There are many ways to travel around Thailand to suit your budget and time constraints.
Flights- this option is great for those who don’t have a lot of time but want to get around as much as possible. The downside is getting to and from the airport as this will increase the costs.
Trains- Trains are an excellent option for those who want to travel cheaply around the country. Just remember that not every town has a train station so make sure you do your research.
Bus- Buses are my favourite option. They are cheap, will take you anywhere around the country and the bus stations are pretty central in the towns and cities. The night buses are also a great option for those who want to save money by not booking accommodation as you can sleep on the bus.
Ferry- You will need to get a ferry in order to island hop in the south of Thailand. You can generally book these at the port, on the ferry (for your next destination) or through your hostel/travel agent. (there are lots of travel agents around Thailand, in cities and along the beaches)
Mopeds/Motorbikes- A lot of people hire mopeds and motorbikes as they are quite cheap to rent and fuel costs are low, however if you are inexperienced it is probably worth staying away from these. It’s quite common to see tourists bandaged up in a variety of places in Thailand due to accidents.
N.B: Technically you aren't allowed to ride/drive a motorised vehicle in Thailand without an International Drivers Licence, most cities will turn a blind eye, however there are some cities where police set up stations on roads where they will fine you if they catch you riding/driving a motorised vehicle. EducatingKavita is unsure of the fined amount and where the money goes.
The best way to book flights is to get onto sites like Sky Scanner and 12goasia as they are generally cheaper. But if you’re looking for cheap trains and buses, it’s always better to head to the stations and book directly. if you book online on 12goasia or through an agent on the street it will always be more expensive as they take a cut. (By more expensive we are talking around £5)
Where to go:
Phuket: Kata and Karon Beach-
Most people will tell you to skip Phuket as it it super touristy and although it is, Kata and Karon beach are incredibly beautiful and clean. Kata Beach is known for being a surfing beach but the waves aren’t great until mid May. I would personally recommend heading there if you’re looking for a relaxing time at the beach.
Koh Phi Phi-
Known as the party island. If you’re really into partying then you will love it here. Loh Dalum is where it all kicks off. There are many party hostels along the beach where you can chill out during the day (unless you stay at Ibiza pool party hostel where the party starts at 11am onwards) and then there are several fire shows that start at 8pm daily. The fire show is actually pretty awesome, just be sure to get there early to secure a seat. After the fire show there are limbo and double dutch competitions with shots of spirits as participant prizes followed by a massive party that continues on the beach.
(N.B: Loh Dalum beach during the day is gross, so if you want to swim in the sea you will need to head to another beach)
If you’re like me and you didn’t come to party then there are plenty of other things to do on the island including:
Hiking up to the view points to see the sunrise or sunset,
Hiring a kayak and kayaking to Monkey beach where there are lots of monkeys to see (the beach is also beautiful here)
Going on a boat tour to a variety of different islands (there is also a boat party version of this)
Hiking to Long Beach
Get a massage
Krabi:Au Nang+ Railay Beach-
I was advised to head to Au Nang as the beach there was beautiful, unfortunately I arrived to a massive drainage/sewage pipe that went straight into the sea. The highlight of heading here was getting a water taxi to Railay Beach and spending a couple of hours there. Railay beach is pretty clean and you can also hire kayaks and go rock climbing. Unless you plan to spend $100 per day on accommodation I wouldnt suggest staying on this beach but the 200 baht water taxi (return) is worth it.
Other stops of interest:
Koh Pha Ngan
The South of Thailand is a great holiday destination if you’re looking for a beach holiday; It’s relaxing, you can top up your tan, there are family friendly areas and in general it is a great holiday destination. There are a variety of fun activities to do, the food is delicious and the Islands are stunning. However if you’re looking for more of a traditional Thai experience, more culture, rural areas or city life you will need to head North.