Money spent: $700 (I was splurging on massages and unnecessary spending, you can definitely get by with $400-500 if you stick to the basics.)
I landed in Bangkok late at night and took a taxi to my hotel not too far from the BKK airport. We had a small incident with the taxi driver due to the language barrier: we told him the name of the hotel and I showed him the location on a map relative to us, and he shook his head and started driving and ended up taking us to a hotel like 20 mins away. Lesson to be learned: confirm the location you are being taken to. Do not rely on having wifi or the international data. From the second you and your taxi driver make eye contact, they’re already putting your bags in the car and they really don’t allow for time to talk about where you are going. So make sure you are really clear on where you are going BEFORE you let them put your bags in the taxi. We stayed at a hotel literally 3 mins away from BKK airport only because we were catching a flight to Krabi the next morning, so it made sense to stay close. If you plan on spending time in Bangkok, I’d recommend you find a hotel or hostel more toward the city center, as there is much more to do than where we were. The hotel was sooo amazing!! With Thailand’s nature and beauty, you’ll see most hotels and hostels are really mesmerizing. We stayed at Best Western Premier Amaranth Suvarnabhumi Airport for two nights in a double queen room and paid $175 total.
Fast forward and we land in Krabi and it’s warm and humid and beautiful. I instantly fell in love. Surprisingly though, we walk out of the airport expecting a line of taxis to be waiting to pick people up, as that’s been my experience in all airports I’ve been to. But, nothing. No cars, no taxis, not even people around to ask a question to. We look at the map and we’re hella far from where we need to be, way too far to try to walk. We walk toward the street, exiting the airport with our bags and luckily we happen to see a woman in a van exiting the airport parking lot and we wave her down to ask a question. We ask her how we could get to this place and she ends up giving us a lift to our first hotel in Krabi: The Banana Bungalows booked through Airbnb. It was a bungalow with a queen sized bed for $33 a night. We stayed here for two nights.
This place is absolutely AMAZING. There is a hostel part and a private bungalow part. We got the private bungalow and it was $14 per person a night for a queen bed that easily sleeps two people and had a private bathroom. I’m really big on cleanliness and won’t compromise that for price, but this place really was perfect: cheap and clean. This place had everything on its grounds and there was no need to leave if you didn’t want to. The way you got charged at this place was you kept your own tab. You wrote down what you ate, what you drank, etc. and at checkout you paid your tab. This is really great because you don’t have to worry about having enough cash on you, losing money from carrying it around, etc. They also accept cards. They have a restaurant on the grounds with a lot of options, even some western dishes. The dinner is family style and every night the food was amazing, and I’m generally a more picky eater. They had kayaks on the property you could take out into the ocean which was down a dock at your footsteps. There we met these three awesome guys who had been backpacking for a few months…every night we hung out in this little bungalow in the middle of the property and just talked all night.
One of my best memories at The Banana Bungalows was taking the Kayak out. There were so many islands straight ahead of our dock. We stumbled upon a floating house that was tied to an island.. It was kind of eerie because it was empty but it had someone’s sandals inside, so we figured it was safe to get on and that he wouldn’t mind. We tied our Kayak to the house and got on it to check it out. It was so impressive and cute. We did our rounds stopping at most of the islands and were pleased to find literal private beaches. No one lived on these tiny islands but they had beautiful private beaches. On our way back we got lost because from the ocean looking back, it all looks the same. It was probably about 3pm and I was so scared, I really thought we were gonna die at sea. After an hour of kayaking looking for our mainland, we found it. It had to be around 4pm because the tide was low and it went in at least a mile, which made our journey home even harder: we had to haul this heavy kayak a mile on land after almost dying of exhaustion from kayaking for hours. It was rough. We ended up making it all in one piece, barely. Lesson to be learned: tell someone when you’re leaving because we didn’t tell anyone and I really believe if we hadn’t made it back, no one would have noticed until my mom started freaking out because I wasn’t texting her back.
It was definitely a relaxing and enjoyable place to stay. Not a lot of noise, no crying kids, the owner has a bunch of cute puppies roaming freely on the grounds, etc. I really enjoyed this place and by the end of it I wished we could stay longer. The only downside of this place is that it’s really heavy on mosquitos and I got messed up by them. We spent 2 nights here, then we took off to Ao Nang.
We took a taxi and checked into our hotel which was called Ao Nang Mountain View hotel booked through Airbnb. We paid $73 total for two queen beds, 24/7 security at the lobby, on call taxi service, air conditioning, a secure box for our belongings and free breakfast included. Since it was two people, it came out to It also had breakfast and wifi included. Our hotel was like 7 blocks from the beach. We usually took a taxi there because it was so cheap and we were being lazy, but it’s definitely an easy walk. On the main “strip” where our hotel was that lead straight down to the beach, there were a lot of places to eat, people selling gifts, massage places and drugstores. All the way down the street just before the beach we found a Rasta Bar. I thought a Thai Rasta bar was interesting. They sold spliffs for $2, drinks and food. They played good music and had a really good fire show the first night we were there. This place ended up being my hangout spot and made friends with the guys that worked there. If you ever go here tell them Camila says hi!!
A bit more down the street you get to the beach and a little building where you buy tickets for the boats to take you to other islands. The longtail boats are so pretty!! We took a boat for a one day tour of Phi Phi Islands: this island is the party, young people island. These are so many clubs and hostels there. We got there probably around 11am and the boat was scheduled to pick us up at 3:00pm. We decided that wasn’t enough time for this dope island. We wanted to stay but didn’t bring enough money to pay for a hotel or anything else really. We just brought money to be there for a few hours. We ended up saying f*** it and we just stayed. We said we would figure it out. Staying was the best decision ever. We walked up a small mountain and chilled at a pool, then came down to eat lunch. We met so many dope travelers from all over and hit it off with them all night. That same night, I signed up to get in the ring for a Muay Thai fight. It was a bar with a fighting ring in the middle and all the seats were made to face the ring: it was the main attraction. The sign said if you volunteer to fight you get a free bucket of alcohol. I was like oh fasho!! I signed up in the afternoon and was telling everyone I met about the fight and was hyping myself up. Fight time came around and it was serious!! Grown men were really in there making their faces bleed and giving each other powerful blows. My turn finally comes, and since I’m the one that signed up, I got in the ring first. What they do is they almost parade you around the ring asking the crowd who wants to volunteer to fight you. A tall blonde from Russia got in the ring with me. Needles to say I destroyed her, it was such a rush. They were 3 one min rounds and it was so tiring but so fun at the same time. It was honestly so much fun, I want to practice it here at home.
We ended up making friends as a survival tactic because we needed a place to stay. We spent the night dancing and club hopping. It was so much fun. We crashed with some friends and caught the first boat back to Ao Nang at 9am. One of the craziest things I’ve done and one of the better decisions I’ve made.
We also took a boat to Railay Beach for a day trip. Railay Beach is a small peninsula between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang and is only accessible by boat. We spent probably like 4 hours out there before the boats started to head back. I think that was my favorite place to swim- you could go out pretty far into the ocean and still be able to touch the floor with your feet. It was warm and the waters were calm. We had fresh seafood for lunch that day and soaked up the sun and chatted with fellow tourists. Definitley a place I wish I could have spent more time at but then again, that’s how I felt about Thailand as a whole.
Toward the end of our trip, we took a tour of a few islands and did night snorkeling. It was a hop on hop off tour on a longtail boat of the James Bond Islands, Monkey Island and a few more I don’t remember the name. It was a package and we paid around $30 and that came with snorkeling equipment. It was soooo great!!!! We jumped off the boat into the ocean and snorkeled and at the end they took us night snorkeling where the main attraction was algae that glowed in the water. It was kind of scary just because of the nature of the ocean at night. We all hopped off the boat and held on to a long piece of rope attached to the boat so we didn’t drift away while our heads were in the water.
The tour ended with a dinner on an island with a beautiful sunset. All of the crew on the boat and everyone that made this happen was honestly so nice. They really were the sweetest people. Everyone I met in Thailand was so nice, a big part of the reason why I love Thailand and I can’t wait to go back.
10 days was definitely not enough to be in Thailand, to me at least. It was so enjoyable and so short, we didn’t even get to the northern part of the country. Thailand was safe, cheap and so much fun. To anyone who asks where they should go, I say Thailand. It is still my favorite place I’ve been to so far. Check flights 6 months in advance if you can, and check my Best Deals Right Now frequently for cheap finds on flights!