10 Destinations to visit in Thailand (Part 1)

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With a lot of white beaches, tropical jungles and fascinating cultural sights, Thailand remains one of the most intriguing countries in the world. Here is a list of the most beautiful places in the country you should visit.

>>  10 Destinations to visit in Thailand (Part 2)

Pai

Located about 100 kilometers from Thailand’s biggest northern city, Chiang Mai, Pai is arguably one of the most magical villages in the country and is especially popular with backpackers. With its relaxed atmosphere, cheap accommodation and numerous spas, there’s hardly a better refuge than the mountainous area of Pai. A range of waterfalls and hot springs in the surrounding area are just waiting to be discovered. What better way to do so than going on a trekking tour or bike trip along the curvy roads? The culture retains strong Burmese influences and many hill tribe people continue to live in small mountain villages close to Pai. Apart from offering some of the best vegetarian and traditional food around, Pai is also a popular destination for fans of yoga and meditation, with numerous retreats and schools. Albeit increasingly popular with tourists, Pai retains its magical essence and offers secluded spots in which visitor can experience their journey to its fullest.

Koh Tao via aiaikawa

Koh Tao

While ranking among the more touristy islands, Koh Tao still offers one of the most relaxed and dazzling settings in the country. While many travelers make their way to the bigger neighboring islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Koh Tao attracts numerous divers and visitors looking for a more tranquil ambiance. You can hardly find a more beautiful scenery than the spotless white shores and magnificent, turquoise waters around the island. If that weren’t enough, the color palette of the island’s sunsets can’t be described in words. Due to the easy accessibility of diving sites and the marvelous, diverse underwater world, Koh Tao is one of the best places to plunge yourself into the warm waters for snorkeling or to acquire your diving license. Hikers can explore the coastal jungles and marvel at the beauty of Koh Tao. End your evening here by enjoying the catch of the day alongside a fruity cocktail.

Koh Jum

Koh Jum is one of the last secluded islands in the country and is conveniently situated between Krabi and Ko Lanta Yai. The laid-back atmosphere of this place, which is home to no more than 3000 people, will make it hard for anyone to leave its shores. Surrounded by the dazzling blue waters of the ocean, the island’s shores are mostly rocky but a handful of beaches offer spots for sunbathing and a splash. Koh Jum only houses a handful of bars and restaurants and the ambiance generally tends to be more low-key. For those looking to get off the touristy, beaten track, this place provides a welcome respite and immediately enchants any visitors that touchdown on its shores with its tranquil atmosphere and friendly population. The starlight nights and nothing but the sound of the waves will fulfill all nature lovers.

Koh Jum via Piman Pu Villa

Ayutthaya

Located about 50 kilometers from Thailand’s bustling capital, Bangkok, lies Ayutthaya, once considered the world’s most impressive city. The ruins of the ancient site have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and can be marveled at in their full glory. Ayutthaya itself was erected upon an island between the Chao Phraya, Pa Sak And Lopburi Rivers. The kingdom of Ayutthaya retained importance throughout the region for 417 years and reached its military, cultural and financial height in the course of the 16th century. Once serving as the capital of the Thai empire, the city was home to more than 400 temples and other architectural masterpieces. It was finally conquered and destroyed by Burmese invaders in 1767. Due to relentless efforts, the remnants have been largely restored and give visitors an insight into its former grandeur and beauty.

(to be continued)

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