1. Pink dolphins in Khanom
Pink dolphins – you must be joking right? But no I’m not kidding. In Eastern Thailand in a city called Khanom you can take a pink dolphin tour. I can tell you by heart, it’s worth going. I took guests for pink dolphin watching around 25 times and only once we didn’t meet my dolphin friends.
The pink dolphins can be found not only in Khanom Thailand but also in Southern China especially in Hong Kong area. You can also see these fellows in dolphin shows in Pattaya but please avoid those places and visit them in their own environment. The dolphins are pink in color because of their overdeveloped blood vessels. They are born grey but as they grow their blood vessels make them every year more pink in color.
The dolphins are given fish by tourists and locals to keep them away from getting strangled into fish nets seeking for an easy meal. To make the meeting safer for the dolphins the locals raise the longboats’ propeller around 30 meters near the dolphin. Please make sure also your driver does it. We will visit the dolphins in their home so let’s be respectful guests.
2. Raya Yai paradise island
Who wouldn’t love powder white sand and crystal clear water? Raya Yai island provides you all that. Raya Yai known also as Racha Yai island is located around 20km south from Phuket. The size of Raya Yai is only 2km wide and 6km length. You can easily do a day trip to that lovely small island but I would recommend staying overnight. I recommend to take either speedboat or a bigger boat that diving companies have to Raya Yai island. All of the boats leave from Chalong Pier which is town in South of Phuket.
In Raya Yai the main activities are chilling and snorkeling or diving. There are nice coral reefs close to the beach and you can go both snorkeling and diving from the beach. In Raya Yai there are four different beaches to choose from, two of them decorated with powder white sand called Patok beach and Siam bay and two rocky beaches called Ao Tyr bay and Ao Lah bay. The rocky beaches are better for underwater activities.
If I fell in love with that island, you will too!
3. More lovely islands – hidden gem of Koh Jum
In addition to Koh Raya Yai I can highly recommend island hopping. One hidden gem within easy reach is called Koh Jum. If you wish total relaxation for your holiday this is the place to go! This island is not for divers but it is for people who want to chill in a bamboo hut, drink cold beer on the beach and enjoy delicious thai food.
Positive side of this island is that only few people have found this biggish island and the prices are very reasonable. Normally the prices are fairly high on the islands compared to the mainland. Luckily in this island the prices are very similar to the mainland.
Koh Jum is within easy reach by ferry from Krabi and Koh Lanta during high season (from December to March). Outside high season you can take a longtail boat from the mainland to Koh Jum. Even in high season Koh Jum is very quiet and a good escape from the tourist destinations!
4. Temples of Bangkok: Wat Arun and other temple areas
Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand and it has an influence on the Thai way of life. To my mind you should visit some temple at least once in Thailand. In Bangkok the most famous temple is Wat Arun and I think it’s worth of it’s fame. If you want to see a more authentic temple life leave the tourist tracks and go to a local temple.
In temples I would suggest to try monk’s blessing. In some temples monks bless people and give them lucky bracelets. The idea is that you have to keep the bracelet until it goes off by it’s own. If you remove the blessed lucky bracelet bad luck will follow you.
Try to also look for a cup with numbered wooden sticks inside it. Keep the cup in your hands, kneel down to the altar and shake the cup until one wooden stick comes out. Check the number from your stick and try to find numbered pieces of paper. The paper that matches your number will tell you your future.
5. Khao Sok national park
Did you know that Khao Sok rainforest is one of the oldest rainforests in the world? It’s located in Southern Thailand’s Surat Thani province. Khao Sok consists of native rainforest, limestone mountains, waterfalls and one lake. The activities there are hiking, elephant trekking, bamboo rafting and canoeing.
What I loved most were the stunning views from the cliffs to the misty limestone mountains, elephant trekking to a small waterfall inside the rainforest and slow bamboo rafting in the jungle river while listening the sound of the nature. The combination of mist over rugged limestone mountains with the deep green jungle and the sound of gibbons is magical and worth the experience.
How to get there? If you are travelling on your own there is bus connection from Phuket, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani. You can also take a guided tour to the rainforest which is also a good option especially if you want to do different activities during your stay.
Check out also my 11 must-know tips for a traveller in Thailand!