Just like most places, there are a million more things to do than just five. Thailand was my first real solo trip and I fell completely in love with the country and the people. There are so many things I have yet to do in Thailand and I will definitely go back one day, but for now, here are my top 5 things not to miss in Thailand.
Koh Phi Phi and Maya Bay.
Koh Phi Phi is a beautiful island in the south-west of Thailand that is mainly composed of hostels, bars, restaurants and tour companies. If you’re looking for a place to party, spend your days on the beach or even explore a bit of nature, Koh Phi Phi is the place to go. You can hike a couple of Viewpoint trails and get a magical view of the island, and you’ll also meet a ton of other friendly backpackers.
Make sure to take a day trip to go see Maya Bay, where Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach was filmed. You’ll get to see a few other islands and beaches along the way and maybe even do some snorkeling. The water is crystal clear and it really feels like paradise.
If you ever get the chance, go to a sanctuary and spend some time among these amazing creatures. Elephants are incredibly smart and will surprise you with their personalities. There are many sanctuaries outside of Chiang Mai, so that’s a good place to go if this is on your bucket list. **PLEASE do your research first! Don’t head to the first place you hear of. Not every “sanctuary” takes care of elephants, some may just be tourist traps and completely mistreat the animals.**
Visit Buddhist Temples
Whether or not you’re spiritual, Buddhist temples are wonderful places you should take the time to visit. They aren’t hard to find, and are usually open to the public. They are beautifully decorated and trust me, even if you’re not buddhist, you’ll feel an instant calm as you walk in and sit in front of a giant Buddha. Just make sure you’ve covered your legs and shoulders before you go in!
Ride in a Tuk Tuk and rent a moped.
Tuk Tuks are mini 3-wheeled taxis that zip in and out of traffic and what feels like the speed of light. It’s a great way to explore the city and it’s a little cheaper than a real taxi. Definitely try it at least once in Bangkok! You should also rent a moped for the day and go explore on your own! Whether it’s zipping around an island to go shopping or going up the mountain to visit native tribes or find waterfalls, mopeds are a must. Just be careful! Road rash or exhaust burns, also known as “Thailand tattoos” are very common amongst tourists… accidents do happen!
Thailand beaches and landscapes are breath-taking, of course, but I highly recommend the capital city. Bangkok is full of life and the people are incredibly friendly. Khao San road is popular for tourists, the temples, river cruises, the weekend market (one of the biggest in Asia), you’ll never run out of things to do.