Travel Bug: Thailand

When we went:
January 30th-Feburary12th 2011
Travel agent:
N/A, we winged this one by ourselves
Length of stay:
14 days
Visa cost:
None for both Chris on a South African passport and me on a British passport
Its a bit tricky to answer this one, because our thailand trip and Vietnam trip ran at the same time. But from Incheon to Phuket, Bangkok to Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh back to Korea came to the total cost of 1, 177 700won.
Where we went:
Phuket (4 days), Phi Phi(4 days), Ko Lanta(2 days) and Bangkok(4 days)

Highlight's of the trip:
We had several unforgettable experiences, some of the one's that stand out the most are; visiting a pingpong show which was definitely unforgettable (although maybe not for the right reasons), white water rafting and riding on the back on an elephant, and Island hopping around Phi Phi island with the most amazing views.

If I could only chose one of the four destinations:
 Its difficult because each destination we went to was so uniquely different to the one before, but I think if I had to chose I'd go with Phi Phi Island. We met so many great people and really just had the best time hanging out, laying by the beach, drinking one to many cocktails. The island is so beautiful and the island hopping tour is a must!

Things to eat/ drink:

  • Try a traditional curry; red, yellow or green they are all delicious and only about 100baht/25rand/4000won
  • Enjoy one of the many different flavoured fruit shakes. Watermelon is my personal favorite and really refreshing. 

Thailands unique quirks:

  • When you visit most markets, especially any of the markets in Phuket, the stall sellers have learnt one or two catch phrases is almost every language imaginable. When you pass by, they do an on the spot analysis of where you're probably from, and call out to you phrases like "good day mate!" or "hoe gaan dit? Lekker dag, ne?" 90% of the time they guessed we were from Australia- but if you correct them they quickly come up with a new quote to impress. I thought this was a great marketing strategy.
  • THE BUCKET is a fantastic invention where instead of being served your cocktail of choice in a glass it's served to you in a large bucket instead. Alcohol is really affordable- and with cocktail's literally the size of buckets- fun is never far arround the corner.

Places to see, things to do and where to stay: Phuket

  • Phuket is defiantly not everyones cup-of-tea, but I must say I had a great time there. The beach is breathtakingly beautiful  especially if you're staying on Patong beach (which I would definitely recommend as the islands number one destination), the nightlife never seems to end, restaurants are a-plenty but so are old-fat men who are looking to (or have already) hit it of with young Thai girls. 
  • We stayed at the Yorkshire Inn, I think it was about 60USD a night, located right in the center of the night life. Its not the fanciest place, but its affordable, and clean, plus it has its own pool. While we were there they were revamping the place so I'm sure its even better now. I would definitely stay here again.
  • Take a tour into the jungle and go elephant back riding,white water rafting and quad bike riding.
  • I would avoid staying in Phuket town- accommodation may be cheeper and closer to the airport but there is very little going on there and its at least a 20min drive to the beach.
  • Go see Simon's Cabaret for a good laugh and stunning costumes worn only by Lady-boys!
  • Get a massage- they are cheep and will give you a good idea of what heaven feels like. I recommend Sala Spa, they are clean and professional.
  • Go to a Dr Fish where the fish eat the dead skin of of your feet. Its the best pedicure you could ask for an is incredibly ticklish!

Places to see, things to do and where to stay: Phi Phi
  • Take a ferry from Phuket to Phi Phi, it's easy and affordable, plus the views on the way are breathtaking.
  • Go on a Island hopping tour, see where the movie the "Beach" was filmed, go kayaking and snorkeling, enjoy lunch on the boat, experience the most beautiful views and limestone islands, and for only 100rand/ 13000won it's totally worth it.
  • Spend at least a full day at the beach relaxing and just taking it all in.
  • Get a massage, mani/pedi, or experiment and get your hair braided.
  • Go scuba diving with one of the many scuba schools on the island.
  • Check out the cool nightlife and bars on the beach.
  • Phi Phi is not nearly as commercialized as Phuket,plus its a whole lot smaller. I would be a lot more likely to recommend it to a 20something year old, as I feel it's more catered in that direction.
  • We stayed at the Phi Phi hotel. Location was great and the room was lovely. A little more expensive than the Yourshire Inn, I think we paid about 70 dollars a night, compared to our friends accommodation we were very satisfied.
  • Make sure you book your accommodation in advance. The island has limited accommodation and its a very popular little spot.

Places to see, things to do and where to stay: Ko(h) Lanta
  • Get there by taking a ferry from Phi Phi island or travel there by mini-bus from Krabi
  • Where I would be hesitant to recommend the previous two destinations to my parents for reasons listed above, I would happily recommend Koh Lanta to them. Koh Lanta is so beautiful and hardly commercial at all. You'll struggle to find a bar with loud music, and almost everything happens during the day, with most people on the island going to bed around 9pm.
  • Rent a motorbike or scooter for the day (or duration of your stay) and drive around the island, stopping to admire some of the most beautiful nature you'll ever see, and eat delicious food at totally affordable prices.
  • We stayed in basically the cheapest accommodation on the Island we could find, and it was still about 60USD a night. Accommodation (unlike everything else on this Island) isn't cheap- but you pay for what you get, with most resorts and hotels offering their own private beaches and complete privacy and peace.

Places to see, things to do and where to stay: Bangkok
  • If I had to chose one of the 4 places I went not to go, I'd chose Bangkok. That's not to say I hated it, it's just that it was my least favorite.
  • When in Bangkok, go check out the Grand Palace, it really is stunning, but beware of con-artists who try to convince you that the palace is closed, in an attempt to make some money from you by offering you an alternate sight-seeing opportunity. Also note that because its a place of worship you need to be covered up- that goes for both ladies and gentelmen. Make sure your shoulders, knees and chest are covered up.
  • Go have a look at China Town, but brace yourself for narrow alleys, lots of traffic and crowded streets.
  • Pop into a travel agent and find out about one of the many great trips you can do just outside of the city.
  • Go to Khao San Road, for great bars, cheep shopping, tons of hostels and lots of fun.
  • Make sure to arrange a price with a taxi driver before getting into the cab- or insisting that he/she turns there meter on, Bangkok is not lacking in opportunists.
  • Go scout out one of the many huge shopping malls.


  1. You said you enjoyed Phuket but warned not to stay in Phuket town? What do you mean by that? Is Patong next to Phuket? Love it, thanks for this! Going in Jan!

  2. Phuket town and Patong are both area's inside of Phuket, Patong is on the beach, while Phuket town is more inland. If you look on places like tripadvisor you'll see it'll say Phuket Town, or Patong. But I would advice to stay on Patong, cause Phuket town is not in walking distance of Patong. Lol, hope this explanation helps.

    Patong is where the beach and the party is, there isn't much going on in Phuket town that I could tell. You have to drive though it to get from the airport to Patong- so you'll see what I mean.

    Let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

  3. Krystle, you are so awesome! This is so helpful!! I am planning (as you know) but needed recommendations just like what you've given here. THANKS!! xxx

  4. Clare bear! You're too sweet. Thanks so much:) Let me know if there is anything else I can try help you with!