Thailand – that blue-green glittering gem in South-East Asia, lined up with azure beaches, fabulous temples and stunning greenery. It’s a country where magic surrounds you, right from the moment you step off the plane. The best part? You take the magic home with you.
The people are some of the friendliest and down-to-earth folks you’re ever likely to meet in your travels. Everyone has a smile for you, and warm hospitality follows you wherever you go.
There’s so much to see and do in Thailand that the problem is not about planning your trip, it’s about what all to squeeze into your trip. We’ve done that job for you. Read on!
Bangkok – The Heart Of Thailand
Don’t miss a visit to the 150-year-old Grand Palace, home to the Thai King, the Royal Mint and Thailand’s government. Note that modest dress code is advisable when you visit the Grand Palace.
Bangkok is full of magnificent palaces, fantastic nightclubs, ancient temples, bustling markets and streets vendors hawking souvenirs and fast food. Make a stop at the Wat Phra Kaew temple for a look at the beyond-lovely Emerald Buddha.
Bangkok is still a green space, with flowering tropical plants and natural water canals. Visit Khao San Road for some cheap shopping, dining and nightlife
Pai is a picturesque valley, nestled among tall mountain ranges. Adventurers such as mountain climbers, trekkers, mountain bikers come here for their share of adventure.
The Pai River is a beacon to whitewater rafters worldwide. Anthropologists come here to study the remaining hill tribes. Nature lovers delight in the beautiful waterfalls, elephant camps and hot springs just outside the city.
So pack your bags and head to our favorite destination, Pai.
The Temple Of Phanom Rung
Phanom Rung is a Hindu shrine that sits on an extinct volcano, built by the Khmer dynasty between the 10th and 13th centuries. The temple is built of sandstone and laterite, and is meant to represent Mount Kailash of the Himalayas, the home of Lord Shiva.
The sun shines through its 15 east-facing sanctuary doorways four times a year; each event is celebrated with ancient Brahmin ceremonies and sound-and-light shows. Make sure this temple is included in your Thailand tour packages.
Railay is a small peninsula, surrounded by high limestone cliffs and littered with glorious white sand beaches, clear blue waters and warm sun.
Apart from mountain climbing and beach-slumming, you can enjoy elephant trekking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, snorkeling, and cave exploring at the Diamond Caves.
One of the best things to do in Thailand is to enjoy a massage at a Railay spa after a day of adventuring.
Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park is one of Asia’s top wildlife resorts, filled with limestone karsts, rivers and lakes and jungle forests. You can see some of the most incredible wildlife in Thailand, such as barking deer, wild boar, Asian elephants, bears, Malayan tapirs, gibbons, langurs and pig-tailed macaques.
You can trek through the park’s many jungle lanes to spot wildlife, swim in natural pools, enjoy waterfalls and admire stunning vistas from high up in the hills.
The Ruins of Ayuthaya
The city of Ayuthaya sits on an island surrounded by three rivers connecting. The city is connected to the Gulf of Siam, which is how Ayuthaya got is ancient name of Siam.
King U Thong made Siam his capital, and built three palaces and over 400 temples on it. There was a time when Siam’s population was almost a 1,000,000 people.
The Burmese conquered Siam in 1767, and made Bangkok the capital of Thailand. Today the ruins of Ayuthaya, once known as Siam, are a major attraction to tourists and academics from around the world.
Beautiful And Cultural Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi is known for its incredible national parks, waterfalls and amazing natural beauty. Kanchanaburi is home to the historic River Kwai Bridge which was built by WWII POWs and Asian laborers.
You can learn more about this historical event from several museums and war cemeteries all over the city, which present information on the bridge and the Japanese occupation during the 1940s. Kanchanaburi is close to the Srinakarind National Park and Erawan National Park among others, and the area is rife with plenty of caves, lovely vistas and picturesque waterfalls.
Chiang Mai – City Of Delights
Chiang Mai is famous for its interesting hill tribes, lush landscapes, and outdoor adventures. The city is a study in Thai culture and architecture, both historical and modern.
Walk around the historic center for a peep at dozens of Buddhist temples and old city walls. The most famous is the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, located on a nearby mountainside.
Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Walking Street offers a bonanza of Thai food – fried bananas, fresh fruit shakes, pad Thai, chicken satay, samosas, crab cakes – you name it.
Pick up some souvenirs for home – all-natural soaps, hand-dyed tribal textiles, incense and essential oils, musical instruments, wall hangings, and more.
Islands Off The Coast Of Thailand
The islands off the coast of Thailand are rife with beautiful beaches, gorgeous scenery and a vibrant party scene.
Check out the Ko Samet and Ko Chang Islands to the east of Bangkok, and Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao in the Gulf, and Phuket and Ko Phi Phi in the Andaman.
Ko Phi Phi is a famous resort area, known for its spas and the Monkey Beach, which is populated by hundreds of simians.
Thai Floating Markets
One of Thailand’s unique features is its floating markets – boats and rafts selling fresh produce and flowers on rivers and lakes.
These floating markets are the very fabric of local Thais’ daily lives. Get to the floating markets in Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa early in the day for fresh produce, spices, and freshly-cooked pies and noodles.
Whether you’re a student, archaeologist, anthropologist, backpacker, adventurer or regular tourist, you’ll love Thailand.
With innumerable water bodies, rain forests, lush greenery, hills, mountains, waterfalls, valleys, old ruins and plenty of natural caving systems, there’s something for everybody in Thailand. So pack your bags, book some cheap flights and head to my favourite destination.
Have you been to Thailand? I’d love to hear about it so contact me!
Author: Sagar Kole