Dreaming of Thailand and What I Want To Do there when I Visit Soon!

With the cold weather setting in Korea and my one year contract slowly winding down, I often catch myself daydreaming of the travels ahead. One of the countries that I am most excited about visiting is Thailand. Temples, spicy pad thais, and friendly sawadees. Thailand’s been a long time coming. I planned on heading there back in 2010 after my short stint in India, but alas the political protest taking place in Bangkok called for a change in plans. Not this time around. 2013 is going to be the year! Here are just a few of the little things that are pulling me to this country:

I'm Dreaming About Thailand Buddhist Sculptures
I’m Dreaming About Thailand Buddhist Sculptures

Loi Krathong – The Floating Lantern Festival

I was probably reading the National Geographic the first time I came across photographs of what I think is one of the most beautiful festivals in the world. During Loi Krathong thousands of rice paper lanterns are released in unison to light the evening sky with the idea that your misfortunes will fly away with them. Chiang Mai hosts the most elaborate celebrations of them all and it is my mission to be there in time for the event.

Street Food

Mmm, pad thai. My meal of choice! Thailand is going to be a culinary delight. I am looking forward to sampling Thai street food in the form of old favourites like green curries, papaya salads, fresh mangoes, and perhaps even braving my appetite for grilled critters and the infamous durian – the stinkiest fruit of them all.

Live in the jungle

Even better – feel like I’m living in the jungle with all the comforts of a modern apartment. And let’s throw a beach outside my door for good measure. You could say I am in search of my very own tropical paradise, and I hear Thailand is just the place to find it. I’ve already been flipping through Wimdu apartment rentals, and there are plenty of beach shacks vying for my attention.

Wat Rong Khun – The White Temple

The first time I saw pictures of this place, I couldn’t believe it was real. If the fairy tale of Snow White were set in Thailand, or more specifically Chiang Rai, I think Wat Rong Khun would be her home. The carvings are so intricate in photos, I can’t imagine what it will be like to see it up close. And this is just one of the hundreds of temples I’m wanting to see.

Full Moon Party

Neon body paint, fire spinners, drinks in beach buckets. The Full Moon Party is where it’s at! Kho Pha Ngan and I have a long overdue date which can best be described as lunar madness! Yes to glow sticks, no to fire jump rope – that just never ends well.

Sure, these may be the same reasons that draw people to Thailand time and time a gain, but I am looking forward to making these experiences my own regardless of how many times other people have ‘been there and done that’.

Thailand, I’ll be seeing you in a few more months!

If you are based in Thailand or familiar with the country, what do you recommend as your favourite spots?

Join the Conversation

29 Comments

  1. says: Ceri

    How exciting! 🙂 No wonder you’re looking forward to it. I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures when you go there. I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand. 🙂

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Ooo, well if you’re in that area sometime next year we may just be able to meet up. I hear Songkran is pure madness! 😉

  2. says: Shane

    Recoiling in slight horror at the idea of a full moon party suggests I may have left that a little too late but otherwise your ideas for what to do in Thailand chime pretty much with ours. We missed most of these things last time and I’m so looking forward to the food.

  3. says: Nomadic Translator @latinAbroad

    I’ve also been dreaming of Thailand (and Indonesia) for quite some time. AH! That photo of the lantern Festival is absolutely gorgeous. It must look at stunning in person. Can’t wait!

    – Maria Alexandra

  4. says: Jessica

    The Full Moon Party is a blast. We stayed off Haad Rin beach away from the party, so we were able to find the tropical paradise, as well as get covered in neon body paint. I highly recommend it!

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Thanks for the tip! It would make sense to get a place a bit further from the festivities to recover from all the madness that ensues. 😉

  5. says: leandra / adbenturera

    in a few months? awwww, wanna go too! but cannot yet… will wait for your posts then to tide me over until i get my chance next year…. i’m gonna accumulate leave days entitlement to be able to spend at least a month there, mashallah! 🙂

  6. says: Anja

    Wat Rong Khun is a place I really want to visit, I think it’s weird and fascinating.
    I really liked Chiang Mai, stayed there 2 weeks in 2002 and will visit it again soon.
    And Ko Tao, a beatiful island with a lot of divers, young people, beach parties and nice beach bars.

  7. says: Edna

    Ooh I’m excited for you! I definitely recommend Koh Lanta, as well as Ao Nang and Railay — we loved the latter so much, we’re currently planning our wedding there!

  8. Hooray for Thailand! I am so jealous you’re going to Loi Krathong – I have my best friend to blame for me missing that – how dare she get married?

    Don’t forget to visit Railay, as Edna suggests, for some rockclimbing action. I daresay it’s the most stunning place in Thailand. Enjoy!

  9. Where to begin, where to begin… Chiang Mai is definitely the right place to be for Loy Krathong, but make sure you book ahead! Also, the Yi Peng festival, which is like the beginning of Loy Krathong and where you see all the photos of thousands of lanterns, is the weekend before Loy Krathong starts…just fyi! Also…get your phad thai fix for sure BUT there’s so many other dishes that go way beyond phad thai or green curry, like khao soi –> http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/genywanderer/2012/06/27/khao-soi-quite-possibly-my-favorite-thai-dish/

  10. says: NomadTravels

    Thailand is way up my list. Be sure to post great pics of your experience when you arrive! I hope to catch the lantern festival sometime, but probably not for a few years.

    – Nomad

  11. says: Dee

    Full moon parties are… well a specific taste. I just love the beaches, friendliness and use of ease of Thailand. It’s western enough to be easy and asian enough to be exotic.

  12. You will love Thailand. I never made it to Chiang Rai, but I wish I had and checked out that temple. Another really cool place is Khao Yai National Park. Amazing wildlife and only a five hour bus ride from Bangkok.

  13. says: DebbZie

    I’ve been dreaming to experience the Floating Lantern Festival too !. It seems so beautiful and serene at the same time. Will you be there this year ?

  14. says: Eugene

    The FMP wasn’t on my to do list but Haad Rin is a great beach to catch some rays and have a swim. If you’re looking for a more chilled out spot on Koh Phangan check out Than Sadet on the East coast. We stayed at Mai Pen Rai bungalows which were cheap and right on the beach. Good food, great swimming and a friendly pig wandering the beach. It’s a bit of a drive but the owners will collect you from their tour shop near the ferry docks.

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Thanks for the tips on the accommodations. I’m sure those will come in handy! I do love a friendly pig wandering the beach, haha 😉

  15. says: Peggy

    I’ve got plane tickets booked for Bangkok in December! First time in the Land of Smiles, and cannot WAIT to stuff myself full of street food until I burst! My partner and I are divers, and if you are interested in the underwater world, definitely book a liveaboard to the Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock – both are on the Top 100 Dive Spots in the world!

  16. says: David @ That Gay Backpacker

    2013 is gonna be my Thailand time too, and I’m similarly excited. Hope to see you in the Land of Smiles (and £1.50 pints of beer, and ladyboys, and campery).

  17. says: Katie

    Chiang Mai was definitely my favorite place in Thailand. Great wildlife there. Koh Samui was also great, however, more for its beaches and to lay low. Bangkok was also a must see.

  18. says: Fern

    I’m Thai and I’d say I love Krabi’s beach the most, more specifically Koh Lipe. Quiet and beautiful beach full of foreigners.
    By living in Chiang Mai I’d also say Chiang Mai has great art and culture sides to explore.
    Have fun in Thailand! My first ever adventure will begin next February in Germany 🙂

  19. After years and years of going to Thailand, no matter where I am, I dream of going back. I have been all over the world and its always a place I dream about. The food, the people, the places, the feeling of the islands. I miss it all immediately once leaving. Nice post! Informative and so true!

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