Thailand is quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and everyone knows that Bangkok is a traveler’s haven. While Bangkok is definitely top on the list of places in Thailand to visit, it’s not the only part of the country worth seeing. Here are a few more to mark off your list when traveling abroad to Thailand.
Bangkok’s Grand Palace and Temples
The Grand Palace and royal temple of Wat Phra Kaew is a popular spot to visit while in Bangkok. It is open to the public and the palace features regal throne halls and royal residences. The temples in the area, the Wat Pho and Wat Arun, are also in the vicinity and will call for a visit. Wat Pho is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, and it was once a traditional medicine education center and is the birthplace of the traditional Thai massage.
Across the river is the Wat Arun. Travelers can take ferries across to visit this temple, which is also known as the Temple of Dawn. It’s the tallest temple in the city and it’s from there that you can take in all the best views.
Bangkok Floating Markets
Often dubbed the “Venice of the East,” Bangkok is known for its floating markets on the water. Boats are piled high with fruit and vegetables, fresh coconut juice, and local food cooked from floating kitchens. The floating markets include Taling Chan Market, Bang Khu Wiang Market, Tha Kha, and Damnoen Saduak.
Phang Nga Bay
Famous for being one of the most scenic places in Thailand, this bay has a popular island called Khao Phing Kan – also known as James Bond Island – where travelers can visit areas where some of the shots from the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun were shot. There are also aquatic grottoes and limestone caves where you can kayak and explore the clastic rock ceilings.
In the same province of Phang Nga, where the bay is, there is a group of islands where thrill seekers and outdoor enthusiasts go for diving and island hopping. The Similan Islands feature rich coral reefs and underwater rock formations for divers to explore and admire.
Ayutthaya Historical Park, Ayutthaya
This historical park displays the ruins of what was once one of the largest cities in the world: Ayutthaya. A section of the area is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is best known for its Thai art displays, its giant Buddha head that protrudes from the branches of the trees (Wat Mahathat), and the following attractions: Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bopit, and Wat Phra Ram. Go here to see fossils, ancient art, and to experience an eclectic atmosphere.
Located in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai is a popular spot for those who’d like to explore the jungle and mountains. There are also a lot of temples, which are called wats in Thailand, including the famous Wat Chedi Luang. Visit Chiang Mai for the jungle treks and to see the temples, but also visit the local Long Neck Karen hill tribe. This is an indigenous group with a tradition of elongating their necks using metal rings. You can tour the Long Neck Karen hill tribe village while in Chiang Mai.
Stop in Kanchanaburi to visit the “Death Railway,” which was built by prisoners of war under Japanese direction during WWII. Travelers can tour the railway, called the Memorial Walking Trail, and the unfinished areas along the route. There’s a small museum there covering the history of this railway.
Krabi is a beach town of the popular Phi Phi Islands, and it offers what could possibly be the best place in the country to dive and participate in other water sports. Snorkelers, scuba divers, boaters, and kayakers congregate at Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands thanks to the impressive seaside cliffs.
The Ruined Capital of Sukhothai
For those traveling abroad between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, a stop in Sukhothai is a must. This city was once the heart of the Siamese empire. It’s a historical park now, and it is best to spend at least a day there to learn about the extensive history of the area.
Elephant Nature Park
There is an elephant park near Chiang Mai that is known for treating its elephants well. You can visit and feed and bathe the animals – getting up close and personal with elephants! Keep an eye out if you’re in Thailand for elephant parks that treat the animals well, if you’d like to truly enjoy your time with them. You’ll find a few good ones around Thailand!
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/thailand-temple-buddhism-religion-528393/