Everyone must decide on the locations for themselves. The opinions of friends or acquaintances are most likely to help. Each place has its own special features, but also its own perceived disadvantages. However, travelling within Thailand is uncomplicated. However, some places are relatively far apart. [Attention! Dont spoil your adventure by streaming everything on Youtube]. If you like the place, stay longer and just book a few more days. If you dont like the place, "mini-bus" transports are offered everywhere for a few euros to nearby places. Otherwise, you take such a transport/minibus to the nearest small airport and fly within Thailand for about 25€. It is very easy. You should definitely prefer the flights for long distances (north to south). Same or similar price as bus transport but 10 times faster could be the conclusion of domestic flights. However, considering the travel time including the journey to the airport, the waiting time and boarding, it is sometimes more convenient to just sit in a minibus and be driven. From Surat-Thani to Ko Samui, the ferry is a huge catamaran. Such a fast and huge catamaran and also a simple mini-bus are also a little adventure.
The top itinerary for +3 weeks holiday time could be:
Bangkok 1-2 nights [Khaosan Road if in Thailand for the first time].
- Alternative: Direct onward flight to the south or Chiang Mai.
Phuket 1-3 nights [Patong beach, similar to Mallorca with red light party nightlife]
- Alternative: Phuket [other quieter beach in Phuket / Phuket Old Town]
If the nightlife doesnt bother you Patong is suitable for everyone. The beach is beautiful and there are several beaches to visit at once. Phuket is big. Apart from Patong, there are many beaches, from quiet to Ballermann (Patong Beach]. The old town also has its charm and is popular. However, women or couples travelling alone usually prefer Chiang Mai, Ko Tao, Ko Lanta and Ko Phi-Phi.
Krabi 1-3 nights [Ao Nang beach] and day trip to Ko Phi Phi. Very popular with families. There is also plenty of opportunity to go out here.
- Alternative: Direct to Ko Phi Phi [island without traffic, hotels not cheap].
- Alternative: Direct to Ko Lanta
Krabi is very relaxed and looks particularly tropical. Too boring for extreme party-hungry people. For everyone else perfect for a few days.
Ko Phi Phi looks uniquely good. One of the most special places in the world. Very small, no traffic, hotels are not cheap as there are "few". In high season, however, quickly overcrowded. Therefore, in high season rather party atmosphere and hip, especially from early evening. The view from a big hill over the small island is world famous. You can get there yourself within 1 hour without a tour or guide. Dont forget your camera! Wear sturdy shoes! Pack mosquito spray!
One side of the island is used for the arrival and departure of tourists by boat, and there are also the nicest restaurants. The other side of the island is free and offers a long sandy beach, one of the most beautiful beaches you have seen.
Afterwards we go to Surat Thani (6 hours bus ride) to board a ferry (big catamaran ship). In Thailand, you always book complete transport packages. These are sold everywhere where there are tourists. These complete transport packages offer to take you to XY. Everything is included. The mini-bus that picks you up at the hotel, the big bus for long distances and even the last part by catamaran is included in the price. You dont have to worry about anything. Arriving at the harbour in Surat Thani. This ship takes you to one of the three following islands. The boat goes to all 3 destinations. The islands are only about 1 hour apart. Therefore, it is perfect to visit all three. With a different itinerary, you could also fly directly from Phuket to Ko Samui for about 100€. You have a free choice.
Ko Samui [2 nights, younger crowd, party at Chaweng Beach at night].
Ko Pha-ngan [1-2 nights, very idyllic when there is no full moon party].
Ko Tao 2 nights [very small & beautiful island]
- Alternative: only one of the islands but more relaxed & longer stay
Hua Hin 1-2 nights [rather quiet but conveniently on the way]
Chian Mai 2-4 nights [big old town, very popular]
to Chiang Mai either by plane from Ko Samui or cheaper by boat (catamaran] to Hua Hin and from there by mini bus.
Most flights land in Bangkok (in northern Thailand). Alternatively in Phuket, which is in the south of Thailand. A bus ride between the two destinations would take about 12 hours. A cheap flight is only about 25€ and takes less than 2 hours.
Most tourists land in Bangkok and visit the city for 1 night. After 1-2 days in Bangkok at the latest, they continue their journey. Either to the north to Chiang Mai, to the north-east to Pattaya or directly to the south to Koh Samui, Phuket, Koh Tao, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi.
The north of Chiang Mai should be visited in any case. 3 days are enough for a good impression. If you like it, stay longer. Every kind of tourist likes to visit this big city. Attention: There is no beach, but culture and colourful old town life. Chiang Mai would be perfect if it still had a beach.
In the north-east of Thailand, Pattaya is a medium-sized city with pure nightlife BUT only for adults, especially men travelling alone who want a female companion for their holiday. Absolutely unsuitable for couples and women travelling alone or holidays with children.
Further south, everyone can find their dream beach. Starting with Hua-Hin, which is only a short distance from Bangkok. It is enough to drive 2 hours south with a cheap van (minibus).
Single men "looking for a partner" usually go directly to the north-east to Pattaya, at the airport, about 5€, about once every hour with a large collective bus. Possible from morning until about 10pm. Bookable directly at the airport. Very simple. On the way there, you may have to stop off at a travel agency and tell them your hotel so that they can take you directly to your hotel by mini-bus. Some buses only go to bus stops, where tuk-tuks are waiting for you. Ask beforehand whether "direct to hotel or bus station? Direct to hotel is good, bus station is bad because extra costs.
You can book a hotel via expedia.de, agoda.de, booking.de etc.
Its easy as pie and reviews from Tripadvisor can also help. If you are not travelling in December or January, there is always a free hotel of your choice. Budget hotels are sold out more quickly in the high season. But from prices of around €40 per night, you have a good choice all year round. You could also book the hotels for 1-2 days at a time.
It is also possible to go directly to the hotel, see the room and then pay cash. But dont expect a discount.
TIP: It is worthwhile to Google Maps Hotels Patong [replace name of place] and zoom into the place. Hotspots are easily recognised by the larger number of hotels in a radius. If there are hardly any or no hotels, this place is rather unsuitable for tourists as there is little infrastructure available for tourism (restaurants, transport etc.).