From Bangkok most people travel South to the Thai Islands or to the North. Thai trains are easy to book and hassle free with most employers able to speak/understand English. The overnight train is an experience and a must to do. The most common route is from Bangkok at night and arriving in Chiang Mai at the early hours of the morning.
Chiang Mai is and feels a lot small than the crazy Bangkok streets- it is more manageable and less daunting. Just like Bangkok there are numerous wats and outdoor markets visit, but most people have a go at cookery schools, treks, elephant conservation or zip lining.
Around Chiang Mai is the hippie town of Pai, Chiang Rai and boutique hotels hidden in the rainforest. Pai is accessed by a short (3hr) bus journey from Chiang Mai, which is often door to door service. Pai is the perfect laid back place that doesn’t require anything more than a good book and a hammock.
Still considered part of Northern Thailand is the island of Koh Chang, found on the border of Cambodia and Thailand. It is a hidden gem in terms of Islands and a perfect port to Cambodia. Koh Chang caters for everyone from the luxury holidays to the backpack budgets all wanting one thing in common….a good beach!