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Thailand is one of the most incredible countries in the world to visit. Thailand does have everything from modern skyscrapers to traditional markets, amazing ancient temples to spiritual retreat centers, party islands to luxury islands. Thai food is a cherry on this multi-layered cake. You can enjoy the best Thai food in the local streets where you can see them preparing all dishes from fresh noodles to spicy curries to sweet desserts. You can indulge in activities like scuba diving, golf, yogic vacation retreat, hiking and trekking or just spend idle time under the sun.

 

 

The best part about visiting Thailand is, unlike its neighboring countries, Thailand is not really colonized, and you can witness its rich ancient culture in its pure form.

You can spend months in Thailand and still not get bored of the location. Here are some places you should put on your checklist when you book your tickets to this beautiful country.

  • Bangkok

BangkokThailand’s bustling capital, Bangkok will need at least a couple of days of your trip to visit the signature places. It is mainly known for its Buddhist temples and Grand palaces. Some its key tourist attractions are The Grand Palace, Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha).

 

 

grand-palaceThe Grand Palace, Bangkok’s most famous destination, is a beautiful gold-tipped series of ancient buildings. It has a history of over 200 years where the kings of Siam (now Thailand) used to reside. The beautiful architecture and the intricately carved structures have attracted visitors for years. It is also called the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom. Along with the Grand Palace, you can visit the Wat Pho, the largest reclining Buddha idol in Thailand, and the Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

 

 

floating-marketWhile in Bangkok, don’t miss the visit to the floating market. It is one of the most unusual experiences you will have. The markets take place on canals where small boats sell their products while floating in the stream. You can also cruise along the canals for sightseeing from your own longboat.

 

 

 

Wat ArunWat Arun, also known as Wat Chaeng, is on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It has stunning design and architecture partially made up of colorful spires and stands with all its grandeur over the river.

 

 

 

  • Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is situated amongst the tallest mountains in Thailand. It is also known as the ‘Rose of the North,’ well known for its beautiful Buddhist temples, delightful Thai treats, and a spirited nightlife. It is a major attraction for shoppers and bargainer hunters, it hosts a night bazaar where you will find clothing, jewelry, Thai silk, accessories, and footwear. You will also find food stalls that serve delicious local Thai street food. Sundays are special because it is the evening for ‘Walking Street’, the best evening for shopping in the city. Local vendors from neighboring towns come to sell their products. You will see a variety of handmade Thai art and craft items like lanterns, wooden boxes, masks, paintings, etc.

 

Elephant nature parkIt is also a perfect retreat for those who like to spend their hours trekking through jungles and animal lovers. Elephant Nature Park is one of the most respected elephant sanctuaries. It is a rescue and rehabilitation center for elderly and injured Asian Elephants. Elephants wander, bathe and feed freely in the park. Visitors learn all about the elephants and also get an opportunity to stay with them, observing their behavior, feed them and wash them in the river. It is a wonderful way to spend a day with your family or a group of friends and fall in love with these graceful beings.

 

 

Pai hot springsYou can also learn to cook some of the Thai cuisine dishes in one of the cooking schools or organic farms.
If you wish to visit the Thai Hippies, take a ride to Pai town, about 80 km north of Chiang Mai. You can relax and give yourself a special Thai massage treat. There are plenty of waterfalls and hot springs in this region. Do taste the banana pancakes if you are in this part of the world.

 

  • Chiang Rai White Temple

Chiang Rai White TempleAfter the heartfelt day with elephants and plentiful shopping on the streets of Chiang Rai, a visit to Wat Rong Khun Temple is a must. It is a 20-minute drive from the Chiang Mai. It was conceptualized, designed and built by Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat, a Thai artist. The temple’s design is an unearthly representation of the obstacles we face on the path to enlightenment. The whole temple is white instead of the gold, which signifies Buddha’s pure nature while mirror fragments signify wisdom. Every corner of the temple is an insightful piece of art. Refreshments and souvenirs are available on the premise.

  • Golden Triangle

Golden TriangleAfter a 45-minute ride from the Chiang Mai, you reach The Golden Triangle. This is the point at which Burma, Laos, and Thailand meet, also the point where the Mekong River meets River Ruak. On the Thailand banks of the Mekong, you can see the lands of Burma and Laos, or you can take a boat for a closer look as well. It used to be a rich producer of opium, though, through the years, the crop has been eradicated. The Hall of Opium Museum is a renowned tourist attraction in this region. It takes you through the history of the opium industry and its effects by several exhibits, audio-visual clips, and photographs.

  • Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National ParkKhao Yai National Park is Thailand’s third largest and the oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to diverse plants and animals, but the major attractions are Asian elephants, white-handed gibbons, and giant hornbill. A guided tour is a good choice if you wish to see and know more about the plants and animals living in the park. Macaques, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, pythons, etc. are some other species that you can expect to meet during your visit. It is a 2.5-hour drive from Bangkok.

 

 

  • Southern Islands

Southern IslandsWith around three thousand kilometers of coastline, Thailand is a home to some of the most astonishing islands. You can indulge in various diving sports or just spend your days sunbathing on the beaches. Phuket, Koh Hae (Coral Island), Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi, Krabi, and Sri Lanta are some of the many small and beautiful islands of Thailand.

 

 

 

Phuket ThailandPhuket is the largest and the most renowned of Thailand’s islands. Because of a huge number of tourists, you will find fantastic resorts and spas, shopping areas and recreational activities here.
From Phuket, you should not miss a ride to Phang Nga Bay, located in the middle of Phuket and the Malay peninsula. Sailing around will give you the most beautiful views of lush cliffs, far away secluded beaches, lagoons and limestone islands. You can also enjoy water adventure activities like canoeing, snorkeling, and swimming included in most of the boat rides.

 

Phang Nga Bay

Krabi is a popular departure point for almost 80 small islands and a gateway to many national parks in Thailand and thus has gained a huge popularity amongst travelers. It is also known for its spotless and soft beaches like Railay. You can take a boat from Ao Nang to Railey and visit the mysterious caves or go rock climbing.

Phi Phi is a group of six islands, and one of the most lovely in Southeast Asia. These islands offer picture perfect views with tropical beaches, turquoise waters, and colorful marine life.
Koh Lanta, another beautiful pristine island, offers a rustic charm and a laid back environment away from the crowds. The Bamboo beach in Koh Lanta is particularly famous for its serenity, crystal clear waters, and a beautiful lush forest background.

  • Handy Tips while traveling to Thailand

image– Pack Light since there will be a lot of traveling in internal flights (extra charges for check-in baggage), hiking and boat rides. A backpack or a rucksack is a good idea if you are not planning a luxury vacation.

– Buy a local sim card for your mobile. It is not only cheaper option, but they offer a lot of discounts to tourist attractions. (http://www.localalike.com/#sthash.7tZaLFVe.dpuf)

– Book your internal flight tickets well in advance so that you don’t have to pay extra for last minute bookings.

– Do not over-plan your visit; otherwise, you may miss on the spontaneous fun that comes your way. Be ready for some adventure.
– Thailand is known for its cultural inheritance and traditions so do not forget to read these seven etiquette tips for traveling in Thailand.