiran Kitchen. This place has a nice view of the beach and a party vibe. We ordered Amritsari kulcha here and I must say it was better than what I had once in India. The food was delicious. The curries were the perfect blend of spices.