I thought it was fitting to start with a Thailand post, and as I reflect on my time there I’ve come up with the best places I visited while living there. Without further ado & in no particular order..
This beautiful city is becoming more popular as a quieter (& less polluted) alternative to Bangkok. North of Thailand and in the mountains, this city has plenty of things to see and do. You can go to the popular night market, see a Thai boxing match or take a cooking class. Don’t forget to check out the local elephant sanctuary, which shelters and looks after the animals in their own habitat. If all of this isn’t enough, they also are known for having some pretty amazing food, known as Isan (ee san) food, which is even better than Bangkok. It’s also a great starting off point for further travel in the Northern region, A temple not too far away, known as Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, offers a stunning view of Chiang Mai and Pai. While I necessarily wasn’t a big fan of Pai, (it was too much like a western city in Thailand and didn’t feel very authentic), I do recommend the bike trip from Pai to Mae Hong Son. This route is quiet and goes through the beautiful countryside.
Khao Yai National Park
This is a beautiful national park that can be reached by bus from Bangkok in about 2.5 hours. It drops you off at Pak Chong. You can either find a place to stay in Pak Chong or stay in a guesthouse that’s nearer to the entrance of the National Park. Tours can be arranged at your accommodation and will bring you there and back. My tip? Rent a scooter from Pak Chong and bike into the national park yourself. Cruise around the national park at your own speed and visit many of the trails throughout the park. They have camping grounds here and it is very easy to rent a tent and sleeping bag. My favorite part was waking up early to try to spot some Wild Elephants!
There are many popular islands but this remains one of my favorites. Located to the SE of Bangkok, it’s about a 6 hour bus ride and is near to Cambodia. I like that it is further away from the other more popular islands and is large enough to even have a national park to explore. It was a beautiful island to ride around on a motorbike and my friends and I found some pretty secluded picture perfect beaches. Also named, Elephant Island, it was the first place I saw an elephant, in the sea with its’ trainer. Like all of the islands, there are many sea activities to do here and quiet places to explore. If you want to go to a few islands, probably best to stay near Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi but if you just want to stay on one island, or maybe go to Cambodia too, then I’d recommend Koh Chang.
Alright guys, so I went here to see the white temple, you know what I’m talking about? It’s this beautiful all white temple called Wat Rong Khun. It’s breathtaking, hands down the best temple I saw in Thailand. This city is also great because there are way less Western tourists than your used to seeing in the south Islands and makes for a more authentic experience. The highlight of this trip was motorbiking with a friend to Phu Chi Fa Forest. My tip? Stay in a guesthouse near the forest and wake up early so that you can be at the top for sunrise. It is a truly spectacular view and it straddles the border of Laos.
Kanchaburi (Erawan Falls)
Last but not least, Kanchanaburi! This is a small town only a few hours north of Bangkok and easy to get to. It’s a good place to go if you want to be in a quieter town and explore. My friends and I stayed in a guesthouse on the river Kwai and during the day went to the famous Bridge on River Kwai which is also next to a very colorful temple. My highlight of this trip was motorbiking to Erawan falls and swimming in the waterfall! Also, if your looking for a fish massage all you need to do is sit still in the water and you will feel the fish nibbling away on your dead skin cells. How does that sound? It was a personal test for me to see how calm I could stay (a solid 5 minutes I believe)!
Thanks for reading! Where would you like to visit in Thailand?