Parties, Pad Thai, and ping pong shows are three things which are often associated with Thailand but of course there is so much more to this beautiful land of smiles. In fact, of all the countries I have been to in South East Asia, it is probably one of the most diverse.
Thailand has some of the most stunning beaches in South East Asia, if not the world. There are beautiful beaches both on the Gulf Coast and on the Andaman Coast. The Golf Coast offers some great dive sites, especially around the island of Ko Tao; great opportunities for party lovers who can let loose at the infamous full moon parties on Ko Pha-Ngan; and great opportunities for beach bums to relax on the island of Ko Samui.
Elsewhere the islands on the Andaman Coast have been made famous through films such as ‘The Beach’ or ‘The Man with the golden gun’. If you want to see the famous Maya beach where Leonardo Di Caprio once frolicked in ‘The Beach’, then head to Ko Phi Phi and the neighbouring Ko Phi Phi Leh. Don’t expect to be by yourself though, as hordes of tourists are shipped to the islands in the mornings making for some serious crowds. They all leave again in the afternoon though, so you can enjoy the lovely bay then with a lot less hustle and bustle spoiling the experience.
Alternatively if you would like to witness stunning limestone mountains and the backdrop of the James Bond film ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, then head to Ao Phang Nga. And if you want to feel like a real secret agent then why not navigate through this stunning landscape on a kayak? Or if you prefer to enjoy even more action then you can head to Ralay for some hard-core rock climbing.
If beaches are not your thing then you could instead visit some of the jungles in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is the best spot to organise some outdoor activities such as treks to minority villages, visits to elephant sanctuaries, rafting trips, or zip lining activities. For people who would like to discover Northern Thailand independently you can try the famous Mae Hong Son motorcycle loop. The loop begins in Chiang Mai and passes through sleepy Pai, Soppong and Mae Hong Son, before looping back to Chiang Mai. The route is very scenic and offers the chance to drive along some beautiful mountain switchbacks and vistas.
On the beach provide holidays to various destinations within Thailand, but wherever you decide to go, Thailand won’t disappoint you.