We split our time in Thailand between two trips. The first one was in the north and the second one was in the south. In total, we spent a month and a half in Thailand and we split it up between two trips to avoid having to buy a visa (some would not advise this, but it worked for us!).
Our Northern Thailand itinerary went a little like this:
1. Flew into Bangkok. After a few days we…
2. Took a 10+ hour overnight bus to Chiang Rai
- Our idea was that we wanted to start all the way north then slowly work our way back down to Bangkok, where we would fly out to Cambodia. If you’re playing on going to Laos, I do NOT recommend this. You should slowly work your way up north and visit Chiang Rai last before you leave the country as that is the main exit/entry point to Laos. Just FYI!
3. Then, got on another long bus to Chiang Mai
- Get used to the long bus rides, that’s just how it is in SE Asia!
4. Took a very long and winding bus ride to Pai – personally, the most beautiful place in Thailand!
- Tip: don’t get on this bus hungover, there’s over 700 turns up the mountain!
5. Bus from Pai back to Chiang Mai, then immediately on a bus back to Bangkok
6. Bangkok for a few days then a flight to Siem Reap.
As you can tell, we didn’t travel in the most logical way. If I could do it again, I would go Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Chiang Rai then head over to Laos. But, instead we took a flight to Siem Reap and spent a couple weeks in Cambodia before returning to Thailand to travel the southern part.
Our Southern Thailand itinerary went a little something like this:
1.Flew into Bangkok and immediately got on an overnight bus to Chumphon
2. Arrived in the wee hours of the morning in Chumphon and waited a couple hours for our ferry to Koh Tao
3. Spent a week in Koh Tao
3. Then, took a ferry to Koh Phangan. Spent a week there, then…
4. Took a ferry back to mainland then immediately got on a bus to Krabi
5. Spent a few days in Krabi then…
6. Took a ferry to Koh Phi Phi
7. Spent a week in Koh Phi Phi then..
8. Took a ferry back Phuket where we spent a few days, then…
9. Took an overnight bus to Bangkok where we then flew to Hanoi, Vietnam.
During our southern Thailand trip, we took quite a bit of public transportation between ferries and buses. No need to plan all this out in advance! Your guest house or hostel can help organize your transportation before you take off to the next place.