It’s winter. That means cold, dreary days, not enough sunshine, and an utter lack of desire to leave your warm bed. It’s also the best time to start planning your fantasy vacation – and maybe even taking it. Right now we’re dreaming about crystal clear beaches, fresh coconuts, and wild parties on the beach. Here are the 20 best reasons you should be in Thailand right now. So book your tickets, boys and girls, and meet us on the beach!
Reason #1 to visit Thailand: It’s insanely beautiful.
First reason, it’s gorgeous. You almost don’t even need to say anything, but wow. This country is full of breathtaking beaches, jungles, year-round sunshine, bustling cities, and amazing Buddhist temples. Sign me up!
Reason #2: More bang for your buck!
It’s affordable. For the traveler who is on a budget, you can travel comfortably on about $30 a day. And of course, if you want to scale up and travel like a king or queen, you’ll find more than enough to keep you satisfied.
Reason #3: Thai food!
The food. Stir fries, curries, chicken, seafood – everyone loves Thai food, but buying authentic Thai from a street vendor is sure to be a mind-opening (and probably hugely spicy!) experience. Plus, the food is dirt cheap, so you need not worry about taking all your meals at the local street cart.
Reason #4: The shopping can’t be beat.
The shopping is also great. There are a ton of markets offering goodies from shoes to art to jewelry to food to everything in between, plus, you can find local tailors to make you your own bespoke clothing at bargain prices. The malls in Bangkok also are a sight to see.
Reason #5: The wonderfully kind locals!
Everyone is super friendly! Traveling to a foreign country can be daunting, but you can feel comfortable knowing that the Thai are known for being warm, friendly, and open to tourists. It’s not called the Land of Smiles without a reason! Just treat locals kindly and with respect – no one likes a loud, belligerent drunk – and you can expect to receive it in turn.
Reason #6: Phuket. ‘Nuff said.
If you love the water, you must visit Phuket. A haven for snorkelers, swimmers, and scuba divers, the waters are clear and teeming with gorgeous, colorful tropical fish. Khao Phra Thaew National Park, a rainforest with protected wildlife, is also a must for hikers.
Reason #7: The parties can’t be beat!
You’ve probably heard of Full Moon Parties – the wild, all night drinking and dancing semi-raves featuring body paint and drinks in buckets. They take place every month on the beach in Ko Pha Ngan. So join thousands of other people for the wildest night of dancing ever!
Reason #8: It’s more cosmopolitan than you think!
Thailand is very cosmopolitan. In Bangkok you can find a lot of expats who’ve decided to do the right thing and move there to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and amazing food. The cities are well built up and comfortable for getting around.
Reason #9: The incredible biodiversity.
Visit the gibbons in the Khao Sok National Park! This large national park boasts a huge amount of biodiversity, and you can see not only the gibbons, but also sun bears, leopards, tigers, tapirs, Asiatic wild dogs, gaurs, monkeys and deer.
Reason #10: The spirituality.
This Buddhist country offers tons of spirituality for the seeker. The country is full of Buddhist temples and statues to visit. Offer a prayer or some incense, or just stand and observe. Be respectful of the practices of the country, however! That means bowing your head, taking your shoes off, dress modestly (a scarf is good for this purpose), don’t point at the statues, and be quiet. Observe the locals around you and take cues from their behavior.
Reason #11: The weather is gorgeous almost year-round!
We mentioned above that there is year round sunshine, but it bears repeating. What that means for you is that it’s almost impossible to pick a bad time to travel. Depending on which province you chose to travel to, the monsoon season and hot season differs by a few months (the country has several different climates), so pick a route and check the weather there!
Reason #12: You can visit a lot of nearby countries with ease.
It’s a great starting point for other Southeast Asian adventures. A mere hop, skip and jump from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, you can easily explore those countries in a few weeks. Or, head to the north-west of Thailand and cross over into Burma (just check travel advisories before going as there have been some skirmishes there recently.) If you can, taking a few months to stay in that part of the world can provide you with many different cultural experiences.
Reason #13: Getting drunk has never been cheaper!
The booze is plentiful! And really, what’s a good vacation without a good few drunken nights? You’ll find an amazing selection of dirt cheap beers, or else, indulge in the local favorite called sahtoh, a drink made from fermented rice. When distilled further, it turns into a sort of rice whiskey, which, while powerful, isn’t necessarily the most refined brew in the world. It is usually enjoyed with lots and lots of soda.
Reason #14: Because every adventure you can imagine is waiting for you!
The diversity of things to do. Want to rent a moped and bike all over the country? Go ahead! Relax for weeks on the beach? There are a million to choose from. Party your face off with strangers? Hit up the hostels and find the most wild nightlife this side of the Bay of Bengal. Go on extreme sport adventures? You know you can. With more things to do than can be listed, you’ll never get bored.
Reason #15: The train system is super cool!
You’ll probably want to travel around a lot. We recommend using Thailand’s amazing rail system for a double whammy. The trains themselves are tourist attractions, so you don’t waste any precious sightseeing time as you travel from glorious city to tropical island. They also have sleeper cars that offer meals. Not a bad deal!
Reason #16: Thai massages are AMAZING.
The country also offers a wealth of spas. Cap off a hectic week of traveling with a weekend spent luxuriating at a gorgeous seaside resort, sipping on fresh coconut water, while getting an intensely relaxing Thai massage. Or seek out the more high-end detox and beauty packages on offer.
Reason #17: The flights are cheap!
You can easily fly around within the country, thanks to Thai Air Asia’s budget fares and good timetables. Prices are more than reasonable if you have a bit of foresight and book your flight in advance. Or else, fly somewhere else! China is actually nearer than you’d think, as are Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Reason #18: The diverse culture and history.
We forget that the whole Asian world has had wars, cultural revolutions, thinkers, artists, architects, and creators that are totally disconnected from our reality. Immerse yourself in something new and exciting by visiting Thailand’s ancient ruins, temples, and exploring their cultural history through music and dance.
Reason #19: Because fresh coconuts are sold on the side of the road and are crazy good.
The Thai coconuts can’t be beat for their health benefits and delicious, refreshing taste. Also, if you’re worried that you drank too much the night before, don’t fret – this is a great hangover cure and is sold on every street corner! Enjoy this super hydrating, healthy drink literally everywhere you go!
Reason #19: Because someone filmed this in Thailand.
Finally, check out this gorgeous video with the best of Thailand. Then, tell your boss you’re taking off, book your ticket, and we’ll see you in Thailand!