Most Popular Cities in Thailand

Thailand is a melting pot of culture, adventure, delicious food, beautiful landscapes, and everything else you may want in a country as diverse as it is exciting. The country is made up of many different provinces and cities, each offering their own unique taste of Thai culture.

Whether you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of a major city or maybe the more laid back lifestyle in one of the smaller hubs, all day and all night fun or a day spent at the beach, Thailand has a city for everyone.

Bangkok

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and the most popular city in the whole country. The huge population makes this a city that doesn’t sleep, but the adventures it has to offer are endless. Temples, markets, street food, clubs: there is something to do every minute of the day.

bangkok-thailand

Amongst the many beautiful temples and shrines located all across the city, Bangkok has many parks and green areas that are the perfect place to stop and take in your surroundings.

Bangkok is home to many street markets. These enormous markets have absolutely everything you heart desires. There are many food stalls, clothing shops, jewelry stores, and almost everything else you could think of, plus many surprises.

Bangkok is also home to the Grand Palace, and the world famous temple, Wat Pho. The Grand Palace is the home of Thai Royalty and a tour of the grounds and complex is a must. Wat Pho is a massive Buddhist complex that houses the incredible Reclining Buddha.

Bangkok is also the location to some Muay Thai stadiums. Thousands of locals and tourists flock to the stadium to cheer and watch this ancient and very culturally important martial art. Many foreign fighters also have their matches here.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is one of the main cities in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is home to over 300 Buddhist temples, as well as the most popular Thai New Year celebration, where people from across the country gather to ring in the new year.

chiang-mai-thailand

Chiang Mai is also full of culture. With 5 museums to explore, you can discover a lot of the history of the old city as well as the beginning of Chiang Mai and its place in Thai history and how it shaped the area and people around it.

Pattaya

Pattaya, located on the Gulf of Thailand, is about 160km south of the capital city, Bangkok. Known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, bustling nightlife, as well as the famous Walking Street Market.

pattaya-thailand

On the coast, there are two main beaches that are massive attractions for locals and tourists alike. Pattaya Beach runs parallel to the city center, crossing in front of many markets, restaurants, and bars.

Off the coast of Pattaya, there are near and far islands that you can travel to and around. The near islands are Ko Lan, Ko Sak, and Ko Krok, which are all within 7 kilometers of the beach.

The far islands, Ko Phai, Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hu Chang and Ko Klung Badan, are located further west of the near islands. Once again, these islesare accessible and should definitely be on your must-see list.

Other than the beautiful beaches, Pattaya is known for its nightlife. The Walking Street in Pattaya is one of the most infamous spots in Thailand, but still a must for travelers. The many bars, restaurants and stalls ensure a night of fun and exploration.

Ko Samui

Ko Samui is one of the main beach cities in Thailand. The island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, and is a buzzing metropolis all year round. The warm weather also makes every day a beach day on this tropical paradise.

ko-samui-thailand

In recent years, the tourism industry on Ko Samui has grown enormously, meaning the building of resorts, hotels and bungalows has seen a massive rise, meaning finding somewhere to stay is never hard.

There are many events and festivals that get held in around the city, namely the Buffalo Fighting Festival, which is an almost completely harmless duel between buffaloes, and the Ten Stars Samui Art Party, which brings art and artists from across the country in a massive cultural celebration.

Nakhon Ratchasima

Nakhon Ratchasima is located in central Thailand. It is home to a very large retail sector and is most definitely one of the main shopping hubs of Thailand, possibly even bigger than Bangkok.

nakhon-ratchasima-thailand

The city is also home to the 80th Birthday Stadium. This football stadium is home to Nakhon Ratchasima FC, a football team that plays in Thailand’s Premier Football league.

The city isn’t on every tourist’s list of sites to see when in Thailand, but the city and its surrounds are incredibly beautiful and should not be missed, even if you are just planning on driving through.

Summary

Thailand is one of the most vibrant and exciting countries in the world,with a long and deep history, many religious monuments and temples, beautiful beaches that stretch for as long as the eye can see, and day and night activities that are non-stop.

Thailand is particularly enjoyable for foreign travelers as the exchange rate is usually always in the favour of visitors, making Thailand an incredibly cheap place to have a holiday. Everything from the hotels to the novelty items are all very affordable.

Each city has a unique identity and their own festivals, traditions, food, and culture. In a perfect world, you would be able to spend time in each and every one of them discovering all the unique intricacies that make them special but visiting just a few on this guide will make for an amazing trip.

The Top 5 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Coffee Bay

If you are looking to escape the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the city life, Coffee Bay Eastern Cape (also known as ‘Koffiebaai’) might be exactly what you are looking for. Situated in the heart of South Africa’s Wild Coast, it is a true diamond in the rough. It offers unspoiled beaches, various cattle roaming free, vast green fields dotted by colorful huts and rocky cliffs with breathtaking views of the ocean.

coffee-bay-south-africa

It is the ‘laid back’ traveler’s dream with a relaxed and carefree atmosphere pervading every corner of the small and rural village. The locals are welcoming and friendly, creating an authentically African ‘home-away-from-home’ feeling among newcomers.

So, are you keen to visit Coffee Bay in all its rustic glory? Before you embark on your journey, here are the top 5 things you need to know about Coffee Bay:

1.  How it got its name…

You might wonder why a place that does not grow any coffee was named after the ‘jitter-juice’. Well, it turns out that coffee did actually contribute to the name.

coffee-beans

According to the locals, a cargo ship containing coffee beans was wrecked along the Wild Coast and the coffee beans supposedly washed out on the shores, which led to a few coffee trees starting to grow. Unfortunately, the conditions were not suitable for them to survive, but the name surely did!

2.  Distance From East London to Coffee Bay…

East London and Coffee Bay are separated by a 288 km stretch of tarred road, which takes around 4 hours travelling by car – bearing in mind the prominent potholes and animals crossing the road along the way. Therefore driving at night time can be quite dangerous and is definitely not recommended.

3.  Where To Stay…

From lodges to campsites and backpackers, Coffee Bay offers a handful of rustic accommodation to choose from, catering to a range of budgets and comfort preferences. Here are a few recommendations:

Coffee Shack, Coffee Bay

For those on a tight budget – it is the most popular backpacker and known as ‘the place to party’. Decorated with rustic wooden finishes, as well as colorful furniture and props, Coffee Shack backpackers offers a vibey bar, restaurant with good food, a laid-back communal area along with a fire pit creating a cosy space to mingle and strike up a conversation with the friendly staff and travelers from different places.

There are dorm rooms as well as private rooms to choose from, all fairly comfortable and at very affordable prices. They also offer cheap surf lessons for all guests – a great way to explore the warm waters and decent waves!

Gecko’s B&B

Rated as the top place to stay in Coffee Bay on Tripadvisor, this beautiful B&B is run by husband and wife Rodger and Leoni. They immerse themselves in their business, offering guests a welcoming and memorable experience and great value for money. Gecko’s B&B is situated in a tropical garden setting, perfect for friends and families to enjoy the peace and tranquility.

The rooms are private, en-suite and tastefully decorated with historic and vintage furniture, giving it a very warm and ‘snug’ feel. Full breakfast included: from fresh fruits, cereals and yogurt to bacon and eggs –  you can be sure to start the day on a jam-packed stomach!

Raptors View Bush Lodge

Nuzzled in the mountain between Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall, Raptors View Bush Lodge provides visitors with a tranquil, secluded and true African experience.

Here you guaranteed entertainment as they have a games room, pool table, DSTV and a fully licensed bar. They really do offer you the full package: from affordable accommodation, panoramic sea views, local guides and safe swimming beaches.

There are two fully equipped self-catering cottages as well as a campsite which has electricity and a communal kitchen containing a fridge, gas burner, kettle and toaster. All you have to bring is your tent and sleeping bag!

 4.  Things to Do in Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay is a dream destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers offering a variety of activities including scenic hikes, cliff jumps, kayaking on the river or simply lazing around the vast and unspoiled beaches. The must do’s are:

Coffee Bay Hole in The Wall Hike

Known as one of the most famous landmarks of Coffee Bay, exploring this natural phenomenon is a no-brainer. Hole in The Wall is a big hole in a cliff that stretches over the ocean and where the Mapako River passes through. It is about a 3-hour moderate hike from Coffee Bay, showing off the beautiful landscape of the Wild Coast.

hole-in-the-wall

Pack your picnic bags and, after the hike, spend the day relaxing on the rocks alongside the ocean. Alternatively, you can enjoy an authentic Xhosa lunch at the Chief’s house for a more cultural experience.

Explore the Mapuzi Caves

If you get a kick out of jumping off cliffs, crawling through caves and discovering secret pools, then this one is definitely for you! Enjoy the scenic views on the Mapuzi Cliff edge pathway towards the Bat Cave, bathe in the crystal pools, and get your adrenaline going with some amazing cliff jumps (up to 14m) into the Mapuzi River.

cliff-jump-mapuzi

Mapuzi offers adventure, history and hidden gems. As it is only a short distance from Coffee Bay, there’s no good reason not to explore it.

A Day Trip to Mdumbi

Ocean lovers are in luck as  Mdumbi has been voted as one of South Africa’s most beautiful beaches and is a popular fishing, kayaking and surf spot. About an hour drive from Coffee Bay, Mdumbi consists of lush green hills, Milkwood trees, flat beaches and the Mdumbi River Mouth with fish for days!

kayaking-mdumbi

It is a perfect way to spend a day in a unique and a secluded setting – untouched perfection at its best.

5.  Coffee Bay Weather…

The Transkei weather is favorable throughout the entire year, yet ‘favorable’ is a relative term. You might be looking to avoid large crowds and flocks of tourists, or may appreciate sharing your experience with new friends made on your travels. Here is a breakdown of the different seasons, to help you make your choice:

January-March

Known as the hottest time of year with temperatures up to 36℃ (96,8℉) would make you want to run to the nearest bar to down a cold beer. This is a fantastic time to cool off in the ocean, however  more weather-sensitive tourists may suffer in the extreme heat and high humidity. Therefore not too many crowds.

April-July

This time of year fits the bill just right. Fantastic weather for all, with the average temperature usually between 21 and 28℃ (82,4℉). The famous Sardine Run also happens around June which makes it an ideal time for scuba divers and fishermen to visit.

August-November

A slightly cooler time to visit with the average humidity being 69% and the average temperature around 18℃ (64,4℉). It is probably the most quiet time of year for those looking to exclusively soak up the scenery in a small group.

December

This is the tourist high season with great weather at 28 to 31℃ (82 to 87℉). This time of year is perfect for outdoor activities and with relatively low humidity, it is the most popular time to explore Coffee Bay.

Summary

Coffee Bay is definitely one of the most authentic and exciting places to visit in South Africa with a deeply rooted culture and spectacular surroundings that are well-worth exploring.

So, now that you are all prepped, head over to Coffee Bay and experience this amazing little corner of the Eastern Cape for yourself!

Things To Do In Hallstatt, Austria (For the Winter & Summer)

For anyone looking to discover some of the most beautiful spots in Austria, learn (and look at) some salty Austrian history, explore some exciting slopes and hikes, or just wonder beautiful little village streets – Then you will fall in love with this one.

Hallstatt has gotten its place on UNESCO World Heritage list because of the beautiful scenery. The Austrian Alps and the lake surrounding this tiny village really makes it look like a scene from a fairy-tale.

The sleepy town has stolen many hearts, most notably in China, were an exact replica stands. Nowadays, even beautifully quaint Austrian villages are ‘made in China’.

If you plan on visiting Hallstatt and its Austrian attractions in the near future, or even just have the town on your bucket list – then this summary of the top things to do in Hallstatt in Summer and Winter is for you!

Lake Gosau Austria

austria-lake

The picturesque views definitely draw visitors to the lakeside town of Hallstatt, however once standing at the photo-end of this magical little village, it is definitely the backdrop of the Dachstein Glacier that rises behind the mountain lake which helps cement Lake Gosau in as one of the top travel destinations in the Salzkammergut.

Throughout the year – yes even in winter (if you are brave) – special boat tours of the Hallstatt lake region will feed your curiosity and give you some insight into the power of water this lake holds.

 

Hallstatt Austria Summer


austria-summer-lake-gosau

So, it’s summer time in Austria, it’s warm with temperatures around 25℃, and the lake is looking rather inviting. But with limited time in Hallstatt, where should you start.

What’s on your list of must-see sights and and must-do activities?

It doesn’t really matter if you are planning a day trip or staying over – here are a few of the things I recommend should be at the top of your list:

Hallstatt Salt Mine

With a total of 60 percent salt content, 21 tiers (levels), 65 km of tunnels (22.5 km of which can be used to venture deep down into the core of the mine), the technical details of Hallstatt Salt Mine are impressive all on their own.

The tour is not easily forgotten and starts with a guided tour of the mine (you can also use their free wifi to download your own mobile guide – for all languages!)

Magical light shows that are projected before your eyes in order to share the rich history of the salt mine in a truly unique way – you will be constantly captivated.

This tour will cost you around € 9,00 (one way to the top) or € 30,00 (for an all inclusive experience).

Besides the hilariously fashionable overalls you wear to protect your clothes from the salt inside the mine – one of my favourite experiences inside the mine was definitely the slides (yes, as in playground style!).

You will literally slide down into the deeper levels of the mine.

slide-hallstatt-salt-mine

Another one of the great Hallstatt Austria attractions? The mine is also home to one of the oldest staircases in the world.

Before heading back down the cable car, don’t forget to checkout the Hallstatt Skywalk. 360 meters above the rooftops of Hallstatt and a 12 meter walk out to the point, this is a fantastic photo opportunity.

Hallstatt Austria Hiking: (Glacier Garden and Panorama Trail)

Hallstatt is home to many hiking trails – most of them are fairly easy to find as there are signs that point you in the right direction. There are, however, some hikes which are off the beaten track. These trails, usually overlooked by travelers, are definitely worth discovering.

flowing-river-trees

A perfect example of such a trail is the unique Glacier Garden at the end of Echern Valley in Hallstatt. This amazing and fairly gradual hike will take your through romantic forests and along soft streams. Set aside about 2-3 hours for this one.

Another fantastic hike is the Panorama trail. This hike starts just behind the cemetery at the Catholic church, and continues a few steps up onto a forest road. From here you will have a wonderful view of the captivating village and the Evangelical church’s very famous tower.

Waldbachstrub Waterfall

Happiness is everywhere in the magical region of Hallstatt, especially in and around the spectacular Waldbachstrub Waterfall.

Masses of water plunge over the edge of a 90m high gorge, roaring thunderously to the Glücksplatz, which literally means place of happiness. Locals and tourists alike refer to this spot as one of the most energizing and unique spots to be explored (by foot, obviously) in Hallstatt.

Rent a boat for the summer

Renting a boat in Hallstatt is a must-do for anybody visiting in the summertime – what an amazing way to admire Hallstatt from the water. Most places along the Hallstatt lake will allow you to take your own drinks with you too, making it a great way to float back and relax.

paddle-lake-hallstatt

An added bonus is that most places will allow you to pay (price varies depending on the boat you choose to rent) when you return, allowing you to really just take everything in and relax.

Swan paddle boats are also an exciting and fun way to explore the lake.

Paddling around in a giant floating swan makes for yet another uniquely Hallstatt photo opportunity.

hire-boat-austria

 

Hallstatt Winter

Naturally, you do miss out on some things in Hallstatt by going in the winter.

That shouldn’t make you cold though – there are so many beauties to be seen in this magical winter wonderland that – yes – only winter can bring about!

The pure white snow perfectly covers the wooden roofs of the little houses. The mountains surround the crisp, glassy lake and the icicles that hang from literally anything (and everything).

Hallstatt in winter is definitely still worth it – and there is no shortage of things to do in Hallstatt in the winter.

lake-hallstatt-winter

Altaussee Salt Mine

Altaussee Salt Mine is an absolute must see during winter, and is the oldest salt mine in the world. Unlike the sat mine in Hallstatt, which is closed during most of the winter, Altaussee  is about 20 out of the city.

Three Happiness Alpine (Seehotel Grüner Baum Hotel)

Giving travelers three main reasons to smile, Seehotel Grüner Baum is a trifecta of happiness. The hotel is located in the best spot in town – right in the center of everything. The traditional interior of the hotel is unique, and the rooms are sure to satisfy a travelers need for comfort (and warmth).

see-hotel-austria

There is also a restaurant with stunning lake views where you can enjoy some steamy hot chocolate or coffee – whatever your heart fancies.

Then why not head down to the hotels steam room and sauna – winter has never been this cozy.

hotel-sauna-austria

Obertraun Austria

Just 5km from Hallstatt, lies Obertraun, and the very popular Free Ride Arena Krippenstein. This is one of the longest free ski spots in Austria.

The Freesports Arena Krippenstein at the Lake Hallstatt is something for the thrill seekers – whether on skis or boards. The various slopes on offer are sure to get your blood racing.

snowboard-hallstatt-austria

 

In Summary

Be it the summer or the winter – Hallstatt is beautiful and exciting all year round, no matter the season.

Snowy, white Winters may limit you in terms of activities, but it makes up for it with beautiful white backdrops, cozy hideaways and fewer crowds. Summer can become extremely busy.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what time of the year you are planning to visit this beautiful village of Hallstatt. As an all-year round destination, I guarantee it will be a trip to remember.

viewpoint-salt-mine-hallstatt

Best Island to Visit in September

So, you’ve made it past the half-year mark and you’re needing a break before the busy December rush, but you’re not sure where to go? We’ve got you covered. We searched for the ultimate island holiday for those going on a September break and came up with more than we bargained for.

Whether you are looking for a tropical island, an African island or one of the picturesque pieces of land just off the Greek coast, we have checked them all out, rated their enjoyability and put it here for you to decide which is the best for you.

seashell-on-beach

Places to Go in September – How to Pick Them

September can be the perfect time to travel, above the equator, Summer is on her way out and so the temperatures cool just enough to be enjoyable but not so much so that your island getaway is ruined. Meanwhile, further South, most of Winter’s blues have left and Spring starts with blooming flowers and warmer conditions. There are some fantastic islands available to spend your holiday with sun, sea and sand.

When you are looking at an island to visit, you should remember to take into consideration the rainy season. Luckily, most heavy rains don’t start until November/December, so you are still guaranteed a mostly sunny vacation. Some islands, though, do experience their rainy season during September. Unless you are looking for a tropical paradise to spend inside, as you watch the rain and read a book by the fire, those places would be best to avoid. If you are looking for just that type of holiday, there is an entirely different list of destinations for you, we are sure.

island-cocktails

Best Place to Visit in September – According to The Weather, Cost and Crowds

The other great thing about vacationing in September is that it is mostly out of peak holiday times. All the summer travellers will have left, schools are back, and it’s not yet that crazy festive season, so you are likely to find affordable prices and relatively minimal queues and crowds. There are many places that you can find that are all-but hibernating during this time, so you could really find a peaceful paradise holiday.

 

Best Beach Vacations in September

Grab your beach towels, your sunglasses, a cold drink, and head to one of these picturesque beach holiday spots. With mostly sunny days, soft, clean sand and the clearest waters, you are guaranteed a delightful holiday at any of these beach destinations. Don’t forget the sunscreen, you don’t want lobster skin ruining your holiday photos.

malta-sunset

Malta

While September brings a rise in humidity to Malta, this fantastic island is still worth the heat. With so much to do, in such magnificent scenery, you will quickly forget how hot and humid it is. If the humidity does bug you, though, there is always the option to cool down in the refreshing sea water. Scuba-diving and snorkelling are great at this time of the year.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 28°C / 82°F

Nighttime low: 25°C / 77°F

Hours of Sunshine

9 hours daily

Rainfall

Medium (67mm)

Relative Humidity

Medium (52%)

hawaii-beach

Hawaii

The great thing about visiting Hawaii in September is that you have more than one island available to visit. The weather is very summerlike on the islands during this month; in fact, it’s known to be one of the hottest months of the year.

The crystal-clear seas will look very inviting around this time and a cool off at the beach is a fantastic way to spend any vacation. September is not a busy month in Hawaii, which means fewer travellers to share your piece of paradise with, and it also means that it is more affordable for those of us who don’t usually have Hawaii in our getaway budgets.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 29°C / 84°F

Nighttime low: 24°C / 75°F

Hours of Sunshine

10 hours daily

Rainfall

Medium (61mm)

Relative Humidity

High (70%)

 

Best Tropical Places to Travel in September

There is nothing like a break away from your hectic schedule in a tropical paradise. For some tropical islands, September is the rainiest month, so as we mentioned, you want to try and avoid those if you are looking forward to endless days in the sun. Never fear though, we have found a couple of ideal tropical islands for you to visit in September.

zanzibar-beach-hut

Zanzibar

September is an amazing time in Zanzibar. The island is situated just off the coast of Tanzania, and it enjoys the fabulous weather found below the equator. From old historic towns, to calm, relaxing beaches, as well as a vibrant nightlife, Zanzibar has something for everyone.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 27°C / 81°F

Nighttime low: 22°C / 72°F

Hours of Sunshine

10 hours daily

Rainfall

Medium (50mm)

Relative Humidity

Medium (56%)

ibiza-yacht

Ibiza

Looking for a party, day and night? Ibiza is your island. Known throughout the world for its lively nightlife and splendid coastline, this island should be on every traveller’s bucket list. It’s not just for the party-goers, there is also a selection of peaceful resorts and beach coves for those who prefer a more serene vibe.

September brings thunderstorms to Ibiza, with chances increasing towards the later days of the month. The rain is usually spread across 8 days in September, so while you are likely to experience some wet weather while you are visiting, it is not likely to disturb your getaway too much.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 28°C / 82°F

Nighttime low: 20°C / 68°F

Hours of Sunshine

10 hours daily

Rainfall

Low (30mm)

Relative Humidity

High (73%)

 

More of The Best Places to Travel in September

While the islands that we have mentioned so far are fantastic, we have even more options for you.

santorini-coastline

Santorini

Santorini offers a rugged, yet romantic island holiday. The busiest times are July and August, so going in September allows you to enjoy the island with others, but not feel too crowded. You will find the perfect combination of warm weather and tranquil beaches.

There is not much rainfall during the month of September, and summer is just leaving, which means dry and warm, perfect holiday weather. The island is especially dry during the beginning of September and rainfall starts to increase as you near the end of the month.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 24°C / 74°F

Nighttime low: 26°C / 79°F

Hours of Sunshine

11 hours daily

Rainfall

Low (11mm)

Relative Humidity

Medium (56%)

corfu-beach-tourists

Corfu

An island off the coast of Greece, Corfu is perfect for anyone looking for a stunningly warm and culturally-rich holiday. With long days full of sun, and cooler nights, this island offers a magnificent escape. September is a dry month, considering, and any rain showers or thunderstorms that do visit during your stay will not affect your sun-tanning for very long.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 28°C / 82.4°F

Nighttime low: 16°C / 60.8°F

Hours of Sunshine

12 hours daily

Rainfall

Medium (88mm)

Relative Humidity

Medium (64%)

 

Best Caribbean Islands to Visit in September

Lots of people shy away from travelling to the Caribbean during this time of the year. This is believed to be caused mainly by the risk of hurricanes, although the chances are not as high as most would think. There is also the factor of children being back at school, and so this decreases the chances of a family holiday.

For this reason, many resorts and restaurants will close for renovations and to let their staff rejuvenate in time for the busy Christmas period. But, if you are looking for a child-free Caribbean holiday with low prices and still-warm weather, then this is the perfect time to enjoy these islands.

antigua-coastline-trees

Antigua

This is the driest of the islands, so even though it is the rainy season, you are sure to get in some good quality sunny days. The island still has many options available for September when looking for accommodation, dining and activities. In the last 50 years, there have only been six hurricanes which have directly hit the island, so the chances of one hitting while you are there are slim to none.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 30°C / 86°F

Nighttime low: 25°C / 77°F

Hours of Sunshine

9 hours daily

Rainfall

Medium (87mm)

Relative Humidity

Medium (61%)

barbados-big-rock

Barbados

This is one of the islands in the Caribbean that is generally unaffected or at least minimally affected, by hurricanes. Most hurricanes tend to hit further North of the island.

While the rains come often and are quite heavy showers, they usually do not last very long and before you know it, the sun is out again. There is an unlikely chance to run into huge crowds of tourists during this time, and so you can enjoy this piece of paradise without too much interruption.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 31°C / 88°F

Nighttime low: 25°C / 77°F

Hours of Sunshine

8 hours daily

Rainfall

High (158mm)

Relative Humidity

Medium (81%)

 

The Absolute Best Island Holiday in September

It was not an easy task, but we have managed to pick the ultimate island vacation for you in September. Perfect weather, minimal crowds, reasonable rates, and a relaxing vacation await you.

tenerife-sunset-over-sea

Tenerife, Canary Islands

This may be a surprising choice but wait until you hear just how much Tenerife has to offer you in September. The peak season finishes off in August, so you are sure to find the perfect amount of peace and quiet throughout the island.

Since it is no longer peak season, prices are also lower, making this a more affordable trip. Most importantly, though, the weather is amazing. September is a particularly dry month, so you don’t have to worry too much about rain ruining your beach day.

Temperatures in September average in the 20s, and there is a very slim chance of storms and hurricanes. However, there is a risk of extremely high temperatures at times, during which you will need to keep yourself cool, but that’s what the water, aircon and cocktails are for.

Weather

Average Temperature

Daytime high: 27°C / 81°F

Nighttime low: 20°C / 68°F

Hours of Sunshine

7 hours daily

Rainfall

Low (9mm)

Relative Humidity

High (70%)

vacation-girl-island

So, for those of you who were contemplating whether you should take your island holiday in September, we are sure that we now have convinced you. If you are still not confident, though, just scroll back up and have another look at those amazing destinations.

As with any island holiday, during any time, remember to pack lots of sunscreen and bug spray, and of course, your cutest swimsuit. Also remember, some good holiday reading and your island playlist to complete the ultimate escape from everyday life.

Best Luxury Game Resorts in Africa

The word ‘safari’ specifically describes an expedition in Africa, aimed at experiencing wildlife in its natural habitat. The other six continents simply cannot match Africa in terms of big game, and therefore, are unable to host a true safari. From the Big Five, to the infamous hippopotamus, the sheer volume and variety of big game on show in Africa is insurmountable.

These fascinating creatures have a breathtakingly beautiful home. Vast tropical grasslands stretch as far as the eye can see, with the sparsely dispersed trees looking lonely. The famous African sunset is the perfect end to each day, seemingly bigger than anywhere else on earth – its gentle, orange glow a sight to behold.

Besides beautiful scenery, pristine natural beauty and boundless wildlife, Africa is also a culturally rich and diverse continent. African people are proud of their heritage and have, throughout history, refused to abandon their roots.

Modern day African societies, such as South Africa, are clearly influenced by local traditions. South African culture, cuisine, norms, aesthetics, and even laws are partly guided by Zulu and Xhosa traditions. Furthermore, as with many African countries, it is a cultural melting pot, with mainly Dutch, English, Malay and Indian cultural influences helping to define it.

Safaris have changed a great deal in the past couple of decades. Years ago, a safari meant a stay in a colonial-looking building, feeling like David Livingston with a variety of taxidermied goods hanging above your head. Today the market is more diverse, with Livingston-esque options as well as serene eco-lodges, and luxury tented camps. Many of today’s options offer extreme luxury, while incorporating traditionally authentic African aesthetics.

Head out for a full day’s worth of exhilarating exploration, then come back to delectable gourmet dishes and ultimate luxury. You will be completely taken care of and treated like royalty, all in between a variety of memorable expeditions into the natural world. You are spoilt for choice with game drives, hot air balloon rides and ancient rock art tours all in arms reach.

Best Luxury Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe – Matetsi River Lodge

This award-winning safari lodge and luxury villa is our favourite African safari lodge. A perfect all-round safari lodge, located on the banks of the stunningly beautiful Zambezi River, with a range of elegantly luxurious accommodation options, and offering a wide range of exciting activities.

The safari lodge is located on its own 55 thousand hectare private game reserve, which includes a 15 km stretch of the mighty Zambezi River. This ever-flowing body of water attracts many big game species, who regularly walk right past the front of the lodge – most commonly, elephant and buffalo. Furthermore, situated just 40 km from Victoria Falls, the lodge is centrally located near the area’s many attractions.

Using many natural materials, Matestsi elegantly accentuates its serene natural surroundings, while also managing to incorporate traditional local aesthetics. The swimming pool and bar that overlook the river are a memorable highlight, especially as you stand a chance of witnessing a member of the Big Five take a drink.

With a variety of room options, One must decide between a luxury suite, family suite, or the enchanting private villa. Although you have a tough decision on your hands, you are in for a treat either way. Each room offers extreme luxury, privacy, and a stunning view ensuring you wake up feeling fully immersed in the great Zimbabwean bush.

Besides the beautiful swimming pool and bar, Matetsi also has an impressively stocked wine cellar and spa. The wine cellar pairs carefully chosen vintages with delectable tapas dishes, while the spa offers treatments inspired by traditional African healers. Would a traditional foot cleansing ritual or rain stick therapy interest you?

With regards to game viewing, Matetsi’s professional safari guides combine local knowledge with internationally recognised training to maximise your time in the bush. Offering tours by boat, foot, or motor vehicle, the guides are extremely informative and entertaining. Smiles are a guarantee.

Furthermore, besides game viewing, the lodge offers a host of exciting activities and tours. A day trip to Victoria Falls can include visiting Livingston island, swimming in Devil’s Pool, and a helicopter ride to see ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ from above.

On the other hand, on can spend your day on the Zambezi river. This serene stretch of water is a splendid place for tigerfishing, canoeing, river rafting, as well as motorised sunset boat cruises – all of which can be organised by Matetsi

Best Safari Lodges In South Africa

Best 5 Star Lodge in Kruger National Park

Royal Malewane

A traditional styled safari lodge, with colonially inspired aesthetics emphasising five-star luxury, personally tailored service and privacy. This means large spacious rooms with panoramic forest views, as well as dinner prepared by an award-winning chef. Of course, this is served alongside the finest crystal, china, and silver.

On-site, you will find a beautiful swimming pool, multiple restaurants, a gym, and one of South Africa’s premium spa facilities. The internationally recognised therapist provides world-class treatments, while the building accentuates the surrounding natural beauty, helping you relax.

The luxury game lodge is located in a private game reserve, adjacent to the great Kruger National Park, which spans just under twenty thousand square kilometers. As part of the greater Kruger Park territory, the reserve is densely populated with a variety of big game species, including the Big Five.

With a 20% staff to guest ratio, Royal Malewane is perfectly equipped to provide personalised service to cater for your every need or desire. With private chefs, game rangers, and butlers available, you can completely relax with all of your needs and desires taken care of.

Best Game Reserve Near Cape Town

Bushmans Kloof

Bushmans Kloof is nestled deep in the ancient Cederberg Mountain Range. Just over 250 km outside of Cape Town, it is much further South than most South African game reserves, which are generally situated in the Kruger National Park near the country’s Northern border.

This Southern location means a completely different ecosystem. The never-ending grasslands found in the Kruger National Park are replaced by fynbos, a colorful kind of shrubbery. Fynbos is unique to the Western Cape, a South African province boasting the world’s highest biodiversity levels. Fynbos is most famous for its beautifully bright colours and incredible diversity.

Besides breathtakingly beautiful flora, Bushmans Kloof is also home to more than 35 mammal and 150 bird species. Leopards are the biggest species of game around, with the rest of the Big Five found further North. However, this is no issue, as the Cederberg’s dramatic mountainous terrain, and unforgettable scenery more than compensate for the lack of lion.

Furthermore, over 125 examples of ancient bush and rock art have contributed to the reserve being named a South African National Heritage site. With some works dating back more than 10 thousand years, these are some of the oldest artworks known to man.

The lodge itself is a fine example of extreme luxury seamlessly blending in with the surrounding scenery. Using mostly natural materials, it is nestled amongst a botanical garden, overlooking the Cederberg’s serene natural beauty.

All accommodation is positioned carefully to ensure beautifully scenic views and privacy. Whether you wake up in one of the lodge’s 16 suites, or the private villa, you will have your very own piece of the Cederberg to cherish.

A highlight of any trip to Bushmans Kloof trip must be the amazing outdoor dining experience. Enjoy a delicious meal under the milky way. Wine connoisseurs will be particularly impressed with the lodge’s wine selection. The wine list has, for the 18th year running, won the Diners Club’s Diamond Award for the best wine list.

Not to be outdone, the magical in-house spa claimed an award of its own, walking away with the 2018 Global Spa & Wellness Best Spa in Africa & Indian Ocean award. This peaceful oasis of relaxation channels the calming energy of the mountains with amazing views and world-class treatments.

Activity-wise, you are absolutely spoilt for choice. Rock art tours are a highlight, while professionally guided game drives and walks help you learn while enjoying the reserves spectacular fynbos, birdlife and wild game.

Hiking and mountain biking are extremely popular, with an abundance of technical trails. If you fancy a swim, these trails take you past the Olifants River, as well as pristine rock pools. Furthermore, canoeing and fly fishing are offered at the dam.

Best Safari Camp in Botswana

Jack’s Camp

Jack’s camp is unique, unlike the plethora of safari lodges around the incredibly lush and diverse Okavango Delta. It is located in the Kalahari Desert, near the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. This arid, but fantastically beautiful landscape may seem lifeless but is, in fact, home to many game species including: lion, elephant, genets, hyena, badgers, porcupines, and hares

The safari lodge uses an Arabic-themed tent setup. A group of ultra-luxurious bedouin tents are nestled comfortably under a thicket of Mokolwane Palm Trees, creating a desert oasis fit for a Saudi Prince. Adding to the camp’s charm, a mob of relatively tame meerkats roam the camp, interacting with humans whenever they can.

The tented suites are spacious, private, and hopelessly romantic. Irreplaceable antiques fill the ornately decorated rooms, while without electricity, you are left with paraffin lamps and candles emitting a warm natural, orange, glow. Each room has a fully-equipped, en-suite bathroom.

More adventurous guests will grab the opportunity to spend a night under the stars. You will be set up comfortably under the stars on the salt pan, truly in the outdoor. Waking with the first rays of light, there is no better way to greet the great African sun.

The safari lodge’s facilities – such as the dining hall, swimming pool, billiard room and lounge – are also located under cool tents. The dining hall is dominated by a long, solid oak dining table, while the pool is surrounded by inviting decking – a perfect place to enjoy an evening cocktail.

Activity-wise, professionally guided game drives are a must, while the lodge also offers quad bike tours, a cultural experience with traditional San locals, and a trip to Chapman’s baobab.

Best Sabi Sands Lodge

Londolozi Private Granite Suites

Londolozi Private Granite Suites are in Sabi Sands, one of the premier private sections of the great Kruger National Park. The idea behind this lodge is to provide a small group of highly exclusive Holidaymakers the ultimate private luxury experience, while immersing guests in the pristine African Wilderness.

Just 3 private suites sit overlooking the Sabi River. This ever-flowing river attracts game from all around the Kruger National Park, meaning that you have the chance of finding any one of the Big Five on your doorstep.

Elegantly designed, they use natural materials to blend in with the river’s granite banks, effectively highlighting the surrounding natural beauty. With premium features all-round, you are ensured ultimate comfort.

Enjoy incredible tailored service, but remember to keep one eye outside, it seems the elusive leopard particularly enjoy the area. Photographers should particularly enjoy Londolozi’s photographic safari, specifically geared up to get you the best shots.

Tanzania Resorts Safari

Singita Sabora

This beautiful luxury safari lodge is situated in Tanzania’s Grumeti Reserves, a 160 000 hectare patch of golden grasslands. These reserves form part of the Serengeti Plains, famous for hosting an immense annual migration.

Every year, guests at Singita Sabora bear witness to the world’s largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world. 250 thousand zebras, 470 thousand gazelles, 1.7 million wildebeest, and a host of other game species make the epic trip across the Serengeti. Witnessing such a natural phenomenon is truly awe-inspiring, a memory that will never leave you.

The lodge is inspired by the early African explorers of the past, a lavish Meru-styled tented camp setup classically finished with 1920s-esque colonial African decor. The minute you step into the resort, you are transported back to the magically adventurous days of early African exploration.

With just 9 luxurious tent suites, you are ensured privacy and beautiful natural scenery. With a bath, outdoor shower and private deck found in each suite, you have everything you could ever dream of at your fingertips. Furthermore, spa treatments can be organised in the comfort of your room.

As far as dining is concerned, you are spoilt for choice. Gourmet meals are generally served in the main dining hall or the open air deck, however, a private bush banquet is offered in front of the camp. Indulge under the stars in the middle of the Serengeti.

The luxury safari camp offers Serengeti walking tours, open-air game drives, night safaris, mountain biking adventures, and tennis. Each activity offering you a unique chance explore the serene wilderness that surrounds the remote camp.

After a long day exploring the Tanzanian savannah, you will be greeted by friendly staff inviting you for a drink at the bar and lounge area. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you could find a perch on the elevated deck for sunset, curl up with a book in the library, take a dip in the heated pool, or remain horizontal in the spa.

In Summary

You are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to Luxury Safari Lodges. Throughout Africa, the most incredible oasis exist, aimed at immersing you into the great wilderness and providing five-star treatment.

All things considered, Matetsi Victoria Falls is our favourite luxury safari lodge. Its location on the Zambezi river, just 40 km from Victoria Falls, sets the lodge apart. Furthermore, the property exceeds all-around, proving itself the perfect remote African luxury safari.

If you are in Cape Town, look no further than Bushmans Kloof. It is a dramatically beautiful mountain reserve just a few hours drive away. On the other hand, if you are still in South Africa, but find yourself closer to the Kruger National Park, a decision must be made between Royal Malewane and Londolozi Private Granite Suites.

Tanzania’s best safari lodge, Singita Sabora, is known as the country’s premium great migration viewing spot. Further South, Jack’s Camp in Botswana has perfected the luxury tented camp, creating a palm tree laden desert oasis.

Ultimately, there is no wrong decision. Each of these great safari lodges are part of the top tier of safari lodges, providing a unique luxury wildlife experience.

What Not To Do In Thailand

Thailand is a land of religion and tradition. Considering there is a very large population of Buddhists, and Monks, there are many do’s and don’ts that revolve around religion and Buddhism superstition.

Most of these actions may seem innocuous in Western society, but in Thailand, they are considered incredibly disrespectful. Therefore, it is important to familiarise yourself with these customs before entering the country to avoid any embarrassment.

Don’t Hug Monks

Thailand has many Buddhist Monks that have taken up very strong religious vows and ways of life. They are highly respected members of society, they are not allowed to touch or be touched by women, and it is forbidden for you to stand over a monk.

Therefore, even if you are a man, it is a sign of respect to not place your hands on a monk. Even if one was to do you a great favour and you want to give thanks, a simple bow will do.

Take Your Shoes Off

It is very common practice to take your shoes off when entering temples, somebody’s home, and even some restaurants. Some buildings will have clear signs or shoe lockers so you know when to take your shoes off.

If there aren’t clear signs and someone asks you to remove your shoes, it is important to respect this request and remove your shoes. There are shoe lockers almost everywhere and trust us when we say, no one will steal your shoes.

No PDA

Unlike in Western countries where public displays of affection are so common they go unnoticed, these displays are strongly frowned upon in Thailand and it is advised to keep those actions private.

Most Thai people won’t even hug each other in public, and touching tongues in public is forbidden. Therefore, if you are wanting to show affection to your significant other, wait until you are in the privacy of your hotel room.

Don’t Use Your Feet

The feet are seen as the dirtiest and lowest point of the body in Asian culture, while the head is seen as the highest. Being the dirtiest part of the body, it is considered incredibly disrespectful to use your feet to do anything but walk.

Do not use your feet to hold doors open or to move anything. Do not point your toes or the bottoms of your feet towards anyone as this is considered highly disrespectful. Also, do not point or angle your feet towards an image of Buddha or towards a monk.

Do Not Insult the Royal Family

The Thai Royal Family are some of the highest members of Thai society, therefore, it is obvious that disrespecting them in any way is seen as a huge insult. You will not hear any Thais disrespecting them, so neither can you.

And remember the small things, even stomping on a Thai coin that is rolling away can be regarded as disrespectful, as there is an image if the king on it and it is frowned upon to use your feet for anything.

Don’t Point With Your Fingers

Much like pointing with your feet, it is equally as disrespectful and rude to point up with your fingers. When hailing a taxi or tuk-tuk, or trying to get a waiters attention, keep your palm down and your fingers are straight, and use an up and down movement.

When trying to get somebody’s attention, never clap, snap your fingers, or whistle. This is an incredibly rude practice and most Thais see that as a way to treat a dog, and not a way you would treat a human.

Do Not Touch a Thai’s Head

Like mentioned above, the head is viewed as the highest point of the body, as it is the highest point, it is considered very rude to touch a Thai person head. Parents will sometimes touch their children’s heads, but as a Westerner, it is advised to avoid the practice altogether.

Keep Your Cool

Thai’s practice keeping their cool and not losing their temper, even when faced with angering circumstances, so it is frowned upon for you to raise your voice, get angry, or make a display of anger in public.

This does not mean that you won’t come across an angry person on your holiday, but the Thai people are generally very friendly and very hospitable, and sharing a smile with someone will take you a long way.

Do Not Use a Fork

When eating in Thailand, there are a few points to take into consideration. Eating is one of the most social activities in Thailand, and the food is incredibly important and respected throughout.

When eating, you will use a spoon and a fork, but the fork must never touch your mouth. The fork is for putting the small cuts of food onto the spoon. Chopsticks are only used when eating Chinese food, as they are not a Thai eating implement.

No Whistling After Dark

Thais are incredibly superstitious, and one thing is strongly frowned upon and discouraged, is whistling at night. Thais believe whistling summons evil spirits, and therefore it doesn’t matter if you’re whistling a tune or getting someone’s attention, don’t whistle.

Avoid “Gem Shops”

One of the biggest scams in Thailand is when a tuk-tuk driver will tell you that they want to make a stop that is near your destination, and they end up taking you to a gem shop. These shops can be dangerous for tourists.

You will be constantly harassed, tricked into parting with your money, or even drugged and robbed. if a tuk-tuk driver mentions a gem shop, politely decline, pay what you owe and hop off to find another taxi.

Say No To Drugs

It is no secret that Thailand has some of the best nightlife in the world. From the many clubs in Bangkok to the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, there are drugs everywhere, at dirt cheap prices.

Our only advice is to avoid them all together. Most of the drugs are processed with highly toxic substances and can easily poison you. The drug laws in Thailand are some of the strictest in the world too, with the death penalty being a drug-related punishment.

Now that you know what not to do in the glorious country of Thailand, we hope these points have cleared up any confusion you may have had and you can now enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

Largest Cities in Thailand

With a popular 55 times that of the next biggest city, Bangkok tends to steals the thunder when it comes to Thai metropolises. That’s not the whole story, though. Living in Bangkok’s shadow can’t be easy but cool Nonthaburi seems to prove otherwise. Serene Chiang Mai gazes down on the rest of the country from its lofty peak up north.

In the south Hat Yai rules unopposed with a triangle of great Buddha statues in the city. Meanwhile, Nakhon Ratchasima guards the country’s ancient past, while still getting on with modern life. The largest cities in Thailand all have their distinctive charisma and, as visitors will attest, it’s worth being drawn in.

Bangkok

With almost 15 million people resident, Bangkok is Thailand’s greatest city and the most popular in the world. The Thai capital is a chaotic hub that’s also rich in history and, increasingly, in art and fashion.

Location

Bangkok’s on the mainland, sitting neatly in central-southern Thailand. Most flights arrive in Bangkok but there are also buses to other locations in Thailand. To Chiang Mai, it’s about 11 hours by bus and 12 hours to Phuket.

Attractions

There’s no shortage of things to do in this bustling city. Top of the list is a visit to the Grand Palace. The jewel tones of the spectacular buildings are offset by the dazzling white of the walls: it’s a visual marvel. Inside, head to Wat Phra Kaew, home to a remarkable Emerald Buddha, cut from a single block of jade back in the 14th century. The two throne rooms and the Amarinda Hall are also highlights.

No visit to Bangkok would be complete without some time at a floating market. Bangkok’s a canal city. Vendors come on longboats piled high with fresh produce to sell and to cook into yummy meals. There are many of these floating markets so it doesn’t matter which you experience. Damnouen Saduak is the most famous, while Khlong Lat Mayom is more authentic with unusual fruits you may never have seen before.

Nonthaburi

Nonthaburi’s a more chilled version of Bangkok. With about 270 000 people living there, it’s Thailand’s second city.

Location

Nonthaburi’s slightly to the north-west of Bangkok but the cities are so close, Nonthaburi’s sometimes considered a suburb of Bangkok! It’s a 30 to 50-minute ride from Bangkok.

Attractions

Although it’s just beside Bangkok, the city can hold its own with tourist attractions. For temples, Nonthaburi’s got Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat, built in a beautiful riverside garden, and Wat Sangkhathan which receives tourist from around the world who come to meditate.

Koh Kret is an island that’s home to very industrious Thais who produce stunning handcrafts, especially pottery. It’s also a good place just to stroll around as it’s covered in lush greenery.

The Day and Night Markets are great places to experience a relaxed atmosphere and authentic Thai cuisine.

Nakhon Ratchasima

Also known as Korat to Thais, Nakhon Ratchasima is both province and city. The population is 174 332 and it’s a rapidly expanding hub for retail in the country.

Location

Nakhon Ratchasima is situated north of Bangkok in the central-east of the country. It’s a 3 to 4-hour drive from Bangkok by car, though there are also regular public buses departing to the city.

Attractions

Most of the area’s best sights lie outside of the city. The showstopper is undoubtedly Phimai Historical Park. A collection of ancient buildings, some as old as the 11th century, Phimai is a testament to the country’s rich heritage. It’s one of the best sites in Thailand to view Khymer architecture. Cross the Naga Bridge, designed to take you from the world of humans to the world of the gods, and gaze up at the intricate prangs.

Inside the city, one woman’s name dominates the monuments: Thao Suranaree, the strong, powerful consort who led the city to victory on the battlefield in her husband’s absence. Her monument is near the city gate and is a great photo opportunity. She and her husband also built nearby Wat Sala Noi, Nakhon Ratchasima’s premier temple.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is as idyllic as it gets. With 175 000 residents, however, it is Thailand’s fourth largest city.

Location

Chiang Mai’s way up in the north of Thailand but there’s no challenge in terms of transport. Buses drive up from Bangkok, taking about 11 hours, while the train is slower at between 12 to 15 hours.

Attractions

The first place to visit in Chiang Mai is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a temple up the mountainside. The 306 stairs lead to an elegant example of northern Thai architecture. The temple is home to a shard of Buddha’s bone. The grounds are a collection of rock gardens, verdant trees and pretty monuments: a peaceful place to pause from the hustle and bustle. There’s also a proud monument to Chiang Mai’s union with Thailand on site. Try a meditation session at Doi Suthep Vipassana Meditation Centre.

Outside of the city, the Doi Inthanon National Park is a lovely day trip to make. There are waterfalls and hikes in the lush park which is also the location of two glittering stupas dedicated to the deceased king and his queen.

Back in Chiang Mai, San Kamphaeng Road is where you’ll find the trendiest cafes and shops. It’s sometimes called Handicraft Highway and that’s a true reflection of what you’ll see here: master craftsmen creating iconic silverware, pottery and wood ornaments.

Hat Yai

Hat Yai’s population sits at approximately 157 000. It’s an urban hub of the South that’s both western and Cantonese with gigantic malls and street markets.

Location

Far south, Hat Yai’s almost at the Malaysian border. The bus to Bangkok takes around 12 hours and there are also trains running across the country.

Attractions

Hat Yai has a new cable car that takes visitors up the hills from the park, providing superb views of the Thai city.

There’s also an amazing couple of temples in Hat Yai. Wat Hat Yai Nai hosts a massive 35m long Reclining Buddha that’s considered the third largest of its type in the world. In gold and ivory shades, the Buddha smiles mischievously down at visitors.

The second Buddha you must see is the Standing Buddha. Standing almost 20 m high, the statue is cloaked is gold leaf and rises above the city majestically.

Another remarkable icon is the Laughing Buddha which depicts the religious leader as an older, plumper figure, happily giggling away. The complex is entered via the mouth of a large lion, something that’s best experienced in person.

To tend to your mortal needs, head over to Kim Yong Market. This where you can browse a traditional Thai market and discover fresh fruit salads, hot chestnuts and eyebrow-raising magic potions.

Thailand’s not often considered a country of great cities and not many are heard of besides Chiang Mai and Bangkok. But look closer: with majestic Buddhas and exotic markets, these urban jungles are more than just the largest cities in Thailand.

Inspiring Destinations If You’re Blue and Don’t Know Where to Go

Feeling blue and lost? Look no further: this list gathers some of the most amazing places on earth to inspire gratitude, comfort and wonder. There’s no better pick-me-up than the breathtaking beauty and heritage that can be found in every corner of the globe.

Chile

Lonely Planet traversed the globe in search of 2018’s hottest country and they certainly hit the mark with Chile. Surrounded by indomitable feats of nature (the snow-capped Andes, the inhospitable Atacama desert, the untamed Patagonia wilderness and the uninviting Pacific Ocean), the nation feels secluded and exciting.

Easter Island

The only thing equal to such feats of nature is the rich cultural heritage Chileans celebrate and there’s no better place to experience this than the legendary Easter Island.

Around 600 stone moai stand testament to the culture of the Rapa Noi people of whom not much is know. This civilisation also left detailed mountainside carvings about which there are many intriguing myths.

Valparaiso

Valparaiso’s portside location only enhances its reputation as a hipster hangout. It’s also a World Heritage City for its arty past with former residents including Pablo Neruda. Start with a street-art tour and then head to the famous poet’s house, La Sebastiana.

The Atacama Desert

San Pedro de Atacama is the base town for venturing into the desert. El Tatio Geyser Field is a stretch of rocky formations with slits releasing hot gas, clouding the area in natural mystery. Salar de Atacama hosts several volcanoes with the Andes looming in the background.

South Korea

Coming in a close second for the best destination of 2018 is South Korea. A thoroughly contemporary country with an imperial past, South Korea is also leading the way to the future with otherworldly metropolises.
Top attractions:

Myeong Dong Street

Seoul’s shopping block is not just a retail hub but the best spot in the city to snack of some of South Korea’s unique street food.

Bukchon Hanok Village

A testament to the Seoul’s architectural heritage, the village was once home to royal relatives, thus the spectacular buildings with their distinctive upturned roofs.

Georgia

Can you pinpoint Georgia on a map? Not everyone can; large neighbours like Russia and Turkey have often stolen the show but Georgia is coming into its own as a unique holiday. Get in before the crowds discover the rich culinary traditions and heritage that shape modern Georgia.

The Caucasian Mountains

A few hours outside Tbilisi lie the Caucasians with the highest peak rising to 5642m! The minty green hills roll into terracotta-coloured villages, scenery that not many people experience. Here time seems to have stood still and history is well-remembered.

Tbilisi

The Georgian capital is an amazing melting pot of some of the oldest cultures in the world. Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral to learn about the main Georgian religion, the Narikala Fortress which was built by the Persians, expanded by the Arabs and occupied by the Mongols, and the Metekhi neighbourhood with its medieval church for a stunning cliffside location.

China

The one billion people who call China home have much to be proud of,  imperial history, forward-thinking design, incredible feats of engineering and rich rural areas that take the breath away.

The Great Wall

It needs no introduction; suffice it to say that the Great Wall, stretching over jaw-dropping landscapes, is unmissable.

Shanghai

Architectural wonders are what make this Chinese city special: head to the Bund, a street gallery of colonial buildings, and visit the world’s highest observatory at the Oriental Pearl TV tower. The Maglev Train is the world’s fastest.

Essaouira, Morocco

The ancient port of Essaouira is a rustic Moroccan marvel. Africa’s ‘Windy City’ invites surfers to its long beach, while in the old medina there’s plenty of old charm in the unchanged fortifications and restored riad guest houses. Need another reason to visit? Humble budgets are welcome here.

The beach

Surfing or yoga classes: you choose but make sure you walk on the dusty white sands of Essaouira.

The medina

Getting lost is obligatory in any medina and there’s plenty to see in Essaouira’s: mosques, battlements and houses with incredible craftsmanship.

Perth, Australia

Perth combines nature and nightlife to offer an appealing holiday retreat.

Whale-watching and Beaches

Burn’s Beach is Perth’s premier strip of shoreline, located in a sheltered bay and with spots for dolphin-watching. If you come in the right season, head offshore to see the humpback whales.

Dining

There are more restaurants and cafés here than in Sydney or Melbourne, all of which have some scrumptious dishes.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has a distinctive feel to it, oozing old-world charm and seaside chill. It’ll help you kick back and relax, no doubt.

Fresh seafood dinners

Like any good port, Lisbon offers salty seafood to its visitors. Michelin-starred eateries have begun popping up in the city, bringing modern twists to old recipes.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Top of the list of Lisbon’s attractions is this 15th-century monastery, built to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s arrival in India and home to many Portuguese noteworthies.

New Orleans, United States

They say misery loves company: if anyone understands, it’s those blues singers. And for when you’re feeling a bit better, a bit of jazz will pick up the tempo.

Music show

The city’s the historic home of Jazz and Blue so you can take your pick of the best music clubs in New Orleans.

Mardi Gras Museum

First prize is attending the actual Mardi Gras carnival, famous around the world. If you’re out of luck and in town at the wrong time of year, the museum has you covered.

Miami, United States

This laidback Atlantic beach city is perfect for cheering. Whoever complained of wet, sandy feet and uninterrupted stretches of blue?

South Beach

It ’s not called the American Riviera for anything: luxurious spas and upscale boutiques line the waterfront, while there are many watersports on offer.

Art Deco Architecture

The 1920s were a time of spectacular opulence. Retreat into that carefree world with a tour of the city’s period buildings such as the Cavalier Hotel.

Hurghada, Egypt

Don’t let the headlines of political insecurity get you down; tourists confirm they feel safe in the country and while others look away, there are great deals to be had as the government drops prices to attract travellers. Hurghada’s an affordable gem not to be missed: at the crossroads of the desert and the sea, there’s plenty to keep those blues at bay.

Desert tours

Explore the eastern part of Egypt’s great desert by jeep or camel. If you head out at night, you’re in for a treat: the stargazing is sublime.

The Red Sea

Fresh, or sweaty rather, from your desert excursion, hop into the Red Sea to cool down. Swim with dolphins, explore abundant coral reefs and fish in these blissful waters.

Stone walls crossing rocky peaks, colourful coral reefs, cosmopolitan capitals…nature and humankind have created some truly wondrous destinations to inspire and awe – you can’t say you don’t know where to go to beat the blues.

Coolest Things to do in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most exciting countries to visit. No matter what time of year you visit, or for how long, there is an infinite number of unforgettable and unique things to do in this magical country.

Elephants in Chiang Mai

Visiting the elephants in Thailand is definitely a must, but do some research first to ensure you are going to an ethical sanctuary. The Elephant Rescue Sanctuary in Chiang Mai takes in abused and mistreated elephants and retires them in comfort.

Riding elephants at the sanctuary are completely forbidden, but you can feed them, go into the river and bathe with them, as well as go on walks with your new big-eared friends. Start your tour at the poo park, where you will learn about how the dung is recycled. Trust us, it’s the start of an amazing adventure.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

While you are still in Chiang Mai, the one thing you need to do is get up really early one morning, before the sunrise. Once you are awake, you should definitely take a hot air balloon ride to watch the sunrise over the city.

Watching the sunrise in Thailand is one of the most beautiful things you will see anyway, but watching it while up high in the air makes it even more unforgettable. Enquire at your hotel about the trips and make it one of the first things you book.

Snorkelling

Thailand is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters in the world. A holiday here isn’t complete without a trip to the beach, and once you get there, snorkelling is a must.

Koh Tao is the go-to location for snorkelling, and there are many tours available to let you explore everything hidden underneath the water. The tours are very budget friendly, and equipment is incredibly cheap to buy or rent.

Temple Tours

As a strongly Buddhist country, there are thousands of temples and shrines spread across the country, with hundreds of them found in the main cities. There are many of them that are incredibly unique and if you aren’t sure where they all are, you are going to miss some.

A temple tour is the best way to see and explore some of the best temples in the country. Whether you are in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or any of the other major cities, you can book a temple tour and have a guide walk you through some of these magnificent structures.

Lotus Lake

In the Northeast of Thailand, there is a spectacular surprise that you may miss if you didn’t know it existed. The north of the country is known for its wide expanses of rice fields, but hidden away amongst the tall elephant grass, is the Lotus Lake.

Lake Nong Han looks like it comes out of a fairy tale. Covered with thousands of lotus blossoms, this lake is a favourite for visitors during Valentine’s Day, but this unique lake is an absolute must-see for any visitor to the country.

Wat Rong Khun

Wat Rong Khun is one of many temples found in Thailand, but it is also one of the most unique temples. It is all white, designed to represent the purity of Buddha. Designed by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, there are some unusual murals to be found inside.

There are glass and mirrors on the outside of the temple, that reflect light in the most beautiful way. But, the best time to see the temple is at night, when the moonlight makes the temple look almost otherworldly and ethereal.

Eat Insects

As a country with the best street food in the world, there is never a shortage of something to delicious to find and eat. You can find everything from unusual fruits, noodles, meat skewers, and of course, insects.

Deep-fried locusts or scorpions can be found in almost every market and on every street corner. Considering they are incredibly tasty, don’t be put off by the legs or stingers. They may not all taste like chicken, but Thailand is the best place to explore food.

Join a Muay Thai Camp

Many people may not think working out is the most fun thing to do while you are trying to relax on holiday, but since Thailand is home to Muay Thai, you do have the chance to join a training camp.

Thailand has produced some of the best Muay Thai fighters to ever live, and have also perfected the training methods, so joining the camp will give you a very tailored and unique experience. Plus, many of the fighters stay at the camp, giving you the chance to see how local Thai’s live.

Full Moon Party

The Full Moon Party, on Koh Phangan, is a party not to be missed. Celebrated every full moon, tourists and locals alike gather to dance and party the night away. Be prepared for a ton of people, great music, and an unforgettable experience.

Usually a party for the younger generations, it is open to anybody and everybody. There are many boats that Travel to Koh Phangan for the party, as well as the island itself has many hotels and places to stay if you want to enjoy the island after the party.

Yi Peng Lantern Festival

If you are in Thailand during November, the one thing you cannot miss is the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. The festival usually takes place in mid-November in Chiang Mai and happens before the Festival of Lights.

Releasing the thousands of lanterns symbolises letting go of misfortune and bad luck from the previous year, and Buddhists believe making a wish when you release your lantern, will make your wish come true in the new year.

Thailand is the home to spectacular scenery, incredible people, and some of the most unique experiences you will ever discover. Whether you are in the city, at the beach, or in the vast countryside, you will find something special to do.

Traveling to Thailand, what do I need?

Thailand is a popular tourist destination because of the locals, food, beaches and more. Visiting Thailand should be on everyone’s bucket list because of its lush forested mountains, cultural diversity, enigmatic locals, colourful cities and tropical beaches of islands.

Travelling to Thailand, what do I need?

Knowing what to pack and what to leave when going on holiday can be quite daunting, but we have compiled a list of things that are a must!

10 things you need before going to Thailand:

Consider this your survival guide on what you need when travelling to Thailand.

1. Sturdy Backpack

Invest in a durable backpack that will be able to hold all your things, without breaking your back in the process. A great backpack will have a harness to support the weight you’re carrying, but it’s important to remember to pack light.

The bulk of the weight should be supported on your hips, rather than your shoulders.

A hip belt helps to make sure the weight of the backpack is supported on your hips; shoulder straps keep the bag in position, without you having to fidget with it; a number of pockets or compartments that provide space for extra storage.

Shop around before deciding on a backpack because you want one that has a long lifespan.

2. Travel cubes

Packing luggage when going on holiday can be quite frustrating because you don’t want to leave things out of fear of needing them, or packing too many things. Travel cubes are perfect because they force you to organize your luggage into things that you really need: less is more!

The cubes also make it easier for you to pack and unpack things, especially when you are looking for something. You can mix sets up, colour coordinates them, etc.

3. Travel wallet

Carry all your important travel documents- passport, boarding cards, hotel reservations, credit cards, etc. in a travel wallet. There are a variety of different travel wallets: ones that you can hang around your neck, ones you can carry in your pocket. Make sure your invaluable documents are in a safe place.

Take pictures of all your important documents and save them to your cloud, send them to yourself and a friend via email, so that you have a record of everything in case you lose your travel wallet.

Rummaging through all your luggage, as you try to find your passport will stress you out. Having a travel wallet will help you know where exactly to find your important documents when you need it most.

4. Footwear

Walking around the city is a great way to meet locals and find out about the hidden gems that tourists often overlook, so investing in high quality and comfortable shoes is a must.

Getting shoes that are easy to remove should also be taken into consideration because you have to take your shoes off before entering into sacred temples, some businesses and people’s houses. You should also practise good foot hygiene, especially if you’re taking your shoes off.

Thailand is known for its scorching temperatures, so get shoes that are ventilated but are comfortable to prevent blisters, heat rash and other issues. It’s not advised to wear chunky hiking boots in the majority of Thailand because of how hot it gets. Sneakers with great sole will do the trick.

5. Water carrier

Water will become your best friend because of how blisteringly hot it gets in Thailand. Having a water carrier is a convenient wave to carry your water around with you, especially when you are going to be active. There are places where you can find safe-to-drink bottled water, but it’s just good to keep this bottle handy when walking around the city.

6. Medication

Having a health kit is essential because you never know when you might need them. Getting onto a plane doesn’t excite everyone, thankfully there is motion sickness medication or sleeping pills to help make the flight more bearable.

You have to give your body time to get acclimatized to the new time zone, but if you’re pressed for time there are pills for jet lag that will let you hit the ground running! Replenish your electrolytes to avoid feeling woozy, lightheaded and to avoid other diseases.

Allergy tablets can also prove helpful. Also keep something handy, if you experience any digestive problems.

7. Underwear

Sweat is something you’ll have to get familiar with when in Thailand. Find underwear that will bear the heat and your body’s sweat, by buying lots of cotton underwear; cotton is a great material because it’s breathable, while materials like nylon trap moisture.

Thailand is an incredibly humid country and having breathable clothing that wicks away moisture will prevent overheating.

You’ll also need a few extra pairs if you succumb to number 6.

8. Toilet paper

Yip, toilet paper made the list. In Thailand bidets, water hoses, or bum guns (as they’re commonly called) are used more often than toilet paper. The gently pressured water jet is used to clean up after going to the bathroom.

Not only is this more hygienic, it’s great for the environment and the sewage systems, but you will still need toilet paper when using public restrooms that are not always hygienic or that doesn’t have toilet paper.

Buy a small compact bag that will hold your toilet paper, hand sanitizer and moisturiser.

9. Sunscreen/ mosquito repellent

Thailand can feel like a furnace, and a sure-fire way to not get burnt is to apply lots and lots of sunscreen every day and the mosquito repellent.

You will have to reapply repellent during mosquito peak hours (around 17h00), to avoid spending the rest of your trip scratching yourself. Wear clothes that cover your body and protect you from the sun to fight off sunburn and mosquito bites.

Image – mosquito repellent spray

Mosquito bite and sunburn relief provide that extra relief when the sunscreen and mosquito repellent didn’t quite do the trick.

10. Camera

There’s something about wielding a camera that makes you feel like a photographer, and with the rise of smartphones, there’s also something nostalgic about it.

You should take lots of pictures while on holiday in Thailand, so be sure to pack lots of memory cards. And always, always back up your images immediately. You will never forgive yourself for losing all those priceless memories, especially if it could have been avoided.

If buying a camera is out of the budget, then you can use a smartphone. A camera with a high resolution will definitely help to make your pictures look better, but a phone with an Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) technology will compensate for shaky hands.

Attachable camera lenses give your pictures a professional quality but at a fraction of the price. A portable charger will make sure no moment goes uncaptured. For the best angles, a kickstand, selfie stick or tripod will do the trick. Lastly, waterproof cases that make an ordinary phone waterproof – imagine all those underwater moments waiting to be photographed.

Buying small attachments keep your luggage lighter and more compact.

Besides your travel essentials for Thailand, this list covers the things that can be easily overlooked when deciding what to pack for your next holiday destination. Now, that you have an idea of what to pack, it will give you more time to plan your travel itinerary. Your next trip to Thailand awaits you …