Amazing food, beautiful beaches, massages, cheap, rich cultur, safe, tropical fruits, smiling people, and sun are only a few things I love about Thailand. The first time I visited Thailand was in June / July 2012 for three weeks with one of my best friends. Then again in 2015 by myself for one month. And now again in May 2019 with my boyfriend for another month. All of those experiences have been completely different. Thailand offers something for most people. Every place is different. If you are looking for some beach time head to the south. If you love the mountains head to the north of Thailand.
I love the food in Thailand. One of the reasons I keep going back. Some of my favourite dishes: Coconut geen curry, Tom Yum soup, Pad thai, Papaya salad, green mango salad, Mango with sticky rice and coconut milk. Check out Goodsouls Kitchen in Chiang Mai. One of my favourite restaurants.
Non-vegetarian restaurants and street food stalls are mostly not vegan since they usually use fish sauce or fish oil even if the ingredients are vegan. The Thai people have been very nice not adding shrimps to papaya salad when I ask them. Unfortunately most dishes contain added sugar.
Steetfood is 30-50 baht per dish. A dish in a restaurant between 60-200 baht.
A peaceful resort destinations. When I was there with my friend during low-season we had the beach almost all for ourselves. A great place to charge your batteries.
Chiang Mai is getting a famous place for digital nomads. There are a lot of beautiful temples (e.g Wat Phra That Doi Suthep) and no skyscrapers. Burning season (when the farmers burn the old plants) goes from March until April and it is higly recommended to avoid if possible. The pollution is one of the worst in the world at that time.
Cooking class at the restaurant “Taste of Heaven” in Chiang Mai.
One part is very touristic (Haad Rin, full moon party) and the other part is very relaxed (great for yoga). One of my favourite islands and experiences.
Railay Beach (close to Krabi)
I don’t suggest to go there if you are a solo traveller. It’s a very beautiful island for couples with lots of resorts. So one might feel in the wrong place. Be aware of the monkeys 😉
A paradise that attracts a lot of alternative people. At almost every corner you can find vegan food. The Pai Night Market is where most people eat dinner. Later they move to Boom Bar. The place to be for backpackers with cheap cocktails, a beer pong table and danceable music.
My tip: Rent a scooter (or find somebody you trust) and explore together the Khun Korn Forest Park Waterfall (70m high, depending on the season you can swim in it), the White Temple (entrance fee: 50 baht) and the corresponding museum (free, absolutely worth for art lovers), the tea plantation in the Singha Park Chiang Rai, and the Wat Huay Pla Kang all in one day. The scale of this temple is massive. Climb all the levels of the pagoda to get a scenic view over the surrounding area. In the Walking Street Chiang Rai you can buy lots of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Bangkok (BKK) as the capital can be overwhelming for some. Like for me. The humidity, hot air and smelly rivers doesn’t help. I spend there two weeks to give it a try (my boyfriend thought he might like to live there). But I didn’t feel well there. It took away my energy. The number of inhabitants in Bangkok is estimated at 12 to 15 million. Accordingly are distances to go anywhere. There is no real center where everything is happening. But with so many people it also offers a lot of different possibilities and activities. If you miss the nature check out Lumphini Park. Lots of locals practice there sport in the evening. If you would like to experience Bangkok from above check out the marriott rooftop bar in Sukhumvit (no entry fee). Chinatown is worth to experience. BKK is overall more expensive than other places in Thailand. A Thai massage costs in BKK 250 baht (oil massage 500 baht), whereas in Chiang Mai it costs 150 baht (oil massage 350 baht).
- Couchsurfing is more popular now and therefore it is easier to find a host than four years ago.
- Hostels/guesthouses consist usually of lots of private rooms with a double bed. You pay per room not per person. A shared kitchen is still very rare. People simply eat out. A room can be as cheap as 200 baht per night. More common is 250-350 baht.
- Hotels/Resorts: You can find really nice places for only 500-700 bath per night. Especially during low-season.
If you want to go straight from Pai to Chiang Rai I recommend to book the bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai online since buses are full very fast. Even during low season.
- From Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok city center by skytrain: 35-45 baht.
- In BKK the skytrain (BTS) starts with 20 Bath. Each additional stop costs 3 Baht extra.
- Travel by grab taxi (app) in BKK starts at 35 Baht (1.10 USD). For half an hour you pay around 120 Baht. If you use a normal taxi make sure they use the meter. If not, they can ask whichever price they want.
- Minivan from Chiang Mai (Arcade) to Pai: 150 baht (3h).
- Bus from Chiang Mai (Terminal 3) to Chiang Rai: 140 baht (4h).
- In Chiang Mai: The yellow truck is 15 baht per way and person and the red truck is 30 bath.
- rent a scooter for one day (international driving license required): 175-200 baht.
Official currency: Thai Baht (THB).
ATM fee: 200-200-220 baht.
most ATM withdraw maximum: 20’000 baht in one request.
Super rich exchange has a good exchange rate.
No Visa required for most tourists if you only stay 30 days.
Overstay: Every extra day in Thailand costs 500 baht.