Since Hollywood heartthrob, Leonardo Dicaprio hit our screens with his performance in Danny Boyles “The Beach” in 2000, Thailand has become one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Based in Southern Asia, Thailand is a beautiful country that boasts of stunning white beaches, ancient temples, vibrant cultures and delicious cuisines. Many people visit the land of smiles every year in search of paradise. After years of wanting to go but never booking anything, I decided it was time to plan my trip.
To avoid the raining season I opted for a two-week trip over Easter with my partner. This also meant that we would be able to take a little extra time off over the bank holiday. As we were only going to have two weeks to see as much as possible I knew I would need to do some research. I found that reading travel blogs and speaking with some well-travelled friends really helped me to finalise my route.
We decided to do what most travellers do on this trip and start with a couple of nights in Bangkok, the city that never sleeps. Bangkok is known for its wild nightlife and sex tourism, but it has a great deal more to offer! A friend of mine suggested The Davis hotel in Bangkok. Only half an hour from the airport this 4* boutique hotel is just a short train ride away from the buzz of the city centre.
The hotel was stunning. After a 14 Hour flight lounging by the beautiful rooftop pool looking over the city was the perfect way to start our Thailand trip. Early afternoon we took a train ride in to the city centre so we could explore. The vibrant city is full of surprising smells, new sounds and a buzzing atmosphere. There are many food stools where you can try some authentic Thai street food for pennies. For the first night, visiting a rooftop bar is essential. We went to Zoom Sky bar
Situated on the 40th floor the open-air bar offers stunning paramedic views of the city. You can sit and enjoy the city lights whist sipping on delicious cocktails. I could not believe what an amazing experience this was and would recommend a visit to this bar to anyone over any of the other more touristy spots. Expect lovely food, tasty cocktails and great music.
Day two in Bangkok involved a lot of walking, a lot of yummy food and a lot of site seeing. The pad Thai in Thailand is incredible, the take away shops in England do not compare. During the day, we visited the Grand Palace, which was beautiful, many temples and floating Market, which was vibrant and full of colour. We ended the evening with dinner at the famous Sky Bar Lebua hotel. Well known for its appearance in box office hit the hangover this sky bar is a must for anyone that wants to experience one of the best views of Bangkok.
Two hours from Bangkok in Northern Thailand is the city of Chiang Mai. This blissfully calm and laid-back place is very different from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. After only a few days in this incredible place I felt at home. Chiang Mai quickly became my favourite place to have ever visited. To anyone visiting Thailand I strongly recommend you include Chiang Mai in your itinerary.
Chiang Mai is home to over 300 ‘Wats’ Buddhists temples scattered amongst the countryside. We spent 3 days strolling through the streets and visiting beautiful temples along the way. There are lots of cafes to grab some traditional Thai food whist taking in the city’s rich culture and authentic charm. We stayed at a lovely hotel.
I would strongly recommend this hotel to anyone looking to stay in a place that has a charming boutique feel. Each evening we visited the famous night market where you can eat some amazing food, lovely drinks and dance the night away. You must try some of the Thai curries they have to offer which are always bursting with flavour. They are usually a soup like texture and served with jasmine rice. A real treat for those wanting to experience some good authentic Thai food during their stay.
After a four-day stay in what I can now call my favourite city in the world, we took a flight to Phuket. It was now time for the island hopping adventure I had been waiting for. Phuket is a very touristy part of Thailand. Known for resorts beach parties and vibrant nightlife. My hotel was only a ten-minute walk to the pier so we decided to get away from the tourist crowds and hired a private boat for the day. Although this sounds extravagant, it was only around £30 for a long tail boat for the entire day. Meaning we would be able to explore all of the tiny little islands at our own pace. It was a great trip and by not taking the larger tourist boats, we were able to avoid the crowds and explore the beautiful islands alone.
It was an incredible day. We saw some stunning white sand beaches, drank out of pineapples and coconuts with the locals, and our skipper even took us caving in canoes. The boat trip was worth every penny and more. After visiting so many beautiful islands, I could not wait to explore some more.
For my Thailand trip, I was determined to find my paradise. A place away from the party scene with beautiful beaches and clear blue sea. A friend of mine had told me about a small island called Koh Yai Noi. Koh Yai Noi is a beautiful fishing island an hours boat ride from Phuket. As one of Thailand’s last remaining hidden gems this small island is completely preserved and far removed from the crowded party town of Phuket. If you are planning to visit, make sure that you take some cash out before hand, as there are limited facilities on this simple yet extremely charming island.
We stayed at the incredible Cape Kudu hotel This stunning luxury Thai retreat was only open a month prior to our visit so we had no idea what to expect. As we pulled up to the hotel reception, I was captivated by its dazzling charm. The hotel decor was simple yet incredible chic with white washed walls and striking turquoise doors. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly.
After a quick change, we headed to the pool area. The outdoor infinity pool offered endless beautiful views of Phang Nga Bay. At sunset, we enjoyed mocktails overlooking the calm ocean. Before dining in the hotels Hornbill restaurant. The food at Cape Kudu was some of the best I experienced during my entire Thailand adventure. Cape Kudu although only a small hotel has so much to offer. The facilities, service and food are outstanding and is a place I hope to visit again and again.
The laid-back feeling of the island is contagious and you cannot help but fully relax here. We spent five days exploring the island by scooter taking in all of the sights. Passing the buffaloes bathing in the rice paddies and tiny wooden huts elevated on stilt. We came across lots of heavenly secluded beaches where we could swim in the sea, enjoy romantic picnic and watch the sunset over the bay. I did not want to leave this magnificent place but still had some exploring to do.
Phi Phi is Thailand’s superstar place, Famous for its exquisite beaches and vibrant jungles. We arrived at the Phi Phi beach resort hotel set in Maya Bay by boat transfer. Crystal blue waters and white sands did not disappoint and the place lived up to its reputation. The island was buzzing and full of life. The music flows continuously here and the island comes alive at night.
Our hotel was away from the party scene, which was great for us as we were able to mix up our time here with both relaxing and joining the party as and when we wanted. We spent 4 days enjoying the delicious seafood, snorkelling and soaking up the atmosphere before we had to make our way back to Phuket for our flight home to London.
Thailand was an amazing country and somewhere I would defiantly like to visit again. I have only seen a tiny bit of what the place has to offer and cannot wait to explore some further north of the country and some more of the southern islands. I am already planning my trip back so if anyone has any tips please do let me know.