It’s hard to believe that we were in Thailand last year at this time. It truly feels like a lifetime ago that we were re-visiting one of our favourite countries. Since that time we took part in the Mongol Rally where we drove through 13 countries from England to Mongolia, travelled to Jordan, hopped over to Mexico twice, spent six weeks in New Zealand, hung out in Cairo and took a couple of jaunts to the Caribbean. So needless to say, Thailand feels very far away.
Since it is cold outside in many parts of the world and we’re visiting another cold climate at the moment – Antarctica, we thought we’d give you a little escape from winter and share our favourite things to do in Thailand. We’ve been quite a few times and last year we had the chance to add a few new activities to our list thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Smiling Albino; an original, boutique travel company hosting adventures in Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Tibet.
So sit back and relax and plan your next vacation to Thailand, you won’t regret it.
Sea Kayaking with the original sea kayak company of Thailand, John Gray Sea Canoe is one of our favourite things to do in Thailand. John Gray himself pioneered the sea kayaking business in Thailand bringing his expertise and experience from exploring sea caves in Hawaii to South East Asia. Paddling through a cave to come out to a gorgeous lagoon in the middle of an island on the Adamen Sea is a moment you will never forget. An environmental activist, John Gray is extremely careful and adement about keeping his footprint to a minimum and his guides are very aware about the environmental impact that tourism is having on their country. Make sure to camp overnight on one of the uninhabited islands in the area and have a private evening in complete silence.
We have always been wary about driving a motorcycle in Thailand after we had an accident in Kho Samui on our first trip to the country in 2000. However, The Smiling Albino took great care of us, giving us a thorough lesson and test to make sure that we were capable of driving through the winding mountain roads and city traffic. Having the freedom to go off the beaten path and explore the pristine countryside of Thailand’s north was a unique experience. Driving through the winding mountain roads was a thrill and the scenery was outstanding, but the highlight was making our way to the border and looking out over Myanmar.
We took a mountain bike tour from the city streets of Chiang Rai out to the surrounding countryside. Biking up impressive hills and through rice paddy fields was a challenging yet fun ride. It is amazing how quickly you will find yourself out of the bustling streets and into the quiet farmland. We didn’t come across any single track mountain biking, but the trails and paths were a lot of fun and we got to finish off the ride with a longtail boat back to town. You have to add this one to your list of things to do in Thailand.
We do this every time we go to Thailand and never tire of visiting Railay. There are literally hundreds of routes to climb for all levels of climbers. Even if you don’t have any experience, you will find many schools offering introductory classes to full courses that will teach you how to lead your own routes. We climbed with Hot Rocks climbing school and our guide was absolutely fantastic. You won’t find a more beautiful setting in the world in our opinion. The surround karst islands are stunning.
Want a great way to whip yourself in shape? Try enrolling in a Muay Thai Kickboxing course. There are schools all over the country and you can sign up for a few short days or stay for months at a time. You’ll learn from genuine ex-thai boxers how to kick, punch and block. Plus you’ll learn how to perform the wai kru, the ceremony that Muay Thai Boxers do before each match. We trained with Rawai Muay Thai and found them to be outstanding. Located in the quiet part of Phuket, we were close to the beach and the restaurant next door was incredible as it catered to people in training. They server protein shakes, low fat dishes and offered a meal plan to students.
It only happens once a year, but if you find yourself in Thailand when the Songkran festival is going on, you have got to go out an experience it. It’s the world’s largest water fight celebrating the Thai New Year.