Thailand in 10 Days (12 days with travel time)

We made this a VERY different trip to our Malaysian trip last year, or in fact to any trip that we have ever taken. The impetus for this was Husband’s instance that it is possible to travel to another country, not see ALL the things, and just have a wonderful, relaxing holiday instead. He also insisted that it would be possible to do all this without feeling wracked with guilt for choosing to relax and revive rather than choosing to mission to learn and see everything we possibly can. And despite the tiniest little bit of guilt and anxiety from my side, it turns out that Husband was right 🙂

In a Nutshell:

  • REALLY cheap to get there (from Korea at least!) and really cheap domestic flights within Thailand (Thai Smile is your friend 🙂 )
  • Super cheap once you’re there too 🙂 Although our big lesson was not to over-estimate how cheap it is. This is especially because prices are definitely more than doubled for foreigners… (For example, a local told us a tuk-tuk should cost about 80 Baht for where wanted to go but when we approached a tuk-tuk driver we were quoted 300 Baht and they weren’t interested in negotiating.)
  • Remember bartering/negotiating is the thing in Thailand
  • Bangkok is great but you don’t need more than two days there unless you’re a marathon shopper (we would have rather spent longer at the beach)
  • Our highlights: the Thai food (both street food and in restaurants), the massages, the communal-smiling-Thai culture (which as a tourist is easy to miss so make sure you look for it), Railay Beach, the relaxed beach vibe and sundowners while watching the sun set over the sea
  • Do NOT drink tap water or, as I learnt, ice made from tap water. Bottled water all the way (it’s about 7 Baht for a bottle).

(Please remember that all the costs listed below are for two adults).

Day 1:

  • Flew to Bangkok at 8:30pm (our wonderfully cheap flights had us flying and landing at awkward times)

 Day 2:

  • Landed in Bangkok at 1am (6 hour flight)
  • Slept on chairs in the airport and got the train into Bangkok at about 8am. Really gorgeous trip in and great way to get a sense of the city.
  • Walked from the train station to our accommodation in Banglamphu (the backpackers’ area in Bangkok). This was over 5km so quite far but a wonderful introduction to the city (both the local and tourist side of it).
  • Stayed at New Siam II . Ideal location, fantastically clean, affordable and has a pool. Staff leave a bit to be desired though.
  • Slept that afternoon and then wandered the streets, namely all around Khao San Road, that evening. Khao San Road is VERY touristy but wonderful for a day or two.

Breakfast: 450 Baht (Starbucks in the airport)

Train into Bangkok: 90 Baht

Lunch: 195 Baht (at a fancy café so we only ordered 1 meal and shared)

Back Massage: 150 Baht (for 30 minutes)

Dinner: 300 Baht (street food)

Beer: 510 Baht (about 100 Baht for a large beer)

Accommodation paid for in advance

Day 3:

  • Took an exploratory (i.e. we didn’t have clear directions or a list of things we wanted to see) wander from our district, through Chinatown and into Thonburi (an old school area in Bangkok where people still live on the canals). It was about 12km and took us about 6 hours. It was FABULOUS to wander through tourist spots and very non-tourist spots and just see how life is lived in it all. We also stumbled on The Grand Palace and quite a few stunning temples. The highlight was wandering the (non-tourist) canals where people have built their houses and live their lives. We then caught a water taxi back to our area, which was great 🙂
  • Wandered Khao San Road and surrounds again that evening.

Breakfast: 70 Baht (two amazing fruit smoothies) & 17 Baht (peanuts and water)

River taxi: 30 Baht

Lunch: 250 Baht (in a restaurant)

Beer: 95 Baht (from a grocery store)

Dress: 320 Baht; Vest: 100 Baht 

Dinner: 435 Baht 

Accommodation paid for in advance

Day 4:

  • Got a minivan (organized and paid for the day before) to the airport
  • Flew to Krabi airport
  • Caught the airport shuttle to Ao Nang. They dropped each of us off at our accommodation too, which we really weren’t expecting.
  • Stayed at The Laughing Gecko. We chose it because it was rustic, cheap, close to the beach and advertised a really beautiful Thai communal atmosphere. In reality… it was cheap. And close to the (quiet) beach. But it was MUCH more rustic than we were expecting (complete with cold shower and squat, bucket-flush toilet) and the communal atmosphere seemed to be very, very tired… the owner just seems to have given up a bit… Our advice: stay for a night or two for the experience and sense of being in nature and then move on 🙂
  • Walked the length of the An Nang beaches, explored the shops, got caught in the rain and bought my beautiful pearl ring (a dream for years!)

Minivan to airport: 280 Baht

Breakfast: 120 Baht (mango sticky rice), 148 Baht (Subway), 243 Baht (2 coffees & a doughnut) – all at the airport

Airport shuttle to Ao Nang: 300 Baht

Lunch: 290 Baht

Pants: 150 Baht; Ring: 1500 Baht

Beer: 120 Baht

Dinner: 90 Baht (from seven-eleven) 

Accommodation: 500 Baht 

Day 5:

  • A relaxed day of beaching and shopping 🙂
  • Discovered the AMAZINGNESS that is the Thai pancake 🙂

Breakfast: 130 Baht (2 fruit smoothies and a Thai pancake)

Lunch: 710 Baht (incredible curry at an Indian restaurant)

Sunglasses: 200 Baht; Shirt: 180 Baht; Dress: 450 Baht; Incense burner: 300 Baht

Sunset Beer & Snacks: 90 Baht

Small Bottle of Whisky: 150 Baht

Dinner: 60 Baht (fruit smoothies)

Accommodation: 500 Baht 

Day 6:

  • Took a long-tail boat to Railay Beach. Phenomenal. Beaches like out of the movies. Walked three of the four beaches and then spent the rest of the day alternating between lying in the shade and swimming while looking up at the amazing cliffs.

Breakfast: 75 Baht (fruit smoothies & yoghurt)

Return Long-Tail Boat to Railay: 400 Baht

Lunch: 190 Baht (chip sandwiches, ice cream & water from a seven-eleven)

Postcards: 40 Baht (10 Baht each)

Dinner: No idea but I presume we ate… 🙂   

Accommodation: 500 Baht 

Day 7:

  • Had a stunning continental breakfast. A real treat after having lived in Korea for almost a year! Also had dinner by candlelight on the beach – the most amazing setting ❤ Pity the food was the worst we had the whole trip…. Not to the mention the dodgy ice and the unpleasantness that followed it!
  • Checked into our “fancy” Ao Nang accommodation: Blue Ba You. It had air con, hot-ish water and most importantly a flushing toilet. The latter turnout out to be the absolute highlight because later that night I developed a lovely case of Thai food poisoning…

Tab at Laughing Gecko Accommodation: 1100 Baht (beer & food)

Breakfast: 420 Baht (fancy continental breakfast)

Lunch: 235 Baht

Cocktails: 180 Baht (2 cocktails); Beer & Tiger Balm: 136 Baht 

3 Money Bags: 100 Baht

Dinner: 430 Baht

Accommodation: 1000 Baht

 

img_4039

Day 8:

  • I spent the day sleeping, resting and staying close to the bathroom on a day that also happened to be my 30th birthday! But all the birthday messages really did make me feel better. As did the fantastic medicine we got from the pharmacy: charcoal all the way baby 😀
  • Husband spent the day refusing to leave me on my birthday – bless. So he went for a quick swim but spent the rest of the day sitting on the porch, drinking and listening to podcasts.
  • I managed to make it to the beach to watch the sunset though and have a small bit to eat for dinner.

Breakfast: 48 Baht (remember I wasn’t eating – just liquids)

Medicine: 79 Baht (for 3 different medications that worked really well)

Lunch & Alcohol for Husband: 260 Baht

Sunset Beach Beer: 295

Dinner: 465 Baht   

Accommodation: 1000 Baht

img_4049

Day 9:

  • My 30th birthday take 2. We spent the entire day lying on the Ao Nang beach, swimming, sun-tanning, sleeping, reading and listening to podcasts. SO wonderfully relaxing. And I got a birthday massage.
  • Went out for a fancy birthday dinner. Tried to have lobster but they were sold out. So I had tiger prawns instead 🙂

Breakfast: 150 Baht (2 smoothies & Thai pancake)

Massage: 300 Baht (1 hour of feet, head, neck and shoulders)  

Beach Beers: 180 Baht

Lunch: 225 Baht (my first proper meal after being sick!)

Fancy dinner: 1660 Baht (this is all food – drinking made it even more expensive)

Accommodation: 1000 Baht

img_4053

Day 10:

  • Got a minivan back to the Krabi
  • Flew back to Bangkok, got the train into town and then a tuk tuk to New Siam II.
  • Did all our gift shopping.

Minivan to airport: 300 Baht

Breakfast: 100 Baht (two terrible coffees)

Airport train into Bangkok: 90 Baht

Tuk tuk to our accommodation: 130 Baht

Artwork: 400 Baht; Flags: 150 Baht; 8 Shirts: 900 Baht; 3 Shirts: 300 Baht; Kids Outfits: 400 Baht; Colleagues: 530 Baht; Artwork: 50 Baht; Pants: 110 Baht; Jewelry: 290 Baht; Stamps: 60 Baht    

Lunch: 260 Baht

Dinner: 280 Baht

Beer: 180 Baht

Accommodation: 840 Baht

img_3992-editted

Day 11:

  • Went to the park, lay in the shade, ate breakfast and listened to podcasts. Then wandered the streets and shops one last time and ate some awesome street food.
  • I got one last massage.
  • At about 6pm we caught a tuk tuk to the station and the train into the airport.

Breakfast: 75 Baht (mango pieces & 2 smoothies)

Lunch: 445 Baht

Massage: 200 Baht (1 hour foot massage – best massage of the 3)

Beers: 280 Baht

Dinner: 105 Baht (delicious street food – we should have eaten more of this)

Tuk tuk to station: 200 Baht

Train to airport: 90 Baht

Day 12:

  • Flew back to Korea leaving at 3am and landed 10:30am Korean time

The Money

I really thought that the money bit would be easier with just the two of us (as opposed to when there were three of us for Malaysia) but we learnt an important lesson: we’re not good at keeping track of our expenses while we are on holiday. There is something about the relaxed vibe of exploring streets and lying on beaches that just doesn’t seem to gel with diligent, precise money reporting.

I wasn’t too sure about what would be most useful for you in terms of reporting our expenses: the big picture or the day-today expenses. So I opted for both 🙂 Please let me know, dear Reader, which is most helpful so I know how to report our next Brat Adventure i.e. South Africa 🙂 So here is the big picture for the two of us:

Korean Won 2 150 441 won
Return flights 716 800 won
Return internal flights 172 059 won
Spending money 700 000 won
Contingency money 200 000 won
Extra withdrawals 97 382 won
2 nights’ accommodation 100 000 won
Airport food 46 200 won
Bus to airport 60 000 won
Express train 15 000 won
Bus home 43 000 won

I then simplified it further and made this pretty little graph:

thailand-total-cost

In terms of our spending within Thailand:

Transport 1 910 Baht 7%
Accommodation 5 340 Baht 20%
Food 10 343 Baht 39%
Alcohol 1 911 Baht 7%
Tourist Activities 650 Baht 2%
Shopping 2 400 Baht 9%
Gifts 4 130 Baht 15%
Medicine 79 Baht 0%
TOTAL 26 763 Baht  

Which then looks like this in graph form:

thailand-spending-money-in

The other important lesson we learnt was not to work out the financing for a trip by going backwards. We worked out how much money we would spend in 10 days in Korea (the length of our time we had in Thailand) – and then simply took that much to Thailand. The thought behind it was that we would just make a plan to survive on that. Silly, silly, silly… This, dear Reader, no matter how frugally you are trying to live, is NOT the way to do it. Do your research about the country you’re going to about how much people recommend that you take. And, importantly, remember that as a tourist you are always going to spend much more than someone who lives there.

I so hope that this was helpful, dear Reader! Please shout if you have any questions. I am happy to help anyway I can 🙂

Xxx

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One thought on “Thailand in 10 Days (12 days with travel time)

  1. Pingback: I’m back! :) | The Brat Experiment

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