No list of places to visit in Thailand would be complete without the inclusion of Bangkok. Thailand's infamous capital city is a constant hive of activity - chaotic streets of both people and traffic and nightlife that is potentially rivalled by no other. Famous sights such as the Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha mean that Bangkok can be a lot more than just alcohol and ping pong shows and the boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district. Bangkok is not the sort of place you can forget easily and it's a bit "marmite" but definitely one to be ticked off the bucket list in our opinion. We love the tranquility of the Shangri-La Hotel that overlooks the river.
Chiang Mai is the heart and soul of Northern Thailand. The largest city in the north and second largest in Thailand - but you wouldn't believe it. You won't find the craziness of Bangkok here, Chiang Mai is far more relaxing by comparison. Shop till you drop at the million and one markets, whether that be the night bazaar or the infamous weekend markets that take over the whole city. Chiang Mai is rooted deep in history and rooted around it is vast jungle and mountainous terrain. Explore temples one day and play with elephants or zip line brought the jungle the next, Chiang Mai caters for every desire. A whole different kettle of fish to Southern Thailand, once you get a taste of the north you won't want to leave.
The charming, small hippy town of Pai way up in Northern Thailand is a perfect backpacker destination and is a must visit place. The town itself is full of bars with hippy mats and live music, hillside bungalow accommodation and surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery Thailand has to offer. You can chill out in a quirky cafe or grab a scooter and cruise along the wicked fun mountain roads to find breath-taking view points and picturesque waterfalls, Pai has a little bit of everything and offers something totally unique from the rest of Thailand.
Koh Chang is the second largest of all the Thai Islands and a mere five-hour journey from Bangkok. Yet the tourism on Koh Chang is virtually non-existent compared to Islands like Samui, Phi Phi and Phangan. Koh Chang may well be large, but the stomach-churning roads and dense jungle centre leave just a few small towns dotted along its central road, each lined with their own bars and restaurants and each with their own gorgeous jungle lined beach. For laid-back travellers, head down to lonely beach. Dirt cheap accommodation, super cheap food and of course unbelievably cheap alcohol. Koh Chang is an island paradise begging for more attention.
Fringed by long, golden beaches, surrounded by amazing uninhabited islands and snorkelling opportunities and packed with chilled out beach bars Koh Lanta is an escapists dream. We’ve dubbed it 'Lazy Lanta' because it’s perfect for endless sunbathing, sipping beachside fruit shakes and generally doing not a lot but unwinding. One of our favourite Thai islands, we stay at the Layana on Long Beach.
Koh Yao Noi
Small but perfectly formed, this beautiful island just 30 minutes speedboat transfer from Phuket, is idyllic and peaceful. Transporting visitors back to the days before Thailand became a real tourist destination, Koh Yao Noi is quiet but has some very beautiful resorts and plenty of bars and restaurants to try. The Six Senses resort is popular with honeymoon couples but our favourite hotel is Cape Kudu, which sits overlooking the rugged limestone rocks that Thailand is famed for.
Samui is a foodie’s paradise, with several gourmet and upscale eateries without the extortionate price tag. Cheweng’s beach is long and sweeping, lined with bars and restaurants to cater for everyone’s taste. Lively and popular with the younger crowd, as well as families. For something a little more chilled out, stay on Bophut Beach near Fisherman’s Village, a quaint street of bars and restaurants that hosts a Friday night street party every week.