I had a very fulfilling trip to Thailand over NYE traveling to Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, and Chiang Mai, but unfortunately due to a severe storm my pink dolphin and James Bond Island trips were cancelled. Not wanting to accept defeat, I immediately scheduled my next trip there over Golden Week. This year Golden Week lasts a consecutive 10 days, so both overseas airline tickets and domestic travel costs within Japan are heavily inflated, being even more expensive than the average New Year’s prices. Even though it was quite costly, I bit the bullet and booked my flight. This time I am determined to do what I couldn’t do last time, and more!
My planned itinerary (so far) is listed below:
Narita Airport (international flight is around 2pm on the 26th) → Bangkok → Phuket → Phi Phi Islands → Koh Lanta (and surrounding islands) → Phuket → James Bond Island → Phuket → Koh Samui → Koh Tao → Koh Phangan (for Blackmoon Culture party) → Krabi → Bangkok ↺ Tokyo (on January 7th).
April 26th: Phuket
I will be leaving Tokyo a day before Golden Week starts and arriving in Phuket at 10:00pm. This time is not ideal, but was the cheapest flight I could find. I booked this flight in February, and already most of the discount airlines leaving from Japan were fully booked. This time I am staying at a guesthouse in southeast Phuket near Rassada Pier since I will be sailing a lot. I do not have many plans besides maybe getting some mango sticky rice because tomorrow I will be getting up early for a sightseeing adventure!
April 27th: Phi Phi Islands
The Phi Phi Islands are a popular destination among many Thailand travelers due to their beautiful beaches and nature, and are a destination I feel I most definitely see. This was a tour that I was supposed to go on last trip, but it got cancelled due to the weather. I booked this tour through a private company with good reviews called Phuket Sail Tour and will be traveling around via speedboat. The advantage to this is hopefully I will avoid the crowds, as the people who run this tour are Thailand natives that manage their own company. I look forward to exploring Viking Cave, swimming in Maya Bay, and seeing the monkeys on Monkey Beach (even though I recently saw some in Hakodate).
April 28th: Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is a beautiful island in Krabi with rich emerald waters and scenic beach huts. My friend who teaches English in Thailand posted pictures of her vacation there, and I’ve been longing to go ever since! I had a great stay in Koh Samui in my rainbow beach hut in January, but I am looking to stay somewhere more remote. I will be taking a ferry from Rassada Pier in Phuket which I booked through 12go, and arriving there early in the morning.
From there, I plan on exercising a rescue dog on the beach from Lanta Animal Welfare to support their foundation and also meet a cute animal. If I have time, I want to venture to Mu Ko Lanta National Park to do some sightseeing, and then return to Lanta Secret Beach near my accommodation, Pinky Bungalow Resort. Pinky Bungalow! What a name!
April 29th: Koh Lanta Island Tour
On my 2nd day in Koh Lanta, I will be snorkeling at Koh Ngai, seeing the glistening Emerald Cave at Koh Mook, swimming and sunbathing at Koh Kradan, and seeing tropical fish at Koh Chuck! That sure is a lot of “Kohs” (which means “island”)!
I booked my tour through Easy Day Thailand. I do not know a lot about them, but the tours in Koh Lanta are limited so I hope to make the most out of my situation no matter how it goes (it should go well).
April 30th: James Bond Island Sunset Tour
I will be taking the first ferry back to Phuket from Koh Lanta, then having Phuket Sail Tours (which I booked for Phi Phi too) pick me up at Rassada Pier. This was another tour I was supposed to do last time, and I have high expectations for it! If you look through most trip itineraries for this island, you will see that most boats leave early in the morning to go here. The tour that I booked specifically says it leaves in the afternoon to avoid crowds, and I am looking forward to getting that picture perfect Instagram-worthy sunset photo!
If I’m going to be a tourist, I’m doing it right!
May 1st: Tango Beach Resort at Koh Samui
I definitely splurged a bit here, but the price is still reasonable at $50 per night. I will be staying at Tango Beach Resort on Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui! This is the party beach and I plan on spending the entire day there. Last time I stayed at the budget New Hut Bungalows which were actually very nice and cost approximately $10 per night, but this time I am looking for more luxury! I am hoping the rain holds off on this day, or else I will just focus on writing.
May 2nd: Koh Tao Island Tour
Koh Tao is one place I haven’t been where everyone tells me I need to go! I debated about staying overnight here, but again I prefer the accommodations and convenience of staying in Samui since you can reach other places easier. That is why I opted to take the one day speedboat tour here so I could see all of the island’s main points.
I am most interested in climbing to the famous viewpoint in Koh Nangyuan and taking pictures of the beautiful waters crashing below. I am also looking forward to snorkeling in Mango Bay! I will be snorkeling a lot during this trip, so I hope I don’t get tired of it!
May 3rd: Pink Dolphin Tour + Blackmoon Culture Party
This is the main reason I’m going back to Thailand. I’ve never told anyone this, but I think about meeting these pink dolphins almost every day. I was supposed to see them, but the great storm of Phuket last month cancelled my trip. This time however, the weather should hopefully be on my side. Or else I am postponing other things on this trip until I see them!
This will be an insane day, because immediately after the tour I am having my bus drop me off at Na Thon Koh Pier where I will be sailing to Koh Phangan for the Blackmoon Culture Party! I had a very memorable time at the Fullmoon Party I went to during the 2019 Countdown. I made friends from all over the world, and the kind folks at Wild & Wandering Backpackers Hostel let me store my luggage there for a great price. I definitely plan on paying them a visit this time around!
Unlike some articles on the internet say, these parties are safe and I did not witness any drug-taking there. The fire rope definitely exists, and partying with hundreds of people on the beach is a crazy experience, but ]the majority of people there were kind and respectful. I’d say this is definitely a beach worth partying on!
After the party ends, I will be taking the first ferry back to Krabi at 7am!
May 4th-5th: Krabi
During my last two days in Thailand, I am meeting up with my old friend from college in Krabi! I did not plan much other then drinking on the beach with her and hiking to the Tiger Cave Temple! I feel like there is no better way to end my trip then spending it this way and reflecting on my trip over gorgeous views and farewell drinks on the beach. I am super excited to write all about my experiences (I still have many to write about from the last trip)!
I will be flying back to Tokyo at 5:30am, which again is not ideal, but is the cheapest price I could find for Golden Week. I will likely be sunburnt and exhausted when I get back, but the relaxing moments I have in between will make it worth it! I am excited for yet another exciting trip in Thailand!