I’m returning to Thailand in the New Year for the third time in just two short years, and to be honest with you, I can’t bloody wait. You really don’t have to talk to me for long before you notice that I am crazy about that country. My love for the land of smiles was my earliest form of Wanderlust that I can remember, I spent days dreaming about Buddha’s, beaches, lost jungles and ancient Asian lands; needless to say I was besotted by the time I first set foot in Bangkok, by the time I landed on Koh Tao after backpacking down I was sold, I was ready to slink away from life in England and set up home on the beautiful island, I felt at home there, the laid back vibe, the ocean, the mountains, the jungle, the people, the food, everything about Thailand and especially Koh Tao captured my heart and I knew immediately that’s where I wanted to be. Fast forward a month I was back on the little island I fell in love with and that’s where I stayed for two short but amazing months.
Ever since I left The Rock (Koh Tao) last year I’ve been craving to go back to Thailand, many of my other travel-addicted friends have asked me why?! What keeps me returning to the country, Well, here are ten reasons why I can’t keep away.
The list in its entirety and no jibber jabber reads:
The History and Culture
I have not been anywhere in the world where I have met nicer people. You walk down the street to smiles; Thai people are for the most part, warm and welcoming, easy to laugh with and open with their friendship and hospitality.
Seriously, you cannot eat badly in Thailand. Unless you go for some kind of western delight, but even then it’ll probably be lovely, but why would you do that? An endless supply of Tom Yum, curries, pad Thais, rice, mango sticky rice, fish, crepes, street food all at your fingertips. Every brilliant flavour combination you can imagine, hot, sweet, spicy, all things absolutely amazing. I think in my two month stint on the Thai Gulf I only ate badly once, Papaya Salad and a rice dish, boy-oh-boy was I seriously sick, the night before my twelve hour flight home as well. Thanks to sneaky Samui , even then that was from a restaurant not street food; just sayin’.
If you have ever googled ‘Thailand’ photo after photo of beaches probably came up, and all for a good reason, the beaches in Thailand are legendary; they’re absolutely stunning. White sand hugging the turquoise shore lines, beyond that the ocean gives way to a wealth of marine life, coral, fish, sharks, the colours like a rainbow in some of the clearest water I have ever seen.
The country is jam backed with history and culture upon every turn; you see temples being built just about everywhere you turn. They’re nice, sure, but what I love the best are the ancient temples, some have nature growing around them, some laden in gold and gems, others plain but none the less absolutely mesmerising.
I do love a drink and some dancing; if you also love a boogie then Thailand will rock you to your very core. Some of the very best DJ’s head eastside to bring you everything from Chill out day time sessions to all night raves and everything in between, even if you’re not into the Full Moon Party atmosphere then there will be some music for you to enjoy in a more laid back atmosphere.
Thailand’s climate is just absolutely perfect, with the seasons ranging from Hot, Warm, Wet, its average temperature year round is 30degrees, now if you’re a sun and heat fan like myself then you’ll fall in love with the yearly warmth. Sure the rains can dampen things, but if it gets too much then pop to Koh Tao, the island gets less monsoon rain than elsewhere due to being sheltered by Samui, Phagnan and the Mainland.
I don’t mind a travel challenge; I don’t mind night buses, chicken buses, using questionable modes of transport if it means I can get to where I want to go to. But Thailand has perfected its travel links, buses run all over the country and also to neighbouring countries (Hello Bangkok to Siem Reap direct bus!) it’s cheap and reasonable cheerful compared to some of the transport options I’ve taken around the world, but of course you’ll be lucky if they run on time. The night trains offer sleeper options, which I haven’t had a chance to use yet, but I will be upon my return.
Monkeys, elephants, Tigers, oh my! Thailand offers a wealth of wildlife to enjoy, but please, please, please enjoy the wildlife in a responsible manner. If you want to see Elephants please don’t hop on top of one for a ride, most of these elephants are treated incredibly badly and are forced to work. If you want to see an elephant then please head to a sanctuary where you can see them in their natural habitat, you can walk with them, wash them and enjoy your time knowing that you’re contributing to making their lives much better. There aren’t many tigers left in the wild in Thailand, but that doesn’t mean you should slip to Tiger Temple, that place has had so many rumours floating around about its terrible treatment towards its inmates, I mean tigers, that I wouldn’t feel comfortable parting with my money towards the “conservation programme” for a tourist photo.
I can get a super cheap direct flight from London to Bangkok, from there I can live quite comfortably on a budget, amazing food costs very little, accommodation can range from £5 (Beach hut or hostel) to £40 (for a five star hotel), drinks cost very little and luxuries such as massages, spa treatments, etc cost hardly anything, that also includes travelling around. A two week break in Thailand would cost me less than a trip over to mainland Europe especially when you consider for what you get for your money, I know which one I’d always go for.
I love Thailand, but I really love Koh Tao, the island has a laid back vibe which seriously rocks me to my core, days are spent in the ocean, lounging by pools, doing Stand-up Paddle Boarding, exploring jungles, or relaxing on one of its many stunning beaches. When the sun slips into the gulf the laid back vibe carries on into the night, music drifts out under the stars as you can dance in the ocean, scents from one of the many amazing restaurants infiltrates the warm night air. The island has a great community feel to it, the people who live there look out for themselves, the animals, the visitors and the Island itself, you’ll be welcomed to The Rock like you were a long lost friend, trust me, it’ll be hard to leave there.
I really love it there; my return to The Land of Smiles can’t come soon enough. Is there a place in the world which has your heart the way Thailand has mine? Let me know in the comment box below, you can also connect over on Twitter and Instagram.