Thailand is one of the trips Karisa and I often get asked about the most… So here’s how we planned our 11 day Thailand trip.
But first, just for fun, I’m going to give you a little background on our trip karma! This was our second major girls trip and our second attempt at getting to Thailand! In 2010 the country had political turmoil (remember the tire barricades and fires)? Well, that was enough to scare us into another destination… We choose Egypt – a wonderful vacation, perhaps one of my favorites! Unfortunately, political turmoil found Egypt only five days after we left the country and not many tourists have been back since. Some say we carry a jinx with us because we leave places we visit in disarray, but I prefer to think of it as bad timing! The following year trip karma got us again on our second attempt to go to Thailand. We had booked airfare in advance, so no matter what, we were headed to Asia come hell or high water, literally! The worst monsoon to hit Thailand in half a century came flying through with a vengeance leaving most of the country under water. Luckily, by the time we arrived much of the water in Bangkok had receded, but we experienced the city bogged with sand bag barricades and was forced to nix our day trip to Ayutthaya because of the flooding.
Back to our trip specifics: we booked our international airfare out of Los Angeles to Bangkok by way of Guangzhou China on China Southern Airlines for $892.50; and then paid another $183 to get from Milwaukee to LAX. In total, our airfare to Thailand was $1075; but we had two layover. As for China Southern Airlines economy class, I was not impressed. On the way to Asia, we had 4 star service, they offered food, wine, tea and cleaned the bathrooms to the point of annoyance. We thought that it was fabulous service. But… then we noticed a British man in the first row getting bumped up to a flat-bed for sleeping. As it turned out, he worked for Skytrax, a company that rates airlines on their service. Unfortunately for us, he was not on our flight home and the service was atrocious. That leads me to the conclusion that China Southern Airlines put on a show for the rep to keep their 4 star rating and is typically far more lax I nearly wrote a letter to Skytrax to tell them of this tomfoolery; their visits should stay secret so they get the real deal as a passenger!
If you read my Trip Planning: Vietnam, Cambodia & Malaysia, post I explain how we generally chose our hotels – location to city center, price and private bathrooms. The only difference here is, on our last night we gave in to temptation and opted for a fancy hotel with a comfortable bed, at an unnecessarily higher price. Also, in Bangkok, we had been given some advice by friends that a good hotel is $60 or more, anything less than that might be a little sketchy and to avoid it. In the end, we did well; but as I’ve said before, this could be done much cheaper if you are traveling on a shoestring budget.
Hotel Choices & Cost:
Chiang Mai, 2 nights, Thapae Boutique House, $45.18 per room.
Phuket, 1 night, Lub Sbuy Guest House, $24.26 per room.
Phi Phi Don, 2 nights, The White, $35.50 per room.
Phuket, 1 night, Royal Phawadee Village Hotel, $112.67 per room.
Total cost per person: $266.44
Since this is an update, we’ve officially stayed at all of these hotels. I’d highly recommend all of them except Lub Suby Guest House. We stayed there because it was incredibly cheap and close to the ferry harbor; it served our purpose. But, it was loud and we didn’t get a good night sleep because we were in party central.
In order to hop around Thailand we needed a mode of transportation; we choose air to capitalize our time on the ground since it was a short trip.
We flew from: Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai to Phuket, and then took a ferry from Phuket to the island of Ko Phi Phi, for $36 RT, then flew from Phuket to Bangkok.
Those three flights cost us $229.
TOTAL COST FOR FLIGHTS, TRANSPORTATION AND HOTELS: $1,571.49
This post was written by FWTG Contributor, Crystal Doro.