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Thailand Where to Travel:The Best Regions in Thailand to Visit

A go-to Thailand where to travel guide and my favorite places in this beautiful country!

Thailand is a country with gorgeous beaches, lush jungles, and ancient temples. It’s easy to get lost in the rich culture of this enchanting place. Whether you’re looking for exotic cuisine or beautiful natural scenery Thailand has it all! I had the pleasure of traveling all over this gorgeous country for two months. Thailand is a very large country with many different popular destinations. You may be thinking, how will I ever decide on which regions to visit? Well I hope that this Thailand, where to travel guide helps answer some of those questions!

Regions in Thailand: Where to Travel

Thailand is a very large country, home to almost 70 million people as of 2021. This beautiful country is well known for it’s fascinating culture, incredible food, beautiful beaches, and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. That certainly was my experience over my 2 month travels. The people in Thailand are incredibly friendly and hospitable. While I was able to travel in Thailand to some of the most popular areas, keep in mind that this Thailand Where to Travel guide is based solely off of my personal experience and there are many other great places to visit other than listed. Also, there is no particular reason for the ordering of this list.

Bangkok

Bangkok thailand
Busy downtown streets of Bangkok

Bangkok is a city with an incredible amount of diversity and culture. From the bustling streets to the ancient temples, Bangkok has something for everyone. With a variety of hotels, restaurants, and shops you’ll never be bored while visiting this amazing city! With a population over 10 million people, Bangkok is well known as one of the major city hubs of all of Asia. Also, there are more people living within a 2,000 mile radius of Bangkok than anywhere else on the planet. Bangkok is a city in Thailand that has been growing as a tourist destination for over thirty years. It’s one of the most visited cities in Asia, and it’s also among the world’s top ten destinations according to TripAdvisor.

Personally, during my travels I loved Bangkok. It was probably the most excited I’ve been to visit a new city. The sheer size of this city is overwhelming. Bangkok definitely overwhelmed me with options in just the short week that I was there visiting. Something I found interesting about Bangkok compared to what I am used to in the U.S. is that there is no designated downtown area. Because of this, Bangkok is a giant, sprawling city with no real rhyme or reason for the layout. This Southeast Asian city is guarantee to give you a great visit!

Koh Samui

Big Buddha koh samui thailand
Big Buddha in Koh Samui

Koh Samui is an island in Thailand that offers paradise at its finest. The beaches are picturesque, the weather is perfect and the food will satisfy any craving. If you’re looking for a getaway with your friends or family, Koh Samui should be on your list of places to visit! Koh Samui is a tropical island located off the coast of Thailand in Southeast Asia. Also, it has over 40 different beaches that offer something unique to each traveler who visits them.

Koh Samui was one of my personal favorite islands to visit during my travels through Thailand. It had some of the best vegan options for sure, you can find my entire vegan guide to Koh Samui here. The island is a very busy and fast paced island compared to some of the others on this list. If you like to relax on the beach but then also have a lot of options for great nightlife, then Koh Samui maybe be the right island for you!

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan Landscape
Haad Khom beach in Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is a beautiful island off the coast of Thailand. It has been voted by Lonely Planet as the number one party destination in Southeast Asia and it lives up to its reputation! Famous for their monthly Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan definitely has a reputation for being a major party scene for those looking for just have a great time. But I found there was another side to Koh Phangan that I wasn’t expecting.

In opposition to the monthly party craze, if you spend time on the north side of the island you will find a much more tranquil experience. There are countless yoga retreats and wellness spaces on this island. You can also find my vegan guide to Koh Phangan here. Also, the population in Koh Phangan is much less than other Thai islands on this list. I personally really loved Koh Phangan for this reason. It was my first time to ride a solo motorbike and I felt a true sense of freedom riding around on the main roads. If you are thinking of coming to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party, consider staying an extra few nights to discover this tranquility for yourself.

Krabi

Krabi thailand longboats
Long Boats in Krabi, Thailand

Krabi is a province in the southwest region of Thailand, well known for its large limestone cliffs and beautiful natural scenery. The province of Krabi is home to more than 100 different islands, all differing in size and development. One of the most popular islands in the Krabi province is the Phi Phi islands, made famous from the 2000 film The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Aside from the many islands, the mainland of Krabi is a great area to visit as well. In the center of the Krabi province in old town Krabi where you will find many things to do in a setting that is a bit more relaxed.

I spent the majority of my time in Krabi in Ao Nang, a beachfront town with a bustling daytime and nighttime scene. Ao Nang has many great restaurants, coffee shops, bars and nightclubs, and a pretty nice beach. While you will still find a lot tourists in Ao Nang, you will definitely feel more of local vibe compared to somewhere like Phuket. Ao Nang is a great place to stay to access many of the different islands in the Krabi Province. It is very easy to find boat tours from Ao Nang to take you on tours all around the many famous islands in the Krabi province. You can find my vegan guide to Krabi here!

Railay Beach

thailand railay beach
Railay Beach West

Railay Beach is one of the most beautiful places I have had the privilege of seeing. This part of Thailand is located in the Krabi province but is something very unique. Contrary to what many people think, Railay is not as island but a peninsula located between Ao Nang and the city of Krabi. The reason many people think Railay is an island is because it is only accessible by boat. The peninsula features giant cliffs that separate this area from the mainland of Krabi. The film Avatar got a lot of inspiration for their “floating mountains” from the beautiful cliffs here.

If you ever have the opportunity to come to Railay, do not hesitate. To this day, this is one of the more beautiful places I have ever been. Like all areas, Railay is not without its problems but overall it is fantastic. Some people criticize Railay for being just a tourist destination but I definitely think it is well worth the trip. Aside from spending time on the beach, there are gorgeous hikes up the cliffs and well deep into caves all over the area. Also, in addition to natural beauty you will find countless restaurants and shops in Railay that are definitely worth a visit! You can checkout my vegan guide to Railay here!

Chiang Mai

Chiang mai thailand
Beautiful Temples of Chiang Mai

I am sad to say that I was not able to visit Chiang Mai during my travels through Thailand. I have every intention of returning to Thailand in the future. Chiang Mai is on the top of my list. The information that follows was provided from research on the region. Once I am able to go to Chiang Mai myself in the future, I will report back!

Chiang Mai is a bustling city in Northern Thailand, and it’s quickly becoming one of the hottest destinations for travelers. With so many things to see, do, eat and drink (plus an abundance of adorable cafes), this city has something for everyone! With mountains, temples, markets, and beautiful scenery to explore it’s impossible not to enjoy your time here! The locals are happy to show you around their city for a small fee or even free if they’re feeling generous. The people are friendly and always willing to chat with you about what life is like living in Chiang Mai. Whether it be cooking classes or learning how to make traditional Thai food there is something for everyone here.

Phuket

Phuket thailand big Buddha
Big Buddha in Phuket

Phuket is the largest and undoubtedly most famous island in all of Thailand. With a population around a half a million people, it is easily the busiest island I’ve ever been to. Phuket is well known for being a super touristy part of Thailand, with countless wellness retreats, restaurants, resorts, and pretty much anything you could want to do. If you are looking for a quiet, relaxed island vacation, Phuket may not be for you. While there are areas in Phuket that are more tranquil, this city is incredibly busy and almost feels just as busy as Bangkok at times.

Personally, Phuket was not for me. It was too busy and way too touristy. You can not even walk down the streets of Phuket without being constantly harassed to be sold something. Now this may have just been the part of Phuket I stayed in, remember the island is huge. But I personally would not go back to Phuket unless it was being led by someone who really knows the area and how to get around. I hope if you go to Phuket that you have a better experience traveling than I did.

Koh Lanta

Koh lanta old town pier thailand
Koh Lanta Old Town Pier

Koh Lanta is a very large island at the southern part of the Krabi Province of Thailand. While unfortunately many parts of Thailand have suffered from over tourism, Koh Lanta seems to have maintained its authenticity. Koh Lanta is easily the most relaxed and least touristy island that I visited during my travels through Thailand. I highly recommend renting a motorbike if you come here as the best way to see the island is driving up and down the coasts. The beaches in Koh Lanta were the most pristine I had seen in all of Thailand, mostly due to the lower rates of tourism and tourism caused pollution.


If you liked this Thailand Where to Travel guide, you can check out more Thailand travel content here.

In conclusion, you really can’t go wrong anywhere in Thailand. This beautiful and exotic country has so much to offer and I personally cannot wait to return. From the food to the weather to the people, it really is a magical part of the world. Whether you are staying for a short trip or planning to explore the entire country, I genuinely hope you have a fantastic journey through this fantastic Southeast Asian country.

Thank you so much for checking out this personal guide of Thailand Where to Travel. I truly hope you found the information in this blog post helpful. Be sure to follow me on social media and tag me in any pictures you take based off of these recommendations!

You can check out my picks for the Top Vegan Travel Destinations in Thailand here!

Hayden

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