Visiting Thailand? The ULTIMATE No B.S Guide
Looking for the best places in Thailand, but you’re tired of articles on the internet taking you to 40 different places you won’t have time for? Well, you’ve come to the right place! As full-time travelers, we’ve been able to visit some of the world’s most beautiful countries. Without a doubt, Thailand is our favorite. From lush jungles to the delicious street, Thailand has something for every person out there!
After exploring Thailand thoroughly for 5 months, we are absolutely in love. It’s no wonder it’s the most popular country in South East Asia! Because we want you to enjoy this beautiful country, we’ve compiled the top 10 best places in Thailand you won’t want to miss! Stick around to the end to get your hands on our FREE two-week Thailand Itinerary!
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Best Places in Thailand #10: Koh Phi Phi
Out of all of the places we visited in Thailand, Koh Phi Phi is one of the most interesting. Made famous by Leonardo Dicaprio’s movie, The Beach, and Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi is a must-visit on any trip to Thailand. This archipelago is known for its gorgeous islands, tropical cliches, and fancy resorts! Most infamously, it’s known for its incredible beachfront nightlife!
Best Things to do in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Partying on Koh Phi Phi Don
If you’re a budget backpacker looking to party, you have found your holy grail. This island is lined with beach bars and fire dancers every single night of the week. Koh Phi Phi is by far one of the best places in Thailand if you’re into the party scene!
For my party lovers, Koh Phi Phi has tons of drinking activities in the day time. There are vendors selling you booze cruises that are available for around 1000 baht ($30USD), all over the island. Because the cruises offer unlimited alcohol during the trip, you need to make sure you keep yourself hydrated. These booze cruises are guaranteed to get you smashed. So, if you’re looking for a day and night you will certainly forget, this is the place for you!
Party Island Hopping Cruise
Want a cruise tour that has a reputation for being fun? The Blanco Boat Party Cruise is going to be your best option! Apart from being one of the most highly rated party cruises on the internet, it serves both audiences. If you want to drink, you can find cheap drinks on board. But if you want to have an amazing day snorkeling, paddleboarding, and exploring Koh Phi Phi’s many islands, this cruise does it with style! They feature a live DJ, take you to 5 different spots, and show you one of the best places in Thailand from the sea!
Peaceful Activities in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Rest assured, if partying isn’t your scene, Koh Phi Phi is still one of the best places to visit in Thailand. If you are looking to kick back and relax on the mountainsides, you’ll be greeted with a huge variety of resort and spa options! Koh Phi Phi has tons of accommodations along the mountain and oceanfront, so you’ll have no problem finding the place that’s right for you.
Koh Phi Phi Island Hopping
For family-friendly activities in Koh Phi Phi, you can find island-hopping tours that last 5 hours for around 1000 baht ($30), but if you want a more structured tour that takes you to 6 different islands, you can find them, too! This small-group tour picks you up from Phuket, and takes you on an 8-hour journey through Koh Phi Phi’s many islands! Koh Phi Phi can be crowded, so if you’re looking for a more private experience, this is the trip for you. Huge bonus: They serve you an awesome buffet lunch on board!
Keep in mind that if you’re traveling to Phi Phi Island to see Maya Bay, you will be disappointed. Maya Bay has been closed off to the public so that its natural beauty can be restored and preserved. It will be opening back up mid-2021. If a tour is advertising Maya Bay as a stop they are only taking you past it for a picture.
Best Places to Stay in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Koh Phi Phi has some of the best accommodation options in Thailand. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing resort or a vibrant party hostel, it has something for you! Below I have the 3 best options at 3 different price points.
Koh Phi Phi, Thailand Luxurious Hotel Option:
This exotically decorated resort feels like you’re submerged in a Thai jungle with western comforts! Located right on Laem Tong beach, this resort boasts ample spa options, pool villas, and rooms that will take your breath away! If you’re looking for a private and luxurious experience at a fraction of what you’d pay back home, this is the choice for you! The Zeovola Resort is located away from the party beach, has free wifi in all areas, and high-end amenities! As a completely sustainable resort, Zeovola priorities reducing its waste, and taking care of the paradise it’s located on!
Koh Phi Phi, Thailand Nice Hotel Option:
These quaint bungalows are tucked away in the jungle, but located right near the beach! The bungalows feature garden and sea views and are conveniently located near all of Phi Phi’s main attractions. This is a great place to stay if you want to immerse yourself in one of the best places in Thailand at a budget price! Every bungalow has wifi, AC, and a private bathroom! Request to stay in rooms A1 or A2! They have the best views of the ocean!
Koh Phi Phi, Thailand Budget Accommodation Option:
This hostel is known as being the place to go if you want to have a good time and be welcomed like family. The host, lovingly called, “Mama”, treats everyone in her hostel like family! This is a great option for you if you’re traveling on a budget and want to meet other travelers. Needless to say, with a name like Hangover Hostel, you will be getting rowdy with some new friendships. Hangover Hostel is located right in the heart of Koh Phi Phi, close to all of the beaches and nearby attractions. The rooms come with wifi and an individual safe next to every bed!
Best Places in Thailand #9: Koh Samui
If you’re looking for a ritzy resort at a budget price and for one of the best places in Thailand, Koh Samui is the island for you. Located on the Bay of Tranquility, Koh Samui gives you exactly that! The moment you arrive, you will see the beach peppered with palm trees, white sand, and peaceful waters. Although one of the more expensive places to visit in Thailand, Koh Samui is famous for its many waterfalls, secret Buddha gardens, and a plethora or Spa locales to keep you pampered.
Best Things to do in Koh Samui, Thailand
Island Hopping with the Pigs
If you’re looking to add a bit of adventure to your trip, look no further than feeding the adorable pigs in Koh Madsum! You may have seen pictures on Instagram about island pigs in Exumas, Bahamas! But what you probably didn’t know is that this tiny island near Koh Samui was the first! This 4-hour tour takes you to two different islands, gives you time to play and feed the pigs, and includes a buffet meal! Not to mention you get to island-hop on a traditional Thai long-tail boat! You’re going to have Insta pics for days!
Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village
If you’re hungry and want to go to a fun, street filled with delicious food vendors, make sure you visit Bophut’s Fisherman Village! Here you’ll find plenty of food options, cheap souvenirs, and amazing massage parlors all along the oceanfront! I’m hungry just thinking about it! We actually did a full food review at this awesome street food haven, that you can watch above!
Secret Buddha Garden
Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand can be found here in Koh Samui. This is one of the best places to visit in Thailand because it’s simply gorgeous! The secret buddha garden has a gorgeous waterfall coursing through it. It made the garden a peaceful place to relax, enjoy nature, and even meditate!
Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui is known for its luxurious resorts, spas, and stunning ocean views. Below I have the 3 best options in 3 different price points.
Koh Samui, Thailand Luxurious Hotel Option:
If you’re looking for the best, look no further than the Four Seasons Resort in Koh Samui. Four Seasons has always had a reputation for luxury, attention to detail, and an over the top experience. This resort meets and exceeds every one of those expectations. With pool villas overlooking the ocean, professional chefs that cook in the room for you, and staff dedicated to being your personal genie, this is paradise. You’ll think you died and went to heaven!
Koh Samui, Thailand Nice Hotel Option:
This 5-star hotel comes at a 3-star hotel price! Boasting a private beach, free breakfast, and beachfront suites, you will treat yourself to an amazing vacation! The Tongsay Bay Resort has a beautiful pool, free wifi throughout, and is located near all of Koh Samui’s main attractions. Whether you want to go exploring or spend the entire day at this glamorous resort, you will realize you’ve chosen the right place! Did I mention that out of over 2,000 reviews, it has 9.4 stars?!
Koh Samui, Thailand Budget Accommodation Option:
On a budget, but don’t want to sacrifice sensible accommodations? Leave it to Koh Samui to come up with an adults-only hostel! These accommodations offer dorm rooms that don’t sacrifice style or comfort! The hostel features comfy mattresses, lockers, clean bathrooms, and it’s in a great location! Huge plus: There are no rowdy parties happening here and they have female-only dorms available!
Best Places in Thailand #8: Aonang, Krabi
Guys, I can’t rave enough about how beautiful Krabi, Thailand is. From the delicious food to the rich culture, pristine beaches and impressive limestone cliffs, it’s no wonder people call it paradise. Being full-time travelers, we see a lot of beautiful places, but none have even come CLOSE to Krabi Thailand. Although it’s a region of Thailand and not a city, there is so much to do in this tropical paradise that we couldn’t help but mention it.
I actually did an entire podcast episode on the award winning podcast, Amateur Traveler, that you can listen to below!
Best Things to do in Aonang, Krabi, Thailand
Khao Sok National Park
Although Khao Sok National Park is technically not in Krabi, it’s only a two-hour drive away and is SO worth the trip! This overnight trip from Krabi is frankly my FAVORITE activity in all of Thailand! As a matter of fact, it is one of the best places in Thailand! Khao Sok National park in the world’s oldest rainforest and gives you the opportunity to witness nature untouched! During our trip here, we stayed in a floating bungalow in the middle of a lake, witness wild elephants eating, and hiked up a waterfall!
This tour covers all of the same things we did during our time on Khao Sok Lake, the only difference is that the accommodations of this tour are a lot nicer. If you see the playlist above, you’ll hear about my traumatizing night on the lake in our basic accommodations. I would hate for that to happen to you, too!
Island Hopping in Krabi
One of the most popular things to do in Krabi is island-hopping through the nearby islands. With 1000ft limestone cliffs protruding from the water, and gorgeous beaches you HAVE to take advantage! The Krabi Sunset Cruises offer the best tour because they take you to 5 different islands. They also include all snorkel equipment, paddleboards, and kayaks, feed you a delicious buffet meal on board, and my favorite: Take you swimming with the bioluminescent plankton in Railay Bay! Not to mention that the entire tour happens on a pirate ship! Umm, did I mention they have 817 5-star reviews?!
Krabi’s Emerald Pool & Tiger Cave Temple
If you are like us and love exploring nature, Krabi has tons of hikes, viewpoints, and our favorite, natural springs! Out of all of them available, our favorite was the Emerald Pool. The Emerald Pool is a two-hour drive from Aonang, but thankfully many tours bundle Krabi’s highlights together into one day. This tour makes it easy by taking you to the Emerald pool, all of the hot springs nearby, and even take you to Tiger Cave Temple! You can watch the unbelievable views (and the challenging hike) from Tiger Cave Temple below! This is the best way to take in one of the best places in Thailand!
Best Places to Stay in Aonang, Krabi
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing resort or a vibrant party hostel, Aonang, Krabi has an accommodation option for you! Below I have the 3 best options in 3 different price points.
Aonang, Krabi Luxurious Hotel Option:
Now, you know Ritz-Carlton knows how to do luxury! This resort is located on a secluded beach away from Aonang’s tourist epicenter! This distance from the action gives the resort the perfect, secluded feel you want when booking a place like this. With pool villas, beachfront suites, and an incredible on-site restaurant. Get ready to get pampered! This is the right way to enjoy one of the best places in Thailand!
Aonang, Krabi Nice Hotel Option:
This 4-star hotel still gives you the seclusion from the tourist epicenter, while still remaining reasonably priced! Being an adults-only resort, this place is quiet, peaceful, and feels like a haven from the hustle and bustle. It has a beautiful pool in the center of the hotel and incredible buffet breakfast! If you are on a budget but you don’t want to sacrifice comfort and class, this is the resort option for you!
Aonang, Krabi Budget Accommodation Option:
Would you believe me if I told you I’m writing to you while staying at the Krabi Forest Homestay? What if I told you this is the 5th time we’ve stayed here FOR MONTH-LONG STAYS! This budget homestay has private rooms with AC, a nice private bathroom, and wifi all throughout the property! What we love most about the Krabi Forest Homestay is its close proximity to the pier, amazing street food nearby, and cheap $6 massages! Every single time we come to Krabi, we stay here and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon! By far the best budget accommodations in Krabi, Thailand!
Best Places in Thailand #7: Chiang Rai
Known for its EPIC temples and small-town personality, Chiang Rai is definitely a sight for sore eyes and a must-visit for any temple aficionado out there! Only a 3-hour drive from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai will welcome you with its beautiful city center and very local feel. You will love getting lost temple hopping and learning all about Buddhism in this quaint Thai town. Also, something that is super neat is that Chiang Rai is located at the apex of three different countries. It’s only a 30-minute drive from China, Laos, and Myanmar!
Best Things to do in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Myanmar Day Trip
Many people take advantage of this close proximity, to hop over the border and explore a different country for the day! This private tour picks you up for your hotel in Chiang Rai and takes you passed the Myanmar border! You’ll spend the day exploring Burmese temples and sampling Burmese food! The tour even covers your day visa into Myanmar, a private tour guide, and all transportation!
You cannot go to Chiang Rai without going temple-hopping! Here are three you can’t miss!
Although less of a temple and more of an artistic interpretation of Buddhism, the artist spent over a million dollars constructing this ornate complex in order to get what he believes is eternal life.
The Blue Temple is honestly one of the most beautifully painted temples we’ve been to, and we’ve been to almost all of the main temples in Thailand! You will be able to fill your Instagram with gorgeous shots of this place!
If you’re into a darker style of a museum, you can visit the Baandam Museum, infamously known for its thousands of Taxidermy animals, and bones located ALL OVER the complex. Creepy, but well worth a visit!
Getting to all of these temples can be easily achieved by renting a motorbike and driving to them. Unfortunately, they are quite a bit far from one another. If you are not comfortable with a motorbike, this tour will take you to all of the temples, a long-neck tribe village, and the Golden Triangle to explore to Opium Museums! For only $30 it includes lunch, and roundtrip transportation to your hotel, too!
Chiang Rai Night Market
After a busy day of Temple Hopping, you can’t miss the Chiang Rai night market! You’ll find tons of delicious food, and you must try their build-your-own soups in a clay pot. The soups run about 200 baht (roughly $6) and are just as fun to eat as they are to cook! Also, if you’ve been waiting to buy souvenirs, the Chiang Rai night market had the cheapest souvenirs out of any place on this list! Luckily, this market is located right in the center of town. So, if you’re staying in a hotel in Chiang Rai, it’s only a 15-minute walk to this street food haven!
Best Places to Stay in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Chiang Rai is a small village town which is what makes it one of the best places in Thailand to visit. With that said, accommodation options are a bit limited. Below I have the 3 best options in 3 different price points.
Chiang Rai, Thailand Luxurious Hotel Option:
Le Meridien Chiang Resort is easily the best resort option for those looking to stay in Chiang Rai. At less than $200 a night, this resort and spa has everything you could want. It’s close to the city center, has a gorgeous pool, and even has a fitness center. All of the rooms at this resort are equipped with air conditioning and wifi to provide optimal comfort! If you’re coming to Chiang Rai, you will struggle to find a better accommodation option.
Chiang Rai, Thailand Nice Hotel Option:
It’s crazy to me that you can visit one of the best places in Thailand and spend next to nothing on accommodation. This 3-star hotel comes in at less than $100 a night for rooms that have mountain views! The hotel is walking distance from the Baandam Museum (the Black House) and is located in a peaceful area of town. Bambuh Homestay looks and feels like you’re nestled in the northern Thai mountains which gives it its appeal. This is the best place to stay if you don’t want to break the bank, but you don’t want to sacrifice a beautiful room!
Chiang Rai, Thailand Budget Accommodation Option:
Grungy hostels aren’t a requirement of budget travel anymore. In recent years, places in Thailand have stepped up their game in terms of budget accommodations. This “Poshtel” has dorm rooms available for as little as $6 a night and privates up to $25 a night. All of the bunk beds come with a privacy curtain, comfy mattresses, and a nice hearty comforter. All of the rooms in the poshtel include AC, wifi, and free use of a bike to explore the area! Not that you even need the bike, because the hostel is located only 2 minutes away from Chiang Rai’s clock tower! This hostel cannot be beat based on value, and location!
Best Places in Thailand #6: Bangkok
This city, made infamous by the popular Hangover movies, stays true to its reputation! Although a little seedy on the outside, Bangkok is a must-stop place for every traveler in Thailand. Delicious Michelin star street food, traditional Thai temples and palaces, and a variety of Culture & History museums will really integrate you in the roots of the Siam region, and Thai Culture. It’s what makes this city one of the best places in Thailand!
Best Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok Temple Hopping
Bangkok has some incredible pieces of architecture. The Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun are all places you cannot miss! To get the best experience, it’s helpful to have a guide telling you all of the histories of the various temples. This tour takes you to all of Bangkok’s most famous temples, and includes all of the entrance fees and transportation!
Ayutthaya Day Trip
An easy and popular day-trip from Bangkok is Ayutthaya, Siam’s old capital! This UNESCO world heritage site used to be the center of operations for the Siam region. In the 1700s, it was raided by the Burmese and burned to ruins. The remaining bricks from the Grand Palace in Ayutthaya were then transported to Bangkok to be used in the construction of the current Grand Palace. However, the temple complex in Ayutthaya still has ancient relics, remarkable temples, and is akin to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. This full-day private tour from Bangkok takes you to Ayyuthaya with a knowledgable and enthusiastic guide so that you can appreciate the cultural and historical value of the complex.
If you’re into nightlife, Bangkok does not disappoint. Head on over to the infamous Khao San road where you can find a street party filled with bars, sketchy alcohol, and even try a scorpion or two. After you’re nice a relaxed with a couple of beers, don’t forget to get a 6-dollar massage right on the sidewalk! If you want a tame but equally fun night out, this temple and street food tour is going to have you covered! The tour begins by taking you to eat the BEST Pad Thai in Thailand at a Michelin star restaurant. After that, you will visit the 24-hour flower market, a quiet temple, sample delicious Thai street food, and end the night eating a surprise dessert! The tour lasts 4-hours and takes you around town in a traditional Thai Tuk Tuk. It’s certainly going to be a night you never forget!
Best Places to Stay in Bangkok, Thailand
No matter what you’re looking to get out of Bangkok, there is an option for you. With an enormous city comes an overwhelming amount of options. Below I have the 3 best options in 3 different price points.
Bangkok, Thailand Luxurious Hotel Option:
Like most other 5-star hotel chains, the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok carries quite a reputation. With over-the-top amenities and exquisite attention to detail, you will feel like the Thai King himself! The Mandarin Oriental’s rooms have beautiful views of the cityscape and river. With 10 world-class restaurants located on the main floor, this is the option for you if you never want to leave the hotel! If you do want to do some sight-seeing, major attractions like Lumphini park, the Chatuchak Market, and temples are only a 30-minute walk away.
Bangkok, Thailand Nice Hotel Option:
This incredible hotel, located in the heart of Bangkok’s downtown is amazing choice for the traveler focused on value! With extravagant dining options, and stunning views of the Bangkok skyline, it gives you the luxury experience at a fraction of the price. The Westin Grande Sukhumvit features an in-house fitness center, a relaxing rooftop pool, and a location that is tough to beat! This hotel is an amazing option for those wanting to be close to everything, but still want a haven to call home.
Bangkok, Thailand Budget Accommodation Option:
This Bangkok hostel is one of the most thoughtfully designed hostels I’ve ever seen. iSanook is known for its comfortable beds, stylish design, and for considering the needs of travelers. All of the dorms are equipped with sheets, towels, and lockers. The hostel’s kitchen is clean, and comes fully equipped with everything you would need to prepare a meal, tea, or coffee! Located in Bangkok City Center, iSanook is conveniently located near the BTS station and Bangkok’s major shopping areas. It’s a great option for the budget traveler that still wants to enjoy one of the best places in Thailand.
Best Places in Thailand #5: Chiang Mai
Thailand’s cultural heartland is well known for its beautiful ornate temples, traditional northern food, and as Thailand’s expat hub. Filled with a mix of trendy restaurants, and traditional Thai markets, Chiang Mai is a feast for both the eyes and stomach. What makes Chiang Mai one of the best places in Thailand is the multitude of activities and day-trips you can take from here! Whether you’re into trekking or temple-hopping, Chiang Mai has you covered.
Best Things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thai Cooking Class
One of the most popular experiences people have in Chiang Mai is a traditional Thai cooking class! This was actually one of the coolest things we did! This Chiang Mai cooking class is exactly the one we took. We loved it because it not only showed you how to cook the food but also its history! At the end of the class, you get together with all of your new friends and eat the food you made. They even give you an apron to take as a souvenir!
Chiang Mai is one of the best places in all of South East Asia to visit an elephant sanctuary! Elephants in Thailand have a long history of abuse and exploitation. Elephant sanctuaries have rescue elephants and give them a safe place to live without the abuse. When picking an elephant sanctuary, make sure that they’re ethical and have NO riding. This elephant sanctuary teaches you about the elephant’s history and cultural significance in Thailand. During the 6-hour experience, you get to make the elephants food, feed them, and even give them a mud bath!
Chiang Mai is famous for its temple-hopping! Chiang Mai literally has hundreds of temples, most famously Doi Suthep. Doi Suthep is located on the top of the mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai. Allegedly, one of Buddha’s shin bones is enshrined in the golden stupa at the top! To get there you can hail a taxi from the Old City, but this tour covers all of the transportation and even includes a trip to the sticky waterfalls!
Day Trip to Chiang Rai, Thailand
If you read about Chiang Rai earlier, but you don’t have time to make it an overnight trip, I’ve got you! Many people opt to take a day-trip tour to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai! This tour takes you to the White Temple, Blue Temple, and two others. It also includes lunch, transportation, a private guide, and even takes you to a hill tribe village.
Best Places to Stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand
If you’re looking to stay in the trendier, and more upscale side of Chiang Mai, make sure you stay in Nimman. This is where you’ll find a large selection of internet cafes, and affordable apartment housing compared to US standards. This is also the hipster side of town so expect trendy coffee shops, and a beautiful super mall, Maya mall. If you are a backpacker, rest assured there are plenty of options for you in the old city right near where all of the action happens. With an enormous city, comes an overwhelming amount of options. Below I have the 3 best options in 3 different price points.
Chiang Mai, Thailand Luxurious Hotel Option:
I know the word “homestay” doesn’t usually sound like a tropical paradise, but Howie’s is definitely different. For the price of a night at the four-seasons, you can rent out this massive villa in Chiang Mai! Overlooking rice paddies, and nestled in the Chiang Mai mountains, this villa looks like a movie set! Howie has done the place up with the latest tech accessories, and unbelievable views no matter where you’re standing. The villa alone is one of the best places in Thailand! It only helps that it’s near enough to the city center to still explore!
Chiang Mai, Thailand Nice Hotel Option:
This 5-star hotel may look and feel like luxurious but at a fraction of the price! The Kantary Hills Chiang Mai is located in Nimman, the city’s expat hub! Here you will find amazing coffee shops, incredibly fast wifi speeds, and a more upscale, western feel. The hotel has a beautiful pool, bigs rooms that even include a washing machine and excellent food options. The buffet breakfast that’s included is definitely a crowd pleaser!
Chiang Mai, Thailand Budget Accommodation Option:
This hostel goes back to the basics, but with an amazing location. Situated on the eastern wall of the old city, this hostel is close to some amazing street food! Highly reviewed, and acclaimed for its cleaning standards, this hostel keeps you from the stereotypically grungy accommodations. You will be walking distance from all of the temples in Chiang Mai, and will never run out of things to do! If you stay here, make sure you go to the Chang Phuek Gate Market for the best food in Chiang Mai!
Best Places in Thailand #4: Chiang Mai- Pai
Like many other travelers, we cannot rant enough about the scooter trek from Chiang Mai to Pai. So much so, we’ve included it as a totally separate category. During the 4-hours you will spend on two wheels, you will be stunned by gorgeous mountainside views, experience wildlife along the way, and simply be awestruck by the beauty of northern Thailand. Although the ride is four hours you could easily spend the day stopping at the many national parks, waterfalls, hot springs, and geysers. However, this is not a trip for the inexperienced rider. The 762-hairpin turns will thrill even the most experienced riders of us all.
Mok Fa Waterfall
If you’re taking your own transportation up to Pai, it’s worth mentioning this unbelievable waterfall on the way! Mok Fa waterfall has a gorgeous path through the jungle that you will have to yourself! Once you reach the end, the trail opens up to this enormous waterfall! Definitely worth stopping through!
Hui Nam Dang National Park
This national park on the way to Pai has tons to see and do! You could easily spend a day exploring the many trails, waterfalls, and hot springs. So, if you have time, plan a full day for the road to Pai so you can take in one of the best places in Thailand!
Best Places in Thailand #3: Pai
After you’ve survived the ride of a lifetime, you will be welcomed by a peaceful haven that has been tucked way in the Thai mountains. Whether you’re into markets, nature, or just looking for a peaceful sunset, Pai has something for you.
Best Things to do in Pai, Thailand
Pai Landsplit, Waterfall & Bamboo Bridge
The Pai land split allows you to walk between two tectonic plates that split a man’s land in half! The man who owns the land split is known for being the sweetest man in Pai. For a small donation (you can choose the amount) he will stuff you with his delicious homegrown snacks that include bananas, peanuts, sweet fruits, and jams! On the same road as the Pai land split, you will find the Pai waterfall and Bamboo bridge! You can spend an entire day exploring this area and taking in the best of nature!
Pai Night Market
After a day full of exploring, make sure that you go to Pai’s booming night market where you can find some of the cheapest street food in all of Thailand. Prices range from as little as 20 baht-100 baht per meal and they are all delicious! There are also massage parlors all along the walking street, so make sure you take advantage of that, too!
I wouldn’t be giving you the real low down if we didn’t mention the availability of adult recreational activities in Pai. Paradise bar is known for being the best place to kick back and smoke the night away while lounging in one of their many lit up cabanas on the mountainside. Sunset Bar is known for having the happiest shakes in the area.
Best Places to Stay in Pai, Thailand
Pai is a super small village in the Northern Thai Mountains. Its quaintness and off-the-beaten-path vibe are what make it one of the best places in Thailand. Because it’s so small, the options can be limited. Below I have the 3 best options in 3 different price points.
Pai, Thailand Luxurious Hotel Option:
This quiet resort nestled in the mountains looks like a cabin in the jungle. With two outdoor pools, and mountain views all around you will feel like you’re in heaven. This resort boasts two outdoor pools, free breakfast daily, and close proximity to local attractions. In Pai, everything is close by and you will fall straight into the laid back village vibe.
Pai, Thailand Nice Hotel Option:
This beautiful hotel offers all of the western comforts you want, with the secluded feel of Pai. Only a 10-minute walk from all of Pai’s local attractions, this is a great spot to go exploring from. This hotel includes AC in all of the rooms, free wifi, and the sweetest hosts in Pai! If you want to stay in a place that feels like you’re coming home, while experiencing one of the best places in Thailand, this is the hotel for you!
Pai, Thailand Budget Accommodation Option:
These simple bungalows are located in the very heart of Pai, Thailand. Their close proximity to the attractions in one of the best places in Thailand makes this hotel a gem! The bungalows feature nice private bathrooms, comfy beds, and a cozy feel! Each one has a personal hammock right outside the room! Guests rant and rave about the hammocks overlooking the river and feeling like they can take in nature! Free breakfast and wifi just top it all off!
Best Places in Thailand #2: Tonsai
When the tide is low on Railay Beach West, through a small path on the cliffside, you’ll find Tonsai. You will go through an adventurous 10-minute hike through a cliff to get there, but on the other side, you are greeted by a private beach that travelers know little about. This is what makes Tonsai one of the best places in Thailand to visit!
Best Things to do on Tonsai
On Tonsai, make sure you bring your snorkel gear, because the reefs just along the shoreline, will definitely dazzle any underwater junkie. But, if you’re more into the rock climbing side of adventure, look no further than Tonsai’s plethora of Cliffsides. They are renown for being the best free climbing cliffs in the world.
Depending on how far you want to venture off the beaten path, at the end of the beach, you’ll find Tonsai’s main strip. Their main road is filled with casual reggae bars where you can purchase “happy” shakes and smoke the night away. You can literally spend your day listening to Bob Marley and watching monkeys swinging from tree to tree. Be warned: never look at a monkey in the eyes, or show your teeth. They will gang up on you in less than 5 seconds.
Best Places to Stay in Tonsai Beach, Thailand
Tonsai is a hidden gem within one of Thailand’s most beautiful coastlines. If you’re looking to disconnect, Tonsai is the place for you. Tonsai only has power from 6 pm-6 am, which makes it the perfect getaway. Below I have the 2 best options in 2 different price points.
Tonsai Beach, Thailand Nice Hotel Option:
The nicest hotel available on Tonsai Beach is the Tonsai Bay Resort. The resort has a pool, sits right under the enormous cliffside, and is a great spot for rock climbers to stay! The restaurant at the hotel is right on the beach and offers great views of the sunset! Their pineapple fried rice is also out of this world!
Tonsai Beach, Thailand Budget Accommodation Option:
If you are looking for a total escape into a hippie town, these bungalows are for you. The power on the bungalows is only on from 6 pm-6 am, but you are meant to be exploring during the day. When you look for accommodations on Tonsai, be warned. Some of the bungalows are a little on the grungy side. If you go into thinking that it’s more like indoor camping, with a necessary mosquito net and no hot water, you will be just fine! The bungalows are made of wood, and at night time you can hear the monkeys and crickets all outside. Really peaceful sleep!
Best places in Thailand #1: Railay Beach
And we’ve made it to the BEST place to visit in Thailand; Railay Beach. The turquoise waters and dramatic limestone’s cliffs are what make Railay Beach such a tropical paradise. Railay has a variety of adventures and relaxation. Whether you want to soak in the rays and relax by the water or engage in some rock climbing, Railay beach has something for you.
Best Things to do in Railay Beach, Thailand
Rock Climbing & Caving
For those of you looking for a memorable holiday, rock climbing the cliffs on Railay Beach will certainly give you that! The limestone cliffs that line Railay Bay are over 1,000ft tall and cater to newbie climbers, all the way to professionals. If you want to experience the best climbing Thailand has to offer, this tour is for you! The first-hour teaches you all of the basics of rock climbing, and the entire rest of the tour focuses on climbing and caving through Railay’s impressive cliffside.
Known best for its beautiful resorts, Railay has accommodations to suit any budget. If you are looking for higher-end accommodations, you want to stay on Railay West!
Railay Beach Viewpoint
You can’t miss the amazing Railay Viewpoint! The climb up to the viewpoint is very steep. You’re going to need to make sure you have two hands available! You are literally climbing UP the mountain for 10 minutes, but it’s a lot of fun! Once you get to the top you have an INCREDIBLE view!
Railay Beach is more than just a beach. It comprises a walking street, tons of caves, and two of Thailand’s best beaches! Phra Nang Beach is our personal favorite!
Best Places to Stay in Railay Beach, Thailand
Railay Beach is the most beautiful coastline in Thailand and by far the best place in Thailand! This bay is full of luxury resort options, and you’ll notice that even the budget options are a bit more expensive than anywhere else in Thailand. Below I have the 3 best options in 3 different price points.
Railay Beach, Thailand Luxurious Hotel Option:
The best resort in Railay Beach is without contest, the Rayavadee. Located on Railay West with the prime view of the iconic Railay cliffside, the Rayavadee dazzles all of its visitors. Nestled in the cliffside, you will eat breakfast staring at the ocean, and sitting under the cliff! The rooms at this hotel will also blow you away! With incredible villas equipped with private pools and ocean views, this is the paradise you’re looking for. This resort is the best way to enjoy the best place in Thailand, Railay Beach.
Railay Beach, Thailand Nice Hotel Option:
Every single time my husband and I want a getaway on Railay Beach, the Phutawan Resort is where we go! Frankly, out of all of the views on Railay, the one from their deluxe balconies is my favorite. The sun setting over the mountains in the background, perfectly framed the cliffside is my favorite view in the world. The rooms are comfortable with amazing AC. My favorite part is how far it is away from the hustle and bustle of Railay West. Every time we go into our room, it feels like we’ve entered into our own private getaway! From our balcony, we’ve been able to watch the monkeys swinging from tree to tree in the cliffside which is Daniel’s favorite part. It’s the perfect getaway for honeymooners on a budget!
Railay Beach, Thailand Budget Accommodation Option:
The Railay Garden View Resort is honestly the best resort option for budget travelers. Located on Railay East, it’s about 25 minutes away from both of the main beaches giving you a quiet escape. The resort features bungalows with an ocean view, comfy double beds, and is located on its own private beach. If you want to enjoy the best place in Thailand on a budget, this is going to be your best bet.
And there you have the 10 BEST places to visit in Thailand! If you want to see more on Thailand, make sure you click right here to watch our entire Thailand playlist!
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