One Month Thailand Itinerary
Updated: Nov 8, 2022
A itinerary for the one month my Dad and I spent exploring many parts of Thailand.
I plan on posting a couple different posts on Thailand. This is my first one—the basic, factual itinerary, where we went and how we did it. I planned on posting this within a day or two of when I got back, but I was incredibly jet legged (and still am).
The purpose of this trip was to see many different parts of the country so whenever we come back in the future, we know the areas we like the best. The first part of the trip was the busiest and we moved the most. The second half was a bit slower and more relaxed.
Dates: April 4th – May 3rd, 2019 (30 days counting the flights to and from) *We spent 27 full days in Thailand so that’s how I’m going to count them for this post. April is the hottest month in temperature and usually feels 7 – 15 degrees hotter than the actual temperature, so it is painfully hot.
I will be making separate posts on each of the locations we went so I won’t go into as much detail on what we did below.
Day 1 & 2: Bangkok
We arrived at BKK airport at 11pm on Friday then stayed there until Sunday evening. So we got to explore some of Bangkok on Saturday and Sunday. We almost had 2 whole days there. I honestly expected to not really like Bangkok. I’m not a big city kind of girl, but it ended up being a really cool experience.
On our first day we took the MRT (above ground train) to MBK Center which is a huge mall. It was made up of a huge variety of vendor stalls. We wandered around the building and then around the city area near there. We found some street food to eat for our lunch.
There was another mall across the tracks called Siam Discovery Center. It was a more bouji kind of mall with designer brands. They had lots of different sections: clothing, electronics, stationery, health foods area, etc. It was very unique. We stayed in an Airbnb that was a sky rise building. It had 50 floors with a semi-inifinity pool on the top floor. It was pretty cool.
On our second day we took the BTS (underground train) we only saw one other tourist. We took it to the train station where we would be taking the night train later in the evening to Chiang Mai. We checked our big backpack at the trains Left Luggage area. It cost us 80 baht for one day which was $2.51 USD. Then we went and explored China Town, which was really near the train station. It was one of the dirtiest parts of Bangkok we went to. We ate some Pad Thai for lunch. Must admit I’m not a big fan of the peanuty taste. We started to realize that pretty much all food in Thailand is quite oily.
It was very warm and I was worn out from walking 4+ miles in the morning. Plus I was still adjusting to taking my malaria pill that made me feel gross for a few hour after taking it. That side effect only lasted about a week, then it didn’t bother me much any more.
The train station was very different from any I’ve experienced in the U.S. It was pretty dirty and it was crowded, but it really didn’t bother me that much. I was just so excited to actually be in Thailand. The cheapest meal I think we got was at the train station. We got 2 meals of rice and veggie stir fry for 40 baht ($1.29 USD) and it was very yummy.
Day 1: MBK Center & Siam Discovery
Day 2: China Town & Train Station
Overnight Train to Chiang Mai
We boarded the train about 20 minutes before it left the station at 6:10pm. I was excited and nervous about riding on an overnight train. I was a bit worried I might get sick because the last time I rode the train between Olympia, WA and Portland, OR, I didn’t feel so great. But to my surprise I didn’t notice too much motion sickness.
We watched out the window until we were out of Bangkok and the sun had set. It took a while to get to the point we didn’t see things out our window. We ate the food we’d gotten at the station. The sitting area was really nice, plenty of leg room and easy access to the bathrooms.
Around 8:30pm an attendant came around and made the beds for us. I got the top bunk since it had less leg room and my Dad is taller than me. I crawled up on my bunk and listened to music until I fell asleep to drown out the noise of the train. It took me a while to get used to the back and forth movement of the train. Once I got to sleep, I slept surprisingly well. I woke up around 5:30am and went down to the bottom bunk. Dad and I watched the sun come up and we got to see the countryside outside of Chiang Mai. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was beautiful. The train ride was really good and definitely worth the experience.
Day 3-5: Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is such a unique city. I wasn’t so sure how I’d feel about it, but I ended up coming to really love it. The culture is so rich and unique. In the Old City, where we stayed, basically everything is within walking distance. There are many restaurants, food stalls and markets along with many stores selling anything from gold jewelry to hand crafted bowls and sarongs. Elephant pants are very popular with tourists (well most of them). Some people have a rather strong aversion to them since they are such a popular tourist item. I wasn’t so sure what I’d think of them, but once I wore them I was hooked. They kept me cool, kept my whole legs covered and they were just as comfortable as my favorite pair of sweat pants.
On our first day we arrived in Chiang Mai at the train station at 7:15am since we’d taken the night train. We got a taxi that drove us to the outskirts of the Old City. The taxi driver was very nice and friendly. He’d lived in Chiang Mai his whole life.
Day 3: Explore the Old City
Day 4: Hug Elephant Sanctuary; Night Bazaar
Day 5: Thai Secret Cooking School; Shopping
Day 6: Flight to Phuket and Farm-stay
After spending time in the northern part of Thailand, we took a 2-hour flight down to Phuket where we stayed at a goat farm (Airbnb Farm-stay) before we continued on to the islands the following day. We found the goat farm stay on Airbnb and booked it for one night since it was within a mile of the pier where we’d catch the ferry the following day. We got to stay in one of 5 bungalows on the property.
It was very warm so we were thankful they had AC. During the evening we got to go with the owner to the goat area to see the goats and what they do. There were babies—two very small ones. They milked the goats and we even got to try (I wasn’t very good.) This was one of the best Airbnb’s we stayed at. The lady who ran it was very helpful and nice. She drove us to a market and told us what was good and what the names of different things were in Thai. I tried a sugarcane drink which was very unique. In the morning she brought us a huge Thai breakfast. It was such a cool experience.
Day 7 & 8: Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is such a unique and special island. It feels untouched and like it’s still similar to the way it was 30 years ago. There are a few resorts and bungalows, but the tourists are the minority here and it draws in a different kind of tourist then the average person on holiday. It is a mostly Muslim island so it is unique in that aspect. The beach wasn’t “incredible,” but it was relaxing and it was a pretty view.
The reason we didn’t stay here longer was because the place we stayed didn’t have AC, only a fan. The place we stayed was so cool! It was in a treehouse-like bungalow. I felt like I was in Tarzan. Everything was made out of wood. There was a hammock on the porch as well as a really comfy chair.
We explored the island on motorcycle and decided to continue on to Koh Lanta which is a bigger island. But I would totally go back and just stay for a week.
Day 7: Get to the island; relaxing on the beach or in bungalow
Day 8: Explore the island by motorcycle
Day 9: Travel Day Between Koh Yao Noi & Koh Lanta
I’m stating this day separately because it took us half the day to get to Koh Lanta and once we arrived we just crashed at the resort the rest of the day.
We purchased a travel package through the place we were staying. We were picked up at 8:30am and driven to the pier. We were taken by speed boat to Ao Nang where we switched to a large ferry boat that took us the rest of the way to Koh Lanta. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I haven’t gotten sea sick yet. We got to see the limestone cliffs from the boat as we passed by Railey.
Day 10-13: Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta was a really cool island. There were pretty beaches and it was really amazing to drive around on a scooter. One of the highlights of the trip for me was the 4 Islands Snorkeling Tour, which was a full day tour. We got to see all sorts of beautiful islands, water and fish. It was incredible!
Driving around the island was such a cool experience. We went to the east side where they had an old fishing town and on the southwest side there is a crazy road that follows along the ocean and ends at a national park. Some of the prettiest water on the island was on this road.
We also discovered a delicious vegan restaurant. We tried their burgers and veggie stir fries.
Day 10: Rest day at hotel
Day 11: Motorbike around island; got to see a monkey!
Day 12: 4 islands snorkeling tour
Day 13: Rest day and vegan food
Day 14: Travel Between Koh Lanta & Koh Samui
This was by far one of the craziest travel days we had. We took 2 ferries, 3 taxis and a bus to get from Koh Lanta to Koh Phangan. We left at 7:50am from our hotel in Koh Lanta and got to our hotel in Koh Samui around 7-7:30pm. Almost 12 hours of traveling. I was pretty nervous about it ahead of time, but once it was over it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I actually really enjoyed it.
Getting to the see the inland part of Thailand and then taking the ferry to Koh Samui was quite the adventure in and of itself. The only seats left on the catamaran were on the top part of the boat which was totally open to the elements. It was a very windy day and with the speed of the boat it made the wind almost deafening it was so loud and strong. I had to take my earrings out as it was ripping around so hard. Women had to try and tie down their hair so it wasn’t whipping around in the face of the person behind or next to them. If you opened your mouth, saliva would actually be pulled out and spray behind you.
It was quite the 2-hour adventure. If anyone stood up to take pictures at the front of the boat, the wind would pull clothes up. We saw a lot of women’s underwear and a lot of guys butt cracks or tummy pudges. You’d try not to look, but it was sort of fascinating how the wind just pulled everything up, or down.
Day 15-18: Koh Samui
Out of all the islands, Koh Samui was probably my least favorite. It was very busy and traffic filled island. I like tranquil and relaxing. I’d rather be the only person on an island than be surrounded by thousands of other people. It was a bit overwhelming to me. The only part of the island I really liked was the middle road that went through the center of the island. The hills were crazy to drive on because they were so steep.
Day 15: Rest day at hotel (Dad sick)
Day 16: Rest day at hotel (Dad sick)
Day 17: Rest day at hotel and pool day
Day 18: Explored island by motorcycle
Day 19-26: Koh Phangan
I was surprised to discover that this was my favorite island. I really didn’t expect it to be. The northwest side of the island is more family friendly, hippie, yoga paradise. It was so relaxing and the views were beautiful. The middle of the island had some of the most beautiful jungle I’d seen in Thailand. I’d recommend renting a motorcycle to get around. It’s the cheapest option and if you’re on the northern or further up on the western side of the island you need it to get around unless you’re wanting to walk a ways up and down hills.
We stayed on this island the longest and I’m so glad we did. I will definitely be coming back here.
Day 19: Travel to island from Koh Samui, Middle Eastern food and relaxed at hotel
Day 20: Explore island by motorcycle and Art Café
Day 21: Shopping, exploring and waterfall hunting
Day 22: Eye infection, pharmacy and driving around the island
Day 23: Rest day at hotel and Karma Café
Day 24: Drove around island; walk across sandbar to Koh Ma (got stuck in rainstorm)
Day 25: Rest day at hotel and gross vegan restaurant
Day 26: Enjoyed last day 🙂 Went to some of our favorite places on the island.
Day 27: Travel from Koh Phangan back to Bangkok
On our last day in Thailand we made the trip from Koh Phangan back to Bangkok where we would begin our trip home. We left our hotel and were drive to the Lomprayah office place and checked in. We met a German lady and she told us about her travels. It’s so cool how you get to meet all sorts of different people when you’re traveling.
We then were put on a bus and taken to the pier where we boarded the ferry. They made a stop on Koh Samui on the way and then we continued on to the Surat Thani pier. It was around a 2-hour boat ride. We immediately boarded a bus that took us to the airport that was almost an hour away.
A storm was rolling in and the sky was turning grey. We got to the airport and had 6 hours until our flight would take off. We couldn’t check our bags until 2 hours before the flight, so we sat in the outside area. I got some food and then we sat some more. I listened to an audio book and worked on charging my devices. Once we could check our bag, we did that then went and waited at the gate. Our flight to Bangkok was only 1 hour. We left after dark and got to DMK airport in Bangkok around 11pm.
We then took a shuttle bus to the BKK airport which took us from the north part of Bangkok to the south. It took about 45 minutes since there was no traffic. Then we waited at the BKK airport until our flight took off at 4:50am the next morning to Hong Kong, then San Francisco and on to home. In total, from the time we woke up on Koh Phangan to when we arrived in PDX, it was 43 hours of travel. I only got 4 hours of sleep total in transit. I rested, but had a hard time getting to sleep.