Planning a trip to Thailand? This is what you should do and where you should go.
Thailand seems to be on everyone’s tour itinerary, and this is for good reason: the country provides exactly what travelers tend to be looking for in spades. Whether it is amazing beaches, historic sites, wildlife and fishing trips, temples, culture, or simply places to have fun, Thailand has it all. But above all else, these are the five things that you must do when on a holiday to Thailand:
Go to Amazing Beaches
Railay Beach currently seems to be scratching the top of nearly every list of Thailand’s top beaches. Accessible only by boat ride from Krabi and Ao Nang, Railay is an ideal exhibit of beach-y splendors: soft, smooth sand, clear blue water, and intriguing cliffs which, if you are so inclined, you can try your hand at climbing. While visiting Railay be sure to head over to Phang Nga Bay, which is just a short walk or kayay ride away.
While Phuket is often known for it’s nightlife, it also has more than its fair share of incredible beaches. Check out Karon Beach, which is a little more developed than Railay but is still worth your time, or Kata Beach, which is a truly fun, laid back kind of beach town.
Also be sure to travel to Kantiang Beach on Koh Lanta for incredible beaches that provide the traveler with something that many of Thailand’s other tourist destinations really don’t: solitude.
While this may not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking about traveling to Southeast Asia, fishing in Thailand is actually world class. The reason for this is simple: really, really big fish. We’re talking Mekong giant catfish that can get up to 770 pounds, the Giant Siamese Carp, which can reach lengths of nearly 10 feet and weight over 660 pounds, as well as the Giant gourami — not to mention the Niger Ripsaw Catfish, Arapaima, and Alligator Gar. The tropical climate and abundant food allow fish to grow to sizes they aren’t able to in many other parts of the world, making Thailand a prime destination for recreational and sport fishing. As always, hiring a knowledgeable local guide can go a long way.
Go to Hill Tribe Villages
All across the north of Thailand are the villages of the Akha, Lisu, Hmong, and Karen tribes. For an incredible cultural experience, book a tour with a reputable guide, learn about another way of life, and trek out to some beautiful places.
Visit Temples and Historic Sites
Everybody has the Grand Palace as a must-do attraction when visiting Bangkok for good reason: the place is incredible. It was constructed in the latter part of the 18th century and was the home of the King of Thailand for 150 years. Hardly anybody leaves Thailand without visiting — just be sure to dress appropriately.
After visiting the Grand Palace head over to What Arun, which provides a truly stunning experience at sunset.
Wat Pho is also a must-visit locale in Bangkok, as it has a giant 150-foot-long reclining Buddha covered in gold leaf.
If looking for more significant historic sites when visiting Thailand, be sure to go to Ayutthaya, which was once one of the country’s most dynamic trading hubs and administrative capitals. However, the city was to be abandoned and it descended into ruins, which you can now go and visit today.
If that doesn’t give you your history fix, head to Nakhon Ratchasima province’s Phimai Historical Park, which has one of the largest Khmer temples in the country, or to the Phanom Rung Historical Park in Buriram province, which has arrays of 12th-century Khmer ruins.
Enjoy the Nightlife
No trip to Thailand would be complete without a little partying, as the country has some of the best nightlife in the world. So head over to Khaosan Road, which isn’t just for backpackers anymore but is still the same old nightlife district. Or hop down to Pattaya and go for a stroll down its one-of-a-kind Walking Street. If that doesn’t do it for you, then check out a full moon party on Haad Rin Beach on the island of Koh Phangan.
In all, Thailand has something for every traveler. So buy the ticket, take the ride, and be sure to do these five great things on your next holiday.