Images by Nicolas Vollmer used under Creative Commons License.
Thailand is a backpacking haven and a bucket-list stop-off for most modern travellers. There’s an endless choice of destinations in this lush country, from the sun-kissed islands of the south to the spectacular mountain scenery of the North. For those planning a first time visit, you’ll want to explore these five awesome places.
You haven’t really seen the true spirit of Thailand until you’ve explored its bustling capital. Bangkok offers a true taste of urban Asia complete with thick smog, endless traffic jams and overly energetic street-hawkers. Once you’ve adapted to this sensory overload, stand back and admire incredible sights from the sacred Grand Palace to Wat Prakaew. The jaw dropping architecture and intricate Buddha sculptures here are sure to impress even the most hardened of sightseers. Finish your day with a drink at the infamous Khao San Road – a thumping stretch of bars, clubs and low cost restaurants.
Images by DavideGorla used under Creative Commons License.
The limestone cliffs and crystal clear waters of Krabi offer the right setting for the beach holiday of a lifetime. For your own slice of paradise, catch a boat to nearby Railay Beach which is cut off from the mainland by dramatic rock formations. The more adventurous can try rock climbing but many will choose to lounge under the sun and take in the awe-inspiring surroundings. Back on the mainland, be sure to visit Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, a stunning preserve famed for its turquoise lagoon.
Nestled amongst the impressive mountain scenery of the North, Thailand’s second largest city is unlike anywhere else in the country. Its unique charm is a favorite amongst backpackers with plenty of affordable accommodation options and scores of attractions to enjoy. the perfect combination of old and new, visitors can marvel at the old city walls and ancient temples which coexist in this sprawling metropolis. The nightly street Bazaar is also worth exploring. This treasure trove is a hive of activity with hundreds of local vendors selling an exciting mix of intricate jewelry, clothing, art and much more.
Situated between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, this ultra laid-back town promises old world charm and some of the friendliest locals in the country. Once a sleepy village, Pai has been transformed in recent years, attracting soul-searching travellers and those simply looking to reconnect with nature. Fans of the outdoors can hike along one of the mountain trails to visit a remote hill tribe, cooling off under waterfalls along the way. Thrill seekers can also take a hair raising white-water rafting tour down the scenic Pai River.
Aptly named the pearl of the Andaman, this tourist hot spot attracts millions of visitors every year. With stunning beaches, great restaurants and some of the best nightlife in Thailand, it’s not difficult to see why. Once you’ve enjoyed the mayhem at the sin city of Patong, enjoy some much needed tranquility in Phuket’s old town. A winding labyrinth of colorful, art-deco shop fronts sit alongside Buddhist temples and chic eateries. It’s a great place to enjoy traditional Thai cuisine including the local favorite, Pad Thai.
Start planning your trip now and you could be visiting some of these destinations on your next Thai adventure sooner than you think. You’re guaranteed an unforgettable trip!