- The islands of the Gulf of Thailand
- Central Thailand
- TIPS & MORE
- PRESS & RADIO
Visa – upon arrival in Thailand, you will be granted 30 days free visa if you arrive by air and 15 days if you arrive by land. You can extend your visa for an additional 30 days by going to one of the many immigration offices (count a total of about 2000 Thai Bath = 55€ / 66$US). Beyond 60 days or beyond 30 days without visa renewal: each day of overstay will be charged 500 Thai Bath (14€ / 17$) when you leave the territory.
Health – no vaccinations are required for short stays. For long stays in Asia, vaccines against hepatitis B & C, rabies, Japanese encephalitis are recommended, ask your GP. Do not drink tap water, ideally provide a water bottle to be filled in the “refill” points (1 to 10 Thai Bath / liter = less than 1€/$)). Plan for loose, covering clothes and a powerful and natural mosquito repellent.
Currency / exchange – each ATM withdrawal is charged 220 Thai Bath (7€/8$) + additional charges applied by your bank. There are many exchange offices in the country, especially in tourist places, $US or €.
Language – Thai people speak Thai and often English, especially people in contact with tourists.
Essential vocabulary at the bottom of the page.
Useful to find your way in the Thai geography :
« Khao » means « park » : Khao Sok = The Sok Park
« Koh » & « Ko » mean « island » : Koh Lanta = the island of Lanta, Koh PhiPhi = the island of PhiPhi
Krabi Town#nightmarket #temples #lowcostairport
While passing through Krabi, visit Tiger Cave, a temple located at the top of 1000 steps (preferable in the morning or at sunset) that offers a breathtaking view of the Krabi region. A place out of time at the level of the clouds.
City of transit with a low cost airport, ideal to arrive in the south of Thailand without going through Bangkok and at a lower cost. Also ideal for shopping, before heading to the islands, it also has an immigration office for visa extensions, and a nice night market.
There are many excursions from Krabi for those who would not have the time to spend part of their stay in Ao Phang-nga National Park, Koh Phi Phi, Railay, other islands in the Phuket Gulf.
Although very beautiful, Krabi is not the most breathtaking place in the region, which has so much to offer. If you don’t have anything specific to do there, don’t stop for more than a night or two, head for the islands of Krabi Bay (Koh Lanta, Koh Phiphi,) or those in the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan & Koh Tao).
Where to sleep: Pak Up (cheap, clean hostel that offers all the excursions and transportation to continue your journey). There are other cheap hostels.
Koh Lanta & Southern Islands :#dreambeach #snorkeling #monkeys
You can reach it by minivan from the coast (especially Krabi) or by sea from Phuket, the southern islands (Koh Lipe, Koh Ngai, Koh Muk, Koh Kradan) or the northern islands (Koh Phi Phi). By boat, you will arrive at Old Town Pier (east) or Salaman Pier (north), then you will have to take a tuk tuk, a cab or rent a scooter to reach your accommodation. The north of the island is very well built, you will find the largest number of cash dispensers, pharmacies, clinics, travel agencies. The south of the island is wilder and quieter, you will meet many monkeys on the road, be careful, they are sometimes aggressive.
To move around the island, the most economical is the scooter (about 200 Thai Bath per scooter per day – 5€), there are also tuk tuk (more expensive) or collective cabs which are 4×4 pick-ups.
The beaches: all the beaches are concentrated on the west coast of the island, they are all beautiful with a preference for the 4 more south (see map) as well as the very cute secret beach.
The reserve: it covers the whole southern part of the island from the check-point. It has a very beautiful lighthouse, a sublime beach and you can take a walk in the forest. Half a day is enough, but the island already has a lot to offer for free. Ticket: 5-8$.
Old Town: located on the east coast,its guesthouses on stilts over the water are very authentic. Old town and the whole east coast offers an exceptional view of the mainland and the islands, but beware there is no beach on this side of the island. You will have to go to the west side (15 min by scooter minimum).
-Eating – Alenna Minimart
– Sleeping – Hostel Aule in Long Beach
– For how long? – 5 days minimum
Other attractions on the island
– Waterfall – located in the center of the island, the ideal is to get there by scooter and then a 25-35 minute walk in the jungle (sneakers recommended) takes you to the foot of the waterfall. On your right there is a path that takes you up to the waterfall where you can bathe in the water and then over the waterfall there is another larger basin.
– Elephant sanctuaries – to be avoided like all sanctuaries in Thailand. To see elephants in their natural habitat, you will have to go to the Kuri Buri National Park (located between Krabi and Bangkok) or in the north of Thailand.
– Caves – check with the locals or your hosts before going to the caves as there is little information available.
– The northern island – very wild and inhabited only by locals – is very pretty and offers a view of the eastern islands and the Thai coast. Rent a scooter and explore the North Island in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat
– Excursions au départ de Koh Lanta – Koh Lok, Koh Ngam, Koh Muk.
3 dream islands south of Koh Lanta from Koh Lanta
– Koh Ngam –
Snorkeling + sunrise + kayak around the island – (time on site: 4 nights)
Sleeping : Hotel Sea Camp
– Koh Muk –
Visit of a beach located at the end of a cave through which you can swim + snorkeling around the island (time on site: 4 nights.)
– Koh Kradan –
Snorkeling + kayak – (time on site: 4 nights)
Tonsaï & Railay Beach:#climbing #hippy #♡atfirstsight
Located on the south-western side of Thailand north of Krabi, in front of Koh Phi Phi, Railay & Tonsaï 2 beaches in a row and their respective small village: 2 rooms, 2 atmospheres.
These two beaches can only be reached by boat from Ao Nang or Ao Nam Mao, or by minivan + boat from Krabi or any other city in Thailand (check with a travel agency or your hotel).
#climbing #fiesta #mostbeatifulbeach
Known for its climbing routes prized by climbers from all over the world, as well as the beach of Phra Nang elected one of the most beautiful beaches in the world overhung by its orange, yellow, white and black limestone cliff.
In Railay, you will find the most beautiful hotels, many bars and restaurants, as well as a beautiful pink sand beach that offers the most beautiful sunsets all year round. At both ends of the Phra Nang beach, take a walk in the limestone caves and discover the viewpoints over the bay of Railay. On the road to Phra Nang beach on your left, take the path to the famous “Lagoon”, a turquoise inland lake surrounded by jungle and cliffs (about 45 minutes walk, intermediate level).
This same path leads to the most beautiful “viewpoint” on the bay of Railay, easier to access than the Lagoon. You will meet many monkeys and varans (lizards) during your stay in Railay.
– Bar – Black Pearl
– Sleeping – Blanco Hideout Railay
#♡atfirstsight #climbing #hippy
Located north of Railay and accessible from Railay on foot (15-20 min. walk) or by boat, Ao Nang or Ao Nam Mao and Krabi, Tonsaï is a small village surrounded by majestic cliffs and isolated from the rest of the world.
For climbing enthusiasts, Tonsaï offers an unlimited number of routes for all levels. For base jumpers, it is possible to jump over the bay of Railay from Tonsaï. It is also possible to admire this unique rock formation from the open sea by renting a kayak. You can then sail along the coast north or south of Tonsaï, or simply admire the sunset from the sea.
Another view of the sunset is to the right of the last restaurant on the beach. It is accessed via a ladder.
Opposite Tonsaï is the archipelago of Chicken Island, rent a boat (longtail) in group or book a tour (agency, Thai on the beach) and go explore these green limestone islands.
– Bars – Sunset Bar (#♡atfirstsight), Joe Flower Bar, Ting Tong Bar, Chillout Bungalow the fire show.
– Sleeping – Countryside (Bungalow), Paasook Resort (Hostel)
– Eating – Legacy, Mama Chicken
– Rental of equipment and climbing courses
– Base Camp Tonsaï (Ask for Maxi).
Caution: Tonsaï is very isolated, electricity comes from generators, that’s why hotels do NOT offer electricity 24/7 (except Green Valley Resort).
The islands of the Gulf of Thailand#diving #dreamisland #♡atfirstsight
Access to the islands :
by boat from the piers located near Surat Thani.
by plane to Koh Samui and then by boat.
Itinerary: 1 week on each island changing guesthouse or hostel every 2 or 3 nights.
The largest of the three islands, rather family oriented, it has an airport.
Koh Pha Ngan
#fiesta #beach #sunset
Located north of Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan is known for its Fullmoon parties, nature, beaches and breathtaking sunsets. Rent a scooter and explore the island and its beaches known to offer beautiful snorkeling spots. Club all night long at the full moon party & jungle party.
#♡atfirstsight #diving #snorkeling
Located north of the two other islands, Koh Tao is a paradise for divers and snorkelers. More isolated than the other two islands, Koh Tao is very well equipped (hotels, roads, restaurants, nightlife). Take advantage of your stay on Koh Tao to make your first dive or to pass your levels or your PADI. Don’t miss to make a snorkeling excursion around the island by boat passing by Nang Yuan island.
Rent a scooter and explore:
-the most beautiful beaches of the island: Freedom Beach, Sai Nuan Beach (sunset), Tanote Beach, Sai Ri Beach, Aow Leuk Beach (sunset)
-the most beautiful viewpoints: John-Suwan (sunset), Love Koh Tao, High Bar Koh Tao, Sai Daeng Bay.
The luckiest will be able to admire baby blacktip sharks snorkeling in some of the island’s bays (south and east).
– Sleeping – Mister J apartment (comfortable & cheap), there are also many hostels.
– Eating – coconut monkey (vegan), Yang restaurant, Café del Sol, Bam Bam, La Pizzeria Italian Kitchen.
Having a drink & 420 : Baby Rasta, High Bar.
Partying : Leo Bar
Diving center : Pura Vida, De Puta Madre.
Zoom on the Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park
A marine national park since 1980, it is home to 42 islands. The islands consist mainly of steep limestone hills, caves, mangroves and inland marine lakes. There are 2 villages on Ko Wua Ta Lap and Ko Phaluai, the other islands are uninhabited. The fauna of the islands includes the dark leafed monkey, long-tailed macaque, leopard cat, fishing cat, wild boar and smooth haired otter, as well as about 50 species of birds. Entrance fee to the park: 300 thaï bath (5€/6$USD).
The Chumphon Marine National Park continues with 8 islands with magnificent seabed. It’s a good compromise if you can’t visit the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao.
Seaside resort located on the Thai coast, you can admire the most beautiful sunrise and moonrise between the islands and mountains. Located halfway between the south of Thailand, Bangkok, Burma and close to Malaysia and Cambodia, Prachuap Kiri is not an obligatory stopover but is a good compromise to take a break between two trips. The night market of the seaside is unique. Rent a scooter and ride along the north or south coast which offers beautiful landscapes. From Prachuap Kiri, go to the Kiriburi and Sam Roi Yot national parks.
Zoom on the National park Kuiburi
This park located very close to the Burmese and Thai border is home to the largest pachyderm population in the country. You will be able to observe the elephants in their natural environment and without disturbing them (from 2 p.m every day). The road leading to the park is beautiful. Count 200 Bath of entry then 800 Bath per vehicle (5-10 people).
Zoom on the National park Khao Sam Roi Yot
This national park consists of cliffs, limestone mountains, beaches, islands, ponds, caves and is home to thousands of birds such as storks, cranes, but also monkeys by tens, wild cows, the luckiest will see dolphins from the coast. The Phraya Nakhon cave nestled in the middle of a hill is known to shelter a temple and a small tropical forest, it is a fairy-tale place not to be missed (prefer to visit it in the morning to avoid the tourists and enjoy the immaculate calm of the place).
Bangkok#market #rooftop #party #temples
The capital of Thailand will surprise more than one: three-storey street, sea of buildings, rooftop more impressive one than the other, crowded neighborhoods, Chao Phraya river, welcome to the future.
The cultural and religious richness of the city contrasts with the modernity and effervescence of Bangkok. Visiting the great palace and meeting the Emerald Buddha was one of the most moving experiences of my life. The Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the Golden Mount are obligatory stops that will make you discover historical and spiritual Thailand.
Stroll in ChinaTown, in the markets of Chak Tu Chak Market and At the Camp Market, stroll in the famous Rama I Road, take a cruise on the Chao Phraya using public transportation (1€).
TIPS & MORE
Travel agencies by the dozen wherever you go, don’t hesitate to compare prices and negotiate.
– 12GO App for transport –
The +: very useful to know the routes and addresses of the car-bus stations or pier.
The – : rates about 2 times higher than in local agencies.
– Speak thaï ? –
Thank you : “Ka Phum Khaa” (pronounced Ka Pum Kaa) when you are a woman and “Ka Phum Kap” (pronounced Ka Pum Kap) when you are a man.
Hello: “Sowadi Khaa” (pronounced Sowadi kaa) when you are a woman and “Sowadi Kap” (pronounced Sowadi Kap) when you are a man.
How are you doing : “Sabaidee Mai” (pronounced Sabadimay).
– Getting around –
By bus / mini-van – the most common, efficient, economical and quite comfortable.
By boat : between the coast and the islands & between the islands. Efficient, on time and comfortable.
By plane – attractive rates for national and regional connections.
By scooter / bicycle – the easiest and most economical way to get around an island or city.
– Excursions –
Hostels, hotels and agencies offer tours. Most of the time, you will be offered the tours/excursions before you even know what there is to see and do around you.
– Food –
In Thailand as in Asia, street food is the most economical way to eat well. In tourist places, there are many Asian or Western restaurants.
Specialties – Pad Thai (fried noodles with vegetables and/or meat with a sweet peanut sauce), Fried-rice (fried rice with vegetables, eggs and/or meat), Tom Yam Kung (spicy lemongrass soup served with vegetables and/or meat), Panang Curry (vegetables and/or meat served in a coconut curry broth), Papaya Salad (raw vegetables with a base of shredded papaya), Mango stick rice (dessert made with mango, sticky rice and coconut milk).
– More –
Phone – 10€/month for unlimited internet in any phone store.
Rainy season – May to November
Tipping – A few extra Thai baths are often welcome, but sometimes Thai people refuse.
Budget – Meals: from 1$ or 2$/pers. and per meal, beer/water 1$ – Lodging: from 3$/bed or 7$ room/night – Trip: 5$ to 35$ for a long trip in minivan + boat, less than 1$ for local public transportation (Tuk-Tuk).