If you’re headed to North Thailand you probably have three destinations in mind: Chiang Mai, Pai and Chiang Rai. Unfortunately a tight schedule meant I could only visit Chiang Mai, but I can’t imagine the other two being greatly different to be honest.
If you find yourself in south Thailand there’s a good chance you’ll visit Krabi, even if just for a stop in Koh Phi Phi. Krabi doesn’t have a great deal to offer, but it’s still somewhere I would recommend spending a few days in.
So you wanted to see the beautiful beaches Thailand has to offer and live the island life, but you needed the company of other tourists and as many home luxuries as possible. Great! I hate travel snobbery, and am a firm believer that comfort is king when travelling. People often complain that Koh Samui is too developed and lacks culture, but if you’re visiting to chill out and enjoy the beach, you won’t be disappointed!
Before visiting Bangkok, you’ll probably be pretty excited by what it has to offer. After a few days, you’ll hate it. If you’re there for a long period of time, you’ll probably love it. Bangkok is a bit of a horrible city, but one you can get used too and choose to enjoy once you know it a bit better. Unfortunately, both of my visits were short enough to be stuck in the same crap as most tourists and I wouldn’t return for the city itself.