Tropical Thailand has thick jungle and stunning beaches as well as unmissable heritage sites. Here’s a round-up of our favourite places to visit if you are planning a trip to this magical kingdom.
The Grand Palace is the must-see heritage site in the Thai capital. Nestled in the heart of Bangkok old town and on the banks of the river Chao Phraya, the gold tipped complex was home to the Kings of Siam, the Royal court and the seat of the government and its grandeur is palpable. Its opulent and intricately detailed architecture is a sight to be seen to be believed.
The Grand Palace complex also houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, one of Thailand’s most sacred places. The Buddha is believed to be more than 2000 years old, originally from India and misleadingly carved from green jade. Murals within the temple depict events in the life of the Lord Buddha and the Thai King himself ceremoniously dresses the sacred figurine with the changing of the seasons.
Make sure to go dressed appropriately, it is the royal residence and a sacred place therefore appropriate clothing is important.
Khao San Road
This famous backpacker haunt is crowded and full of character, every visitor to Bangkok should go at least once. It’s fun to spend an afternoon or evening among the mosaic array of electric signs stretching into the road. Order some pad thai and a beer and watch the world go past.
No trip to Thailand would be complete without experiencing the markets to see where locals buy ingredients they use to put together their internationally renowned curries and noodle dishes. The Klong Toey Market supplies half of Bangkok and the food is unbelievably fresh – the seafood is still alive. Feast on street food at every opportunity and take a cookery class to see how you get on making your own fragrant Thai dishes.
Visitors to Sukhothai will discover 13th – 15th century with white buddhas sitting peacefully among classic lotus-bud chedi temples. This expansive historical park is best explored by bicycle. The partially restored ruins comprise Royal Palaces and temples surrounded by four large ponds complete with flowering water lilies.
The attraction to Thailand’s pristine white beaches and clear turquoise waters is obvious and with 5000 miles of coastline the choice is almost endless. Take a day boat trip from Phuket to Phang Nga Bay’s dramatic limestone cliffs and explore. Or head to the Phi Phi islands where great snorkeling by day combines with a hedonistic party atmosphere by night.
A quintessentially Thai experience, you can’t take a trip to Bangkok without visiting one of its floating markets. Marvel at the colourful selection of fresh fruit laid out on banana leaves and buy a meal from a floating kitchen. Don’t forget to take your camera, you won’t want to miss the chance to snap plenty of pictures of the stallholders whilst they paddle and navigate the waterways with ease.
Last but not least! Did you know that almost a third of Thailand is covered in jungle and is home to thousands of species? Why not visit Khao Sok National park from Phuket. It’s thought to be the oldest rainforest in the world.