Sailing the Andaman Sea from Phuket
Calm and shallow seas along with many reliable outfitters make finding a reputable boat easy in Thailand. Everywhere you sail will be gorgeous and will definitely leave a footprint on your soul.
The best time to go: Avoid the monsoon season by booking your boat between November and April.
Just offshore of Phuket lies some of the best cruising in the world. Plenty of boats-for-hire sit waiting in the marinas, ready to whisk you off on the trip of a lifetime. If the sailing bug gets you good, consider signing up for a lesson from Royal Yachting Association-certified captains who will show you the ropes (quite literally) over an afternoon or multi-day lesson.
For those seeking a multi-day adventure, inquire about trips to the rugged and untracked Tarutao National Marine Park. In an area crowded with noisy long tails and fancy motor yachts, there’s nothing better than switching off the engine, hoisting sail, and letting Mother Nature do the work.
This beautiful gold-tipped series of buildings are over 200 years old, and perhaps Bangkok’s most famous destination. Yes, it can feel like a tourist trap, but the complex’s history and grandeur are palpable: since 1782, it has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam.
At night, the Grand Palace is illuminated, and although you’ll likely still encounter the crowds, it’s a very romantic experience.
The elephant is Thailand’s national symbol and a revered animal, and there are plenty of ways to encounter or work with the animals all over the country.
Unfortunately, animal cruelty is a real problem in some elephant ‘sanctuaries’ – for instance, avoid any centre that makes the elephants perform tricks, these are precious animals please don’t contribute to this behaviour. Fortunately, there are plenty of good elephant experiences out there. The elephant Nature Park rehabilitates rescue elephants, and your visit helps their work.
Sangduen “Lek” Chailert feeding baby boy Chang Yim (Smiling Elephant) and baby girl, Pha Mai (New Sky) at the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai, Thailand. Sangduen “Lek” Chailert founded the park as a sanctuary and rescue center for elephants. The park currently has 32 elephants sponsored and supported by volunteers from all over the world.
You Will Love Island Hopping
Thailand has over 5,000 miles of coastline just waiting to be explored. Travel by long-tail boat and discover as many beaches and islands as possible during your stay in Thailand. See Phang Nga Bay and the limestone rocks that are so famously photographed off Thailand’s west coast, or island hop in the Andaman Sea off of Phuket and Krabi. Here’s you’ll discover white-sand beaches and abundant snorkelling on Ko Phi Phi Lee and Ko Phi Phi Don.
Exploring Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market
Among the largest markets in the world, Chatuchak seems to unite everything buy-able, from used vintage sneakers to baby squirrels. Plan to spend a full day here, as there’s plenty to see, do and buy. But come early, ideally around 10 am, to beat the crowds and the heat.
Sea Kayaking Ao Nang Bay
Eighty-three islands pockmark this rugged bay of steep cliffs, white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear tropical water. Hiring a kayak or joining a tour is super easy — reputable outfitters like sea kayak offer everything from day excursions to week long “mother ship adventures.
Kayaking is a quiet way to enjoy the beauty of Ao Nang. You’ll paddle by massive jungle cliff faces, stalactite-filled sea caves, maze-like mangroves, and day-glow coral. Bring your own snorkel gear or rent one for a truly amazing experience.
Hill Tribe Villages
Akha, Lisu, Hmong, and Karen tribes are found across the north of Thailand. Take a break from the tourist trail, and spend a day or a few nights with a local family to learn and experience their way of life. Choose your tour guide wisely – ensure that they operate in an ethical and sustainable manner.
The Floating Markets
The floating market, with the rickety wooden boat, piled high with colourful local produce. Pick a market, and arrive early to avoid crowds and bag the best bargains. Don’t forget your camera – these markets are very colourful. Enjoy bartering with the locals, the food is well worth a good haggle.
Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi: The most famous of the floating markets, located 100km southwest of Bangkok en route to Hua Hin/Cha-am.
Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram: Open in the afternoons and situated next to a temple.
Taling Chan Weekend Floating Market, Bangkok: Only recently discovered by tourists, this market is entirely authentic and frequented by locals. Try a range of Thai fruits including custard apples, yellow longan, and the pungent durian.
Visitors are very welcome to join in local celebrations, and most festivals and events offer a unique insight into local customs and traditions.
Must see events include Loi Krathong in November, Songkran/Thai New Year water festival in April, and the Naga Fireballs in October – a natural phenomenon that occurs just once a year.
Rock Climbing in Railay
Railay is changing rapidly and tourists are starting to flock there, it was cheap cheap cheap until it became more popular. Now bungalows and swimming pools have popped up everywhere. But the beauty is still undeniable and climbing is fantastic. So if you’re feeling a little sporty whilst in Thailand, this is one full on day you won’t forget.