Thailand is a must in Southeast Asia and I had the chance to discover this beautiful country during my travels. For me, it is inconceivable to go to Thailand and stay in the same place for the duration of the holidays. There are so many places to see. For two weeks, I was able to explore the many islands in the south of the country. I suggest you the best itinerary in southern Thailand, to discover all the places you can not miss during your stay.
The Ultimate South Thailand Itinerary
Arrival in Bangkok or Phuket ?
The two main airports in Thailand are Bangkok International Airport and Phuket International Airport. From Europe, return flights to Bangkok are between 300€ and 600€ depending on the period. The flights to Phuket are between 400 and 700€. If you want to explore the south of Thailand and its islands, I recommend you choose a flight to Phuket, to avoid the trip from Bangkok. That’s what I did on my trip. Although Bangkok is on my bucket list, I intend to return to Thailand to explore the north this time. I propose two itineraries below depending on your arrival airport.
Arriving directly in Phuket, you will have more time to enjoy the islands of the South, without having to worry about the transfer from Bangkok. The itinerary I propose is perfect for a stay of about two weeks. If you stay shorter, you can choose to spend less time in Phuket or Krabi to get to the beautiful islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phanghan or Koh Tao faster. If you stay longer, I advise you to add Koh Lanta and the Similan Islands which are an hour and a half boat ride from Phuket.
- Phuket : 2 to 3 nights
- Koh Phi Phi : 3 to 4 nights
- Krabi : 2 to 3 nights
- Koh Samui : 3 to 4 nights
- Koh Phangan : 3 to 4 nights
- Koh Tao : 3 to 4 nights
If you arrive from Bangkok, you will have the chance to discover the thrilling capital of Thailand for a few days. Then the easiest way is to book an internal flight to start your itinerary in the south of Thailand. There are many internal flights through the country’s airports and a flight between Bangkok and Phuket will cost you between 15 and 30€.
- Bangkok : 3 to 4 nights
- Phuket : 2 to 3 nights
- Koh Phi Phi : 3 to 4 nights
- Koh Tao : 2 to 3 nights
- Koh Phangan : 2 to 3 nights
- Koh Samui : 3 to 4 nights
Phuket and the surrounding area
The opinions on Phuket are quite divided on the internet and I admit that mine is too. The largest island is perfect for starting your trip and recovering from jet lag for two or three days. Even though this part of Thailand is very touristy, you will be able to find some beautiful beaches. There are also many excursions from Phuket. Finally, if you want to party, it seems that Patong is the place to be. Bangla Road is Phuket’s hotspot, but the atmosphere is quite uncomfortable. The touts that will not let you alone, old with young Thai and the famous massages with Happy Ending … In short, no need to drag on in Phuket!
- Attend a Thai Boxing Fight
- Party on Bangla Road
- Lounging on Karon Beach or Freedom Beach
- Visit Phang Nga Bay (James Bond Island)
- Street food market on Bangla Road
- Sleep at Bearpacker Hostel
- Beer Pong at Stockholm Syndrome Bar
- Debuk Restaurant in Phuket Town
Koh Phi Phi Islands
Koh Phi Phi is a must for a trip in the South of Thailand. It is here, for example, that you will find the famous beaches of Maya Bay or Monkey Beach. Koh Phi Phi is the perfect mix of nature, relaxation and party. The main island is small and can be visited on foot, but it is full of charm. The small winding streets are full of restaurants, shops, tattoo shops and bars. The island is also known for its famous neon nights on the beach! Otherwise, I loved the day boat trip throughout the other islands of the archipelago. The landscapes are exceptional and you will be able to discover true heavenly beaches. Koh Phi Phi is really the place where you are tempted to extend your stay!
Koh Phi Phi must-sees
- Bathing in Maya Bay, mythical place of the movie
- A neon party on the beach
- Hiking at the belvedere of the island
- Snorkeling to admire the seabed
- Take a bucket at Slinky Bar
- Sleep at Ibiza House Hostel
- Cocktail on the Banana Bar Terrace
- Pizza at sunset at Ciao Bella
Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand, close to its two little sisters, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. As the island has an airport and many luxury hotels, it is a very touristy place of Thailand. However, you will find beautiful white sand beaches all around the island. The best known is Chaweng Beach with many restaurants. I also fell for a massage on the beach, we all need a little indulgence from time to time.
Koh Samui must-sees
- Take a Thai cooking class
- Do some shopping at Nathon
- Visit the Big Buddha, Wat Phra Yai
- Bike trip to the south of the island
- A meal at Casa Luna restaurant
- Sleep at Samui Poshtel
- No Stress Restaurant on the beach
- Live music at Reggae Bar
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Koh Phangan was my favorite island in southern Thailand. Besides, I wrote you an article about the 6 reasons to go to Koh Phangan. The island of the Full Moon Party is full of beautiful places to discover. In addition to the tourist beach of Haad Rin, you will find many unspoiled beaches in the north of the island, such as Thong Nai Pan Yai. I did not go during the Full Moon Party, so I do not know what the island looks like during this period. I was able to enjoy the quietness to explore every nook and cranny.
Koh Phangan must-sees
- Get a massage in one of the many spas
- Bathing in Than Sadet Waterfall
- Snorkeling on Mae Haad Beach
- Bike road trip on the island
- Hôtel Coral Bungalows with its great restaurant
- Party at the Rock Bar
- Get a massage at Butterfly Thai Massage
- Have a drink at sunset at ThreeSixtyBar
Koh Tao is the smallest island of the three, but not the least interesting. Koh Tao is famous for diving, because there are many diving spots all around the island. You can swim with multicolored fish, turtles and even harmless sharks. This is the perfect place if you want to pass your diving certificate without spending too much money. Alternatively, you can take a boat trip for simple snorkeling, as well as swim on the many beaches of the island. And I forgot, Koh Tao is also perfect for partying at night.
Koh Tao must-sees
- Get your diving certificate
- Enjoy the sunset on the beach of Sairee
- Climb to Koh Nang Yuan View Point
- Bike Road Trip around the Island
- Sleep at Goodtime Beach Hostel
- Eat at Bam-Bam Restaurant à Mae Haad
- Party at the Crawl Pub
- Have a cocktail at FIZZ beachlounge
Other options for your trip to Thailand
Obviously, Thailand is a vast country and two weeks are far from sufficient to see everything. However, here are some other options for your itinerary in South Thailand.
- Similan Island : located in the Andaman Sea, the deserted islands of Similan are a natural paradise still preserved. It is the perfect place to relax on beautiful beaches and snorkel in the turquoise water. To get there, take a boat from Phuket or Khao Lak and it is better to stay at least one night to have the time to enjoy it.
- Koh Lanta : the island of the Andaman Sea is one of the most tranquil islands in southern Thailand. Along the 30 kilometers of the island, you will find beautiful beaches to relax. The island is known for its incredible sunsets and dense tropical forest where you can see monkeys.
- Krabi : Krabi Province is one of Thailand’s top tourist destinations. It is here that you can find the famous Railay beach, framed by huge karts cliffs.
- Koh Lipe : Koh Lipe Island is the southernmost island of Thailand, located only 38 kilometers from Langkawi Island in Malaysia. This place is still preserved from mass tourism and you can discover beautiful natural places.
- Khao Sok National Park : in southern Thailand, between Phuket and Surat Thani, you can explore the virgin forest of Khao Sok National Park. This 160 million year old jungle is a real natural gem. You will have the opportunity to discover an exceptional fauna, including the famous gibbons.
My last tips for a trip to Thailand
What to pack for Thailand ?
If you’re planning to do a tour on Thailand, I highly recommend you to go for a backpack instead of a suitcase. You’ll have to ride tuk-tuks, take boats or climb on the back of 4×4 and backpack is much more convenient. And as you have to carry your backpack, it is better no to be burdened with unnecessary items. In the south of Thailand, you will not need pants or warm jackets. You will spend your holidays in summer clothes and flip-flops. I give you a small list of essentials.
- Swimsuit / summer clothes / K-Way
- Sunglasses / Sunscreen / After-sun / Cap or hat
- Anti-mosquito / dressings / diarrhea medication / disinfectant / anti-inflammatory
- Adapter / Charger / Mobile battery / Camera
- Sports shoes / Flip-flops
To learn more about Thailand and how to prepare your trip, you can read my article.