10 places you need to visit in Thailand

This article was created for The Travel Project by Eleanor Lee, a travel enthusiast who loves all things tropical and is currently studying Broadcast Journalism.

Last summer my best friend and I visited Thailand. We spent 3 weeks there and made our way around Bangkok, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Krabi and Phi Phi islands, it was incredible! If you’ve ever thought about travelling to Thailand, do it! And make sure you check out these places whilst your there…

Sky Bar, Lebua State Tower

If you’re a fan of The Hangover movies, then you’ll recognise this bar from the second film. Whilst in Bangkok we knew we wanted to visit a rooftop bar and decided on the Sky Bar which is situated on the 64th floor of the Lebua State Tower. You are treated like royalty as soon as you step foot into the building and the views are literally breathtaking. We got stuck in traffic and ended up missing the sunset, however I would 100% suggest visiting in the evening as Bangkok is pretty spectacular at night.

Khao San Road

Many travellers argue that Khao San Road is too touristy to stay on nowadays, but I loved it. I had been warned by so many people that I wouldn’t be a fan of Bangkok and assumed that the famous road would be way too overwhelming for me- how wrong I was! On our very first night we were probably completely jetlagged but still joined in with the huge street parties taking place between all the market stalls. Regrettably I wasn’t brave enough to try one of the deep fried scorpions, so we stuck with street pad thai instead (the best pad thai I had during our trip). Staying on Khao San Road is an experience in itself. There’s great food, music, people and you can also pick up some extremely cheap souvenirs.

Ark Bar, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

We made our first proper ‘travelling friends’ (said in the style of the Inbetweeners) at Ark Barwhen we first got to Koh Samui. Ark Bar is situated on Chaweng Beach in Samui and is just so laid back and cool. Just like in Bangkok, we had literally got off the plane, dumped our bags in the hotel and made our way down to the beach for a drink. As well as Thailand’s infamous ‘bucket’ drinks, Ark Bar also does amazing Thai food and then have different party nights throughout the week. Think Thai guys breathing fire and all sorts of crazy stuff like that. Ark Bar is just the perfect place to chill in the day and in the evening- plus they do the best tuna and cheese toasties.

Scuba Diving in Koh Tao

After Samui, we ferried to Koh Tao and basically stayed in the jungle. We got bitten to death but it was defo worth it. Koh Tao is one of the best places in the world to scuba dive, and although I was mad nervous I knew I couldn’t pass on such an opportunity. All the instructors are super nice and help you through if you’re a beginner. Koh Tao is such a beautiful, undisturbed island unlike Koh Samui which is a lot more touristy (but nonetheless, still v v pretty). Whilst in Koh Tao, we also saw a ladyboy cabaret and it was insane. Mind blowing that they are all in fact men. If you’re ever there, youmustgo.

Koh Nang Yuan

Off the coast of Koh Tao is a famous island named Koh Nang Yuan. We took a 10 minute long tail boat to the island and climbed to the top just to witness the view. There is only one resort and restaurant on the entire island, there’s also no roads so the only way to get about is by your legs. Parts of the island are joined up purely by a strip of beach which makes for an amazing view from the top. It’s a hell of a climb and I thought I was ready to die, but it’s so so worth it once you get there.

Koh Phangan

Don’t really know where to start with Phangan. We travelled with a tour (more about that in a second) and stayed in a resort called Shiralea, which was run by a group of English guys. As much as I was loving this new culture, it was nice to eat a full English, watch sky sports and hear British accents. We had the best time at Shiralea, I’m literally laughing thinking about it all now. When we first visited Phangan with our tour, we went to the half moon party and then we came back a week later on our own to do the full moon party. Again- everyone warned us that these were a bit too touristy to enjoy but they were the best nights ever. I pictured some unorganised rave in the middle of no where, but there were hundreds of bars open that backed onto the beach playing good tunes. Also the food stalls were to die for. Picture any food you’ve ever craved after a night out- it was there. I loved every moment in Phangan and I pray I get to go back one day.

7/11 & Roast

For those who don’t know- 7/11 is a convenience store in Thailand and they are everywhere. I fell in love with them so much because you can literally get anything and everything there. 7/11’s best asset is their ham and cheese toasties. They have a toastie machine there that you use yourself and I’ve never tasted anything quite so good. If you don’t have one, then you didn’t really go to Thailand.
Roast is a restaurant in The Helix Quartier of Bangkok. We went there for breakfast on our final day and I’ve literally ran out of adjectives to describe just how good it was. If you don’t believe me please have a look at their brunch menu, and if you still don’t believe me then you’ll just have to make a quick trip to BKK. I’ll admit hardly any of the food was Thai but I’m sure it was the best breakfast I’d ever had.

Centara Grand Beach Resort, Ao Nang, Krabi

We decided to up our game and stay in a dead posh resort for a couple of nights when we were in Krabi. You could only reach Centara by a shuttle boat and it was like a mini village when you got there. There were different swimming pools that all looked onto the beach and several different restaurants. Unfortunately, I was ill whilst we were there and spent the majority of the day in bed. I couldn’t even eat breakfast which was sooo disappointing as it was the biggest breakfast buffet I’d ever seen. We were treated like queens at Centara and I wish I could go back and make the most of it.

Long Beach, Phi Phi

Phi Phiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Defo one of my favourite islands. We were staying on Long Beach and had to get a taxi boat over there from the main island. Our hotel was so cute and overlooked the beach which was great. As we checked in we were warned to keep our doors shut as the monkeys know how to open the mini bar. Long Beach is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to, the sea was amazingly clear and the fish were so tame you could literally touch them. At night we would taxi boat over to the main island of Phi Phi and go to a funky restaurant/bar that had a big screen for movies and served wicked Mexican food. I don’t think you can go to Thailand without visiting Phi Phi. All the locals are so lovely and you get a crazy good tan.

Contiki tour

For the Samui/Tao/Phangan portion of our trip we travelled on a Contiki tour and I am so glad we did. We met some fab people that we’re still in contact with now and I have too many memories to even recall. If you’ve ever wanted to travel to somewhere like Thailand, I urge you to do so with Contiki as I had so much fun and our tour guide Matt was the best. It was such a laidback tour, you could literally do as much or as little as you wanted and everyone got along. If you fancy a look at exactly what I got up to, check out Contiki’s Thai Island Hopper East trip.