Thailand is the perfect destination for the newcomers of the traveling and backpacking scene. Armed with The Lonely Planet travel guide, sunscreen and an umbrella, we started exploring Thailand.

Bangkok
Home to the infamous Khao San Road, lies amazing street food. Located on Khao San Road, opposite Rambruttri Road, is a stall ran by an older man, serving up his dishes in bright orange and green plates. If you do find it, I highly recommended his green curry fried rice and tom yum soup. The Grand Palace is just magnificent and really beautiful. Just remember to cover up, bring an umbrella to shield you from the blinding sun, and of course a bottle of water! For an alternative market trip, that is not filled with generic tourist souvenirs, head to JJ Green Market, a young and urban night market, which is open from 5pm till late, Thursday to Sunday. You can shop new and second-hand clothing, home items, vintage bits, whilst eat really good food. 

Chiang Mai
Catch an overnight train or flight from Bangkok, to Chiang Mai. Remember to book in advance, regardless if you opt for train or flight transit. Personally, it was my favourite place of Thailand, it consisted of getting lost and eating cheap, delicious street food. The Sunday Walking Market and the Chiang Mai Walking Street is intense. You'll through an endless road and see an abundance of stalls, selling everything: from unique souvenirs, dried foods, clothes, art, accessories etc. Just make sure you have enough space and weight in your suitcase to bring it all back! Go to The Coffee Club for when your cravings for Western food kicks in! I recommend ordering their coconut infused pancakes with caramalised bananas dish and their eggs benedict. There's always some kind of market going on from Friday to Sunday that consists of food! Ask your hotel staff or locals, everyone in Thailand is genuinely friendly!

Koh Tao
From Bangkok, you catch a bus ride and then, a ferry boat to the island. A tiresome journey but definitely worth it. You can purchase these tickets in a travel agency store on Khao San Road. I stayed in a beautiful resort, called Cabana Resort. Despite their terrible customer service, the rooms are stunning, with amazing sea views and an outdoor shower. Koh Tao is definitely a hotspot for snorkeling; so a snorkeling excursion is essential. Most will offer to will take you around various other islands and beaches around the vicinity. And be prepared to have your mind blown. 

Koh Nangyuan
Rest assured, this is the island you need to be at when you visit Thailand. Only a 20 minute boat trip from Koh Tao, it makes the perfect day trip. Getting there is easy, opt for either a day package from Lomprayah or charter a longtail boat. It's infamous for its shallow reefs and clear waters, making it perfect spot for snorkeling, either bring your own gear or hire some once you get onto the island. If you're in the mood for some exercise, hike up to the viewpoint which is 15-20 minutes long but, I promise you'll be satisfied by the view! Just remember to be equipped and hydrate yourself.

Ayutthaya
From Bangkok, a coach ticket to Ayutthaya can be purchased around Khao San Road vicinity. I would recommend a one night stay to visit a UNESCO Heritage Site called Wat Chai Wattanaram. I would recommend visiting it at sunset, it will make the perfect photo especially if there are clear skies. Afterwards, pay a visit to Hua Raw Night Market. You'll find, yet again, amazing street food! Especially a small vendor who sells strictly halal pad thais – it'll probably be the best one you've had. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 Thailand

Travel Diary: Thailand

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