Get away from the crowds with our list of 10 nooks, activities, and places traveling in Thailand.
Thailand is much more than Full Moon parties, cheap beer, ladyboys, tuk-tuks, and La Playa… Our colleague Cat McGloin, currently in the country, shares her 10 favorite places for you to find your Thai paradise.
Ladyboys, Buddhist temples, and opulent Grand Palaces are just three reasons to stop in Thailand’s capital. Get away from Khao San Road and its cheap food stalls to discover a much more seductive side of ancient Siam. After a hard day of sightseeing, recharge at Thip Samai, Bangkok’s best place for pad thai.
Take the night train to Chiang Mai from Bangkok and wake up among some of the highest mountains in Thailand, perfect for a few days of hiking in the jungle. Come to one of the elephant sanctuaries in the area and have a great time bathing and feeding them. But first, make sure that the benefits of the activity will be used to protect these noble animals. If gastronomy is your thing, sign up for a Thai cooking course in one of the schools or organic farms that are in this special place in the heights.
Another place for traveling in Thailand with a reputation for being a bit of a hippie mountain destination, Pai is 80km north of Chiang Mai and is the perfect place to pamper yourself with a massage or a spa (or two). Home to countless waterfalls and natural springs, the days will fly by with Thai massages. Start the day by relaxing in your private bungalow before trying one of the traditional dishes of the area and a big favorite among backpackers: banana pancakes.
Krabi, on the west coast of Thailand, is a popular place for traveling in Thailand those visiting Koh Phi Phi, where the movie “The Beach ” was filmed. However, Krabi is also the gateway to many natural parks, including Railey. Take a boat from Ao Nang to Railey and visit its fascinating caves, go rock climbing, or simply enjoy romantic sunsets over the Andaman Sea from the peninsula lookout point.
Suspended on the edge of a ridge of mountains, the cool climate of this small town is a real relief for those who need a breath after suffering from the heat of central Thailand. It is possibly best known for its famous bridge over the River Kwai, part of the Burma Railway, and the setting for a movie about World War II that starred the great Alec Guinness. Once a year the entire town dresses up to recreate the battle with an impressive fireworks display. The nearby Temple of the Tiger, in addition, will allow you to get up close and interact with these big cats like never before.
Koh Li Pe
Here you will find some of the most pristine and pristine beaches in Thailand. Pattaya beach is the main one, and there you will find five-star resorts to bungalows by the sea. For a somewhat more remote island experience, head west from Koh Li Pe to Sunset Beach for, as the name suggests, spectacular sunset views. It’s a stone’s throw (more like an hour by boat) from Langkawi in Malaysia, in case you fancy exploring a bit more.
Home to some of the best scuba diving in the world, Koh Tao, or the Island of the Turtles, is a mecca for newbies and professionals alike. It is also one of the cheapest places in the world to get certified as a diver. And, in addition, you can swim with all kinds of exotic aquatic animals, such as sharks or green turtles. In the evening, stroll through the bars that fill Sairee Beach or head to Thian Og Beach to watch the sunset in solitude.
Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, is an awesome place for traveling Thailand. But stick around for a few days and you’ll realize there’s so much more to it than flashy resorts and expensive spas. If you want to see how Muay Thai is doing, or you just want to get in shape, you will find many gyms that offer courses from one day to a month. If wrestling isn’t your thing, try to see how kitesurfing is your thing in Chalong Bay during the winter months.
Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand is home to the oldest evergreen tropical forest in the world. Discover it on foot with a hiking trail or join a jeep safari through the jungle to see local fauna. Such as gibbons (a species of small monkeys), deer, and wild boar. For more thrills, you can try tubing (the latest hot adventure sport) or canoeing on Cheow Larn Lake. Where you can also stay in a private floating bungalow.
This Hindu shrine complex sits atop an extinct volcano in northeastern Thailand. And was built to represent Mount Kailash, the sacred home of the god Shiva. It is one of the most important examples of Khmer architecture in the country. And is over a thousand years old. In April, when the sun aligns through the 15 gates of the sanctuary. The park hosts a festival, and visitors can camp in the area.
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