In case you missed my previous post, I spent ten days in Thailand earlier last month. Ten days wasn’t nearly enough, but I felt like I was able to see a decent amount of the country given my short timeframe.
To provide a quick recap, by day six of my trip I had hit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Krabi. My running total for the first five days was $369.01.
…now back to where I left off, which was getting ready to embark on an island tour!
Day 6: Island Hopping
I woke up early that morning to the sounds of roosters crowing. One of the things that I loved about Bananas Bungalows was that it was off the tourist trail, and gave me a chance to reconnect with nature.
After a delicious non-traditional breakfast, five other backpackers and I made our way from the hostel to our tour. The full-day tour covered three islands, including James Bond Island.
It was an amazing day which included boating, snorkeling, a delicious Thai Lunch and some beachside relaxation.
That night over dinner, I agreed to tag along with my new friends to Koh Lanta, which is is an island about one hour away from Krabi. The island is renowned for its pristine diving conditions and has become a popular backpacking destination over the last decade.
Private Bungalow: 600 baht
Omelete Breakfast: 120 baht
Water x4: 160 baht
Boat Tour: 900 baht
Dinner: 150 baht
Beer x 2: 120 baht
**~32 baht = $1 USD
Daily total: $64.06
Running total: $433.07
Day 7: Koh Lanta
After a beautiful ferry trip, we arrived in Koh Lanta early that morning! My friend and I booked a hostel near the ferry terminal, which ended up being a poor decision on our part.
The first indication that we had made a mistake was the fact that we were the only guests! Apparently, the place to be in Koh Lanta is Long Beach, which we didn’t discover until later.
We got lunch at a restaurant overlooking the waterfront and then made our way through the shopping area. All the stores started to look the same after a while, and we decided to look for another way to entertain ourselves.
Eventually, we decided to get Thai massages since we were both too sunburnt to enjoy the beautiful beaches that day.
I opted for an aloe massage to soothe my skin, which was so red that it was painful to wear a backpack. At only 300 Baht, the massage ended up being a relaxing experience, and well worth the price. It did wonders for my sunburnt skin, and shoulders, which had been tense for days since my 12-hour flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong.
Later that night we met up with some other backpackers from our previous hostel in Krabi, who were staying in the Long Beach area.
The whole Long Beach enclave gave off a fun, hippie vibe. Bars offered gas balloons for 30 Baht, and live music could be found throughout the entire beach strip.
Water x4: 160 baht
Shared Taxi (to ferry terminal): 120 baht
Ferry: 300 baht
Lunch: 160 baht
Souvenirs: 120 baht
Massage: 300 baht
Dinner plus cocktail: 240 baht
Shared Taxi (to/from Long Beach): 80 baht
Beer x?: 400 baht
Laughing Gas (sorry mom!): 30 baht
Hostel (6 Bed Dorm): 600 baht
Daily Total: $78.44
Running Total: $511.51
Day 8: Beach Bumming
In the morning, we decided to switch to another hostel closer to the Long Beach area.
Things were a bit more dispersed once we moved further away from the ferry area. So, we decided to rent mopeds.
Even though it is pretty standard to rent a moped scooter in Southeast Asia, I still was pretty apprehensive. Throughout my trip, I encountered several backpackers who had accidents. There are also loads of signs for hospitals along the roads catering specifically to this demographic – not exactly reassuring!
I got off to a rough start on my scooter, including almost crashing into a taxi. It was difficult adjusting to driving on the left side of the road as well. After I finally got the hang of the scooter, I regretted not renting one earlier in the trip. Cruising around was so much fun! We rode around the island a bit before scoping out a nice beach.
We spent the rest of the day tanning before eventually moving to another beach area to meet with our friends from Bananas Bungalows.
In this section of Long Beach, there are tons of cheap bungalows and beach-side restaurants to take in the amazing views. We found a nice bungalow with table service, where we spent the next several hours.
I ordered dinner and several cocktails – enough to keep a nice buzz going well past the beautiful sunset.
Shared Taxi (to new hostel): 40 baht
Hostel (Twin Private): 800 baht
Brunch: 120 baht
Water x 4: 200 baht
Scooter: 250 baht
Fresh coconut: 70 baht
Bungalow service (dinner and drinks): 600 baht
Daily Total: $65.00
Running Total: $576.00
Day 9: Cruising Around Kho Lanta
My new friend and I, who initially bonded by sharing pictures of our cats back home, decided we wanted to see the island’s animal sanctuary. Lanta Animal Welfare is rated as the top activity on the island’s TripAdvisor page, but we weren’t able to find it!
Our paper map made the route to the sanctuary look simple. We must have messed up along the way though, and knew we were lost after about thirty minutes of riding around aimlessly on a series of back roads.
My friend had to leave to catch her boat to Koh Phi Phi, which is where “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed. Even though my original ferry ticket included a transfer to Koh Phi Phi, I opted to stay in Koh Lanta.
I ended up loving my rented moped so much that I extended my rental an extra day. Admittedly, my desire to keep riding the scooter contributed greatly to my decision to stay longer. I easily could have done this in Koh Phi Phi, but I was concerned the island would be overrun with tourists.
I made two stops on my moped that day: once in Lanta Old Town and another at an overlook.
Tripadvisor contributed to my decision to stop in Lanta Old Town, which I thought was underwheleming. Perhaps I missed something, but it only seemed to be a small stretch of restaurants and shops overlooking the sea.
The sun began to set earlier than I anticipated, forcing me to rush back so I wouldn’t be riding in the dark.
In order to stick to my ten day plan, I resigned myself to fly back to Bangkok the next day. I toyed with the idea of staying longer, but decided I would come back next year to do all of Southeast Asia properly.
Hostel: 800 baht
Moped: 250 baht
Breakfast: 60 baht
Pad Thai Lunch: 35 baht
Dinner: 40 baht
Water x 4: 200 baht
Daily Total: $43.28
Running Total: $619.00
Day 10: Back to Bangkok
I took a very bumpy shuttle bus to the Krabi airport, where my flight was delayed several hours.
My original plan was to spend the day doing a layover tour of Bangkok before flying to Seoul at 1:55AM, which is where I would be flying on stand-by back to the US.
Thanks to my Krabi-Bangkok flight being delayed, my long layover ended up being in Krabi instead of Bangkok. So sadly, I didn’t end up seeing much of Bangkok at all!
Shuttle: 500 baht
Water: 40 baht
Tiger Air flight: $38 USD
8 hours worth of airport food: 800 baht
Daily Total: $79.88
Grand Total: $698.88
In total, I spent less than $700 during my ten days in Thailand.
As I stated in my last post, I spent more than the average backpacker since I was only traveling for ten days. Many backpackers are able to stretch their budget to as low as $30 USD per day including accommodation.
I regret that I didn’t get to see more islands, go to a full moon party, or see Bangkok. I feel like I got a good preview of the country though, and can’t wait to return once it’s a bit cooler!
If you’ve been to Thailand, what did you love about it? What should I not miss when I go back?