Thailand was the last Asian country we visited on our year off. We liked it so much that we also came back for another month after our time in Australia and New Zealand. Thailand is an absolutely beautiful country with beautiful temples, landscapes and beaches. The people are kind, and their is just enough development to make this a very comfortable but inexpensive place to visit.
On our first trip, in December 2010, we stayed in Bangkok, Koh Samui, Krabi and Koh Phi Phi. (Koh means island.) For our second trip in March of 2011 we stayed in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Phi Phi again.
Bangkok is probably where you will fly in and out of when you visit Thailand. There are other international airports if you want to skip Bangkok… but we loved it! It seems like people either love or hate Bangkok… we are definitely in the love camp.
To read more about our experiences in Bangkok click here.
Our next stop in Thailand was Koh Samui. We chose it because friends of ours were getting married! We stayed in Koh Samui about nine days. It was a great beach destination.
To read more about our experiences in Koh Samui click here.
Our next stop was Krabi. We were trying to get to Koh Phi Phi and needed a place to stop and take the ferry from. Your two choices are Krabi or Phuket to take the ferry to Koh Phi Phi, and this time we stayed in Krabi. We decided to stay a few days… since we were there anyway. We stayed in the Ao Nang Beach area, which wasn’t a great beach. Apparently Railay has a lovely beach, but the weather wasn’t that terrific, so we didn’t head over there.
To read more about our experiences in Krabi click here.
Koh Phi Phi
We had heard conflicting reports about Koh Phi Phi, but decided to go based on photos we had seen. This ended up being one of our favourite places. We liked it so much we went back twice. You can only get to Koh Phi Phi by ferry from Krabi or Phuket. We came from Krabi the first time and Phuket the second time. Neither of us were big fans of Phuket, so would choose Krabi as our port next time we go. When you get to Koh Phi Phi there are no vehicles. You’ll walk off the ferry and walk to your hotel. Many things I had read labeled this as a party island… maybe we went to bed too early???… but we didn’t experience this. Needless to say, if parties aren’t your scene it’s easy to avoid 🙂
To read more about our experiences in Koh Phi Phi click here.
Chiang Mai is in the north of Thailand. It is a small city, but has a lot of cultural things to see. It is quite a bit less modern than Bangkok, but still has a lot of amenities (yes… there was even a Starbucks). We enjoyed staying here because we are small city people, everyone here was very kind and helpful and we had some really interesting experiences (elephants, tigers and cooking with fire!) I would definitely say this is a “don’t miss it!” stop in Thailand.
To read more about our experiences in Chiang Mai click here.
We don’t actually have much to say about Phuket. We stayed one night on our way back to Koh Phi Phi. Phuket is easy to get to, and it is cheaper to fly here from Bangkok then to fly to Krabi which is the other ferry port. That being said, Phuket is gigantic, expensive and everywhere I looked I was reminded how MANY, MANY young girls are working in the sex trade. For this reason, I will pay more to go to Krabi next time I need to ferry to Phi Phi or other islands in the Andaman Sea.