The first country that often comes to mind when people contemplate travelling to South-East Asia is Thailand. The country is cheap, the food is tasty and the people are friendly. The country is developed enough to have plenty of pretty hotels, good healthcare and good infrastructure but there are still plenty of places to truly go off the beaten path. It is no wonder that people fall in love with the ‘land of the smiles’ and keep on returning. I visited five times and still love it. Travelling to Thailand for the first time and looking for a guide? Look no further, you clicked on the right article. In this 2 week itinerary, I’ll explain all about where to go, what to eat and where to stay!
Where to stay? Here are some personal recommendations, which are all superb places within their own budget-range.
Located in Ari (the trendiest neighbourhood in Bangkok), and perfectly located en route of the BTS Skytrain, this social hostel is my top-pick for backpackers or young couples travelling together. The vibes are great, the yard (obviously, considering the name) is big and relaxing and the dorms are comfortable with great mattresses and good working air conditioning. They also do doubles if you need a little extra privacy;).
This small boutique hotel is perfectly located in the middle of the historic old centre (close to Khao San Road and all the temples), and sleeping here is like sleeping in Bangkok from the 18th-century. Both the rooms and the hotel itself is decorated in detail in an old-colonial style with a bicycle theme. Book for a few days, stay a week.
The place is very hip and the rooms are stunning. Location-wise this is not the most convenient place but the accommodation makes more than up for it. Breakfast at the leafy rooftop-terrace overlooking the river is probably the best way you can start your day in Bangkok. It is not the cheapest place in Bangkok (about EUR 100/ USD 110 a night), but you won’t find a hotel like this in every country in the world.
Start the day by renting a bicycle and cycle around the temples of the old capital of Thailand. The temples are all located within a few miles from each other and there is virtually no elevation so going by bicycle is just perfect. Don’t be tempted to skip Wat Chai Wattanaram, located a bit further away, as this is the best temple out there.
After a full day of cycling and temple-hopping its time to get your bags and settle at the station for dinner, a nice restaurant where they serve delicious food overlooking the train tracks. Ask a waiter to inform you when your train is about to arrive and get on the night train to Chiang Mai. This low-paced mode of transport is an adventure on its own. After settling into your cabin, walk around the train for a bit to see people carrying all sorts of livestock and goods on the train, before tucking in and get rocked to sleep by the clickety-clack of the train moving slowly along the old imperial tracks.