Bangkok the big mango
Bangkok is the ideal starting point for all Thai vacations and countless monstrous shopping malls and hundreds of clubs will keep you busy forever. The tourist sights around the castle will be done on a weekend and if shopping is not your thing, Bangkok has exits in all directions for very cheap prices by plane, bus or train. It is also the home of Khosan Roads, the mysterious street that is the great starting point for any person who wants to be called a real backpacker in Asia. You will feel at home with the joy of backpackers like Star Bucks and Mac D who moved in a few years ago.
Pattaya the black pearl on the east coast of Thailand
Pattaya, discovered by the Americans during the Southeast Asian War, built by sun-hungry men from Britain in the 1980s, was invaded by Vikings in 1990 and fell asleep until around 2000 when the Arab invasion started but was stopped by Russia taking over in 2006. People come to Pattaya to live , play golf, to visit the many girls’ bars but they will not swim in the sea. Pattaya is not an ideal family vacation destination, but the Thai family still flocks to her on big weekends to sit under huge umbrellas with their cloth while playing cards and eating seafood.
Issan the forgotten kingdom
Not many tourists travel further north than Ayutthaya but more to the northeast is the forgotten tourist destination of Issan (essan). Issan is what many call the real Thailand and people from the northeast are the workhorses behind all the factories and rice farms in Thailand. On the big holidays, you can see Bangkok close by and the bus stations are filled with people trying to get back to the forgotten kingdom. For people who want to travel there not many tourists have traveled before this is the perfect place to start your exploration of Thailand. Most backpackers skipped northeastern Thailand and went straight for the northern parts so this is a hidden gem. You will not see many other white people besides the older settlers and their younger wife. Do not be surprised if some villages have never seen a white person and that you will see genuine Thai smiles and hospitality. You can travel by bus but the best way to travel is by car or motorcycle if you have the opportunity.
Samui island rebel outpost
Samui was originally a large farm for coconuts but most of them have been cut down or died of a disease and nothing is being done to save them. Now Samui in southern Thailand is a place for backpackers who could not leave Thailand because they did not want to back their suite job. They also could not get enough trance music coming from the island of Koh-Phangan. The former backpackers have set up spas, yoga centers, cologne centers, wellness centers and just feel happy because I smoke in a lot of weed centers. Samui has real pristine beaches and bungalows by the sea and during the wet season floods the entire center. You can compare it a bit with Christiania in Denmark because the motorcycle groups also found their way here, it’s just more sunny.
Phuket Andaman Pearl
Phuket is the starting point for every island hopping trip in southern Thailand and many low cost airlines fly here every day from all over the world. It is home to many expats and you will find the most ridiculous prices ever for a house on this island. Phuket is a perfect holiday reservation for everyone as it has nightlife, clean beaches and cheap hotels if you are looking for it. Phuket has never really recovered from the 2004 tsunami and the many hotels are empty most of the low season and real finds can be found.
Krabi island kingdom
Who can forget the old James Bond movie “Gold Finger” and the hidden island near Krabi in southern Thailand? If you want beaches, exploring underwater and quiet nightlife, Krabi is the place to go. It is also the place where people go for climbing. Krabi has many spectacular five star resorts where the beach really belongs to you and not many tourists bother to travel down here.
Chiang Mai, northern kingdom
It does not matter how you spell it Chiang Mai, Chiangmai, Cheng Mai or Cheang Mai it is still the capital of northern Thailand. Many artists and cultural figures from both Thailand and abroad have built homes here and they create a unique atmosphere in the northern part of Thailand. If you want to travel further north and visit the Thai tribes, Chiang Mai is your starting point. The city has lost some of its charm to traffic jams and forest fires, but during the cold season, Thais travel so they can try on the glow and winter clothes they bought in Bangkok. If you want to buy cheap Thai style furniture imported from Burma, this is the place to play.
Hua Hin the new charter Paradise
Thai people think of Hua Hin as a place with high society and like to travel there by car and stay in fantastic hotels and visit expansive spas. The sea side is best known because it is where the King of Thailand as his summer lot. The tourists who come here are mostly charters and Hua Hin is perfect for families although it is a bit difficult to get there. The beach stretches forever and always they play elephant polo here.