Thailand and Phuket are an awesome destination if you are searching for ancient history mixed with modern attractions feeling. Even if your plans for Thailand mainly involve frolicking on a beach, cozying up to elephants, and eating as much Massaman curry and tom ka gai as humanly possible, you’ll probably spend at least a day or two in Bangkok. There’s plenty to see and do in the capital, but it’s perhaps best to start with the Grand Palace. This is the number one sightseeing attraction in the city, and it’s staggering in historical significance and craftsmanship. The grounds are a maze of royal halls, temples, and ancient relics, the most important being Wat Phra Kaeo, Temple of the Emerald Buddha. A relic within this temple is said to be a piece of bone or hair from the enlightened Buddha himself. Allow several hours to do the Grand Palace justice, but if you’re up for more walking afterward, you can easily take in some of the city’s other major landmarks. The famous Wat Po and Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn (a great place to watch the sunset), are also nearby. And as Bangkok is a main hub for international travel, it’s a great starting point for excursions throughout the country.
Originally, built in the 1920s as a royal getaway for King Rama VII, Hua Hin has been a long-time favorite weekend getaway for Bangkok residents. Today, the 8 km (5 mile) long beach is also popular with tourists. Hua Hin is the site of the Klai Kangwon Palace, which is still used by Thai royalty today. In addition it is home to the highest concentration of golf courses in all of Thailand.
The infamous Full Moon Party is an all-night beach party that takes place in Haad Rin on the island of Koh Phangan. It has grown from an improvised wooden disco for about 20-30 people in 1985 to a major event that draws a crowd of about 20,000-30,000 every single month. If you’re not on Ko Pha Ngan during the full moon, don’t worry: there are other parties to be had, including Half Moon, Black Moon and Shiva Moon party.
Phuket Attractions ? Whilst most may head to the sunny streets of Patong, for a more authentic experience of Phuket, it’s worth heading to the Old Town. You’ll find street after street of old, colourful colonial-style mansions and townhouses hosting cute, cozy stores and eateries — perfect for Instagram and a welcome change of pace compared to some of Phuket’s more lively districts. Need a place to stay in Phuket, Patong Beach ? More details at The Shades Backpackers Hostel Patong Beach.
In the western resort town of Karon is Karon Beach, a long, gorgeous bay of powdery-soft sand and incredibly inviting blue sea. Though the thought of relaxing in this paradise is good enough, there’s also a lot more to do here than sunbathe and swim. The town of Karon has a number of quality restaurants and bars to enjoy, with sweeping views of the bay and the sea; there’s also Wat Suwan Khirikhet temple to check out. Established in the early 29th century, Wat Chalong houses a 60-meter-tall chedi that houses a splinter from the bones of the Buddha himself, making it a particularly revered attraction. The exterior of the temple is immaculate and beautiful, whilst inside the pagoda you can find paintings on the walls that depict the life of the Buddha, along with many golden statues all over the grounds.