Got a bit of wanderlust? I certainly do. In fact, my adventure list keeps getting longer and longer each day. High on that list is Thailand. To help you and I learn more about this fascinating destination, I reached out to travel writer and journalist, Natalie Deduck, to share with us her expertise on the 5 Must Visit Places in Thailand.
Lets get ready to explore Thailand with Natalie!
Thailand is on the bucket list of many travelers, but what you need to know is that the country is vast, beautiful and diverse. Thailand is a huge country, and it’s more developed than most of the people think, making easy and safe to travel around. So if you are planning a Thai holiday you must add these 5 destinations to your travel itinerary:
Bangkok: Big, Busy and Beautiful
Bangkok can be overwhelming, the city has so many places to see, attractions to visit and local experiences to have that you can stay there for months. Not to mention the thousands of hotels, bars, and restaurants that are worth visiting.
Bangkok is a great introduction to Thai culture, religion, and food. You must add to your itinerary a visit to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho Temple, Chatuchak Market, Chinatown and Siam Shopping Complex. Don’t forget to enjoy a boat ride on Chao Phraya River, watch the sunset on a rooftop bar in Sukhumvit or Silom area, stroll around Lumpini Park and pair a beer with a foot massage at Khao San Road. These are some of Bangkok top attractions that you can’t miss. Doesn't matter your style of traveling, Bangkok has it all and it will surprise you. Here's a guide to what to do in Bangkok and where to stay.
Chiang Mai: Mountains, Massage, and Monks
Chiang Mai is the soul of Thailand, the address of 300 temples, massage and yoga classes and beautiful nature. Explore Chiang Mai Old Town on foot, then hop on a bike and discover the new neighborhoods around and go to the top of Doi Suthep Hill.
Don’t forget to visit one of the temples where you can talk to monks and learn about Buddhism or do a traditional Thai Massage. My last recommendation is to plan your trip to Chiang Mai during the weekend so you can visit the Night Bazar and the Sunday Night Market that takes over the main streets of the Old Town. Plan some extra days to visit Chiang Rai, Doi Inthanon Park, and Pai.
Phuket: Sun, Sea, and Sunsets
Phuket is one of my favorite islands in Thailand. You can find everything there, from super luxurious hotels to local temples, from Sino-Portuguese architecture at the old town to waterfalls and mountains. Not to mention the busy markets and parties. You must visit the island beyond the famous and touristic Patong Beach, there are so many things to do in Phuket that your days will fly by.
My recommendation is to visit Karon Beach, Kamala Beach, Mai Kao Beach and other villages around the coast. You will discover amazing beaches and stunning sunsets. Don’t forget to visit Phuket town for the weekend night market, you gonna love the vintage houses and the street food.
Krabi: Beaches, Boat trips, and Beers
Krabi is the starting point for a great adventure. The region is known for its beautiful beaches, island hopping tours, and Phi Phi Island. You can use Krabi town as a base to explore the region or you can stay one or two days in each destination. Krabi town has a busy street market and temples that are worth visiting. Ao Nang is a good beach to relax and join a boat tour to the 4 Islands or Hong Islands. Both of them are amazing day trips, especially if you love snorkeling. Just beside AoNang is the famous Railay Beach, the perfect place to relax, have a beer and watch the sunset.
Your Krabi adventure is not finished without a visit to the super touristic, yet stunning Phi Phi Island. Go for a day or for a week, this island is packed with great snorkeling spots, beaches and the world famous Maya Bay.
Koh Tao: Snorkeling, Scuba Dive, and Simple Life
Koh Tao is a real paradise. This small island is not as famous as its neighbors Koh Samui and Koh Phangan and that’s what makes it so special. Koh Tao is a paradise for water activities and has tons of scuba dive schools, snorkeling tours, shops renting kayaks and paddle boards. The beaches in the island are not as paradisiac as in Phi Phi, Phuket or on the islands around Krabi, but they have some of the best spots for diving and the marine life there is outstanding.
Life in Koh Tao is simple, most of the visitors are there for nature, making this tiny island the perfect getaway for those who want to relax, enjoy stunning viewpoints and eat delicious food. From Koh Tao, you can visit Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and the Angthong Marine National Park, all are a boat ride away.
There is so much beauty, culture and friendly people in Thailand that these 5 must visit places are just a small part of what the country has to offer. That’s why it has been 4 years that I’m going back for at least a month of holiday in Thailand.
**Post contributed by peer travel writer and Brazilian journalist, Natalie Deduck, who just so happens to be addicted to coffee, crazy about cats, passionate about travel and a beach lover. Natalie and her husband Rob are behind Love and the Road Blog where they share travel tips, inspiring stories, and postcard photos.**