“Once a Year Go Someplace You’ve Never Been Before.”
– Dalai Lama
So you are planning to visit Thailand? Great! You are now one step closer to explore a fascinating place. Those who aren’t, I hope you do so sometime in future.
[To just read the itinerary, skip down to the end, else continue reading to know more about Thailand.]
Thailand is one such charming queen that has lured gentlemen (and ladies) from all over the world, from backpackers to luxury seekers, from hundreds of years, and those who come in huge numbers, most of them never go back and make her their home.
Not just a tourist magnet, Thailand is also one such destination that has captured the interest of Hollywood for years, with so many legendary movies being shot here, raising its tourism ante to another level every passing year.
As much as we love being on holidays, the tedious task of planning usually drains us, esp. when the options are limitless. This is the reason why many of us in India usually outsource this task to travel agents and blindly follow their plan. Similar thing happened to me when my travel agent handed me a general itinerary without putting in much thought. So I had no choice left but to lead from the front.
So here I am, sharing with you a two weeks’ itinerary I created for myself. It allowed me to cherish the true essence of this majestic land. A similar itinerary is even recommended by lonely planet, which I wish I would have found earlier.
Why 2 weeks? For corporate slaves like me, it is a challenge to get even two weeks’ time off work to pursue travel. But if your life circumstances allow you more time then you are very lucky and this unique country has got a lot for you.
But if you are like me, I would strongly suggest spending at least 2 weeks’ time here to really soak yourself in its exquisiteness and to experience the authenticity of the place (some may argue that even 2 weeks are less to do so, I agree but this is my best attempt).
Thailand is an astounding geography where you will find almost everything from solitude, to adventures and experiences for almost every kind of traveler – from water sports/beach lovers to mountain hikers and from history/culture buffs to food connoisseurs.
If you are a person like me who is somewhat a mix of all these kinds, then this 2 weeks travel plan (which I managed to zeroed in after hundreds of iterations and night hours) should be able to fulfill all your travel goals. In case you want more, then you could also easily explore Thailand’s equally stunning neighbors Vietnam and Cambodia via connecting trains if time and wallet permit you.
Just like any other country, Thailand has a very prominent and distinct North and South cultures, so just visiting one part (which most people do as they just flock to the south) may deprive you of the richness of the culture, beauty and experiences of the other part (and you may form a biased opinion about the country as a whole).
The southern part though very beautiful is touristy since almost everyone coming to Thailand goes to the south to enjoy its famous beaches. North Thailand, on the other hand, is where you could truly enjoy the countryside, though now it too is becoming as crowded as the South, thanks to good air and land connectivity.
Ok, so without further gyan, here is the itinerary.
It is divided half and half in north and south Thailand with 2-3 days in central part which is Bangkok and its neighboring areas. In the North, I have picked places which could be easily reached in less time, while in the South, the places picked are the ones which are comparatively less crowded and less rainy in September. More on that later.
Day 1 – Day 3: Bangkok (Jim Thompson house, The Grand Palace, Many magnificent Wats, Chao Phraya river, Soi Cowboy, traditional Thai Massage, amazing ladyboy’s show, Muay Thai sport, Shop till you drop!)
Day 4 – Day 6: North Thailand: Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon, Tiger kingdom, White temple in Chiang Rai, Black House, Authentic Thai food cooking class
Day 7 – Day 13 – South Thailand: Koh Samui: Day 7-9, Koh Tao: Day 10-11, Koh Phangan: Day 12-13
Day 14 – Day 15 – Bangkok (Chatuchak weekend market – largest market in Thailand) and back
There you go, two weeks of fun-filled holidays! More details about each place are coming soon.