Where to Go in Thailand: 8 Incredible Thailand Destinations
I haven’t made a blog post in a while. Mostly from having too many adventures and way too much fun. And then from getting food poisoning… So here it is. Our time in the North has come to a bittersweet end so I have been reflecting on that but also thoroughly enjoying our time in Southern Thailand as well. Here’s a quick look at eight of my absolute favorite Thailand destinations.
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Thailand Destinations: Northern Destinations
1. Chiang Mai
Our time in the Northern Thailand was incredible. In Chiang Mai we visited temples, got addicted to Thai food, attended the famous Lantern Festival and visited an elephant sanctuary. Chiang Mai is absolutely beautiful. It’s full of thick green jungles, and packed with glittering temples. We were very fortunate to be able to stay with my friends’ family while in Chiang Mai and they were incredible hosts. They taught us how to make authentic Pad Thai, took us to temples and even helped us make our own floating lanterns for the Lantern Festival. Chiang Mai was one of my absolute favorite Thailand destinations for sure.
2. Chiang Dao
We wound up in Chiang Dao half-accidentally and loved every minute of it. We stayed at Chiang Dao Hut Resort and had our own little jungle hut all to ourselves. We only stayed for a few days on our way to Chiang Rai but it was well worth it. At one point we wandered off down a nearby trail into the jungle and found a hidden temple. It was incredible to see because we were the only ones there!
3. Chiang Rai
We mainly went to Chiang Rai to visit the White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun. It’s a very unique temple since most temples in Thailand are extremely colorful. Wat Rong Khun also has a bridge leading to the main entrance, flanked on either side by stone hands stretching into the air. It’s almost as if the hands are reaching up from a mass of graves. There are also white stone heads and faces hanging from many trees around the site. It’s an incredibly unique experience. If you go to Chiang Rai, make sure you also visit the Blue Temple, also known as Wat Rong Suea Ten. I didn’t know about the Blue Temple in Chiang Rai before we went, and now I want to go back extra badly. If you want more suggestions on what to do in Chiang Rai, you can check out this article.
Thailand Destinations: Southern Thailand
We spent a few days in Bangkok at the very beginning of our journey, and loved it. Bangkok is a huge city filled with skyscrapers, crazy traffic, tuk tuks, and of course more temples. If you only have a few days to spend in Bangkok, I recommend you read this article for a list of things to do and where to stay. Make sure you don’t miss out on visiting the King’s Palace and Bangkok’s floating markets. If you can only visit a few places in Thailand and are trying to decide between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, read this article for helpful advice.
In Krabi we made friends with monkeys and got our first glimpse of warm, sparkling Thai beaches. We also got our first bad sunburns of the trip and had to spend a day inside lathering the aloe vera every couple hours. Make sure you visit Ao Nang beach, and check out this article for more things to do in Krabi.
Phuket was massive and loud. The beaches were fantastic and so was the food. One day we ended up at a little Indian restaurant on the beach. It was probably some of the best food we have eaten. Seriously those samosas were unreal. There is lots to do and see in Phuket. Make sure you read this article to see what you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Phuket as well as this article full of Phuket travel tips for Thailand first-timers.
7. Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi was so much fun. Parties happened every night with bars lining the streets and no vehicles in sight! Boating or walking were the only methods of transportation on Phi Phi and I loved that. Beach parties with fire dancers were also common and extremely exciting.
The one downside of Koh Phi Phi was that it was overcrowded with tourists and travelers. Which is fine in and of itself but it just seemed as though everyone backpacking had kind of taken over the whole island and all they cared about was partying. Although we had a lot of fun at the parties and still got to see the beauty of the island, it just didn’t seem like a great Thai cultural experience. There’s lots of debate over whether Phi Phi has been ruined by tourists and although there are some issues there I think it’s still worth seeing, but I would recommend that you be a responsible traveler. Try to travel there in the off season, avoid plastic, and help to clean up the beaches if you see any garbage. To read more about Koh Phi Phi’s over tourism problem, click here.
8. Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta was my absolute favorite island. I felt like it had a more laid back atmosphere than the other islands. There seemed to be a bit less partying and a bit more relaxing. There weren’t nearly as many tourists on Koh Lanta either. We spent most of our time on the beaches, but we also visited a butterfly sanctuary and an animal shelter.
Koh Lanta Animal Welfare
The animal welfare shelter is s beautiful project here on Koh Lanta that takes in tons of stray cats and dogs, many who have been sick or injured and nurses them back to health. They also vaccinate and sterilize them to keep them healthy and also to control the population. Every animal at the shelter is up for adoption and they make it relatively easy to bring a dog or cat back to your home country. The shelter runs off of donations from tourists coming to visit the shelter as well as from monthly donors and sponsors.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading this little recap of what we have been up to lately. I will be making another blog post soon about all of our slip ups, mistakes and bizarre moments of our trip within the next few days.
If you would like to make a donation to Lanta Animal Welfare or maybe would like to volunteer with or adopt an animal from Thailand check out this link.
Other posts you might like:
- The Chiang Mai Lantern Festival: How to Celebrate Loy Krathong and Yee Peng
- The Best Things to do in Bangkok Thailand
- 50 Photos that Will Make You Want to Visit Thailand
- What I Learned Celebrating Día de Muertos in Mexico for the First Time