Thailand is definitely one of my favorite countries in Asia to travel to due to the following reasons. It’s very accessible because of cheap Bangkok flights from Manila, a great shopping place for bargain hunters, tons of breathtaking temples, glorious beaches and superb food. ATMs give better exchange rates than the currency agencies around Bangkok for our dear Philippine Peso. Always check the current rates online before you change your hard earned money.
Here are some places that you shouldn’t miss:
Also known as the City of Angels, Bangkok has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism, entertainment and shopping. Some of the places that you shouldn’t miss include: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Suan Lum Night Market, Khao San, the Grand Palace and tens or hundreds maybe thousands of temples that might take your breath away. If you want to see a special Ping Pong show (LOL), go to Patpong in Silom area. Treat your taste buds with the very affordable Pad Thai and Banana Roti in Khao San.
Chiang Mai is as grand as Bangkok without the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. This is a great place if you’re up for trekking, meditation and more shopping. It’s also the jump off point to explore the smaller northern towns of Thailand. From Manila, you can fly directly to Bangkok and take the bus (or fly) to Chiang Mai or you can also fly to Kuala Lumpur via Air Asia and then fly to Chiang Mai.
Ayutthaya or the City of Kings is just a couple of hours away from Bangkok. It’s a small tourist town that showcases a lot of historic ruins and daily elephant shows. It’s a nice stopover before you head up north to the historic town of Sukothai. I spent a couple of days (you can make a day trip, check Khao San for tour prices) lazing around this town.
Sukhothai is situated between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It was the first capital of Thailand and its’ extensive ruins is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rent a bike and cycle your way around the ruins. I forgot how much the pass is, but you’ll figure it out. I suggest you stay in the nice hostel near the river in the new Sukhothai area.
This small city or town is situated between Thailand and Burma. You won’t be able to explore outside the 2 km permitted area from the Burmese side though. This is the northernmost part of Thailand where a small river separates Thailand from Burma. I didn’t see much though. I took a small bus to get to the infamous Golden Triangle Park (worth a visit). I was expecting a very dodgy and dangerous place and damn I was wrong. The park is well maintained with some tourists’ amenities and donation boxes.
Yeah baby!!! If you’re up to a whole week of party, don’t miss this island. This is where the world famous (some say overrated) Full Moon Party is being held (monthly). I went there around April. It was crazy, something that you wouldn’t see in the Philippines. Be ready to get intoxicated. (Caution: Take care of your belongings and don’t accept drinks from dodgy strangers.) From Bangkok take a bus to Surathani and take the overnight ferry to Koh Phangan.
Phuket is a highly commercialized tourists’ destination. Its’ fame and glory is highlighted by frequent visits from Hollywood celebrities. Patong beach is where you can find all the action. It’s packed with tourists, lined with nice hotels, bars, restaurants and clubs and tons of tour agencies. Don’t forget to bargain with the tours and other tourist packages. Be sure to visit Koh Phi Phi Lei (The Beach), it’s beautiful. To get here, you can take a bus from Bangkok or fly from Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. Don’t forget to check out the old town of Phuket as well.