I have lived in Thailand now for the past three years and during that time I have traveled extensively through this wonderful country. There is so much to fall in love with about this nation, and so much for tourists to explore. What I think is one of the best qualities of Thailand is that whatever you are looking for as a tourist, there is sufficient diversity and variety that you can find it. No matter whether you are looking at indulging in one of the luxury Thailand holidays that it has become so famous for, seeking adventure on the many islands off the coast or looking for a cultural experience like no other, Thailand is the place where you can find it.
I have been thinking for a while now about putting a list together of the best places to visit in Thailand, and I can tell you that in all honesty, it has been a very difficult list to put together, as I adore so many of the countries destinations. With this being said, I have finally whittled down my list, and here are my 4 favorite destinations in the country, and why I think that you should check them out.
It may sound a little cliche to say that Bangkok should be on your list, given that it is often the go-to destination for many travelers visiting here. The point is however that the reason why this is a cliched choice, is because it offers so much to tourists, that they continuously come back year after year. Whether you are looking to explore the culture of the country in places like Wat Arun Temple and the Floating Markets, looking to indulge in the famed nightlife here or perhaps simply looking to get to the heart of the bustling capital of the country through its markets and general way of life, this is the perfect introduction to Thailand. If you are visiting the country, use Bangkok to get started.
Whilst I may not have visited every one of the Thai islands, I have seen my fair share and amongst my favorites is the quiet and naturally stunning Koi Samui. Twice I have had the good fortune of enjoying a luxury break on the island, and I cannot wait to go back again to discover more of what it has to offer. Here on the island you can go snorkeling around ancient coral reefs, you can take hikes through the rainforest and discover waterfalls and wildlife with ease, you can also use the break to simply get away from it all, relaxing on the beach in the sunshine, with the sea lapping at your toes. The nightlife in Ko Samui is really lively but what I love most is that if this isn’t your scene, you can easily stay away from it and enjoy the remote tranquility which the island offers.
Phi Phi Islands
Ko Samui is definitely in amongst my favorites in terms of Thai islands to visit, but the single most beautiful islands that I have visited are those of Phi Phi, and in truth, it is difficult to find words to describe just how spectacular the natural surroundings are here. There are no better beaches in the country than on Phi Phi in my book with the stereotypical white sand and turquoise waters to boot. What I love most about this corner of the country is that despite its immense popularity, it isn’t hard to find a small bay or hidden away cove where you can relax in peace. There is no way on earth that I could ever get bored of gazing across the ocean, with the backdrop of that rugged, tree lined, coast as the sun blazes down. Here in Phi Phi you can relax, you can get active on the water with snorkeling and fishing trips, you can party like a teenager in the lively nightspots or you can simply bask in what is one of the world’s most spectacular natural offerings. The best part about Phi Phi, especially in relation to some of the more popular islands, is that it is incredibly well priced, and you don’t have to break the bank to stay here.
Chiang Mai has grown over the years into a haven for backpackers and digital nomads but beyond this there is so much to offer all types of tourists, and in my view you shouldn’t visit Thailand without taking the trip north up to the city of Chiang Mai. Here in Chiang Mai you will a city which you can easily wander around, with no urgency and something to discover around each corner, Chiang Mai also has you covered in terms of culture and history with ancient sites dating back almost a thousand years, temples galore and perfectly preserved teak houses. My view is that Chiang Mai is the perfect blend of old and new Thailand and the juxtaposition of archaeological sites near condos and malls, is really what makes this place so endearing. I you do visit Chiang Mai I would urge you to visit the Elephant Sanctuary where you can see these amazing beasts, safe in the knowledge that they are well cared for, and not forced to do anything that they don’t want, something which unfortunately is found in other parts of the country.
What are you waiting for? Why not plan your trip to Thailand this year and come explore some of these spectacular destinations.