In my five-week trip across five ASEAN countries, the Thailand leg was the most comfortable. Perhaps because I was traveling with Tobi. The discomforts a solo traveler had to endure were replaced with the comforts of a pampered traveling couple. Another reason is the food: Thai food is the closest to the rich taste of home, is cheap, and is photographable.
Plus, our bus trips were well-planned, and going around was much easier because we rented a scooter.
This 9-day itinerary covers Bangkok (3 nights), Chiang Mai (2 nights), and Chiang Rai (3 nights). On our last day in Thailand, we crossed the border to Laos. So we are sharing our Thailand Travel Guide!
DURATION: 8 Nights/9 Days
AVERAGE EXPENSES: 800-100 baht per person a day ($25-$30, Php1000.00)
Why did we choose northern Thailand over the so-called island paradise in the south? Well, one, I’m from the Philippines [read my Honest Philippines Travel Guide 2022 😉 ], and we have some of the best beaches. Plus, it was my first trip abroad. I want to experience something different from beaches, which was my life all year round in my archipelagic country. 😛
Covid-19 forever changes the way we travel. Southeast Asia, which is the favorite destination, for many closed up for two years. But now it is open again! Thailand, the Philippines, and soon, Vietnam open their doors to intertional travelers after a two-year hiatus.
So before you pack your bags and get too excited, there are some things that you have sort out.
What is Thailand Pass System> The Thailand Pass system is a FREE web-based system designed to make the documentation process of travelers entering Thailand more efficient than the Certificate of Entry application.
Just like the Certificate of Entry, it will collect data for entry forms required, but what makes it better than the Certificate of Entry (COE) is that it collects both travel and health information like vaccine certificates and it will help facilitate the filing of the TM6 and T8 Forms.
If you’re fully vaccinated, you can apply to enter Thailand via Thailand Pass under the Test and Go or Sandbox schemes. You must have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before your date of travel and the vaccines must be approved by Ministry of Public Health.
You must take a PCR test no more than 72 hours before you leave the UK and when you arrive in Thailand.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you can enter Thailand under the Alternative Quarantine scheme. You must quarantine at a State Quarantine or Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility. You cannot use the Test and Go or Sandbox schemes.
You may be required to download the Thai Chana COVID-19 tracking appwhen you arrive.
If you’re not fully vaccinated but have recovered from COVID-19 and have received at least 1 dose of approved vaccine, you will need to show medical certificate of recovery in order to enter Thailand under Test and Go or Sandbox schemes.
In Bangkok, we spent our days walking, getting lost, avoiding tuktuk scams, and eating a lot of pad thai, drinking coffee, and (flirting with each other).
IMPORTANT: AVOID TUKTUK SCAM. Please, be discerning. On our way to the jetty near Phra Athit Road, we met a man who informed us that the ferry would leave at two in the afternoon (it is a lie, all ferries come and go every fifteen minutes), so he hailed a tuktuk for us for a so-called free tour funded by the city’s tourism ministry. We realized it was a scam when the tuktuk driver brought us to numerous travel authorities (their phrasing for a travel agency) and tailoring shops! But we only paid 20baht to the driver and did not book anything from the shops we visited and we insisted to be driven back to the jetty area.
We stayed in Rambuttri Road for three nights at Sleep Withinn for 1000 baht/ night ($25, Php1200). Too expensive, I know. The little alleys that connect Rambuttri Road and Khaosan Road have rooms for as low as 250 bath ($7, Php350). Do your research, and we are sure you can find something within your range. Be warned though that this is a party area. Party can last up to three in the morning. If you want a relaxing sleep, choose some quieter places like Maha Chai Road.
Do your search here. If you book your hotel from Booking.com or Agoda; they will share a bit of its profit with us. Enough to buy a cup of coffee. Writing this itinerary needs at least two cups. 😉
From Bangkok, our next destination was Chiang Mai. Instead of going to Mo Chit Bus Terminal to buy our tickets, we simply went to Welcome Travel—one of the many travel agencies along the stretch of Khao San Road—and booked a bus ticket to Chiang Mai for 430 bath each (subject to change), inclusive of Wi-Fi, dinner coupon, snacks, and bottled water. It is a VIP bus, with enough legroom and a toilet onboard. It was an overnight bus ride. We left Khao San at 8 and arrived in the rained Chiang Mai at quarter to six in the morning.
Rooms are a bit cheaper in Chiang Mai. But we got lost, could not find the guesthouse we reserved online, so we ended up in a family-owned hostel and paid 700 baht a night. The room and the bathroom were very spacious unlike our cramped 1100 baht room in Bangkok.
Do your search here.
From Chiang Mai, we bused to Chiang Rai. We stayed there for three nights. We did not do much. We did our laundry on the night we arrived. 😉 Chiang Rai was our last destination in Thailand before pushing to Laos. Here is a musing on tourism and traveling, which I would love you to read during your free time.
Where to stay
We stayed in Chat Guesthouse for 350 baht a night. Room was big enough and we had our own bathroom. And the place has a lot of adorable cats! Their restaurant’s glass noodles was really good too. T had it every breakfast.
There are many destinations in Thailand that we want to visit someday. If you got some recommendations, don’t forget to let me know in the comment section!
If you find this helpful, consider booking your hotel here:
Your fellow traveler,