6. South of Thailand (Beaches and Islands)
Recommended Time: 3 – 4 weeks
Route: Phuket – Koh Phi Phi – Krabi – Koh Lanta – Krabi – Ko Samui – Ko Pha Ngan – Ko Tao – Bangkok
To get the most out of Thailand, I highly recommend breaking your trip into two parts. There’s just way too much to see and do, especially if you’re a backpacker with time to spare.
Island hopping isn’t actually as expensive as it sounds as long as you stagger the number of activities that you want to do at each stop. Start by flying into Phuket and choose between day trips to the famous James Bond Island or Koh Panyee to soak up some sun.
Head to Koh Phi Phi for white sandy beaches and great nightlife before stopping off in famous Krabi to hang out with a few locals and experience the bustle of the night markets in Krabi town. Do a day trip to Koh Lanta for less touristy coral-fringed beaches and mangroves before moving on to Thailand’s second largest island, Ko Samui.
If an epic party is what you’re after, plan your trip around the world famous full moon party, which takes place on the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan. Nurse your inevitable hangover in Ko Tao before completing your trip back in the bustle of Bangkok.