Thailand has long been one of the favourite destinations for the budget traveller, offering everything from stunning beaches to rainforest trekking and of course the all night parties. In fact Chaing Mai, in northern Thailand has been revealed as the cheapest travel destination out of 25 holiday hotspots in a study by NatWest.
Still not convinced? These are our top 7 reasons you should put Thailand next on your travel bucket list:
1. The food
Everyone loves Pad Thai, but when you taste a proper Pad Thai from a local street vendor for about 50p off a side street in Bangkok, your mind will be blown. Just as Indian food in the UK, isn’t like Indian food in India, Thai food in Thailand is so much better. The subtle, classic flavours of chili, ginger and garlic somehow taste worlds apart from the UK version and oh so much tastier!
2. The beach parties
If you haven’t heard of the legendary Full Moon party, you need to get over to Ko Phangan immediately and find out what all the fuss is about. This island is definitely the party island, with beachside bars open all hours selling buckets full with spirits, energy drinks and fizzy mixers to keep you dancing all night long. The Full Moon Party is the biggest and perhaps the best. Once a month, at the full moon, thousands of travellers flock to Ko Phangan to party the night away covered in neon paint. It gets really busy so best to book hostels well in advance.
3. The islands
The southern islands and their beaches is perhaps the single best reason to visit Thailand. Sweeping beaches of white and golden sands, flagged with palm trees. Wander off the beaten track and discover little coves, where the only footprints in the sand are your own. Ko Lanta is arguably the best of the islands, a short boat ride away from Krabi on the mainland, Lanta feels wild and beautiful. The perfect place to really get a true feel of Thai island life.
4. The diving – whale sharks
Thailand is known as one of the cheapest places in the world to get your Open Water diving certificate, and one of the best. With the Gulf of Thailand to the East and the Andaman Sea to the West, there’s plenty of opportunity to explore. Ko Phi Phi in the West has plenty of diving companies with the seas around the island streaming with fish and even small sharks. Ko Tao in the East is smaller and more chilled than Phi Phi, with only divers choosing to visit the island. The beaches are lined with diving schools, with most offering free accommodation whilst you complete your course.
5. The wildlife
From monkeys that come so close you need to hug your food to your chest, to the majestic, gentle whale sharks that can be spotted on a diving trip, there’s plenty of wildlife to get even the least animal friendly traveller feeling like David Attenborough.
6. Shopping in Bangkok
Bangkok’s famous MBK Shopping Center should be top of your list to visit for your holiday bargain shopping. Each floor is full of shops but the top floor should be the first place you visit. With seemingly endless rows of market-style stalls, all full of Thai gifts and incredibly authentic-looking fake goods from Mulberry handbags to Channel sunglasses. Also, check out the food hall, where you can get a huge variety of every different worldwide food.
7. The people
Because so many people travel Thailand, everywhere you go you’ll meet so many other travellers, all looking to make friends and all up for a good time. From trekking in the North to island hopping in the South you’re almost guaranteed to meet the same people in different locations. It’s perfect for making new friends!
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