As I mentioned in my previous article (Koh Samui for Honeymooners) i was in Thailand in 2015 for Honeymoon and after I get divorced I decided to quit job and going for an Asia Tour. My first stop was Thailand. I had seen Thailand for really limited time something like 1 week and it wasn’t really enough for me. So I decided to visit bottom to top. Let’s begin with the destinations.
Before I booked my ticket for Thailand I checked about Full moon part in Koh Phangan. And decided that it was something i needed.
My flight was from Istanbul to Bangkok. Actually one of my friends decided to come with me for 20 days in last minute decision. So it is better I use ‘’we’’. After 11 hours flight with Turkish Airlines we arrived to Bangkok at 2 PM and our bus was at 8 PM to Koh Phangan. You can book your bus&ferry from www.ferrysamui.com online. Once you arrive to BKK Airport, take a train to city center and get off after 6 stations. Then take a cap or tuk tuk to 92 Ta Nao Road where the bus company’s office is . you can leave your backpack to the office.(cctv is in operation %100 safe) and enjoy you first hours of holiday.
After we left our bags to the office we went to grab some beers and food in Khaosan road. You can see below what I grabbed for food :)
After couple of hours of fun we took the bus and trotted off to Koh Phangan. It takes 11 hours to Surat Thani and then about 2 hours Ferry to Ko Phangan. The ticket fee is 33 usd if you book online.
Where to stay... We stayed Thong Yang Bungalow 10 mins away from full moon party beach by scooter. Despite it wasn’t the most comfortable bungalow of the world it was more than fine for us. Even the ocean view was enough to give decision of staying there.
Do you want puff ?We arrived to the island 2 days before the Party and started to explore the island. It is a small island and it is a party island. So there is nothing to do that much kind. But it doesn’t mean there is nothing to be enjoyed; AMSTERDAM BAR, One of the best experiences of my trip. It is on top of the Island and it provides the best view for sunset. I can hear the questions why the bar is called Amsterdam? Yea, I am not a smoker but you can do everything here that you can do in Amsterdam, Netherlands: Happy Flowerssss=)
Ladies and Gents, you might want to check the sunset photo below( heyy there is no filter in the pic):
Amsterdam Bar, Koh Phangan
Time to Party now….
We have checked the beach where the part was (Haad Rin). There was a huge preparation in the morning. In the other side, people already started to get pissed.
Full Moon Party,
I won’t tell you how the party was. I guess everyone knows how the beach parties are. That one is just the biggest one=).
You can go to the area at 7 for eating something before get pissed. A lot of restaurants and street foods are available till morning.
Let’s get the party started,
I suggest you to not wear your best and the most expensive clothes. (I was topless) The body paint is traditional in the party. So these paints find you anyway and ruin your clothes. It doesn’t get off even if you give your clothes to laundry. Suggestion2 do not go with barefoot, prefer flip flops or sandals. There are broken bottles in the sand. So you wouldn’t want your night end up in a hospital. Suggestion3 probably most of you will get pissed and very open to lose your stuffs. No worries I won’t tell you to leave your phone or camera in your room. It would be ridiculous. What is the point if you cannot share it in Instagram of Facebook? =) But you can wear a short or pant with zipped pocket and put your staff securely. Also it saves your stuffs from robbers.
The biggest tip for drinkers, most of you are backpackers like I am. And probably you will travel for months. Therefore the economy should be important. I can say that drinks are not that cheap in some places and sometimes you figure out that you spend so much money the night before when you wake up in the morning. There is a Thai Rum that called SANG SOM. What you can do is, go to 7/11 get one bottle with your friend for 170 Bahts(5 usd), get 2 bottle of soda water, lame, spring water, ice and plastic cups. After drink the bottle, you are ready to go a bar without spend much to get pissed. I assure you won’t have hangover the next day morning because of you mix the Rum with Soda water. It is better drink like a local :)
How to go....After a really tough party, it was time to heading to Phuket. We booked our ticket from same travel agency: www.ferrysamui.com it was a 7 hours journey with a combination of ferry and bus. The first time we got in to the city I remember that I was surprised of all the lighting. It was something I wasn’t expected. We stayed in Patong Beach where the nightlife is intense.If you are 2 people you can stay in The Shades Boutique Hotel without hesitation. It is close yo bar street and also just 2 mins walk to Patong beach. If you like the night life but you want to spend your day time with sightseeing, Patong is a good place. Otherwise I suggest you to stay in Karon Beach. It is quiet and also full of some enjoyable bars. Even if you stay in Karon Beach you can still go to Patong Beach for night out by taxi. One way is about 400Baht but of course Thai people always open for negotiation :)
Patong, is full of bars and different kind of nightclubs. The busiest place is Bangla Road. You can enjoy the happy hours in small bars and watch the old English men with their young Asian girlfriends while you having your 70baht Chang beer. After 11PM ILLUZION Night Club is getting busy and that one is the one of my favorite night club that I have ever been in my vocations. Good music but expensive drinks so it is better you make yourself comfortable in some other affordable place. Especially, Fridays and Saturdays are really good and crowded so best days to pick up western chicks :)
Myself is a nature lover, so I stop the nightlife advises here and carrying on with some nature sightseeing =)
Kathu Waterfall, is a small one but really fancy one. It is not a well-known waterfall and that is even better for me. There is a small pool between the trees and rocks that fed by Khatu Waterfall. We stayed there about 5 hours and only seen a few people. They were there for getting married :) yes!! They got married just there! That incident made the place better for us. So Khatu will stay in our minds as sympathetic place always. It is highly recommended for the couples as a hidden and romantic place
Khao Phra Wihan National Park, actually this is why I took that trip. The Asian National Parks… We went there four Turkish people that we met in Phuket. It was a real jungle and we were willing for trekking. Please be advised that you can be face to face of any wild bugs and animal so it is better to wear a proper trekking shoes and clothes. That National park is one of the best for Trekking. Waterfalls, tough uphill tracks, river and more… We didn’t finish it all and gone back after 1.5 hours trekking. If you want to finish all of them I suggest you to go early. But it is not a circle track so you will reach a waterfall in the end and then need to take a taxi to get back to the origin.
Big Buddha, of course Buddha :) as I said earlier you can stay in Karon Beach if you want to be away from a busy night life and the Big Buddha is also close to that area all I can say is about Big Buddha it is on top of a hill and you will enjoy the view worth to see that place. You can check out the below pics.
3- Phi Phi Island
Such a party island… Actually it depends on you. There are 2 sides of the island: If you want to chill out better to stay in Long Beach side. If you prefer to be social with people you stay in the center. But I must warn you the hotels in Long Beach side are little bit costly.
The Island is really small and motor vehicles are forbidden. Everywhere is 15 minutes walking distance. And this is the thing I liked in the Island. In the first arrival you need to pay 20Baht so it is better to have small money with you. That one is the entrance fee. After the payment we walked in to the Island. It is all about narrow streets with restaurants, diving schools and tattoo shops. Too many westerns are here to work in different jobs. Most of them are working in sales without wedges. They earn money on commissions. And it looks like it works they were looking very happy. Work and Party!!
Pool Parties, Every Friday and Sunday there are poor parties begin from 1 pm to evening. Sun Flower Beach: Every Friday, Ibiza House Pool party: Every Sundays. So I recommend you that the best day range to stay in the island is Thursday to Monday.
Beach Parties, every day is Saturday in the Island. Therefore you can go out every night and you will see the beach clubs are crowded. The drinks are not that expensive but as I advised above drink like a local and prepare yourself with Sang Som in advance.
There are 4 different bars that you can enjoy. The most well-known is SLINKY bar. But of course it doesn’t mean that it is the best one. You can visit all of them in one night and they have different type of shows as well. The fire shows start at 8 and finish around 9.30 in that while they make some different competitions like limbo game. The rules are so easy: for the girls: if you can pass under the bar topless you earn a free bucket of cocktail. It is harder for the boys: to get a free bucket boys need to do it naked =) if you do it with your clothes, you still earn a free shots of cocktail. To be honest I remember I did it maybe 20 times in a night which is mean 20 free shots. Cheapest way to get drunk without showing your ugly balls to the people.
And the other side of the Island, as I mentioned it the island also provides you some romance. There are two places to visit: Long Beach and view point. Before I tell about these two points I have to warn you about swimming: As I was advised by locals, the water in the center (near the beach clubs) is not that clean and hygienic because of the islands sewage is discharged from that side and also tide is very strong here. during the beach part time in the evenings, the ocean goes away about 150 meters(you can see it in the pic above) so people use that clear area as toilet=) and when the Sun raise, the ocean comes back with pee from last night. Therefore the locals advised us to swim in Nice Beach or Long Beach.
Nice Beach, is only 10 mins walk from the center. It is quiet and the water is pretty clean.
Long Beach, you need to trek for it first. It takes 25 mins from center. The water is clean but it is not still. Also wavy and deep…
The view point:
First of all be getting ready to climb 250 steps. You will get sweat as fu** but believe me it worth it. If the weather is sunny it means you are luckier the colour of the ocean makes the view even better. Let’s check the pics out below.
Despite the weather wasn’t that good, we decided to take a boat tour. Actually it wouldn’t be called boat. It was something like traditional Thai cockle boat and wasn’t really in good condition. Our destinations in the tour were:
Monkey Island, all I can say is; be careful while you approach them. One of the monkeys attacked me without any reason. And I had to throw my Gopro to his head. Do not forget they can be really dangerous. They are still in wild life in Thailand.
Maya Bay, This is the place where ‘’the beach’’ was filmed. So of course it is not free to enter. The boat guy asks if you want to go Maya Bay. If the answer is yes they charge you 300Baht. Thailand is full of amazing beaches so I didn’t want to pay just because of the movie filmed here. Also nobody in the boat accepted to pay for the beach. We never pay for the beachessss =)
Snorkeling, we all agreed to go snorkeling instead of Maya Bay, but unfortunately a British girl cut her toe from a coral and we had to go back early.
We have chose a cheap boat tour and we didn’t like it. So guyz pay little bit more and get a proper one :)
I tried to book the hotels as possible as close to the centers during my trip. I did the same for Krabi and that one the biggest mistake in my whole trip. This time we were 3 people; Me, my mate and a Swiss girl(Corin) who we met in PhiPhi… And we became really good friend, decided to travel for a while. We booked Green House Hotel. To be honest the hotel was great but the location was really bad. We thought the center was full of bars and colorful nightlife. But it was totally a ghost city and locals only. However the situation made us upset, we were determined to not pull our self deeper. So we checked the sightseeing places around Krabi. Let’s go on with the sightseeing points.
We took TukTuk to Ao Nang (400Baht). The road was amazing. We passed by go carting place. Planned to go there but we hadn’t time for it. But still it would be a good event for you. Once arrived to Ao Nang we looked each other and didn’t say any word. We supposed to stay there tho. Anyway no regrets! It was really sweet town. Restaurants, bars, shopping places and of course the beach… where to eat in Ao Nang: we ate in Bawarchi Delight. The food is really delicious and affordable of course if you like to eat sea food.
Kao Phanom Bencha National Park,
The day after me and Corin decided to visit Kao Phanom. After 1 hour ride we arrived the national park. The nature was really good like always in Thailand. The waterfall was the strong one. If you like survivor thing, here we go this place is for you. The entrance is about 1.5 usd if you go by scooter; you have to pay around 70 cents more. So I believe the fee is affordable.
I want to warn you about the wild animals, while me and Corin were checking the map we realized that something was just raising 1.5 meter away. It was a Cobra Sneak and was giving us ultimatum that the place is mine and get the f*** of from here. We were on the scooter at the time and we moved away as fast as we could. But of course we returned to take photo from a secure place. Please be advised all these animals are wild and dangerous please be in caution!
Tha Pom Klong Song Nam,
Corin had to catch her flight the next day and she left. Fatih was not in mood so I had to spend the day alone. That was okay for me. I got the scooter and started riding to Kao Phanom. But, after 15 minutes the weather became greyish and really heavy rain started. I tried to continue but it was raining ruthless. So I found a road ride market and refuged there. The locals really took care of me very well. It was also their home just behind the market. I stayed there more than 1 hour. They invited me to their lunch and gave me a pancho to avoid the raining while I ride. In the meanwhile the rain was lighter and I said goodbye to them. They were so good and welcomed to me.
After I wore my pancho I was ready to continue. It was still raining but that was even more enjoyable. After 50 minutes ride i arrived Tha Pom Klong Song Nam. The entrance fee is 50 Baht (1, 70 USD). It was really impressive place; there was a natural swimming pool. The swimming pool was consisted of rainwater and mountain water. It was pretty clean and the place was really romantic. Also it can be considered to spend couple of hours for chill out. There is a round track that can be walked in 20 minutes. would be perfect choice for couples.
After 3 days it was time to go Koh Samui but I have already written that one separately. You can find all in my Koh Samui article.
After Koh Samui, the island life was enough for myself and I decided to go North; Chiang Mai and Pai. It was 24 hours train journey with 1 change in Bangkok so I decided to take a flight from Surat Thani International Airport as it was 32 usd. After 2 hours flight I was in the city. Took a taxi and went to the Hostel ( Varada Place).
Chiang Mai is Square shape city. If you book a hotel close to square you can visit everywhere by feed easily. But I rented scooter to visit around and the city.
After these party and zippy days Chiang Mai was peaceful and stable for me. Actually that was the reason I ended up there; be alone and relaxed…
Let’s have a look what you can do in Chiang Mai in two days:
Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong:
The temple is 25 mins from Chiang Mai. You can take tuk tuk or rent a bike. I preferred to rent bike in my whole trip. It is easy, cheap and enjoyable. The temple is top of a mountain. You can go with a vehicle or you can climb the stairs (very looong stairsJ) I have been many temple of course, But that one was really different than others as got really good view and ambiance. I left there in one hour after I enjoyed the view and ambiance.
Temples Tour in the City:
You can do this tour own your own. All the temples are really close to each other. Half day is enough to visit all. You can combine it with an uptown tour like Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong Temple.
Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Prah Sin: take a nap in the garden under the trees of the temple and then have a coffee for me :)
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep:
I met an American girl; Annie. And we planned to go some places together with my scooter. The place is on Doi Suthep Mountain that has really curvy road to climb. I was really tired of climb that curvy mountain road. We saw a view point on the way and stopped. You feel like Thailand is under your feed. It was amazing view to see. After 15 mins I was ready to carry on. We reached the top of it at last. The temple was looking pretty much like Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong. Same concept: A temple top of the mountain and with remarkable view of Thailand.
After we spent our 1 hour here we jumped our scooter to go a waterfall on the way back. It is impossible to miss that one. After 15 mins downhill riding, it is in the left hand side: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Waterfall.
After all these activities we were hungry we saw a place when we were climbing the mountain in the first place: Another waterfall and restaurants. Then we jumped our scooter again and ride 15 more mins to downhill. This time the place was in the right hand side. The place wasn’t that busy. We ate fried rice ( there wasn’t many choice at all ) and walk to the waterfall. It was the small one and we were very tired. Therefore didn’t stay that longer and back to the city for power nap.
Night Market, Food Court and Night Life in Chiang Mai:
The Night Market of Chiang Mai is the place I liked most. Many kind of stuff, dance shows, delicious street foods… you can do shopping after have your dinner and enjoy the traditional dance shows in the market.
Chiang Mai is not for the party monsters. The bars are closed at 1.00AM. But there is a hidden place that you can enjoy till 3-4 Am. This place is kind of illegal but nothing to worry about. The police is just waiting outside and everything is under control. Despite, the place is not look like fancy, people and music is awesome. If you want to extend your day in Chiang Mai, just type The Living Room on Google map J
Annie headed to Vietnam where will be my next destination after Pai. The day after I was ready to go Pai with a Canadian lady (Dana) that met in Chiang Mai…
Watch out the traffic police in Chiang Mai:
The police stop the bikes everyday (especially for westerns) in Chiang Mai. If you don’t have international driving license it is better to not ride around the square (near the river between 11.30-14.00) Stay in the city or uptown. If you get caught u will pay 500Baht (16 usd). But there is a way to get it through with less damage: I hadn’t had an International license when they stopped me. I told them I had only 200 baht. Normally they have to take you to police station but they are in business and there are a lot of people to get checked. Therefore they have no time to do that and they accept 200 baht. I signed a paper and get a copy of it. Once you get that paper you have right to ride scooter following 3 days =).. Thailand policy baby…
How to go... One of the most interesting place in Thailand. A small town in the Northern and we can assume that capital of hippies. If I describe Pai in 3 words: Nature, Relax and Hippies. I know Thailand makes you think on beaches, ocean and party. But if you want some other experiences than those you really have to consider Pai. As Pai is only 3 hours drive from Chiang Mai. So those 2 destinations would be really good part of your vacation together. Let’s see what to do in Pai..
How to go Pai: There are busses every one hour from Chiang Mai bus station to Pai bus station. It is about 200baht(6 usd) and the tickets are available in bus station.
Where to stay...Me and Dana took the tickets and headed to Pai. Once we arrived to Pai it was too easy to go our hotels. First we went the hotel(up2u guesthouse) that I stayed in by feed. It took 8-10 mins from the bus station. It is really small town. After I settled down we rented a scooter and went her hotel.
First of all I want to inform you UP2U Guesthouse one of the best places to stay in. I paid 900 Baht for 3 nights (approx.9 usd for per night) it was private room. So there is dorm option as well. And it was about 3 usd for per night. The place was just alongside of a river and provides a full view of nature.
Before the points that I will advise, i highly recommend you to rent a scooter. You can rent them in town center and it is cheaper than other place in Thailand (150 baht per day, approx. 4,5 usd) and don’t worry there will be no police control :)
Pam Book Waterfall:
The most interesting waterfall that I have ever been. It is kind of hidden between rocks and hills. Also the deepest one so far and you can jump to the water from 3-4 meters. It is only 15 mins from the town and easy to reach. It would be a great stop after heat up.
After Pam Book Waterfall it wasn’t so long to reach there but it would have been better to go to the Canyon before the Waterfall. It was really hot and waterfall would be nice after that heat up. Also the place has really good view of sunset.
Mae Yen Waterfall:
That one is little bit tricky. We expected to reach the waterfall after short trekking but it didn’t happen. You need 1.45hours trekking before the waterfall. However the path was really good. We got through from local’s villages, fields and a river. We swam in the river enjoyed the Sun and trekked back. If you want 1.45 hours trekking with waterfall ending Mae Yen is a good option. But wake up early to catch the day.
Valhalla Guesthouse & Bar Pai:
The place is a Guesthouse and a Bar as you can understand on name. It is just in the nature and if you consider to stay there, you have to sleep on a platform in outside. The place is for hippies. They have really small bar and big campfire. They are drinking and dancing all day. It was a really different experience for us. You don’t have to stay the night. Just go there and have a drink with flower children :)
Way to Cave Lodge Pai:
After Dana left I was alone again and decided to go some far place. Cave Lodge was 2 hours ride from Pai. I enjoyed of every seconds of 2 hours. I connected my phone to Bluetooth speaker and rode 2 hours accompany of music. I got through of nationals parks and many villages. Taking selfie with village boys who wore Chelsea kit J I am a spurs fan but still glad to see that kit in the other side of the world. They really interested me and wanted to check the selfies that took together. After that point I realized that I liked privacy after the previous busy days with people I met. I liked to be alone and free. But I knew it wouldn’t be so long :)
After arrived to Cave Lodge I was little bit tired but that tiredness wasn’t bothering me at all. I ate something to get my energy back and walked to the ticket office.
There are 3 Caves. Options are: 1 cave 150 Baht, 3 caves 400Baht(12 usd). But if you can find some other people you can divide the cost. I met with a Dutch couple and pressed the cost in that way. Therefore I suggest you to wait for a while near the ticket office and I guaranteed you that you will find some people to share the cost.
It was the really huge one. The Cave was really dark. Only the lights you can see the hand flashlight of the guide. She pointed the hotpots and tried to explain with her broken English. First they brought us to top of the cave and after seen some cave things we went down by human made steps to a river that gets through in the cave. We had a journey on bamboo boats. That one was a really good experience. You can feed the fishes with bait that you buy in the first place from ticket office. (30 baht/ not even 1 usd).
I won’t explain everything here because this is something you have to see own your own :)
After 2 hours tour in the cave, i was ready to back to Pai. After all curvy roads I was at home and ready for power nap.
Yun Lai View point:
Before the touristic advice, i would like to give you a little information about the history of Yun Lai village: During the Chinese Civil War(1927-1950) some people got away from the war and crossed the border of Thailand. Those poor people set a village for their self and never left that village again. The village’s language is Chinese. Nobody speaks Thai there and they don’t go out from the Village as long as they don’t need it. The agriculture and restaurant business are the main income source.
All he restaurants are just serve Chinese food and little bit expensive than Pai. But totally it’s worth paying more.
Once you get in the village all you need do is go straight on uphill. When you reach the top the View Point will be waiting for you. A garden of flowers tells you welcome first. You get through of them and reach the view. There are seats to watch a remarkable view. You can buy a pot of Chinese tea and enjoy the view with it. Sorry you have to buy a Pot of Chinese tea(20 baht) and enjoy the view with it. Otherwise it wouldn’t give those feelings that gave to me…
Mo Paeng Waterfall:
It is only 10 minutes away from Yun Lai viewpoint you can stop by in Café Ong Pai and enjoy the beautiful view of villages and then continue to the Waterfall. The Café is just 5 mins. before the waterfall. It is not possible to miss it.
The Waterfall is not very special but it has a natural slide to the water. If you are planning to go Yun Lai Viewpoint don’t pass that place.
Nightlife in Pai:
As in many town Pai has its own market street and it is better in night time; bars, street food, cloth stores and vibe of the hippies of course.
Yallow bar, Almost Famous, Mojo Café
Yellow Bar and Almost Famous are regular bars that you can dance and drink.
My Favorite is Mojo Café, you can enjoy of live jazz accompany of mojito..
And last one, Don’t Cry Bar… All the bars are closed at 1AM. If you want to continue to dancing till 4AM it is the best option for you.
After beautiful days in Pai, I was ready for Vietnam. I Took a bus to Chiang mai for my sleepers train. You don’t have to book online all you need to do is go to Chiang Mai train station and get your ticket. I can say that it was the one of the best journey in my life. It took 11 hours to Bangkok and The train stops in DMK Airport . Best way to go Vietnam…
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