Thailand – 4 of the Best Places to Visit
Thailand is a destination that has been a core part of any well-versed traveller’s experience. Whether you’re a travelling veteran or someone getting into the swing of things for the first time, this country has a wide variety of locales, each with its own unique experiences, waiting for you to discover. From lush jungles to massive cities to some of the best street food you’ll ever have, wherever you end up in Thailand is sure to be a blast.
However, as fun as winging it may be when travelling, a planned experience offers its own distinct benefits, and so, while every part of Thailand may be worth visiting, these ones should take priority.
Thailand’s capital is a fast-paced, bustling metropolis with a population of over eight million people and a great gateway to the country’s best temples and palaces. Known for its multinational feel and lively street life, it’s easy to forget as you walk among Bangkok’s skyscrapers, that the city’s heart is on the water, with numerous canals connecting neighbourhoods and the bustling Chao Phraya River, which you can tour via a long-tail boat cruise.
Bangkok has many shopping centres, including the luxurious Siam Paragon and the travel-inspired Terminal21, as well as a number of traditional floating markets, for those in the mood to shop. Nothing beats Chatuchak Market if you want a truly unique experience. It’s one of the world’s largest outdoor markets with over 8000 stalls, whatever you need, it’s a safe bet you’ll find it in Chatuchak and for a pretty good price too.
Another fascinating locale that you should visit within Bangkok is the Grand Palace, a complex of buildings that includes Wat Phra Kaew, the Royal Reception Halls, and Wat Pho, which holds within a 46-meter-long reclining Buddha clad in gold leaf. There’s also Lumpini Park, located at the centre of the city, which serves as a lush paradise that contrasts greatly with the Bnagkok’s normal scenery.
Chiang Mai, a city of ancient structures, tropical rainforests, and trekking adventures galore, is one of the best destinations in Thailand for travellers looking to see a different side of the country. It’s also quite a pleasant destination when travelling in winter.
A great way to start out your trip in Chiang Mai is to head out to Doi Inthanon National Park, which is part of the Himalayan mountain range and home to remote villages and stunning viewpoints. Chiang Mai also has more active Buddhist temples than any other Thai city, including the famous Wat Phra Singh, Doi Suthep, and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
A number of hill tribes, including the Meo Hill tribe and the Karen tribe, can be found just outside of the city with organized tours able to take you there to learn more about their history and lifestyle, as well as to buy handicrafts that tribe members sell to support themselves. Another great spot is San Kamphaeng Road, a stretch of road where local artisans sell their wares.
If you want to add a little sunshine and sand to your journey, make a stop at Koh Samui, home of the best palm-fringed beaches in Thailand with a host of luxury resorts if you want a truly high-class beach experience.
Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, with mountainous rainforests, breathtaking sunsets, and postcard-worthy beaches. There are also a number of temples and spas to visit, including the well-known Wat Phra Yai and its 12-meter-high Big Buddha.
The neighbouring archipelagos of Koh Samui also have a lot to offer and are only a short ferry ride away. Koh Tao, a smaller island off the coast of Koh Samui, is one of Thailand’s most popular scuba diving destinations. Ang Thong National Marine Park is a protected area with many exotic animal species and is a great place to go jungle trekking in Thailand.
Sukhothai Thani is a small town best known for housing the Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses the ruins of the Sukhothai Kingdom from the 13th century. The park, which is surrounded by ancient city walls, contains a total of 193 ruins, including 26 temples, a royal palace, and numerous stupas and examples of stucco statuary.
Wat Mahathat is the most impressive temple on the grounds, with nine large stupas, a pillared pavilion, and two nine-meter-tall standing Buddha images. Noen Prasat, a former royal palace, and Wat Si Sawai, the park’s oldest temple, are two other must-see ruins.