If you ever find yourself wondering where to travel next, or even if you wish to make a substantial change and move to the other end of the world, Thailand should be among your top choices. Whether you are a history major travelling to soak up another culture, a foodie looking to widen your horizons, a party-goer looking for the next great adventure, or just a person looking for your place under the sun on a beach: you will find all you need in Thailand.
There are countless places to see, experiences to soak in and hidden gems to discover in Thailand, and you may as well spend an entire lifetime living in this country without ever visiting certain locations. However, if you are a tourist with a schedule and a limited amount of holiday time, make sure to add some of these suggestions to your itineraries:
Bangkok: where to start
It could take weeks to explore all that the city has to offer, however most visitors will make it their point to visit the Grand Palace. The Wat Phra Kaew is located within the grounds, the most sacred temple in the country. The temple is a collection of holy buildings, one of which houses the famous Emerald Buddha. You might also wish to visit the Wat Pho and the Wat Arun which are not far from the Palace.
While in the city, you shouldn’t miss visiting the floating markets, such as Taling Chan, Tha Kha and Damnoen Saduku, where you can take a guided tour as well. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a bicycle tour, or even a running tour of Bangkok as well. You should not miss visiting a spa while there, as Thailand is famous for them, and will provide you a luxury experience at a reasonable price. Also, make sure you sample as much of the gorgeous street food as you can: no two carts offer the same taste. Somtham, pad thai and kanom roti or just some of the things you should make a point of tasting.
Ko Samui: the beach experience
The third largest island in Thailand, Samui boasts amazing beaches and amazing parties. It used to be the destination of choice for backpackers, but has now been developed into party central. Chaweng Beach is the main beach of the island, and it boasts endless pubs, hotels and bars, offering you an endless night. A quieter option is Mae Nam, while Bophut Beach is the place to go when is search of diving opportunities.
While on the island, make sure to try the coconuts! They are amazingly tasty and can be found everywhere. You should also try all the different varieties of seafood, as well as the rum that is made on the island itself.
Once you’ve visited the island, living in Koh Samui permanently will certainly cross your mind. If you truly have such an opportunity, choose wisely and enjoy your stay, immersing yourself in the Thai, as well as the expat culture abounding in Thailand.
Chiang Mai: away from the bustle
Another part of the country which boasts a large expat population, Chiang Mai is the fifth-largest city in Thailand, located amidst mountains and countryside, a quiet and green place to enjoy your stay.
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is the temple to see while visiting. You may also wish to visit the Royal Palace Gardens, or one or more of the more than 300 temples in the city, or some of the museums, such as the cities Art’s and Cultural Centre.
What you should not miss is an elephant tour. You will have amazing opportunities to get close to these majestic animals in lush surroundings, but do make sure you choose your tour with care. There are reports that some of the animals are being mistreated and abused, so do your research and choose a reliable tour provider.
Whatever you ultimately choose to do in Thailand, remember that the food tends to be spicy, the climate tends to be hot and wet, and the roads may be bumpy at times. Choose your destinations with care, stay safe, and experience as much of Thailand as you can!