Day 1 - 3 Bangkok
Day 4 - Ayutthaya
Day 5 - 6 Chiang Mai
Day 7 - 8 Chiang Rai
Day 9 - 15 Koh Samui
Day 16 - 19 Krabi + Phi Phi
We visited Thailand as a part of a longer trip throughout the SE Asia, where we spent about 9 weeks. We took a comfortable flight on Emirates and landed at Suvarnabhumi airport the next day. Since we wanted to travel low cost we booked a cheap hotel Nasa Vegas, which is right between the aiport and the city center, next to the rail, so the location is pretty convenient. Just when you book this hotel always ask for the room facing the opposite direction from the rails, otherwise it will be really noisy. Just outside the hotel is cool street food market, where you can get just about everything, chicken schnitzels on a stick for 20 baths a piece (50 cents), many fruits at great prices. The ride to the city center takes about 15 minutes, the trais are quite crowded, but quick and cheap. We tried to visit the most famous places around the city at slow pace, most of the time we just wondered around the streets and picked our heading randomly. Bangkok is really crowded and parts of the city are quite dirty, but every day we found a place that we really liked.
The next day we took the morning local train bound for Ayutthaya, the cost was just 20 bath per person and the ride was quite pleasant on a hard wooden chairs. The train is usually delayed and the ride itself might take up to 3 hours. On a train there were many opportunities to purchase drinks and small snacks, which we could reccommend. When we got off the train we decided to walk to the ancient city center, which might have been about 30 minutes walk. The ruins are vast and it takes couple hours to see everything so for someone it might be better to take the took took or ride a bike around the complex. We got a great food in a local restaurant, but it was way to spicy and our mouth was burning for quite long. In the evening we took the train back to Bangkok, as always it was delayed by about 2 hours.
After nice trip to Ayutthaya we took another train, this time to Chaing Mai (many people told us the views from the train were nice, so we decided to take the train instead of flying). The ride took about 10 hours, the train itself was quite comfortable with enough space for leg and snacks during the journey. The views were nice, but for those on a tighter schedule, I would reccommend to fly, the price difference is not big. In Chiang Mai we found accommodation in a local house where we rented a room for abou 400 baths a night with shower and close to the center. The city center of Chiang Mai is really nice, especially for an evening walk, there are many places to eat you quickly forget the rush of Bangkok. On the next day we rented a scooter and went on exploring the surrounding area. We visited nice viewpoints above the city, temple on a mountain, which was really nice and a lake nearby, where we had a great soup with seafood in a wooden house above the lake.
From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai we took an express bus, the ride took about 4 hours and the bus was really spacious, only 3 seats in the row and about 6 rows total, so a lot of space and the view were really nice. As usually we rented a scooter and went on exploring, our first stop was the Wat Rong Kuhn temple, which is beautiful, but the surrounding not that much. It is located in the town and close to the crossroad, so there is a lot of traffic nearby. otherwise it is worth it. After that we followed the river, tried a suspension bridge, drove up to the mountains and into the gorge, saw few snakes on the road and in the evening walked through the city and visited local market.
To get to Koh Samui we decided to take a plane to Bangkok and from there to Surat Thani, where the airlines arranged for us a bus and ferry to Koh Samui (where we saw dophins). It is much longer then flying to Koh Samui directly, but much cheaper, the only expensive leg of the journey was a taxi ride from harbor to Lamai beach. We spend there almost a week, relaxed on the beach, enjoyed great food markets in the center, where we tried almost everything, from pad thai to green curry and pancakes for dessert from a kind street sellers. The beach itself is nice, which clean water, some places might be noisy at night with fire shows, but that is what most people come here for. The only downside is that it is on the east coast, so after 2 pm, there is not much sun on the beach. As always we rented a scooter and drove around the islands, there were many beautiful views and temples around.
From Koh Samui we arranged for a transfer to Krabi, first leg was on a ferry and then on a bus, the journey took almost the whole day and in the late afternoon we arrived in Krabi. We chose a hotel in the city center, instead of the Ao Nang, since we spend a lot of time on the beach already. The center is compact with nice temple, crab statue and many local restaurants where you could get a great food. We rented a scooter again and went on exploring, first stop was the thermal waterfall about 2 hours to the north. The ride was straight forward and quite pleasant, just long. The jungle before the falls was cooler with many animals around and we got lucky since we had the whole falls for us. On the way back we stopped at a temple, where we hiked about 1000 stairs, the view is well worth it. The Ao Nang itself is quite turisty and when it comes to the beach, at low tide not good for having fun in the water.
As a part of the stay in Krabi we book a trip to Phi Phi and the surrounding islands on a Baracooda. The trip was nice, full day with stops at beautiful places - beaches and lagoons and we even had time for some snorkeling. It would really reccommend going on the trip even though it is a bit pricey, on the other hand I was glad that we stayed on the beach at Koh Samui, since the Phi Phi island was bit dissapointing with many people, not very nice beaches and not much to do.