Updated: September 2018
Tui (formerly Thomson) has been offering up some cheap flights from the UK to the southern part of Thailand, Phuket. If you’ve not previously been to Thailand before then 10 to 14 days here is just enough time to explore the surface of what this part of the island has to offer.
I say the surface because honestly, there’s so much to see and so much to do here, in the southern part of Thailand alone you could spend the best part of 6 to 8 weeks and still not see it all.
So, we’ve put together this itinerary to guide you in your 10 days in Thailand. This guide specifically focuses on Phuket, Krabi and the surrounding areas and is based on our personal taste – if you’d like to see a similar guide for the North of Thailand be sure to leave us a comment and we’ll put one together.
- The Best Time To Visit Thailand
- Flights To Thailand
- The Cost Of 10 Days In Thailand
- 10 Days In Thailand Itinerary
The Best Time To Visit Thailand
Thailand has three seasons; hot, cool and wet and to be honest, I’m not sure any season is perfect as the weather tends to be on the extreme.
Hot Season: March – June (hottest months: April & May)
Cool Season: November – February (although to many tourists this still can seem like the hot season)
Wet / Monsoon Season: June – October
Flights To Thailand
From The United Kingdom
You can get direct flights from the United Kingdom to Thailand. The journey takes around 12 hours and is offered by a range of different airlines. We took a direct flight from Birmingham with Tui in February 2018.
Alternatively, we’ve had indirect flights from the United Kingdom to Thailand with Qatar. Our stopover was in the beautiful and amazing Doha Hammad Airport. This is a luxury airline and while we paid more than the cost of our direct flight with Tui it was more than worth it.
From The United States
Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from the United States to Thailand at this time. However, don’t let this put you off visiting this amazing country.
Flights from the west coast of the US to Thailand start from as little as $400 with airlines including Eva Air, China Airlines and China Southern. Depending on the airline you choose, the number of stops and the location of the stops your flight can take anything from 16 and a half hours through to 23 hours.
If you’re looking at travelling from the East coast of the US to Thailand then it’s likely going to cost you slightly more than it would from the West coast (~$100). Airlines you can travel to Thailand with include; Ana, Cathey Pacific, Air China and Ethihad.
The Cost Of 10 Days In Thailand
Flights from outside of Asia – 15,000฿
Domestic travel within Thailand – 5,000฿
Hostel – 10,000฿
2-star hotel – 10,000฿
3-star hotel – 17,000฿
4-star hotel – 21,000฿
5-star hotel – 38,000฿+
*Price is for all 10 nights.
**Price based on 2 people.
Food & Drink
Street Food – 50฿
Basic Resturant – 150฿
‘Western’ Resturant (Starbucks, McDonalds etc) – ฿250
Luxury Resturant – 500฿+
*Price is based per person, per meal
10 Days In Thailand Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrival
Your first day will specifically focus on your arrival into Phuket International Airport, and getting settled in a hotel in Phuket town. We specifically recommend The Besavana, an affordable and authentic Thai three-star hotel with fantastic facilities. Which is within walking distance of all the attractions of Phuket town.
Once you’ve checked into your hotel, I’m going to be realistic here and say you’re going to be tired. REALLY TIRED. Even if you’ve slept for the entire flight. So, use this time to relax. The next 10 days in Thailand are going to be intense so, order-in, nap, binge-watch TV in a foreign language because starting tomorrow – we’re going to be exploring!
Day 2 – Monkey Hill & Phuket Old Town
Refreshed and feeling like you’ve never slept for so long in you’re life (because you’ve probably never slept for so long in your life) you head off to climb Monkey Hill.
Try and have breakfast before you go, Thai people don’t have a specific breakfast food so you’ll struggle to find anywhere serving anything breakfast like (instead they eat last nights leftovers). However, you’ll find most hotels come with a complimentary breakfast, even if it’s just a slice of toast or two.
Monkey Hill is an amazing experience, but please learn from our mistakes;
- Walking up the hill in the humidity is PAINFUL. Instead, take a driver.
- Buy bananas at the bottom of the hill, we didn’t see anyone selling any further up the hill as we got closer to the monkeys.
- Take plenty of water, there’s no 7-11 half way up (although at the time we decided to climb the hill, I really wished there was)
After being both terrified and excited by Monkeys, it’s going to be time for lunch. We spent a lot of time in Phuket town, and thanks to the generous exchange rate ate in plenty of cafés. As you head across from Monkey Hill to the centre of Phuket town, call in one and grab a bite to eat to ready you for the afternoon ahead.
You’ll spend the afternoon walking the streets of Phuket old town. You’ll find streets filled with shop owners and local vendors, beautiful art-work and more here. It’s without a doubt one of our favourite places in the whole of Phuket.
You can easily go on a pre-arranged guided walking tour of Phuket Old Town, or do what we did and pick up a free map from the tourist information point and walk around at your own pace.
Day 3 – Kata Beach & Karon Beach
Today we’re going to be leaving Phuket Old Town and travelling down to Kata Beach before heading further around the coast to Karon beach where we’ll be spending the night. The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to travel from Phuket Old Town to both beaches is via the local bus although you could also take a taxi.
Once you’ve made it to Karon beach I recommend checking in at the Chanalai Hillside Resort. The resort is situated a five-minute walk to the beach, features a buffet breakfast and two pool bars. If you’re feeling really fancy I recommend the five-star Mandarava Resort and Spa this will set you back around £80 for a double room for the night.
Pro tip: If you get some extra time here consider leaving Karon Beach and hopping on a speedboat tour of the surrounding places including; Bamboo Island, Viking Cave and Maya Bay.
Day 4 -Big Buddha & Patong
Day four will see you take a taxi from the hotel to the Big Buddha. This can be pre-arranged at the hotel reception, or you can simply flag down a taxi and barter your price at the time.
If you’re not feeling confident then the Thai equivalent to Uber, Grab is available. This way you can use your smartphone and find out the cost of the journey in advance, there’s no haggling and you can pay through your bank card direct.
The Big Buddha is regarded as one of the most important landmarks on the island. Sitting on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata, at 45 metres tall it can be seen from as far away as Phuket Old Town.
The Big Buddha can be reached via a 6km winding road leading from Phuket’s main road. While the road to Nakkerd Hill is in good condition with some curves and steep climbs, some less-powerful scooters can struggle (especially with two people onboard). Which is why we’d advise you to get a taxi instead. Of course, if you’re feeling fit then you can always take the one hour hike to the top.
Regardless of how you get to The Big Buddha, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best 360-degree views of the island. If you’re after somewhere to chill out and grab a coffee or some lunch then consider stopping in at the Nakkerd Sea View Restaurant. Despite it being located in a ‘tourist’ spot you’ll still find the prices to be very reasonable.
As the sun goes down, you’ll head to Patong. The party capital of mainland Thailand, and around a 15-minute drive north of Karon Beach. No trip to Patong is complete without
a ping pong show a trip down Bangala Road. The central hub of Patong.
There’s plenty of places to eat and drink during your visit to Patong, all of which are very reasonably priced. Being the most ‘typical tourist’ destination you’ll also find some familiar brands here including; McDonalds, Hooters & Hard Rock Café.
Day 5 – Visit Krabi Town
Day 5 of your 10 days in Thailand will see you pack your bags and head to Krabi Town. This is one of the longest trips you’ll take during your 10 days in Thailand and it’s likely to take you around 3 hours by bus. Alternative travel such as speedboat or ferry is also available.
Once you make it to Krabi Town you’ll be checking in at The Chill at Krabi Hotel. This place is central to Krabi Town and is affordable and luxurious.
You can then use the afternoon and early evening to explore central Krabi Town as well as one of the amazing night markets.
Day 6 – Head To Ao Nang
Today you’ll be heading to the nearby beach resort of Ao Nang in Krabi. Here you’ll spend the day relaxing on the beach, taking on monkey trail and finding PhraNang Cave Beach. Tom gives a great breakdown of today over on his blog.
Day 7 – Take A Day Trip To Railay Beach
We headed to Ao Nang as it’s a great place to take a day trip to Railay Beach from using a long tail boat. The trip takes around 15 minutes and cost 60 Baht per person each way (at the time of publishing)
Railay Beach is known for amazing hikes and great rock climbing opportunities. If these two activities sound like your sort of thing then you may want to spend longer here. There’s a small number of hotels on the island to save you having to commute from Ao Nang or alternative places within Krabi.
Be sure to check out Matthew’s / Expert Vagabonds article for his experience of rock climbing at Railay Beach. If rock climbing and hiking aren’t your kinds of things then instead use your time at Railay Beach to relax, see some monkeys, crabs and take some photos.
Day 8 – Head To Phi Phi Island
Today we’re leaving Ao Nang and heading to Phi Phi Island. There are lots of islands around Krabi that you can visit however our personal favourite has to be Phi Phi.
To get to Phi Phi Island from Ao Nang you’ll need to take the ferry. It departs each morning from Noppharat Thara Pier at 9.30am and costs 500 Baht for adults and 450 Bhat for children. The journey should take around 2 hours.
Phi Phi is fantastic for snorkelling, and even if you’ve never done it before (Helen hadn’t…) then you should really try it here.
Day 9 – Sirinat National Park
You’ll be spending your final day in Thailand in one of my favourite places. Sirinat National Park. Situated just half a mile from the entrance to Phuket Airport this park and beach is like no other on the island. You’ll be travelling here from Phi Phi Island. This will require you to take the 9.30am ferry from Phi Phi over to Phuket mainland and then either a bus or a taxi from the Ferry Port to your chosen accommodation near Sirinat National Park.
Instagram perfect with a variety of shops, bars and accommodation all within walking distance. A great benefit to spending your final night here is the close proximity to the airport ensuring you’ll be at the airport for your flight in plenty of time. To learn more about Sirinat National Park be sure to check out our complete article.
Day 10 – Fly Home
Your 10 days in Thailand are over. Head to Phuket Airport and catch your flight home safely. Scroll through all the amazing photos you’ve taken and start planning your return visit.
We do hope you’ve enjoyed this article. You can see all of our articles from Thailand here. Alternatively, consider picking up one of the travel guides below;