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3 Weeks+: Ultimate Thailand

Your complete and ultimate itinerary for a complete Thailand experience!

Itinerary 3+ weeks: Ultimate Thailand Trip!

 

Content:


 

Check out the main page on Ko Chang/ Mak/ Kood here! Coming soon...


Check out the main page on Ko Tao & Pha Ngan here!


Check out the main page on Ko Lipe here!


Check out the main page on Ko Lanta & Phi Phi here!


Check out the main page on The Similan & Surin Islands here!

 

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Reef on a wreck
Reef on a wreck

 

Ultimate Thailand Trip quick summary:


- Bangkok

(0-1 day) - Click here to book.


Optional: - Pattaya - Wreck diving

(3-4 nights) - Click here to book.


- Ko Chang - Wrecks and reef diving

(3-4 nights) - Click here to book.

- Ko Mak/ Kood - Reef diving

(2-3 nights) - Click here to book.

- Ko Tao - Learn a new skill

(3-4 nights) - Click here to book.

- Ko Pha Ngan - Sail Rock

(2-3 nights) - Click here to book.

- Ko Lipe - Macro and Reefs

(3-4 nights) - Click here to book.


Optional - Ko Lanta - Remote Islands

(2-3 nights) - Click here to book.


- Ko Phi Phi - Maya Beach & Bida Noi

(3-4 nights) - Click here to book.

- Liveaboard - Similans and Richelieu Rock

(4-6 nights) - Click here to book.

- Phuket/ Khao Lak - onwards

(0-3 nights) - Click here to book.



Travel schedule coron - el nido

Thailand Travel map
Thailand Travel map

"Ultimate Thailand Trip" Day-by-Day:

 

Pattaya.


Pattaya is famous with tourists, for 2 main reasons: It's only 2 hours away from Bangkok, and the nightlife is incredible. While some people might know Pattaya for its red-light district, not many people know there is actually excellent diving to be done here.


Many shipwrecks can be found here, and a few dive centers are operating here, offering day trips with 3 dives, lunch, equipment, and drinks for 3500 baht (90$).


You can easily catch a bus or van from Bangkok, and go diving the same day you arrive in Thailand, which makes this an excellent start to your journey!


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Wreck Diving
Wreck Diving

To get to your next destination, you can fly, or grab a bus, van, or taxi from Pattaya. While the latter is expensive I would recommend taking the bus or van.


Your entry point to Ko Chang is the area around Changwat Trat. From here you can arrange an easy transfer to Ko Chang, Mak, and/or Kut/Kood.


Pattaya, Ko Chang, Mak & kood
Pattaya, Ko Chang, Mak & kood

 

Ko Chang

Ko Chang is a lovely island relatively close to the mainland in eastern Thailand. Diving can be done in lots of places on the west side of the island and more south towards Ko Mak.


If you're planning your stay here, I would recommend looking in the south part of the island, since most dive centers operate from here, and most dive sites are nearby, saving you some time spent on the boat, towards the diving locations.


Ko Chang is quiet, with beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and friendly people. A really nice place to relax and enjoy your favorite hobby: Scuba diving!



For more details check out the main page on Ko Chang/Mak/Kut! - Coming Soon...



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Blue spotted ribbontail ray
Blue spotted ribbontail ray

 

From Ko Chang, you can arrange a ferry/ speedboat to either Ko Mak or Ko Kut/Kood. These boats depart daily.


I would highly recommend Ko Mak because logistically this makes the most sense. It is the closest island to Ko Chang, and dive sites are almost all found between Ko Chang and Ko Mak.


Ko Mak & Kut

Ko Mak & Kut are 2 smaller islands, less developed, and an amazing place to remove yourself from reality and focus on the beach, sun, and ocean.


Ko Mak, as stated before would be my pick, since it's closest to the dive sites.




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Koh Tao


Koh Tao is famous for many things, but most of all, it's famous for open water courses. The island is serviced by 70+ diving operators all offering big boats and lots of places to do your open-water diving course(s).


There is more to discover here though! The easier dives, usually done in the afternoon offer shallow waters, pretty coral reefs, and gentle conditions. There are, however, deeper, more challenging dives being organized, usually in the morning.


These dive sites are as deep as 35 meters, mainly focussed around Chumphon Pinnacle and Southwest Pinnacle. On certain days, they will also organize trips to the famous Sail Rock, but I would recommend doing this from Koh Pha Ngan.

You can read more about that later.


When you arrive at Koh Tao, either from Koh Pha Ngan / Surathani, or Chumphon, coming from Bangkok, you will notice that most of the hotels and bars are located around the pier area (western side of the island).


Boat View
Boat View

I would highly recommend moving a little bit up north. It will be a bit quieter and more peaceful, while you will still find all the amenities you'll need.


I can recommend diving with Roctopus diving! They will organize both early mornings deeper dives, as well as afternoon "easy" dives.


For more details check out the main page on Koh Tao!



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From Koh Tao, it's an easy transfer to Koh Pha Ngan/ Sail Rock or if you're coming from Surathani or Koh Pha Ngan.


There are multiple daily boats servicing all the islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Your hotel can usually arrange the transfer for you.

Clownfish
Clownfish

Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan (Pronounced KO-PAN-JANG) is a lovely island south of Koh Tao.


While most people stay near the pier, I would highly recommend, even insist on going to the northern part of the island, to the village of Chaloklum.


You can get a transfer from the pier for 400-500 Baht per car, which will bring you to Chaloklum in 20 minutes. Scuba diving from the pier/ arrival area is very limited. As far as I know, there is only 1 operator, organizing scuba diving trips.


There are no real dive sites around Koh Pha Ngan, except for Sail Rock to the north.


From Chaloklum, it will take the boat (that you will share with other dive operators) about 1.5 hours to get to sail rock. You will do 2 dives at this sight.



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Onwards.

As you can see on the maps, you can either choose to start at Koh Tao or Koh Pha Ngan.


Koh Samui Airport services most domestic airports in Thailand, so although the most expensive way of travel, also the most convenient.



For more details check out the main page on Koh Pha Ngan!


Green Turtle
Green Turtle


 



Koh Lanta.

Now Koh Lanta is an interesting stop on this trip. Although I would recommend skipping it if you're strapped for time, it has a few excellent dive sites, not easily reached by other dive operators.


For example, Koh Haa is a beautiful collection of 5 islands, 1 hour away. Or visit one of the most famous dive sites of the region: Hin Maeung, or Hin Daeung, about 1.5 hours by speedboat.


Koh Lanta dive operators will also offer day trips to Koh Phi Phi even, so I would recommend visiting both if you've got time.


If not, there is a choice:

  1. Relax, and party on Phi Phi and stay around that island.

  2. Visit Lanta, and visit multiple further away sites, but expect full-day trips and more expensive diving.

  3. Do both but, you will have 1 travel day in between with probably no diving.


Koh Lanta is an island, connected to the mainland with a bridge and a small car ferry. The dive operators mostly work from the northern part of the island, where the harbor is. So, I would recommend staying near the northwestern part of the island.


The area is basically 1 main street, with many hotels, bars, and restaurants and a huge, long beach on which to have amazing walks.



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Octopus
Octopus

 



Koh Lipe.

This beautiful island is one you shouldn't miss! In my honest opinion, probably the best location for overall good diving in Thailand, and I've been to many good places in Thailand, including the Similan Islands!


Photographers, rejoice! You will have an amazing time with lots of rare macro life, beautiful, stunning even, coral reefs, and to top it all off: 8 miles rock, between Koh Lipe and Malaysia!


Every dive site is within 1.5 hours by boat, and depending on the weather, will be changed up so you will always have gentle conditions and good visibility.


Willan's Chromodoris
Willan's Chromodoris

To get to Koh Lipe, you can take a 3.5-hour boat ride from Koh Lanta, or a 4-hour boat ride from Koh Phi Phi.


You could also opt to go to Pakbara by bus or van and be at Koh Lipe in 40 minutes by boat.


There are also boats from Koh Lipe to Penang, Langkawi in Malaysia!


For more details check out the main page on Koh Lipe!

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Harlequin Shrimp
Harlequin Shrimp

Koh Phi Phi.


Koh Phi Phi is one of the most famous islands in Thailand, mostly because of the movie: The Beach, with Leonardo Dicaprio.


This movie made Maya Beach, the most beautiful beach in the world, and the masses started to move here. Although you can't stay on the actual island, daytrips are going to Maya beach every day carrying boats full of tourists to this island.


This is where we scuba divers have our advantage! Just book yourself a day or 2 of diving, and you'll be sure to visit Maya beach, or at least look at it from the boat. Perhaps even diving there!


While Phi Phi can be incredibly busy, diving is excellent and affordable. Expect to pay 2500 baht ($60) for 2 dives with lunch and gear included.


Please be on the lookout for dive sites around Bida Noh because they are gorgeous!



Travel map Western Thailand
Travel map Western Thailand

Mandarin Fish
Mandarin Fish

For more details check out the main page on Koh Phi Phi!

or

Check out the blog with all the updated information!


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To get away from Koh Phi Phi, just book yourself a boat that will transfer you to your next location, either Phuket or Koh Lanta, Lipe.





 

Onwards:


From Koh Phi Phi: You can catch a ferry to either Phuket or Krabi or Koh Lanta and continue your trip.


From Koh Lanta: You can grab a van or bus to Krabi, Surathani, and the Gulf of Thailand. Or catch a ferry from the harbor to Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lipe.


From Koh Lipe: Daily boats will leave for Pakbara, Koh Lanta, Phi Phi, and even Phuket! Or mix it up and go down to Langkawi in Malaysia!


From Phuket: From Phuket, you can catch many national and international flights, as well as busses to almost everywhere.




Liveaboard near Koh bon
Liveaboard near Koh Bon

 

Phuket/ Khao Lak


Phuket is a busy, touristic town, with an excellent location from where to start your trips to either Koh Phi Phi, or the Similan Islands.


I would, however, not recommend staying in Phuket, especially Patong beach. This is by far the most popular place, because of the massage parlors, and Bangla Street. Although it's quite an experience to walk along Bangla Street, the sheer number of tourists here, and relatively high prices are not what Thailand, and travel in general are about for me.


When deciding on where to stay near Phuket, I would avoid Patong beach.



 



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