I have visited quite a few places in 13 different provinces from Chiang Mai in the north to Songkhla in the south (I write I because my wife has visited some more), and while all places are pretty awesome, there are some that stand out to me more bringing back some good memories. I don’t know if my wife agrees on everything, but below are my top 10 highlights from our trips to Thailand so far.
1. Staying at Baan Mon Muan Resort, Mae Rim
Mae Rim is a district in the northern province of Chiang Mai boasting some incredible landscape including mountains and waterfalls. Mae Rim is also home to several exotic hill tribes with Karen Long-Neck tribe being the most famous. As for the accommodation, we stayed at the fantastic Baan Mon Muan Resort with super cozy houses built in traditional Lanna-style situated next to a vegetable farm 1,250 meters up the mountain. Check out my little video walking around the house, and you’ll understand why this is one of my highlights.
2. Temple hopping at Ayutthaya Historical Park
Ayutthaya was once the capital of Thailand and considered the most spectacular place on Earth. During the Burmese invasion in 1767, the city was almost completely destroyed, and UNESCO has granted the spectacular ruins that now remain World Heritage status. On our arrival, we hired a tuk-tuk driver who took us to six different temples including Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, and Wat Ratchaburana — all three featured in the 1995 movie Mortal Kombat. Stepping onto the ground of the first temple, just like Liu Kang did, gave me that feeling of butterflies in my stomach.
3. Visiting a Long-Neck tribe, Baan Tong Luang
While visiting a Long-Neck tribe is considered unethical by some, it was an incredible moment for me seeing the other side of the coin. We choose to visit Baan Tong Luang Eco-agricultural Village in Mae Rim, which is a cultural preservation project aimed for tourists to provide an income for the hill tribes. When visiting a Lock-Neck village, treat the people with respect and support them by buying their crafts.
4. Going to Kiriwong Village, Nakhon Si Thammarat
Kiriwong in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province is one of the most beautiful and cleanest villages I’ve seen in Thailand, and it’s quite remarkable that so few tourists make their way here. Kiriwong is an eco-friendly village self-sustainable without any need for assistance from the government. The town is also famous for its incredible handicrafts making, and there are guided tours to Khao Luang National Park boasting the highest mountain in southern Thailand peaking at 1,835 meters.
5. Our pre-wedding photo session in Krabi
Despite getting up super early dressing up in a costume feeling uncomfortable in the hot, humid month of April, our pre-wedding photo session in Krabi is certainly a highlight. My favorite picture is the one as seen above with the light mist over Nong Thale Lake and golden light from the rising sun being magical. And the timing couldn’t be better with the red flowers falling from the trees this time of the year.
6. Staying at Paradise Koh Yao, Phang Nga
Koh Yao Noi is an island in the middle of epic Phang Nga Bay being surprisingly undeveloped considering its closeness to Phuket and Krabi. The golden beaches on the east coast boast some fantastic resorts, and we choose to stay at Paradise Koh Yao located in the most remote area possible inside the jungle on the islands northern tip with a private beach. A real gem we would love to come back to.
7. Staying in Bangkok’s Old City
While it’s pretty awesome staying in a high-end hotel in the vibrant city of Bangkok, staying in the old city is even better. This old district known as Rattanakosin is home to some of the most incredible temples such as Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew (the Grand Palace) with the lovely Chinatown connected just southeast. We stayed at Sala Arun, a charming little hotel situated by Chao Phraya River just across the impressive Wat Arun which I would highly recommend.
8. Discovering Sunset Beach, Koh Kradan
Koh Kradan is a small narrow island in Trang Province south of Krabi being much less touristy. When we arrived at the main beach, we walked 10 minutes through some forest to reach the other side of the island where we found an almost empty beach called Sunset Beach. Having fun in the crystal clear water trying to snap the perfect shot of my wife and climbing the big boulders to get a better view of the gorgeous little beach hidden in a bay was the highlight of our trip to Trang.
9. Chilling at CHAR Rooftop Bar, Bangkok
We have visited several fantastic rooftop bars in Bangkok, and while CHAR Rooftop Bar is far from the highest or most spectacular, the fact that you are right in the middle the skyline make this my favorite rooftop bar in the world! And I love that you can actually sit and relax here unlike Sky Bar at Lebua being a tourist trap. If you intend to visit CHAR in a small group, call and reserve a lounge by the glass facade and come here just before the sunset.
10. Touring the Similan Islands, Phang Nga
In recent years, the Similan Islands has become hugely popular getting packed with day trippers from Khao Lak and Phuket whom all want to enjoy the white powdery beaches wrapped in stunning scenery. And the water! I have never snorkeled in more crystalline waters. If you’re interested in exploring the remarkable marine life of the Similan Islands, I recommend booking a deep-sea diving tour instead of those mainstream day trips. You just need certification first.
Just outside the top list
- Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s Highest Mountain, and the…
- Camping Overnight at Samet Nangshe Viewpoint
- Khao Ngon Nak – Stunning View Over Krabi
Do you have a highlight from Thailand you want to share with me? Comment below!