My husband and I will be in Thailand for 3 weeks from the end of July to mid August. We are planning on 4 days in Chiang Mai then back to Bangkok where we are thinking of taking the train or the bus down the coast and finding a cool beach town (or a couple of them). We are looking for smaller towns, with character and local flare, not a tourist trap where we have the option at eating a McDonalds. Here are a few towns that spike our interest:
Cha-am (next to Hua Hin): not interested in glitz of Hua Hin.
Prachuap Khiri Khan: Ao Manao and Ao Noi
Bang Saphan Yai
For the islands, thinking
Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Koh Phangan
Again, not interested in the party scene of the full moon parties.
What we like for a vibe:
cooking classes (doing this in Chiang Mai)
perhaps some yoga
drinks/cocktails and local places or beach bars
lazing in the sun reading and meeting other people who are not about staying at the Four Seasons or the W
We are newlyweds some something romantic would be nice too :)
a taste of the real thailand which we understand might be hard to come by but we are willing to try!
We leave on Thursday and so far only have the Chiang Mai hotel booked (Ban Sabhai - http://bansabaivillage.com/) this will give you a feel for the places we seek out.
Will it be worth it to go over to the Andaman Sea side (tendency to be more wet?) If so, how long to get from one coast to the other?
Any input would be appreciated! We can't wait for this adventure to begin.
Thanks in advance for your feedback.