I have been told that Thailand has become one of the favorite holiday destinations of young Dutch adults over the past decade. Not strange, because it is a very diverse country. From the overwhelming capital Bangkok to the tranquil underwater world of Koh Tao. From scootering through the verdant region of Pai to the night market in Chiang Mai. And from steaming crowds under the full moon to sleeping on an island that you have for yourself. I like to give some tips.

I was overwhelmed by this city! Ideal is to explore by bike, I went with Tom and Oan ABC Tours. I recommend to do a long tour, including lunch at a local restaurant. After an hour in the city, you will  cross the river on a longtail boat and go into the jungle. On elevated concrete paths of up to 1.5 meters wide, you bike through residential areas, which are in the middle of the jungle. I was in the middle of a tropical rain storm, which added even more difficulty keeping my balance on the trails. Especially after a few Singha’s.

If you want a special dinner night, go to Vertigo. A restaurant and bar on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel with a superb menu. I dined there in a romantic setting, an atmosphere that was reinforced by the insurgency in the city. The army had imposed a curfew from 10 pm, which caused a quiet Bangkok from the roof of the city. A very special experience.

Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand. The city covers a very vast area, you can easily drive from east to west four hours and still be in the city. This ensures that the center is relatively quiet and authentic. The biggest highlight of my stay in Thailand I experienced here, in the Elephant Nature Park. This is a park that is completely runned by volunteers and donations, and is engaged in the rescue and care of elephants. Accompanied  by staff – each elephant has its own mahout, an attendant – it’s possible to make a trek with a group of elephants. During the tour you will learn all about the animals and their backgrounds, you go play with them and wash them. A definite must do if you are in this city!

This hippie village is situated on a three hour bus ride from Chiang Mai. Take enough pills if you suffer from motion sickness, because it is an exciting ride with a lot of blind hairpin bends. Once in Pai, everything is relaxed. Grab a scooter and explore the region, there are beautiful waterfalls in the mountainous countryside. Want some more intensively to get started, then you can also go Thai boxing.

Koh Yao Yai
I finished my stay in Thailand on this island, which is relatively unknown. I slept in the Santhiya Resort, in a house with a private pool. These houses are all built on a hill, so you have beautiful views over the sea and plenty of privacy; ideal for honeymoons. Please note that there is nothing else on this island, so you’re always on the resort. It was an expensive stay, but in the nicest ‘hotel room’ I ever stayed.