Best Things to Do in Thailand: Bangkok, Koh Tao, Pai, Chiang Mai

March 24, 2017

Bangkok

I spent the next weeks discovering South and North Thailand. I arrived from Rangoon to Bangkok, Thailand and I spent a day there. The whole city went absolutely crazy. It was the day of the Water Festival called Songkran. Everyone was running around with a water gun and I was soaking wet as soon as I got out of the taxi from the airport. Many people even had buckets and they were attacking everyone on the street with water. It was crazy. People were also putting mud on each others’ faces. Everyone was wet, dirty and everyone had a huge water gun. It was crazy fun though. This was one of the most fun things to do in Thailand, during my stay. I was walking around in my rain poncho. I decided to take the first bus to leave the city. I always heard about exotic places to visit in Thailand. So, I booked a ticket for the next bus to Koh Tao.

Water Festival in Bangkok - Things to Do In Thailand

Water Festival in Bangkok – Things to Do In Thailand

Koh Tao

I managed to escape Bangkok. I took the overnight bus and then a ferry to arrive to Koh Tao. Koh Tao is one of the best places to visit in Thailand. It is a jungle like island with a big mountain in the middle. Most of the people go there to scuba dive, so everyone is young and there to have fun. I moved into a beach front bungalow and I was diving and snorkeling every day. It was really wonderful. Hundreds of fish were swimming in big groups around me underwater. The corals were very colorful everywhere. It was certainly one of the most amazing dive sites I have ever seen. Koh Tao was the most amazing of the all the Thailand points of interest.

Read about the best dive-sites of Thailand on the Adventure In You travel blog.

Most people on the island dive during the day and party at night. It is not hard to do as there is a party on the beach every night as well as a fire show. I had so much fun there. The island is beautiful and the people are there to have fun. Many hippies live on the island. If you are not a diver, and you are wondering what to do in Thailand, don’t worry, there are plenty of activities for non-divers on Koh Tao as well. On my last day, I visited a private island called Koh Nangyuan. It was an absolute paradise. If you are on a honeymoon and you are wondering where to go in Thailand, go check out Koh Nangyuan. You will love it. It is certainly one of the best places in Thailand.

Koh Nangyuan, Thailand

Koh Nangyuan, Thailand

 This place is the most beautiful island you can ever imagine. It was stunning. Crystal clear water with lots of colorful fish. I was blown away by the place. Out of all the Thailand tourist spots, this was by far my favorite.

At night I hiked the mountain in Koh Tao to see the sunset from up there.

View of Koh Tao - Thailand

View of Koh Tao – Thailand

It was a pretty tough hike thru the jungle. I hiked for like an hour and a half. The view from up there was stunning. I could see the entire island below me. Then I ran down the mountain. It was getting really dark, I was pretty intimidated as I was the only person on the mountain. I spent a wonderful time on this island and I highly recommend everyone to visit this place. There is no other place like Koh Tao.

Koh Tao By Night - Things to Do In Thailand

Koh Tao By Night – Things to Do In Thailand

Chiang Mai

I left Bangkok and went to the North of Thailand. Chiang Mai is the second biggest city in Thailand with a population of about 5 million people. Travel in Thailand is pretty easy because the infrastructure is good and tourists can get around easily. It is surrounded by mountains in every direction. Out of all the Thailand tourist places, this was one of the more impressive ones. It is famous for being a religious centre. I checked into a beautiful hotel in Chiang Mai. The hotel had flowers all over on it. It was lovely. Then I got out to explore the city. There was a temple on literally every corner in Chiang Mai. I visited about a dozen temples. They were nice, but I was so templed out by the end of the day. My favourite temple was a very old and big one with some elephants on the side.

Buddhist Temple in Chiang Mai - Things to Do In Thailand

Buddhist Temple in Chiang Mai – Things to Do In Thailand

At night I went to check out the night bazaar. There was a huge night market. You could literally buy anything you wanted. There was a huge selection of counterfeit stuff. It was so cool. I bumped into a tarot reader at the market. She was pretty good. She was spot on about my job situation. She left me with a very good impression. Some of these South-East Asia fortune tellers can be very good! Many places in Thailand have spiritual guides like fortune tellers. Asian people really believe in foretelling the future.

Disco Tuk-Tuk, Chiang Mai, Thailand - Things to Do In Thailand

Disco Tuk-Tuk, Chiang Mai, Thailand – Things to Do In Thailand

On the way home I bumped into Barry, who I had previously met in Burma. Barry was an Irish boy who reminded me of Axl Rose with all his jewelleries, bandannas and long hair. He was a cool dude. We went out that night to explore the night life of Chiang Mai. We ended up in some dive bar.

Next day I went on an all day tour. We went hiking, visited the long neck tribes in their villages. Visiting these tribes in the mountains was one of the best places to go in Thailand.

Long Neck Tribes in Northern Thailand - Things to Do In Thailand

Long Neck Tribes in Northern Thailand – Things to Do In Thailand

Kids in Chiang Mai, Thailand - Things to Do In Thailand

Kids in Chiang Mai, Thailand – Things to Do In Thailand

Saw waterfalls, rode an elephant again and we went rafting in the afternoon for about an hour. We also visited an orchid garden with lots of colourful beautiful flowers. For nature lovers, this tour is one of the best things to do in Thailand.

Orchids in Chiang Mai, Thailand - Things to Do In Thailand

Orchids in Chiang Mai, Thailand – Things to Do In Thailand

So it was like being in Disneyland. We tried a little bit of everything. It was a long and eventful day with lots of fun activities.

Pai

Things to Do In Thailand

After 2 days in Chiang Mai, Barry and I had enough of the big city and we set out to explore the countryside. We took a mini bus to Pai. It is one of those popular tourist places in Thailand. Pai was about 3 hours away from Chiang Mai in the mountains. . The road was very winding so we were both feeling really nauseated on the bus on the way up there. The trip was scenic, but it was rough on my body. What made it even worse was that you could not even open the windows of the mini bus. In Pai I rented a little bungalow on the river. Pai was a lovely little town surrounded by mountains from every direction. The village was one of the best places to go in Thailand. Sadly, it was overly touristy. I have never seen a small town that had as many resorts as Pai had in such concentration. The place was lovely. It had lots of health food restaurants and yoga places. Everything was green. There was a market on the main street every night where I could buy all sorts of cute souvenirs. Barry and I rented a motorbike to explore the mountains and the nearby villages. We spent the next two days biking thru the mountains. We saw villages, waterfalls, elephants, hot springs and the jungle. When we reached the waterfalls by the Lao border we saw some old Thai ladies. They looked like farmers, they spoke no English, but they were trying to sell us Opium. It was raining badly in Pai every night. I had a lovely time there though. It was very relaxing to be up there in the mountains.

Pia, Thailand - Things to Do In Thailand

Pia, Thailand – Things to Do In Thailand

Bangkok

I am back in Bangkok now. I just got off the overnight bus and I am going to depart to Manila later in the afternoon. Thailand has been a really wonderful experience. I wish I could stay here longer as there are so many places to see in Thailand, but there is so much more to see in Asia that I will need to go and continue to explore. I was pleased to have experienced some of the top things to do in Thailand.

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A Journey Through Thailand: Bangkok, Koh Tao, Pai, Chiang Mai | Things to Do In Thailand | Best Thai Islands | Jet-Settera Travel Blog | Thailand Travel Tips

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About Barbara

Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger. She started traveling through Paris, London, New York, Milan, Tokyo at the age of 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since, she has visited 67 countries. She writes about the most exclusive jet-set destinations such as Cannes, Venice Film Festivals, Monaco Grand Prix, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris as well as yacht parties in St-Tropez, Miami Art Basel, Biennale in Venice, Frieze in London or the Royal Wedding in Monaco.

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