Urban nomads traveling to South East Asia often find themselves jumping on the bandwagon to Thailand. A round-the-year favorite with trippers, Thailand also identifies as a globally loved destination for young travelers looking to celebrate pre-wedding bachelor parties and is an absolute hit with all-girl gangs. So if you’re a bridesmaid or a bride-to-be and got a gang that’s planning on visiting Thailand, look no further than this detailed roadmap here, taking you on a road far less traveled.

Day 1 – Bangkok

Fly to the Thai capital and spend a day soaking in Bangkok’s vibrance or simply check into a hotel to get some of that beauty sleep. Wake up fresh as a primrose before your trip to the south begins. A table of essentials in Bangkok includes its many palaces and temples, a night-time food tour and perhaps even a brush with luxury if you’re not on a strict budget. In case you do choose to step out, here’s what the day should look like.

 

1. Go Take a Look At the Reclining Buddha

 

Take a while to appreciate Wat Pho, Bangkok’s top-drawer. At 46 meters, the larger than life Reclining Buddha is the star of Wat Pho temple, complete with gold leafing. On your way out, sneak in a Thai Massage at the adjoining school in the premise, rumored to be the origin of this tradition.

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Wat Pho Opening Hours: 8am to 5pm daily
Wat Pho Entrance Fee: 50 Baht (approximately $1.50)
How To Get There: Grab is South East Asia’s version of our Uber. So either Grab it or hire a private car at the hotel.

 

2. Go For The Wat Arun Temple Next

 

Another stunning temple; Wat Arun is perched along the Banks of the Chao Phraya River, almost bang opposite Wat Pho. Wat Arun, an epitome of age old Siamese architecture, beautifully exhibits the intricacy of traditional Thai craftsmanship.

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Wat Arun Opening Hours: 8.30am to 5.30pm
Wat Arun Entrance Fee: 100 baht (approximately $3)
How To Get There: Walk up to this temple from Wat Pho.

 

3. Visit The Grand Palace

 

Another attraction right up the banks of the Chao Phraya River, is the majestic Grand Palace, home to residents of the Royal Family since the year 1782. Part Museum-part Government corridor, its courtyards and pavilions make for an incredible view. The famed Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew housed in the complex silently retells stories from over two centuries ago.

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Grand Palace Opening Hours: 8.30am to 3.30pm
Grand Palace Entrance Fee: 500 Baht
How To Get There: Walking is the way to go as these three spots are next to one another.

 

4. Get A Sak Yant Tattoo Or Shop It Out

 

Debate over whether to go down the well-beaten shopping route or to make the most of an undetermined afternoon by getting a time-honored Sak Yant Tattoo, an ancient art practiced by ajarns (Tattoo Masters). Legend has it that these tattoos extend protection. If you’re iffy about getting inked just go take a tour of Wat Bang Phra to watch master artist Luang Pi Nunn work his magic. Alternatively, head straight to the Chatuchak Weekend Market or the Siam Paragon Mall to satisfy the shopping-junkie in you.

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Chatuchak Market Opening Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 9am to 6pm, and Fridays 6pm to 12am.
How To Get There: Try Thailand’s version of the tempo, the Tuktuk but don’t forget to bargain and fix the price before hopping in.
How To Reach Wat Bang Phra: Wat Bang Phra is located off Wat Lamut-Nara Phirom Road, Bang Kaeo Fa Subdistrict and can be reached in an hour from Bangkok. It has great reviews online.

 

5. Call It A Night At Khao San Road

 

Often dubbed as the ‘center of the backpacking universe’, Khao San Road will give you a glimpse of what nightlife in Thailand can look like. Lined with eating-joints and food stalls, cheap, zany bars, and budget shopping stops, this is Bangkok’s kilometer-long party street. Alternatively, if the gang’s not into party scenes, book yourself a midnight food-tour for some tasty Pad-Thai with crispy noodles. If you’re in the mood for some luxurious indulgence, head straight to the Sky Bar for a cocktail that’s one too many.

 

Day 2 – Surat Thani

Wake up to begin a trip across Southern Thailand, one that’ll take you away from Bangkok’s starry horizons. Surat Thani offers a sneak peek into Thailand’s Gulf Coast and the beautifully laid back pace of the Thai country.

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How To Get There:  A train or a minivan will get you to Surat Thani from Bangkok in close to a couple hours’ time. If you’re loaded for this bachelorette, Air Asia operates Flight + Ferry services to Surat Thani and adjoining island cities, only costlier.

 

6. Spend The Day Cruising On A Longtail Boat

 

After an active day exploring Bangkok, chill out in Surat Thani and go for a mood-lifting boat ride with the girls. Longtail boats can be hired from the nearby pier and literally row you to wherever you fancy. Opt for the route leading to Wat Thong for a calming ride through winding waterways walled by thick, naturally occurring mangrove trees.

Ithaka Pro Tip: Make sure you negotiate a price before you embark.

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How To Get There: You can hire boats from the Bandon pier.

 

7. A Halt At Ang Thong National Marine Park

 

Ang Thong National Marine Park is massive, to say the least. Stretching over some 250 square kilometers, Ang Thong envelops nearly 40 protected islands within. If you’re a group that loves adventure, we’d recommend you hike up the woodlands, take a boat ride up the winding canals or even consider kayaking or snorkeling perhaps.

Ithaka Pro Tip: Don’t forget to take quick pauses every now and then, to marvel at the wealth of marine life in the warm waters of Ang Thong.

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Ang Thong National Marine Park Opening Hours: 24 hours unless shut on special occasions
Ang Thong National Marine Park Entrance Fee:
300 bahts per person (approximately 10$)
How To get There:
They have their own private boat service from Donsak in Surat Thani costing 200 bahts per person (approximately 6.5$).

 

8. Chill Out At The Khanom Beach Or Take A Ride Up To Tham Khao Wang Thong Caves

 

Spend an evening lazing on the beach with your tribe. There are many virgin beaches around the Khanom Bay with the Khanom Beach being the most spectacular one. A quiet visit to the beach and a relaxing catch-up with the girls will go a long way in defining your trip. If you’re an adventure enthusiast hike up to the Tham Khao Wang Thong Cave, known for its iron and copper laden walls.

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Tham Khao Wang Thong Caves Opening Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tham Khao Wang Thong Caves Entrance Fee: Free
How To Get There: It can take a little over an hour to reach by road from Surat Thani city center.

 

9. Visit The Night Market

 

A visit to the Night Market is a great way to call it a night. Reaching up to a hundred and fifty meters, this street is lined on both of its sides by shops selling colorful wares, food and beverages. Everything here is fairly priced, ensuring it’s not too much on the pocket either.

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Night Market Opening Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
How To Get There: It’s an easy ride depending on what part of town you’re putting up at.

 

Day 3 – Koh Samui

 

Early next morning, catch a ferry to Koh Samui. Ferries leave hourly from Surat Thani to nearby tropical islands like Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. Sterling beaches, beach-life shenanigans, restful spots to practice yoga or meditate at, marine-life (that the local ecosystem lovingly sustains) and chances to get certified at water sports are just some of the things you can look forward to in Koh Samui. Gear up for a perfect day spent in the tropics ‘cause perks of being in the South of Thailand just happen to be such’!

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How To Get There: Low-cost flights operate from Bangkok to Surat Thani, and a ferry from Surat Thani will get you to Koh Samui.

 

 

10. Check Out The Famed Fisherman Village

 

Fisherman Village gives you some solid country-road meets urban-nomad vibes with its traditional wooden shops selling varied local produce and artistic handicrafts. Add to that its  sprawling landscapes and contrasting modern buildings. Indie cafes and boutique restaurants are sure to catch your fancy.

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How To Get There: It’s a quick half an hour journey by road.

 

11. Go To Chaweng Next

 

Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island is part of the Chumphon archipelago. It’s here that you’ll find Chaweng – a cosmopolitan bustling town, blessed with some of the prettiest beaches. Lounge on the beach or go flirt with the waves. Take a long walk around town discovering its vibrant markets and get a taste of its yummy food or simply opt for a massage at one of its many spas. Come nightfall, go explore the Walking Street Market or head over to the Night Market and if the girls want to party it right, check out the beachside bars.

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How To Get There: A 40 minute drive by road gets you here.

 

12. Go For A Dive

 

A lesser known but well established fact about Koh Samui? Well, despite its neighbor Koh Tao being the star of diving schools, Koh Samui is not far behind. Diving Schools here are top-notch, combining services worth the hype with thoroughly trained professionals conducting them. Chumporn, Samaran, and Southwest pinnacles are some of the most raved-about dive sites and you can hope to spot reef sharks, groupers, sea turtles, snappers and an opulence of marine life.

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Diving Fees: The sites lay pretty close to each other and a diving session last close to half a day. Prices start at 4500 bahts per person (Approximately 130$) and vary according to the packages you choose.

Ithaka Pro Tip: Once you’re the proud owner of a certificate, celebrate with a chilled beer somewhere on the beach or simply take the rest of the day off.

 

11. Bonus : Drop By At A Thai Style Oktoberfest

 

If you’re traveling in the month of October, A Thai-style Oktoberfest is as fun as it can get in South Asia. This Bavarian tradition is the most recent addition to Koh Samui’s cultural fabric. Classic Teutonic style music and a truly multicultural chatter of happy trippers, coupled with beer make the Oktoberfest perhaps one of the most happening sites in Koh Samui, an otherwise laidback island-city.

Ithaka Pro Tip: Look up the Events Calendar to know the dates.

 

Day 4 – Koh Phangan

 

Keeping true to its tropical character, Koh Phangan is ideal for the self-acclaimed beach bums. This island offers a lot of sights and experiences from the Haad Rin beach to the near-celestial night time beach parties that quite literally refuse to get over. Add a dash of the surreal Full-Moon celebration to your itinerary and you will have successfully created an album to go back to every now and then.

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How To Get There: There’s a ferry company rowing ferries between Koh Samui and Koh Phangan about 14 times a week and takes up to 45 minutes.

 

12. Start Your Day With A Ban Thai Herbal Sauna

Typical Ban Thai Steam RoomTypical Ban Thai Steam Room via hammockstories

 

Now this is what you call a made-to-order morning for an epic bachelorette in the making! If the girls and you haven’t surrendered yourself to a rejuvenating Ban Horn Tai or Ban Thai massage yet, then do it now. Pamper your senses and a well worn-out body with the world-class services.

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Where To Go For A Spa: The service is usually available at most semi/luxury stays. However, the Wat Pho Steaming Room is a hot favorite, open 7 days a week till 7 o’ clock in the evening.
Ban Thai Herbal Sauna Pricing:  Only 100 Bahts per person (Approximately 3.5$).

 

13. Go For A Beach Hop In The Afternoon

 

It’s a great idea to hop beaches while in Koh Phangan, Mae Haad beach being one of Phangan’s dearest. It’s an absolute delight to look at its waters, two separate currents mingling to create a magical confluence of colors with a narrow strip of land dividing. During high tide, this strip transforms itself into a natural bridge.

 

14. Save The Best For The Last: Full Moon Party

 

So what exactly is the famed ‘Full Moon Party’? A once-a-month occurrence that has trippers waiting in breathless anticipation, the Full Moon party hosts over 30,000 party goers. Travelers usually plan their trips to Koh Phangan around the full moon night and there’s a monthly schedule available online. Hosted on Haad Rin beach, the evening offers everything from free flowing alcohol to neon/UV body painting to dancing until daybreak.

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Ticket Prices: Tickets are priced at 100 Bahts per person and available at the venue itself.

Ithaka Pro-Tip: It’s a good idea to save this absolute gala for your final night in Koh Phangan. Also, there’s the Half-Moon version of this in case you didn’t manage to book your trip around Full Moon night.

Find a detailed events Calendar, here.

 

Day 5 – Koh Tao

 

Did you know that Koh Tao is Thai for Turtle Island? In fact, this island is known for its coral reefs and its aquatic life. No wonder, it’s a paradise for scuba diving and deep-sea activities.

 

15. Choose A Water Sport

 

Go scuba diving or snorkeling and if that’s not for you girls then opt for the slightly less intimidating kayaks. Koh Tao ranks on top for its schools and training centers offering all kinds of diving oriented training. However, a one-time experience is also offered to beginners. Fret not, you’d be trained and fitted with a harness and accompanied by very professional instructors throughout.

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Diving Fees: 780 Baht person (approximately 25$) is the pocket pinch, significantly lower than some of the other islands in Thailand.

 

16. Go For An Evening Pub Crawl Or Party On The Beach

 

Every travel brochure for Koh Tao will list a Pub-Crawl on top of its nighttime itinerary and believe you me, it’s a legit crowd-puller. Join happy trippers on this unforgettable hop and stop journey from one pub to another. From Live Band performances to madcap fire-dancing sprees and oodles of drinking, this crawl is what a lit nightlife is made of. The beach parties attract just as many party animals.

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Pub Crawl Timings: Currently the Pub Crawl happens on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Pub Crawl Pricing: Typically under 500 Bahts per person
Where To Book It:
This is where you can book it.

 

17. Bonus – Go For The Koh Tao Underwater International Festival

 

If you’re traveling in the month of June, here’s something that you absolutely must do! The Koh Tao Underwater International festival takes place every year on the 18th and 19th of June with a lineup of really cool activities (for groups too). From beach cleanup drives to booths offering more on the subject of conservation, there’s lots to do. End it with underwater turtle releasing and Live stage performances.

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Underwater International Festival Timing: 18th and 19th.

 

For a bachelorette, the South of Thailand with its quaint islands, spectacular bays and lush greens, gives you a vibe that’s quite in contrast of its glamorous poster-child, Bangkok. A super chilled-out vacation with your best buds and amazing pictures to look back at are sure to prepare you the right way, for D-day.