Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Almost all backpackers in South East Asia visit the nation at least once for its affordability, culture and nightlife. Others come to enjoy beach getaways, temples and to have authentic experiences. Whether you’re planning to visit the larger cities or have a retreat on one of the many islands, there’s something for you in Thailand. Expect everything from budget-friendly hostels and local guesthouses to exclusive thai homes and five-star resorts throughout the country. But where is the best place to visit? Keep reading and find out.
Usually the first port of call for most tourists, Thailand’s capital has everything a visitor could want. As soon as you land at the airport, the feeling of being somewhere exotic doesn’t take long to hit. On the surface the capital might appear chaotic where something seems to be happening at almost every corner. And this is appealing to some tourists, especially backpackers and first-time visitors. But dig a little deeper and find a thriving food culture with plenty of local restaurants and street food, golden temples and a vibrant culture. Head to Khao San, the capital’s famous backpacker district, for a night out. And don’t miss out on visiting Wat Arun, the Royal Palace and Phra Kaew Morakot and spending an afternoon strolling through Chinatown.
But Bangkok doesn’t suit every type of traveller. Instead, it makes a convenient base for day trips or to access other parts of the country. Most inbound airlines arrive in the capital and domestic flights can then connect tourists to Chiang Mai in the north or to the islands. Other destinations can be reached by bus or rail including Pattaya, Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi.
Phuket: The Best Thai Island for Everyone
Located in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is among the most famous islands in Thailand. With a constant flow of backpackers, budget-travellers and other tourists, the island is a haven for beach-lovers. Phuket has an excellent tourist infrastructure with everything a visitor could need. Expect a wide selection of accommodation to suit your budget from party hostels to five-star resorts overlooking the beach. And the activities are just as varied. Some tourists head to the beach and soak up the sun, sit in the bars or take part in water sports before hitting the nightclubs. Others explore the town, hike to waterfalls, go island hopping or spend their time in the world-class spas. This island has pretty much any kind of holiday or trip a tourist could dream of with facilities to cater for everyone.
A Getaway on Koh Samui’s Tropical Paradise
Koh Samui is another popular and versatile Thai Island that’s suitable for all types of travellers. From backpackers and gap year students to honeymooners and elderly couples, the crowd on this island is almost as diverse as its activities. Despite the relatively small size, Koh Samui has an abundance of experiences to suit holidaymakers. Some parts of the island are more suitable for relaxing on hammocks attached to the coconuts trees. Or simply sip a cocktail or two on Chaweng Beach. Others have late night bars and entertainment lasting until the early hours. Those looking for a quiet holiday and to spend their time in the spas can go to another part of the island.
Given its popularity, it’s a good idea to search beforehand to find the best part to suit your interests. You don’t want to have a family holiday in the heart of the party district or a lads-getaway next to the spas. A little planning beforehand can guarantee that you get the most out of your time on Koh Samui. Another top tip is to consider renting a motorcycle if you have a license. The coastal road wraps around the island passing through the island’s most spectacular scenery.
Chill Out in Chiang Mai
Northern Thailand’s top destination, Chiang Mai, attracts more of the budget-conscious travellers. The city has some of the cheapest accommodation with beds in hostels costing as little as $10. Expect to get a hearty meal for a few dollars too. Most of Chiang Mai’s visitors consist of backpackers and long-term travellers who end up staying for weeks or even months in the relaxing town. As a tourist, check out Wat Phra That Do Suthep, visit the elephants and enjoy a romantic evening on the Mae Ping River. Warorot Market is a hotspot for shopping and to get a flavour of the local culture while San Kamphaeng Road provides a more touristic-centric shopping experience. Chiang Mai is both a very affordable travel destination and a laid-back place where it’s easy to meet others and make new friends.
Embrace Thailand’s Rich History at Sukhothai
Sukhothai holds the title as the first capital of Thailand. In the 13th-century, the region was the thriving centre of Siam (the former name of Thailand). Today, it’s a UNESCO-World Heritage Site filled with the ruins of the civilisation that flourished some 800 years ago. Stroll through the ruins of the once opulent palaces or admire the centuries-old temples, especially Wat Mahatat. Wat Mahatat is both the most famous and biggest temple in Sukhothai. Getting around is easy too. Most attractions are within walking distance. Or, rent a bicycle and cycle.
Choosing the Best Place to Visit in Thailand
Thailand offers a range of destinations from islands, historical capitals and energetic entertainment centres. If you want to relax on the beach, head to Phuket or Koh Samui. Bangkok is a great spot to base yourself to get to other parts of the country and to soak up the bustling capital city’s charm. Or go to Chiang Mai for a more chilled out experience