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Where Should I Travel In Thailand?

In my happy place... Koh Samui

Departing my happy place… Koh Samui

I’m a Thailand addict.  I loved it as a young backpacker and now as a grown-up (and mother of two), it’s the one country we visit more than anywhere else. However, I do feel as if I’m in a bit of a Thailand rut.  We are regular visitors to Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai and Bangkok but I would love to spend more time elsewhere.  Here’s what’s on my Thailand bucket list….

SEEKING JUNGLE ADVENTURE

Pai

Pai
Located near the Burmese border, this is the place to go for jungle treks and visiting the hill tribes. You can also pay a visit to Thom’s Elephant Camp and take part in the Mahout Training Camp, essentially learning how to become an Elephant Keeper.

How do I get to Pai?

It is a windy 3 hour drive from Chiang Mai (apparently travel sickness pills are sold at local food stands!).

Where should I stay?

You won’t find big large scale resorts here.  Think more rustic B&Bs or stylish boutique hotels.  I’m dreaming of a stay in Reverie Siam, a boutique hotel inspired by the cultural fusion of the 1920s.

For tips on visiting Pai, see this post on Tieland to Thailand

SEEKING FIVE STAR ECO RESORT

A friend recently gave me a four word review of her trip.  The review read ‘go to Koh Kood’.  I started seething with envy when I realized she had visited one of my prize jewels, Soneva Kiri!  If you are familiar with the Soneva brand, you’ll know it’s all about ‘no news, no shoes’ but mega luxury style.  There’s also a great emphasis on family and activities for the kids from a ‘Father & Son Fishing Trip’ and ‘Mother & Daughter Spa’ (no stereotyping there…) to a cooking class for the family to nightly outdoor movies, ‘cinema paradiso’.   With little else going on around the hotel, this is the ultimate beach escape and one I am saving the pennies for!

Where should I stay?

All the villas look amazing. Just depends whether you like your toilet indoors or outdoors. The cliff villas look like they are slightly bigger than the beach villas.  Villa 14 has a special ‘treehouse’ with bunk beds for kids and a private deck where a water slide goes straight into the pool.  Kids heaven!

Villa 14 - Soneva Kiri

 

SEEKING PALACES & TEMPLES

Sukothai

Sukothai

I was once sat next to a guy at a party who was regaling me with his favourite places to travel in South East Asia.  One such place was Sukothai where he spent two days cycling around temples and palaces and stopping for the odd bit of watercolour painting.  Now, travelling with my kids wouldn’t be such a whimsical affair but after googling photos of Sukhothai Historical Park, its definitely on my Thailand bucket list.  Once you’ve had your fill of palaces and temples, you can visit Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary where rescued elephants relax freely on 500 acres of forested land.

How do I get to Sukothai?

Fly with Bangkok Airways from Bangkok (70 minutes) to Sukothai or bus (7 hours).  Another option would be to take a side trip to Phitsanulok (1 hour bus ride from Sukothai).  You can hop on a direct train from Bangkok to Phitsanulok which takes approx. 5 hours.  Phitsanulok is one of the oldest cities in Thailand.

Where should I stay?

If you’re going to drag kids round temples, you have to offer bribery of a swimming pool.  The Sukhothai Heritage Resort has two of them.

For tips on visiting Sukothai, check out this post on Thaizer, Thailand Travel Guide

SEEKING TURQUOISE SEA & WHITE POWDER SAND

Koh Lipe

Ko Lipe

If you’ve been disappointed by the beaches of Koh Samui and Phuket (pollution.. jellyfish.. too many people) then it’s time to turn your attention elsewhere.  Ko Lipe remains relatively off-radar as it’s still not that easy to get to.  Ko Lipe has three main beaches (Pattaya, Sunset and Sunrise) each with their own merits.  

Where should I stay in Ko Lipe?

No big chains here so take your pick from a larger hotel like Idyllic Concept Resort or more basic huts on the beach like Wapi Resort.

How do I get to Ko Lipe?

There’s a reason these beaches are still pristine!  Ko Lipe is not the easiest of places to get to.  You can fly from Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai, travel overland to Pak Bara (2 hours) and pick up a boat (1 hour).  Or you can travel to Langkawi and pick up a boat from there (30 mins).  

 

I’m not affiliated in any way shape or form to these places. I just want to visit them all!  If there’s somewhere you think I should add to my list, please leave a comment!

3 comments

  1. 21stcenturymummy

    Great article. I wanted to go to Koh Lipe this Christmas but everywhere is fully booked 🙁

  2. Laura

    With all of your extensive travel to Thailand, I was hoping you could shed some light on a good mosquito repellant and application process. Apparently the Deunge carrying mosquitos attack during the day, so how do you handle sunscreen and repellant on the days you spend all day swimming with your children? Looking for some advice or products so I’m not spending my entire vacation reapplying both all day long!

    1. Nicola

      Hi Laura
      When the kids were young I used a more natural repellent from Native Essentials. Now i just use whatever I would put on myself e.g. ‘Off’. I tend to apply at breakfast and then apply at dusk. It’s difficult if you are going in and out of the pool. You can buy sunscreen with added mosquito repellent e.g. from Boots in the UK although I’m not sure how effective it is if you are in the water. Sorry I can’t be of too much help!

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