See the most beautiful spots in southern Thailand and settle into the rhythms of island life on this laid-back, week-long vacation. Kick off your adventure in Phuket to discover colonial architecture and white sandy beaches, before being whisked away by speedboat to explore Phang Nga Bay's small islands and caves. Visit hidden coves as you island hop around Ko Phi Phi and snorkel in crystal-clear water, then end with a dose of culture in Bangkok with a tour of the capital's key temples and palaces.

Highlights

  • Zoom around Phang Nga Bay by speedboat
  • Go snorkeling and swimming as you island hop around Ko Phi Phi
  • Soak up the sun and waves on Ao Nang Beach 
  • Visit the Tiger Cave and Emerald Pool, before relaxing in natural hot springs
  • Explore Bangkok on an informative walking tour to its key sites

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Phuket, Optional Activities  Phuket
Day 2 Explore Phang Nga Bay by Speedboat, Muay Thai Match Phuket
Day 3 Transfer to Ko Phi Phi, Snorkeling & Island-Hopping Trip Ko Phi Phi
Day 4 Transfer to Krabi, Visit Ao Nang Beach Krabi
Day 5 Visit Tiger Cave, Emerald Pool & Hot Springs Krabi
Day 6 Fly to Bangkok, Walking Tour Bangkok
Day 7 Depart Bangkok  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Phuket, Optional Activities 

photo credit: vecteezy.com
Stroll the colonial streets of Old Town Phuket

Welcome to southern Thailand! Upon arrival in Phuket, a driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel. Check in, drop off your bags, and use the rest of the day to relax and explore independently. Phuket is more than a just a beach vacation destination—you'll also find plenty of culture and adventure here.

Thalang Road is lined with pastel-colored 19th-century shophouses and Sino-Portuguese buildings in the Phuket Old Town area. Here you can visit charming cafés, restaurants, and bars. Gallery Cafe, in the center of the Old Town, offers European and Thai dishes, or check out the quirky decor at Feelsion Cafe. And, of course, the city has many Thai massage parlors to choose from, like Kim's Massage & Spa, with a professional staff and calm atmosphere.

Day 2: Explore Phang Nga Bay by Speedboat, Muay Thai Match

Phang Nga bay or James Bond island by speed boat
Cruise around Phang Nga Bay in style
Kick off your trip with a spectacular boat trip to Phang Nga Bay, made famous by the James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun." Upon arrival, enjoy sightseeing around Panak Island's Bat Cave and walk around I-Tim Cave and Diamond Cave. Then, feel like an island castaway as you paddle your kayak around Hong Island, entering a lagoon in the center of the island. Stop for a delicious Thai and seafood lunch at the Ko Panyee (Sea Gypsy Village) before visiting Ko Tapu. Here you can swim or relax on the beach before returning to Phuket.

Plan your trip to Thailand
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Later this evening, witness a dramatic display of Muay Thai, or Thai boxing. Thailand's national sport and cultural martial art was developed several centuries ago as a form of close combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon. Most local Muay Thai competitions start around 6 pm, and your driver will pick you up at the hotel and wait for you until the match ends at the stadium.

Day 3: Transfer to Ko Phi Phi, Snorkeling & Island-Hopping Trip

Snorkeling, Swimming and Island Hopping at Ko Phi Phi!
Go island hopping around Ko Phi Phi

Head for Ko Phi Phi this morning, an archipelago 25 miles (40 km) east of Phuket known for its film-worthy beaches and top snorkeling spots. A driver will meet you at the hotel lobby and drive you to the pier, where you'll board a ferry to Ko Phi Phi. Once you arrive on the island, a driver will greet you and take you to your hotel in Tonsai Bay. After checking in, climb aboard a speedboat to spend the afternoon discovering the island's hidden coves and beaches, with stops to jump off the boat and swim in the turquoise waters. 

Stop at the famous Monkey Beach, where you can watch cheeky macaques playing on the sand, then visit Shark Point, a popular diving site and a perfect place for snorkeling. Explore Viking Cave on Phi Phi Leh, and cruise into the spectacular Pi Leh Lagoon, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs jutting out of the sea. Drop anchor in Loh Samah Bay for sightseeing and more snorkeling before discovering Maya Bay, where "The Beach" was filmed in 1999. On the way back to Tonsai Bay, you'll witness a beautiful sunset before disembarking and returning to your hotel for the evening.

Day 4: Transfer to Krabi, Visit Ao Nang Beach

Krabi
Relax on the pristine sandy beaches of Ao Nang

Another day, another island—leave Ko Phi Phi behind today as you hop on a ferry to Ao Nang, a charming beach town in the beautiful Krabi province. Upon arrival, a driver will pick you up at the dock and transfer you to your hotel. Located on the Andaman Sea, Ao Nang's large bay boasts 83 small islands and plentiful scenic beaches, with easy access to world-class dive sites and a bustling resort full of amenities.

After checking into your hotel, you might want to relax on the nearest beach or explore farther afield, depending on the time. From Ao Nang village, you can rent boats for sightseeing around Ao Nang, Hat Tham Phra Nang, and Hat Nam Mao. You can also visit lovely offshore islands such as Ko Poda, Ko Kai, Ko Mo, and Ko Thap. The colorful coral reefs and tropical fish make these islands great for diving and snorkeling.

Day 5: Visit Tiger Cave, Emerald Pool & Hot Springs

Tiger Cave, Emerald Lagoon and Hot Spring Tour
Discover myriad shades of green and blue at the Emerald Pool

Today you can enjoy a lovely blend of cultural sightseeing and relaxation. Your first destination will be Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple), a Buddhist temple on a hill northeast of Krabi named for the tiger paw prints on its walls. Climb the 1,200 strenuous stairs to reach the summit and enjoy sweeping views. Continue to the Emerald Pool, about 20 minutes from Krabi, which gets its bright green color from the water's natural copper content. You can walk to the pool through the jungle, which takes about 20 minutes, or by a direct pathway, which takes 10 minutes.

Next, it's on to some nearby hot springs, a short drive away. The springs complex includes a well-maintained set of artificial pools with easy access to sit and enjoy the soothing waters. A little farther along a jungle path are the natural springs: a waterfall of soothing hot water and a series of hollows in the rock where you can lie. Enjoy some quiet time bathing as you soothe tired muscles and enjoy a soundtrack of jungle birdsong.

Day 6: Fly to Bangkok, Walking Tour

Temple of Dawn
Strike a pose at Wat Phra Kaew

Today you'll leave the beautiful beaches and emerald seas of the south behind. A driver will take you to Krabi's airport, where you'll catch a 1.5-hour flight to Bangkok. Once you touch down, a driver will take you to your hotel in the city center. Drop off your bags and hit the ground running with a tour of Wat Arun, located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Also known as the "Temple of Dawn," this religious landmark was built during the Ayutthaya period (14th-18th centuries) and is named after Aruna, the Hindu god of the dawn. You can climb the temple's steps for sweeping views over the river and city.

Return to the river's east bank and visit the stunning temple of Wat Pho, home to a golden reclining Buddha statue. Then take a short walk to the dazzling Grand Palace complex, where you'll learn more about the Thai royal family and the spectacular golden and mosaic structures within the grounds. 

Later, hire a tuk-tuk to go to the huge Chatuchak Market, Bangkok's most famous weekend market located on the city's northern edge. You can buy almost anything, including tasty Thai food, so consider a break for lunch before spending some time shopping. Continue to Pak Khlong Talat, the largest flower market in Bangkok, then visit Chinatown, which comes to life in the late afternoons and early evenings. Walk along the street and have a glass of beer or fresh fruit juice while enjoying the atmosphere.

Day 7: Depart Bangkok

Bye- Bye
Farewell Thailand!

It's time to say farewell to the "Land of Smiles." A driver will be waiting in the lobby this morning to transfer you to the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!!

More Great Thailand Itineraries 

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Thailand? Check out these other Thailand itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Thailand, or discover the best time to visit Thailand.

Map

Map of Southern Thailand Island Escape: Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, Krabi & Bangkok - 7 Days
Map of Southern Thailand Island Escape: Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, Krabi & Bangkok - 7 Days
Tina
Written by Tina Oo, updated May 1, 2023