Today marks 200 Days in Thailand for us!
200 days sounds like a long time, but it’s incredible how fast it goes by. Looking back, we’ve been to some beautiful destinations, found some hidden gems and had some amazing experiences.
To celebrate, we’ve decided to share the best bits of each destination, enjoy!
Our base for our first three months in Thailand was the famous holiday destination, Phuket. When most people think of Phuket, they think of the party town, Patong. We like to party but even that place was far to intense for us! Luckily, there’s more to Phuket than Patong. We based ourselves a little south on between of the costal towns Kata & Karon.
Across the street from our apartment was Happy Bar, run by Nong. She’s always smiling and having a laugh. She made us feel at home with her amazing hospitality, and would always make sure we were well fed with her incredible spring rolls & BBQ.
For breathtaking views over the Andaman Sea head down to Promtheap Cape. Most people head to the offical southern point. But if you head slightly west you’ll find Windmill Hill. Here you’ll avoid bus-loads of tourists and be rewarded with better views of Nai Harn.
There’s nothing else like being right there and experiencing the rush as the plane takes off and lands just above you. Mai Khao beach in front of Phuket airport is one of the few beaches in the world you can have this close encounter with the planes.
Phuket is the prefect base to explore the nearby islands in the Andaman Sea and the Phang Nga Province on the mainland.
Off from Khao Lak are the Similan Islands. They stood up to its reputation as one of the worlds best snorkelling and diving spots with it’s clear blue water and powder soft sand.
There’s more to Thailand than tropical islands. Head north of Phuket and you’ll find Khao Sok National park, which is home to lush green forests and the stunning Cheow Lan Lake.
Home to the the infamous Maya Beach from The Beach, Phi Phi Islands is a backpackers paradise. Grab a cocktail bucket and party on the beach till the sun comes up!
After spending our first 100 days in Phuket, it was time to move onto the next location – Koh Lanta. With a much more relaxed vibe and cats on our door throughout the day, we felt right at home.
It’s a rare find to find such a perfect place that’s so untouched! Must be why Koh Lanta is keeping this one a secret down an unsigned dirt track. Find Koh Lanta’s Secret Beach here.
Koh Lanta is surrounded by gorgeous islands. The best on our list is Koh Rok. A speedboat day tour will take you to several spots around the twin islands, where you can swim in the crystal clear water and snorkel over the coral reefs.
We’ve seen a lot of animal exploitation on our travels so it’s great to find organisations like Lanta Animal Welfare that look after our furry friends. Visit Lanta Animal Welfare here.
Tucked away from the Krabi mainland by massive limestone cliffs is this slice of paradise, Railay.
I’m not a morning person, but getting up for sunrise at Railay was totally worth it. Look at this sky!!
Don’t leave the beach when the sun goes down. Stick around and watch the stars come out and the green glow of the squid fishing boats. It’s so unreal that it’s like you’re on another planet.
We’ve had our fair share of massages, but the massages in Railay are another level of good. We tried both ‘Last Massage’ and ‘Modern Massage’ in Railay West and we’re still talking about how good they are months later!
After island life, we decided to head up to Thailand’s second largest city Chiang Mai. With an eclectic blend of traditional and modern, this city has a cool bohemian feel about it that often reminds us of Melbourne.
Chiang Mai has made a name for itself with its food scene, and we’re in foodie heaven here. Northern Thai food is a world away from the Thai dishes you’ve probably heard of – the food up this way is full of so much more flavour and spice.
The biggest festival in Thailand is the New Year, Songkran. To celebrate the Thai’s have a nation-wide water fight. The best place to get soaked is Chiang Mai, where festivities run for five days!
Halfway up Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep is a hidden temple. The best time to hike up at 6am before the heat of the day sets in. When you arrive at the temple you’ll be rewarded with a golden glow of the morning sun over the temple grounds.
Home to more than 300 temples, you can’t come to Chiang Mai without checking some of them out. Here’s our top pics:
Wat Rong Khun, better known as “the White Temple” is unlike any other temple we have been to. Created by a local artist, this temple in Chiang Rai is contemporary, unconventional and has a fascinating blend of pop culture and tradition.
Like a scene from a fairytale! We found this white temple in Ban Pong, a small rural village less than an hour ride from Chiang Mai. It’s still under construction so it’s a rare sight to see it before it’s painted and bejewelled.
Sitting on top of hills overlooking Chiang Mai is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It’s best to enjoy all of the elegant details that this temple has on display at dawn before the crowds come through.