Looking for things to do for 14 to 16 days in Thailand? This trip is perfect if you are flying into Phuket Airport and don’t want to have to fly domestically, as everything can be reached by either ferry or car.
We had 16 days in total, but it can be modified to be shorter or longer depending on how long you would want to stay in the different places. These places are a good mix of jungle, wildlife, snorkeling, diving, bars & restaurants and beaches.
Khao Sok National park
Duration: 3D/2N Getting here: Elephant Hills offer free pickup from Phuket area and surroundings. If you’re going with another tour or operator, I’m sure they do the same.
Glamping in the jungle, hanging out with elephants rescued from riding camps and the logging industry at Elephant Hills, exploring the jungle and going for a swim in a freshwater lake with a gorgeous backdrop. You can stay in the jungle or on the floating rainforest camp.
Duration: 5D/4N Getting here: First option is to take a car/bus to Donsak Pier and then a ferry to Koh Tao. We took advantage of the free transfer from Elephant Hills to Koh Samui and then took a ferry from Samui to Koh Tao. The second option is take a domestic flight from Phuket Airport to Koh Samui and then take a ferry to Koh Tao. Ferries can be booked online prior to arrival, or booked at the ferry terminals.
We decided to stay in the quiet part of the island in Sai Daeng Bay (next to Shark Bay). There’s great snorkeling and diving all around the island, and Sairee Beach is great if you want a big night out, or just a great meal and a few cold ones.
Duration: 1D/2N Getting here: The easiest way to get to Khao Lak is by car or bus. It’s a 1.5 hour ride from Phuket Airport and 3.5 from Donsak Pier.
Khao Lak was a bit of a stopover destination for us as it is the gateway to the Similan Islands. To get from Koh Tao to Khao Lak you can either ferry to Donsak Pier and then get a car/bus across the mainland or ferry to Samui, fly to Phuket and then get a car up. We took the first option. We stayed in the southern part this time, went to Monkey Bar and spent the day at Coconuts Bar by the beach.
Similan & Surin Islands
Duration: 4D/3N Getting here: Diving to the Similan & Surin Islands depart from Khao Lak. Usually the dive operator offers free pickup from anywhere in Khao Lak. We went with Similan Seven Sea Club for the second year in a row and they never disappoint.
Located 1.5h with a speedboat from Khao Lak, it’s one of the best dive sites in Thailand. To get the most out of it, I would recommend staying on a liveaboard. We did 4 days and 14 dives in various places.
Duration: 3D/2N Getting here: Memories Beach Bar can be found 10-20 minute taxi ride from Khao Lak, depending on where you are. If you are staying in the northern part (where the tsunami memorial is), there is a taxi rank next to the night markets.
This place is all about relaxing. Located in the northern part of Khao Lak, it offers a stunning white beach, a great beach bar with delicious food and cooling cocktails and sunsets that will take your breath away.
What songs can I use in my videos? Can I use copyrighted songs in my travel video? Where can I find background music for my vlog? I have seen these questions, and asked them myself, several times. When you start out it’s hard to know what background music and songs to use in your travel videos and vlogs, and where to get them. Listed below are a few tips, resources and examples.
The main question you need to ask yourself, is where are you posting your videos? This actually matters quite a bit, and I’ll explain why.
Using copyrighted music is always a risk. YouTube uses content ID, which in simple words means that the songs you use in your videos can be identified and what happens next is up to the artist who owns the music. There is a possibility to get a copyright claim against you, if you are not following the instructions of any Content ID claim. If you want to use copyrighted songs, be sure to search for the song on the Music Policies page on YouTube, to check the policy for that particular song. It will show you which policy it has, as well as if it’s blocked in any countries or viewable worldwide.
Here is an example search for the song I use in my Bangkok video:
Copyright free music
If you don’t want to risk getting ads on your videos, or getting a content ID claim, YouTube has a free audio library with plenty of songs to choose from. There’s not that many songs with vocals, but you can find a few gems. My video from Phi Phi Island is made entirely with songs from this library:
Creative commons music
Another great resource for music that you can use in your travel videos worry free is the No Copyright Music Audio Library which is a collection of music made available through creative commons licenses – these songs can also be used outside of YouTube. I find this to be a great resource, and I used a song I found here in my latest video Welcome To Queensland:
Facebook & Instagram
These two are a little bit tricker since they don’t use Content ID and the possibility for the owners of the songs to decide what happens. Videos with copyrighted songs will simple be removed, and you risk not being able to upload videos again. I would suggest staying away from copyrighted songs if you intend to upload your videos to these channels.
As I mentioned above, the creative commons music can be used outside of YouTube. This means you can use the same song in your video for each of the platforms. So if you intend to post your videos in more than one channel, my recommendation is using the No Copyright Music Audio Library
I have not tried any of these services, but if you can’t find what you are looking for in the above libraries, maybe check out some of the payed services:
My interest in video actually started under water. When I was travelling to Borneo a couple of years ago, I decided to buy a GoPro Hero4 to film my dives at Sipadan Island. At that time I was just using the GoPro, an underwater handle and a red filter that wasn’t nearly strong enough (so. much. blue). Today, I am actually, still using my loyal Hero 4, but with a couple of upgrades. Keep reading for a list of the underwater video equipment and settings that I use:
As mentioned, I still use my GoPro Hero4. I actually have two of them nowadays – I wanted another one for scuba diving with bull sharks in Fiji, so I could use one for video and one for photos. Let’s ignore the fact that the SD card in one of them didn’t work at the time (oopsie, it happens to all of us). There are plenty of different settings and depending on the kind of video you shoot, and depending on how much post-editing you want to do, you can adjust it to your preferences. I tend to shoot it in 2.7k with 60fps, but I export all my videos in 1080p 30fps. I like shooting in a higher resolution because that gives me the flexibility to crop and stabilise without loosing too much quality. I also like having the ability to slow it down, because fish, and other animals, don’t tend to stay in frame as long as you want them to.
If you want a camera for using in the water only, I would recommend checking out Paralenz, which is the first camera actually made specifically for diving. It has a built in color corrector that corrects the color depending on your depth (how cool is that?). This one is definitely on my wish list, but I’m still happy with my GoPros.
For years, I have just used a floating hand grip. It works perfectly, but does take some practise to get smooth footage. I have noticed that it helps holding it with both hands. Frame your shot, and then try to stay as still as possibile. If you are diving, don’t quick your fins – just use your breathing if you need to adjust your position up or down. If you want to do a panning shot – kick your fins, and then just glide forward slowly while getting your shot.
I recently upgraded to a tray for my GoPro, which offers a two hand grip and a triangular shape which helps you get close to your subject, without having your hands right in there. It’s made by Snake River Prototyping, and you can attach arms for torches as well.
Something I have not had to learn the hard way is – always, always – attach the camera to yourself. A wrist strap works perfectly, but make sure it stays on securely. It is important to be able to drop the camera if you need to use your hand. Same goes if you drop it by accident.
I only have two accessories for my GoPro setup – a torch and a red filter. I don’t use the torch that often, but it I like having it with me. If I had to pick one accessory, it would definitely be the red filter. Different filters are designed for different depths. If you are scuba diving, you need a stronger one, and if you are snorkelling you can use a weaker one. If you don’t use the correct filter for your depth, your footage will either come out too red (filter is too strong) or too blue (filter is too weak). If I want to film the ascent of my dive and get a reveal shot of the dive boat or the shore, I usually take the filter off 3-5m from the surface to avoid getting red footage. Most filters come with a little string that you can attach to your handle, so you don’t lose it.
Here is some footage from The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, shot with this exact setup and with some minor color correction done in post.