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
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and if you plan to go to Thailand, then congratulations! This time of the year is the peak of the high season in Thailand meaning there are lots of people celebrating and partying everywhere from the Old City in Chiang Mai to the beaches in the south via the metropolitan of Bangkok. Below are some of the best places to ring in the new year in Thailand.
Having an island with long golden beaches almost all to yourself is a rare thing in a country like Thailand. But it is possible. One example is Koh Kho Khao north of Khao Lak in Phang Nga Province being peaceful all year and almost abandoned after the end of the high season.
April is the end of the high season meaning higher temperatures but not being the rainy season quite yet. While some restaurants and hotels shut down, some remain open with very few guests.
The island, which was totally wiped out by the 2004 tsunami has literally no shopping or entertainment, and there is not much to see more than grazing buffalo and some mangroves. But if you’re looking for a deserted beach destination, peace, and tranquility — this is the best thing ever!
Thailand can be divided into four culinary regions: Northern, northeastern (known as Isaan), central (including Bangkok), and southern Thailand — all with their own unique flavors influenced by neighboring countries such as Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. The Chinese cuisine is also a major influence throughout Thailand.
When talking about Thai food, its four essential flavors are often mentioned: Salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. Balancing these flavors creates a culinary sensation loved by people all around the world. Here’s what to eat from north to south via Isaan and Bangkok.
Northern Thai food, or Lanna food, is different than the food many foreigners associate with Thailand. The traditional food up north is milder, salty and sour, but rarely sweet. Some famous dishes include Khao Soi, Kaeng Hang Le, and Sai Ua also known as Chiang Mai sausage.
A bowl of Khao Soi served in Chiang Mai.
Khao Soi is a curry and coconut based noodle soup topped with crunchy noodles and cilantro. Popular not only in northern Thailand but also in Burma and Laos, this quick-to-make dish is rich in flavors and reminds me a bit of Massaman curry.
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and one of the most popular beach destinations in Southeast Asia with over 8 million visitors last year. Being such a huge tourist destination, known for some crazy things, some people would probably think twice about going to the ‘pearl of the Andaman.’ But you can’t find what Phuket has to offer anywhere else in Thailand, and if you just do some research, you will see that Phuket is so much more than overdeveloped Patong. Below are my top 8 picks on why you should visit Phuket.
1. The many gorgeous beaches
Afternoon sun at Surin Beach.
If you’re in Phuket on vacation, I totally understand if you don’t want to get up early visiting a morning wet market, which is a market selling fresh meat, fish, seafood, fruit, and vegetables. However, when my wife and I are in Phuket, we have access to a house and this day we were planning to barbeque and cooking with my wife’s family, which is why we hit the Talad Kaset morning market in Phuket Town after flying drone at Rawai Beach at sunrise. It’s always nice with a touch of local life, and if you enjoy markets like this, I recommend coming here around 07:00 or 08:00.
There are plenty of romantic getaways in Thailand, but one that stands out is Koh Yao Noi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. This island has managed to stay surprisingly undeveloped considering its closeness to Phuket and Krabi. From golden beaches on the east coast overlooking the breathtaking sea filled with limestone cliffs to a west coast lined with mangroves and rice paddies, this could be your next dream destination.
My wife watching the rising sun.
Krabi is a paradise of limestone karsts, golden beaches, and miles of beautiful mangrove forests — three features that are attracting millions of travelers every year. If you’re looking for things to do in this extraordinary province of Thailand, look no further! Here are 36 things to do in Krabi.
1. Do the Monkey Trail to Pai Plong Beach