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Thailand; the word conjures up images of crystal clear waters and golden stretches of sandy beaches. Although this rings true, there is so much more to this gorgeous country, with the friendliest of people.

I first visited in August  2011, when I travelled most of the country. I decided to go back in 2013 and visit some of the places I hadn’t before. Although a lot had changed, I still loved it just as much. Here are my top tips for Thailand:

Koh Nang Yuan- Koh Tao

This island is located just a 15 minute longtail boat ride away from Koh Tao, and is very much worth a visit. The island is made up of two THAILANDwooded mountains, connected by a clear white stretch of beach. The island is uninhabited, but there is a place to stay if you so wish. There is a viewpoint in which you can see over the whole island; it is an unforgettable experience, with the clearest water I have ever laid my eyes on to this day.

Sairee Viewpoint- Koh Tao

If you are lucky enough to go to Koh Tao, and stay on the liveliest beach there, Sairee Beach, then you should definitely hike up to the highest viewpoint there- Sairee viewpoint. Although it can be difficult to hike in hot weather, make sure to leave early, or late, enough to miss the high sun. Once at the top, there is a lovely swing you can sit on to enjoy the view of the coast. Just make sure you start to walk down before it gets dark!

The Mangroves- Koh Lanta

The Mangroves are an excellent place to do and see something different, whilst touring the islands in Thailand. The flora and fauna, the lush vegetation and even the occasional underwater creature is all there to enjoy whilst kayaking around the windy, natural curves of the water. Kayaks are available to rent from various locals upon arrival.

Pad Si Ew- All over Thailand

Pad Si EwMy all time favourite Thai dish, alongside Massaman Curry and Green Curry, too. This dish is made
up of thick egg noodles, with fried, crunchy vegetables; Stir fried in Soy sauce and best eaten with chopsticks, of course!

Tuk Tuks- Bangkok

Be careful, when staying in Bangkok, of some of the tuk-tuk drivers who may take you on a short detour before taking you to destination you have actually asked for! I got into a tuk-tuk from Khao San Road, the main backpacker street in Bangkok, with 3 of my friends. We wanted to be taken to a temple of some kind, and the driver took us to a travel agency where we had to sit and listen to a whole speech about touring Thailand! The driver encouraged us to buy; the longer we stayed in shop, the more petrol the driver got towards filling up his tank! A second time i was taken to some sort of leather shop.. beware! Of course it is almost impossible to avoid a tuk-tuk in Bangkok- just be warned! Khao San Road