In Thailand you can gather so many different experiences that a visit is probably not enough. More than 15 million people arrive here every year, but cultural customs and traditions have remained largely unchanged. Western influences have led to great changes, but the rich heritage has been preserved. One of the best things about visiting Thailand is that there is no “typical” vacation. Of course, Thailand is at the top of the list with friends of the sun, but the country has an incredibly diverse number of attractions. From sunny beaches to dense jungle landscapes, there is endless to discover.
Chiang Rai & the Golden Triangle:
The Golden Triangle is characterized by captivating hill tribes, misty mountains and dense rainforest, where peaceful scenes of northern paddy fields provide the perfect photographic moment. At the northern tip of Thailand, the country borders Myanmar and Leos, where the legendary rivers Mekong and Ruak meet. In this region, full of attractions, there is a guarantee for a diverse itinerary, because the landscape here is as enticing as the people. Markets in mountain villages, museums, scenic drives and river cruises are just the beginning. A visit is both a cultural experience and a sightseeing adventure – and the food! Northern Thai cuisine includes some classic Thai dishes as well as a mix of delicious meals resulting from centuries of cultural interaction.
Mae Hong Son circular walk:
Mae Hong Son, a small town in one of the most impressive provinces of Thailand, is located northwest of Chiang Mai on the border with Burma. This is where the cultures of Burma and Thailand meet, creating a splendid combination of traditions. The landscape is densely wooded and valleys covered with fog characterize the alpine landscape. Chiang Mai is the perfect base for relaxing Mae Hong Son, with cheap flights and daily departures. If you’re there, it’s best to explore the area in a few days by motorbike.
Drive through the countryside and mountains, stop at the waterfalls on the trail and discover some fantastic, small, northern towns. Usually the circular route starts in Mae Hong Son: the small, cute, Cozy towns Mae Sariang and Pai are definitely the most impressive. Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon, is one of the main highlights along with other attractions
Kanchanaburi has become a popular tourist destination with a focus on nature due to its magnificent scenery and charming beauty. Located just two hours from Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is accessible by road or rail, and is popular for fishing, rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, bird watching, stargazing, golf, and elephant and jungle trekking. The area boasts some well-known waterfalls, caves inhabited by Neolithic people, national parks, calm rivers, pristine forests and some large reservoirs.
Tucked away in Thailand’s green northern province, Chiang Mai still has a tranquil atmosphere with international facilities and a diverse urban landscape that blends into green hills. The city shows one of the best examples of urban life while preserving the old customs and traditions. Outside the historic city center is a modern, dynamic city with a lot of charm and the gateway to some fascinating northern villages and towns.
Foreign NGO staff, trendy university students and talented artists have created countless innovative locations within the ubiquitous concrete shops. You can easily schedule a full week for a visit, but a few days are enough to see the main attractions. Do not miss the famous night bazaar, the illustrious Wat Phra Singh and the Saturday street, a day market full of treasures. Doi Suthep Temple on the top of the mountain shows why Chiang Mai is the true Buddhist heart of the North.
Ayutthaya is one of the most impressive cities in Thailand and deserves your attention. The smallpox was the trigger for the founding of the city in the valley of the Chao Phraya River in the 14th century: King U Thing traveled here to escape the deadly smallpox outbreak. As the capital of the province of the same name, Ayutthaya annually attracts millions of visitors who embark on the easy journey from Bangkok. Ayutthaya was a powerhouse for over 415 years, leased by Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and English traders, and enjoyed diplomatic relations with the then French King Louis XIV. The UNESCO World Heritage Site (the second capital in Thailand) was founded in the 18th century by the Burmese destroyed. Even though the city is so big and so popular, there is a calming atmosphere.
- Big palace:
The Great Palace was the home of Thai kings until the 20th century. In the center of the huge palace is the central square, which is surrounded by sights; The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (War Phra Gaeo in Thai) was built to accommodate a huge jade Buddha brought by King Rama I of Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The personal temple of the royal family is more than impressive and artistically decorated. The outer space is dominated by striking and remarkable halls. In 1897 King Rama V had the villa Phra Thinang Borom-Phiman built for his son, the heir to the throne. The foreign architect created a western-style building that stands in stark contrast to the environment and stands out. Although the king rarely uses the palace halls and nobody lives there.
- Krabi province:
On the southern strip of Thailand, along the beautiful Andaman coast, lies the province of Krabi, gateway to incredible attractions and obscure Thai islands. Sea gypsies, merchants and pirates sailed the Andaman Sea for centuries, seeking shelter in the countless caves and bays when things got hot. Here, the archipelago forms a labyrinth of islands and giant karstic formations, allowing one to admire one of Mother Nature’s greatest works. The province of Krabi is incredibly diverse; Families find an idyllic backdrop on Koh Lanta, climbers float on Railay beach on cloud Seven and individualists dream on the alabaster coasts of Koh Phi Phi Don and the little sister Leh before him. The city of Krabi is the starting point for over 150 islands within the province. Night markets, kayaking in the ocean, relaxing on the beach, island camping, dance parties on the waterfront, and world-class diving are all within easy reach on the southern strip.
- Koh Chang:
While it is difficult to recommend a single Thai island that caters to all needs, Koh Chang (elephant island) might be the answer as it offers a bit of everything for everyone. Idyllic beaches, stunning mountains, holistic resorts, artistic hangouts, exciting nightlife and timeless fishing villages are all things that fulfill most travelers’ desires. There are both quiet and action-packed beaches. Koh Chang is huge and is only surpassed in size by Samui and Phuket, but much of the landscape is untouched. The days of the deserted beaches are now over, but Koh Chang is in no way inferior to his larger siblings. Coral reefs nearby create fantastic places for scuba diving and snorkeling, while mountains, dense jungle and thundering waterfalls in the interior offer activities in the countryside. If that does not satisfy your urge for adventure, there are more than 50 other islands within the archipelago, making it easy to find your own little paradise.
- Damnoen Saduak floating markets:
Buses to Ratchaburi take visitors to one of the country’s most popular attractions, just 100 km from the capital. Crowds converge on this mark in Ratchaburi province, but the old tradition is definitely worth a visit – even if you are not looking for anything specific in the market. Bais-clad Thais navigate narrow, colorful boats through the network of canals and sell everything they can. You may also meet a strange Thai who will put a monkey on your lap, take a picture and ask for money, but it’s still worth a visit; Just look away, it’s relatively easy to avoid these traps. Visitors can rent cheap private boats, tour the market and shop, or get into a public transport and drive through the province. No matter what you choose, this experience is truly one of a kind.
- Phang Nga:
North of Phuket lies Phang Nga, a stunning Thai province, full of beautiful scenery, incredible islands and great diving. Phang Nga Bay National Park is a wonder of nature with its amazing rock formations (limestone karst) jutting into the sky, picturesque islets and caves. There are several small and large boat excursions from Phuket and day trips are available from Krabi. The Muslim fishing village of Koh Panyee is an interesting stop and a great way to help the locals sell handmade souvenirs and fresh, delicious seafood. One of the best ways to explore Phang Nga is to rent a canoe or kayak and drive along the bay, taking in ancient paintings in island caves, to admire the natural wildlife and picturesque wonders. The huge, layered rocks in the shallow Phang Nga Bay are a magnificent sight and probably the most dramatic part of your visit.
- Khao Yai National Park:
As Thailand’s first national park, the Khao Yai (Great Mountain) is the pioneer of nature conservation – since 1962, officials have been continuously protecting the riches of the country. Located in Khorat Province, Khao Yai is also located in three other provinces and is an integral part of the San Kamphaeng Mountain Range. The stunning 2,000+ square kilometer park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to gibbons,elephants, snakes, hundreds of exotic birds and the last of the Thai tigers. From evergreen rainforests to dry grassy plains, the landscape and elevation changes are constantly changing. More than 40 waterfalls are the main attraction, some of which are among the most impressive in the country. Quiet streams, wild jungle trails, Rapids and a diverse wildlife can be observed from observation towers in the park. Stay in a lodge or camp on the ground, join a nocturnal safari, and your trip is complete.
- Chao Pharaya Flussfähre:
If you are in Bangkok, do it like the locals and take the Chao Phraya River ferry. On this express road you come to the north and to the south on the river Chao Phraya, the water main of the city, where you can quickly reach the numerous attractions, without getting stuck in traffic. The Orange Flag boat is the best choice among the five separate lines. Jump up and follow the chaotic morning traffic. Enjoy a ferry that comes every 20 minutes and runs all day. The ferry ride is itself an attraction that provides a view of everyday life; Locals who go to work, children who go to school and sellers who offer all sorts of strange and wonderful goods.
- WFFT Wildlife Rescue Center:
Illegal pet trade blooms in Thailand. Unfortunately, established animal shelters may not be up to par or may not have the proper training to properly care for the animals – or both. If you love animals and want to see some of the most beautiful Thailand, you should visit an official animal welfare center. There you will find the most dedicated people in animal welfare, who tirelessly rescue sick, abused animals, fight against illegal animal trade and inform the public. Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand is led by Edwin Wiek, a man of extraordinary tenacity and perseverance. The center in Tha Yang, Phetchaburi province, fights for the welfare of the animals, supplies them medically and rescues elephants, lemurs, langurs, gibbons, tigers, baboons, macaques, exotic birds, Malay bears and more. Book a day visit to the center or participate directly in a volunteer program.