Let’s talk about Thailand! Thailand is a great place. Sure, there are the 18-year-old gap-year-ers running full force towards the full moon parties, and there are those who call themselves “true backpackers” who think Thailand has become too touristy, but Thailand is a gem.
If you’re doing a massive Southeast Asia trip, I’d recommending going to Thailand. While there are loads of wonderful places in the region, it isn’t a Southeast Asia trip without Thailand! Two weeks is a great amount of time to spend in Thailand- you’ll get to see the North and South (my two favourite parts), and explore the cities within them.
I’d start in the North and work your way down. The South of Thailand tends to be a little more relaxing, aka a great way to end your trip.
Days 1-4: Chiang Mai
There’s a significant amount of time of this itinerary spent in Chiang Mai… For good reason! This place is BEAUTIFUL. You’ll find amazing people, cool coffee shops, and endless alleys inside the inner walls… I love taking cooking classes wherever I go, and I have to say, Chiang Mai has a bunch of incredible places to learn. There’s also a massive Sunday market. I used to go there as a kid and I fell in love. It’s more massive now! The outside of the city walls has elephant nature parks (find one that doesn’t HARM elephants!), majestic waterfalls, and Doi Suthep, a beautiful hilltop temple. There’s also the incredible Chiang Mai lantern festival.
Days 5-7: Travel to Pai & hanging out in Pai
After a busy four days of exploring Chiang Mai, you’ll want to recharge (especially before hitting Bangkok!). Pai is a three hour drive from Chiang Mai (bring Dramamine- the road is infamous for its 762 turns), but it’s worth the trip. Pai is possibly the most chill place on earth. It’s not exactly known for Thai culture, but there’s a beautiful canyon, well worth a trip. I also like exploring the town (you can find great healthy food here!), getting a massage (so cheap), and hanging out at Fluid (a pool just on the outskirts of town). There’s no place like Pai. On day 7, take the bus back to Chiang Mai, and catch the night train to Bangkok.
Days 8-10: Bangkok
Bangkok was a place that’s really grown on me over the years. Bangkok is an excellent place to wander by foot (though they do have subways and buses- very convenient). I personally like backpacker central, Khao San Road. It’s a party at night, and a place to hang out/walk down during the day. I also have a great love for Wat Pho and Wat Arun, two temples by the river. Wat Pho has a beautiful giant Buddha, and Wat Arun has one of my favourite views in Bangkok! Chatachuk is also worth a visit if you’re in Bangkok on a weekend. It’s the largest outdoor market in Asia. I personally really like all of the stalls selling old dress shirts (they’re really funky), and of course, the thai iced tea stalls! Catch a bus, night train, or plane to the South.
Days 10-12: Krabi
Krabi is a really fun place. The easiest place to get to is Ao Nang (check out monkey path and a semi-private beach!), but I absolutely love Tonsai and Railay, which used to be big hippy rock climber spots (fun fact my parents spent MONTHS there when they were younger), but now they’re quite high end places with many resorts. They have the most gorgeous beaches. At this point, you can either spend your last couple days in this beautiful area, or head to Phuket
Days 12-14 Phuket
Phuket is a great place. There are two “real” parts of Phuket: the old town and Patong Beach. Patong is the crazy, party side of Phuket, where you can find all the ladyboys, bars, and laughing gas (much like Khao San Road). The Old Town is a great place to have as a home base if you plan on going around the island. There’s a big Buddha at the top of a hill (beautiful, but arrange a way to get there and back!), and some amazing temples to check out.
That’s it! Two weeks gone in the blink of an eye! This is a very introductory tour of Thailand, as there’s so much to see and so little time! These are the most popular places to go, and for good reason- they’re really special.
A note on sex tourism:
I’ve been really blessed with this blog. Not only do I get to share my love for travel, but I also get to use this platform as a way to reach a bunch of people. I feel the need to mention sex tourism when I’m talking about Thailand, as many Southeast Asian countries are huge destinations for those interested in it. PLEASE make the decision to avoid going to ping pong shows, happy ending “massage” parlours, and brothels. The sex tourism industry is a huge problem for society in Thailand, and unfortunately, every ticket purchased/ woman and/or ladyboy done business with, feeds into allowing that industry to progress. By feeding the sex tourism industry, you’re also helping the child sex industry grow. You’d be surprised how many children, women, and men are trafficked to Thailand for the pure purpose of sex tourism. Along with those trafficked, many prostitutes/ping pong showgirls are there because of poverty. There is nothing positive that comes out of illegal sex tourism.