13 September 2018
Picture Thailand. Are you sinking your toes into the soft white sand of a deserted beach, or discovering the lush and leafy forests of a national park? Maybe you’re exploring one of the hundreds of stunning, ancient temples that this Asian nation boasts?
Wherever your mind wanders to when you picture Thailand, it is the perfect destination for the traveller who wants a little bit of everything. With friendly locals, an exciting and varied culture, beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine to enjoy, there is simply so much to do in Thailand. Here are a few things we think you wouldn’t want to miss.
The former capital of Siam, and at one time one of the largest cities in the world, Ayutthaya still retains many of the enormous structures it once boasted. Many of the ruins have now been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and there is plenty to see across this 2,556 square kilometre city. Take one of the multiple buses from Bangkok to see this fascinating sight and experience some of the wondrous ancient history of the country once known as Siam.
A wonderful attraction for visitors, the old town of Chiang Mai is home to some of the country's finest temples and tranquil Buddhist sanctuaries. Wat Chiang Mai is the oldest temple while Wat Chedi Luang boasts a gigantic chedi ruin said to be the tallest structure in the old town. Be sure to take in Wat Umong, whose main feature is a system of maze-like tunnels.
“Check out the three day Laanta Lanta Festival in March which takes place in Lanta Old Town. There are plenty of stalls offering unique and strange foods including crickets and cockroaches! There are also stages with traditional live music and a fabulous atmosphere.”
Debbie Dent, Travel Counsellor
Adjacent to the Royal Grand Palace, Wat Pho is Bangkok’s oldest, largest and most famous temple. The grounds contain over 1,000 statues of Buddha, while the temple houses one of the most impressive sights, the Reclining Buddha. This 48 metre-long statue is gold plated and inlaid with mother of pearl. In the 19th century, Wat Pho became a centre of learning and is considered the birthplace of the traditional Thai massage. Visitors today can still enjoy the treatments and learn about the ancient art of Thai medicine.
Set in the lush Soi Suithep-Pui National Park only 10 miles outside of Chiang Mai, the Mae Sa Waterfall is definitely worth a visit. Follow the winding pathway to the waterfall’s plummeting 10-tiered cascades with various secluded areas along the way to relax with a picnic. The jungle villages dotting the riverbanks are also fascinating to see.
“Railay Bay is the perfect place for outdoor adventure. The rock faces are perfect for climbing and a magnet for enthusiasts, with professionals on hand to help beginners and experienced climbers make the most of their time. Diving and snorkelling are also both extremely popular here. Railay Bay also has some of the most beautiful beaches where you can relax after your adventures.”
Stuart Woodford, Travel Counsellor
This popular holiday spot is characterised by sheer limestone cliffs that jut vertically out of the emerald green water below. There is a fascinating collection of 3,500 islands (mostly uninhabited) which are unique in that they feature collapsed cave systems with hidden realms of flora and fauna. Many can only be reached by inflatable kayak which makes exploring the bay even more exciting. The most popular of the islands is James Bond Island, named for having been where the movie The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed.
These are just a few of the many, many spectacular things there are to see and do in Thailand. If you'd like to plan a getaway to this fascinating destination, get in touch with your Travel Counsellor today.