Thailand was a country that we didn’t intend on spending quite so much time in, but due to my broken arm and emergency surgery we found ourselves coming back time and time again. Luckily for us, Thailand is just amazing! Even though I had been to Thailand before I had a great time showing Matt my favorite things and I got to see loads of new things myself.
QUICK THAILAND ROUNDUP
Days Spent in Thailand: 59
Cities Visited: Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sop Ruak, Chiang Khong + Koh Chang
Daily Cost Average: Just under $54/day for two people. This is excluding my medical expenses considering that’s not the norm.
Places Stayed In: Fourteen: one resort, two guesthouses, four hostels, seven hotels.
Preferred Method of Travel: Train. We took the train from Bangkok to both Kanchanaburi + Ayutthaya and the night train from Vientiane to Bangkok. I have this romantic notion about trains that always give me all of those wanderlust feels.
MY TOP 5 FAVORITE EXPERIENCES IN THAILAND
THE NATURE OF KANCHANABURI
Even though I had spent about 2 weeks in Kanchanaburi 2.5 years ago, I didn’t see it. Not like I did this time. This city/region is often seen as a place to explore the WW2 history, but there’s just so much more here. There are amazing mountains, rivers, waterfalls and more! We loved hiking through Erawan Falls, lounging on the river with the mountains in the background and standing under the Giant Rain Tree.
THE MARKET EXPERIENCE’S THAI COOKING CLASS WITH A TWIST
I loved this cooking class. It was an amazing because it was so many things all wrapped into one: a cooking class, a tour of the flower market and amazing conversations with two awesome people. I loved the twist of adding edible flowers into the foods that we had. We dyed noodles, made lotus petal salad bites and tea brewed from flowers. I would 10/10 recommend this experience.
EXPLORING THE TEMPLE RUINS OF AYUTTHAYA
This was brand new to me. New town, new experience, new site. I’m a total lover of all things cultural and anthropological. I loved being able to explore this massive UNESCO archaeological site. I love that it’s like city parks built around them, but locals are still living their everyday lives there as well. We biked through the grounds of Ayutthaya, crawled into tombs filled with murals and explored for two full days.
DOI INTHANON NATIONAK PARK
At Doi Inthanon we had the pleasure of standing on the highest point in all of Thailand. I’ve never been to the tallest point in a country before. I mean, how cool is that? Then we got to trek through the jungle with a local guide from the hill tribe. We passed waterfalls, saw vipers and walked through rice fields ending at a coffee shop in the jungle. This was one of my favorite day trips and highly recommend it as a day trip from Chiang Mai.
EXPLORING EACH UNIQUE TEMPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Temples are my jam. I cannot get enough of them. I would visit temples every single day. Luckily, Matt is pretty easy going because he would let me drag him to temples all over this stunning country. Some stood out more than others, but each was unique in its own way.
Honorable Mentions are the Tuk Tuk Street Food Tour and just simply walking (or biking) through the streets of the different, vibrant cities throughout Thailand.
MY THREE FAVORITE PLACES WE STAYED IN THAILAND
D Hostel in Kanchanaburi – Words cannot describe how much I love this hostel. The best way I can describe D Hostel is heaven. Even my friend Salapong who came to visit one night said it was heaven. This hostel has mountain views from literally every room and an epic dock common area. Plus, it’s outside of the town so it’s incredibly peaceful. Want to learn more about D Hostel? Check out my review.
Leeching Boutique Lanna in Chiang Mai- I have a special love for this place because they took such good care of me. After I broke my arm the manager made multiple calls to help ease my travel and my pain after breaking my arm. Plus, the hotel itself was wonderful. The bed was incredibly comfortable, the service welcoming and the breakfast was super tasty! It’s location in the heart of Chiang Mai was great as well!
i Lanna House in Chiang Mai- This hotel checks all the boxes on any Chiang Mai wish list. It’s comfortable, cozy, quiet, has a stunning pool and sits in old town. It was also probably the most expensive place we stayed, but it still comes highly recommended.
Treat buddhism + monks with respect – Thai culture is very much tied up in Buddhism. I think in the Western world the Buddha has almost become a piece of pop art. In Thailand the Buddha + monks are regarded very highly, in fact it’s even illegal to have a Buddha tattoo in Thailand. Don’t touch monks, don’t stand taller than monks/Buddha statues and (I can’t believe this needs to be said) don’t pull down your pants in temples or climb on Buddha figures.
7-eleven is the bomb – They’re everywhere and I don’t think a day passed that we didn’t go to 7-eleven. We had breakfast there frequently and even those horrible-for-you-but-oddly-delicious toasties for a meal or two. In addition to that they have wicked cheap water, snacks and even a selection of medicines. Plus, there’s this awesome stamp rebate system (although this may have recently changed, someone in Thailand please let me know!).
When booking accommodation remember location matters – I’m not saying that you have to stay in the heart of all the tourist hotspots. However, know if you’re close to a SkyTrain or know your walking limits. Matt and I love walking, so we don’t mind being as far as an hour from destinations. However, know what’s best for you.
Use the meter in your taxi – In other countries I found that it was better to negotiate a price first with taxis. In Bangkok that’s not the case. If you’re in Bangkok, use that meter!
You can get great healthcare here – Especially in big cities. I had two medical emergencies in Thailand. I broke my arm in Chiang Mai and had emergency surgery in Bangkok. Both went wonderfully because of the amazing doctors and hospitals I encountered. Do your research for the hospitals in your area and remember that these two cities are well-known for some world-class doctors.
WANT MORE TIPS? Check out these 52 quick tips for Southeast Asia!
59 DAYS was a decent amount of time to spend in Thailand and I still feel as though we only scratched the surface. We left so much unexplored and I cannot wait to see what our next adventure in Thailand has in store for us.
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