Thailand is one of the most renowned tourist destinations in the world. It is in Southeast Asia, and its capital city Bangkok is the most visited in the country. It covers an area of 510,890 km2 of land and 2,230 km2 of water. Other beautiful countries surround Thailand, including Myanmar from the northwest, Laos from the north and east, Cambodia from the southeast, and the Khorat plateau to the northeast. Also, it is surrounded by many fascinating beaches and islands.
Most people in Thailand are Theravada Buddhists which is 95% of the population. The other 5% are practitioners of various other religions, especially Christianity and Islam. The population is also very diverse, while most are of Thai ethnicity, it is also inhabited by Chinese, Malaysians, and many Europeans.
Thailand consists of 1400 magnificent islands. Ko Phi Phi Lei is the largest, most famous, and most beautiful of them all, and it became more prominent after Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie “The Beach” was filmed there.
Weather in Thailand and When to Visit
The weather in Thailand is excellent throughout the year. In the summer, from March to June, the temperature rises above 40 degrees Celsius.
In Thailand, the New Year is celebrated in April and is considered the hottest month in the year, and there is a festival that takes place for three days where Thais douse each other in water in celebration.
The rainy season starts from July till October, and the third season is from November to February when the weather is dry, and the temperature rarely goes above 35 degrees. It is considered the perfect time to visit Thailand.
Wild Life in Thailand
Thailand is home to lots of mammals that represent approximately 1/8 of all mammal species living on the planet. The Asian elephant, tiger, buffalo, and leopard, alongside many others, are all on the list of those species. Also, more than 10,000 kinds of plants cover about 25% of the space available in the country’s rainforests.
You can take a safari and watch all the beauty of nature in Thailand surrounding you while riding on the back of an elephant. Also, you can explore crocodile and butterfly farms and watch exotic birds in their natural environment.
The north of Thailand is called the land of nature and culture, specifically the city of Chiang Mai, which is the cultural capital of the country. There you can find many cultural monuments and temples. Also, you can enjoy the nightlife in Thailand, where you can do many entertaining activities like shopping, going to bars, and much more.
Also, one of the recommended things to do in Thailand is to try Thai food. It combines sweet, sour, and spices all in one dish, and rice is the most popular food in Thailand. One of the most famous things to try there is seafood which has become an integral part of the local cuisine.
How to Get to Thailand
Bangkok has the main international airport, Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which serves over 50 international airlines. Chiang Mai International Airport and Phuket International Airport are other famous regional airports in this distinguished city. When you arrive in Thailand, you will find other means of transportation that will make you reach your destinations in the country, like the train which starts from Hua Lamphong in Bangkok.
Thailand has four main regional lines: Ekamai Terminal serves the eastern coastal routes, and Sai Tai Mai helps the southern paths. Mor Chit Song serves both the northern and northeastern routes.
Things to Do in Thailand
Thailand is well-known for its natural beauty, ancient history, and wonderful monuments.
Thailand also contains ancient ruins, which are the remnants of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, such as temples that were the largest in the world during the 18th century. It is also distinguished by its beaches and its 34 islands.
Architecture is also an interesting aspect to explore and marvel at in Thailand. Thai architecture possesses some very special features, especially the roofs of older buildings and the stunning temples. The most distinguishing feature is the roofs’ slightly tapered shape and inverted eaves. Thai architecture is a mixture of oriental forms with refined European architecture.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace lies in the centre of Bangkok. It was built in 1782 by King Rama I, who founded Thailand’s Chakri Dynasty. The Palace is a fascinating complex built in a unique architectural style and is one of Bangkok’s most renowned attractions. It was the official royal residence till Rama V of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. Still, the Grand Palace is used for ceremonial purposes and to welcome the king’s guests, state guests, and other foreign dignitaries.
The palace is divided into two main sections: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the royal residence. The royal residence consists of three areas: the Outer Court, the Middle Court, and the Inner Court.
In the Inner Court, which stretches from Sanam Ratchakit Gate to Thaew Teng, the row houses were formerly the palace walls during the reign of King Rama I. The southern part of it was a female zone only, and no men were allowed there except the king, where the queens, consorts, consort mothers, and daughters of the king lived together.
Khao Yai National Park
In 1962, Khao Yai National Park was established. It is known as the oldest national park in the country. It is about three times the size of Singapore.
It is only three hours away, 170 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, making it a popular destination to visit. The park has a beautiful landscape covering an area of more than 2,100 km2 and extends to four governorates.
It is also the most diverse, with mountains, dense forests, exotic wild animals, waterfalls, lakes, and more. You could rent a bike and discover the park, as well as stop at its restaurants, gift shops, and museum.
Since it is considered a national park, the Thai government has fantastically preserved its natural heritage. It became the home of more than 300 different kinds of birds, as well as the largest herd of wild elephants in the country and a group of tigers.
If you would like to spend a night or more in the park, you can stay at one of the two camps inside Khao Yai National Park and rent all the camping equipment you’ll need from the front desk. The accommodation price is very affordable too.
One of the places that you can go for a fantastic view of the whole park is Nong Pak Chi Wildlife Tower. Don’t forget to take some lovely pictures.
The best time to visit the park is between November and April because of the excellent weather. March till April is the best time for bird lovers, but try to avoid going there on weekends since the park is one of the most popular destinations for locals looking for an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
This is one of the famous floating markets in Thailand, and people come from all over Thailand and other countries just to see it. It is in Damnoem Saduak’s canal, the longest canal in Thailand, which was dug at the behest of King Rama IV to link the Mae Klong River with the Chinese river to support transportation and trade, and it took two years to dig it.
The canal is 32 kilometres long and has more than 200 branches. It became famous in 1973 when farmers began to sell their wares on boats, and it is still working today.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is 100 km away from Bangkok. When you arrive at the market, you will find the farmers displaying their products, such as fruits and vegetables produced at their farms.
The best time to visit the market is in the early morning to get the best products and to escape the large crowd of visitors.
Wat Arun temple is considered one of Thailand’s most famous religious and historical temples, and it attracts many tourists from all over the world just to marvel at its beauty.
The temple is famous for its location and distinctive design, using reflective materials on which the sun’s rays shine, reflecting its golden colour on the buildings of Bangkok to make them look like beautiful pieces of gold.
This fascinating temple was built in the 18th century during the era of King Thaksin. The Thais believe that a Buddhist lord created it, which is why it is sacred to them.
A large golden statue of Buddha attracts visitors and encourages them to explore the temple from the inside. It is considered the most important landmark in Wat Arun and is adorned with many paintings hanging on the walls depicting elements of the Buddhist religion. The breathtaking view of Bangkok from the top of the temple is unmatched. The temple is open every day from 8 am to 6 pm.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World is considered one of the largest aquariums in Thailand and Asia. It includes more than 30 thousand sea creatures of various types and is regarded as one of Bangkok’s most beautiful tourist attractions.
In the aquarium, you’ll find a water tunnel in which you will see species of large, perennial, luminous, and ornamental fish swimming among the colourful coral reef settlements. Also, you will see some fish that you might’ve not seen before in your life. You can also take a tour on a boat to see the sharks and blue penguins.
The Bangkok Aquarium also includes a museum of marine animals known as the Marine Kingdom, in which models and structures of the world’s rarest and extinct marine animals are displayed. Some of those displays date back to the age of dinosaurs, which is mindblowing. The aquarium is located in Siam Paragon Shopping Centre near famous attractions like Madame Tussauds Museum, Wat Arun Temple, and China Market.
Madame Tussauds Museum
Madame Tussauds Museum is one of the most famous wax museums in Asia and the world. It is located in Siam Discovery Centre and contains wax statues and figures of world-famous celebrities and characters. It opened in 2010 as a museum affiliated with the British Candlelight Museum in the capital, London, and the most famous and skilled sculptors carved its statues.
There are many figures to see of the most famous political and world leaders, athletes, celebrities, and most beloved legends, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Spiderman, and Batman.
Kho Phi Phi Islands
Ko Phi Phi is considered one of the most beautiful natural islands in Thailand. This beautiful island features the Limestone Mountains with an incomparable array of cliffs, caves, and stunning white sandy beaches.
It consists of several breathtaking islands that allow visitors to enjoy the most magnificent views in the world, away from the noise and traffic in the big cities.
The islands feature beaches, clear waters, and pristine natural life. Ko Phi Phi islands have become one of Thailand’s most popular destinations for diving, snorkelling, kayaking, and other activities after The Beach movie was filmed there, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, in the early 1990s.
Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay is located in southern Thailand, just to the north of Phuket, and is primarily characterised by its breathtaking natural attractions. It contains plenty of scenic and impressive caves and lagoons. Moreover, this bay is an ideal destination for those looking for ways to relax while discovering authentic Thai culture.
The best time to travel to Phang Nga Bay is from November to February, as the weather is dry during that time. The only downside when travelling during this period is the heavy crowds you can find due to a large number of tourists.
In 1981, the area surrounding the Doi Suthep Temple, Doi Pui, and Doi Buakha became the 24th national park in Thailand. There, you will find the highest peak in the park, which is Doi Pui, making it the eighth-largest mountain in Thailand. Also, you will find waterfalls in the north, Mae Sa Falls, Huay Kaew Falls, and Monthathan Falls.
One of the reasons visitors come to see these stunning places is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple. It is considered one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Thailand, which overlooks Chiang Mai city from the top of the mountain. It was built in 1383, and the temple is one of the most sacred in Northern Thailand.
To reach the temple, you must climb 306 steps that provide you with the opportunity to enjoy enchanting views of the city. The temple is distinguished by its design and decorations that reflect local designs and rituals. You will always find the temple crowded during the Buddhist holidays of Makha Bucha and Visakha Bucha on 13 February and 11 May.
Inside the temple, you will find an elaborate Chedi Monument, 24 metres tall and gold-plated from top to bottom. Beside the temple, there is the Bhubing Palace, which is considered a vacation home for Royal Family. It was built in 1961, and the Palace’s first guests were the King and Queen of Denmark.
Many shops and restaurants are spread throughout the park, most of which are near Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
You can also find many kinds of birds and small mammals there. Macaques are the most common primates, but other species of small monkeys can be glimpsed cavorting among the treetops, and the park is home to more than 300 species of birds.
The City of Ayutthaya
The City of Ayutthaya has great importance in the history of Thailand. For centuries, it has been a leading urban, cultural, and economic metropolis. Still, in 1767, Burmese armies attacked it, and all its buildings were destroyed except for a few buildings still standing today.
It is one of the top attractions in Thailand. When you visit, you will see the civilised progress that this metropolis has reached, which has risen in Southeast Asia since the 14th century.
After Ayutthaya was destroyed, Bangkok became the capital of the Siam Kingdom, or Thailand as we now know it. Bangkok became the capital city because it was a safer location than the previous one. In the new area, a new Royal Palace was built like the old one in Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya is just two hours away from Bangkok by car, where you will pass through rice and sugar cane plantations and several Thai towns and villages, or you can take a train from Hua Lamphong station, the central railway station in Bangkok. However, we recommend taking the Express train for a smoother and faster journey. After all, it takes you directly to the city, which is better than the regular train that stops at many several stations along the way.
In the old city, you will find many attractions, such as Ayutthaya Historical Park, which includes Phra Si Sanphet Temple, the most significant temple there. It is famous for the Buddha’s head hanging from a tree, whose roots grew around the head after the original statue was destroyed. There is also Chai Wattanaram Temple, Ratchapurana Temple, and Banban Chueng Temple.
Moon Party in Koh Phangan
It started in 1985 when a group of tourists found that it is the most beautiful place where you can see the moon in Koh Phangan, and a party was arranged on a beach called Haad Rin to celebrate that. Many tourists come from all over the world to celebrate and take part in the festivities.
The party starts at dusk when the moon is yellow and appears clearly on the beach. You will see people dancing everywhere to trance, techno, drums, and bass beats. Every kind of music is played, and you will enjoy your time there for sure.
Koh Lanta Island
Koh Lanta island is in the Southwest of Thailand, considered one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand, and it is the best destination for families to enjoy the sand, crystal water, and nature.
It is the best place for diving, swimming, and watching the coral reefs and sea creatures. Also, you can discover the island, ride a motorcycle, visit the old town, and go to the market. You can also discover the caves spread on the island by riding elephants to reach them.
Thai Massage is one of the best things to do there for relaxation, it is like traditional Thai medicine, and in the Thai language, it is called Nuad bo-rarn, which means ancient massage. It all started about 2500 years ago with an Indian doctor named Shivago Komarpaj, known as the father doctor in Asia.
Thai Massages have a lot of benefits:
- Increasing the range of motion in your joints and muscles
- Improving your posture
- Helping back pain like the inner thigh and abdomen
- Lowering stress
So, make sure yo get one while there!
Watch Some Muay Thai
It is called Thai Boxing and is considered the national sport in Thailand. It is a martial art that started in the 13th century during the Sukhothai Kingdom. Muay Thai is known as the art of 8 limbs, a rule in the game where you use 8 points of contact, namely, punches, elbows, knees, and kicks. Nowadays, this sport is spread and practised all over the world.
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden began in 1954 when Mr. Pisit and Mrs. Nongnooch Tansacha bought 1500 hills and valleys in the Chonburi District. The land became a fruit plantation filled with mangoes, oranges, and other local fruits.
After that, the fruit orchard was turned into a tropical garden full of picturesque flowers and plants. It became a renowned tourist attraction full of Thai-style houses, cottages, villas, seminar halls, banquet halls, swimming pools, and restaurants. It opened to the public in 1980, Suan Nong Nooch named it in honour of Mrs. Nongnooch, and the word suan means garden. Many tourists come from around the world to enjoy the garden’s charming and tranquil atmosphere.
Kanchanaburi is always known as the dark connection to World War II due to the construction of the bridge over the River Kwai, and the bridge was part of the line meant to connect Thailand with Myanmar. It was built using forced labour provided by Allied prisoners of war.
The Royal Air Force bombed and damaged the bridge during the war, but it was rebuilt again, and now you can walk on it freely.
You can visit nearby attractions like the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, where many prisoners of war died, and also see the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre to get to know the story of the railway construction.
Chiang Rai is on the border with Myanmar and Laos. It is well-known for the Lam Nam Kok National Park, including trails that lead to magnificent waterfalls.
The city contains massive temples like the White Temple, which is no longer a temple but a privately-owned compound redesigned and rebuilt by Chalermchai Kositpipat. He is one of Thailand’s most famous contemporary visual artists.
There is a famous temple in the city too, which is called Wat Tham Pla, and it can be reached by climbing a staircase flanked by the guardian Naga serpents.
Sukhothai is a beautiful small town, and it is the place where you can find the Sukhothai Historical Park. It is a UNESCO site that includes the ruins of the 13th-century Sukhothai Kingdom.
Ancient city walls surround the location, and the park contains 193 ruins and a royal palace. You will find a temple called Wat Mahathat, famous for nine large stupas, a pillared pavilion, and two nine-metre-tall standing Buddha images.
It was the summer residence of King Rama VI, who ruled until 1925, and it was built after his doctor suggested staying in an airy seaside climate would help the king’s rheumatoid arthritis. The Palace is located about three hours south of Bangkok. It is a famous attraction to visit with friends and family who want to enjoy the beach and avoid crowded places.
The Palace was designed to stand entirely on stilts, allowing the sea breeze to circulate on all sides and keeping the buildings cool. If you visit the Palace, you will see that it is a large complex consisting of several buildings divided into three groups: the official reception area, the king’s private quarters, and the ladies quarters.
Top Beaches You Can Visit in Thailand
The country is famous for its scenic beaches. The blue water looks so clear, the sand is tempting to build castles on, and the weather can’t get any better. So, here are some of the most wonderful beaches in Thailand to relax on:
Nai Harn Beach, Phuket
This splendid beach in Phuket is famous for its crystal clear water, white sand, and waves. Its weather makes it suitable to be visited all year long. Also, you can find restaurants and resorts like Sunsuri Phuket that make you not want to leave the beach at all.
It is an hour south of Bangkok, a fantastic beach on Thailand’s Gulf coast, and it is famous for its hillside temple that sits above the sand. It is full of resorts such as Renaissance Pattaya Resort & Spa and Royal Wing Suites & Spa.
It is a perfect place for water sports like Jet Skiing. The best time to visit it is March through May when the weather is really good.
Bottle Beach, Koh Phangan
It is one of the most crowded beaches in Thailand. Watching the sunrise on this scenic beach is a brilliant experience that you can have if you stay there overnight.
Here, you can stay at Bottle Beach 1 Resort, but many tourists prefer to stay in full-service accommodations at Buri Rasa Koh Phangan or Panviman Resort.
Railay Beach is another beautiful natural attraction in Thailand. You can get there by sailing boat only. Despite the difficulty of accessing it, it is a lovely beach in Thailand, visited by many from all over the world and located in Krabi. The beach is surrounded by natural landscapes, twisted rocks, and green forests, making it one of the top destinations tourists love to visit.
After taking the boat and reaching it, you can enjoy discovering the beach and the forest with your family and friends. Besides, hiking lovers can enjoy climbing at Railay Beach as it is surrounded by tall rocky Mountains.
Also, you can rent a boat and go around the beach, and catching fish to be cooked for dinner is one of the most unique Krabi Thailand excursions. You can enjoy the restaurants and try the most delicious traditional Thai food and international cuisine. Also, there are markets where you can buy souvenirs, handicrafts, and other goods.
Ao Prao Beach, Ko Samet
Ao Prao Beach is one of the best beaches in a total of 14 beaches in Ko Samet. It is a perfect choice for locals in Bangkok and an excellent place for families where they can enjoy swimming during the day and local seafood at a beachside restaurant in the evening.
Ao Prao Beach has great weather throughout the year, and the best months to visit are October through February, during the milder season.
Top Hotels for a Perfect Stay in Thailand
Hotel services in Thailand are generally beyond great. You will find all you need for a perfect stay. But it can be hard to choose from the many options available there; therefore, we created this list of the top-rated hotels in Thailand that suit different budgets and needs:
Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket
The hotel is on Karon Beach, which is considered one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches. If you stay in this luxury resort, you will find four pools, five restaurants, yoga and fitness classes, a spa, and a café.
There are rooms, villas, some private pools, and outdoor terraces, and at night there are events and music evenings held at the resort.
Pimalai Resort and Spa, Koh Lanta
The resort lies between a tropical rainforest and the beautiful water of the Andaman sea. Inside, you will find one-bedroom villas with a sofa bed and two-bedroom villas that take up to 6 people.
Besides that, you will find restaurants, pools, a spa, and many activities to do. These activities are snorkelling, tennis, badminton, and a kids’ club with many organized activities.
Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong
The resort is five stars and is near Patong Beach. On top of a hill, it is surrounded by rainforests with beautiful Thai architectural details that make the place feel both modern and centuries-old. The hotel includes three swimming pools, a spa, table tennis, a games room, and a kids club.
Six Senses Yao Noi, Ko Yao Noi
The Six Senses Yao Noi is between Krabi and Phuket, it is one of the perfect places to stay in Thailand, and you can see from the room that Phang Nga Bay is surrounded by lush rainforest.
All the villas include a pool and outdoor showers, and the Beachfront Pool Villa is much larger, with a private edge pool and a covered outdoor dining area. Families can also enjoy many activities such as painting, tennis and kayaking lessons, and cooking classes.
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