If your idea of a perfect vacation is warm weather, idyllic beaches, and remote islands, then Southern Thailand's Andaman Coast delivers. This leisurely 13-day itinerary hops between the mainland and islands of Southern Thailand, spending time on the gorgeous beaches of Krabi, Ko Phi Phi, Phuket, and Khao Lak. But it's not all just lounging on white sand licked by turquoise seas: you'll have the chance to kayak through mangroves, play with elephants, and take an off-road adventure tour.


  • Kayak around the picturesque coastline of Ao Thalane
  • Spend plenty of relaxing free time on Ko Phi Phi
  • Bathe and feed elephants at a sanctuary park
  • Snorkel in the clear, warm waters of the Similan Islands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Krabi Krabi
Day 2 Jungle Hot Spring Spa, Tiger Cave Temple Krabi
Day 3 Ao Thalane Kayaking, Hong Island by Long-Tail Boat Krabi
Day 4 Transfer to Ko Phi Phi, Free Time Ko Phi Phi
Day 5 Free Day in Ko Phi Phi Ko Phi Phi
Day 6 Transfer to Phuket, Evening Dinner Show Phuket
Day 7 Phang Nga Bay Sea Kayaking Phuket
Day 8 Green Elephant Sanctuary Park Phuket
Day 9 Phuket Old Town & Peranakan Food Trail Phuket
Day 10 Transfer to Khao Lak, Sunset Dolphin Cruise Khao Lak
Day 11 Off-Road Safari Tour Khao Lak
Day 12 Similan Islands Snorkeling Khao Lak
Day 13 Transfer to Phuket, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Krabi

Welcome to Krabi!

Welcome to Krabi! Upon arrival at the airport in Krabi, you'll be greeted by your local guide and escorted to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you like. You can relax at your hotel and catch up on sleep after the journey or head out to the local beach. The beautiful beaches in this area are characterized by golden sands and turquoise water flanked by craggy limestone cliffs that add visual drama.

Day 2: Jungle Hot Spring Spa, Tiger Cave Temple

Soak in natural hot springs in the jungle

After a good night's sleep, head out to explore this beautiful area of Southern Thailand today. Visit a hot spring waterfall with 100°F (38°C) water and fantastic health benefits. After a relaxing dip in this natural spa, walk along a nature trail to an emerald-hued freshwater pool surrounded by jungle. You can swim here, too. After a tasty Thai lunch, continue to one of the region's most famous temples, the hilltop Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple ), which is also a meditation center. Here you'll find Buddha images, giant trees, and beautiful pagodas. Learn about the local history and culture here. 

Day 3: Ao Thalane Kayaking, Hong Island by Long-Tail Boat

Visit parts of the coastline that are only accessible by boat and kayak

Enjoy a gently active day today, starting with an early-morning kayaking trip along the shoreline of Ao Thalane, near Krabi, venturing to areas that are inaccessible any other way. Paddle through mangrove forests and lagoons, canyons, and caves. There's a high chance of spotting birds and wild monkeys along the way.

After your kayaking tour, a long-tail boat will be waiting for you. You'll spend the rest of the day exploring Hong Island and its neighboring islands by long-tail boat. Hong means "room" in Thai, and the literal translation of the island's name is "the island with the room" due to the stunning lagoon in the center. You can swim in the lagoon if you like. This relaxing island excursion allows for plenty of beach time and the chance to walk along the nature trail behind the beach, where there are many majestic banyan trees. A Thai buffet lunch will be served on a beach on one of the islands.

Day 4: Transfer to Ko Phi Phi, Free Time

Take a boat transfer to Ko Phi Phi

This morning, you'll be picked up from your hotel in Krabi and transferred by boat to Ko Phi Phi, a group of islands a couple of hours offshore in the Andaman Sea. After checking into your hotel in the early afternoon, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy. Take time to explore the island and sample some excellent local Thai cuisine, such as tom yum gung (shrimp soup), pad thai (the country's signature fried noodle dish), and a huge variety of fresh seasonal fruit, some of which you might not have seen or tasted before.

Day 5: Free Day in Ko Phi Phi

You could choose to snorkel during a free day in and around Ko Phi Phi

You have another free day to enjoy in Ko Phi Phi today, being as active or as relaxed as you like. If you want to get active, take an island-hopping tour with snorkeling and hiking activities. One of the most famous beaches on these islands is Maya Beach, made popular in part because it featured in Leonardo DiCaprio's movie "The Beach." There are many other beautiful and secluded spots that are worth visiting, too. 

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Day 6: Transfer to Phuket, Evening Dinner Show

Enjoy Phuket's nightlife on your first evening in the city

Head west today to Phuket, an island connected to mainland Thailand by a road bridge. You'll be picked up from your hotel mid-morning and will make it to Phuket by lunchtime. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach or at the hotel pool.

In the evening, head out for dinnertime entertainment. Watch a three-act cultural show that will take you through Thai history and culture through a combination of dance, martial arts, and acrobatics. This considerable production features over 100 performers and outstanding set design and costumes. Make sure you arrive well before the show starts so you have time to check out the traditional village and floating market, a fountain and light show, Thai boxing, and even elephant feeding. While watching the show, you'll dine on a multicourse meal that includes Thai and international dishes (and can cater to various dietary requirements).

Day 7: Phang Nga Bay Sea Kayaking

Learn about Phang Nag Bay's marine geology

Spend the morning at leisure, then head out in the afternoon to explore the sea caves of Phang Nga Bay. The Ao Phang Nga National Park, offshore from Phuket, is characterized by its impressive and dramatic limestone outcrops and cliffs, which are lovely to paddle around in a kayak. You'll reach the marine park by boat and then hop into a kayak to get a closer look around some of the sea caves.

Refuel with a seafood buffet dinner at sunset. The day hasn't finished yet, though—hop back into your kayak after dark to float your loi kratong, or traditional flower lantern, into the ocean. This is a beautiful sight and a poignant cultural experience because, traditionally, these lanterns were released in honor of the water goddess and the Buddha. 

Day 8: Green Elephant Sanctuary Park

Feed and bathe the elephants at the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park

After another relaxing morning at the pool or beach, you'll be picked up and taken to the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park in the afternoon. Here, you'll have the opportunity to feed the elephants. Learn more about Asian elephants through a short presentation in English. Then, change into your swimming clothes to hop into the mud spa pool and rub yourself (and the elephants) all over in the mud!

A photographer will accompany you throughout your visit to the park, so you'll have some great souvenirs to take home with you. Wash the mud off the elephants and yourself in the freshwater pool before having fun with the elephants under the adventure shower. End your visit with a filling Thai buffet meal.

Day 9: Phuket Old Town & Peranakan Food Trail

Go in search of the best Peranakan food in Phuket

While you have undoubtedly had a lot of fun on Phuket's beaches, the town is also a top destination for foodies and has been designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. You'll be picked up in the morning and taken to Phuket Town, an artsy and culturally rich part of Phuket. Start with a local Phuket breakfast of dim sum and rice vermicelli with Southern Thai curry and freshly made charcoal-fried roti.

Continue walking along historic Tha-Lang Road, where you will learn about the local Peranakan culture. In this part of Southern Thailand, as well as Singapore and Malaysia, Peranakan culture reflects the blending of local and Chinese traditions. Peranakan cuisine is distinct from other Thai cooking, and you'll get to try some today.

Day 10: Transfer to Khao Lak, Sunset Dolphin Cruise

Look out for dolphins on a sunset cruise along the coast of Khao Lak

Relax this morning before your driver picks you up after lunch and transfers you to Khao Lak, north of Phuket. This coastal region has many beautiful beaches, as well as the lovely Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park, with forests, mountains, wildlife, and waterfalls. 

Relax in the afternoon before joining a sunset cruise in the early evening. Grab a fruity cocktail, relax on a lounger on the deck, and look out for dolphins as you sail along the coast of Khao Lak. You can also take a refreshing evening swim if you like or try your hand at fishing. The boat crew can help you. Enjoy the fully stocked bar and buffet dinner on board.

Day 11: Off-Road Safari Tour

OFFROAD Safari – Fullday tour with lunch
Go off-road on a rugged full-day safari

Go off-road today and explore parts of the Kao Lak region that many travelers miss on a 4WD tour. Your driver will take you down bumpy tracks through the rainforest to a beautiful hidden waterfall. Go kayaking through a mangrove forest, and refuel with a Thai lunch at a local restaurant. Look out for wildlife and rare plants in the forest and enjoy the wild scenery. Before heading back to town, visit a local temple to get insight into local Buddhist practices. This is an exciting day out for travelers who love to get off the beaten path.

Day 12: Similan Islands Snorkeling

Be amazed by the underwater world of the Similan Islands

Enjoy a memorable day in the beautiful Similan Islands, off the coast of Khao Lak, where lush rainforests meet white sandy beaches. Leave for the port at Thap Lamu early in the morning and have a light breakfast before traveling to the islands by speedboat (about 90 minutes away). First, you'll cruise to Donald Duck Bay, where there will be time to relax on the beach and get acquainted with your snorkeling gear. If you like, join your guide on a trek to a magnificent lookout point to admire views of the picturesque bays of the island.

Continue to your first snorkeling stop. Warm waters and excellent visibility make this a very inviting place for snorkeling and swimming. Your guides will choose the destinations depending on the conditions of the day. You'll visit a few places to get the best overview of the fish and coral that flourish here. Eat lunch on a beach with ocean views. There will be some free time to explore the islands between snorkeling stops. Return to your hotel in the midafternoon.

Day 13: Transfer to Phuket, Depart

Farewell, beautiful Thailand!

It's time to say goodbye to this tropical paradise today. Enjoy a last swim this morning or a leisurely breakfast beside the beach. You can relax at your hotel until it's time to check out. Your driver will pick you up and take you to the airport in Phuket for your flight back home or to another destination. Bon voyage!

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Map of Thailand's Andaman Coast & Islands: Krabi, Ko Phi Phi, Phuket & Khao Lak - 13 Days
Map of Thailand's Andaman Coast & Islands: Krabi, Ko Phi Phi, Phuket & Khao Lak - 13 Days
Written by Sunny Le, updated Apr 20, 2023