How to Plan a Trip to Thailand – An Exclusive Guide for the Love Smitten Couple

Chandan Asia, Popular Posts, Thailand, Travel Planning 4 Comments

How to plan a trip to Thailand? Best tips blah blah! Clichéd huh 🙂 There are thousands of articles floating around the internet on this. So what make ours different. For starters, I am fortunate to work for a corporate (apart from the work though) that is truly multinational. I am privileged to work amongst a crowd of diverse nationalities, which means whenever we plan a trip there is always someone local to that destination who can guide and help us with the best tips. Thailand was no exception and we followed the tips from our Thai comrade. The first tip was to leave Bangkok and Pattaya from our 1-week itinerary. I know you are cursing me now – why the heck did you do that? The answer lies in the post heading. This is supposed to be an itinerary meant for the Love Smitten Couple. When I say love-smitten, I mean romance is in the air. So much so that there is no place in this itinerary for the hustle bustle of a city, the pollution, the traffic, the crowd and so on. If you have been following our blog you would have noticed by now that our itineraries touch all the cultural and aesthetic elements that a particular destination has to offer, yet aligned to our fixed time schedule and goals. We sacrifice some hyped places so that we spend more time somewhere else. Almost all our itineraries are either 1-week or 2-week long. Yes, you guessed it. Working full time has its own disadvantages when it comes to long itineraries. Over the years we’ve mastered the art of planning short itineraries. We know what to leave and what to take. Our South Africa itinerary describes this very well and so our Caribbean itinerary. Back to the point, in this post we share our 7 day Thailand itinerary, where a couple in wanderlust dives into a destination that has so much to offer, with only 7 days in hand and an ambition to absorb the warmness of Thai culture in the most efficient way.

How to plan a trip to Thailand – not a cliché anymore

How to plan a Thailand trip, if not a cliché anymore then let’s move forward. We had two goals set in our planning stage. We wanted to experience the wild side of Thailand, the relentless festive atmosphere followed by a bout of solitude and warmth in each other’s company. We didn’t want to pack more than 2 places in 7 days as that would mean unnecessary stress. Moreover, as I said in my previous posts, there is always a next time. So after our extensive trip advisor research (as usual) and help from our Thai comrade we zeroed in Phuket and Krabi. We chose Phuket because Phuket has to offer everything on the wild side of the scale. Does Bangla road ring a bell there! Yet if you research properly you will find that Phuket has a different side to it too, specially reserved for couples on a love-hunt. Krabi was our destination for solitude. We had Krabi in our mind for a long time, courtesy the Bollywood movies. Krabi has been depicted in a number of Bollywood movies as the go-to destination for couples. But we had another prime reason to choose it. It’s because Krabi is a mere 3-4 hours drive from Phuket. In a 7-day itinerary, one of our main focus is to reduce travel time. And this was perfect from every angle. Although our Phuket to Krabi drive was a disaster but with the right guidance, you might avoid it. That’s a whole new story altogether, to be shared in a separate post.

Flight plans

First, we booked a return Mumbai-Bangkok flight. We did this a month before our departure to save some cost. For our domestic leg, we decided to go cheap and booked one-way flights out of Bangkok. Our international arrival was at Suvarnabhumi airport. For our Bangkok to Phuket leg, we booked through domestic carrier Nok Air.
We decided to make independent one-way flights as it was much cheaper and in line with our tour plan. The overall plan looked like this:
1. Arrival to Suvarnabhumi -morning
2. Fly from Bangkok to Phuket – afternoon (we recommend a minimum connection time of 6 hours as you will be changing airports + time required to get the visa on arrival).
3. Phuket Stay – 3 days
4. Taxi from Phuket to Krabi – morning
5. Krabi Stay (3 days)
4. Fly from Krabi to Bangkok – morning (minimum 4-5 hours connection time for airport transfer).
5. Return flight to Mumbai – late evening
Most of the cheap domestic flights operate from Don Muang airport which is an hour drive from Suvarnabhumi depending on traffic. Not a concern, since there’s direct airport shuttle service between these two airports. Just make sure that you have enough time between your connection. We kept it 6 hours which was bit more than required. From Dong Muang, we flew Nok air to Phuket. Nok air was a fantastic experience. We were impressed with the professional service and no hidden charges. I will advise you to think twice if you’re inclined to Air Asia. Air Asia tickets look cheap at the front end but once you initiate the booking process your fair will increase substantially because you have to pay for every step. Nok Air was simple. They allowed us 20kg luggage per head on tickets for a price much cheaper than Air Asia. For Air Asia, I had to buy the luggage allowance separately. I hope they have changed it now and you are welcome to update us on any changes. A disclaimer here; we do not solicit anyone of the two airlines mentioned above. Whatever we say are purely based out of our experience.

Phuket

After waiting three hours at Dong Muang, we finally boarded our flight to Phuket. The flight time is about an hour. We pre-booked a taxi at Phuket airport for our airport transfer and everything went hassle free this time, unlike our Caribbean experience. The drive from the airport to our hotel reminded us of our own home state Assam. The lush green tropical environment with its signature heat and humidity is so familiar to us that we actually felt like driving down a highway in Assam. I took so many photos but unfortunately my laptop hard drive crashed right after this trip and I lost most of them. Needless to say, all my Thailand articles will be scantily clad in photos. Most of the photos I would be using are from our personal facebook profile because those are the only ones that survived the hard drive apocalypse. About an hour later, winding through the hilly terrain, we arrived at our hotel. We arrived just at sunset and decided to crash for some time before jumping out again for a couple massage. Phuket can be noisy at night and you might find yourself digging under your pillow in the middle of the night if you do not choose the right place to stay. I did a lot of research on the best area to stay in Phuket and glad I did that. You will find the details in my next post. We spent an incredible 3 nights in Phuket. Our days were spent riding along the alleys on our rented bike and exploring all the beaches. Our nights were loaded with cocktails mostly at Bangla road.

How to plan a trip to Thailand - cocktail at Bangla Road
Stuti’s pose with a Martini
A very surprising thing I witnessed is, Phuket is the only place in my list that had a Hard Rock Café entirely empty. I mean how come guys! We walked into a bar with not a single soul around. Felt like losers (no picture again 🙁 ). My guess is that Bangla road is too tough a competition even for HRCs. We visited Phuket Fantasia one evening. Stuti had a shopping spree in the local street market the next day. Thankfully it rained 🙂 .
How to plan a trip to Thailand - southern end of Patong beach
The Pirates @ the southern end of Patong beach
Apart from all the fun, we crashed our bike, had an expensive argument, skipped some drinks to compensate for the loss, saw a fatal bike accident and indulged in some lovely de-stressing couple massage before leaving Phuket with wonderful memories.

Krabi

On our fourth day, we left for Krabi early morning. We decided to take a minibus, which I will advise not to if you have other options available. Seriously, if you plan a trip to Thailand following this itinerary I would highly recommend doing a thorough research before booking a local taxi or minibus. Usually, it’s a 3-hour drive from Phuket to Krabi but took us almost 5 hours amidst all the chaos and confusion. In spite of all the chaos, one positive thing I felt about driving between Phuket and Krabi is that you will get a very nice first-hand impression of the unique Krabi landscape, undulating and dotted with limestone hills and mountains. Once we saw the steep limestone cliffs jutting out of Andaman sea, all our frustrations vapored. We could hear Bollywood songs buzzing in our ears. We checked into a nice resort right at Ao Nang beach and spent our next three days shooting Love in Thailand

How to plan a trip to Thailand - Love in Thailand
A promo shot from Love in Thailand with the boat captain as our director, cameraman, and choreographer
We spent two full days lying on the beach, took an island tour and had to return half way (one more story there). The nights were spent mostly in island bars exploring all the colored cocktails. Stuti’s favorite was red and mine was blue. Once during lunch, I ordered a super spicy dish. The menu had one and two red chilies printed against the dish to let people adjust the spiciness as per individual taste. From my previous experience of Thai food, I asked the waiter for three chilies and almost burned my mouth thereafter. I guess the chef took it as a challenge and removed the coconut cream from the dish 😉 . I literally felt coughing out fire. Thanks to the chef, an Indian now believes that even Thai food can be super spicy 🙂 .
How to plan a trip to Thailand - Storm during island hopping
Teaser: The Impending storm during our island tour
We booked our return flight directly from Krabi airport to Bangkok Dong Muang via NOK air. Used the airport shuttle to transfer to Suvarnabhumi which was hassle free. After an agonizing 4 hours wait at Suvarnabhumi without any public wifi, we boarded our flight back to Mumbai.

We hope this post will answer a lot of queries on how to plan a trip to Thailand. Do let us know your thoughts and comments on the same. We would be happy to help anyone in our own small way 🙂

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Comments 4

  1. Chandan , rather i say Team Pirates, loved this first article i choose to read. very well written in a simply attractive way.nice built up with how to and flights and all. i like the way u described unlike the Caribbean experience and have a link to go to that blog. for sure that triggers the excitement of what happened there. u also took me back to 2005-06 when i worked in Assam and enjoyed those car trips from Airports to staff houses and to the rig sites..with those Assam memories (i do have a diary written of 30 pages named : Assam Diaries ;)). wud have loved to see the clicks of those highway though. let those free strokes of blogs keep coming. for sure its a happy reading for me. 🙂 bon voyage for all upcoming trips.cheers. Milind.

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      Author

      Milind paji, heartfelt thanks from me and Stuti for such an encouraging comment. We do plan to keep our blogs coming and are working double shifts currently to grow our baby blog. Positive and helpful comments like this will go a long way in motivating us for the future 🙂 . Wish we could share more pictures but as I mentioned in the post, had a bad luck with the hard drive. Lesson learned and now maintain regular backup + back up of back up 😉 .

  2. This is beautiful written. Summarized beautifully. And most importantly there’s so much to learn from. These things we never find on the internet. Like Thailand means Bangkok and Pattaya on google. I saw the pictures of Pattaya. It’s beautiful just bliss. And about the place Krabi thanks for introducing us. This is such a help. Would love to read more!

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      Author

      Hey Nibedita, thanks for such an encouraging comment. Yes, the aim of this blog is to bring forward some of the hidden things that people like us normally miss, mainly because of time limits. We are so occupied with our jobs that there is hardly any time left to research for our trips. Hence the effort and PiratesTravelogue 🙂

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