Ko Pha Ngan
If you are lucky enough to visit this unspoiled piece of land, you will have plenty of time to indulge in many activities. Situated close to Koh Samui, this beautiful area will suit nature lovers in search of authenticity.
If you like walking, discover the island’s impressive waterfalls. These include:
- Than Sadet waterfall, reputed to be one of Thailand’s most beautiful waterfalls. You can swim in its natural pools at any time of the year;
- Phaeng Waterfall: The island’s largest waterfall, located in the heart of Thansadej National Park.
Finally, if you’re looking to relax on an uncrowded sandy beach, go to Coral Bay, Chaloklum, or Salad Beach. The latter is an ideal spot to visit with children.
A tourist hotspot, the famous city of Phuket will seduce you if you know which areas to explore. We recommend wandering in the old town (Phuket Town) for a few hours. Discover its unique architecture and the colorful buildings which make this city so charming. You will be able to take traditional Thai cooking classes at the “Blue Elephant Mansion,” visit the Thai Hua museum (where you can learn more about the island’s history) or discover the Shrine of the Serene Light (a Chinese temple).
From Phuket Town, make a small detour to Monkey Hill. This place, filled with hundreds of monkeys, will please children and adults alike!
The Great Buddha is a must-see in the region. This 25-meter high white marble statue is perched on a hilltop. From there, you will enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the island and its surroundings.
As for the beaches, each is more beautiful than the other. If we had to name just a few, it would be Banana Beach (for its tranquility), Ya Nui (for snorkeling), Laem Singh Beach (for its palm trees), Kamala (to enjoy with the family), Freedom Beach (for its highly convenient access by boat from Patong beach).
Koh Samui is Thailand’s third-largest island. Though it is quite touristy, it has retained a few authentic spots. To find peaceful beaches, head towards the northeastern side of the island, to Thong Son Bay or Choeng Mon Beach. South of the island, typical fishing villages mingle with beautiful coconut groves, especially on the beaches of Ban Thong Krut, Hua Thanon, or Bang Kao, to name a few. The center of the island is home to abundant lush vegetation: the perfect setting for a day’s walk.
Departing from Koh Samui, take a day trip to visit the Ang Thong National Marine Park, consisting of 42 uninhabited islands. Discover the area’s typical limestone cliffs, the highest of which are 400-meters high.
The “golden basin” (Thai translation of “Ang Thong”) offers a feast of wild beauty. You can swim in the beautiful emerald-colored salty lake called the “Emerald Lake” in Koh Mae Ko. However, be aware that you will not be able to access the park from November to January, as it is closed due to poor weather conditions.
Located in northern Thailand, the “City of 300 temples” is full of secrets that will delight traditional culture lovers. Take the time to visit these architectural works of art, most of which are made of wood. You probably won’t have time to see them all, so take a look at the following:
- Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: Erected on the highest mountain in the region, this Buddhist temple boasts breathtaking views of the city below;
- Wat Inthakhin Saduemang: Nestled near the Three Kings monument, this small temple is built entirely out of teak;
- Wat Chiang Man: Built in the thirteenth century, it is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai;
- Wat Chedi Luang: This temple shelters the Emerald Buddha. Despite having been partially destroyed by an earthquake, this building is still spectacular;
- Wat Phra Singh: the most revered by the local population;
- Wat Si Suphan: Also called the Silver Temple, because of its impressive hand-crafted silver decorations.
You will undoubtedly be seduced by the “Capital of the North” and its impressive religious edifices.
But Chiang Mai offers more than just Buddhist temples! Take the time to wander through the old city, discover Thailand’s famed culinary specialties, and find beautiful handicrafts in the city’s markets. The city also houses museums where you can learn about the region’s rich history and culture.
The floating markets of Bangkok
Wondering what to do in Thailand? Are you looking to experience unique moments among the locals? Don’t miss the capital’s typical floating markets. Boats were once the city’s most common means of transport. Merchants sold their goods directly on the water and even cooked on their boats. The tradition continued ever since.
Nowadays, the most important floating markets are tourist attractions. However, some markets have retained an authentic ambiance. The best option is to borrow a traditional boat and sail on the canal, to soak up the unique atmosphere of this trade.
Among Bangkok’s many floating markets, the following few stand out:
- Bang Khu Wiang: To find out what makes this market unique, we recommend going there at dawn. You will then have the chance to witness a remarkable moment: the procession of monks who come to collect offerings from traders and locals;
- Khlong Lat Mayom: Explore one of Bangkok’s most authentic markets. Here, you will rub shoulders with Thai people in all simplicity. You will find affordable local products, and you will be able to taste delicious local specialties;
- Amphawa: This night market lights up at dusk, creating a beautiful spectacle of lights reflected in the water.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Siam is a dream stop for lovers of history and culture. Situated close to Bangkok (75 km north), it is easy to reach. Ayuttah houses fifteen or so sites, all home to ruined temples. You can travel from one to another by tuk-tuk, motorcycle, bicycle, or even by boat if you’re keen to visit the temples built on the riverside. In this vast archaeological area, it is almost impossible to travel on foot from one religious monument to another.
Plan a full day to visit the six main temples: Wat Mahathat (very famous because of its Buddha head entwined between the roots of a tree), Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Maheyong, and Wat Chai Watthanaram (beautiful at sunset).
Lake Nong Han Kum Pavapi
Though Thailand is mostly known for its glittering temples and idyllic beaches, the country is also home to a magical place called Lake Nong Han Kum Pavapi. Located inland, in the province of Udon Thani, in northeastern Thailand, the lake is truly magnificent. It offers the kind of scenery you won’t see anywhere else. Every year, the water is covered with thousands of red lotus flowers: a mesmerizing sight. The best time of the year to contemplate the “Red Lotus Sea” is from December to February (many visitors come to admire this romantic landscape on Valentine’s Day). Hop on board a boat that will take you as close as possible to the lake’s flora and fauna. To admire the full blooming flowers, we recommend going there in the morning between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. This unique experience is one of the best things to do in Thailand. You will bring back unforgettable memories!