While quick holidays to sunshine destinations are a time-honored tradition throughout much of the temperate parts of the world come winter time, the dawn of employment mobility, the arrival of the boomer retirement cycle, and a growing preference for slow travel has made long term stays of a month or more increasingly popular.
When staying this long in one place, it makes more sense to seek out an apartment rather than to stay in an overpriced hotel. Beds here are just as comfortable, and they often come with kitchen facilities that will help you stay healthier, and best of all – the cost per night is often much lower than staying in a resort.
The question then becomes – where do I stay, and why? The following Thai destinations are popular for a variety of reasons, the details of which we will uncover in our picks below…
1) Chiang Mai
Located up north in one of Thailand’s most cultural regions, Chiang Mai offers plenty of activities to make you forget that you aren’t on a beach here. Home to hundreds of significant Buddhist wats, the culture vulture will be perpetually busy, while adrenaline addicts will be venturing off on trekking trips, zipline rides, and river rafting expeditions on a weekly basis.
Chiang Mai’s long standing affordability has laid the foundation of a thriving expat community here, with plenty of Western restaurants from a variety of backgrounds, to say nothing of the mouthwatering Northern Thai cuisine that can be found around every corner.
2) Hua Hin
Situated only a few hours south of Bangkok by Thailand’s efficient system of freeways, Hua Hin is a less trafficked beach destination that provides easy access to the Big Mango whenever you feel to need to indulge in its many qualities.
There’s plenty to love about this city, though: after all, the current King of Thailand chose it as his permanent residence over the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Lined with tropical pines and overshadowed by a coastal promontory with a Buddhist temple on top, days at the beach here will be memorable, and the Cicada night market will prove to be a great place to sample all the various cuisines that make Thailand a culinary giant in the world.
3) Ao Nang
Centrally located among the envy-inducing beaches of Krabi province, Ao Nang is the ideal place to base yourself for a month of fun in Southern Thailand. Taxi boats await to take you to world-famous Railay beach, as well as all those beaches you wouldn’t have time for on a typical holiday.
Major supermarket brands in Thailand have opened in recent years in the Krabi area, allowing you to cook your own meals when you can’t bear the thought of another serving of rice or noodles.