You’ve spent some time in the bustling capital of Thailand, Bangkok, and you are lucky to be able to extend your stay in this fascinating country. But where do you go next? Luckily Bangkok is well-connected to a host of different, interesting places in Thailand. Where you go next depends on the time you have, your personality, and the kind of vacation you are looking for. Here are some fun ideas for where to go next after Bangkok.
Chiang Mai/ Image via zoutedrop/ Flickr
1) Chiang Mai
Thailand’s second city has a vastly different atmosphere to the capital. It is much quieter, more relaxed, and laidback in Chiang Mai, with plenty of things to see and do. If you love mountains, scenery, markets, and temples, you will love Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. There are cooking classes, lovely massage places, spas, temples, and a whole host of accommodation in all price ranges. You can also take trips out into the surrounding countryside to trek, visit hill tribes, see the wildlife, and get some fresh air. It is generally cheaper to stay here than in Bangkok. It takes an overnight bus ride or a flight to get to Chiang Mai so it is a good option for people looking for a two-city break.
2) Hua Hin
Just a short distance from the capital, Hua Hin is the original beach resort town in Thailand. Famous for its past popularity with royalty, Hua Hin is a relaxed place with some great resorts and excellent seafood restaurants. The beach is wide and spacious, and you have plenty of choice in bars, clubs, and cafes. Hua Hin is a good place for a weekend break from Bangkok, or longer if you have the time.
If you have only a short amount of time and you want to see a place that is packed with culture, history, and interest, pay a visit to Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya is the ancient capital city of Bangkok and has many Buddhist temples, statues, ruins, and a fascinating sense of history. You can go here on a day trip from Bangkok or stay the night in the area. Many people miss this place when they visit Bangkok but it is worth making the trip – it has been described as a miniature Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
4) Koh Samet
If you want to get away for the weekend from Bangkok and you don’t have time to travel to the islands in the south (which are admittedly more attractive), Koh Samet is a good option. A short 3-hour hop from Bangkok gets you to the coast and to a fun, lively little place with plenty to do.
Phuket bay/ Image via edwin.11/ Flickr
Phuket is a large island and a short plane ride from Bangkok. Phuket offers something for everyone from the isolated and tranquil beaches in the north of the island to the beautiful Kata Beach in the south. If you want a place to relax and have fun, Phuket provides a whole host of entertainment options. Plus, there are some seriously upscale resorts that provide everything you need for a vacation to remember. Phuket is family-friendly and offers a wide choice in accommodation, restaurants, and beaches.
6) Krabi Province
As well as Phuket, Thailand offers Krabi Province, a world of white sand beaches and some stunning scenery. Plenty of choice in accommodation where you can stay in a basic beach hut or visit a luxury resort. The cheaper options are Ao Nang and Krabi Town, while the most popular spot is Railay Beach. You can also visit or stay on a local island like Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta.
7) Islands in the South
You’ve got a wide range of choice in islands when you go south in Thailand from Bangkok. There’s Koh Phi Phi for parties and celebrities, Koh Tao, Koh Lanta for a more relaxed vibe, Koh Phangan, and many more. If you have the time, go here and do a little island hopping. You can stay cheaply on the beach in basic resorts, or splash out on a more upmarket choice.
8) Angkor Wat
If you can get out of the country while on a visit to Thailand, go to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Here you will find the amazing ruins of Angkor Wat, the huge ancient capital city with a collection of stunning temples, amazing ruins, and a beautiful environment in the jungle. Siem Reap itself is a traveler-friendly place with lots of accommodation and some excellent restaurants. You can fly to Siem Reap from Bangkok or take a bus trip where you cross the border by foot. It takes a while to reach Cambodia but the trip is worth it for the different culture you can experience, the food, and the attractions.
For more information on Bangkok and its surroundings, check out PhuketOn. You’ll also find more information on Phuket, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Koh Samui and many more locations in Thailand.