One of the most popular SEA destinations, Thailand offers more than just tourist hot spots. However, the white sand beaches and turquoise water draw a lot of tourists for good reason. We had an amazing time diving and beach chilling on islands in the south. Take your time and relax in the south, but make sure to leave some time to experience the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, and especially the serenity and culture of the northern cities Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. It’s still crazy to us to think they’re all located within the same country!
- Koh Tao – The smallest island of the Chumphon Archipelago but by far the most beautiful. This little island has escaped most of the development that Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan have suffered and offers a much more laid back vibe. One of the cheapest places in the world to learn how to dive, all the while offering breathtaking sunsets every single night. The sight of the beautiful Nang Yuan Island is featured on our home page.
- Chang Mai – The center of northern Thailand is where we fell in love with the country after escaping bustling Bangkok. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple for short) was easily one of our favourite temples, providing an amazing view of Chang Mai from atop the neighbouring mountains. The Old City is surrounded by a moat and encompasses countless unique cafes and shops to explore at your leisure.
- Railay Beach – An awesome beach town reached by boat from Krabi or Koh Phi Phi/Phuket. The beach is surrounded by massive cliffs and the area is known for it’s spectacular rock climbing and deep water soloing.
Worth the Trip
- Chang Rai – This is a fun little town near one of the major boarder crossings to Laos. They have a night market every night with live music and performances, as well as an abundance of delicious food stalls and lots of clothes and trinkets to buy.
- Koh Phi Phi – A much more commercialized island, with an active night life and a plethora of activities to try. Walk around the island at night and find the cheapest drink deal, craziest bar and some fire shows. Then spend the day exploring the surrounding islands with snorkeling or diving tours.
Just Pass Through
- Bangkok – Crowded and full of mean tourist preying locals. Not to mention polluted and dirty. Unfortunately pretty unavoidable as it’s one of the main hubs of SEA. Go check out the Grand Palace and Wat Pho then spend a night on Khao San Road. Then take the first train north to Chang Mai or south to the beaches.
- Koh Pha Ngan – The island is host to the world renowned Full Moon Party, and that’s pretty much all it’s good for. Get there a day or two early and chill at the beach bars and save some money on a room, then take the hangover ferry to Koh Tao the next morning.
Check out our posts on Thailand here!