We found Thailand to be an interesting place, to say the least. On one hand, Thailand is home to arguably the most beautiful scenery we have come across, incredible food, and smiling people. On the other, it can be overcrowded, polluted, and too many partying tourists around. If you know where to go, though, you can have an amazing time. We loved our month in Thailand.
Here was our itinerary for our one month trip through Thailand.
Chiang Mai - 10 nights
We stayed in Chiang Mai for 10 nights, and wish we could have stayed longer. It is an extremely vegan-friendly place, with the best Thai food we had all trip. There are temples everywhere! Lots of good photo opportunities. The walking streets are a lot of fun, as is the weekend night market. Chiang Mai is also home to many digital nomads, so the people you meet here are great to talk to. A trip to the Elephant Nature Park sanctuary is a must - and was the highlight of our time in North Thailand. Overall, we stayed 10 nights and felt like there was so much left for us to do.
Monks meditating inside a temple in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is no stranger to delicious street food! Tons of vegan options too.
Elephant Nature Park was the highlight of our time in Chiang Mai
Bangkok - 5 nights
We loved Bangkok. If you're quickly heading through Thailand, three to five nights is sufficient, but if you have the time to spend - a few weeks in the capital would be great. We noticed Thailand's capital city gets a bit of a bad reputation among travellers, but we loved it! Just stay clear of Khao San Road, and you'll have an amazing time. Click here for a more in-depth account of our time in Bangkok.
Biking through Bangkok's Lumpini Park
A great way to experience Bangkok is by river!
At a concert in Bangkok
Koh Phangan - 4 nights
Koh Phangan was one of our favourite Thai islands. It is known for its full-moon parties, half-moon parties, quarter-moon parties, moon-set parties, moon-rise parties, shiva-moon parties, and any other excuse to party related to the moon. We stayed clear of these and experienced Koh Phangan-by day: what a beautiful island it is. One tip: the hike to Bottle Beach is a must-do! Like Bangkok, Koh Phangan can be done in four or five nights, but if you have the time, I would stay a week or two.
Koh Phagnan had our favourite beaches in Thailand...
...and we had no shortage of relaxing time!
Here's Victoria on the hike over to Bottle Beach...what a view!
Koh Phi Phi - 2 nights
Sigh. Koh Phi Phi. So much promise, but you let us down. We were originally planning on staying here for four nights, but after about an hour of arriving on the island, we decided it just wasn't for us. The best way I can describe Koh Phi Phi based on my experience is an Australian frat party with the most tourists you've seen in one area consuming too many buckets of alcohol while watching tacky fire-shows on the beach and way too many late-night tattoo parlours all around. To be fair, Koh Phi Phi is very beautiful, but it just wasn't for us. Click here for more on our thoughts of Koh Phi Phi, the most beautiful place we couldn't wait to leave.
The amazing view from the Koh Phi Phi viewpoint
But KPP had lots of this - here's a beer funnel fed from the balcony for those passing by to have a taste...
Koh Lanta - 8 nights
Koh Lanta is probably tied with Koh Phangan for our favourite Thai island. Koh Lanta just has that "something" that sets it apart from other islands. It is not as beautiful as Koh Phangan, Koh Phi Phi, or Railay Beach, but the atmosphere and overall feel of Koh Lanta is far superior. We were originally going to stay three or four nights, but ended up staying just over a week. We stayed at Let It Bee Hostel, one of our favourite places we have stayed. Koh Lanta was way less crowded than all other Thai destinations we went to, had a great cat and dog shelter worth a visit, and a vibrant Thai Muslim community which was interesting to be a part of. We also spent a day scootering around Koh Lanta Noi; what a place. If there's one Thai island that is a must-visit, Koh Lanta is it!
At a local fruit and vegetable market in Koh Lanta
Victoria at Lanta Animal Welfare - we spent a few full days here...so many cats!
A secluded beach we found on Koh Lanta Noi after scootering around for a bit
Tonsai Beach (Railay) - 2 nights
Staying in Tonsai was a fun experience. It was not quite what we expected, but was worth the visit. The first thing you should know is it is completely isolated - therefore everything from food to water to beer to toiletries are very, very, very expensive. We stayed in a pretty cool cabin in the woods which was the highlight of our time there. We also went on a hike to check out Railay East, Railay West, Tham Pra Nang Nok (the infamous penis cave!), and more. It is a very popular rock-climbing destination, but unfortunately we couldn't afford to do it. Overall, I think Tonsai and Railay is worth a very short visit if you're on a tight budget. Here's an article about our time in Tonsai.
Railay is home to some stunning scenery
Our basic hut we stayed in while visiting Tonsai Beach
Princess Cave - dedicated to an ancient fertility goddess
Krabi Town - 3 nights
While in Koh Lanta and Tonsai, we felt we were missing the feeling of authentic Thailand; mainly the markets and the food. We were thrilled to arrive in Krabi Town as we found numerous night markets, fruit markets, street food stalls, and more. As for what there is to actually do in Krabi Town - there isn't much. It is a very odd and quirky place...but we liked it.
Walking through one of Krabi Town's many night markets
The stoplights in Krabi Town
At the top of Wat Tham Sua in Krabi Town - quite the hike for quite the view