A trip to Thailand will take you anywhere between the hectic congestion of downtown Bangkok to a variety of serene outposts between the hills in the north and the seas in the south.
It appears the tranquility of the Thai culture is lost amongst the 10-12 million people that call this city home. Amidst the choking smog you will find some interesting sites, but don’t plan on spending too much time in Thailand’s chaotic capital. Try a Thai cooking class and take in a Muay Thai kickboxing match then find the first plane to the islands or the nearest train that takes you north.
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Samui is the largest of a string of islands that boast beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and spectacular scuba diving. Perhaps more famous than all of this, is the Full Moon Party that takes place of the neighboring island of Ko Phangan. This all night party transforms the islands beaches into one massive rave and takes place every month to celebrate the full moon.
Ko Phi Phi
Ko Phi Phi is actually a pair of islands off the southwest coast of Thailand. Ko Phi Phi Don is where you will find accommodations and shops. Ko Phi Phi Ley, the more famous of the two, is a national park that was featured in the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. Phi Phi Ley is home to one of the most scenic lagoons in the world. In an attempt to protect this tiny islands habitat from the thousands of tourists, it is prohibited to spend the night on the island. The sole exception is one tour group that allows you to camp on the beach under the stars. Be warned, sleeping on the beach isn’t as luxurious as it seems. You will be pestered by bats flying overhead and sea crabs wandering the beach beside you.
Chiang Mai is located in the northern region of Thailand. The relaxed pace of life and focus on agriculture is a large contrast from the big city of Bangkok. This is a great place to take a multi-day excursion into the hills and try elephant trekking or river rafting.