How to Travel from Bangkok to Bali (with 5 stops in between) in 14 Days!
So I’ve been travelling around parts of SE Asia solo dolo for 2 weeks now! While exploring I’ve spend most of my time documenting my travels via live feeds on Snapchat (MsDoySogz) but now i’m challenging myself to post something helpful for you EVERYDAY for the next few weeks! – Scared but excited to see how this will turn out (sometimes it’s good to challenge yourself eh!?)
I’m currently in Canggu, Bali (stop 7 of my 12 stop trip) utilising the Balinese day of Nyepi to take a rest from my crazy adventures to write, write and write! For the next few days (hopefully weeks) I’ll be sharing posts daily – providing travel planning guides, tips on budgeting, best routes to take, where to stay etc. These posts will not be exclusive to SE Asia but if you are heading there soon I’m sure it will be super useful!
Start & end your travels in a MAIN HUB/BIG CITY – Return flights and connecting flights are cheaper!
I started my 1 month adventure to SE Asia in Bangkok solely because it’s one of the MAIN HUBS in Asia which entails that there will be tons of flights heading there from all over the world. Given this, flights are likely to be cheaper to/from these destinations. So if you are heading to Japan for example, try to fly to Tokyo and get connecting planes/trains/buses from there. Likewise, for a trip to California… Los Angeles is your best bet! And with NorwegianAir going to LA for less than £300 return from Europe there’s no excuse!
When I arrived in Bangkok it was really late so I hopped in a local license taxi operated by the airport. However, if you are staying within the city you can easily get the cheapest option which is the Bangkok Airport Rail Link and the MRT subway.
Mix it up – don’t just fly everywhere!
After spending 3 nights in Bangkok (which was waaay too long I must say lol) I took the 13 hour sleeper train – purchased via 12go.asia to Chiangmai. Everything you need to know on how I planned my journey to Chiangmai, the costs and logistics is right here – Bangkok to Chaingmai by train.
Once in Chiangmai you’ll see herds of this red open truck looking vehicle – don’t threat, it’s a SONGTHAEWS!
Difficult to pronounce but these things are gold! They are the most efficient, dead cheap and heat friendly taxi service when in Chiangmai. The normal price is about 20 THB (less than 0.5 pounds!) but sometimes the driver will request for a little bit more if you are going a short distance away from the main square area. Asking for the price before you hop on is known to be a “tourist trap” to paying a higher price but hey I’m sure your appearance will already highlight that you are a tourist lol. I always asked before the journey started but I most certainly haggled it down to 20 THB if needed.
After spending the best time in Chiangmai I moved on to Krabi! I took a plane from Chiangmai back to Bangkok then flew to Krabi. Why stop at Bangkok Doyin!? …Because it’s a MAIN HUB! After doing the calculations, taking 2 flights turned out to be considerably cheaper than flying directly from Chiangmai to Krabi. I only had a one hour layover in Bangkok and still had the evening to explore once I arrived in Krabi.
All my internal flights in SE Asia were booked via AirAsia – you can get one way flights for as little as £10 if booked in advance.
I decided to stay in Krabi because it has great links to day tours to the Islands as well as easy access to exploring Krabi town and the surrounding areas/beaches.
On arrival to Krabi I took the shuttle bus transfer to my hostel for about 150 THB. I recommend this in comparison to the airport taxi service which is prices at 3 or 4 times more! The bus does stop to pick & drop off passengers so if you are short for time hop in a taxi.
The full day I had in Krabi was dedicated to going to Phi Phi Island. The day tour was booked by my AirBnB hostel and included everything from bus transfer from/to my hostel to the ferry port, the tour itself, snorkelling, lunch, snacks and a tour guide. I recommend booking Island tours (and pretty much everything else) when you actually arrive in Thailand… there are heaps of sellers/agencies and you can haggle for the best rates in person!
Island No. 2
The next day I was off to Ko Lanta Island which was about a 2 hour ferry ride from the Krabi (Ao Nang) port. Again, transfer and the ferry ride were booked by my hostel on request (the night before). I’m sure you can simply rock up to the ferry port and purchase tickets also (timetables can be found at tourist agencies, your accommodation or online).
Arrivals at Ko Lanta’s ferry port replicated the chaos on arrival to Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos! lol. Once you step off the ferry all the taxi drivers request that they will take you to your accommodation for the cheapest rate. But take it easy (well try to lol), compose yourself first, get your luggage and don’t rush… it can be overwhelming but haggle your way through the crowds.
I jumped in a motorbike style Songthaews (basically a motorbike with a passenger cart right next to it – so you feel like you are also riding the motorbike lol) – I managed to pay only 120 THB (less than £3) for a 20 minute bumpy ride to my AirBnB!
Transit in Kuala Lumpur
I initially planned to spend 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur until a young American girl I follow on Instagram swayed me to going straight to Bali. Her pics and love for Bali literally moved me from my seat lol. I got up and cancelled my AirBnB stay in KL and lucky enough there was a flexible cancellation policy on my booking so I was able to cancel with a full refund. I’m guessing it was not a coincidence as I was unable to book my initial flight to Bali well in advance due to booking issues.
Spending 5 hours in an airport in a new city is so not like me so I took the risk, left my luggage in the airport storage (for 300 MYR – £6 flat fee for a day) and got on the fast train to the city. Already living in a big city left me content with my decision to spend only 5 hours in KL. I’ll recommend staying for a maximum of 1 or 2 days to see the skyscrapers, explore and eat some apparently delicious Malaysian curry (I had a subway and cookies because I was rushed for time lol).
I’m now in Bali!
As always I flew with AirAsia from KL to Bali and being Doyin I arrived to Bali on a public holiday day where the city comes to a halt (Nyepi) lol. Thankfully, through a friend’s connection I was chartered home in the early hours of the Nyepi morning by Ary, my awesome new Balinese driver!
Throughout my time here I’ll be utilising Ary, a bicycle and hopefully with a little practice – a scooter – to get myself around the Island.
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