Why Thailand is Still Worth Visiting

Ko Lipe Beach

Why Thailand is Still Worth Visiting

As soon as a destination starts to garner a considerable amount of column inches, the chances are it loses its identity somewhat. This is usually followed by the commercialization of rural spaces, and what was once an untouched paradise becomes a proverbial cash cow.

There are many examples of this across Asia where remote islands have been turned into party islands. Take for instance the once idyllic island of Boracay in the Philippines. GMA Network discussed in an article how the coastline is now littered with chain restaurants, hotels, and retail stores. Year-on-year, the commercialization of the island continues to damage the overall look of an island revered by locals as one of the best domestic getaways.

Thailand has also suffered this fate. As Asian countries tourism rates continue to increase, many of Thailand’s premier hotspots have been overloaded with backpackers and partygoers. Time even went as far to say, back in 2013 that Koh Phangan’s famous Full Moon Parties have become “trashy and a disgrace.” With many journalists likening the experience to a night on the Spanish island of Ibiza, filled with drunk and drug-fuelled adolescents.

Although that doesn’t mean that there aren’t parts of Thailand that aren’t still worth visiting – it’s just best to stay away from the Full Moon Parties. Let’s have a look at a few islands that are worth visiting that are away from raucous parties and chain restaurants.

Ko Lipe

Koh Lipe island coast

If commercialization puts you off visiting an island, then Ko Lipe is probably your dream destination. It’s “just outside the jurisdiction of Tarutao National Park, and as such is exempt from certain laws prohibiting development,” according to the travel website, Touropia. There aren’t any huge hotels here; the only places for visitors to stay are in “grass huts or air-conditioned bungalows.”

There’s a lot of history behind Ko Lipe and its untouched coastline. As history goes, the island settled by sea gypsies back in the day. And such a story makes for great campfire tales from the locals.

Ko Tarutao

Ao Ta Lo Woo Pier - Ko Tarutao

Ko Tarutao is one of the many islands that belong to the Tarutao National Marine Park in the South of Thailand. Very much like Ko Lipe, the island is a far cry from tourist hotspots such as Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, Koh Tao and Ko Chang.

The accommodation available to tourists ranges from campsites to the many bungalows that are situated along the coastline. The scenery is an unbelievable sight; jungle and mountains provide a backdrop to the turquois sea of Ko Tarutao. Tourists are able to swim with the large turtles that frequent the surrounding sea, and relax in the quiet atmosphere that Ko Tarutao offers its visitors.

Tips for First Time Travelers to Thailand

Whether it’s in the initial stages of planning your trip or during your time on one of Thailand’s many islands, digital aids can be the difference between getting lost or enjoying all the hidden wonders of your destination of choice. With the surge in smartphone use, Gaming Realms, the creators of slots portal, Pocketfruity, reported that 70% of the content consumed online now comes via smartphones. With so many people now searching for information online, including travel tips, Go Backpacking Thailand listed 10 useful apps to make your travels easier. Included in the list were apps such as basic language app Learn Thai, currency converter XE Currency, location app Field Scanner and Skyscanner to help you look for domestic and international flights. So make sure to utilize your smartphone on your travels and download some of the apps included in the aforementioned article.

Hopefully, these snippets of information will convince you that Thailand is still worth visiting regardless of its overflowing tourist hotspots. If you have any additional islands, you think should be added to this list, feel free to let us know below.

Barry Sproston
Barry is a traveller and expat who spends most of his time between Asia and Australia. He has spent 12 months training at a Gung Fu school learning Wing Chun. Explored the island of Taiwan by scooter more than once. Been tricked into eating raw horse meat sushi in Japan. Even tried to overcome the fear of heights by bungee jumping in Thailand. One day he plans to open a guesthouse.
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4 thoughts on “Why Thailand is Still Worth Visiting

  1. Frank

    Nice post Barry. I’ve in general gotten turned off Southern Thailand because of the tourists, high prices, and less-friendly-then-before locals. Back in 2001, 2002 I spent time on the islands, loved them. When I went back in 2008 many were ruined. But you cited the above. Ko Yao Noi is another place that was very sparsely developed, we enjoyed out time there. Koh Lanta I’ve heard good things about but I’m not sure if that’s developed too much in recent years…(never been, but other bloggers speak highly of it).

    Anyway, helpful post.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. Barry SprostonBarry Sproston Post author

      Yeah, Frank, I agree that it’s different the second time round. I remember loving the Island of Phuket the first time when visiting on a two-week holiday. When returning for ‘old times’ as a traveller years later, it just wasn’t the same the second time round. Wasn’t sure if the island had changed or just me.

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