For the most beautiful sight in Thailand, I nominated a steaming bowl of khao soi -- a coconut-curry noodle soup, and the best breakfast you’ll ever have -- but my editors inform me that khao soi is not a place. The other go-to option here is generally one of Thailand’s gorgeous islands (Koh Phi Phi and Phuket are among the most popular, though I personally recommend Ko Muk). But I’m quite sure you’ve already seen plenty of pictures of those, perhaps on a screensaver somewhere.
Equally beautiful but far less hyped is Chiang Mai, the mountainous northern city where you’ll eat some of the best food in your life, all enhanced by that crisp mountain air. If you’re there on November 23 -- a full moon -- you can catch not one but two iconic light shows: Loy Krathong, when people release candle-filled baskets into the river, and Yi Peng, which people release lanterns into the night sky.