Visit one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world: Thailand! With low prices, delicious food, and beautiful beaches what’s not to love? It’s truly a lovely country with gorgeous natural settings and thriving city life. You will definitely have a great time, so read further for the best South Thailand itinerary.
I lived in Vietnam and have visited many countries in Southeast Asia. The 10 days I spent in Thailand were some of the best I ever had. I want to share the same experiences with you! Go on a trip where you can cliff jump in the middle of a national park, get massages on the beach, and learn about Thailand’s history. You’ll have the trip of a lifetime!
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South Thailand Itinerary
The capital of Thailand is a bustling city with a population of more than 8 million people. As soon as you get out of the airport your senses will be overwhelmed. Motorbikes take over the streets as tuk-tuks wind and speed through traffic. As you drive through the roads, you will be overcome with the delicious smell of food that is being grilled and sold by street vendors. There is so much to do in this city that you could spend weeks or months seeing it all.
Explore the Temples
Spend a morning exploring all of the gorgeous temples in Bangkok. You must dress and act respectfully when entering these sacred structures. Cover your knees and shoulders and maintain a reasonable volume as you explore these lovely places. Most of the members of our group bought a pair of the famous elephant pants and wore those throughout our tours in temples. They are made of thin fabric that ensures you don’t overheat in the hot temperatures.
Stop at the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kraew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which are located steps from each other. These spots can get extremely crowded, so try to go in the morning. You’ll be amazed by all of the gold and intricate details throughout the temples. Finish your temple tour at Wat Pho, which is famous for the huge golden reclining Buddha. You’ll see how small you truly are as you stand next to it.
Visit a Floating Market
After you’ve had your fill of temples, head to the floating markets in Bangkok. Vendors sell food, souvenirs, and other goods on boats. There are so many to choose from, but it’s something that you absolutely can’t miss! You can find plenty of souvenirs to take home for family and friends. Prices are so low, that you won’t be able to stop yourself!
Best Floating Markets:
- Damnoen Saduak
- Bang Nampheung
- Wat Sai
- Taling Chan
Take a Thai Cooking Class
One thing that everyone should do on vacation to Thailand is take a cooking class! these are such a fun way to learn more about the culture and try delicious delicacies. Then, you can impress all your friends when you get home with your cooking abilities. We made rich, savory curries and filling noodles that were simple and easy to learn. You should definitely take a class while you are there!
Best Cooking Classes:
- Chef Leez Thai Cooking Class
- Sompong Thai Cooking School
- Baipai Thai Cooking School
- Silom Cooking School
Visit Khao San Road
At night you can head to Khao San Road, the famous backpacker area of Bangkok. Here you will see how crowded Bangkok can get, with hundreds of people taking over the street. This road is full of street vendors with exotic foods, delicious snacks, and handcrafted souvenirs.
I tried a scorpion while walking through this road, and while it wasn’t my favorite snack it had a nice salty flavor. Keep track of your belongings, because some of my friends had their things pickpocketed on this road. Bangkok is a lively city that you will want to return to because of the great food and fun atmosphere.
Khao Sok National Park
Have you ever wanted to stay in a floating bungalow? Well, now’s your chance. This is my favorite place on the South Thailand itinerary. Visit Khao Sok to see gorgeous limestone cliffs, float on a beautiful blue lake, and experience the evergreen rainforest. Getting there takes effort but it’s worth it!
You can take overnight train from Bangkok, which is a real authentic experience. The train makes its way to the Surat Thani station where you will need to get a bus, tuk tuk or taxi to the dock.
Another option is to fly to Surat Thani and you can either take a taxi or a tuk tuk to the dock. Once you get to the dock you could see turquoise waters and lush cliffs beyond. The boat ride was enjoyable and relaxing as we made our way to the center of the park and the floating bungalows where we would stay.
Things to do in Khao Sok
It’s advisable to book a tour, because you will be able to stay in the park and it includes accommodations, activities, and delicious meals. You can also head to one of the best ethical Elephant sanctuaries in Thailand at Elephant Hills where you will be able to spend multiple days with these magnificent creatures.
Walking out of your private bungalow in the morning to see the turquoise blue waters and the limestone cliffs is like waking up in paradise. Khao Sok National Park is home to one of the world’s oldest rainforests with a plethora of wildlife including gibbons, colorful birds, and tigers.
Spend your days kayaking through the blue waters, trekking through the forest, jumping off cliffs, or floating on rafts as you soak up the sun. It’s one of the most remote, serene, and beautiful locations I have ever been. I highly recommend going out of your way to see this wonderful park.
After a couple days of hanging out in the rainforest, we headed to the beautiful islands. To get to many of the islands you will need to take a ferry from the mainland. Our tour took us to the fifth biggest island and the one known for the famous Full Moon Party- Koh Phangan.
Full Moon Party
There is always an excuse to celebrate on this tropical island. The Full Moon Party is a night-long beach party where backpackers and tourists go to let loose. We didn’t arrive during a full moon, but luckily there are parties every week for different lunar events. We attended the Black Moon Party.
People prepare for these events by donning neon gear and painting their faces. The party itself allows tourists to dance on the beach or try to hop over a flaming jump rope. I made the stupid mistake of attempting to twirl a fire baton and ended up with a second degree burn. Luckily the hospitals on this island see a lot of minor burn victims. But be careful and party responsibly when you go!
Things to do in Koh Phangan
For those who aren’t interested in parties, Koh Phangan has stunning white-sand beaches to relax on. Our hotel had adorable bungalows with a beachfront view and an infinity pool. When you aren’t relaxing on the beach you can book a Thai massage for a fraction of the price in the states or take a boat ride to nearby beaches.
When you’re done then you can order delicious meals of spicy Pad Thai or fried rice. In the evening we would walk on the beach and watch breathtaking sunsets. There are plenty of islands to choose from, but you can’t travel to the Southern part of Thailand without enjoying the stunning beaches.
I went to Thailand many years ago, but I still remember my time there very fondly. Every day felt like an adventure, every meal was delectable, and every place was beautiful. I hope you enjoy this South Thailand itinerary!
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