Where in Thailand are you going?
I know that both Bangkok and Chang Mai have a serious artsy scene going.
On a side-note, I definitely recommend going on a cycling tour of BKK. It's a great way to see the city & I got to see parts I probably wouldn't have otherwise.
Where are you going in Thailand? I live in Chiang Mai, and can tell you that the art scene is mostly around Nimmanhaemin Road, near the University. You can also find gems of original artwork on the night walking streets, though you'll have to bear with some velvet paintings of elephants in the process.
In Bangkok, you're probably going to want to see the blooming fashion and design scene in Siam Square.
As far as general travel tips, short-shorts are par for the course, but you will feel like a hoochy mama in a tube top. It's going to be really, really hot in May, especially in the South, so you might want to plan sight-seeing for the mornings and take a siesta in the afternoon heat.
If you have any specific questions you can always email me: susan (at) splendorinthelemongrass (dot) com.
It's been six years since I went to Thailand, and we spent most of our time in Chiang Mai, but the city is beautiful and they have a fantastic night market with a lot of really unique things.
Another place we went that I very much enjoyed was Chiang Dao. We stayed at a little resort in the mountains there where all the rooms were individual huts and it was one of the neatest things I've ever done.
Oh, and if you get a chance to ride an elephant, definitely do it. :)
Where exactly are you going in Thailand?
If you're going to Bangkok, you definitely shouldn't miss the popular tourist spots (ie: Wat Pho and Grand Palace). Make sure you're dress conservatively when visiting the temples. The weather can turn out to be pretty humid, so you may find yourself opting for shorts and sleeveless tops. What you can do is probably bring along a cardigan or shawls in case you need to cover up.
If you want a different non-Bangkok Tour, you may want to check out Ayutthaya. They have a very interesting floating market that sells all kinds of authentic Thai food. Then, beside the floating market, you'll find the area where you could ride the elephants. That should be one fun experience. One thing about this place is that people here speaks little or no English(if you can speak Thai, then you'll be fine). It can be really challenging especially when you need to ask directions or you want to find out what exactly is that food you're ordering. If you're adventurous, and don't mind this little communication challenge, then Ayutthaya can provide you a one unique Thailand experience. If you want to know about my personal experience in Ayutthaya, you may refer to my blog post.
As for the art and indie spots, I didn't really get to explore that part of Thailand. I was really more into the shopping and discovering fabulous items at a bargain price. :)
Hi Mia! I lived in Chiang Rai in the North to teach English for 5 months then traveled around quite a bit. Definitely head up to the north as it's more authentic. The islands in the south are fun, but you could be anywhere! That being said, if you're looking for some beach time, I would definitely hit up Koh Pi Pi. I actually wrote a blog when i was out there. The top posts are about France :), but if you scroll down, you might find some tips! Let me know if you have any questions at all!