Thailand. Koh Phangan

Thailand has always fascinated me, but unfortunately I haven’t yet had the chance to go. There are a few reasons I want to go to Thailand.Thailand - Picture perfect beaches, idyllic islands and aromatic food

Firstly, I want to see some of the iconic beaches that are supposed to be some of the most beautiful in the world. I imagine myself lying in a hammock and looking out to a picture perfect view of some of the islands out to sea. I hear the sunsets on some of the islands are spectacular.

I also want to go to some of the more remote areas in the north of Thailand and spend some time seeing how the hill tribes live. Some of the elephant experiences also look amazing, I would love to spend some time with these wonderful creatures and get involved with some of the conservation projects.

Before I plan my trip I want to find out as much as possible about the top places to visit. I spoke to one of my best friends (who I have been travelling with myself) about her thoughts on Thailand.

We tend to enjoy doing similar kinds of things so I figured she would be the ideal person to talk to. So I interviewed her about her last trip to Thailand. Here are her thoughts on this cultural, varied and visually breath-taking holiday destination.

This is how my Q&A; on Thailand went

Could you please describe Thailand in three words?

Cultural, beautiful, hot.

What did you do during your visit in Thailand?

On our trip to Thailand we flew into Bangkok Airport (BKK) then travelled down south to get to the islands. We then did some island hopping for three weeks and managed to visit Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.

When we were on the islands we mostly lounged about on the beach. The white sandy beaches have palm trees and hammocks and are picture perfect. We did a couple of day trips riding around on elephants which is an experience I will never forget.

We also did some boat trips around the little islands, we even went to the beach that the film “The Beach” was filmed on. It really does look just as stunning as it comes across in the film.

Another place we went to was “Monkey Beach” on Koh Phi Phi, it has hundreds of macaque monkeys running around everywhere. The water here is also extremely clear which makes it ideal for snorkelling. We did quite a bit of snorkelling around the islands and found all the fish from “Finding Nemo”. All the fish a very brightly coloured and stunning to look at.

We went to the infamous full moon party in Koh Phangan. As well as the Full Moon party, we also went to the Half Moon party which was in the jungle and was pretty crazy. We spent another evening watching a cabaret style ladyboy show which was very entertaining and went on a few nights out in Phuket.

When we were in Bangkok, we did the main temple tour riding round in tuk tuks and visited all the main markets. You can get some pretty cool souvenirs to take home lots of wooden handicrafts and silk.

What were the local people like?

The people in Thailand are mostly friendly and welcoming. You get the odd one trying take advantage of tourists knowing they can charge you a lot more than they would local people, but that’s to be expected really. They are generally very friendly.

What were your favourite dishes?

Green Thai Curry was my favourite and Pad Thai came a close second place.

Did you visit the beaches in Thailand?

We visited a lot of beaches during our visit to Thailand. Koh Phangan I remember as being my favourite island for beaches, however all of them were beautiful with really white sand and crystal clear blue sea. The waters surrounding all the islands were full of tropical fish swimming around.

There was a fun beach in Krabi which is really well known for people who like climbing and it was absolutely covered in all these tiny crabs running around everywhere. It makes the sand look like it’s moving which can be quite scary at first, but you get used to it.

What is the scenery like?

We didn’t actually get too far north to see the changing scenery, the furthest we went was Bangkok but I know if you go further north you have got places like Chiang Mai and lots of jungle areas where you can go elephant riding. We didn’t have time to do that on this trip, we were enjoying the beaches and the sand too much.

You have got the east coast and the west coast so depending on what type of year you go you would normally pick a side, because the weather is normally better on one side. But we did it all in one go. Most of the scenery that I saw was of the beaches and the ocean. Thailand had some of the best beaches I have ever been to.

What did you think of the shopping in Thailand?

In terms of shops, you have got the big proper markets or the side stalls dotted around the streets. You will find items such as wooden handicrafts, silk cushion covers, dressing gowns and bowls carved out of amazing wood. We bought this little olive dish made from wood that came with little skewers.

Then you have all the clothes, sunglasses, fake designer handbags and that sort of thing. They are all pretty good fakes out there if you like that sort of thing. They also sell pearls at very good prices. I couldn’t resist buying some for myself and bringing some back home.

What were the top three places you visited, name of towns/cities/villages?

  1. Definitely Koh Phi Phi island for its picture perfect views, scenery and beaches. All the bars are so close to the beaches, so you can walk around easily.
  2. Koh Phangan island because the beach parties were so much fun, and the beaches were the ideal place to recover the next day. Really good if you are looking for a great night out.
  3. Phuket. Although it has a bit of a bad reputation my friends and I really enjoyed it. It is more touristy now but we had so much fun going surfing and had some entertaining nights out.

What would you rate Thailand out of 10 as a travel destination? Why?

Absolutely top marks: 10. Because of its amazing tropical beaches, mouth-watering food, interesting cultures and endless places to go on some brilliant nights out. As with most places in Asia, Thailand is great value.

What would you do if you went back again?

I am planning to go back to Thailand is a couple of years to visit Chiang Mai and Koh Tao (diving island).

Any top travel tips?

I am a huge planner, so I like to make sure things are sorted in advance. However, I decided to risk it on my last trip to Thailand and book a hotel while we were out there, thinking there would be plenty of decent places to stay. I instantly regretted this decision. We ended up in an awful place and had to check out the next morning. I would say if you are heading to Thailand then it’s worth booking your accommodation in advance.

Take full advantage of the fresh tropical fruits. I had mango and passion fruit lassis daily as it was so refreshing in the heat. Also the massages in Thailand are so good, definitely treat yourself to one at some point during your trip. Perhaps after a hard days hiking or while you are relaxing on the beach.

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