It’s no wonder 25 million people make their way to Thailand each year. Thailand is cheap, friendly and incredibly diverse as a destination for tourists. Full of adventure activities and sports, cultural experiences and an abundance of natural attractions in a balmy tropical holidaying climate, Thailand has more on offer than can be experienced in just one trip!
There’s a growing number of eco-tourism experiences on offer, on land and on the water. Much of the 3,000km coastline is accessible and offers sandy beaches, swimming, snorkeling, diving and fishing. Then there are the islands! Dreamy islands that you can sail, catamaran or speed boat to, to then roll out your beach towel and spend the day sipping from fresh coconuts on, like a high-flyer!
You can hike into the mountains in the north, boat down the Mekong River that separates the ‘Golden Triangle’ – the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. In the Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai area of northern Thailand, many ‘hill-tribes’ communities live in unique style. You can visit them, learn about why some wear golden rings around their necks and others have beads, coins, shells or embroidery.
There are 40, 000 Buddhist temples to see across Thailand! You can stay in a tree-house, set amongst tropical rainforest, perfect for helping you find your Zen. The Full Moon Party draws over 30,000 tourists every year for a night of partying on the beach in balmy conditions.
Some top ways to enjoy “One night in Bangkok” – or several nights, include these fun and photo worthy activities, sites, tasty treats, and quirky finds…
Take a food tour and experience real Thai cuisine – there are plenty of tricky little insects to sample, freshly fried over an open flame. If insects aren’t your thing, Thailand is of course home to pad thai, green curry, satay and seemingly endless other tasty dishes, as well as cooking classes and workshops, like fruit carving! Note to those with nut allergies – peanut oil is used often!
A tourist hotspot, which also includes a lot of fun, food and fantastical Thai experiences, is Khao San Road. Roam the strip taking in the bright lights, live music, bars and food scene. After exhausting yourself with all that fun, relax as little fish nibble at your worn-out feet in a foot spa, then skip over to a massage parlour for an inexpensive, relaxing Thai massage. For a less touristy feel, Talad Rot Fai is an alternative night market strip that is a favourite amongst locals.
A fun way to get around, experience a thrill and feel the busy Bangkok wind on your face, is to take a tuk tuk. It’s also fun to suggest racing another tuk tuk to your destination… tuk tuk drivers can be competitive! It’s also cheap and convenient to get them and offers a slower, slightly bumpier, but enjoyable way to see more of the city instead of taking taxis and other vehicles. It’s also better than attempting to navigate yourself as Bangkok’s streets can wind all over like a slinky!
Check out a floating market – beware of the tourist trap, there are a few little waterways and canals in downtown Bangkok that have a boat waiting loaded with trinkets for a tourist photo pose. But, if you can get to an authentic market you won’t regret it! One such example is Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, which is about 20km from Bangkok. Locals meet on the canals in canoe-like boats, to purchase fresh fruit, daily supplies and snacks from other boats.
We mentioned the 40, 000 Buddhist temples… well one of the best examples can be found at the Grand Palace, where you can’t possibly miss the 43-metre long Reclining Buddha. The palace and Buddha are adorned in spectacular gems, gold leafing and surrounded by intricate architecture. There is a dress code for visitors, similar to visiting churches in Italy… or churches anywhere, dress relatively covered, more is best, simply to be respectful.
A great way to get to and from the Grand Palace and see it in its grand splendour, is by river taxi on the Chao Phraya River from Sathorn Peir – about a 20minute ride.
Bartering. It’s standard in Thailand. Barter for everything from tuk tuk’s to thai massages. Tips aren’t necessary, but if you want to pay, they won’t say no! Always check at a hotel or hostel for the approximate price of a taxi or tuk-tuk ride and the distance as well, just so you aren’t over charged.