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.
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
Bangkok is a metropolitan city with all that it entails; high-rise buildings, Skytrains, traffic jams, pollution, and noise. Thankfully, you can escape all that and go to the charming Old City (Rattanakosin) where it feels like the time has stood still. This old district is home the most incredible temples such as Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew (the Grand Palace) with the lovely Chinatown connected just southeast and the world-famous Khaosan Road to the north. The Old City is also home to some of the best street food vendors in Bangkok.
Maharat Road with charming old buildings and the impressive Wat Pho in the center.
A few days ago I was approached by gogoflorist.com, a bouquet delivery service company based in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. They offered me to send a bouquet to someone in Thailand in exchange for a review on my blog; whenever I get the chance to send a bouquet of flowers for free, I’ll take it!
I could select a bouquet valued up to $85, so I hit their website and scrolled through the categories and ended up at the category popular. I decided to go for a classic bouquet of 12 red roses — a statement of love as written in the description — for $79.90 delivery included. A standard price compared to other sites.
I choose to send the flowers to my mother-in-law with a short love greeting, and she received the flowers on the same day. That’s pretty impressive considering she lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere in Krabi Province 1,200 km from Chiang Mai. To be able to do this, they work with florists and contractors in all cities throughout Thailand.
There are over 100 national parks in Thailand covering one-fifth of the country, some of which still have tigers and elephants roaming free. From the jungle-covered mountains in the north to the marine parks in the south, below are seven beautiful national parks I have visited followed by three famous parks yet for me to explore.
Doi Inthanon National Park