BEST Places In Thailand To Visit This Year & Our Top Tips

Thailand, the land of a thousand smiles. Islands dotted with palm trees overhanging white beaches, long tail boat filling the hot tropical waters and spice infused cuisine; Thailand is one of the greatest, most memorable travel destinations you’re ever likely to experience. 

Stunning scenery, captivating temples, ancient villages, soaring mountains, mouth-watering food and incredible hospitality, Thailand magically traps its visitors for month or years on end. 

Despite Thailand reputation for loud, boozy tourists, ladyboys and seedy back allies, all are easily avoided and it won’t be hard to find that perfect destination for you. Whether it is boozing it up on the southern islands, finding a quiet beach to read your book or jumping in mountain lagoons and hot springs in the north, Thailand captures the hearts and dreams of everyone.

Keep scrolling to see our favourite destinations in Thailand and why you should visit them

PAI

photo cred: www.nomadasaurus.com

Pai…Where do we start?

This remote mountain valley in the north of Thailand,  is tranquilly charming, sensually stunning and oozes in personality 

Contrastingly different from the rest of Thailand, Pai is pure ecstasy.

Mouth-watering night markets, bohemian cafes, quaint bookstores and unforgettable views, Pai is undoubtedly one of best destinations in the whole of South East Asia.

Boasting natural hot springs, jaw-dropping caves, stylish locals and reggae vibes, Pai is epic. 

OUR TOP  TIPS:  PAI

1. Rent a Motorbike- The hot springs, caves, temples and waterfalls are all a short drive away from the centre. But for as cheap as $2 per day, you can visit everything Pai has to offer. 

2. Eat from the street stalls. The night market is epic in Pai and the food is to die for. Buy vintage clothing, handmade jewellery or tuck into vegetarian Lasagna and a cold Chang. The quiet town of Pai comes alive by night. 

3. Everything in Pai shuts early. By midnight, the lights go out and the bars shut down. Our advise, head out early because Pai has some awesome little bars. ( Closing times may change depending on Military ruling.) 

4. shop in vintage/second hand stores. You can find some amazing items for next to nothing.  

5. Sell your books in Pai’s book shop. You won’t get much, but it will buy you a few extra beers. 

CHIANG MAI

Chiang Mai is utterly brilliant. 

The largest city in Northern Thailand and by far the most culturally significant, Chiang Mai is a backpacking hotspot and is full of incredible activities. 

The incredible culture, stunning night markets, and amazing locals, handsomely complement the breath-taking landscape and relaxing vibe.  

Home to some of the most famed Elephant sanctuaries in the world, natural lagoons, and spiraling mountain drives, Chiang Mai will be sure to capture your heart. 

We love Chiang Mai, so don’t rush it and bide your time…it’s easy to get stuck in PARADISE! 

 

OUR TOP  TIPS:  CHIANG MAI

1. Rent a Motorbike- Not only is Chiang Mai big, but there is bucket loads to see and do. Without a doubt, Chiang Mai is best seen with the wind in your hair. 

2.  Eat from the street stalls in Chiang Mai’s night market. Not only is the food half the price of city restaurants, it is also incredibly tasty.  

3. Always remember to barter (negotiate). You can have a lot of fun here. Because Chaing Mai is so popular amongst tourists and expats, the locals will always try to over charge you. Here at Goko we challenge you to knock off half the price…good luck 🙂

4. Stay street smart when partying in “Zoe in Yellows” and the surrounding bars. The night life in Chiang Mai is epic and is for the most part a very safe environment, but please respect the locals…it is their home after all and they won’t tolerate any trouble.

Koh Tao

Situated north of Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui, Koh Tao is sometimes over looked. This is a mistake. 

Boasting famed bar crawls, picture-postcard beaches and some of the best diving in South East Asia, Koh Tao is simply magnificent. With hundreds of DIVE schools to choose from, Koh Tao is one of the cheapest places in the world to get your diving certificate and is home to specular coral reefs, turtles and even whale sharks. 

In recent years, however, Koh Tao has got a lot of bad press, which has unfortunately affected the tourist population. Despite this reputation, and I speak from experience, Koh Tao is predominantly a very safe place, very well-lit at night and home to some of the friendly locals I have ever met. 

Whether you are wanting challenging mountain hikes, relaxing beach day or delicious western cuisine, a fire show and a bucket of alcohol, Koh Tao delivers on it all. 

 

OUR TOP  TIPS:  KOH TAO

1. If you’re heading to the southern islands for the full moon/ half moon parties, your best opinion is to stay in Koh Tao. Not only is accommodation half the price, there is an epic party boat that takes your there in the evening and picks you up early in the morning. We highly recommend you do this. 

2. Pre-drink from 7/11! The bars in Koh Tao are more expensive than the main land.

Note: Avoid drinking too much of Thailand’s energy drinks, the amphetamines can make you very ill the next day  

3. If your interesting diving, Koh Tao offers the cheapest diving in the world.

4. Respect the locals. Koh Tao is a Mafia run island, please don’t argue with them…their culture is somewhat different and you do not want to find yourself in a sticky situation. 

5. If you are really on a budget, stay at “Spicey Tao” for as little as 200 BAHT per night (awesome place, but expect basic, island accommodation) 

6. Work at a Bar- bars are always looking for flyer staff! For free drinks all night, bars will ask you to do a few hours a flying. This will really help you stay afloat.

 

Koh Phi-Phi

From the famous Maya bay and the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, the beach… to monkey island, world-class diving and insane nightlife, Ko Phi Phi is by far the most talked about party destination in Asia.

Boating limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, pearl white beaches and trackless forests, Phi Phi Island really is the ultimate tropical paradise. 

Destroyed by a Tsuami in 2004, the island has been rebuilt with modern infrastructure and as a result, has seen a sharp increase of party goers.

If you are looking for a quiet getaway or a relaxing beach holiday, Koh Phi-Phi is not the place for you.

However, if your itching for picture-perfect scenery and stunning white beaches while simultaneously being apart of a 24/7 party, Phi Phi is the place for you. 

OUR TOP  TIPS:  KOH-PHI-PHI

1.  Phi-Phi is incredible fun However, its very expensive in comparison to anywhere else in Thailand, so be prepared to spend more than you planned.   

2. As always,  pre-drink from 7/11! Due to the popularity of Phi Phi,  restaurants and bars are far from cheap. 

Note: Avoid drinking to much of Thailand’s energy drinks, the amphetamines can make you very ill the next day.

3. Eat away from the beach- the closer to the beach, the higher the price. Head to the main village, prices drop quite dramatically. 

4. Work at a Bar- bars are always looking for flyer staff! For free drinks all night, bars will ask you to do a few hours a flying. This will really help you stay afloat. 

5. Go during low season. Not only will you save money, the Island can get a little out of control during the peak seasons. The beaches get dirty and the waters unclean. If you wanting more than just a piss up,  stay clear during high season.

6. Power in numbers- when booking day exertions, book in a group. The bigger the group, the less spend. Simple 

7.Barter, Barter  Barter! Everything in Phi-Phi is over priced, you can always knock off a few baht. 

8. Respect the locals. Thai culture is different to ours and you do not want to find yourself in a sticky situation .

Krabi

Boasting geographical excellence, tropical rainforests, rocky karsts and impeccable beaches, it’s no surprise that Krabi is buzzing with youthful backpackers and happy faces. 

Home to over 100 offshore islands, alternative bars and long tail boats, Krabi is only a short boat trip away from the famed Ko Phi Phi, Railay and Koh Lanta: The perfect recovery place after a heavy week of partying on the Thai islands. 

OUR TOP  TIPS:  KRABI

1. Kick back and enjoy maybe one of the most tranquil parts of Southern Thailand.  Railey (a short long tail boat ride away from Krabi) is a stunning neighbour; boasting incredible limestone cliffs and impressive waters. Our advise, don’t just stick to Krabi town or Ao Nang beach, the surrounding areas are just as magnificent.  

2. Local markets shut early.  By 7 pm the markets pack up for the night…so don’t leave it too late.

3. Local Taxis are great but expensive. Motorbike taxis are better if your looking after your pennie

4. Pre-drink from 7/11! Due to the type of people Krabi attract (many holiday makers), some places can be more expensive than the rest of mainland Thailand.

Note: Avoid drinking too much of Thailand’s energy drinks, the amphetamines can make you very ill the next day  

5. Respect the locals. Thai culture is different to ours and you do not want to find yourself in a sticky situation

Bangkok

Bangkok or the “City of Angels” is chaotic, boozy and sensually captivating. 

Bangkok is either a city you unconditionally love or unreservedly hate. Being the capital and the largest city in Thailand, Bangkok is over populated, highly polluted and very commercial. 

Famed for the infamous Koh San Road, Ladyboys and Ping-Pong shows, it really does live up to all its stereotypes and is exclusively unique. However, the seemingly ugly city of Bangkok does have its charms and the longer you stay, the deeper the connection. 

Explore further than the confines of Koh San and Bangkok will dramatically reveal its hidden beauty and open your heart forever.  Unbeatable street food, stunning temples and ancient architecture: Bangkok truly is an amazing city. 

Here at GoKo, we absolutely love Bangkok and is a fantastic place to start your South East Asian adventure.

OUR TOP  TIPS:  BANGKOK

1. Buy your alcohol from 7/11! Cheap and cheerful! Beer is between ฿35tHB-60THB rather than ฿100THB/150THB plus in bars or restaurants.

2. Street stalls over restaurants! It’s here were you will eat some of the best food in Thailand… and dinner can be eaten for as cheap as ฿50THB! 

3. Motorbike taxis over a tuk-tuk or metered cab! It’s cheap, quick and they are always friendly. Journeys can be as cheap as ฿30THB/40THB and shouldn’t be more than ฿60THB

4. Be careful on Koh San Road! Buy a money belt to keep all your valuables in. If you dont have a money belt, keep your phone/wallet/purse at the Hostel. Although Koh San is a backpacker haven and a lot of fun, just stay street smart! It has a reputation for a reason. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

 

If you wish to contact us further, please email us at:

 

info@gokotravels.com

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