Thailand (ประเทศไทย bprà-tâyt tai) is one of those countries that always tops travel bucket-lists. With bustling cities, picturesque beaches, ruins of ancient kingdoms, and impressive national parks, it’s no wonder everyone is itching to get to Thailand. In this post, we’ll give you some ideas for where to go in Thailand in 2018, as well as some Thai vocabulary you can use there.
When it comes to Thai cities (เมือง meuang), of course we have to start with Bangkok (กรุงเทพ grung tâyp). After all, it is the capital city (เมืองหลวง meuang lŭang) of Thailand. It’s a fascinating city with enough to see and do to keep you busy for weeks. You can do a bit of temple hopping, visit bustling markets, feast on mouth-watering Thai food, and sample the city’s epic nightlife. Bangkok is my favorite city in Southeast Asia, and I’m sure you’ll love it, too!
See what 3 days in Bangkok looks like.
We can’t forget about Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่ chiang-mài), which is often referred to as the northern capital of Thailand. In the city, you can keep yourself busy with temples, museums, cafes, markets, and some great options for wining and dining. It’s all about adventure up here, though. Get out of the city for some jungle trekking, visit an elephant camp, or rent a motorbike and tackle the 1,864 curves of the Mae Hong Son Loop. There’s no way you’ll be bored on your trip here!
Check out 10 things to do in Chiang Mai.
While Thailand definitely has some great cities, it’s no secret that most people vacation here to visit the islands (เกาะ gòr). With nearly 1,500 islands, it can definitely be hard to choose one. Some of the most popular islands include Phuket (ภูเก็ต poo-gèt) and Ko Samui (เกาะสมุย gòr sà-mŭi). These islands are also more developed, as they both have an airport. Those looking for a relaxing holiday with many of the comforts from home would be happy choosing either of these.
If you’re looking to explore under the sea and do a bit of scuba diving, Ko Tao (เกาะเต่า) is a great choice. The “Turtle Island” is one of the best (and cheapest) places in the world to get certified, with plenty of dive shops to choose from. Nearby Ko Pha Ngan (เกาะพะงัน gòr-pá-ngan) may be famous for its Full Moon party, but it’s also a great place for a meditation or yoga retreat. It all depends on what you’re looking for!
Take in the “Streets, Beats & Eats” of Ko Pha Ngan.
Those interested in learning about Thai history (ประวัติ bprà-wàt) and culture (วัฒนธรรม wát-tá-ná-tam) should be sure to include a visit to at least one of the country’s ancient kingdoms. Ayutthaya (อยุธยา à-yút-tá-yaa) is just an hour train ride from Bangkok and can easily be visited on a day trip. Sukhothai (สุโขทัย sù-kŏh tai) requires a bit more effort to reach so you’ll probably want to spend at least a night there. Cycle around the ruins and imagine what life was like here when it was the bustling capital.
Take a short video tour of Sukhothai and plan your trip.
Thailand has many national parks (อุทยานแห่งชาติ ùt-tá-yaan hàeng châat) that are well worth a visit. As a matter of fact, there are a whopping 127 of them across the country. The biggest and best is Khao Yai (เขาใหญ่), which was the first national park in Thailand. It’s just a few hours from Bangkok and has plenty of options for your visit. Those island hopping down south may want to just stop at Khao Sok (เขาสก kăo-sòk) for a day or two in between islands. If you’re really looking for an adventure, head to Ko Tarutao (เกาะตะรุเตา gòr dtà-rú-dtao) for a few days. Once a prison, the island is now a national park where you can enjoy empty beaches, hiking, cycling, and more.
Explore Ko Tarutao in this short video.
As you can see, there are plenty of great choices for where to go in Thailand this year. Now I just have one question for you…