If you are visiting Thailand, figuring out the best places to visit in Thailand is overwhelming. As someone who has visited Thailand many times, plus lived there, I have great suggestions for the places you shouldn’t miss.
I am a fan of the islands that aren’t so developed, and Koh Kood is one of them. It’s in an area that has great scuba diving and snorkeling, and the island itself has beautiful waterfalls to explore by kayak. The waters of the beaches are stunningly blue with white sands, with the prettiest beaches being found on the West Coast. There is also a fishing village where you can see the traditional lifestyle of the locals. It’s near the Cambodian border, so makes a great stop if you are headed there next.
3. Koh Lipe
Castaway Resort, Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe wins my vote for the best island in Thailand. This is the island that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Thailand. It’s still undeveloped, and the waters are crystal-clear. The snorkeling is some of the best I’ve ever seen, and diving is also very popular in the Tarutao National Park waters that surround the island.
Koh Lipe is a small island, and you can walk between the two main islands in about 15 minutes. There is a party atmosphere during high season, but it’s still nothing like the backpacker/party atmosphere that ruins Phi Phi and Phuket. Stay on Sunrise Beach for the quietest rooms.
One place that many of the tourist brochures miss when telling you the best place to visit in Thailand is Ayutthaya. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the second capital of Siam, and the temple ruins are impressive. It’s an easy visit from Bangkok, and you can get there by train, bus, minibus, or even by boat. The ruins cover a large area, so negotiate with a tuk-tuk driver or rent a bike once you are there to get around, and don’t forget to dress modestly for the temples. The Chao Phrom Market is a great market to visit while you are in the area.
If you are visiting Thailand, and have limited time, go to Railay. It’s easy to get to, and has a huge variety of activities from rock climbing, exploring caves and jungle, gorgeous scenery and views, and the breathtaking color of the Andaman Sea. The west side of the island has the prettiest beaches and the towering limestone cliffs, but the east side, has the cheapest rooms. Railay Beach is more developed than Lipe or Kood, but there is still a peacefulness that you just don’t find on some of the other islands in Thailand. Don’t miss the sunsets!