Thailand Island Hopper West | Contiki

January 18, 2016 Thailand

Contiki Thailand Island Hopper West Review


If you're thinking about booking the Thailand Island Hopper West tour with Contiki, here is an overview of my experience.

One Group. 9 days. 3 Islands. 1 Country. New FriendshipsUnforgettable Experience!

My Decision. 
After finishing my first ever 31 day European Contiki adventure (click here) to read more about that experience. I booked another Contiki trip, not even six months later! The travel bug for sure bit me and I was ready to explore a new destination. I actually booked this trip a month after my fist tour finished. Narrowing down destination options, I wanted to do a tour that wasn't too long and focused on sightseeing in one country. I have never been to Asia before and thought this was the perfect opportunity to go during my winter break. Contiki offers two Thailand trips that focus on traveling to the eastern and western islands. It was hard to choose which to book because they both offered great itineraries. Ultimately I decided on the Thai Island Hopper West tour!

Thailand Island Hopper West. 
I was interested to see the difference of a fast-paced European Contiki tour and this tour as it's categorized as slow paced. Let's break it down, the style of these tours are completely different. If you want to know more of an in depth overview of my month long European experience (click here). European tours with multi-city stops tend to be fast paced. You are always on the go and on the coach bus for long hours when trying to fit as many destinations in one trip.

Focusing on a tour that is one specific country, allows you more time to explore and enjoy your time at a slower pace. With stops in Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Krabi, these 9 days of experiencing new adventures and relaxing in different islands make you want to stay longer. This tour allowed you to do whatever you wanted on your free time but as well being in the company of tour mates for the optionals that are offered in this tour. I really enjoyed the dynamics of this tour and would recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy a chill island vibe as well as experience new cultures and customs.

What is Contiki?
Contiki is a travel company that offers numerous trips all over the world that have everything planned out for you. It's targeted audience are 18 to 35 year olds, which makes it fun and easy to make friends if you're traveling solo! The biggest decision you would have to make is picking the destination for your travels which can be difficult because they offer an array of trips in different price ranges, locations, and durations. It all depends on your budget and how much vacation time you have.

Pros Traveling with Contiki.


  • INSTANT FRIENDSHIPS-  If you're a solo traveler, this is a perfect way to make new friends easily. You meet people from all over the world, all walks of life, and are bound to form new friendships that can last a lifetime or just till the end of the trip. I went solo again on this trip and met incredible new friends that I still talk to today. Surprisingly this time around there were more Americans on my tour, especially New Yorkers so it was nice being able to keep in touch with people who live closer to home. I became extremely close to girl from California and we already are planning our next trip together!
  • CONVENIENCE- Everything is already planned out for you! You don't have to worry about booking hotels, ferries, and etc. You have transportation available with group activities as well as a tour guide who can guide you to where you want to go. 
  • A TASTE OF THAILAND- I chose this trip because I wanted to go somewhere I never been before. I wanted to experience a new culture, get out of my comfort zone, and expand my horizons. This tour did exactly that. At this point, this was the farthest place I ever traveled to coming from New York. I got to try new food, visit temples, go on crazy adventures with strangers, and learn a different way of living of what I'm used to. These 9 days weren't enough for me and making me crave more of Thailand. I would love to go back and see more of this beautiful country. Hopefully I get to explore the eastern part of Thailand one day!
  • ACCOMMODATION- All the hotels are for the most part are centrally located which I loved! Compared to the European tour, some accommodations in some cities weren't centrally located so it was good to see that these hotels were. The Phuket accommodation was a few blocks walking distance from the beach, shopping, restaurants and massage places. The Koh Phi Phi accommodation was kind of secluded at the end of the island but nonetheless it was right on the beach! Just be prepared to walk up a hill to your room and also into town. The people who partied a little too hard never made back to the hotel (haha). The Krabi accommodation was also great in walking distance to the beach, shops and restaurants.
  • FREE TIME- Because this trip focuses on one country and the western islands, you have LOTS of free time! This tour is so laid back compared to Contiki's high energy tours. I was so glad to experience the contrast of the two type of trips because it also changed the way of thought of tours.  Most of our group in Thailand would split up into mini groups during our free time to go visit temples, go to the beach, get massages, go to touristy attractions, or go shopping. Your free time is what you make of it, don't stay at the hotel pool all day. Go explore and try new things!
  • PARTY HARD- Let's face it, Thailand does have a party reputation depending where you go. Some people partied hard more than others but nonetheless it's the memories created that made the trip so memorable. If you're not much of a party person don't worry, you won't be peer pressured to do so. You had the option to stay at the bars or head back to the hotel.  I would say plan out the days you want to drink and have fun. Because partying too hard the night before a ferry ride isn't so fun nor recommended if you're hungover. The night life in Thailand is on another level! Just be careful with your drinks especially if you have BUCKETS as some of us had alcohol poisoning the first night. But seriously, you're in THAILAND go have fun!!

    Cons Traveling with Contiki.


  • GETTING SICK- You will get sick unless you have an amazing immune system. Upset stomachs, food poisoning, alcohol poisoning, motion sickness with boat excursions, being in the heat, etc- will catch up to you at some point during the trip. Bring pills, medicine whatever works for you on your trip because it's better to be safe than sorry. I did get sick on a night out drinking a few mojitos. Not sure if it was the alcohol or the ice used in the drink, but it did cause me to be sick for a few hours. They say the water in Thailand is not good to be consumed as a tourist so that could've been it if it was in my drink but just keep that in mind. Other people on the tour had upset stomachs from the food so just be prepared for anything to happen.
  • TOUR MANAGER- Your tour manager could also make or break your experience! I had two tour managers back in my Europe tour. The tour manager that I always rave about (Haley) conducted the Greek Island part of my tour and she was honestly the best! You can tell that she really loved her job and exuded positive energy and vibes. This time around our tour manager for Thailand was a bit reserved and quiet which isn't necessarily bad. She could've had a bad week, or something was going on in her personal life or that's how she is as a person but from prior experiences she wasn't what we were expecting as a tour manager, personality wise
  • GROUP DYNAMIC/ TRAVELING WITH FRIENDS- The group dynamic can make or break your Contiki trip also. My group didn't have that problem for the most part but I have talked to people who had drama between tour mates or people who they traveled with. A girl I became really close with wasn't too fond of her roommate, they just didn't click or got along. So if you're a solo traveler keep in mind when sharing rooms, you may or may not get along with your roommate. I was lucky to hit it off with my roommate. If you rather not share a room with a stranger than make your arrangements ahead of time. This tour is only 9 days long so I don't think much drama can occur between this short period of time but it is all about the group dynamic. Everyone is there to have a good time so make the best of your situation. Overall our group in Thailand was amazing and I made great new friendships from this tour.

  • Overall Thoughts. 
    I'm so glad I chose this trip! I was able to experience a new travel destination and culture. This was one of my goals in coming into the new year, to do things out of my comfort zone. Europe has forever changed me in the way I see travel. Thailand just made my wanderlust urges even greater. I know I want to explore more countries in Asia and hope to be able to that in the near future. From seeing outstanding beaches, seeing spectacular scenery, getting the best messages, experiencing a different nightlife, eating pad thai's, going to the best beach parties, riding a tuk tuk for the first time, drinking too many buckets, and forming more new life-long friendships, thank you THAILAND!

    Youtube Video.


    #NOREGRETS
    I will be doing individual posts on each island I visited, links below :)

    Koh Phi Phi: http://bit.ly/2s569QX


    Comment below,
    What's your favorite Contiki trip you've been on?

    Until the next post!
    -WanderlustBeautyDreams ♡ 

    24 comments

    1. Thanks so much for your review on the Contiki Thai Island Hopper West tour! I am going at the end of November (solo) and cannot wait! Sounds like it is going to be an amazing trip :)

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      1. Yay!! You will have a blast! Let me know how your trip goes :) Sorry for the delay in responding, I was actually on another Contiki (Spanish Spree) recently and had an amazing time. Will be posting that blogpost up soon once my computer gets fixed :)

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    2. I’m doing the West Hopper Island tour in January 2019. During your trip, did you get to see the Karon viewpoint with contiki or did you do that on your ME time? I want to see as much as possible before heading to Bali after my Thailand trip. Thoroughly enjoyed all of your post and will be staying at some of the places you recommended.

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      1. Thank you so much for reading! As for the Karon viewpoint, I saw it during ME time with a couple of others on the tour. I would recommend going a couple days earlier or stay a few days longer if you wan to see and do as much as possible :)

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    3. I feel like I'd be SO nervous to travel with this many people. Gosh, I get nervous traveling with just one other person (my husband - and he knows me haha) so I'm sure a crowd would spook me for sure. But I know SO many people who would love this kind of travel experience!

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      1. haha it doesn't feel like a big group when you're there!

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    4. I love this idea! I've never heard of Contiki before but it sounds right up my alley. Every year I go to Costa Rica for one or two weeks in January on a retreat with about 80-100 people and many of those people have become lifelong friends. I'm totally investigating Contiki further!! Sounds like something my husband and I would love.

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      1. Wow that sounds so amazing! I have made lifelong friends though Contiki as well!

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    5. This sounds like such a fun trip and so cool that you got to visit Asia! Definitely need to look into Contiki, sounds awesome!

      Kileen
      cute & little

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      1. It was such a fun trip. Totally recommend checking out the many Contiki trips they have available!

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    6. I've never heard of Contiki before, but I think it's a great idea to get a group of people to travel together if you're going solo! It would probably be a really fun experience!

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    7. I've never even heard of Contiki before. It sounds like a great way to travel for those on a budget or looking to travel to multiple places.

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    8. I have never heard of this service before! What an awesome way to travel :)


      -xo, Azanique | https://www.lotsofsass.com

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    9. This looks like such a beautiful spot! I've always wanted to travel to Thailand but the long plane ride is what is scaring me off!

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      1. I have a post about how to survive a long haul flight that could help you :)

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    10. getting sick absolutely makes me nervous. i'd be scared it would ruin my whole trip!

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      1. It happens. it's part of traveling. If you prepare by bringing things that can alleviate your symptoms, you will be fine!

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    11. I’ve been on a contiki tour when I was in Europe, had a blast but the only thing I wasn’t too crazy about is that you are on a schedule and don’t really have much of free time. Always having to keep an eye on the time to get back with the group on time. It was a great experience at that time:) Looks like an amazing trip and looks so gorgeous! ❤️

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      1. Before booking a trip especially their Europe ones, you should always look at the itinerary. It tells you how many days you will be in each city and activities you will be doing so you're nor surprised when you're actually on the trip. I would say their island trip are more laid back and have much more free time available!

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    12. I never heard of Contiki before but it is great idea to travel with like minded people and good for solo travelers too. I still have to do Thailand's west island hopper tour and this really looks amazing option

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