Thailand is one of the most exotic places in the world that you could be in. It is much like a collage of scenes from your favorite anime offering you all kinds of experiences- from witnessing a bustling city life to enjoying the calm serenity of nature at its best. While you will find the motorbike and tuk-tuk filled roads in one part of the country, you will also find smiling and welcoming monks in Buddhist temples at another part. Farming villages, hand-crafted souvenirs from local tribesmen, ancient ruins and decorative temples, and the most picturesque coastline- you will find it all in Thailand. Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand will offer you one of the busiest experiences of city life in the world. Ching Mai, on the other hand, is the perfect "gateway" to the jump into the mountainous north. Here are some of the best places to go to while you are on the islands in Thailand.
Last but not least is the capital city of Thailand- Bangkok. It is the largest city in the country and being the capital has an international airport that attracts tourists from all around the world. It is a huge cosmopolitan city that showcases an amazing blend of everything old as well as new. There are high-rise buildings interspersed with grand palaces. There are ancient temples throughout the city mingled with terrific nightclubs. And one can never say enough about the marketplaces in Bangkok with all kinds of local items, handcrafted souvenirs, restaurants and cafes, and the most stunning delicacies. Between noisy traffic and greeneries, this is a capital city that you just have to see to believe how amazing it is!
Khao San Road is a famous attraction and starting point for tourists when they are visiting Bangkok. The Wat Phra Kaew showcasing the Emerald Buddha is a lovely temple that you can visit. The floating markets in Bangkok are also a remarkable sight to behold just like the Thai boxing matches. The best way to travel through the city is using the Skytrain, the metros, and the tuk-tuks. Conventional modes of transport such as busses and cabs could be cumbersome since the city is bustling with people and cars and the traffic is terrible. Exploring Bangkok by traveling through the canals on boats is also an interesting way of exploring the city.
Ko Pha Ngan
Ko Pha Ngan is the fifth-largest island in Thailand. It has a terrific coastline with white and sandy beaches coupled with the natural experience of lush vegetation and scalable hills. Being situated in the Gulf of Thailand, this place hosts some of the most amazing diving sites in the country including the Sail Rock diving site. The versatile island is filled with more than 30 different well-known and lesser-known beaches for you to explore.
A terrific event that makes Ko Pha Ngan such a popular and attractive tourist destination is the Full Moon Party. Attracting between 5,00 and 30,000 tourists every month, the Full Moon Party is legen-wait-for-it-dary! During the full moon of every month, the entire Haad Rin Beach is completely transformed into a makeshift nightclub! Immersive live music, devilish cocktails, and the most exciting events such as the fire rope skipping are some of the major attractions during this time of the month.
Khao Yai National Park
The Khao Yai National is the third largest one in Thailand and is situated within the Senkamphaeng Mountain Range. Irrespective of the increased elevation, the landscape in the park is versatile and comprises diverse evergreen rainforests coupled with open grasslands. The national park also has a host of wildlife to boast of that includes sambar deer, Asian black bears, pigtailed macaques, and freshwater crocodiles. If you are lucky, you might also witness a herd of elephants or a lone tiger in the wild.
The Haew Narok waterfall is a must-visit place while you are visiting Khao Yai National Park. There are several smaller, even hidden waterfalls within the rainforest, but Haew Narok, at a staggering height of 260’, is the largest waterfall in the region. The Haew Suwat Waterfall offers some of the most stunning views and is also famous as the waterfall from the movie “The Beach”.
After traveling through some of the most picturesque places in Thailand, it is time for you to take a trip down memory lane into some fascinating ruins. The older Sukhothai, now in ruins, used to be the first capital of Thailand, and then Siam, back in the 13th century. There are multiple zones in the older city which has been converted into a "Historical Park". Wat Mahathat is one of the excavated sites with a lotus-shaped temple and standing relics of Buddha and is one of the best sites to visit. The Wat Si Chum pavilion, situated in the middle of the park hosts a 50' tall statue of sitting Buddha and is one of the most impressive sights in Thailand.
There are many lakes, well-maintained gardens, and sunken moats within the park area. The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is part of the park where you will find lots of artifacts that have been excavated from the area and an in-depth understanding of the history of the place. Other exciting nearby places include two beautiful national parks- the Ramkhamhaeng National Park and the Sri Satchanali National Park which you can visit while you are around the area.
Ko Samui is one of the most sought-ought destinations in all of Asia. It is such an appealing destination that Ko Samui has its own international airport making it easier for visitors from all around the world to reach the place. There are so many beaches that line the coastline of Ko Samui and provides a comfortable, leisurely traveling experience. If you want to mingle with the crowds, you will easily find such hotspots- if you want to enjoy some alone-time far away from people, well there are unexplored and hidden beaches in Ko Samui too! There are even two small islets off the shore and one of them can be easily reached via wading through the water.
Na Thon is the transportation hotspot of Ko Samui and is lined with all kinds of restaurants, cafes, and bars selling all kinds of delicacies. Coconut carvings and batik apparels are easily available in ample in the island for you to take home as souvenirs. Wat Khunaram is an interesting temple on the island that preserves the mummified remains of important monks while Wat Phra Yai houses a 9' tall seated Buddha statue called the "Big Buddha". The is even a smaller 20' tall waterfall around the center of the island which drops into a naturally made swimming pool. The island has a good network of roadways that connects all the important places.
Chiang rai is situated along the northern borders of Thailand is the perfect place to witness the "Golden Triangle"- the meeting point of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. It is a quiet city though once the suns sets, the roads are bustling with life and activity in the form of souvenir stalls as well as quaint restaurants.
Many surrounding places offer a terrific and scenic view. The Gate of Siam just outside of the city is one such lovely place. You could also visit Kon Forest Park where you could enjoy solitary nature walks and immerse yourself in the rhythms of lonely waterfalls. You could go on a hiking trip or a simple picnic in the Lion Hill Cave or you could even contact a tour guide to take you to some of the nearby hill tribes to interact with them.
Phanom Rung is situated in the northeastern part of the country. This impressive site is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and is built on an extinct volcano. You have to reach the Nang Rung village to be able to get to this magnificent site. It was built around the 10th century and 13th century by the Khmer culture to the Hindu god. In fact, the temple was built to signify Mount Kailash, the holy abode of Lord Shiva in the Himalayas.
The complex is built with tremendous mathematical accuracy facing east such that 4 times every year the sun shines exactly through all the 15 doorways to the sanctuary. During the alignment in April, a ceremony is held where Brahmanical texts are read out and light and sound shows are conducted within the temple complex. The temples also remain open for longer durations than usual during these times.
If you are enthusiastic about traveling to exotic locations around the world, you surely have heard of Phuket. It is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world and attracts tons of tourists every year. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and is connected to the mainland via two tremendous bridges. The white beaches in Phuket with their sapphire blue lagoons are the prime attraction in Phuket. There are resorts, hotels, exclusive spas, massage centers on the beach, and everything you can think of to have the most relaxing time of your life in Phuket. The nightlife in Phuket is also worth witnessing and you will be surely missing out on a lot if you do not go through it.
Patong beach in Phuket is the most popular of the lot. You should also make it a point to visit Phang Nga Bay which has mesmerizing caves, limestone islands, and aquatic grottoes. There are also many aquariums in Phuket as well as an interesting seashell Museum that you can go to. Adventure activities in water such as kayaking, white water rafting, and scuba diving are also part of the attractions in Phuket.
The ruins in Ayutthaya tell the story of a brilliant kingdom that once existed and brings tourists from all around the world. The city is located in the Chao Phraya River valley in the central part of the country and is built on an island surrounded by 3 rivers. The place was once hosted as the capital city of the Thai kingdom and the grandeur of the ruins tells the story of exactly how impressive the place was. The city flourished for 400 years between the 14th and 18th centuries and has 3 palaces and over 400 temples. It was such a busy city in Thailand that there lived nearly a million people by the 1700s.
Wat Phra Mahathat is one of the most visited places in Ayutthaya. It is the site of a Buddhist temple and holds some truly amazing sites. The sandstone figurine of Buddha's head is wrapped around in the Bodhi tree. The largest gilded Buddha in Thailand called the Phra Buddha Triratana Nayok is also a part of this complex, at Wat Phanan Choeng.
The city is also very easy to reach through roadways or railways since it is only 80km away from Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Generally, tourists come for a day trip to the place but it is recommended that you stay here for 2-3 days to soak in the immense grandeur and magnificence of the place. You should also try not to miss the local food found in Ayutthaya since it is delicious.
Chiang Mai is the gateway to everything natural and exotic that Thailand has to offer. It is a flourishing city in itself and has amazing landscapes surrounding the place. Situated in the northern parts of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the base from where you can go for hikes, adventure activities, and even go into the forests to interact with the local hill tribes. The city is culturally very important to Thailand and one can see a terrific confluence of modern and traditional architecture and culture.
The old city walls and the many temples will give you an immersive and memorable trip. The Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is the most famous temple in the area and is located just outside the city on a mountain overlooking the city. The modern, inhabited city offers many stores selling handicraft items, excellent spas, botanical gardens, and even an elephant nature park. There are also a huge number of tour companies available who would take you on organized tours through the mountains and wildlife of the place where you can also indulge in adventure activities such as river rafting, ziplining, trekking, and mountain biking.
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