Two years ago, we spend two months in Thailand and had so much fun – we decided to return. Last time, our route was Bangkok → Ayutthaya → Hua Hin → Ko Samui →
Ko Pha-Ngan → Phuket Town → Ko Phi Phi → Phuket Town → Chiang Mai → Pai.
Which is why, this time, we decided to try a different route. I planned it meticulously and it turned out to be an amazing trip, combining the luxury and good life of Thailand with much of the local experience. The route we took was Bangkok → Kanchanaburi → Phuket → Phuket Town → Koh Yao Yai island → Khao Lak → Khao Sok → Bangkok (Final night).
Three-week Thailand itinerary
Five nights in Bangkok
We started our trip in Bangkok. We took a Royal Jordanian flight in January. We booked our tickets approximately 4 months at the price of 650 dollars per person from Israel.
A charming boutique hotel, Casa Nithra, with a rooftop pool – Two nights
Octave bar and Above Eleven, rooftop bars.
A cooking class in the flower market
Pho Place Guesthouse in china town – A clean guesthouse in a quite but central location in china town.
Eating street food
Visiting a bar on Rambuttri street
Visiting the king’s palace and the reclining Buddha temple.
Thai massages at 200 baht an hour.
A bike tour of the local market and the jungle
You may read in detail about everything we’ve done in the post “10 Unique, cool things you have to do in Bangkok”
Three nights in Kanchanaburi
We had a private driver named Tom (Tom’s email) drive us to Kanchanaburi, stopping at markets along the way. The next day Tom took us bamboo rafting in the river
Visiting the floating market in Amphawa and the Railway market.
We stayed at a good guesthouse in a less touristic area, Baan Ma Fueng.
Visited the bridge on the river Kwai
After rafting, took a local train back to Kanchanaburi
Took a local bus to Erawan falls and back
Went out to local bars in the evening and ate at the local night market
You may read in detail about our trip to Kanchanaburi in the post “Perfect three-day Itinerary for Kanchanaburi – Including a visit to the floating market and the railway market”
We took the bus back to Bangkok, then a taxi to the airport and a domestic flight to Phuket.
Three nights in Phuket
Since we landed at quite a late hour, we preferred to stay the night at a cheap guesthouse and the move over to the luxurious resort in the morning. We stayed at Pensiri House, a two-minute walking distance from the resort. We arrived by cab from the airport (We asked to pay based on the time the ride took, as it’s a short one – only about 10 minutes).
We spent two nights at The Slate, a gorgeous resort by Nai Yang beach. You may read in detail about our experience at the resort in the post “The perfect resort for a prestigious vacation in Phuket – The Slate resort”
Two nights in Phuket Town
We stayed at the well-situated Beehive Phuket Old Town hostel. We liked the hostel’s service, design and location. However, there was a foul smell in the bathroom and shower, so I wouldn’t quite recommend it. The last time we were in Phuket, we stayed at Baan Sutra hostel, which I liked better.
In Phuket Town we ate at local spots, such as a food court
We walked Talang Road (Map). There’s also a night market there on Sunday’s, which is very cool. The street is full of shops and modern cafés and the houses themselves are colorful and cool.
We ate at the local Lock Tien food court (Map). There’s a stall offering tasty noodles and skewered meat with satay sauce.
We visited the Indy night market (Map), which is a touristic market but with many street food stalls. Next to it is also Limelight Avenue (Map), a small mall with stores and cafés.
Two nights at Koh Yao Yai Island
We spent two nights at Santhiya resort. The resort itself was beautiful, and one of it’s biggest pros is the infinity pool, which offers an incredible view. We spent most of our time in the pool and were amazed by the view each time. The room itself is beautiful too and has a balcony with a jacuzzi in it. The resort houses several restaurants, a gym, spa, library, beach and two pools. The rooms, the infinity pools and breakfast are located up the mountain, so transportation is by shuttles. The shuttles pass rather frequently, but we did have to wait for them a couple of times.
The service itself is good and the employees are nice, but not all of them understand English – so communication wasn’t the easiest. The food at the resort was good, but nothing special. In conclusion, if you come for the view, the room and the infinity pool – Then this hotel is perfect for you. But if you’re looking for a sense of being pampered and a high-quality luxurious experience – We felt something about this resort was missing.
Honestly, during our stay, we haven’t left the resort. The island itself seemed charming, and we were bummed about not having enough time to explore it a bit or even stay at a guesthouse and enjoy the island’s local experience.
Three nights in Khao Sok
From Koh Yao Yai island we took a speed boat back to Phuket, where we got on a private cab to Khao Sok (I’d recommend taking a boat that goes to the pier close to the airport if you’re planning on taking a cab). The taxi was 2800 baht and the ride lasted about 3 hours.
If you want to take a bus you’d be better off taking a boat to the pier by Phuket Town, followed by a cab to Phuket Town itself and then a buss to Surat Thani. A bus ride is around 4.5-5 hours long.
We spent three nights in Khao Sok, one of which was at Cheow Lan lake.
I’d recommend getting the tour to the lake through the guesthouse you’re staying at, that way you’ll have somewhere to leave your luggage when going on the tour. The guesthouse owners don’t like guests who don’t order the tours through them, as it’s a major part of their income. All guesthouses offer the same tours, for the same prices.
Blue Mountain Guesthouse was a small, homey guesthouse immersed in nature, with a local restaurant run by the guesthouse owners. The tour to Cheow Lan lake was one of the trip’s highlights and the park itself was a lot of fun, too. You may read in detail about our experience at Khao Sok and the lake in the post “Khao Sok national park – magical experience in Thailand, including a trip to Cheow Lan lake”
I think people who visit Khao Sok should enjoy the local experience and the simple lodging, as you’re not indoors most of the time anyhow. Khao Sok is an experience of nature and vistas.
Two nights in Khao Lak
We booked a van ride through the guesthouse’s owner, which picked us up straight from the guesthouse in the morning. The drive to Khao Lak was approximately an hour and a half, and the driver dropped us off on the main road, adjacent to the hotel we booked, Moracea.
We stayed at the lovely Moracea resort. It was simpler than The Slate or Santhiya, but still very high-class. It also had the best food, in our opinion (In the seaside restaurants). We liked the beach a lot and practically spent all day on the tanning beds by the beach and the beach itself. We came to the resort with only resting and tanning in mind. The resort houses 4 pools and 3 seaside restaurants. The rooms are very large, pretty and spacious. Breakfast was varied and nice, but ultimately nothing special.
A night in Bangkok
We took a cab from Khao Lak to Phuket’s airport, by the . Our flight was in the afternoon, and we arrived in Bangkok in the evening. We took a cab from Bangkok’s airport back to the Sokhumvit area.
We spent the night at Solo Sokhumvit2, a boutique hotel we really enjoyed staying at on our previous trip, two years ago. I’m not a huge fan of the Sokhumvit area, I find it too crowded and has a lot of prostitution going on, but also offers street food and is easy to get around due to the sky train.