Photography and writing by Michael and Eva Schuh
From flying lanterns over rough urban landscapes to heavenly beaches… Thailand will always have a special place in our heart. It was the first country we visited in Asia and it immediately awakened the urge in us to discover more.
In 2019 we finally had the chance to do that during our second trip to Thailand. Right in time for the Loy Krathong, or flying lantern festival, we arrived in Chiang Mai, the northern capital of Thailand. The Lantern festival occurs all over Thailand, but especially impressive and beautiful in Chiang Mai . We were beyond stunned by this remarkable festival as we headed to our next location, Bangkok.
We took a bus and drove down to the Thai capital. 2015, when we visited Thailand for the first time, Bangkok totally overwhelmed us. Just like last time we were fascinated again. This time we were able to visit a few temples we weren’t able to see last trip. We also had the opportunity to go up the Sky bar that overlooked the city. If you get a chance to see this enormous cityscape from a skyscraper, take it, the view is magnificent.
Now it was, finally, time for some islands and beaches. Down in the south of Thailand we visited the lesser known, but not any less beautiful, island of Koh Lanta. This island is not on the typical tourist radar, which after experiencing in person we cannot understand why. On a long straight stretch of road there are many beautiful beaches and delicious restaurants. The vibe of the island is incredibly laid back, and we immediately felt in love with it. Even during peak travel season the island was never crowded. It always maintained the lonely paradise island feeling many seek when they visit Thailand.
After one week of paradise it was time for some classic Thailand beaches. Our time in Ao Nang and Phuket delivered just that. While visiting these places we did some island hopping and consumed some fantastic street food. Honestly, Phuket isn’t the most beautiful place to visit in Thailand, but our flight went from there. We decided to book a very beautiful hotel to relax a little bit before our trip came to and end, and we needed to return to the cold German winter.
Even after our second trip, with four weeks in Thailand, we still don’t think it was our last visit. The friendly people, the incredibly food, cheap but beautiful hotels, and the good tourist infrastructure is what makes Thailand one of the best first time backpacking countries in south east Asia you can visit.