The popularity of Thailand as a travel destination only seems to be increasing, amongst young and more mature travellers alike. It boasts diverse and breathtaking scenery which is unlike anything you are likely to see anywhere else in the world, and is steeped in rich history and fascinating culture which attracts visitors from all over the world.
Many people associate a visit to the Kingdom of Thailand with an oversized rucksack and endless nights spent in cheap hostels or camping on the beach, and it is these factors that deter certain people from visiting. If a shower-a-week and living out of a rucksack almost as tall as you for the duration of your holiday doesn’t appeal to you, then fear not, as there are plenty of alternative and much more appealing options to entice you to visit Thailand.
Although a great deal of Thailand has become more touristy in recent years, there are still unspoilt parts which don’t involve endless nights of boozing and days spent in search of that beach. We’ve all heard of places such as, Ko Phi Phi, Samui, and Phuket, but if you want to experience the less tourist ridden side, then here is a short guide to a more luxurious trip to Thailand.
Where to Stay:
Unless you’re an aging hippy, still stuck in the 70s and trying to stay forever young, or a twenty-something year old attempting to find yourself on your gap year, then chances are you’re probably going to want a little more from your holiday accommodation than the top bunk in a hostel dorm. If you do a little research then, actually, you can discover some hidden gems in the form of luxury hotels. Companies such as Chic Retreats have a whole host of stunning boutique hotels, in equally as stunning locations, meaning you can explore the surrounding area and after a long day adventuring, retreat to your cosy hotel bed in your private room, without the worry of being disturbed by one of the twenty other strangers in your dorm coming in from an all-night beach party.
Where to Visit:
If you don’t fancy mingling with swarms of English tourists, then avoiding the popular destinations such as Phuket and Samui are the best way to do so. Of course, you will still want to experience as much of Thailand as you can, and so instead, head for the Northeast of Thailand, known locally as the Issan. The Issan is Thailand’s poorest area, full of paddy fields and non-English speaking locals, and here you will be able to experience Thai life, unspoiled by tourists, and incredibly cheap too. Do a little research and you’ll be surprised at just how much of Thailand is actually unspoilt and you can discover your own, truly incredible side to Thailand.
What to Do:
Thailand is home to some of the most breathtaking landscape in the world, and of course, travelling half way across the world, you will most definitely want to see some for yourself. Unfortunately, so much of the coastline has become a tourist magnet, especially since certain parts of it have appeared in Hollywood blockbusters. To avoid the all night beach parties and the tacky beachside bars, head for the more unspoiled coastline such as Prachuap Khiri Khan in southern Thailand and its neighbouring beaches. Here you are able to snorkel, or walk the endless sands, take in the stunning coastal scenery, sample delicious local cuisine, but enjoy the pleasure of not bumping into huge crowds of tourists.
What to Eat:
Thai food is exotic, delectable and uses only the freshest ingredients, and contrary to popular belief, doesn’t all consist of toasted beetles and skewered rats. Whether you’re a vegetarian, or a meat lover, there is something to accommodate all tastes and requirements, and you won’t be disappointed. When you eat in Thailand you’ll have such a high standard of service that you’ll barely be able to believe it, with high quality for a small amount of your money and the friendly nature of the locals. You may think you have experienced amazing Thai food at home, but you could not be further from the truth, especially when it comes Pad Thai, a mix of noodles, tofu, fresh vegetables and plenty of delicious sauce. Other dishes to sample are Geng Kheaw Wan – a spicy green Green Curry and for dessert, the unusual but moreish mango sticky rice.
There is so much more to Thailand than just a traveller’s paradise, and if you venture a little further out of the overrun tourist favourites, you’re bound to find some hidden gems and have the holiday of a lifetime.