Two Days on Phi Phi Island

Koh Phi Phi Island is one of the most popular islands to visit while traveling through southern Thailand. The small island became widely known after the movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed here and at the surrounding islands. Besides that, the aqua blue waters, lush mountains, and party like atmosphere are a major draw. This is definitely the place to unwind and attend one of the many beach parties that keep going till the sun comes up!

We spent two days on this little island during our Thailand trip. The only way to get here is by ferry. It’s about a 2 hour boat ride from Phuket and costs around $13 USD round trip.

Koh Phi Phi Island

Things To Do

Booze Cruise

Yup, we did a booze cruise! There are tons of different companies who take you out on longtail boats, catamarans, or even speed boats to the surrounding islands. We went with Captain Bob’s Booze Cruise and actually had a great time. It’s a 6 hour trip, you arrive at the port around 1pm and they take you to all of the main tourist spots in the surrounding islands. Maya Beach, Monkey Beach, Pileh Lagoon, and Loh Samah Bay. It was all you can drink the entire time. So we made sure to get our money’s worth! I don’t recommend this for families as this is definitely a party boat.

Maya Bay. Tons of tourists.

Shop

The entire island is one market stall after the next and filled with inexpensive bohemian clothes and trinkets. Inexpensive = you’ll want to fill your entire suitcase with stuff to bring home. You can barter with everyone to bring the price down on whatever you’re trying to purchase.

Party Time!

There are a ton of beachside restaurants that turn into a party when the sun goes down. Just walk around the island until you hear the music and go check one out. They are all usually pretty crowded, but it’s still pretty fun to hang out on the beach and party with a bunch of people from all over the world you just met!

Where To Stay

We stayed at a relatively cheap hotel called Phi Phi Andaman Legacy that was on the other side of the island from all of the late night parties. We didn’t want to be trying to fall asleep to techno music that plays until 5am every night. Since the island is so small, it only took us about a 10 minute walk to get to the other side. The rooms were nice but nothing spectacular, but all we really needed was just a place to crash for the night. The hotel had a breakfast every morning so that was a plus. Here’s a link to the hotel website: Phi Phi Andaman Legacy Resort

Conclusion

Koh Phi Phi was a great stop on our Thailand trek that exposed us to a whole new way of life – island life. It’s definitely geared towards a certain crowd and a bit overdeveloped, but don’t let that deter you from visiting.

Railay Beach

Located along the southern coast of Thailand, Railay Beach is actually a peninsula, but feels more like an island thanks to the dense jungle that cuts it off from the rest of Krabi. A mix of dramatic limestone cliffs, beautiful beaches, and thick jungle, Railay truly has it all. But what really makes this spot unique is the vibe you’ll find here. Reggae beats drifting out of bars, the smell of cannabis in the air – it feels more like an island in the Caribbean than a tourist spot in Thailand.

We took another cheap and short flight from Chiang Mai to Krabi airport, then hopped on a taxi to Ao Nang and grabbed a spot on a long-tail boat to Railay. There’s no airport in Railay, so transportation via boat is necessary.

Things To Do

We had two days on Railay Beach and were a little worn out from our last five hectic days in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, so we decided to take it easy and work on our tans during our stay.

Railay West

This is where we spent most of our time. It is the most popular side of Railay and the beach you’ll want to spend most of your time on. Beachfront restaurants and bars make Railay west the type of place you can easily spend an entire day.

Longboats on Railay West

Railay East

Our hotel was located on this side of the peninsula. The beach on this side is covered in mangroves and there isn’t much room to sit on the sand, but this is where most of Railay’s nightlife is located. We enjoyed our nights at the reggae bars and even got to watch a really cool fire show!

Rock Climbing

Tonsai Beach is one of Thailand’s most famous rock climbing destinations, boasting a huge selection of climbing routes on the giant limestone cliff faces. We did not partake in any climbing though, instead we enjoyed our alcoholic beverages on the beach!

Railay Viewpoint

We’re disappointed that we decided not to take the short, yet challenging trek up to the viewpoint. We’ve seen pictures of the view from the top and it is incredible! Make sure you’ve got a pair of closed toe shoes, as the climb isn’t as easy as you think.

Where To Stay

We stayed at the Sunrise Tropical Resort that is located on the east side of Railay Beach. It was a very nice hotel and is reasonably priced. Our room came with breakfast every morning, so that was a major plus. It is within walking distance of the nightlife and a short half mile trek on paved pathways through the jungle to Railay West where the beach is located. Here is a link to their website: Sunrise Tropical Resort

Conclusion

We loved how relaxing our stay was at Railay Beach. It’s hard to complain when all you do is sit on the beach with a cold Chang beer in your hand! We highly recommend staying here for a few days if you have the time to do so!

Welcome to Bangkok!

Holla, city of squala (had to throw in a Hangover II reference)! Bangkok, the capital of Thailand and port of arrival for many travelers who come to southeast Asia. Known for it’s large ornate shrines and vibrant street life, no wonder it is one of the most popular places to visit in all of Asia!

We had been wanting to visit this city for quite some time. The hustle and bustle of Thai culture, along with the amazing and surprisingly cheap cuisine (street vendors everywhere), makes it easy to see why millions of people visit every year. There’s something for everyone here!

Things To Do

There are many things to do in Bangkok. Unfortunately, we only had two days in this city before we moved on to the rest of Thailand. But we will list our favorite things we were able to do in our short period of time there!

The Grand Palace

A complex of ornate shrines and temples in the heart of Bangkok. It was the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782 all the way to 1925. Now it serves mainly as a tourist attraction and is sometimes used for ceremonial purposes, however, no member of the royal family has lived here since 1925. There are over 100 buildings on the ground with the main one being the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is considered to be one of the most important temples in Thailand. Make sure to get here early as it gets very busy. They also have a strict dress code. No shorts, mini-skirts, see through clothing, sleeveless tops, or sandals. There are people on the streets outside of the palace selling cheap shawls that you can buy. We walked around the grounds for around 3 hours until it got too hot for us to be outside any longer.

Wat Pho

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It is located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and is a must see. It is one of the oldest and largest wats, or temples, in Thailand. The statue is over 46 meters long!

Khao San Road

For decades, Khao San Road has been the go-to destination for backpackers and budget travelers arriving in Bangkok for the first time. It is a hectic street that consists of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, Thai massage parlors, tacky tourist shops, and hostels. Everything here stays open very late, so it’s a good place to party after a day of sight-seeing. It also has many yummy street food vendors. We recommend eating at one of these as they are very cheap. You definitely need to check this place out while you are in Bangkok!

Sky Bars

We decided to splurge a little one night and took a cheap cab to visit a couple of the many rooftop bars that Bangkok has to offer. Most of them have a dress code and are a little pricey, but it was worth it. The views of the Bangkok sky line were incredible! We went to Above Eleven Bangkok, which is on the rooftop of Fraser Suites, and Vertigo Moon Bar, which is on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Bangkok hotel. 61 floors!!

Bangkok skyline from Above Eleven Bangkok

Where To Stay

There are hundreds of hotels, hostels, and Airbnb’s to choose from. They range from lavish penthouses to small and affordable rooms for you just to crash at. We decided to stay at a nice bed & breakfast that we found on Airbnb within walking distance of Khao San Road, as it was centrally located to everything. Here’s the link: Baan Dinso Ratchadamnoen.

Conclusion

We loved our stay in Bangkok! From visiting the beautiful temples, eating amazing street food, and partying on Khao San Road, it was very hard for us to leave. We wished we had more time to see everything the city had to offer, but we had to move on to the rest of Thailand.

Three Days in Chiang Mai

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and visit a city with an authentic Thai experience, make your way up north to Chiang Mai. It is the second largest city in Thailand, but also feels very small at the same time. It is filled with delicious food, friendly locals, and gorgeous temples. We got a cheap one hour flight from Bangkok and spent three days in this beautiful city.

Things To Do

Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is located at the top of Doi Suthep Mountain among lush jungle surroundings. We took a nine mile cab ride to the entrance and climbed 308 steps up a cool looking serpent staircase to see the temple. The views from the top are definitely worth it! There is a dress code here. Girls make sure to cover your shoulders and knees or they won’t let you in!

Sunday Walking Street Market

The Sunday Walking Street Market is by far the most memorable and beautiful market in Chiang Mai. It stretches from Thapae gate all the way to Wat Pra Singh. It has everything you can think of! Food, clothing, artwork, etc! It runs every Sunday from 4:30pm until midnight.

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Visit An Elephant Sanctuary

You can’t come to Thailand without visiting an elephant sanctuary. We visited Ran-Tong Elephant Sanctuary, which was about an hour drive from Chiang Mai. They will send someone in a van to come pick you up from your hotel to take you to the sanctuary. They are devoted to rescuing abused elephants from all over Thailand and help rehabilitate them back to health. We were able to make food for their special diets, bathe them, and even helped a little bit in their rehabilitation process! We loved every minute we got to spend with these gentle giants.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport. It started out as a form of military combat that the armed forces of the Siamese empire were trained in. Now it has evolved into Thailand’s favorite pastime. We went to Thapae Boxing Stadium, which is within walking distance from the center of the city. We paid 400 baht, which is equivalent to $13 USD, and got to watch five fights.

Where To Eat

Street vendors! They are everywhere in Thailand. Just look for the vendors that have a long line of locals because they know it must be good! We did eat at one sit down restaurant in Chiang Mai and we definitely recommend it. The restaurant is called Huen Phen. It had delicious and authentic Thai food. Here’s a link to find it on Google Maps: Huen Phen Restaurant

Huen Phen Restaurant. YUM!

Where To Stay

We stayed at an Airbnb in the center of Chiang Mai during our visit. We were within walking distance of the night markets, city square, and a bunch of restaurants and bars. We highly recommend this place as Jitsingh, the landlord of the house, and his family were very hospitable! They gave us recommendations on food, helped us get cabs when we needed them, and just made our stay very enjoyable. Here’s a link to the listing on Airbnb: Kitti Rose Home