Thailand’s fun doesn’t end with the wholesome activities in Bangkok. If you already had enough, you should opt to visit locations that are a few kilometers or miles away from the capital. Thailand is a big place. And somewhere out there, an enjoyable experience awaits. And where to stay when you come for the first time in Thailand.
So get your pen ready. In this Thailand travel guide, I’ll cover all the main places which are the perfect choice for first-timers. I’ll give general information about the interesting things that they offer.
Phuket is an island on the southwestern side of Thailand. Its capital is Phuket city. Phuket city currently has a population of 79,000. Phuket is one of Thailand’s busiest cities. From morning till night, people come flocking around to visit shops, part in clubs, and dine in restaurants.
Most of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches and beach resorts are in Phuket. Beaches in Thailand range from white coast beaches, cliffside beaches, and heavily vegetated beaches.
Near Phuket city are beach resorts that offer extravagant late-night parties to tourists. That being said, Phuket is the place to go for enjoying the urban nightlife under the ocean’s breeze.
Here are the top best beaches in Phuket, Thailand
• Kata Beach – beach with fine sand, palm trees, and moderate waves for easy surfing
• Freedom Beach – a secluded beach in Phuket and known for its lengthy white coastline
• Kata Noi Beach – otherwise known as “Little Kata”, this beach has lesser tourist and, in effect, more peaceful
• Ya Nui Beach – a beach with lots of locations for great snapshots
• Surin Beach – a great beach that’s popular due to its reputation as one of Thailand’s liveliest beach
The most delicate cuisine in Phuket is those that involve shrimps and noodles. You shouldn’t dare to miss the bus tord and mee Hokkien. Bue tord is a dish that’s made by deep-frying batter soaked shrimp. On the other hand, mee Hokkien is a noodle dish consisting of Hokkien noodles, spices and herbs, chicken fillet, fish sauce, and veggies.
100 kilometers away from southeast Bangkok is Pattaya City. Pattaya is one of Thailand’s cities that sits close to the sea. As a result, there are lots of beachside hotels for you to stay the night here.
I won’t say that the beaches and beach resorts in Pattaya are as good as those in Phuket. However, the nightlife is very memorable here. As night comes, food vendors start gathering on the streets to sell local Thai dishes at cheap prices.
Furthermore, it’s common for gigs to take place in the beachside resorts. You can drink heartily while watching performers sing your favorite songs. If you’re lucky, you might even get the chance to jam with them.
In Pattaya are numerous luxury restaurants if you’re in for some fine dining. Nevertheless, know that chef might add surprising elements to your foods. This is the least that you have to expect since you’re in Thailand.
Here are my top picks for the best restaurants in Pattaya for this Thailand travel guide:
• Mantra Bar – specializes in international dishes
• Indian by Nature – specializes in Indian dishes with a bit of Thai twist
• Yes Vegan – specializes in the fusion of vegetarian dishes all over Asia
• The Bistro – specializes in serving meticulously curated wine and cheese
• Cafe des Amis – specializes in French that customers eat under the vibe of jazz and pop music
Krabi Island Thailand
Most beaches in Thailand that are near Bangkok are densely packed with tourists. They’re not a problem if you don’t mind sunbathing with lots of people walking past by. However, nothing is more serene than spending time on a beach that you can have for yourself.
For finding beaches in Thailand that make you feel like you’re the only person breathing on earth, one good location is Krabi Islands.
Krabi Islands are a series of islands that sit nearby Phanga Bay. You can access them by boat only. On each island are beach resorts that did well in preserving the natural setting of the surroundings. The beaches and resorts in Krabi Islands have green backdrops that overlook the blue and majestic sea up ahead.
Here are my top picks in Krabi Islands
• Phra Nang Beach – a beach that has cliffs, caves, and lush vegetation
• Railay Beach – a beach that nearby Phra Nang Beach has the same set-up but has better rock formations for rock climbing
• Tonsai Beach – a very secluded beach and ideal for kayaking and diving.
• Koh Mai Phai – a beach that’s untouched by civilization. there are no clubs, hotels, restos, and other establishments here
• Ao Nang Beach – a very busy beach and has all the commodities for first-time visitors
The seafood dishes in Krabi Island’s are to die for. Dishes that use crabs, mussels, prawns, and squid are a must-have. Krabi has great seafood dishes because all main ingredients are sourced fresh from nearby ports. Not to mention, Krabi’s waters also allow underwater animals to thrive well.
Koh Samui Island Thailand
Koh Samui is an island in the Gulf of Island. Visiting here feels like you in a city that’s filled with vegetation. The vegetation and natural rock formations aren’t affected by the development of beach resorts and hotels.
Koh Samui Island’s environment resembles El Nido – a tourist location in the Philippines – a bit; around Koh Samui are numerous beaches where fishes happily thrive. The waters aren’t very deep and safe for weak swimmers. Another great thing about Koh Samui is that some beaches have seaside rock formations that act as swimming pools or mini-lagoons.
Hotels around Koh Samui are great. Koh Samui hotel accommodations include tours for accessing the different beach locations, free food, late-night get-togethers, and impressive guest rooms.
The cost of visiting Koh Samui Island is relatively cheaper than other tourist destinations in Thailand. This is one reason why lots of tourists gather here, even if it’s far-away from Thailand’s mainland.
Phi Phi Island Thailand
The Phi Phi Islands are a group of Islands near the big Islands of Phuket and Malacca coast. Phi Phi Island is a part of the Krabi Province, where the Krabi Islands are also found.
Phi-Phi island has numerous beaches that are surrounded by towering stone cliffs. It’s waters come in bright blue when lit by the sun. Most beaches here don’t have cottages and other amenities to preserve the natural feel of the surroundings.
The area of Phi Phi island is free for exploration. Some trails help you access the topmost portions of the nearby rock formations. However, be careful because they’re difficult to follow and might cause injuries if you accidentally slip.
Phi Phi island has boat or kayak rentals if you want to explore the vastness of its waters or try fishing.
Here are my top picks for the best beaches in Phi Phi Island
• Maya beach – a beach that’s hidden by towering stone cliffs
• Loh Dalum beach – a shallow beach that has clear waters and Phi Phi Island tours
• Bamboo Beach – a secluded beach that has fine sands, crystal clear waters, and lush greeneries
• Long Beach – a beach that has numerous trails for accessing locations that are great for snapshots
• Monkey Beach – a beach that serves as an ideal habitat for monkeys who aren’t afraid to interact with tourists
Cuisine in Phi Phi island isn’t limited to Thai dishes only. You can find places to eat here that serve dishes from Asia-Pacific countries such as the Philippines, Palau, Malaysia, etc. Common dishes here are those that utilize the unique taste of coconut milk, ginger, peanuts, etc.