Thailand needs no introduction when it comes to leisure travel as the place is always one of the preferred destinations among holiday makers. One of the main reasons is that a holiday in Thailand is really affordable and does not add much stress to your wallet, even when it comes to luxury hotels which are valued reasonably. Another great reason is that Thailand has a charming tropical climate which is at its best when most destinations are experiencing chilly winters. Together with breathtaking beachside sceneries, rustic villages, psychedelic cities, Buddhist Temples and Thai cultural essence, Thailand offers a pleasant holiday escape to travelers from bleak weathers. There are too many things to look forward to in Thailand, here’s a short guide on what you can expect on your vacation to Thailand.
What to see in Thailand
The spirit of Bangkok
The very pulsating heart of Thailand holds in it a breathtaking kaleidoscope of contraries. A place where the old meets new, where spirituality stays cocooned amid the blurry real world, where culture tames modernity and molds it into a city that is vibrant yet soothing. Bangkok is a mini hub of Thai’s favourite elements and every aspect of Bangkok is worth a visit – be it shopping, dining, the temples or the bustling city life. Anyone visiting Thailand typically would have Bangkok as their point of arrival which by default makes the city a place to start your Thailand trip. A city tour of Bangkok is all it takes to experience the absolute splendor of the city. The impressive Grand Palace with its sprawling landscapes scattered with heritage temples, the enormous golden shrines and pagodas of Wat Traimir and Wat Pho which happens to be among Thailand’s oldest temples. Certain sights will leave you amazed such as the largest Golden Buddha in the world, The biggest fresh flower market, the towering skyscrapers and the magnificent view of Bangkok city skyline gleaming at night from a cruise ride on Chao Phraya River.
The Ruins of ancient Thai civilization
Around one hour away from Bangkok lies the ruins of Ayutthaya reign, once a prosperous kingdom in Thailand. The Ayutthaya historical park is a preserved reminiscent of this era and encompasses the relics of temples and palaces of this ancient kingdom. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya is an island surrounded by three rivers and can be reached by a ferry trip from Bangkok. The rustic kingdom is packed with remnants of temples and figurines of erstwhile entwined in the tree roots and creepers that grew around through decades makes it an unconventional sight to visit.
The Floating Markets of Thailand
Promoting the unusual way of riverside shopping, the floating markets of Thailand have been in existence for decades as people started settling around river shores. Since it was considered as a convenient way to encourage exchange of goods through waterways, these trade practice later gained prominence as floating marketplaces. Although Thailand has evolved into a modern nation, these floating markets still operate and represent Thailand’s value for traditions and culture. The floating markets of Thailand are famous as tourist attractions and the bustling colorful chaos on the river is a sight to experience. The range of goods sold is immense, right from fresh produce, assorted tropical fruits and flowers, handicrafts, Thai silk and paintings. Some of them are disguised floating restaurants which provide a variety of Thai delicacies such as the famous papaya salad, mango sticky rice, noodles and Thai chicken curries flavoured in aromatics, spices or coconut milk. Damnoen Saduak floating market and Amphawa floating market are two such floating markets you need to check out on your Thailand vacation.
Chiang Mai Wildlife Trips
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s wilderness haven, the mountainous township set in the north of the country is a great way to get away from the maddening rush and modern lifestyle of other Thai cities and relax amid tranquil nature. Filled with beautiful temples and mountain terrain landscapes covered in foliage, Chiang Mai is a fascinating hub of nature and wildlife especially elephants. Elephant jungle treks are quite popular in this region where you can enjoy a trek through the jungle to reach an elephant conservation centre. Here you can come face to face with these gentle giants, feed and bathe them and even ride them through the jungle. Another attraction to visit while in Chiang Mai is the Chiang Mai Night Safari which is inspired from the Singapore Night Safari tour. Set within the Doi Suthep National Park, this is Thailand’s first of its kind night safari tour where you will travel through the jungle on an open air tram ride to witness elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras and many more animals strolling in their natural habitat. This nervy yet thrilling wilderness expedition at night gives an unusual way of experiencing the wildlife in Thailand.
What to do in Thailand
Seek spiritualism at Thai Temples :
Thailand is the land of Temples, with around 40000 temples scattered all over the nation. Whichever region you visit, you will find that spirituality runs deep within Thailand that reflects through its numerous temples. There are shrines, temples, and monasteries known as ‘wats’ which showcases diverse ornate décor and relics of Buddha. Thailand profoundly believes in Hinduism, Buddhism and spiritual worshiping and its temple ideology captures the essence of most Asian countries. Visiting a Thai temple is both a treat to eyes as well as the soul. You will remain spellbound on its grandeur and architectural marvels. The traditional Thai rooftops , golden pagodas and intricate designs will leave you mesmerized. Some must visit temples in Thailand are the Wat Pho-Temple of Reclining Buddha, Wat Arun-Temple of the Dawn, Wat Phra Khew – The Temple of Emerald Buddha, Wat Rong Khun – The White Temple and The Sanctuary of Truth.
Enjoy the festivals of Thailand
Thailand takes a keen interest in spirituality, religion and culture. To get a better idea about Thailand’s cultural enthusiasm, visit the nation during festivals and you would find yourself in a kaleidoscopic world of vividness and exuberance. Festivals are celebrated throughout Thailand on a colossal scale with equal grandeur. If you are visiting in November and December, you can join in and celebrate Loi Krathong where hundreds of floating lanterns turn the dark sky twinkling with amber lights. The Chinese New Year in January has the whole of Thailand adorned in Chinese lanterns, red and gold decors, Chinese dragons, oriental performances and of course grand fireworks. February is when Chiang Mai’s landscapes blossom into a colorful picturesque scenery due to hundreds of flower blooming during this time which kicks off the Chiang Mai flower festival – a colorful and aromatic scene worth experiencing. Other festivals worth attending are the Mae Hong Son Winter Feast, Umbrella and Handicraft Festival and Red Lotus Sea festival.
Hit the street for shopping
Thailand is best explored on the streets. This is also the ultimate destination for bargain street shopping. No doubt you will have a great time exploring the savvy shopping malls in the cities, but the crisscross lanes lined up with stalls provide you everything you want in reasonable value. Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok is one of the famous street shopping venues in the world that lets you shop for anything under the sun from its 15000 street stalls. The Walking Street markets in Koh Samui are amazing ways to explore the resort town of Samui as well as to check out apparels, handicrafts and souvenirs. The Floating Markets is another not to miss attraction in Thailand.
Discover laid-back island life
Revel in nature’s best beach spots with beautiful ocean views at Thailand’s idyllic islands which are perfect to bask in the tropical sun and splash around in the water or enjoy scuba diving and water-sports. Thailand has a gorgeous collection of islands that are synonymous to bliss. These islands with its white sandy beaches, green hues of forests and mesmerizing aquamarine waters will make you feel as if you are cast away from day-to-day life into a serene space surrounded by timeless nature beauty. Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Koh Chang and Similan islands are some of the best island getaways you can choose from to take a detour from Thai cities. When you had enough of the sun, sea and sands, the surrounding quaint little towns are at their best services and hospitality to pamper you with good food and relaxing ambiances. This laid back atmosphere, deep ocean with rich marine life and picturesque panoramas are the perfect retreat for the adventurer as well as those seeking to unwind in the midst of nature.
Where and what to eat in Thailand
In Thailand, every experience you have here will bring a smile on your face and food is definitely one of those aspects that will leave you with a content smile. If you haven’t tasted fresh and spicy Thai food, then your Thailand experience is incomplete. Nevertheless, the fusion of fragrance and flavors will tempt you to treat yourself to Thai cuisine. The stir-fried Pad Thai noodles, spicy Tom Yam soup, tangy raw papaya som yam salad, Thai green and red curries with fragrant rice combinations, chicken in coconut gravy and the seafood are some of the specialties you have to sample on your Thai vacation. Wandering around Bangkok street offers endless eating options as food vendors line these streets with astounding array of dishes right from grilled meat to fried crickets snacks. For versions of cuisine from other nations, you can wander around China Town for a scrumptious Chinese meal; Pahurat – Bangkok’s version of Little India is home to some delicious Indian street food outlets and restaurants like Toney Restaurant. The coastal restaurants on the Thai islands are the best place to savor fresh seafood delicacies. If you are looking for a plush cozy place to have a hearty lunch or dinner, you have plenty of options ranging from top class fine dining restaurants to boutique restaurants and lounges. Some of the best places to dine are Blue Elephant, Eat Me, Bo.Lan, Green Ta’lay Restaurant to name a few.
Millions of travelers flock to Thailand to take delight in its tropical weather, immerse in its rich culture and cuisine and feel the warmth of welcoming Thai hospitality. Thailand is enormous and brimming with endless options in sights, flavours and vibrancy. Planning a Thailand winter vacation can become overwhelming with so many options to choose from. So it is wise to plan a holiday that gives you a chance to spend days in such a way that you can get a gist of what to see, do & eat in Thailand during this winter. Guidance of a travel expert to chalk out a travel plan, get you in touch with Thailand visa suppliers and take care of travel services would be of great help. An ideally planned holiday to Thailand will showcase as a perfect example of how life should be lived – amid nature with good food and smiling friendly people.