Thailand has long been a destination for those seeking fun, culture, sunshine, and cheap vacations. Of course, Thailand has also been a popular stop on the backpacking trail, but there is so much more to this intoxicating South-East Asian country than meets the eye.
From stunning beaches to jungle trekking, underwater diving to sunsets to make your eyes water, cuisine that will tickle your taste buds, to spirituality to calm your soul, Thailand has all of this and much, much more. There are countless destinations to choose from in this huge country, which means you can go luxurious with on of the many Thailand beach villas on offer, or you can opt to go more towards the budget end of the scale, with a hostel or small hotel. Put simply, there is a scale in Thailand that means there is a stopping point for everyone, whether you’re wanting a city break, beach vacation, spirituality retreat, or eco tour.
When to Visit Thailand
When to visit Thailand really depends on the area you’re going to. The islands and beaches of the south experience constant sunshine throughout the year, where as the mountainous north tends to see a little more in the way of rain. Having said that, nowhere in Thailand is considered better or worse than anywhere in terms of weather. What you do need to be aware of however is the wet and dry seasons.
November to April is the cool and dry season, although the temperature could never be considered cold! On the flipside, May until the end of October is still a good time to visit. This is the monsoon wet season, however temperatures are still mild, and it is very unlikely to rain constantly throughout your stay. Downpours are sudden at this time, and can literally last for ten minutes, or can be a little more prolonged; it’s a risk you take, but many people enjoy this time of year, because of the lower prices. Of course the temperatures and humidity are a little more at this time.
The choice of when to visit is really a personal decision, but overall, you’re not going to experience a total washout, even if you do visit during the wet season.
Where to go in Thailand
Thailand is huge, and there are many sides to this fascinating country. For instance, the islands, such as the Phi Phi Islands, KohSamui, and Phuket, could never be considered to be ‘real’ Thailand, because tourism has taken hold to such a large degree, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. These destinations offer plentiful things to see and do, and they are truly beautiful in terms of scenery. The beaches here are like nowhere else on earth, and there is jungle trekking to enjoy, scuba diving, elephant treks, and huge temples to visit too. These destinations offer a safety net for visitors who don’t want to go somewhere off the beaten track, yet who still want to experience Thailand.
The mountainous north, towards the borders with Myanmar and Laos, offer amazing hiking and trekking opportunities with jaw dropping scenery. The digital nomad hotspot of Chiang Mai is in this region, and leads into the stunning area of Pai. Whilst there is still a large amount of neon lit nightlife in this area, especially in Chiang Mai, it is more relaxed and sedate, and you will see more in the way of traditional life here.
We have to talk about Bangkok!
The capital city is a place you have to see at least once. The main international airport is served by flights daily from all around the world, so a few days in the city, before moving on to your resort or island is a good choice. This means you get to experience the hustle and bustle of this huge, international city, whilst checking out the temples, the amazing shopping, and of course the nightlife. The street food in Bangkok is legendary, and this means you can eat quite cheaply, whilst trying all manner of new things!
For a good slice of middle ground the Krabiregion of Thailand is a good choice. This is basically a mixture of beach nightlife, serenity, easy travel, and you can also head over to the beautiful Phi Phi islands on a day trip, without much fuss. Mountainous scenery, temples, jungles, outdoor adventures, beach time, snorkelling, rock climbing, these are all very easily done in the Krabi area. There is an international airport in Krabi, so you can fly direct, but there are domestic flights to Bangkok and back again which are really cheap, so you can explore two destinations in one vacation without any fuss whatsoever.
Thailand is More Than What You Think
You probably have his idea in your head that Thailand is all about Full Moon parties, hedonistic drinking, deep fried bugs, and elephant treks. Whilst some of this is true, it is so much more than that too. Yes, you can go to the party central parts if you want to, and why not, it’s great fun! On the flipside, there are mountainous retreats to find yourself, practice yoga, and explore spirituality. There are home stays with locals, there are eco tours, there are sunset villas, there are five star, luxury resorts.
This is what makes Thailand so fantastic – it is a place for everyone, and place for all seasons. All you need to do is open your mind and decide what it is you want to do, and pick your destination accordingly.