Thailand,officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly called Siam is a country in the center of the Southeast Asia Indochinese peninsula. Located completely within the tropicas it encompasses diverse ecosystems including hilly rain forests, rice paddies in the central plains, and rugged coastal areas along the narrow southern peninsula.
Thailand is a diverse country and has lots to offer. It is a country steeped in history and culture that seamlessly mixes with the hustle and bustle of its big modern cities. Golden temples and venerated Buddha statues co-exist with modern buildings, shopping malls, and train stations. It is not unusual to smell the pungent aroma of incense and the cloying scent of flowers on the crowded streets of Bangkok where Shrines and Spirit Houses dot even the busiest streets. Many of the shrines have offerings of incense and flowers left on the counters hence the smells wafting down the street.
Yes Thailand is filled with temples, you’ll surely get your fill of them, but Thailand is also filled with natural wonders, amazing wild life, ancient and historic sites, sun kissed beaches, crystal clear waters, delicious cuisine, and shopping, lots of shopping. So whether you’re a sun worshipper, diver, animal lover, history buff, foodie, or shopahoic you’ll find something you’ll love in Thailand.
So here are 5 unique activities to help you truly experience the wonders of Thailand!
Thailand is known for its markets; from floating markets around Bangkok, to night markets, weekend markets, and open air markets throughout the country, you’ll find everything you need or don’t need.
Even if you’re not a big shopper it’s almost impossible to visit one of these markets without finding something to buy.
Some of my favorite markets are Damoen Saduak Floating Market outside of Bangkok, the night market at Patpong Night Market in the heart of Bangkok, and the Chatuchuk Weekend Market in the Bangkok suburb of Chatuchuk.
A word of advice to those venturing into the Patpong Night Market. The market is located in Bangkok’s red light district. The market stalls are surrounded by bars and restaurants that offer nightly “sex shows”. You’ll find touts hanging outside these establishments holding menus and barking out nightly specials. I’ve never been to one but I’ve heard that these establishments are basically scams where you’ll find questionable ladies dancing or stripping on a stage and the “manager” or host will hold you hostage unless you pay her crazy fees for the water downed drinks they placed on your table. So unless you want to get ripped off it’s probably a good idea to keep out of such places. My cousin tells me that if you must see one of these shows you should book an escorted tour with your concierge, like I said I’ve never been to one and sincerely doubt I’d ever want to.
Bang Pa-In Palace and Ayutthaya Historical Park
Located outside of Bangkok Bang Pa-In is in the Ayutthaya province. It’s basically a royal complex where the Summer Palace is nestled among the beautiful orchards and gardens. Originally built in 1632 this palace was the summer palace used by Thai royalty until 1767. It was rebuilt in 1872 and is now tourist attraction and is sometimes used for very special events.
Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is comprised of ruins of temples and palaces of the of the capital city of the ancient Ayutthaya Kingdom.
Most of the items excavated from the sites can be seen at the nearby Chao Sam Phraya Museum.
There’s also an Elephant Camp in the area where when you can ride on an elephant’s back and walk around the ancient site.
You can visit Ayutthaya by bus, taxi, or car; but one of the best ways to go is a lazy ride down the Chao Phraya River from Bangkok.
It’s a great way to see the country side. Most river cruises come with a nice luncheon buffet.
There are many elephant camps around the country where for a small fee you can ride the back of an elephant.
The elephants seemed well cared for and the guides are very friendly. Definitely a great experience.
Erawan National Park
Located in western Thailand in the Kanchanaburi Province is this delightful National Park.
It’s main attraction are the hiking trails and the waterfalls. At the entrance you’ll encounter some mischievious little monkeys.
If you’ve still got energy left you might want to take a side trip to the Kwai River and the bridge that spans it.
Sun lovers can head to Phuket’s beaches. Phuket’s has some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches.
There are many luxury hotels in the area where you will be pampered from head to toe. If you prefer to sightsee there are many places to visit; you can even go island hopping! Shoppers will find great deals at one of the area’s markets. And if it’s nightlife you’re wanting Phuket is definitely a party place!
Ready to plan to your Thailand vacation? Call SNT Tours to help you plan your adventure!