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How to Make The Most Out of Your Epic Retreat (Trip) to Thailand 

Elephant Sanctuary Chiang Mai Thailand

Welcome to the land of smiles, where vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality await you. If you're planning your first international trip and seeking an unforgettable adventure, Thailand is the perfect destination. From bustling city streets to serene island getaways, Thailand offers a diverse array of experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. In this guide, we'll explore how to make the most of your trip to Thailand, including tips on travel, accommodation, and must-see attractions. So pack your bags, open your mind, and get ready to embark on an incredible journey through the Land of Smiles.

Save some money and fly through Bangkok. There are lots of things to do in the city and you’ll probably need a couple of days of rest and light activities when you arrive after your long international flight. So I recommend spending a couple of nights in Bangkok before you go to your next destination. Since you’re likely to be tired and hungry, Bangkok is a perfect destination offering hundreds of different options for hotels and an even bigger variety of cuisine. The nicest options in Bangkok are going to be on Airbnb. You can rent a luxury condo with a spectacular view for a lot less than you would think! 

While you’re in Bangkok, you don’t want to miss visiting the Floating Market and Ancient City (they’re right next to each other so you can take one taxi ride). I highly recommend using the Grab App when booking taxis to get the best and most accurate fare to where you’re going. You book through the app and then you have the option to pay for the trip in cash or through the app.

From Bangkok, the world is in your backyard since Bangkok Airport has non-stop passenger flights scheduled to 134 destinations in 51 countries. You can also fly to 14 different destinations in Thailand as well, and the flights within the country are extremely affordable.

Just like any country, there will be super extravagant places to stay that are way out of your budget. Thailand always has comfortable and affordable places everywhere. If you stay on the beach or have an upgraded view, expect to pay more, but there are budget-friendly places to stay on the islands as well. I’d recommend using the app or website for Hotels - they usually have the best prices and I always recommend checking the recent reviews.

If you’re really on a budget for travel and you want to see the islands, take a ferry. You can take a ferry from Bangkok to the beautiful island of Koh Tao (about $20), an island famous for its beautiful diving and snorkeling. It’s a long ferry ride, but it’ll come in about $100 cheaper than the flight.

Dream of visiting the White Temple and Blue Temple in Chiang Rai? Book a flight straight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai Airport! You can fly directly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai in the Northern province of Thailand. If you're already in the North, there are many options each day via bus or car. Here you can explore some of the most beautiful (and famous) temples in all of Thailand. If you’re going to Chiang Rai, you’ve got to go to these 4 places: 

The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) & The Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten)

The Black House (Baan Dam Museum) & The Goddess of Mercy (Wat Huay Pla Kang)

These are all spectacular sites and each has a different energy and vibe. You can do all of these in one day, and then the next day you can take a bus or car into Chiang Mai. It’s about 2.5 hours to travel from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai… as of October 2023, there were no direct flights available.

Spend lots of time in Chiang Mai. The prices are most affordable here, with accommodations galore for all different budgets. You can find a place to stay both short and long-term. If you’ve never been to Chiang Mai and you want to be in a great location, stay near the Thae Phae Gate. If you’re looking for a vegan establishment, there’s none better than Away Hotel Thae Phae Gate - it’s where I host my annual retreat to Chiang Mai. Our next Adventure & Yoga Retreat in Thailand is October 14-21, 2024. 

Chiang Mai is rich in culture, food, and most importantly excursions. Whether you’re into hiking, bird watching, elephant sanctuaries, eco-tourism, temples, mountains, and national parks, Chiang Mai and the surrounding province have everything that you could imagine. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to do, check it out, it’s probably available in Chiang Mai at a price that is too good to pass up.

Pamper yourself and enjoy the services that Thailand is famous for. If you’re not receiving daily foot massages, you’re not living. You can get an hour foot massage in Chiang Mai for 200 baht ($5.74). Thailand is famous for Thai Massage; in my opinion, it's the best healing art in the world. That’s why I’ve been studying and practicing Thai for 13 years and love to go to Thailand to fill up my cup and receive many treatments. You can go to a fancy spa for the day and it’ll cost you less than $50. Go hog wild and get a scrub, a facial, a full body massage, and a Thai massage, and you’ll still have a budget to do it all again tomorrow.

Thailand truly is a world of wonder, where every corner reveals something new and extraordinary. The warmth and friendliness of the Thai people will leave a lasting impression, making you feel at home wherever you go. And let's not forget about the food – from street vendors serving up mouthwatering delicacies to gourmet restaurants offering innovative cuisine, Thai food is a culinary adventure like no other.

Chiang Rai Clocktower

But Thailand is more than just a destination; it's a gateway to the world of exploration and discovery. Whether you're immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of ancient temples, diving into the crystal-clear waters of tropical islands, or trekking through lush jungles, Thailand offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.

So, if you're ready to experience the magic of Thailand for yourself, pack your bags and embark on a journey of a lifetime. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the tranquil beaches of Phuket, Thailand is waiting to welcome you home with open arms. Come and discover why this enchanting country captures the hearts of travelers from around the globe. Your next great adventure awaits in the Land of Smiles.


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