One Month Route For Travelling Around Thailand
When my partner Jade and I decided we wanted to backpack around Thailand we did a lot of research to find the best route around the country. We wanted to see as much as we could in one month so we spent hours researching, reading blogs and watching videos. Since then we have been asked about our route several times by friends and family who are looking to visit Thailand themselves for one month. So, to save you from spending hours researching like we did, here is a breakdown of our route around Thailand.
(Keep in mind that this route doesn’t have to be mandatory, it can be used as a rough guide to planning your own route. You may want to visit different islands than we did or you may want to start in the islands and then finish up in Northern Thailand. If we could do this journey again we would probably swap out Koh Phangan for Koh Samui!)
You could easily spend a few weeks in Bangkok, but our best advice would be to just spend a few days there before travelling onto your next stop. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and has plenty of things going on to keep you busy during your visit. Its home to the famous Khao San Road where you will find cheap drinks and see people selling insects to eat along with loud music pumping from nearly every bar on the road. Bangkok is also home to a number of places you need to visit such as The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Lumpini Park, Chatuchak Markets and MBK centre to name just a few. We spent a total of 3 nights in Bangkok and then took an overnight bus to Chiang Mai.
A view of the Bangkok skyline.
2. Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is in Northern Thailand, which is a 12 hour bus journey away from Bangkok. We stayed here for 3 nights in a cute little Hostel just a 5 minute walk from Thapae Walking Street. You can easily spend half a day at the Grand Canyon waterpark, just a taxi journey from the city centre. There are also some great markets to visit in Chiang Mai including Warorot Market and the Sunday Night market where you can divulge yourself in local Thai street food and buy almost anything, just remember to alway barter down the price! From Chiang Mai we made our way further north to a little town named Pai.
The Grand Canyon Water Park in Chiang Mai.
Pai is a little hippy town, 3 hours further north from Chiang Mai. It’s worth visiting for the journey alone as the views on the way up are spectacular. You can get a minibus from Chiang Mai where you drive up through the jungle. The journey is famous for turning stomachs of even the strongest of travellers, with its 762 sharp bends. However, if you can survive the journey without feeling travel sick, your in store for some of the best views of your life. We stayed in Pai for 4 days, originally we were going to stay for 2 days but we fell in love with it.
Pai is known for its laid back, relaxed vibe. You can visit Pai Canyon, Memorial Bridge, the Temple on The Hill, Waterfalls plus a lot more. We enjoyed taking it easy in Pai, strolling around and stopping in for a few drinks in the many riverside bars. From Pai we travelled back to Chiang Mai and flew from the Chiang Mai International Airport to Krabi Airport.
The stunning country road’s of Pai.
Krabi is in Southern Thailand, it’s a first stop for many travellers who are looking to explore the beautiful Thai Islands. We stayed in Krabi For 4 days and ate ourselves into oblivion. The food is so nice in Krabi, we ate local Thai food along with Indian and Mexican food, it was all so mouthwatering. On a Saturday night in Krabi the nightlife is amazing. If you go to the main square by Ao Nang Beach you will find lots of bars and clubs that are open to 4am with lots of drink offers, really loud music and fire shows. You can also take a day trip out to Railey Bay by long tail boat. If you have never heard of Railey Bay then google it, its absolute paradise. From Krabi we took a boat to Koh Phi Phi.
This picture is from our first time in Krabi, it’s beside Ao Nang beach where the long tail boats take you out to Railay Bay.
5. Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi is a small island, there are no cars you just get around by foot everywhere. We arrived there in the morning time and spent 2 days on the island. Koh Phi Phi has a reputation of being a party island and that is certainly true, you’ll find it has a great nightlife scene and plenty of parties on the beach.
From Phi Phi you can take a boat trip out to Maya Bay to visit the famous beach featured in the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. You can also take a boat to some other small islands such as Monkey Beach or James Bond Island. The beach on Koh Phi Phi is very lively at all hours of the day. You can take kayaks out into the sea and if you get a little thirsty the beach is lined with bars which hold parties on the beach every night. From Koh Phi Phi we took a ferry to Phuket.
The amazing view we had from our balcony whilst staying on Koh Phi Phi Island.
Phuket is the largest of the Thai Islands so we spent 6 nights here in total. We spent our first 3 days in a guesthouse just a 5 minute walk from Karon beach. Karon beach is one of the nicest, cleanest beaches that we had the pleasure of visiting during our one month trip. If you visit this beach you can do several activities including paragliding along with renting jet ski’s.
Karon is famous for its many seafood restaurants and we found it to be really good for just walking around the streets and exploring. After our stay in Karon we spent 3 days in Patong which is the more lively part of Phuket and is home to the famous Bangla Road. Bangla Road in our opinion is like a seedier version of Khao San Road in Bangkok. You will be polluted by people trying to sell you ping pong shows! But besides Bangla Road, Patong has a lot to offer its visitors such as Patong beach; Patong Boxing Stadium where you can watch some Muai Thai Boxing; the Jungceylon shopping mall which has a lot of restaurants and shops along with a cinema. From Phuket we took the 11 hour combined bus and ferry journey over to Koh Phangan.
The beautiful Karon beach in Phuket.
7. Koh Phangan
We arrived into Koh Phangan after a lengthy journey from the western Thai Islands and stayed here for 4 days. Koh Phangan is home to the very famous full moon and half moon party. A lot of people base their time in Koh Phangan around these party dates. We stayed in the northern part of the island because everywhere was fully booked due to the full moon party.
The Full Moon Party is held at Haad Rin beach in the south of the island. It is definitely worth going to because you wont experience a party like that anywhere else in the World. When you aren’t partying on the beach, there are some other nice places in Koh Phangan to visit such as the secret beach, the Slip N Fly and the Moonlight Cinema which is a cinema like no other! As our one month trip drew to an end we took a ferry and a bus back up to Bangkok where we spent a few days before catching a flight out of Thailand.
Just one of many beautiful beaches in Koh Phangan.
As our onward flight leaving Thailand was from Bangkok, we travelled back there for a few days before leaving the country. It was nice to get back to where our journey began so that we could reflect on the crazy month we just had and do some last minute shopping at the MBK centre before leaving Thailand.
The streets of Bangkok.