The land of Thailand is often referred to as “The Land of Smiles” due to the extremely friendly nature of the natives. Interestingly, Thailand is very modern while retaining much of its cultural heritage. The country is nicknamed “The Golden Land”. Visiting Thailand need not break the bank, stay in luxurious accommodations while paying little for exotic cuisine. Enjoy massages at very, very low cost or enjoy tropical full-body treatments and facials. The cuisine is extremely healthy, filled with rice and steamed vegetables. The nightlife is extremely active and one would be remiss in missing the country’s beautiful beaches. The Thai culture has been wonderfully preserved throughout the centuries due to the fact that the country has never been colonized. The climate is sub-tropic year-round and is very enjoyable.
“One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster” or so the song goes by Murray Head. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand where skyscrapers and Buddhist temples abound. The modern and the ancient sit comfortably close. While visiting Bangkok, view the magnificent Grand Palace which is a former royal residence. The marble temple is the largest and oldest in Thailand and displays a huge golden sculpture of the Buddha. Tourists should shop on the wondrous and bizarre floating market. Enjoy a bowl of boat noodles or seafood skewers while there. Take time to learn a few polite phrases to enjoy the welcoming nature of these people even more.
Sometimes referred to the “Rose of The North” Ching Mai is a hidden treasure. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, enjoy Chiang Mai for a relaxing time. Climb the tranquil mountains on a guided tour. The city is full of temples celebrating Buddhism. Backpackers and hikers will love trekking through the Himalayas. The city is also a shopper’s paradise. Visit the Doi Suthep temple while in the city. The Doi Suthep temple is one of the most famous in Thailand and filled to the brim with wondrous Buddhist sculptures.
San Kamphaeng Hot Springs
Located in the Trang Province in Thailand, the San Kamphaeng Hot Springs should be at the top of the list when visiting Thailand. Have a relaxing massage and then soothe aching muscles in the natural mineral hot springs. The locals tout the soothing, healing powers of the springs. San Kaphaeng has a natural element of beauty that naturalists will truly enjoy. While in the province, take advantage of the tranquil beaches or enjoy one of the many secluded islands. Spelunkers will enjoy visiting one of the many caves that dot the coastline in the province.
Mae Hong Son
The Pha Sua waterfall is a located in this area that is not-to-be missed. Take along a romantic picnic lunch and stay the day at this beautiful site. There are various national parks and forests to be enjoyed throughout the area. And there are many types of wildlife to be captured on camera including wild boar, bear, and wild buffalo. Visit and enjoy the tribal people of the Karen long neck tribe. If fortunate to visit between March and May, tourists can enjoy the ordination procession that takes place through the streets.
The Ayutthua Kingdom was previously the capital of Siam, the ancient name for the provinces of Thailand. Only an hour away from Bangkok, tourists can visit the ruins of an ancient city. Long ago, the city sat on a trade route and the Siam people traded with the Asians, Spanish, Dutch, and others. Take along a camera to memorialize the many unique and wondrous sites. There are many temple sites erected in reverence to Buddha to tour and visit. Be sure to take along plenty of water while taking in the sites of this ancient kingdom. Travel to the site by train or bus.
A visit to Thailand is a peek into an exotic world. The people are said to be incredibly friendly and helpful to tourists visiting their special part of the world. While it may be expensive to fly to Thailand, once there the costs are very low which makes visiting extremely affordable. In April, tourists can enjoy and participate in the water festival. Tourists who love the night scene may partake in various activities available only at night. Be sure to catch the changing of the Royal Guard at the Royal Palace. Deep sea dive or go sea canoeing along the beautiful waters along the Phi Phi islands. Visit and enjoy the Elephant Museum or the Elephant Conservatory Center that houses two white elephants.
It is also suggested that one should take an hour or so of research to become familiar with Thailand’s beliefs and customs to understand and embrace their culture. This small investment of time will prove to be quite beneficial while exploring this beautiful country and interacting with its people.