Thailand has been a popular tourist and backpacker destination for a long time now, and whilst it can feel commercialised and overdone in places, there’s no denying that it’s a beautiful country, well worth exploring. From pristine beaches to legendary parties to hidden paradises, here are 9 reasons why you should definitely add Thailand on to your travel list:
1. The food
Pad Thai, spicy curries, sticky mango and rice.. The list goes on. Thai food is mouthwatering and so varied that you won’t get bored of it during your trip. Street food is super cheap and well worth trying, just make sure you avoid salads and fruits washed in local water to avoid stomach bugs.
2. The people
Thai people are possibly the friendliest people of all the countries I’ve visited so far. Unlike in some other Asian countries, I never felt like any of the the locals were trying to scam us or hustle us. They were mostly super smiley and interested to here about where you’re from.
3. The cost of living/visiting
Although not as cheap as neighbouring Laos and Cambodia, Thailand is still a super cheap option. Travelling, eating out and accomodation are all really reasonable. You don’t even need to stick to hostels or 1* guesthouses to travel on a shoestring- try Neptune’s Villa in Haad Rin @ just £26/night for a double room and you’ll see exactly what great value accomodation can be.
4. The parties
Thailand is renowned for its parties and none is bigger than the legendary Full Moon Party. Whilst these may have a bad reputation, they are great fun and something to tick off the bucket list. Stick with your friends and leave your valuables at your accomodation and you’ll have the time of your life. Bangkok is super fun too; although Khao San Road is undeniably tacky and overwhelming, it makes for a brilliant night out.
5. The beaches
Thailand is arguably home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whilst the bigger, more well know beaches attract a lot of visitors, there are still places where you can beat the crowds. Bottle beach, located on Koh Phangan is a great option, with only a few small accomodation options and lots of gorgeous white sand.
6. The fellow travellers
For me, that fact that Thailand has such a great traveller community is a real plus, as it allows you to meet loads of different and intersting people from all corners of the globe. It also gives the country a great vibe. Whilst I loved visiting Sri Lanka, with a lot less travellers, it lacked the cool backpacker vibe which Thailand has.
7. The culture
As a mainly Buddhist country, Thailand is home to lots of beautiful temples. The architecture is so beautiful and they are a great place to sit and contemplate life.
8. The hidden gems
Probably most important for me- there are still some parts of Thailand that remain relatively untouched by tourism and are real hidden paradises. Khao Sok National Park, which is one of my top 3 places of all time, it certainly one of these. Located in the Surat Thani region, the park is home to Cheow Larn Lake, where you can actually stay in a resort with floating bungalows in the middle of the water. It is simply breathtaking. The accomodation is very basic and there electricity for only around 3 hours a day but the setting is simply out of this world. Just when you think you can’t be charmed by Thailand anymore, you come across somewhere like this.
9. The contrast with the west
For those from Europe or America, SE Asia offers such a stark contrast to life at home. The sights, smells and sounds are completely different, making it easy for you to escape the reality back home. It almost feels like you’ve been transported to another world! Have you visited Thailand? Did you love it if so? Where else would you recommend visiting in South East Asia?