[11D10N] The Itinerary of an Amazing Recess Break in Thailand

OMG! Recess week at NTU is from the 27th of February until the 3rd of March, so this post is loooong overdue. I had an amazing time traveling with my friend in the most touristical country in the world: Thailand!

Within this precious week, I got the time to meet my local friend whom I didn’t get to see for more than four years. I was so happy to see her and she was honestly the highlight of this trip! Sadly, everything was not all sunshine and happiness as I sadly lost all my pictures from the trip. Hence, I decided to make this post a bit shorter and more straight to the point (i.e. point format). I added a few pictures from Google for entertainment purposes, but that’s it! We did SO much so hopefully, this itinerary can inspire other people looking to plan a long 10 days trip to the Land of Smiles.

Day 1: Arrived in Bangkok

  • Arrived around 10:00PM at the Don Mueang Airport
  • Check-in at our Hostel (Hua Lamphong hostel)

Day 2: Temple Hopping in Bangkok

  • We visited various famous temples and historical sites in Bangkok. Here I am listing all the most famous ones although we didn’t get enough time to do all of them. I would recommend picking 3 of them as your main goal for the day.
    • Wat Trimitr/ Golden Buddha Temple
    • Wat Saket
    • The Grand Palace
    • Wat Phra Keaw/ Temple of the Emerald Buddha
    • Phra Sawet Kudakhan Wihan Yot
    • Wat Pho / Temple of Recling Buddha
    • Wat Arun
  • Eat Pad Thai close to the Grand Palace
  • Go visit Khao San Road for shopping and buying street food.
  • Take the shuttle/ferry to see the other side of the Chao Phraya River.
  • See more temples in the afternoon.
  • Dinner at Chinatown: SEAFOOD PLEASE!!

Day 3: Shopping and Cooking Class

  • Morning shopping at Pratunam Market
    • This market is basically shopping heaven for girls. Seriously, so many beautiful cheap clothing options. It opens from 5:00AM and lasts until around 7:30AM. All the clothing are inexpensive since it is for mass selling, but you can still go to buy individual pieces. It is also close to the Platinum Fashion mall which also has many great deals.
  • Thai Cooking class
    • This activity was totally worth it! We got a 5 courses authentic and home meal for only 1,000 THB. Through this morning activity, you learn to cook from scratch many authentic Thai dishes such as pad thai, green curry, tom yum soup, mango rice, etc. We booked with Sompong Thai Cooking School and I would definitely recommend everyone this school. Everything was done in a beautiful clean setting and the teacher definitely knew what he was doing.
  • Visit Jim Thompson House.
  • Visit famous Talad Rot Fai (Ratchada)/Train Market
    • Bangkok is famous for its Train Market so I would definitely recommend going to at least one when you will be in the city. The other ones we considered going to were:
      • Talad Neon
      • Chatuchack / JJ Market
      • JJ Green
      • Artbox
      • Talad Rot Fai (Srinakarin)/Train Market

Day 4: Floating Market and Erawan Waterfall

  • We booked a tour with our hostel which included:
    • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
    • Erawan Waterfall
  • The tour was actually pretty exhausting so we ended the day by going to an official Thai restaurant in a mall. I ordered their beef noodle dish which was pretty yummy!

Day 5: Ayutthaya

  • We booked a tour to visit the UNESCO Heritage site Ayutthaya. The tour pretty consists in visiting the most famous locations of this historical site, aka temples. Here, I am listing same of the most famous attractionsa.
    • Wat Phu Khao Thong
    • Viharn Phra Mongkolbopit
    • Wat Phra Sri Sanphet
    • Wat Lokaya Sutha
    • Wat Mahathat
    • Bang Pa In Palace
    • Wat Niwet Thammaprawat
    • The Grand Palace
    • Buddha Head in Tree Roots

Day 6: Leaving Bangkok, direction Phuket!

  • We packed and took the plane to arrive in Phuket in the afternoon.
  • After check-in, it was already around 3:00PM.
  • Since our Phuket stay was planned by booking a 3 days tour, our first day included a quick visit of the neighborhood with a private driver. This allowed us to see the main attractions on shore in Phuket:
    • Big Buddha
    • Wat Chalong
    • Promthep Cape to watch sunset
    • Patong Beach area

Day 7: The real Phuket

  • Waking up early and taking the bus, we reached the port where our speed boat was waiting for us.
  • Throughout the day, we got to visit:
    • Phangna Bay
    • James Bond Island Tour – Kayak/Canoe
  • Ended the day by eating western food around the Patong area.

Day 8: Koh Phi Phi

  • Similar to the day before, this was another day of island hopping.
  • There were so many islands that were visited, but I believe the most famous one was definitely Koh Phi Phi. The water was sooo blue and beautiful, although the island was packed with tourists everywhere so I can’t say it was my favorite spot in Thailand.
  • We also got the chance to visit Maya Bay.

Day 9: Elephant Sanctuary

  • I am sure you are familiar about this issue if you ever searched about visiting Thailand.
  • In Thailand, some places will torture baby elephants at a young age and forcefully making them into transportation for humans. Hence, going to elephant riding attractions is seen as encouraging this immoral practice and discouraged for most tourist.
  • If you want to have a positive experience and having fun with healthy elephants, the best solution is to go to an Elephant Sanctuary. The 2 most famous ones are either in Chiang Mai or in Phuket. Here is a the link if you also want to book a day tour with them at their Phuket location.

Day 10: Leaving Phuket, Welcome to Krabi

  • As both Phuket and Krabi are known to be the paradises of Thailand, we wanted to live in both neighborhood.
  • After a quick breakfast, we booked a car that drove us up to Krabi. We got an amazing amazing hotel there. Sadly, I forgot the name, but each room was separated in their own hut/building.
  • They also had a complete breakfast buffet which was super delicious.
  • Since we were tired of doing so many touristical activities for the last week, we decided to stay in for the day.
  • However, if you want, there are many tours in Krabi worth doing such as:
    • Nam Tok Ron hot stream waterfall
    • Emerald Pool
    • Hong Island
    • 4 Islands

Day 11: The last day

  • After eating another wonderful breakfast buffet and visiting the beach one last time, we took the cab that drove us to the airport.
  • In the early afternoon, we arrived back in Singapore, ready to confront the second half of our exchange semester.

A Few Thoughts and Recommendations:

  • Although we didn’t go, many people recommended going to Chiang Mai if you want to have a real local experience. Chiang Mai is known to be in the northern region of Thailand. It has many beautiful temples (such as the famous White Temple) and the natural landscape is apparently gorgeous. I also heard other people say that Chiang Mai is a very dirty area. So yeah, go visit and discover for yourself!
  • EAT A LOT OF FRUITS!! Seriously, everything in Thailand is so cheap, especially the fruits. Right after leaving Thailand, I started missing their fruit juices such as mango juice, lychee juice, coconut juice, cane juice, etc. Please take advantage of how fresh and tasty the food are there.
  • Not everyone will like Bangkok. I loved Bangkok because I am a city girl and I love busy shopping areas. However, many may find Bangkok too dirty or too touristy.
  • The whole country was still in mourning over the death of their beloved King since last year. King Bhumibol Adulyadej sadly passed away in late 2016, after 70 years of reign. As many pointed out, it is going to take a long long time before the mourning period ends as he was a great king, well beloved by Thai people. Also, if you go visit there, be very careful of what you say about the royal family as there are strict laws about this sensible subject.
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