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Traveling Thailand

Arrival

Arrival - (Bangkok) Thailand’s most popular international airports are Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Mueang (DMK), which are both located in the capital city of Bangkok. Once you’ve landed and passed through customs, there are multiple ways to reach your next destination. Travelers looking to save money and are flexible on time can board the "Airport-Link," which takes you directly into the city center. From there, you can ride the BTS (Metro) to travel practically anywhere in Bangkok you desire. Although more costly, taking a Taxi is also a convenient source of transportation. Just make sure your driver starts the fare meter when the trip begins to avoid overpaying! Those looking to splurge in exchange for maximum comfort can pre-arrange a chauffeur that awaits you at 'Arrivals' with a handmade sign of your name as well as detailed directions on your desired drop-off location.
Arrival - (Phuket) The island of Phuket is one of the most sought destinations in Asia, also offering a popular international airport that appeals to those interested in a more tropical introduction into the country. There are a few options to get from the airport terminals to Phuket Town. First, check with your accommodation in Phuket, as many hotels and resorts include pick up and drop off at the airport as part of their inclusive package. If not, another route is taxis (Tuk-Tuks), which are the most common and convenient as they’re available 24/7. Although less predictable, an additional and cost-friendly alternative is to bus into the city center, available every 1-3 hours, depending on the day.

~ International Airports ~  

Bangkok: Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) & Don Mueang Airport (DMK).

Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai International  Airport (CNX) 

Phuket: Phuket International Airport (HKT)

Krabi: Krabi International Airport (KBV)

~ Domestic Airports ~  

Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai International  Airport (CNX) 

Koh Samui: Koh Samui Airport (USM)

Surat Thani: Surat Thani Airport (URT)

Pai:
Pai Airport (PYY)

~ Airport Hotels ~

Bangkok: Best Bed Suvarnabhumi Hostel, Bedroom Suvarnabhumi, Sleep Box, MOCA ($)

Amari Don Muang Airport Hotel, Novotel Suvarnabhumi, Petra Donmuang ($$)

Chiang Mai: Best Bed Suvarnabhumi Hostel, Bedroom Suvarnabhumi, Sleep Box, MOCA ($)

Amari Don Muang Airport Hotel, Novotel Suvarnabhumi, Petra Boutique Donmuang ($$)

Phuket: The Snug Airport, Baan Prayong Villa, Jinda Resort ($)

Louis' Runway View Hotel, Airport Mansion Phuket, Perennial Resort ($$)

Krabi: Riverside Hotel, Nap Krabi Hotel, Snooz Hotel ($)

Pineapple Hotel, Tigercave Home, Maritime ($$)

Bangkok

Bangkok Skyline View Of Chao Phraya River
Bangkok When flying into Thailand, you will likely arrive in the capital city of Bangkok. This vibrant metropolis is notorious for giving first-time visitors a culture shock, and most travelers will need a day or so to adjust to its bustling streets. Bangkok is Thailand’s most populated city offering an endless array of activities to do and sights to see. Enjoy some of the best street food in the world in cultural pillars like Chinatown, where breathtaking attractions merge with floating markets, sacred temples, and it’s “what happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok” nightlife culture that has enticed millions of people annually to come back wanting more.

~ Highlights ~

Chao Phraya River Cruise, Wat Phra Kaew Temple, The Grand Palace, The National Museum, Jim Thompson House, Khao San Road, Chinatown, Chatuchak Weekend Market

~ Accommodations ~ 

Lub.d, Golden Mountain, Bodega Khao San, HQ Hostel, Mad Monkey Bangkok ($)

Lebua, Mandarin Oriental,  Sukhothai, Chakrabongse Villas, The Siam ($$)

 Kway Chap Mr. Joe, Thipsamai, Jek Pui Curry, Sit & Wonder, Chamlong's ($)

Eat Sight Story, Le Normandie, Err, Bella Napoli, Eat Me, Sühring, Biscotti ($$)

~ Restaurants ~

~ Notable Temples ~

Wat Phra Kaew, Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Traimit, The Marble Temple

~ Marketplaces ~

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Khao San Market, Tha Maharaj, Chinatown

~ Nightlife ~

Khao San Road, Ping Pong District, RCA District, Sukhumvit, Sathorn District, Chinatown, Rambuttri Village, Thonglor, Silom 4 Alley (LGBT+)

Loei

travel blogger swimming near Thai bungalows in Loei River of the Mekong Delta in Loei Thailand
Loei is in the rural region of Issan and is the ideal destination for those itching to go off the beaten track. This northeastern province is recognized for its national parks and hiking trails, where many conclude to viewpoints that will leave you breathless. For active travelers, it's encouraged to take a Tuk-Tuk or moped over to the mountainous trailhead of Phu Bo But, which after a steep trek upward, visitors are rewarded highly with stunning views, especially if witnessed during sunrise or sunset. Huai Krathing Reservoir is another nearby gem that should be high on your list of places to visit if you're feeling overdue on an outdoorsy “spa day.”Here you can enjoy picturesque views from a bamboo raft where water-based waiters and waitresses cater to your food and beverage needs as you relax and unwind on this floating oasis in the province of Loei.

~ Highlights ~

Huai Krathing Reservoir, Phu Kradueng National Park, Chiang Khan, Phra That Satja, Phu Luang, Wildlife Sanctuary

~ Accommodations ~ 

Royal Hotel, Phu Luang Hotel, A.P Court Hotel, Loei Village Hotel ($)

Loei Palace Hotel, The Vienna Place Hotel, AU Place Hotel ($$)

~ Restaurants ~

Coffee Dream Garden, Khao Piak Pak Mha, Loei Kebab Plus, Khao Tom Raeng Ngan ($)

Lanchang Garden Bar & Restaurant, Eat Me, Ban Tha Pae, Chef Waan Cafe' & Steak ($$)

~ Notable Temples ~

Wat Somdet, Phu Rea, Wat Phut Samakkhi Buri Loei, Wat Neramit Witpatsana

~ Parks & Hikes ~

~ Marketplaces ~

Chiang Khan Market, Sai Ngam Market, Big C Supercenter, Night Market Street

~ Nightlife ~

Robot, Bar Basic, The Sit, Saloon Loei

Chiang Mai

digital nomad and traveler helping Asian Thai elephants at Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and is considered by many to be the spiritual capital of the country. This radiant city presents a more extensive glimpse into Thailand’s fascinating history, where attractions like The “Old City” still stand tall with its defensive moat and ancient walls that date back to the 13th century. Visiting in November during the famous Yee Peng Festival is highly encouraged. During this two-day event, thousands gather to light and release paper lanterns into the sky, illuminating the city as those below make a wish of good fortune for the new year to come. Other activities to enjoy include yoga and meditation retreats, elephant sanctuaries, scenic hikes, or indulging yourself in all the dynamic nightlife celebrations that Chiang Mai has to offer.

~ Highlights ~

The Old City, Elephant Nature Park, Wat Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Bua Thong Waterfalls, Warorot Market, Sunday Street Market

~ Accommodations ~ 

84 Gallery, Thailand WOW Hostel, Gap's House, Thai Thai Hostel ($)

Dhara Dehvi, Four Seasons, 137 Pillars, Rachamankha Boutique, U Chiang Mai ($$)

~ Restaurants ~

Tikky Cafe, Huen Phen, Nuns, Kat's Kitchen, Kiat Ocha, The Score ($)

Fujian, Le Coq 'Or, Chez Marco, The Whole Earth, The House By Ginger & Kafe ($$)

~ Notable Temples ~

Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phan Tao, Wat Phra Sing, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Jed Yod

~ Parks & Hikes ~

Doi Suthep-Pui, Huay Kaew Waterfall, Kew Mae Pan, Porcupine Falls, Montha Than Waterfall

~ Marketplaces ~

Warowot Market, Anusarn Night Market Ton Lam Yai, Night Bazaar, JingJai Market, Sunday Market

~ Nightlife ~

 Zoe in Yellow, Take It Club, Differ Inc, Sound Up, Good View, The Riverside, Warm up Cafe, Jazz Co-Op

Mai To Pai

aerial view of road from Chiang Mai to Pai on the Mae Hong Song Loop in northern Thailand

Captured by: Alesha & Jarryd

Chiang Mai To Pai The infamous road of Chiang Mai to Pai consists of 762 winding twists and turns, taking drivers typically 3-4 hours to complete depending on stops made along the way. The safest option to accomplish this voyage is by public bus or taxi. Travelers seeking a more courageous journey can also go by moped, which is only recommended for experienced riders. Accidents on this treacherous road are frequent, and over the years, Thai businesses have made a considerable profit off of the accidents occurring on it. Those without insurance typically have to pay costly out-of-pocket medical fees before being allowed to be discharged from the hospital. That being said, it is always wise to expect the unexpected while abroad, which is why travel insurance before traveling to Thailand or any foreign country is always highly recommended. 

Pai

Pai Canyon and hiking paths near Pai village on Mae Hong Song Loop in northern Thailand
Pai is a small village located in northern Thailand which has become a favorite amongst artists, hipsters, backpackers, and the like. This rural destination is the ideal environment for those seeking a more calm and rejuvenating retreat. Its remote location and winding roads can make the journey here an adventurous one; however, the trip is more than worth it. Pai has conjured the reputation of having visitors extend their stay longer than initially planned as the tranquil yet friendly local community allures them into the lifestyle. Well known for its aweing landscapes, where sights such as the Pai Canyon cannot be missed, those visiting this destination quickly become in-tuned with the beauty of simplicity that is absent in much of the world.

~ Highlights ~

Pai Canyon, Nam Tok Mo Paeng Waterfall, Wat Phra That Mae Yen, WW2 Memorial Bridge, Santichon Village, Pai Hot Springs

~ Accommodations ~ 

UP2U Guesthouse, Darling View Point, Spicypai Backpackers, Belle Villa ($)

Pai Village Resort, Reverie Siam, The Countryside Resort, Pai Island Resort ($$)

~ Restaurants ~

Krazy Kitchen, Larp Khom Huay Poo, Ci Xin Jai,  Nong Beer, Good Life ($)

Cafecito, Om Garden Cafe, Ganita Cafe Nong, Baan Pizza, Witching Well ($$)

~ Notable Temples ~

Chedi Phra That Mae Yen, Wat Luang Pai, Wat Pra that Mae Yen, Big White Buddha

~ Parks & Hikes ~

Pai Canyon, Pambok Waterfall, Mor Paeng Waterfalls, Pai Hot Springs, Boon Ko Ku So Bridge, Mae Yen Waterfall, Sai Ngam

~ Marketplaces ~

Walking Street Market, Rungsiyanon Road, Sang Thong Aram Markets

~ Nightlife ~

  Boom Bar, Mojo Cafe, Jikko Bar, Pai Pub

Chiang Rai

backpacker visiting Buddhist Wat Rong Khun Temple, or White Temple, by Chalermchai Kositpitat in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Buddhist Wat Rong Khun Temple, or White Temple, by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpitat in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Chiang Rai is the oldest and northernmost city in Thailand, located close to the borders of both Myanmar and Laos. Known for its extraordinary temples, Chiang Rai is the place to be for those fascinated by historical and cultural architecture. One of the most sought out temples in the city is Wat Rong Khun, the stunning all-white temple where the use of wood, white plaster, and glass allow it to illuminate in the sunlight. Its beaming white exterior represents the purity of Buddha, while the glass symbolizes Buddha’s Wisdom and the Dhamma, “The Buddhist’s Teaching.” The temple of Naan Dum or the black house instead portrays a different perception and is described as one of Thailand’s most disturbing attractions. It’s the life work of National Thai Artist Thawan Duchanee and comprises over 40 artistic structures spread over the grounds. Inside some of the halls lie depictions of hell, including skulls, skins, horns, and taxidermy making it arguably one of the spookiest settings in the country and probably ever Gothic metal band’s dream venue. Chiang Rai is a popular day-trip destination; however, to fully explore this striking city, it's encouraged to stay here a couple of days if time allows.

~ Highlights ~

Wat Rong Khun, Baan Dam Temple, Doi Mae Salong, Wat Rong Suea, Clock Tower, Khun Korn Waterfall, Night Bazaar

~ Accommodations ~ 

Ben Guesthouse, Baan Warabordee, Fun-D Hostel, Wiang Inn, Lab Sanam ($)

Bambuh Boutique, Imperial River House, The Legend Chiang Rai, Le Meridien ($$)

~ Restaurants ~

 Khao Soi Phor Jai, Lab Sanam Keela, Lung Eed Local, Barrab Restaurant ($)

Aye's Restaurant Chiang Rai, Phu Lae, Mai Restaurant, Ribs & CO, Ake Ocha ($$)

~ Notable Temples ~

Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Rong Khun, Baan Dum, Wat Doi Tong, Wat Phrathat Chedi

~ Parks & Hikes ~

Kok National Park, Namtok Khun Korn Forest, Huay Mae Sai Waterfall, Huay Kaew, Elephant Valley

~ Marketplaces ~

Krabi Walking Street, Ao Nang's Catalunya, Maharaj Market, Railay Walking Street

~ Nightlife ~

Baan Dum Bar, Cat Bar, Peace House Bar, Parclub, Kaffee Hub, Jetyod Road 

Krabi

Krabi is a vast and majestic region in southern Thailand. This destination is ideal for travelers seeking hidden gems, picturesque hikes, and iconic beaches. Krabi appeals to the masses by offering excursions for thrill-seekers, temple explorers, landscape lovers, and more. A day trip to the daring little beach town of Railay is a must, as it presents rock climbing caves overlooking one the most pristine beaches you’ve ever seen. With the massive decrease in tourism due to Covid-19, much of the marine life has returned to the coastlines, making this a great spot for snorkeling. Krabi presents transportation options suitable for most travelers through its international airport, taxi services, or its constantly active ferries that take passengers to some of Thailand's captivating southern islands such as Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lanta, Koh Yao Yai, and more

~ Highlights

Emerald Pool, Wat Tham Suea, Klong Thom Springs, Krabi Town, Ao Nang,  Railay, Elephant Sanctuary, Kaew Temple

~ Accommodations ~  

Pak-Up Hostel, Slumber Party Ao Nang, K-Bunk Hostel, Bodega Ao Nang Party ($)

Sofitel Krabi, APO, Dusit Thani Krabi Resort, Vacation Village, TheShellSea Krabi ($$)

~ Restaurants ~

 Mama Kitchen, Sandwich Me, Ton Ma Yon, Ko Dam Kitchen, Uno ($)

Gecko Cabane, Last Fisherman Ao Nang, Chalita, Umberto's, Diver's Steakhouse ($$)

~ Notable Beaches ~

Railay, Ao Nang, Phra Nang, Hong Island, Khlong Muang, Hat Noppharat Thara, Fossil Shell Beach, Tonsai Beach

~ Notable Temples ~

Tiger Cave Temple, Wat Sai Thai, Wat Klong Thom, Wat Kaew Korawaram

~ Parks & Hikes ~

Tubkeak National Park, Dragon Crest, Emerald Pool, The Tiger Cave, Hat Noppharat Thara, Princess Caves, Ko Poda

~ Marketplaces ~

Krabi Walking Street, Ao Nang's Catalunya, Maharaj Market, Railay Walking Street

~ Nightlife ~

Ao Nang District, Krabi Town, Klong Muang Beach, Boogie Bar, Chilling Bar

Wat Tham Suea

Wat Tham Suea, or The Tiger Temple, on cliff above Krabi town in souther Thailand
Wat Tham Suea or as many call it, The Tiger Cave Temple, can be reached from Krabi by car. To view this divine summit, travelers must conquer 1,272 steep steps, which many consider challenging but well worth it at the top. Arriving at the peak, explorers are astonished by the lookout point of Krabi Town, its glistening beaches below, and the limestone cliffs in the backdrop. The real eye-catcher, however, is the statue of the golden Buddha that allows nature and Thai religion to unify together in balance and harmony. It’s been heard that the Tiger Cave temple has a unique experience like no other, where respectful visitors seeking enlightenment can oftentimes be invited by Buddhist monks to join them in their practice of Vipassana meditation.

Railay

traveler climbing massive limestone rock cliffs in Railay, Thailand
Railay is one of Krabi's most acclaimed beaches as it appeals to both adrenaline junkies and those seeking total relaxation. This destination's sandy shores stretch for miles, creating pockets of about four different beaches along the way. Referred by many as one of the best places in the world to go rock climbing, Railay provides over 1,000 routes for both experienced and beginning climbers. Travelers seeking a less strenuous visit can choose to snorkel, get an outdoor massage, or grab food and drinks at local beach bars while appreciating the sounds of the tides hitting this tropical seaside destination.

~ Highlights ~  

Rock Climb, Kayak, Caves Explorations, Railay Beach Viewpoint, Thai Massages

~ Accommodations ~

Diamond Cave Resort, Railay Hilltop, Blanco Hideout, Railay Garden View Resort ($)

Rayavadee, Sandsea Resort, Railay Greatview, Bhu Nga Thani, Railay Village Resort ($$)

~ Restaurants ~  

Welcome Back Mangrove, Railay Family Restaurant, Bang BangRock ($)

The Grotto, Lotus Court, Sunrise Tropical Restaurant, The Last Bar ($$)

Khao Sok

Khao Sok is the largest rainforest in Thailand, providing refuge to hundreds of rare animal species, such as Malaysian sun bears, guars, civets, and more. Easily reachable via Phuket or Krabi, this national park offers some of Thailand’s most sublime landscapes. Sights like Cheow Lan Lake, Tham Nam Thalu, and the Tham Si Ru Caves are amongst the few that are must-sees during your visit here. Other famous attractions are the floating bungalows hovered by dramatic limestone cliffs, making them one of the most exhilarating places in the region to spend the night. Khao Sok is the perfect location for travelers hoping to explore and expand their knowledge of how fascinating and diverse Thailand’s intricate ecosystem truly is. 

~ Highlights ~  

 Cheow Lan Lake, Tham Nam Thalu, Tham Si Ru Caves, Mae Yai Waterfall, Sip Et Chan Trail, Khlong Pae, Ang Thong National Park, Elephant Sanctuary

~ Accommodations ~

K.K Park Resort, Khao Sok Island Resort, Coco Hostel, Khao Sok River Cottages ($)

The Bliss Khao Sok, Khao Sok Goodview Resort, Khao Sak River Lodge ($$)
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