2 - 3 weeks
Join the classic beach-hunters' trail by leapfrogging across the peninsula and dipping your toes into both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea (1400km round trip).
Spend some time in Bangkok, before bussing south to Chumphon, the jumping-off point for diving or snorkelling in Ko Tao and fullmooning in Ko Pha-Ngan. These islands are supremely chilled with a dash (you say when) of hedonism thrown in. Ko Pha-Ngan is one of the most diverse islands in the Gulf: 20-somethings go for trance-crazed Hat Rin, 30s-and-beyond burrow further north, maybe peeping into the party for old-time's sake, and families dig the toddler-friendly bays.
When you tire of your hammock head via air or Surat Thani to the beautiful Andaman coast, decorated with the iconic limestone sea cliffs that have made Thailand's beaches famous. From Krabi squeeze into a minivan to explore the surrounding beaches or go to Railay to climb the world-famous seaside karst cliffs. For more beaches, check out Ko Lanta before returning to Krabi via Ko Phi-Phi to see what all the fuss is about.
Drag yourself off the sand for some jungle trekking in Khao Sok National Park or Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, closer to Bangkok. Then head back to Bangkok for a wrap up of souvenir shopping and city pampering.