Thailand's most major feature is without a doubt its numerous islands which are nothing short of paradise on earth. If you've always dreamt of getting away from the rest of the world, sunbathing along the white-sanded shores of crystal clear waters, free from concrete and fast-pacing crowds, the islands of Thailand are some of the greatest options out there. The most touristic of all islands is Ko Phi Phi, made famous after being chosen as the setting for the hit movie The Beach starring Leonardo Dicaprio. If you've seen this movie, you can imagine just what kind of exquisiteness awaits you. Other popular islands include Phang Nga Bay, Similan Islands, Phuket and Railay Beach. Participate in island tours, diving, snorkelling, cliff jumping, fishing and so much more in addition to choosing between luxurious hotels in fabulous locations!
What was once the capital of Thailand for over 4 centuries is today the country's most ancient and major tourist attraction located north of Bangkok in the valley of the Chao Phraya River on Ayutthaya Island. Ayutthaya city; an UNESCO World Heritage Site which is easily reached by car, train, or boat; stretches across 2,556 square kilometres and boasts some of the planet's most extraordinary ruins. After being conquered and almost completely devastated by Burmese invaders in 1767, Ayutthaya was left battered, bruised and abandoned. To try and heal this once flourishing kingdom, many of the ruins were magnificently restored and have been preserved since. You will need many hours if not two or more days depending on how much of a cultural fanatic you are to visit this extensive area filled with numerous tall temples, Buddha statues, gardens, and the remains of shattered yet remarkable ruins that represent a war that put an end to a wealthy and powerful empire. The splendid architecture and intricate designs of the restored ruins arisen from the rubble will also impress and make for excellent photo opportunities you won't want to miss. This compulsory stop on Thailand's cultural trail will have you feeling like you've stepped back in time and walking through one of the most historical and cultural cities belonging to Southeast Asia.
One of Bangkok's most exciting features and long-lasting traditions is its floating markets which have become a marvel of the capital. Loud, lively and bursting with multi-colours, floating markets are where local venders come to sell fresh produce including a wide selection of tropical fruits, vegetables and flowers. Here you can get to know all about Thai read more...
Nestled within the tallest mountains of Thailand along the Ping River, Chiang Mai or "new city" is both a historically important and modern location visited by millions of foreigners a year. It is also proudly listed as one of the greatest destinations of the world. Fulfilling the expectations of any backpacker on a quest for self-discovery, Chiang Mai is colourful, upbeat and piled with character. Over 300 religious temples, the most famous being Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep; scenic national parks, animal parks, museums, popular festivals and a huge recreational scene in the form of bars, shops and nightlife Chiang Mai has everything you need and proposes an ultimate insight into the extraordinary country that is Thailand.
Nuat phaen thai or Thai-style massage to non-Thai speakers is an absolute must when in Thailand. Whether it's just for a laugh or perhaps for real medicinal purposes, it's an experience difficult to forget! Available in spas and health resorts speckled across most of Thailand, some of the best known places are located in the capital of the country, Bangkok, or the old city of Chiang Mai. Many, however, would say that the best location to get a Thai massage is on one of Thailand's paradise island resorts surrounded by palm trees whilst listening to the gentle waters of the crystal blue ocean in front of you. We've all seen people receiving a Thai massage in the movies and laughed many times watching their bodies being manipulated this way and that and listening to the sound of their "cracking" bones and painful groans. The truth is a Thai massage can be one of the most painful yet relaxing experiences of your life! Consisting in varied forms of massage which you can choose between, a Thai massage is believed to have many benefits including relief from asthma, migraines, sprains, bruises and anxiety as well as offering a release from physical and emotional tension, insomnia, and blocked energy creating improved flexibility and a greater awareness of body and mind. If this sounds good to you, then give it a try!
Only 3 hours away from Bangkok, Khao Yai National Park is one of Thailand's oldest reserves spread out along four provinces of the east – Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima and Saraburi. Its unique biodiversity as well as its range in forest ecologies have turned it into an UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site which is has been since 2005. Enchanting and evergreen, Khao Yai is simply every nature-lover's or photographer's dream. With everything to feed the human senses, from sights to sounds and smells, Khao Yai is the ultimate destination even for those more difficult to impress! Witness the tumbling waters of the towering Haew Suwat or Haew Narok waterfalls; trek the park's highest peak at 1351 metres above sea level known as Khao Rom; or be in awe as you observe and feel a new found respect for elephants and tigers that live alongside hundreds of other fascinating species of the wild including endangered species like the hornbill. Boasting huge open grasslands, good roads for smooth driving and cycling, plenty of hiking trail option, campsites and dozens of attractions; the Khao Yai National Park offers tourists superb conditions and plenty to entertain all year-round!
Wat Arun - Temple of Dawn
Situated on the west side of the Chao Phraya River, the Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn is Bangkok's most jaw-droppingly beautiful Buddhist temple built even before the founding of Bangkok as Thailand's capital in 1782. Its unique design and intricate decorations using Chinese porcelain and coloured glass are truly magnificent to look at by day but by night, as the Wat Arun stands among the forefront of a beautiful read more...
Feasting on the Streets of Bangkok
Where better to savour real Thai food than on the streets of Bangkok? In fact for Thai people, the quality and flavour of foods will always rate higher than the refinedness of the place you are eating in. Although great restaurants can be found across Thailand, there is nothing more authentic than sampling one of the world's most colourful and exotic cuisines on kitchen-stalls and makeshift restaurants read more...
For bargain lovers or those in search of taking home some souvenirs, the Chatuchak Weekend Market or Jatujak Market, as it is referred to in Thai, is a fantastic attraction in the capital, Bangkok, where you will find almost everything imaginable! This extraordinary attraction is most famous for being the largest market in the world. Why? Because it covers over 27 acres, is divided into 27 sections, has over 200,000 visitors a day, and includes over 15,000 stalls with vendors selling items from every corner of the country. In store for you at the Chatuchak Market are all types of items such as flowers, plants, hand-made decorations, wood carvings, clay handicrafts, local souvenirs from various cities, ceramic pieces, tools, Chinese wares, stones, Thai Bejarong, pieces of furniture, cloth, fashionable clothing, silks, outfits, toys, miscellaneous items and so much more! Unlike at other attractions, prices are set at local bargaining rates meaning you won't get cheated by "tourist prices" here. Although known as the Weekend Market, you can get to see what Chatuchak is all about from Wednesday through to Sunday (6.00 am – 6.00 pm), although Saturday and Sunday are considered most popular days as items are greater aimed at tourists.
Linking the countries of Thailand to Burma from the cities of Bangkok to Yangon, is the infamous Thai-Burma Railway or "Death Railway" as it is also recognised. With so many stories to tell, no railway in the world is as fascinating but at the same time so melancholic. Although parts of the railway are inaccessible, some parts are still functional and allow for touring by train or are part of walking trails. Boat tours along several rivers that the railway crosses also provide unique views from an entirely different perspective. The most famous section of the railway is Bridge 277, better known as the "Bridge over the River Kwai" which was made immortal thanks to Pierre Boulle's book and a film based on it. Built under the orders of the Japanese Empire in 1943 by means of forced labour of thousands of Asian civilians and Prisoners of War; the grueling construction of the Thai-Burma Railway along with dreadful living conditions and warfare resulted in mass deaths of thousands of labourers who were incidentally buried in shallow graves alongside the railway's tracks. Although remains were removed and reburied in nearby cemeteries and memorials such as at Kanchanaburi, Thanbyuzayat and Chungkai war cemeteries, you cannot help but feel a heavy presence still lurking along the railway route. Despite this more gloomy side to the attraction, you can expect to find stunning views of rural landscapes and agricultural areas with sugar cane and pineapple plantations and rice paddies.