We spent a total of 16 nights in Thailand and loved nearly every minute. It was just what we needed. We flew in to the Northern city of Chiang Mai and settled into a perfect hotel in the city center for eight nights. We enjoyed the night markets, walking around and looking at the pretty temples, a day spent with elephants, and a day spent learning how to cook Thai food. We spent a lot of time in cafes trying to determine which Thai islands to choose for our island getaway.
We ultimately decided on Ko Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. They both offered two different experiences that seemed appealing to us. Phi Phi gave us stunning beaches and with perfect sand and a good number of restaurants to chose from. Lanta gave us a perfect beach villa in hideaway resort near the National Park. Both of them gave us plenty of sunshine and a fair amount of R&R. We hated that we had to leave. Like, really hated it.
Now, For the Stats:
Number of beds slept in: 3
- Trip Total: 41
Modes of transportation: taxis, long-tail boats, motorbike with a rebar side car, and a few ferries.
Number of beaches visited: 6
- Trip Total: 46
Coffee Culture: Chiang Mai had a very modern and progressive coffee scene. Many of the coffee places are huge chains (Starbucks & Coffee Club) but we managed to find some local digs with great iced coffee. The Thai islands didn’t offer much in the way of coffee with the exception of our favorite cafe on Phi Phi called Aroy Caffiene. The owner was a young 20-something Thai lady just making her dream happen.
Favorite Meal: That would be the one we cooked ourselves at our Thai cooking class! It was a lot of work but the food was all delicious. We made two kinds of curry, spring rolls, pad thai, cashew chicken, sweet and sour chicken, tom yum and coconut milk soups, and mango sticky rice. It was a lot of food!
It’s really hard to choose just one. We loved our day at the Elephant Nature Park where we interacted with the rescued elephants. I think our top experience would be our time spent on the island of Koh Lanta. We had a private villa with an ocean view, and infinity pool, secluded beach, and wild monkeys nearby. I’m not sure what can really top that!
Worst Experience: We both got a pretty bad case of traveller’s diarrhea. I’ll spare you too many details but just know that it was enough to make anyone lose their mind. Luckily it passed almost as quickly as it came.
Things we loved: We really loved how easy it is to travel throughout Thailand. It’s the biggest tourist destination in Asia, and while that does have it negative sides, overall we just really appreciated the ease of it it. The Thai people are also very warm and friendly.
Things we hated: THE HEAT. It was much better on the islands when we had a sea breeze.
Things we hate we missed: We would love to go to the tiny island called Koh Lipe. It sounds amazing.
- In Chiang Mai, beer cannot be served between the hours of 2-5pm
- Everything tastes better with coconut milk in it
- The little stand by the East gate in Chiang Mai really does have the best nutella crepes in all of Thailand