You have a whole month to spend travelling one country!? lucky old you! Good job you’re visiting Thailand, a country where you could travel for about a year and still not see everywhere. Here’s your ultimate guide to spending 30 splendid days where you can white water raft down rivers formed by huge waterfalls, chill on the beaches, visit the golden triangle, swim in emerald blue pools or chill in a hammock surrounded by mountains, the possibilities in Thailand are endless…
Bangkok – 3 nights
Bustle bustle bustle. Bangkok is thriving. It’s modern skyline mixes seamlessly with the traditional way of life and the ancient temples that dot the city. Sure, you can visit the Temples like Wat Arun and the Grand Palace. However, what you really want to do is take a trip to Lumphini Park which has an awesome zoo as well as a lake which you can peddle around – just watch out for the giant monitor lizards that have taken it over and can reach up to 8ft long! Also visit Siam Park City for an awesome day of splashing around in wave pools and slides. At night take a trip to the markets and visit one of the lady boy shows if you dare.
Ayutthaya – 2 nights
Just 80km north of Bangkok lies Ayutthaya. This spectacular city was destroyed in 1767 by the Burmese and its remains now form the Atutthaya National Park. You can walk around the city for hours, visiting the countless remains of buildings and temples. Also visit the famous Buddha heads that are covered by tree routes and see if you can get up at the crack of dawn to see these temples at sunrise. When not in the ancient city, visit the Ayothaya floating market open every day as well as the Thai Boat Museum.
Umphang – 3 nights
A bit off the beaten track, this town is full of trekking, boating, whitewater rafting and waterfalls – the most famous is the 200m high Thi Lo Su Waterfall. Situated in mountains and at the joining point of two huge rivers, the landscape is like something out of Lord of the Rings. You can book tours that last up to 5 days or you can just chill there for one or to nights and soak up the majestic mountainous scenery.
Chiang Mai – 2 nights
The capital of the North Is super chilled compared to Bangkok and full to the brim with temples. Once you’ve seen a couple of temples you’ll probably get sick of them so good job there’s lots of other things to do; sample the great food, wander through the old town and visit the famous and very tasteful ladyboy show (seriously, its great, kids go to it!). Outside of a Chiang Mai lies hot springs, waterfalls and green countryside that can all be visited easily.
Pai – 3 nights
Pai is the perfect place to visit if you want to do nothing but be surrounded by some of the best scenery in the world. It’s kind of got a rep for being very healthy, hippie and full of people high as a kite. You can certainly visit that Pai if you want to easy enough but also explore the area and the people. Take a trip to Tham Lot Caves where you will feel like an ant walking into a aircraft hangar. Visit the natural springs surrounding the town and seek out a local eateries a shot walk from the touristy market.
Kanachanburi – 3 nights
Just north west of Bangkok lies Kanchanaburi which you can reach by private taxi for $20 or train from Bangkok Thonburi station. This small town has a host of surprises that will thrill. The first is Erawan waterfalls, this is a series emerald waterfalls in the middle of the forest that flow into each other. In the surrounding forests there are cheeky monkeys and some of the rocks have formed natural slides! When you’re not splashing around check out the original Bridge Over the River Kwai and Hellfire Pass which are modern day reminders of World War 2 and are absolutely enthralling.
Hue Hin – 3 nights
Hua Hin is a popular beach town that still retains the small town vibe. Hua Hin Beach is nice but has many sellers so head further north or south to avoid them. There’s a lot of beach activities such as jet skiing that if you haggle for, can be quite a reasonable price. Black Mountain Water Park is a great day out and has a myriad of slides, a lazy river and an Infinity pool (I’m a water baby so led this!). When it comes to eating out, there are hundreds of good restaurants just a short stroll from your hotel, check out Joes Bar for a personal touch and a game of connect 4 with the host! The easiest way from Kanchanburi to Hua Hin is air conditioned mini van (£10 each).
Koh Tao – 3 nights
Ok, this is literally my favorite place on earth at the moment. This small island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand is beautifully lush, rocky and has great bays and beaches. Not only this, it has some of the worlds best diving and snorkeling sites; you literally take your first step into the sea and you’re surrounded by fish. Definitely hire a moped/quad-bike to explore the island and all its bays which can easily be done in a day. Visit Tanote Bay, where in the middle of it there is a big rock (pictured) with a death defying climb and a crazy ass jump. To get here from Hua Hin book a combined bus and boat package through Lomprayah.
Koh Phangan 3 nights
Another Lomprayah ferry will take you to Koh Phangan which is known as a bit of a party island, and yeh you can go to Full Moon if that’s your thing. However, this island is mostly paradise on earth. It’s beaches are out of a postcard, its hotels are majestic, its fishing villages are a marvel and if you pick the right spot it often feels like you’re the only ones there. Book a fishing trip through your hotel with local fishermen for an authentic experience. Fancy watching a Thai tradition? Head over to Diamond Muay Thai to watch some boxing and hopefully a KO! The rest of the time you can chill on the islands perfect beaches, Thong Nai Pan Noi is my fave!
Koh Samui 2 nights
The largest and most populous island of the three is Koh Samui. The island has a bit more bustle to it but you can easily find a quite beach that you will practically have to yourself, my favorite is Maenam Beach on the North of the island. To explore nature in its fullest book a trip to Angthong National Marine Park where you can kayak or hike to explore the rich environment. For a 5* Star cooking and drink making experience visit the Thai Experience for an awesome few hours where you might get a little tipsy!