Winter holiday season is almost here and if you, like myself, are panicking trying to decide where to go, let my give you a small advice: Go to Thailand!
I was lucky enough to find good weather this summer and, even if not my best vacation ever due to the huge amount of tourists, I had a great time!
I spent time in Bangkok, Ko Phangan, Ko Samui and Ko Tao. Allow me to share some of the most interesting things to do.
I spent only 2 full days in Bangkok. I did my best to mix the mesmerising cultural attractions, have fun bargainingin shopping centres and explore the town by night.
Start by visiting the most famous landmarks.
Wat Phra Kaew
Temple of Emerald Buddha, or Wat Phra Kaew, is the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand.
Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade.
Wat Pho - Temple Of Reclining Buddha
Probably the most fascinating think I saw in this city. This temple is located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and a must-do for any first-time visitor in Bangkok. It's one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famed for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 46 metres long and is covered in gold leaf.
The Grand Palace
The spectacular Grand Palace is undoubtedly the city's most famous landmark. Built in 1782 - and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government.
Proceed then to the other side of the Chao Phraya River by taking a boat. Reach Wat Arun, easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because the design is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. Unfortunately when I was visiting it they were fixing some of the shrines so my experience wasn’t that great but I’m sure you’ll be more in luck.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Fancy some shopping? Bangkok and its surroundings have plenty to offer. Wake up early and experience Thai culture at the Damneon Saduak Floating Market. I’ll be very honest with you: it’s a tourist trap. But if you have some spare time go and check it out. My suggestion is to leave shopping to later since the same goods are sold in the city malls for much less.
In any case, discover the art of bartering the Thai way as you practice your trading skills with locals on their self-paddled small boats.
Chatuchak Week-end Market
If you’re lucky enough to be there on a weekend don’t miss this market. Shop-till-you-drop here all kind of exotic goods. A Must-visit!
Pro tip: buy all your souvenirs here. You’ll not find better bargains anywhere else. MBK is the most famous shopping center for tourists as a haven for all things affordable, with some 2,000 shops occupying seven floors of retail spaces. I spent there almost a full afternoon.
Sky Bar at Lebua
Fancy seeing the best view of the city while drinking a mouthwatering cocktail? The Dome at lebua houses Sky Bar – Bangkok's most stunning rooftop bar – and Sirocco, the world's tallest open-air Mediterranean restaurant.
Vertigo Rooftop Bar at Banyan Tree Bangkok
If you, like me, love sky bars, this one was my favorite in the city. Less crowded than the Lebua, the Vertigo is fascinating. Placed on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel is one of the best ways to end a long day in Bangkok.
Read more at: http://www.bangkok.com/
Well known for it’s massive Full Moon Party on Hat Rin, Ko Phangan is a raver and hippie Mecca. This shouldn’t stop you by visiting the island if you’re seeking for relax and enjoy an exceptionally gorgeous island.
Ko Pha-ngan has so much to offer the comfort-seeking traveller as well; away from Hat Rin, it offers peace and quiet that can even make it a great choice for families. Travel to Hat Thong Nai Pan Noi and enjoy the elegant resorts fronted by rows of cushion-clad beach loungers.
You may define it as the baby of Ko Samui–Phangan, Ko Tao may is the smallest in size of the islands located in the area but it sure is outstanding.
The thing I love about Ko Tao is that it’s still “wild”. Beneath the jungle-topped island lays a busy vibe and laid-back nature where to get lost. The islands while small is incredibly diverse. If you’re able to drive a motorbike well enough you can jump between beaches and get tangled between color-saturated corals, get toasted all day long while drinking sunset cocktails on a white beach then get up in the morning and swim with sharks and manta rays.
While here don’t forget to visit Koh Nang Yan. A secret waiting to be discovered and located only 15 minutes from Koh Tao.
Nangyuan has one of the most beautiful beaches where you can sit and enjoy quiet sunsets on the beach, no cars or hustle or bustle.
Vibrant, busy yet elegant, Ko Samui is like the celebrity of the Thailand Gulf. Not everyone might enjoy Ko Samui because of its popularity but the islands has so much to offer that it must be explored at least a couple of days.
While in Ko Samui, plan a trip to Angthong Marine Park, a pristine archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand with towering limestone mountains, thick jungle, white-sand beaches, fertile mangroves, waterfalls and hidden coves and lakes to explore.
If you’re looking for a great dining experience book a table at Zazen Restaurant. Dine on the terrace overlooking the sea and enjoy the very best of Mediterranean and Thai cuisine. The presentation is wonderfully artistic and the staff go out of their way to make you feel at home.