If you’re first-time customer to Thailand, then it is best to positively put aside a while for an island vacation. Southern Thailand has an unbelievable alternative of islands to select from, some that includes a number of iconic landmarks which are well-known around the globe. I’ve pulled collectively a 3 week Thailand itinerary that can mean you can absorb a few of the hottest seashores and islands of southern Thailand which incorporates Phuket, Koh Lanta and the lastly Ao Nang, Krabi.
PS Checkout my earlier submit of why I really like Thailand
Arriving in Phuket Outdated City
We flew into Phuket Worldwide Airport from Singapore. The airport is without doubt one of the most scenic airports on the earth, positioned by the water, straight behind Mai Khao Seaside.
Usually 16 million passengers move via Phuket’s airport yearly however in the mean time there’s barely a small fraction of these numbers coming via which suggests it’s a breeze to move via immigration, customs after which choosing up your baggage.
There are cheap hourly bus providers from Phuket Airport to Patong/Karon and Kara and in addition to Phuket City. Companies run from 6.30am to 9.30pm and tickets prices as little as 100 baht ( could be purchased from the driving force, relying in your last vacation spot.
We had a pre-booked taxi that was organised by our lodge, The Besavana Phuket. Our journey to Phuket Outdated City was round 45 minutes and costed us 700 Baht.
The place to remain in Phuket
We stayed on the Besavana Phuket Resort in Phuket City. It’s a small boutique lodge within the coronary heart of the historic Thalang Highway. The workers, led by the great Nick are very useful and the rooms listed below are spacious with very snug beds. A few of them characteristic a balcony which faces onto the pool which is a pleasant bonus. Different factors value mentioning-the web is improbable right here.
Room charges right here differ from €20-€30 an evening ( Through Agoda ), relying on the season.
Getting round Phuket
I’d advocate utilizing Seize Automobile app for getting round Phuket. Apart from the general public bus providers from the bus terminal of Phuket City, your least expensive and best alternative is Seize. You may as well hop on a motorcycle taxi if you happen to’re occurring a brief hop inside Phuket City-these are pretty cheap. I’d keep away from taking the crimson Tuktuk taxis they are typically on the dearer facet. Be happy to haggle somewhat however attempt to be honest and affordable when discussing a worth.
What to do in Phuket
We had been working more often than not from our laptops throughout our 1 week in Phuket however devoted our weekend to exploring somewhat extra of the island.
Attempt Kata or Karon seashore
Our favorite seashores had been Kata and Karon. We intentionally prevented Patong and the occasion scene -wasn’t for us at the moment. Kata has a 1.5 kms lengthy strip of white sandy seashore within the form of a crescent moon with clear deep blue waters. Water was beautiful, good seashore and few respectable seashore bars dotted alongside the seashore ( I like to recommend Ska Bar ) In comparison with Patong, Kata has a really laidback relaxed vibe so it was good. Sundown right here was wonderful. We later hopped to the longer strip of Karon’s golden sandy seashore fringed with palm bushes and lined with numerous bars, locations to eat and resorts.
Say hiya to the Huge Buddha
If time permits, do pay a go to to the Huge Buddha aka Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri (which interprets as Buddha sitting gloriously on prime of the hill of Naka) At a staggering top of 45 meters sitting on prime of the Nakkerd Hill , it’s the third largest statue of Thailand and visual from most elements of the island. Come early, to beat the crowds. Plus, keep in mind to cowl as much as keep away from any disappointment of not being allowed to enter.
Go to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Bordering the Khao Phra Thaeo Nationwide Park, please pay a go to to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, the primary moral elephant sanctuaries in Phuket. The rescued elephants roam free right here, having fun with their newfound freedom. Guests can observe them from a distance and on the finish of the tour are given the chance to feed these lovely wee giants.
Discover Phuket Outdated City
We had been very joyful to have the Outdated City as a base to discover the island. The most effective issues of staying right here is the gorgeous Sino Portuguese structure, often known as the Peranakan model, a fusion of Chinese language and Portuguese architectural types. The home are very vibrant and fairly kitschy right here. Starting from shophouses to public buildings and stately mansions, these constructions largely date again to the early 1900s, when Phuket City was going via one thing of a mining increase. When you have been to Penang in Malaysia, you will note quite a lot of similarities.
I’d additionally advocate climbing up the hill behind the Outdated City to the Khao Rang viewpoint the place you get a improbable panoramic view of the Outdated City and in addition a view of the coast. Additionally, you will come across the tribe of cute monkeys that decision the hill house. I’d actually extremely advocate a meal or perhaps a beer on the romantic Tunk-ka cafe from the place you’ll be able to benefit from the views and watch sundown. Additionally in Phuket Outdated City, do pop your head into ‘The Reminiscence at On On Resort.’ Previously often called the ‘On On Resort’ , this was the primary lodge in-built Phuket city again in 1929. Later the lodge featured famously within the film ‘The Seaside’ with Leonardo DiCaprio. The lodge has been refurbished because the film & introduced again to its unique glory.
Final however not least, on Sunday, pay a go to to the bustling Sunday Strolling Road Market ( Lard Yai Market ) alongside Phuket City’s Thalang Highway is a should. It takes place between 4 and 10pm and also you’ll discover some improbable native streetfood distributors , uncover native handicrafts plus discover a vibrant array of avenue musicians of all ages ( and high quality ) performing.
The place to eat in Phuket
All my ideas are from Phuket’s Outdated City which because of wealthy mixture of influences , has a really wealthy gastronomic scene. Listed here are my prime 5 locations to eat
1.Ko Yoon Phuket Noodle
It is a must-try Hokkien mee on the town. Actually love the style and particularly the soup with filled with dried shrimp taste.
2.Khun Jeed Yod Pak Restaurant
This joint is legendary for his or her Radna (noodle in gravy) and the place didn’t disappoint. Attempt their scrumptious Thai Coconut milk custard if you happen to love sweets.
3. Aroon Po Chana
It is a improbable little place for wonderful roti which fits so effectively with their rooster curry. Fab ice espresso too.
4.Mingalar Espresso Store
Unbelievable Burmese breakfast joint that serves scrumptious rooster curry , handmade naan made freshly in turkey oven and attractive samosas.
5.KOPITIAM By Wilai
This Kopitam , stuffed with nostalgic images from the island’s previous is a beautiful place to dine, serving basic Peranakan dishes. The Massaman curry is a winner however their finest dish is the Hokkien Mee- a noodle soup with yellow fried noodles in a scrumptious broth with fish balls and leafy greens.
Arduous to summarise what makes Koh Lanta such a particular island. There are islands with extra gorgeous seashores ( Koh Lipe) and pure magnificence however I feel its the mix of so many elements, from the pleasant locals, to the gorgeous sunsets and all the stunning bars and locations to eat right here and the selection of reasonably priced prime quality accommodation- we love coming again right here and it by no means disappoints.
Arriving in Koh Lanta
You possibly can hop to Koh Lanta ( Saladan Pier) by speedboat from Phuket ( Rassada Pier close to the outdated city ) with a stopover in Koh Phi Phi. Journey time was 3 hours and it value us 1500 baht per particular person. We booked by way of 12go -very dependable and useful. I’ve to confess that driving on the speedboat is just not for the faint hearted however the sea was fairly calm so it wasn’t too dangerous ultimately.
If you’re coming to Koh Lanta from Krabi airport, journey time by non-public switch is round 1200 baht and roughly takes 3 hours. Most lodging suppliers can e book you a switch so ask them upfront if that is doable.
The place to remain in Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is blessed with a variety of top of the range finances lodging. We favor staying across the Lengthy Seaside space. If you’re on the lookout for one thing easy, clear and comfy, would extremely advocate Pra-Ae flats. The rooms listed below are very spacious, few include their non-public balcony and the charges listed below are extraordinarily affordable, ranging from €12-€18 an evening, relying on the season.
Getting round Koh Lanta
For brief rides, we’d hail native tuktuk drivers. Anticipate to pay something between 100 -150 baht for a experience. For longer drives that included visiting the Outdated City on the east coast and a few of the gorgeous seashores on the southern tip of the island, we employed a minivan from Pra-Ae residence homeowners. They provided very respectable day charges and spreading the price amongst 3-4 buddies, meant it labored out to be fairly reasonably priced.
What to do in Koh Lanta
Simply as in Phuket, we had been busy working away on most weekdays after which utilizing the weekends to chill out, discover and in addition exit for a couple of drinks.
Koh Lanta is an ideal base for digital nomads with a variety of reasonably priced locations to stick with respectable wifi and in addition a couple of locations to work from. The principle hub for digital nomads is the improbable Ko Hub. Sadly, due to the pandemic, Ko Hub stays closed however they are going to absolutely reopen in November 2022. Throughout our time there, we labored from the improbable Glasshouse Cafe initially of Lengthy Seaside. They’ve good espresso, very respectable wifi and few airconditioned rooms plus a big outside terrace for taking calls. There is no such thing as a value for utilizing the space-just purchase espresso and have the occasional lunch to assist them.
Catch sundown on one of many seashores
There are sunsets after which sunsets in Koh Lanta- few locations on the earth can match the staggering fantastic thing about sunsets right here. Daily, sundown is completely different right here and magical. Simply take your choose of one of many many lovely seashores on the west coast of the island , seize a chilly Chang and simply watch essentially the most superb sunsets you’ll ever see. Our favorite bars for watching sundown had been Lym’s and the Lighthouse Bar ( typically performs respectable home/digital music at sundown )
Go to the Outdated City
With its atmospheric picket homes on stilts perched over the water, Outdated City of Koh Lanta has the sensation of a spot caught in time. Initially a sea gypsy settlement, the Outdated City was the principle buying and selling hub for unique Chinese language settlers and over time because the affect has waned, the city is slowly repositioning itself a hub for tourism. There are a variety of good boutique outlets to browse and in addition some actually good eating places to dine in. I actually advocate the improbable Huge Tree Beer Backyard the place they serve scrumptious Thai meals ( Penang curry is wonderful right here ) they usually additionally serve do-it-yourself burgers and scrumptious pies. Plus because the title suggests, they provide a big selection of native and worldwide craft beers so if that’s your jam, come right here.
This tiny, fairly bay tucked away on the south western nook of the island simply earlier than you hit the nationwide park must be one of the lovely seashores in Thailand. Particularly now with the shortage of crowds, you’ll be able to have the seashore just about to your self. The water is azure blue, crystal clear and heat so it’s good. There’s a Robinson Crusoe model deserted shack on the seashore which was once a restaurant/bar in order that’s an excellent level to get some shade in. Convey your personal water, drinks and snacks as there’s not a soul in sight right here. We spent an entire day right here, swimming, snorkelling, ingesting, chilling – it was good. There’s additionally Bamboo seashore close by which can also be very lovely however I most well-liked Nui Bay.
Tip: If time permits, go to the close by Koh Lanta Nationwide Park positioned on the southwestern tip of the island. It’s simply as quiet and abandoned as Nui Bay and Bamboo seashore, particularly submit Covid. Anticipate remoted sandy seashores, waterfalls, impudent cheeky monkeys and a lighthouse. The path to the lighthouse leaves most underwhelmed so go along with low expectations. Additionally, watch out together with your private belongings- monkeys are identified to grab baggage/telephones from unsuspecting guests. There’s a waterfall however the lack of rain meant we by no means noticed it in full pressure. Admission to the Nationwide Park is 100 baht. Please do deliver your personal meals and water and don’t wave the meals in entrance of the monkeys 🙂
Lanta now has a wonderful open air cinema the place you’ll be able to watch without spending a dime a mixture of outdated basic movies, new blockbuster releases and in addition household pleasant films. In addition they placed on a couple of Premier League video games stay and the occasional stay music occasion. ( Once we visited , they’d an ‘Elvis’ evening the place the native Thai ‘Elvis’ carried out in full garb which was adopted by a screening of Jailhouse Rock-great evening! )
Entrance is free however you pay by way of beers and snacks so it’s a very reasonably priced evening out in entrance of the celebs.
The place to eat in Koh Lanta
Heama Indian Restaurant
Koh Lanta has among the finest Indian eating places in Thailand because of the stunning Shanti and her husband. You’ll discover all of the basic worldwide Indian dishes served right here like Butter Rooster , Chole Bhature ( with puri ) ,Tikka Masala, Paneer Korma….plus they serve a improbable Veg and Non Veg Thali from costs as little as 120 baht. Unmissable!
Kwan specialises in delicacies from Northern Thailand and serves essentially the most wonderful Khao Soi plus a imply Yellow curry amongst many dishes. Consuming right here looks like consuming at your dad and mom or aunts place. Kwan is a heat hearted soul and adorable- assembly her is without doubt one of the highlights of coming to Koh Lanta. She additionally runs a cookery faculty so if you wish to be taught to arrange some basic Thai dishes, that is the place to return to.
Aleena’s is an establishment on Lanta- they serve essentially the most wonderful breakfasts from stuffed bagels to breakfast burritos to porridge to bacon & eggs or simply actually good burgers ( veggie burger is a winner) plus they do contemporary fruit shakes and scrumptious baked items. There’s a minimart on website the place you should buy massive Chang/Singha for simply 60 baht to take pleasure in with the meals or simply as a drink so it is a perfect place to start out your large evening out in Koh Lanta.
Nightlife in Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is just not a celebration vacation spot like Koh Phangan however there may be at all times one thing occurring , each evening of the week.
For those who’re on the lookout for deep home or techno, go to Ozone Bar ( Thursday) or Pangea ( Tuesday and Saturday ), if you happen to like Reggae/Rock and stay music, hop to Irie Bar or the Reggae Bar.
If you wish to hearken to some good music and watch the sundown, additionally advocate Lighthouse and Freedom Bar.
I additionally love Free Descent Bar in Saladan. They’ve actually good music, a sort proprietor and in addition a extremely good pool table- the vibe right here is at all times good.
AONANG/ RAILAY , KRABI
We spent every week within the resort city of Aonang which is a wonderful base to discover the Phi Phi islands and can also be subsequent door to the gorgeous Railay seashore. We got here by minibus from Koh Lanta- a few 3 hour drive and it value us 1500 baht.
We stayed on the Sea Seeker Krabi resort. Presently they’ve charges for 600 baht ( €16, by way of Agoda ) for a mountain going through room which is an unbelievable deal. On this worth we had a really beneficiant buffet breakfast included plus entry to their small however effectively outfitted fitness center. Undecided if these are regular costs however am guessing this can be a particular Put up Covid price so if you happen to do go to Thailand quickly, you’ll be able to benefit from these unbelievable charges.
Since we had been working through the week we had the one weekend to discover the world and we devoted a lot of the weekend to exploring Railay.
Lengthy tail boats from Aonang’s sandy strip of seashore will take you to Krabi’s limestone islands Koh Hong for instance and in our case, to Railay. The experience takes roughly half-hour and prices 100 baht-tickets could be bought upfront from the official ticket workplace which is correct earlier than Aonang seashore. Protected by towering limestone cliffs, Railay seashore is simply accessible by boat which partly explains the magical attract of this place.
Zipping previous the gorgeous limestone cliffs, the longtail boat to Railay must be one of the thrilling experiences of your journey to Thailand. After dropping of passengers at Tonsai seashore, your last cease is the world well-known Phra Nang seashore. With its powder good sand, framed by palm bushes with all of the lengthy boats lined up by the seashore, the second you see that image postcard scene unfurl in entrance of your eyes, it sends a magical tingle down your backbone. I beloved Railay in a heartbeat-it had a really chill, laidback backpacker vibe.
In phrases if issues to do in Railay, the craggy limestone cliffs are a giant draw for rock climbers from all around the world.
Aside from that, there are the 2 gorgeous seashores to chill out in and a large alternative of resorts to select from. West Railay has the extra greater finish, upscale resorts whereas East Railay has extra of the midrange to finances finish resorts to sleep in. We spent the evening on the Avatar Resort in East Railay. It value us simply 1350 baht ( €37 ) for the one evening for two individuals, together with breakfast-this is a substantial low cost on their regular room costs. You’ll typically discover members of the native monkey tribe hanging out within the resort. They could be a supply of leisure and in addition native mischief- they’re identified to grab gadgets from company so value reminding your self to maintain your balcony door locked always….in any other case.
Our predominant highlights of our temporary one evening keep in Railay was catching sundown on the gorgeous Phra Nang Seaside. One of many highlights of this seashore is the Princess Cave on the tip of the seashore. Framed by mighty limestone rock formations contained in the cave you will see a fertility shrine stuffed with picket and stone penises of all sizes and styles, which have been provided by guests to assist realise their long-awaited want for kids. If you’re fortunate you could spot the resident Macaques monkeys or spectacled lemurs close to the cave.
The seashore is ideal, crystal clear water and the hovering limestone cliffs above your head- the sundown from right here is unbelievable and must be one of many magical moments of anybody’s journey to Thailand.
The place to eat and drink in Railay
Learn a e book, benefit from the views and have a contemporary juice or chilly beer on the barely overpriced however scenic Tew Lay Bar. For those who’re on the lookout for a cheerful shake and one thing bit extra adventurous, Jamaica Bar is the place. Espresso Station serves up great espresso and for meals, my favorite go to put right here was Railay Household Restaurant the place you may get scrumptious Thai curries and loads of ice chilly beers, all at reasonably priced costs.
The place to eat and drink in Aonang
Undoubtedly checkout the Aonang Landmark Evening Market close to the scenic Nopparat Thara Seaside ( sundown is gorgeous from right here ). It’s fairly modest in comparison with evening markets you would possibly discover in Bangkok however there’s a big selection of tasty native Thai meals and the costs listed below are improbable.
In southern Thailand, you will see a variety of ‘roti’ pancake joints the place you’ll be able to all types of fascinating combos , from cheese and banana to the extra conventional nutella and peanut butter pancakes- very tasty and actually low cost ( 50 baht). My go to put was the Greatest Pancake Zipi Halal joint in Aonang, proper close to the Sea Seeker Krabi resort the place we had been staying. Hom Mali Thai Meals & Noodle, additionally close to the Seaseeker resort does a improbable Penang curry and in addition Pad Thai- round 80 to a 100 baht per plate.
By way of nightlife, my favorite go to put in Aonang was Boogie Bar the place they host some nice stay music acts. For those who love effectively crafted cocktails at a extremely good worth ( 99 baht ) , then do pop you head into the Cha Plu Bar proper earlier than Aonang Seaside. They do amongst many drinks, a extremely tasty Whisky bitter.
This text was supported by Fan Membership Thailand however as at all times, the opinions and images within the article are all my very own. This submit was produced in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Traverse Occasions.