The once lost paradise of Maya Beach on Phi Phi Island tells the story of tourism in Thailand. Places of such indescribable beauty, once found, attract travellers like flies to light. A few footprints in the sand become hundreds. Hundreds become thousands. Eventually the numbers overwhelm the environment, beauty transforming into a heaving mass of travellers. The famous sights of Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai are all facing similar stresses due to the continued onslaught of tourists.
But Thailand is more than those three destinations. Koh Kood, lingering in the Gulf of Thailand, is more beautiful than Phuket. Koh Yao Yai and Noi, sister islands in Phang Nga Bay, retain a rustic charm lost as ever-present development assaults Samui. Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle’s verdant hills still hide traditional villages constructed of bamboo.
The dichotomy of traditional and modern, known and unknown is why Thailand has such a broad appeal and high number of repeat visitors. Highlights and hidden treasures are never far away; visit the famed Golden Palace in the morning or get lost in a Chinatown back alley in the afternoon. Drink a Mai Tai at a five-star resort in Samui or sip rice wine with locals on Koh Muk. Wander Chiang Mai’s famous night bazaar or get lost in Nan Province.
Abib Swift Travel is dedicated to finding the right places and experiences in Thailand.