Thailand is often one of the first countries in Asia Brits visit. It’s popular with the 18-25 year old gap year kids for a reason. It’s easy to get around, it’s crazy cheap (or maybe just ‘cheap’ now) and the scenery and culture is beautiful. Oh, and the food. Yes, Thai food is one of the best cuisines out there without a doubt.
If you’re planning on travelling Thailand, as opposed to taking a short break or holiday for a fortnight, look into applying for a Thai visa. By the end of 2018, Brits and other nationalities will be able to request a visa online without having to visit a Thai embassy or queue at immigration to get a visa on arrival. The new Thai visa system is simple and will enable travellers to sort out their visa hassle-free prior to travelling.
Backpackers love Thailand, luxury lovers flock there, and families enjoy a fun trip at a reasonable price. But, if you’ve never been before then how are you meant to know the most interesting places to visit in Thailand to include in your trip?
By asking me, that’s how.
You’ll probably fly into Bangkok so you might as well take a look around while you’re there. Some people love this place, others hate it, while I just think… I don’t quite get it. I’ve been a few times now, and seen the impressive temples, been to the crazy Khao San Road, and then I don’t really know what to do with myself. I think the key is to pop in for a few days, and then escape to the islands.
2. Chang Mai
Chang Mai has become a haven for digital nomads, as news of the simple, cheap living and friendly locals has spread. The foodie night markets here are amazing and there are so many beautiful naturally made spots. It’s a pretty place, with a moat going around the old town and Buddhist temples almost on every corner. This is one of the most cultural places on the list with hill tribes nearby for you to visit, and make sure to pop in to the elephant sanctuaries too.
People slate Phuket, but if you want your trip to Thailand on the luxury side then this is where you’ll find the best big hotels. It’s home to some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches, some great restaurants and high-end spas too. You should definitely sign yourself up to a Muay Thai class while you’re here.
4. Khao Sok National Park
The Khao Sok National Park comes highly recommended. You can go trekking and kayaking and stay on basic floating bungalows on the lake for the night. If you’re into your nature and you want to see some wildlife then this is the place for you.
If you’re having trouble visualising how all these cool activities can fit in your trip, check out this three-week Thailand itinerary from kaveyeats.com.
Pai is a small town in the north of Thailand, nearish to Chiang Mai. At night the main street transforms into an awesome street market selling food, handmade gifts and other (tat). It’s the countryside up here that makes the trip worth it though. Photogenic rivers, mountains and rice fields surround the laid back town. The journey here from Chang Mai contains way too many hairpin bends though, just so you’re prepared!
6. Koh Lanta
I know quite a few travel bloggers who’ve spent several months living on Koh Lanta, it’s that good. The beaches here tend to be a bit quieter than the other islands, and they have jungle and mangrove forests too. One of the best things to do here is to get around via moped, the island is just the perfect size.
7. Chang Rai
Chang Rai is totally worth visiting, if just for the impressive White Temple – one of the most stunning religious buildings in the world. Visit Chang Rai and take some time to cycle in the nearby countryside too, it’s stunning. Make sure to fit Phu Chi Fa look out point into your Chang Rai itinerary too.
8. Koh Phangnan
Full Moon Parties! Honestly, there’s more to Koh Phangnan that just those, although they are fun, so I’ve heard. But they’re only on one beach, once a month, while the other tens of beaches on the island are much more relaxed. Think yoga, vegan cafes, meditation retreats and jungle walks. The further north you go on the island, the more ‘Thai’ it becomes.
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