Ideas on What to Visit in Thailand
Have you ever dreamed of visiting Thailand? Who hasn’t! 🙂 It is a land of beautiful islands, exotic scents and smiley people. After two adventurous trips to Thailand, we felt like it is time to share tips to inspire your trip.
Ideas What to Visit
We know that feeling when you are holding the Thai map in your hands with no idea where to go because of the limited time you have. Everyone is looking for different activities and experiences so we hope this post to help you at least a bit when making the tough decision. So, here is our Thai story!
Experience Thai Culture
If you are looking for some real Thai adventure, don’t miss Bangkok! There are two parallel realities living together in harmony in this city. For example, you can drink elegant cocktails in luxurious skyscrapers overlooking the city at one moment and then in another you are down on the messy streets where people are eating “God-knows-what” and sitting on the ground, while you are fighting not to get killed by the crazy traffic.
We loved it! It is a city with a special character, which has preserved its culture in colorful temples but also has the guts to offer modern and some times scandalous nightlife. Expect the craziness and rush of the big city and dare to explore its secrets.
Explore Divine Beaches
For us the uniqueness of Thailand mainly lies in the stunning beaches and islands. This is probably one of the most beautiful regions in the world (well, we haven’t seen all of them yet :P) if you enjoy lagoon-type of beaches, surrounded by lime stone cliffs and offering colorful sunsets. There are 1430 and even more beaches to choose from, so where should you go?
East versus West
If you are travelling in Thailand for less than 2 weeks or if you don’t want to move too much from place to place, then you should consider either the east or the west Thai islands. You can do both, just have in mind that the transportation from one side to another will take you about 12 hours.
There are three islands in this region and the Angthong marine park. You can easily hop from one island to another with a ferry or you can do a day trip to the marine park. Here is how we saw these islands in few words.
Koh Samui – party place
Big island, where you can find mainly luxurious resorts, but you can find also some reasonable accommodation if you are on a budget. The atmosphere is quite of a party one and too commercial for our taste. If you are looking for a real adventure on a beautiful island – this is not the place.
Koh Phangan – hippie vibe, great lagoons
Great spot, offering good balance between peaceful beauty and some fun! The hippie vibe is all over this hilly island, surrounded by tons of lagoon-style beaches. Koh Phangan is also the home of the famous Full-Moon Party, which is definitely not the reason why we recommend you this island.
Koh Tao – the dream diving spot
Small and beautiful! The best spot for diving in Thailand! Come here to take your PADI certificate since there are wonderful diving spots where you can meet up with colourful fish and some sharks, but also cheap prices driven by the high supply and the competition.
West Islands and Beaches
The Andaman see offers you the divine scenery of numerous beaches and islands surrounded by limestone cliffs. Every day there is like waking up in a fairytale!
The diversity of activities and beaches though can be quite confusing and the atmosphere at each destination actually varies a lot so inform yourself and pick wisely especially if you are going there for a very limited time. The main getaways for those islands are Phuket and Krabi since those destinations offer international airports and big ports. Here is a brief review of what you can expect on some of the main spots we visited:
Phuket – party paradise
Do you want to spend your vacation enjoying party beaches and big hotels? Then, you don’t need to go further than Phuket! There you can find also a lot of daily trips to some of the other islands, which seemed kind of overpriced. We’ve heard there are a lot of cultural activities, which you can check out in your hotel if you go there. We chose to use it only as a getaway since there is an international airport.
Krabi beaches – limestone cliffs paradise
Railey beach – laid back resort with stunning views
This is a post-card type of place! Stunning beach, surrounded by limestone cliffs and a divine cave to discover! This is a must-do daily trip destination, but not a place we would recommend you to stay overnight. It is occupied only by expensive all-inclusive hotels and we think it is only appropriate for families with kids who are ok to spend a big deal of money for a relaxing and beautiful spot.
Ton Sai – the climbing destination
This is the paradise for the ones who want to learn or enjoy climbing cliffs. There are a lot of schools for this and many people go there to master this sport. The vibe is hard to describe, quite hippie and even a bit weird! The village itself is well hidden in the jungle and offers wooden huts, some even high in the cliffs.
Ao Nang – so-so beach but a good getaway
There is nothing in Ao Nang that really impressed us, but it definitely proves to be a good getaway for daily trips to the nearby islands. There is a long and boring beach line, tons of hotels and lively atmosphere.
Koh Yao Noi – calm and relaxing
This is the calmest place we have seen in Thailand! No traffic rush, no bargaining, almost no people! It is quite a big island located in-between Krabi and Phuket, which offers you a relaxing vacation. We would recommend this place to the people looking for relaxation and searching for serenity.
Koh Phi Phi Islands – commercialized beauty
The home of the “Beach” is one of the most commercial places we have ever seen! This is a group of 3 islands, out of which you can stay only on Koh Phi Phi Dong, which is the ultimate party destination. In order for you to go and see the famous divine lagoon from the movie The Beach, you need to take a daily boat trip to the so-called Maya beach. The scenery is stunning we have to admit, but the way it has been commercialized makes it not so attractive.
There are two more islands which we heard of but we didn’t have time to see (next time though we will 🙂 Those are the former backpacker Ko Lanta and the relaxing Koh Jum. Do you have experience with those? Please, share in the comments!
There are also tons of small islands, which you can visit on daily boat trip, but you can’t stay overnight there. About the last ones, there will be a whole blog post with ideas for itineraries.
No matter where you decide to go, it will be worthy 🙂 Please, share with us your experience from Thailand in the comments! What did you like most?