There is a loooot to cram in Thailand. The country is full of beautiful temples, post-card perfect beaches, epic islands and crazy cities…and you’re gonna wanna get a taste of all of this when you go.
Depending on the route you decide to take – my 3 week route and itinerary guide can be found here – this bucket list will give you an idea of what to 100% check out in Thailand or give you the inspo to create and tick off your own dream list…
Thailand is a primarily Buddhist country, so you are likely to stumble across a number of temples (which translates to Wat) during your time there.
The temples that I saw were all absolutely stunning works of art – the detail on these buildings is incredible.
Temples to visit: The Grand Palace, Bangkok – Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai – Wat Phra Yai (The Big Buddha), Koh Samui
The islands are ideal for snorkelling – whether it be giving it a go for the first time or trying your hand at a scuba diving course. With clear, warm sea and a load of islands to choose from, it would be silly not to.
If you are keen on getting your PADI, Thailand is a very budget friendly place to secure it. When I was in Koh Tao, there was so many people on dive tours getting their PADI certificates.
Best place to snorkel: Koh Tao
Pssst…the photo above is great and all buuuttt, the que to this view point was 1 hour long!! – Instagram, you have taken over the world.
But, it doesn’t have to take a sweaty, bug infested walk up the side of a mountain to get a good shot. Challenge yourself, aim to get that one amazing shot with a view – I managed to snap many…
Photo taken: Koh Nang Yuan
There are clusters of islands on both the east and west – so you’re spoilt for choice on where to choose.
People tend to choose one side or the other, but if you’re feeling it, why not see them all…I would if I had another 2 weeks to play around with.
To the west you’ve got the Phi Phi Islands and to the east, you’ve got Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Check out my island hopping itinerary here
I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories of bbq’d tarantulas and scorpions on sticks, durian fruit that smells like vomit and various types of meats sold in balls on a stick – sounds lovely huh?
Well, as much as this is all very much true – I saw all examples above – Thai street food is so much more than this…I’ll go as far as to say it has become my favourite cuisine. There are street vendors everywhere you look, it’s great.
Some street food dishes to try: Mango sticky rice, fresh smoothies, corn on the cob, Pad Thai, some form of a bbq skewer (the dish pictured is Khao Soi – a dish from northern Thailand that I lived off for a week).
This goes without saying, so I’ll just list my top three fave beaches:
So long as you ensure that the sanctuary is ethical and that the elephants are protected, then booking on to an elephant tour is epic Thailand bucket list material!
I went to a sanctuary in Chiang Mai as there were so many trips to choose from – the majority of which were ethical and therefore okay to visit.
The experience is just something else – elephants are such friendly giants, it’s funny how quickly they warm to humans…one of the best days of my life (v cliche, but true).
Which sanctuary did I visit: Bamboo Elephant Family Care, Chiang Mai
Not everyone’s idea of fun, but you’re gonna want to do some exercise at some point and a hike is the perfect way to let off some steam and work up a sweat.
Photo taken: Wat Pha Lat, Chiang Mai
The best fun I think I’ve ever had was staying in these beach huts on Bottle Beach, Koh Phangan. It’s basically like staying in a small shed with a bed in it, but it doesn’t matter at all when you open your window and you’re on the beach, listening to the waves and admiring the sea view every morning.
So, if you’re heading to the coast/islands check out Booking.com to see if there are any beach shacks you can stay in – even just for one night.
I just had to…moving on…
I’m loosing ideas a bit here, but Thailand does have a load of swings on beaches and they are all very Insta-grammable.
Shoot me a message – you can reach me in the comments or on Insta 🙂