Thailand has always been a country that has attracted visitors from all over the globe, but in case anyone needed proof that it’s a great place to visit Thailand has even won travel awards in the last couple of years.
The awards include being given title of Best International Travel Destination at the CNBC AWAZZ Travel Awards in summer 2013. Thailand was also named as ‘Best Value Destination’ by Lonely Planet Magazine – India, ‘Best Country’ Award by Travel and Leisure, India, and ‘Best Spa Destination (Asia) 2013 by Asia Spa India.
To mark the recent clutch of travel awards given to Thailand, we’ve come up with a suggested list of five things for travellers to do while in Thailand.
Visit Khao Yai national park
Only three hours from Bangkok is the second largest of Thailand’s national parks. Its proximity to the capital makes it one of the most visited national parks in the country. Spreading over four provinces of Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima and Prachinburi, this UNESCO World Heritage site has a mountainous and lush landscape, cascading waterfalls and a wide selection of wildlife, including more than 300 bird species, over 60 mammal species and thousands of different plant types. As well as a place to visit for its natural beauty, you’ll also find that there is a Wild West theme park located within Khao Yai.
Soak up Thai culture
There are so many beautiful buildings and temples to visit in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, but highlights not to be missed include Wat Pho and the Grand Palace.
Wat Pho is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, you won’t be able to miss the statue of Buddha – it’s 46 m long. There is also the largest collection of Buddha images in the world at Wat Pho and it’s home to the headquarters for traditional Thai medicine teaching. Tourists and locals alike can not only have a massage here, but they can also book in for a course in how to give Thai massage too.
by Greg Knapp
The Grand Palace in Bangkok is a dazzling landmark for the city. It was built in 1782 and for over 100 years was the home of the Thai King, the Royal Court and also the administrative seat of government. Today, even though the government is based elsewhere, the Grand Palace represents the spiritual heart of the kingdom.
Be a mahout for the day
Elephants are a big part of Thai culture, and though originally elephants were used for the logging industry, they are now part of the tourist industry. You can spend time at an elephant camp on a training trip getting to know the elephants and taking care of them, as well as learning how to ride them as you explore Thailand’s mountain trails.
Visit Phi Phi islands
Only a 90-minute ferry journey from Phuket you’ll find some of the most beautiful islands in southeast Asia – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. They have beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by turquoise seas, from which rise magnificent rock formations and cliffs. There’s plenty to do at Phi Phi Don, the larger of the two islands, including diving, snorkelling, climbing and just lazing on the beautiful beaches. And when the sun goes down, there’s a buzzing nightlife all across the island until dawn.
If you like bargains, head to the biggest weekend market in the world at Chatuchak, Bangkok, where you’ll find every product you can think of. People who are prepared to haggle will get the best deals from the market traders. There’s also the famous Damnoen Sadual floating market where the stalls are boats piled high with produce. Every town and village in Thailand has a great market to visit, and the night markets always have plenty of entertainment going on at the same time.
Whatever you do while you’re in Thailand, there will always be something you weren’t able to fit into your itinerary. That’s not so bad, though, at least you have a good excuse to go back!