The Three Summer Capitals
Thailand has earned the reputation of being a destination for paradise seekers from around the world. It is here where you can get the most value for your money which easily makes it a favourite. But if you have never been to this enchanting land you may be caught in a crisis of not being able to make-up your mind when it comes to your itinerary because you simply want to see all of it. A wide and diverse variety of sights and flavours will welcome newcomers and so I'm here to share with you three jewels which I coined as the summer capitals of the country.
For those who have something specific in mind, like Sun, sand and sea, there are three specific places I suggest, either you choose or you can simply visit all three: Pattaya, Phuket & Phi Phi. These three ‘P’s or rather three jewels of Thailand seem to have been made by the gods of recreation themselves. Each offering unique experiences in terms of dinning and accommodations; from practical hotel rooms to choosing a variety of luxury homes in Thailand suitable for your lavish visit, it's a place for every budget and the abundance of options will spoil you.
Having experienced all three, here’s my visual journal that will help you visualise if it suits your #TravelStyle. Let's begin!
I think Pattaya can be described as an identical sister of Bangkok, being close by each other and having similar sights and sounds except for the fact that Bangkok has no beach. Giving you something in between both of the city and sea as the drinks and food are abundant with many opulent hotels and dinning options. I can certainly say that it’s a prime destination for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment after dark. I was here once during the New Year's eve and the entire city was alive and full of energy as multitudes gather near the central area. It was full of music and warm smiles as both locals and tourists enjoy the festivities.
After a long night, a simple stroll by the beach in the late afternoon will be very rewarding.
If I could spend many days here, I would love to spend my afternoons and evenings at the rooftop bars and restaurants. The ambiance provides a dazzling horizon of city lights and stars.
If I could spend many days here, I would love to spend my afternoons and evenings at the rooftop bars and restaurants. The ambiance provides a dazzling horizon of city lights and stars. One top example would be Horizon at the Hilton Hotel.
In summary I wouldn’t really say there is anything touristically special about Pattaya, but there is one very important gem here that most would probably overlook. Truthfully speaking, you shouldn’t miss it at all if you’re in Pattaya, let the Sanctuary of Truth open your eyes to something mystical and alluring.
Golden heart-shaped leaves where people write their prayers and wishes playfully hang beneath the sacred Bodhi tree outside the Sanctuary of Truth.
Entirely made out of wood, this building towers to 105 meters high next to a splendid view of the ocean, it's simply fascinating that not one single corner is left without intricate details carved into wood by artisans. With the immense amount of wooden carvings of Buddhist and Hindu inspired motifs, the Sanctuary of truth is scheduled to be completed by 2050, that's almost 7 decades since it's conception in 1981. Spend an hour or two to walk around and simply appreciate the surroundings, as I promise it is quite magical.
Phuket is quite the intimidating contender for Thailand's best summer destination of choice. Offering more of what Pattaya already offers, like; cafes, restaurants, bars, nightlife, shopping, beaches, scenery and my favourite, the beach front bars.
The key to enjoying the best of what Phuket has to offer is to find the right places that suit you.
Patong Beach can be overly crowded and popular but most accessible, but I would personally recommend the spaciously generous beach of Kata. Where you can leisurely enjoy an unspoilt afternoon of sunset and fresh coconut juice.
One secret I've discovered together with a friend is the isolated luxury of Kata Rocks. You can stay here to simply enjoy the best cocktails and view of the sunset in the island. It's pretty accessible with the help of your GPS but once you arrive at the entrance of the estate, just simply mention you are going to the bar and a golf cart will take you up the steep steps to the cliff view of the bar.
There are plenty of lovely hotels in Kata which is not a very long distance from the central area in Patong. One favourite is The Palmery Resort and Spa that boasts of rooms with direct access to the swimming pool.
The beach can be fiercely hot under the noon Thai Sun, so why not grab lunch at one of the beach clubs and cool down in the pool.
An afternoon adventure to the viewing points in Phuket offers an alternative sunset view, don't miss it!
I would spend every weekend here if I could and simply eat and drink the days away under the sun. There is a little bit of everything and that is why I shall leave the rest for you all to discover.
The most exotic and isolated among the three, which most people would only visit for a day trip and that can be easily accomplished coming from either Krabi or Phuket. But staying in Phuket for a few hours is only scratching a small portion of the surface. Experiencing the island for a few days will transform your perspective as the island starts to feel like your second home.
So, what to expect on the surface? (A typical day-trip, normally)
You will see some monkeys (Tours normally take you to a beach full of them, haha)
Maya Bay (where The Island was filmed)
And also the Pier haha.
And what lies beyond the surface?
The vibrant night life.
The local island cafe scene.
A dinning haven.
A chance to hike and catch the divine Sunrise and majestic Sunset.
Endless array of sights and sounds of the night.
Waking up next to the ocean.
Falling asleep under the stars.
Local shops and crafts.
A luxurious massage literally far away from the hustle and bustle.
Undisturbed Sun worship.
A retreat that transforms to how you like it to be.
The viewing point here is something not to be missed for sure!
Long-tail boats will take you to beach attractions like Maya Bay.
Maya Bay in all its glory.
Diverse array of accommodations that let you experience Phi Phi in many unique ways.
Or some days, a nice breakfast near the beach is reason enough to stay the night in Phi Phi.
I really hope you've gained some insight on what to expect when you visit these jewels in Thailand. These three places are only but a few of what you can begin to discover on your own. So don't hesitate and simply see it for yourself, until my next blog post guys!