The time has finally come for us to write a Thailand travel guide! Typically, we try not to put out content on destinations that only one of us has been to. Alex visited Thailand about 4 years ago, but with a friend. Michael visited Ireland about 4 years ago but on a solo trip. As such, we hadn’t put out content on these destinations. However, after returning from a 2.5 week adventure all over the mainland of Thailand as well as all of our favorite Thailand Islands, it is finally time to provide y’all with a Thailand travel guide.
Timing seems incredibly fitting as we are both getting a plethora of messages, comments, and email inquiries asking tips and advice for traveling to Thailand.
Thailand is a small enough country that one can visit just about every major area by access of plane, ferry, or car. The archipelago of islands make it a bit challenging to see EVERYTHING, but if you spend 2-3 weeks traveling around Thailand and don’t mind moving around every few days, you can definitely see the whole of the country. We chose our destinations based on both what we wanted to experience as well as which locations were in relative proximity to one another.
Cities and islands to visit in Thailand (in no particular order):
Koh Phi Phi
Thailand has affordable accommodation in just about every city. Some places are obviously more expensive than others, but there is no reason you can’t find accommodation for $20-40/night. Although, just like any country of similar stature, the range of accommodation options is vast. You can find hostels on some of the most gorgeous islands for $5-10/night, but you can also find resorts for $1200/night. As each person travels with a different budget, we will suggest that those of you looking to have a more luxurious experience look into the following hotels and resorts we are suggesting, while those of you looking to enjoy a more budget friendly trip leverage Airbnb or some of the more affordable options on Hotels.com and Booking.com
As might be quite evident by now, there are tons of places to see in Thailand, with even more things to do. We will break down our suggested activities by city/island/region.
Visit temples and historical sites (Wat Arung, Grand Palace, Wat Phra, Golden Buddha, Wat Saket)
Enjoy time by the pool at your hotel
Rooftop bars, clubs, etc.
Treat yourself to a nice Thai massage
Chiang Mai night market
Spend time by your pool at your resort
Treat yourself to a nice Thai massage
Visit the countryside/mountain
Take a Muay Thai class
White water rafting
Climb to the “Viewpoint”
Hire a private boat and visit Maya Beach (1500 THB for 3 hours)
Get a tattoo (lol there are literally about a million shops on the tiny island)
Hike over to Long Beach
Stay in shape at Banyon Gym (arguably one of the nicest gyms we have ever used with an incredible view)
Treat yourself to a Thai massage
Hire a boat and visit Railay Beach
Treat yourself to a Thai massage (are you seeing a trend here? You can get Thai massages everywhere you go for about $10)
Stay in shape at Heroic Fitness Club
4 island tour
Again, we will break this down by city/island/region. Our options in Koh Phi Phi were incredibly disappointing. We were there during the start of rainy season and seemingly all the good restaurants were closed.
Restaurant at the W Bangkok
Thiptara at Peninsula Hotel
Allegro at Dhara Dhevi
Le Grand Lanna at Dhara Dhevi
Terraces at Four Seasons Chiang Mai
Rim Tai at Four Seasons Chiang Mai
Again, options were incredibly limited as most places were closed. Our only suggestion is Unni.
CocoRum at Four Seasons Koh Samui
Pla Pla at Four Seasons Koh Samui
***Thailand is a generally safe place. However, if you are susceptible to traveler’s sickness or want to mitigate any issue with broken or stolen property, check out travel insurance rates from our friends at World Nomads. They provide the most comprehensive travel insurance offering in the world. They offer packages that will literally cover your camera if you drop it and break it or if it is stolen. Most importantly, check with your healthcare provider in your home country to see if your insurance works internationally, more specifically, in Thailand. IF not, you might want to take on extra coverage.***