Thailand Adventures North to South: Northern Jungles to Southern Beaches

Updated on February 7th, 2019 at 07:11 pm

I haven’t made a blog post in a while. Mostly from having too many adventures and way too much fun. And then from getting food poisoning… So here it is. Our time in the North has come to a bittersweet end so I have been reflecting on that but also thoroughly enjoying our time in Southern Thailand as well. Here’s a quick look at all of our Thailand adventures, north to south.

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Northern Thailand: Chiang Mai, Chiang Dao and Chiang Rai

Thailand Adventures North to South
Jungle roads in Chiang Dao.

Our time in the north of Thailand was incredible. In Chiang Mai we visited temples, got addicted to Pad Thai, saw the Lantern Festival and visited an elephant sanctuary. We wound up in Chiang Dao half-accidentally and loved every minute of it. We stayed at Chiang Dao Hut Resort and had our own little jungle hut all to ourselves. In Chiang Rai we visited the unique White Temple and had coffee in a cat cafe.

Thailand Adventures North to South
The White Temple, or Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai

Since then, Carley and I have been island hopping in beautiful southern Thailand. We started at Krabi and then moved to Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and now we are on Koh Lanta.

Thailand Adventures North to South: Krabi

Beautiful Beach Sunset
Beautiful sunset in Krabi.

Each island here has its own unique charm. On Krabi we made friends with monkeys and got our first glimpse of Thai beaches. We also got our first bad sunburns of the trip and had to spend a day inside lathering the aloe vera every couple hours.


Phuket was massive and loud. The beaches were fantastic and so was the food. One day we ended up at a little Indian restaurant on the beach. Despite the rat that scurried through the restaurant at one point, it was probably some of the best food we have eaten. Seriously those samosas were unreal.

Koh Phi Phi

Thailand Adventures North to South

Koh Phi Phi was so much fun. Parties happened every night with bars lining the streets and no vehicles in sight! Boating or walking were the only methods of transportation on Phi Phi and I loved that. Beach parties with fire dancers were also common and even young Thai children knew how to play with the flames.

The one downside of Koh Phi Phi was that it was overcrowded with tourists and travelers. Which is fine in and of itself but it just seemed as though everyone backpacking had kind of taken over the whole island and all they cared about was partying. Although we had a lot of fun at the parties and still got to see the beauty of the island, it just didn’t seem like a great Thai cultural experience. There’s lots of debate over whether Phi Phi has been ruined by tourists and although there are some issues there I think it’s still definitely worth seeing – especially if you want to party for a few days.

Thailand Adventures North to South: Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta Beach Hut Thailand

Now we are enjoying Koh Lanta. Koh Lanta is very laid back with beautiful big beaches and lots of interesting things to do. Aside from the beaches we have also visited a butterfly and orchid farm as well as an animal welfare shelter. I have to admit, I think it’s my favorite island so far.

Koh Lanta Animal Welfare

Cat at Koh Lanta Animal Welfare

The animal welfare shelter is s beautiful project here on Koh Lanta that takes in tons of stray cats and dogs, many who have been sick or injured and nurses them back to health. They also vaccinate and sterilize them to keep them healthy and also to control the population. Every animal at the shelter is up for adoption and they make it relatively easy to bring a dog or cat back to your home country. The shelter runs off of donations from tourists coming to visit the shelter as well as from monthly donors and sponsors.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this little recap of what we have been up to lately. I will be making another blog post soon about all of our slip ups, mistakes and bizarre moments of our trip within the next few days.

If you would like to make a donation to Lanta Animal Welfare or maybe would like to volunteer with or adopt an animal from Thailand check out this link.

Puppy at an animal shelter

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About The Author

April Thompson

Updated on February 7th, 2019 at 07:11 pm

April is the founder and main author for Just Leaving Footprints. She has written for numerous blogs and publications such as Explore Magazine and Snow Pak. April loves writing about sustainable tourism, and promoting other sustainable travelers on her Facebook Group and Instagram Community, Ladies for Sustainable Travel. Currently, April is living and teaching English in Mexico City with her husband Arturo and they don’t plan on stopping their travels anytime soon.

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