Thailand remains one of the most popular places to visit in the world. However, with a country that spans thousands of kilometres, it is difficult to know what to see and do for a visit in Thailand. From temples to parties, beaches and lagoons, Thailand has a little of everything.
Palaces, temples and cityscapes
Let´s begin in the capital city of Bangkok. No visit in Thailand is complete without seeing this megalopolis. The city can be overwhelming, with a multitude of streets and waterways. The first stop on your visit in Thailand should the Grand Palace. This is not just a single building, but a complex. It comprises royal residences, temples, government buildings, art and religious artefacts. It should take you at least a few hours to fully enjoy the entire site. Many of the edifices are adorned with gold. The site really details the history of the Thai royal family and the importance that they have had in Thai society. A must-see really is the Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha, one of the most important religious sites in Thailand. The Royal Palace allows a glimpse into the main concepts of Thai society, a must for any visit in Thailand.
Whilst you are in Bangkok, it might be worthwhile to make a trip to the iconic floating market. The most famous of these is Damnoen Saduak, which is outside Bangkok itself. Here you can buy food, souvenirs, clothes, and a multitude of fruits and vegetables. The market itself is not only crowded with tourists, but also with locals. It is an essential part of local Thai culture and is highly recommended for any visit in Thailand.
Travelling further north, a stop in Chiang Mai is also a good idea. The city has many temples, restaurants, and an extremely laid back atmosphere. They have a nightly market, which draws tourists and locals alike. Here you can sample some delicious street food, as well as purchasing local artesanal crafts. A perfect way to acclimatise to the culture on your visit in Thailand.
Nature and wildlife on a visit in Thailand
Thailand contains a plethora of stunning islands. The most untouched and breathtaking of these is Koh Lanta. If you decide to only visit one island on a trip in Thailand, make it this one. It has idyllic beaches, which are often less crowded than those at Koh Samui and Phuket. You can also practice many different watersports here, such as diving and snorkelling. If you simply want to relax and sunbathe, you can do it without fear of being trodden on by other tourists. Lanta also has a spectacular old centre as well as national parks. If you want to find a more secluded beach, it is entirely possible to do so by renting a scooter and travelling around.
If a trip to Lanta has given you a taste for the landscapes of Thailand, make time to visit Khao Sok National Park. This park has all the flora and fauna typical of the country and no visit in Thailand is complete without seeing the wildlife. You can walk through the park, which has paths with viewpoints and natural pools where you can take a breather.
If on your visit in Thailand, you would like to combine nature and history, visit Kanchanaburi. This is the site of the bridge made famous by the movie The Bridge over the River Kwai. There are numerous museums here, as well as natural waterfalls where you can swim. There is also an elephant camp, where it is possible to be up close to elephants. There are two national parks nearby, so you will not be short of things to do.
Any visit in Thailand will leave you surrounded by history, so we shall finish our trip with the city of Ayuthaya. This is the old Siam capital and has over 400 temples. The ruins of the city after the destruction by the Burmese is a sight to behold. The city is a real insight into Thai culture and history, opening doors to a world that we can hardly imagine. The draw of Ayuthaya is that it is close to Bangkok and is easily accessed, by boat, train or bus. It makes a perfect break from city life, but also caters to the historically minded. Allow for a full day to really enjoy the ancient city on your visit in Thailand.