Here are some of the things you can do in Thailand. You can easily turn a simple vacation into a memorable adventure. Duncan created this amazing list of things you can do if you plan to travel to Thailand. Duncan came to Thailand in late October for about a month and he had a blast. His trip started in Thailand, moves on to Laos, Vietnan and ends back in Thailand. The amount of research he put into creating this is phenomenal and will serve as a useful resource to readers interested in coming to Thailand and/or people already here.
Thailand: Aeon and Citibank ATMs do not charge you a dime for withdrawing money.
1. Bangkok – THINGS: khaosan rd., chatuchak market (really touristy but huge and sight to be seen), muy thai fighting
a. THINGS: (free) MBK Boxing Night, that happens every wednesday in front of the MBK Shopping Center close to National Stadium Skytrain Station. The event starts at 6PM and involves a couple different fights, male and female, in different weight classes. Lumpini Stadium, where you can watch several matches for very cheap (100 Baht). The Sathorn Unique Building – abandoned skyscraper if you’re close to the subway, take the metro and get off at the station “Saphan Taksin.” The Sathorn Unique Building is close to the cross road between Charoen Krung and Sathon Tai. Well, just look up, it’s a skyscraper and hard to miss. Possible day trip to Khao Yai national park (better to do w sarunyoos car, not very accessible otherwise. Huge bat caves…looks pretty fucking cool when they’re all exiting around sunset.) Chatuchak weekend market
a. THINGS: The Temple of the Golden Dragon (Wat Ban Tham) Erawan National Park – catch the bus at his first station “Sangchuto Road” just across the street from the Kanchanaburi Train Station. The first bus of the day leaves at 8:00 AM, and goes every 50 Minutes until 3:20PM. It costs 50 Baht. Long trail w 7 waterfalls, swimming, free fish spa.
b. STAY: Jolly Frog – rooms on rafts on the river kwai, cheap, good food, scenic as fuck
3. Ayutthaya – can do in day trip from Bangkok (train most scenic), or stay on way north, hella temples. Best way to see temples is by bike rental.
a. THINGS: Wat Chaiwattanarm
c. EAT: Boat noodle, (In front of telephone authority building and (2nd location) opposite Sri Nakharin Park along U-Thong Road.). Original boat noodle was cooked on a boat. It’s noodles and soup with meat and vegetables. They are served in a little bowl and most people would eat more than one to relieve their hunger. 10 baht per bowl. Malakor, Chee Kun Rd (opposite Wat Ratchaburana). Reasonably priced restaurant with great views of Wat Ratchaburana and very good food. Meat in most dishes can be substituted with tofu. Eat indoors or on the balcony. Also sells some of Ayutthaya’s best coffee. Most mains 45-60 baht. Roti Saimai, U-Thong Road and Si Sanphet Road junction (Opposite Phra Nakorn Si Ayutthaya Hospital). Roti Saimai is a Thai-style candy floss wrapped in a roti – a very popular local dessert. Siam Restaurant, Chee Kun Rd. Serves unremarkable Thai and Vietnamese food, but makes up for it with an excellent location with views of Wat Mahathat as you eat, air conditioning, and possibly the best toilets in the city. Most mains 50-100 baht. Vegetarian Restaurant, Khlong Makham Rieng Rd (50 m south of the junction with Naresuan Rd). early-14:00, daily. One of the usual Thai rahn a-hahn jair. With 8 different meals available and side orders of gluten and gluten. 15-25 baht. Night Market. There are 2 main night markets in every night. The first one is located in front of of Telephone authority building and another one is located opposite to Chandrakasem Palace (พระราชวังจันทรเกษม). Usually,the vendors set up their stalls and start selling around 4.30 pm then continue selling until 9.30.If you want to save your budget or try various foods,these markets are the right places for you. Many kinds of food are sold at reasonable price and,exactly,most of them are Thai foods,for instance,noodle,papaya salad or Somtam (ส้มตำ),Pad Thai (ผัดไทย),Thai dessert and so on. However,the biggest problem that you will face is,as always,the language,so it’s suggested for asking some advice from your guesthouses,guides or hotel receptions about the foods and how to order.
4. LOPBURI – Monkeys & Ruins, Probably not worth staying, small town not much to do besides monkey pix could do something like train to Ayutthya, do an overnight stay, then jump on a morning train to Lopburi, leave your luggage at the station and explore Lopburi then jump back on a night train heading north to Chiang Mai.
a. THINGS: Prang Sam Yot (admission 50 baht) is also home to the vast majority of the town’s monkeys. During the day they take shelter from the extreme heat in the wat’s nooks and crevices, and at night they are fed a feast of fruit and other snacks. Last week of November has monkey festival.
5. SUKHOTHAI – 7 hour express train from Bangkok to phitsanulok and 1 hour bus from there. Lots of temples, history. Also direct busses form Bangkok.
a. THINGS: Sri Satchanalai Historic Park, Sukhothai Historical Park
c. EAT: Chopper Bar, Pravetnakorn Rd. A rooftop restaurant and bar with good service, live acoustic guitar music, and Thai and Western menu. From 40 baht for main courses. Dream Café, located in downtown New Sukhothai in a charming rustic old Thai house, Dream Café serves up a good selection of Thai and Western dishes. Attentive service, eclectic music and charming décor. There is also a small guest house at the back. Chat with the owner Chabah if she’s there, she is a genuine renaissance woman, Thai style. Mains from 120B 86/1 Singhawat Rd. Tel +66 55 612 801. Fueng Far, The restaurant that mainly serves for dinner. It could also be a drinking place which you can enjoy sipping beer by the Yom River. The food is called “fish food”, for Sukhothai local fish (pla) dishes, especially spicy dishes. E.g., tom yom hua bla (fish head tom yum), look chin pla krai luak jim (pla krai—one type of fish, it’s the pla krai fish ball boiled and dipped in spicy sauce), kob phat kra pao (stir fried basil frog). The restaurant is located by the Yom River, it takes 1 minute by motorbike from the beginning of the “Wat Ku Ha Suwan” Soi. It is not recommended you walk there because it is quite dark. Kru Eew, One of Sukhothai noodle restaurants in new Sukhothai. Serving not only Sukhothai noodles, but also Sukhothai-style pad Thai, Vietnamese food, desserts, etc. The restaurant is only opened in the day and mainly serves brunch and lunch. Poo and Kung Charodvithitong Rd. This is a Belgian-run restaurant offering Thai and Western food and a wide selection of cocktails. From 30 baht for main courses. Sukhothai Night Market, There are varieties of local food that you can find in the night market in new Sukhothai. The night market is called “To-rung”, it also covers the area that the food stalls are along: “Rachathani” temple’s fence. Local Market when crossing the bridge in center of New Sukhothai(when coming from Old Sukhothai) turn second right and you will get to local food market with a few local restaurants – meal about 30 B
6. LAMPANG 1 hour 30 minutes from chiang mai
a. THINGS: CHalermprakiat Temple (see above) might be able to do from chiang mai as day tour. Wang Kaeo waterfall and the Chae Son National Park, (can do temple and chaeson waterfall in one day) a compact yet charming park which combine a natural hot springs with large waterfalls. Mae Kae Waterfall (hour outside the city, multi tiered waterfall),
c. STAY – kiu lom dam floating restaurant, hostel, can rent kayaks there
7. CHIANG MAI – 2nd biggest city in thailand, tons of trekking here. Few days for sure. Remember Chiang rai and Pai to the north are also trekking hubs, just less populated, probably cheaper. Maybe consider going to canon service center here for cheap(er) repair on fucked up flash.
a. THINGS: 3d art museum (looks fun, lots of photo ops), doi suthep temple, white water rafting, hella trekking, Doi Inthanon National Park (see above pic), doi suthep-pui national park (crazy waterfalls right outside chiang mai), yi peng lantern festival november 22-25th
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293917-d7816313-Reviews-Chiangmai_Trekking_by_Piroon_Day_Trip-Chiang_Mai.html possible tour guide.
a. THINGS: hot springs, pai canyon, piranha fishing park – can rent a rod 100 baht for 3 hours, catch big fish, drink beer, also a restaurant and tents, housing, etc. , pam bok waterfall – can rent a scooter and easily get here, probably the most beautiful. Mae yen waterfall – hour and half hike each way, less crowded and slightly less beautiful THAM LOT crazy ass cave would be badass to kayak through, see if trekking available here, Try to be at the exit at sunset when hundreds of thousands of swifts pour into Tham Lot takes around two hours to explore the whole thing. Ride scooter to LOD cave ($4 for a guide to take you by bamboo raft through cave) and nearby highest peak in pai.About one hour from pai. Possible trip to Soppong form here – excellent caving and whatnot.
c. STAY: little farm just outside the town (but only a 5-10 min walk) called Ing Doi House & Yawning Fields. It is a really beautiful location surrounded by paddy fields, lush green hills and mountains beyond.
9. CHIANG RAI
a. THINGS: white temple above, Rent a bike, lots of trekking – caves and mountains Most trekking takes place in Doi Tung, Doi Mae Salong (tea fields) and Chiang Khong. Try to go to phu chee fah summit. FU CHI FAH FOREST PARK AT DAWN A MUST. Singha park – free entry, can rent bike for 3 hours lots of blossoming flowers and whatnot
10. HUAY XAI – take bus from any part of northern Thailand, gibbon experience right across border on lao side.
a. THINGS: The gibbon experience. $100 a day, 2 and 3 day tours, 3 day waterfall tour looks cooler. Stay in treehouses, all meals paid for. 2-3 hours a day or trekking, nature safari, ziplines through rainforest, reservation required.
11. CROSSING FROM THAILAND INTO LAOS VIA SLOWBOAT
a. Must have $45 USD for visa, passport photos, better to change into kip before getting on boat
b. leave Huay Xai at 11am and arrive in Pakbeng around 6pm. You will then spend the night in Pakbeng in accommodation at your own cost. On the second day it will take up to 8 hours. You leave Pakbeng at 9:30am and arrive in Luang Prabang at 5:30pm. On the second day make sure you get to the boat at 8:30am or earlier to choose your seat.
Chiang Rai- 1550 Baht ($47.50) – picked up from your Chiang Rai accommodation at 6:30-7am. There is a 2-hour ride to Chiang Khong, which is the closest town to the border, arriving at around 9am. You then cross into Laos. Once you have officially entered the country you hop on the shuttle and get transferred to Huay Xai where the slow boat leaves. This is a 2-day journey, including shuttle and slow boat to Laos. Chiang Mai- 1700 Baht ($52) – There are many agencies you can book this through in Chiang Mai. The typical schedule is 10:00am Pick up from your Chiang Mai accommodation. It is a 4-hour drive to Chiang Kong where the border is located. You will be transferred to your accommodation in Chiang Kong and stay there for the rest of the day. Pick up in the morning at 8:30am and transfer to Thai Immigration. Cross into Laos by shuttle bus. At 10:00am board the slow boat to Pakbeng. Packages do include accommodation (either just in Chiang Khong, or sometimes Pakbeng as well), but depending on the price will determine your accommodation standards. This is a one-day journey in the shuttle to the border town and 2 days on the slow boat to Laos. Pai- 1750 Baht ($53.50) – Leave Pai at 2pm or 6pm, Fuel up on the outskirts of Chiang Mai to continue on towards Chiang Khong. The trip is long and you will arrive in Chiang Khong around 1-2am. This package does include all your transport and your one night accommodation in Chiang Khong. Don’t expect anything fancy with the accommodation. In the morning they will drop you at the border around 9am. This is a one-day journey in the shuttle from Pai to the border town and 2 days on the slow boat to Laos.
13. PAK BANG – spend 1 night here in Lao on slow boat trip
b. EAT: Sabaidee Sivilay Restaurant
c. SLEEP: Villa sarika nice view, nice rooms, $25., Vatsana guesthouse – best budget deal $150,000 kip for private room ($18), Pakbeng guesthouse – cheapest at $100,000 kip ($12) Mekong Riverside lodge (more expensive, only stay here if you arrive before sunset, 630 am elephant washing across river, nice bungalows directly on river) $41
14. LUANG PRABANG – Final stop of slow boat trip, begin laos from here.
a. THINGS: Head up to Phu Si Hill in the centre of town for sunset it has a temple on top that can be seen from every angle. From here you get views of the mountains surrounding Luang Prabang and the point where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers meet Kuang Si Falls – prettiest waterfalls in all southeast asia, butterfly park near entrance as well. Go to night market after sunset on Mount Phousee, $20,000 entrance fee to use 15 minute stairs up to top awesome place for sunset. Kayaking, trekking. nong khiaw – 3 to 4 hours from luang prabang via bus. & muang ngoi neua
15. NONG KHIAW – 3 to 4 hour bus north from Luang Prabang or 6-7 hours via boat, absolutely stunning views may be worth round trip (will have to pass back through Luang Prabang to go south)
a. THINGS: viewpoint from ban sop houn – 1.5 hour trek from town, 20,000 kip. MUST HIKE AT SUNSET W HEADLAMP. Unreal vista. Mount Nang None – highest peak in Luang Prabang province. Possible to Kayak back to Luang Prabang through Green Discovery, 3 day trip, looks pretty incredible depending how expensive it is. Herbal steam bath or massage at Sabai Sabai, 20,000 kip.
b. EAT: The best bars and restaurants to watch the sunset from are the CT restaurant right by the bridge, and the Sunset Restaurant, both east of the river. Watching the sun setting over the mountains and seeing the sky turn purple while sipping a cool BeerLao was our nightly ritual and we could never get tired of it.
c. SLEEP: Mee Xai Bungalows – like $5 really nice but no views of river. Bamboo paradis – $8, riverside bungalows, sunrise guesthouse, $10, riverside newer bungalows
16. MUANG NGOI – 1 hour boat ride from Nong Khiaw everyday at 11 and 2 pm. Really fucking laidback, again ridiculously beautiful. Looks worth at least a day or two, super cheap to stay there.
c. SLEEP: Nicksa’s place (riverside bungalows), sam lom guesthouse another good option w riverview
17. KASI – stop here on the way from luang prabang to vientienne instead of vang vieng
a. THINGS: Uncle tom’s trail tours – kind of the only thing to do here but everyone raves about it being highlight of laos, great for beginners $55/day custom all day bike tours through really scenic mountains, PHOU KHOUN observation site A VERY MUST. Incredible view.
18. VANG VIENG – honestly probably worth skipping. Used to be rowdy tourist fuckery w tubing now its calmed down but blech
a. THINGS: Tham Phu Kham Cave
19. VIENTIENNE – maybe only need 1 night her, take plane from here to Hanoi. Need to get Visa into Vietnam at least a couple days before arriving. Can do online or at embassy.
a. THINGS: Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, camping in nam ngum. Explore Vientiane’s quiet lanes by bicycle, which can be rented around town for about $5 a day. Start by heading southeast on Setthathirat Street, with its regal colonial villas, before turning left on Lanexang Avenue, which leads to Patuxai arch, Vientiane’s somewhat shoddy version of the Arc de Triomphe. Climb the five flights to the top floor for a panoramic view of the city. Continue about two miles northeast on 23 Singha Road to Pha That Luang, a giant stupa lined in gold. Walk around it three times to stay in Buddha’s good graces, before looping back to tranquil, crumbling 190-year-old Wat Sisaket (corner of Lanexang and Setthathirat), one of the few temples to survive the Siamese razing of the city in 1828.
Things to eat in Vietnam – Banh Cuon, Pho, Bun Cha – rice noodles platter w meat, Banh Mi, Ca Kho To – fish cooked in clay pot, Banh Xeo – crepe like pancake, banh cam/banh ran – deepfried balls filled w mung bean paste, banh chung/ banh tet – banana leaf wraped sticky rice cakes, goi – Vietnamese salads, com tam- rice w meat
20. Hanoi – arrive via plane from vientienne.
a. THINGS: CAMA ATK – live music bar and venue. Walk around West Lake area. French quarter
b. EAT: Coffee shop at edge of old quarter with nice view of city, egg coffee Ca Phe Pho Co. , Dong Xuan Market
c. SLEEP: Splendid Jupiter hotel – $9-20 in French quarter
21. SAPA – 8 hours and minibus transfter from Hanoi, out of the way but supposedly most beautiful part of Vietnam, might have to go here honestly
a. THINGS: Muong Hoa Valley (pictured above), Mt. Fanispan (highest point in Vietnam), 12 hours of trekking most do it in 2d1n trip, rent motorbike and go through tram ton pass 15 km from sapa unbelievable views of rice fields etc
23. HOLONG CITY – gateway to holong bay, 4 hours from Hanoi , visit cat ba island nearby.
a. Things: Holong bay – best to do 3d2n trip here, cay ba biggest island in the bay. Most tours include transfer from Hanoi, meals, accommodation, activities, just not drinks. TIP: The most important question to ask the travel agent is, “What is the name of the cruise company?” If they won’t give it to you, walk away. If they share it, get on the internet and do some digging. (FYI, that $55 cruise has less than a 1-star rating on TripAdvisor.) If you like what you see, haggle the price down a bit. If you don’t, move on to the next agent. Lily’s Travel Agency in Hanoi may be a good place to book tour. Expect prices around $50+/per day/per person. Sung Sot Cave, Ti Top Island http://www.halong-bay-cruises.com/halong-bay-tours/lemon-cruise-3-days2-nights/ lemon cruise looks like best online option $205
24. HUE – 15 hours overnight train from Hanoi
a. THINGS: thien mu pagoda – home to 100 monks, good views, easy to bike here. Vong Canh hill only 7km from center city, only 50 meters high but amazing panoramic views, perfect sunset photo op. Beach ma national park – 40 km south of hue drive to the top about $40 for private car, maybe better than bus, request the hike to 5 different lakes, great views,best waterfall in park is do queyen, looks pretty worthy can use as stopover between hue and hoi an its 1 hour from hue, 2 hours from hoi an Tam Giang lagoon, only 15 minute taxi from hue a mesmerising and peaceful spot famous for its oysters. Lining the central entrance you’ll find several stilted seafood restaurants; head to Nha Hang De Tranh in the middle for the cheapest (and best) of the bunch and order the grilled mussels great place for dinner and sunset
b. EAT:dong ba market, brown eyes bar, Madam Khanh, the Banh Mi Queen
c. STAY: Hue Backpackers Hostel – party hostel w bar open til 12, very popular book in advance. Jade Hotel – $9, more laidback
25. HOI AN – custom tailored clothes, eat across the river for cheaper, better food
a. THINGS: good place to get a haircut? An Bang Beach if looking for relaxing retreat, Coconut tours – 4 hour $35 food tour ending w sunset in old city, hoi an old market
b. EAT: Cao Lau – can only eat here, noodles cooked in water drawn from 1,000 year old well, drink at “dive bar”
26. NHA TRANG – premier beach destination, apparently one of the most dangerous spots, kinda shitty, huge party city, scuba diving here, 13 hour overnight bus from hoi an, or $60 usd flight
a. THINGS: Scuba, snorkeling, $275 to get certified, 2 dives 1 day $65 through vietnamactive , ba ho waterfalls
b. EAT: Guava, only bar w decent electronic djs, food, Sunday brunch.
c. STAY: Mojzo Dorm, Mojzo Inn – highest rated hostel in Nha Trang.
27. DALAT – $6 and 4 hours by bus from nha trang, 7 hours to ho chi minh city, mountain town lots of trekking etc
a. THINGS: elephant falls, canyoning through vietchallenge, stop at pongour waterfall on way to mui ne, 40 km south of dalat incredibly beautiful, easy riders dalat motorcycle tours really highly recommended, can possibly use as means of transportation to Mui Ne
b. EAT: Le Voy
c. STAY: Crazy House $25/night weird architecture , definitely an experience unto itself, book in advance, short walk from town
28. MUI NE – $6 and 5 hours bus from Dalat, consider transpo through easy riders (2 days 1 night $120-$160), red and white sand dunes, good place to rent a scooter
a. THINGS: Photograph fisherman at Mui Ne Harbor, Must do Red Canyon Walk aka fairy spring (90 mins back and forth) , white sand dunes at sunrise or sunset (otherwise kind of blah), white sand dunes better than red
b. EAT: Taxi Stand Soups, Chi Em
c. STAY: Mui Ne Backpacker Village $10/night private room, swimming pool, relaxed atmosphere, Longson Muine – tents on the beach only $3/night, $1/night on Thursday, has bar, also nbungalows $15 a night looks super chill
29. HO CHI MIN CITY – 6 to 8 hours and $6 by bus from mui ne, train also available for $16
a. THINGS: Mekong delta day tour – supre touristy, honestly probably try to get in and out of ho chi min quickly.
b. EAT: Com Nieu Sai Gon (restaurant from Anthony bordain), bia hoi – “fresh beer” Temple Club serves up a mean gin and tonic in a former temple guesthouse
c. STAY: Long Hostel, central location. Pham Ngu Lao Street is HCMC’s backpacker district
30. PHNOM PENH- 6 hour bus from Ho Chi Min Saigon
b. EAT: Malis – splurge meal, super scenic, nice dinner. Romdeng – $15 lunch, serves spiders
33. SIEM RIEP
b. EAT: Cuisine Wat Demnak – splurge meal, $24 for 5 course tasting menu w French inspirations.
Koh Nang Yuan – 3 islands connected by strip of beach really beautiful
Railay – caves overhanging beaches