6 Must Visit Places in Thailand
Thailand isn’t an enormous country, but in terms of scenic places and interesting attractions it is second to none. From high-tech modern cities to ancient Buddhist temples, from lush verdant landscapes to some of the most exotic beaches in the world, Thailand has it all.
This type of diversity is why Thailand is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in Asia. It offers a unique combination of cultural, historic, and natural attractions that will impress even the most world-wearing traveler.
Here, then, are six of the most incredible places to visit during your next visit to Thailand.
- Bustling Bangkok
Bangkok has been called the “New York City of Asia”. As Thailand’s capital, it is certainly the country’s most important city. It’s also one of the most amazing places you will ever see.
The city features a diverse combination of high-rise skyscrapers, magnificent palaces, ancient temples, exclusive nightclubs, bustling urban markets, and streets filled with vendors offering every type of exotic food, colorful souvenirs and other goods.
Residents take an almost perverse pride in the fact that getting around Bangkok by car is practically impossible thanks to the non-stop, wall-to-wall traffic. Fortunately, the city has one of the largest, most efficient, and most affordable public transportation systems in the world.
Bangkok’s most famous street is Khao San Road, where you will find world-class shopping, incredible eating, and glamorous and often scandalous nightlife. Save time during your visit to see the world-famous Wat Phra Kaew Temple, which is home to the Emerald Buddha.
- Phuket Island
In stark contrast to the urban sprawl that is Bangkok is Phuket Island, one of the three man sets of islands in Thailand.
Phuket is the country’s biggest and most developed island. It is connected to the mainland by two major bridges. But crossing over onto Phuket is like traveling back through time to a world of unspoiled natural beauty where a laid-back island attitude is the most pervasive mindset.
Whether you are looking for a remote tropical beach, an old world market where time seemingly has stood still for hundreds of years, or some of the most modern and contemporary tourist attractions available anywhere, Phuket Island offers it all – and at affordable prices that will have you extending your vacation plans.
- Chiang Mai
For the outdoor adventurer, there is no better place to serve as home base than Chiang Mai. Located in the desolate northern mountainous region of Thailand, Chiang Mai is frequented by backpackers, survivalists, and others who simply want to get away from it all in one of the most exotic corners of the planet.
In addition to pristine jungles, sprawling mountain ranges, and mile after mile of solitary, undisturbed trails, you also can find ancient ruins and hidden Buddhist temples, the most famous of which is Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which is just outside the main town of Chiang Mai on a mountainside that overlooks the city.
Kanchanaburi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand thanks to it being the home of the famous Bridge of the River Kwai, the historic World War II site along the Death Railway to Burma in which thousands of Asian laborers and Western POWs perished during the Japanese occupation.
Here you will find several museums, historic sites, and war cemeteries that commemorate the historic place.
But there’s more to Kanchanaburi than just remembrances of past tragedies. There’s also easy access to national parks, including Erawan and Srinakarind National Parks, which offer breathtaking beauty, adventurous caves, and scenic waterfalls.
If you have a spiritual bent, you must visit the city of Ayuthaya, located in the Cha Phraya River valley region of Thailand. Founded in the 14th Century, Ayuthaya sits on an island surrounded by three rivers that connect it to the Gulf of Siam.
It was here that King U Thong first proclaimed the island the capital of his Ayuthaya Kingdom, which is better known among Westerners as Siam. Ayuthaya still features more than 400 temples, three royal palaces, and the ruins of an ancient city that was once the capital of Thailand before it was moved to Bangkok.
Just a short scenic train ride from Bangkok, Ayuthaya also is accessible by boat, bus or van.
- Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in the world. Composed of pristine jungle forests, sheer limestone karsts, and crystal clear rivers and lakes, it is home to a myriad of wildlife including wild elephants, monkeys, bears, boards and tapirs.
Take a stroll along the park’s scenic trail and look up to see gibbons, pig-tailed macaques, langurs, and other monkeys playing in the jungle canopy above your head. Be sure to bring your camera!
Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Author Bio: This article is written by Sam Jenkins on behalf of Ferry Samui.