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Thailand is a wonderful place with friendly people and fantastic food. Therefore, It's no surprise that Bangkok is the world's most visited city and the country's beaches are among the most popular vacation destinations. However, while many tourists visit these locations, few can honestly say they've done it all - experienced Thailand for all its glory. They are not true Thailand aficionados.
To be considered a true fan, you'll have completed all the following activities. You can't call yourself a Thailand enthusiast otherwise!
This is a short list of things to do during your Thailand stay. But if you haven't experienced all these tourist attractions, you are missing out!
Thailand's cuisine is world-renowned, with aromatic curries, spicy soups, and nutritious salads. That said, you won't want to go without your beloved Thai food fix for too long. Therefore, learning to cook your favorite dish from a Thai friend or at a cooking class is crucial and a terrific way to bring a piece of Thailand home.
All markets - floating, train, or the typical night market - are terrific spots to feast like a king because there are hundreds of food selections, and everything is inexpensive. Everywhere you go in Thailand will have markets; however, some of the greatest is the Chatuchak market in Bangkok and the Walking Street market in Chaing Mai. Just a heads-up, you'll need those loose-fitting jeans.
Thailand has a lot to offer than just pad Thai. Each region of Thailand has its specialty foods. For example, you can get the tastiest som tam in Isaan, and many dishes taste better in the south than in Bangkok. To eat well and get the most out of your trip, do some homework on each region before you go there. Try the local specialties, and you'll quickly be dining like a native.
Songkran is a nationwide water war as revelers line the streets with water hoses, squirt guns, and buckets of water ready to soak passers-by. The act of pouring water is thought to wash away sins and bad luck in the Buddhist tradition. While every city will be involved, Chiang Mai is believed to be the best — so head up north if you want to get properly soaked.
Originally a tiny gathering of tourists, the Full Moon Party has grown into one of the world's most famous beach parties. The celebration is on Koh Phangan, along the Haad Rin beach, with DJs spinning new and vintage classics and beverages downed by the bucketload. This event will be a blast if you enjoy partying.
This unique event takes place the day before the Full Moon Party. So if you're going to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party, make sure to check this one out too! It's located in the jungle, so you'll get an entirely different party vibe. In addition, there are lots of performers and artists that make new costumes every month. Therefore, there's always something new to experience, and the vibe is extra fun and colorful.
Thailand's clean waters and wealth of marine life make it an excellent destination to go diving. Although the Similan Islands are widely considered to be the best diving destination in Thailand, there are other locations around the country where you may explore the underwater world and perhaps even spot a whale shark. Koh Tao is another trendy dive spot.
Thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio's movie The Beach, Maya Bay is one of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations. It is a breathtaking location with a white beach and majestic mountains. A sleep-aboard boat or early morning departure is required to view it at its best without a massive crowd. But it'll be worth it!
Railay, a peninsula in Krabi province, has some of Thailand's most beautiful beaches. They have the soft, white sand and sparkling water you see on postcards and social media. Plus, the lack of automobiles and motorbikes makes it the perfect location to unwind. It might be the closest thing to paradise on Earth you'll find.
Thailand is famed for its beautiful islands, and island hopping is the best way to see them. Krabi is an excellent destination for island hopping since it is home to magnificent islands such as Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, and Bamboo Island. Yet, you'll have just as much fun exploring the Trang archipelago or the Gulf of Thailand side of the country, which includes Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan. Aside from these well-known destinations, there are hundreds of quieter islands along the country's western and eastern southern coasts. In fact, there are 1430 islands in Thailand!
Wat Phra Kaew, or the Grand Palace, is Thailand's most sacred monument and a must-see for any visitor. The structures are beautifully elaborate, with gilded chedis and Buddhist statues adding to the visual spectacle. Thailand has several gorgeous temples, but Wat Phra Kaew really stands out.
Learning about a country's history and culture is fundamental when traveling, and Thailand has lots of opportunities to do so. For example, Ayutthaya, Thailand's former capital, has a variety of stunning temples that are well preserved and provide a look into Thailand's past. Another good city for history is Kanchanaburi. It was the site of the infamous Death Railway project during WWII, and it has museums about it.
Bangkok offers a diverse range of nightlife options. The big city has something for everyone: chilling with backpackers on Khaosan Road, sipping a cocktail at the Sky Bar overlooking the city from the 64th floor of a skyscraper, calm bars, loud clubs, etc. And if you want to drink with Bangkok's hippest citizens, you need to take a taxi to Thonglor/Ekkamai. Bangkok's nights are legendary, so embrace the moment.
Muay Thai is Thailand's national sport; therefore, there's no better place to watch a match and/or learn it. Unlike traditional boxing, which employs only fists, Muay Thai contestants also utilize their elbows, knees, and legs to strike their opponents. No trip to Thailand is complete without experiencing this extreme sport.
Elephants are Thailand's national symbol, so seeing them is definitely on the must-do list. While riding elephants is unethical, there are many other exciting and kind ways to connect with them. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary near Chiang Mai is one of many places where you can trek, play, and swim with elephants. Not only will you have fun if you go there, but you will also be contributing to a good cause because the work they do involves educating people about the issue of elephant abuse in Southeast Asia and caring for injured elephants.
Thailand's gorgeous national parks highlight that the country is more than just stunning beaches and idyllic islands. Beautiful rivers, waterfalls, and deep jungles await your discovery in parks like Khao Yai, Khao Sok, and Erawan, where you may even spot a bear, elephant, or tiger. So, bring a pair of boots and get ready to explore.
A Thai massage is a perfect way to relax after a long day of trekking or partying. With so many massage parlors on every street, you're never far from a helping hand.
Pai is a charming town in Thailand's northern highlands, close to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Pai's milder temperatures, plenty of trekking paths, and natural beauty make it an excellent destination to relax before completing your journey. There are also ethnic minority tribes who are willing to show you their way of life and handmade items — the kind of cultural encounters that seasoned travelers dream of.
This list could go on and on. There are so many beautiful things to do in Thailand! These activities are merely the obvious ones. If you genuinely love the country, you'll surely do so much more.