If you’re planning a backpacking trip, or simply fancy some time away at a tropical destination to chill out and get away from the rat race you should consider Thailand. It has been a favorite destination for backpackers and tourists alike. What isn’t there to like about this beautiful country with its year round warm temperatures, white sandy beaches, and turquoise water? (Did I mention the friendly locals?)
Thailand has so many things to do and see that it’s wise to stay for at least 2 weeks. You could easily stay longer while you spend months relaxing at the beach and partying the night away at full moon parties. However long you plan on staying for make sure you visit between November and February to avoid the humid wet season (if you do visit outside of this time period, it’s best to get out and about early in the morning as the heat is more bearable then).
If you’re lucky enough to get to visit Thailand then make sure you include the following in your itinerary:
What better place to start your visit than Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city which is home to several of the floating markets the country’s so famous for. The vibrant, bustling, China Town is where the much debated Shark Fin Soup can still be found. You can also find beautiful temples, delicious food infused with Thai, Chinese and Western influences. You’d be mad not to add this to your list of must see places in Thailand. Here are some places in Bangkok not to miss: Yaowarat (China Town), Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and Bang Khu Wiang floating market.
Siam Water Park
Once you’ve tired of laying around on beautiful beaches & attending full moon parties, head to Siam Water Park for a relaxing day splashing around with your friends or family. Located near Bangkok, there’s a man made beach (if you haven’t already had enough of those), wave machine, whirlpools, lots of fun slides and waterfalls galore.
Ko Pha Ngan
Talking of full moon parties, this is the island that started it, Ko Pha Ngan still holds a monthly full moon party. Here you can dance the night away into the early hours of the morning and then crash out on the beach to relax when you’re finished. This is another excellent place to go scuba diving, but do check your travel insurance first to make sure you don’t void your policy by doing so (this is a common exclusion on many policies). Don’t miss the nearby Ang Thong Archipelago which consists of over 40 islands for you to explore. Once you’ve definitely had your fill of lazing around in the sun, why not head to the nearby “Blue Lagoon” which featured in the film “The Beach”.
If you fancy spending some time relaxing on one of the beaches with white sand and crystal clear water then head to Ko Samui which is Thailand’s 3rdlargest island. The miles of white sandy beaches lined with palm trees and nestled in bays filled with turquoise water make for the perfect snorkelling or scuba diving destination. The island is generally much drier than the mainland in the rainy season but does have its own rainy season between October and December. Don’t miss: The Secret Buddha Garden (with spectacular views over the island), Namtok Hin Lat/Namtok Na Mueang (waterfalls) and Wat Khunaram ko Samui (a famous temple complete with mummified monk).
You can head to Chiang Mai for a taste of something different altogether. The city is home to over 300 temples (in and around the main city), many featuring spectacular decoration and statues. Don’t be fooled by it’s history as Chiang Mai is a bustling metropolitan city underneath it all with designer clothes shops, boutique hotels and many fine dining eateries. Don’t miss the Chiang Mai Arts & Cultural Centre and Wat Phra Sing (one of the most spectacular and beautifully decorated temples in Chiang Mai).