Hello! It’s Japan schools’ summer break and I was wondering where to wander again. I have 7 weeks of vacation and I was looking forward to have another out-of-the-country trip once more even just for a week. I checked on Skyscanner where could be the possible destination that’s not too burdensome for my fare budget. And as I tried to scan for Thailand, I was delighted to see that the price was just right considering that the airline was not an LCC one.
So for this blog post, I’ll share to you my D-I-Y itinerary, transportation guides, accommodation(s) and some tips how to have a smooth escape in The Land of Smiles — The Kingdom of Thailand.
- Plane. I’ve scored a JPY34,250 plane tix for my back & forth booking thru expedia in the Vietnam Airlines flights with Hanoi as layover. We spent almost 11 hours in total from point of embarkation (NGO) to disembarkation (BKK), with 3 hrs in HAN. The price will surely be lowered down if you’re coming from Manila (envious here :/).
Anyways, no regrets! Vietnam Air’s complimentary meal and service is commendable. Plus, I didn’t have the chance to complain on how my legs can’t move due to seats spacing every time I rode an LCC airline. 😀
- Getting Around. Bangkok has an airport link train system, MRT and BTS. Just make sure to save their train maps on your phone or print it out for convenience. It’s easy to understand and stations’ names are written in English alphabet even if they’re hard to pronounce. Just familiarize and you’re good to go!
Also, if you’re planning to go beyond Bangkok, i.e., Thailand’s south for pristine beaches or country’s north for nature tripping, you have the choice to travel through plane or bus. I always wanted to go to Chiang Mai for elephants and I chose to travel thru air. I wanted to save my energy for the next days which will surely be compromised if I’ll spend 12 hours traveling by land going up north. Up to you! 🙂
a.) Bangkok. I’ve booked a 2-night stay in Diff Hostel thru booking.com. The Hostel is just walking distance to Phaya Thai BTS or airport rail link. I always consider the accessibility every time I travel. I don’t want to pay for extras to cabs if there’s an affordable/convenient one near train stations. Also, the Hostel has nice staffs and of course, free breakfast. 😀
b.) Chiang Mai. Our 3-night stay was booked in Baan Bunyat Guesthouse. It has no free breakfast included but the place is just walking distance to Chedi Luang and Tha Phae Gate, even the Night Bazaar for street food and pasalubongs items.
*Click and book through this link https://www.booking.com/bmp to have a special discount of 1,800yen (more or less Php800) off from your total amount due. If you have travels plans and have not yet booked for accommodation, this one is a big saving from your expenses.*
I always sought to be personally and wholly involved in planning my travels. I have specific wants where to go and what to experience. Also, I tried to have allowances in between schedules ‘coz where’s the adventure if you try to plan everything, right? I wanted it to be organized yet still flexible for whatever might be better and let the fun flow naturally. 🙂
Day 1. August 5.
10:00 AM. Departure from NGO to HAN, then to BKK arriving at 7:15 PM (Bangkok time).
*Thailand’s timezone is UTC+7, 2 hours late compared to Japan and 1 hour late from Philippine’s.
10:00 PM. Arrival & check-in in Diff Hostel. I booked a last-minute Ayutthaya Tour for the next day thru the Hostel. Glad it still got through even it’s late already.
Day 2. August 6.
7:00 AM. Ayutthaya Tour. For details, click HERE.
Inclusions were the following:
- Wat Phu Khao Thong
- Wat Phra Si Sanphet
- Thai lunch.
- Wat Lokaya Sutha
- Wat Phra Mahathat
- Summer Palace, The Royal Palace at Bang Pa-in.
6:00 PM. Arrival in Hostel.
7:00 PM. Walked to Pratunam Street Market. (Around 20 mins walk from Diff Hostel.)
Day 3. August 7.
9:00 AM. Commuted on the way to Chao Phraya River temples. For easy guide on how to get around these temples, click HERE.
- Grand Palace
- Wat Arun
- Wat Pho
2:00 PM. Gone back to Hostel. Late lunch.
5:00 PM. OTW to the airport for our 8PM flight to Chiang Mai.
9:30 PM. Arrival in Chiang Mai airport.
Day 4. August 8.
The highlight of my trip — Elephant Encounter @ Patara Elephant Farm.
Day 5. August 9.
7:15 AM. Chiang Rai Tour. For the top things to do in Chiang Rai, click HERE.
Inclusions were the following:
- White Temple
- Long Neck Karen Village
- Golden Triangle
- Boat Ride to Laos borders
Day 6. August 10.
8:30 AM. Walked to Chedi Luang.
9:30 AM. Check-out from Baan Bunyat and bound to Chiang Mai airport.
11:40 AM. Flight back to BKK.
1:00 PM. Arrival @ BKK. Then, lunch.
2:00 PM. Took the chance to meet adorable huskies @ True Love Café.
4:15 PM. Literal running challenge heading to the airport. We had to check-in @ 5:30 for our 7 PM flight. (Tagam! Nganong nihapit pa’g iro! Hahaha. And the experience was too hangak yet fun to remember. :D)
7:00 PM. Flight from BKK to HAN, then to NGO arriving around 6 (UTC+9) the next morning.
- Currency exchange. I’ve exchanged my JPY to Baht at Chubu Airport in Nagoya. Fortunately, if you run out of cash in Thailand, currency exchange booths and counters are easy to find around the city. Even inside a small train station or a store along night markets, you can exchange your on-hand currencies so no need to worry.
- Internet connection. It’s really more convenient to rent pocket wifis especially that Thailand’s streets are restricted to save for offline use in Google Maps. Having an internet connection all throughout the trip can make everything hassle and worry free. I booked our 6 days rental Smile Wifi thru klook.com and paid it through paypal. Upon arrival in BKK, you can get the device at the basement area before heading to the airport rail link. There’s a deposit of 2,000 Baht that you can get back upon returning the rented device.
- Souvenir items. Most of my pasalubongs for friends and family were bought from Pratunam Market. Some additions were bought from Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai. The street market in Chiang Mai is better though, they allow you to haggle; so be wise, start to bid at the reasonable cheapest price then meet with the vendor’s price halfway through. ;D
- Weather. Try to visit Thailand from November to April. August is part of the rainy season. I prayed so hard before and during the trip since the forecast for my travel days were all “rains and thunderstorms”. But indeed, God’s favor to His children are overflowing that it truly didn’t rain during tours. All glory and thanks to Him. ❤
Enjoy and have fun!