My “Best of Thailand” Recap

What an amazing whirlwind month it was! So many incredible sights, sounds, tastes and experiences, definitely one of my top trips. Highly recommend Thailand as a destination. If you’re thinking about it, do it! My blog covers all the places I went and most of my activities – just use the search tool to get the scoop on the areas that interest you or do a browse and select Thailand for an overview of all the posts. There’s plenty more to see and explore there, but this was all I could pack into my trip. Let me know what spot is your favorite so I can check it out next time. If you have any questions, just send me a note.

Where I went

Bangkok

Chiang Mai

Mae Wang

Chiang Dao

Thaton

Chang Rai

Sukhothai

Ayutthaya

Koh Samui

Koh Phangan

Railay, Krabi

Phuket

What I did

These are my top picks from my month-long adventures

Best active tours: ActiveThailand

Best beach with restaurants, live music & mellow nightlife: Chaloklum Bay, Koh Samui

Best beach resort:  White House, Koh Samui

Best experience: Trekking and mountain biking remote areas of northern Thailand and homestaying with the Karen Hill Tribe

Best food: Chiang Dao Restaurant near the cave  – Chicken Tumeric, Chiang Mai & Bangkok Street Food – pork on a stick

Best health & Fitness Resort: Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort See post.

Best nature preserve island: Naugyuan

Best ruins: Sukkhothai

Best scenery: Railay, Krabi

Best town: Thaton

Best view from the room: Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa, Koh Phangan

Best wildlife: Railay, Krabi

 

Here are some scenes from my last night in Thailand, near the Bangkok airport:

 

Tip: The Paragon Inn is a basic, but decent airport hotel. It’s minutes from the airport and walking distance from the mall and street market. Super convenient for getting those last minute gifts and for catching those early AM flights.

 

 

Can’t emphasize enough how easy and inexpensive it is to tour around Thailand and have an exceptional time.  I’ll share more about what makes it so easy in an upcoming blog post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Sukhothai Historical Park

Started the day with a 6am swim at the Imperial Chang Mai Sports Club Resort’s 55 meter pool. Perfect pool for triathletes and swimmers minus the poor air quality here. I’m told the air is only bad for 6-8  weeks of the year due to the slash and burn technique used by regional subsistence farmers. By clear cutting and burning plants, the soil is temporarily revitalized and made fertile for crops. Educational efforts are underway and there is growing momentum to switch to less eco-invasive terrace farming and rotating crops instead. Of course, old ways die hard and progress is slow.

Wanted to get a workout in before sitting on my butt for the seven hour bus trip from Chang Mai to Sukhothai. (Second class with AC is just  ~$9. Great, easy, cheap transportation. I think the short taxi ride from the bus station to the hotel in Sukhothai was more…)

Anyway, the long  trip was definitely worth it – Sukhothai Historical Park did not disappoint. And a public bus ride here is so much better than in the states. It’s clean and everyone keeps respectfully quiet, even the children. Cell phone use is kept to an absolute minimum. By the way, if you make it here, renting a bike is the way to go – only 90 cents. The ruins (some reconstructed) are amazing. The park is immaculate (fastidious workers around every corner) and there are shady trees and moats to offset the scorching heat. Go early to avoid crowds and higher temperatures.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Historical Park, the ancient Kingdom of Sukhothai and former capital of Thailand existed from 1238 until 1438.

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