Cathy’s Top 5 Thailand Hot Spots!

Globetrotter Cathy Browne is just home from an amazing trip to Thailand. Here are her 5 Must-See Hotspots.

During the Summer my friends and I set off on a 6-week trip around South East Asia starting off with 2 weeks in Thailand. Walking around Thailand, the last thing you expect to see are boys in GAA shorts and to hear Irish accents echoing around the boats. But, every summer Irish 20-something-year-olds head over in their droves to travel around Thailand like somewhat of a pilgrimage to get to the infamous monthly Full Moon Party. We only got to scrape the surface of what Thailand has to offer, but here are my, quite literal, hot spots (prepare your pasty Irish skin for the sunburn), must do’s and recommendations from our trip!

1. Bangkok

  • The Grand Palace is Bangkok’s most famous landmark and official residence of the King of Siam. It is a vast complex of extremely ornate buildings each one more beautiful than the next! It is amazing to walk around taking it all in and getting a few pictures along the way of course!
  • Bangkok’s nightlife can be found on Khaosan Road where the street is filled with street food vendors, market stalls and bars. Here is where we found many other Irish people, some that we knew from home, or the plane, or typically could find some mutual connection.
  • It is essential to get around Bangkok on a TukTuk, every time we squeezed 5 of us into one to make sure it was as cheap as possible after we had haggled a good price with the driver!

2. Ko Phi Phi

  • Slightly biased opinion perhaps because Phi Phi was my favourite destination, but for the most incredible view you will ever see the viewpoint in Phi Phi is essential! It’s not the easiest of walks to get to the top, there are I want to say what felt like several hundred of the steepest steps to get to the viewpoint, but it was worth it for the insta! Most people tend to time it to be at the top for sunset, which we didn’t think of at the time, unfortunately.
  • A must when in Phi Phi is to take some form of boat tour around the various other smaller neighbouring islands. There are so many options to choose from, from a booze cruise to a smaller more private tour. Ours brought us to Monkey Beach, Viking Cave, Maya Bay and other gorgeous bays in the area. We were also able to snorkel, kayak, paddleboard or jump off the boat if we wished just to swim around in the clearest bluest water with the most incredible fish.
  • The whole of Phi Phi feels like a resort because there are no cars allowed on the Island, so it is essential that you make the most of the relaxing atmosphere! We spent a lot of time on the beach (getting sunburnt), lounging by the pool in our hotel, wandering around the streets and getting massages.

3. Koh Samui

  • An essential when visiting Thailand is going to an Elephant Sanctuary. There are many to choose from all over the country, but it is essential that if you choose to visit one that it is ethical and treats the elephants properly. We chose to visit one in Koh Samui and had the most incredible morning feeding and bathing the elephants.

4. Koh Tao

  • Ko Tao is home to one of the world’s top 5 biggest pub crawls and it is a night you want to remember! Visiting 4 different bars, one of them being a Ladyboy Cabaret show that gets everyone on their feet, this was by far one of the best nights we had the whole trip!

5. Koh Phangan

  • Most travellers who venture to Koh Phangan are here for the sole purpose of going to the Full Moon Party which is celebrated from sunset to sunrise on Haad Rin Beach. The night before is the Jungle Party which is a psychedelic party hidden away in the island’s jungle. The actual Full Moon Party is a UV paint-filled and overwhelming experience, people fill the beach as far as the eye can see. The aim is to stay up until the sunrises, but none of us could manage it!

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