Thailand, the Land of the Smiles is known as one of the most unique destinations in Southeast Asia to visit. From its hundreds of islands to its modern capital city, Thailand has everything a traveller could ever ask for. You’ll be able to experience the rich culture and history, stunning beaches, delicious cuisines and beautiful scenery just from visiting Thailand.
We have compiled a list of the top five attractions in Thailand you should visit on your next vacation for first-time travellers.
If there is one place that you must visit when you’re in Bangkok, it’s the city’s most famous landmark which is the Grand Palace. The palace was built in 1782 and was the home of the Thai King for 150 years. It also comprised of Buddhist temples, government offices, and precious works of art. Currently, the complex is the spiritual heart of the Kingdom.
There are many beautiful buildings located around the monumental complex including the Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which features the small and revered Emerald Buddha dating back to the 14th century, Wat Arun (Temple Of Dawn) which is a miniature version of Angkor Wat, Phra Si Ratana Chedi which is a massive golden stupa and the Royal Pantheon that contains statues of past rulers of the Chakri dynasty.
When you think of visiting Thailand, you’re probably thinking of the gastronomic adventure you’ll be having. Thailand's floating markets offer a unique experience when it comes to shopping and eating local food.
Thailand’s markets are exciting and gives off an authentic travel experience as you get to see traditional houses throughout the canals and meet sellers selling all kinds of food, souvenirs, clothing, and fresh produce. It is advisable to get up early in the morning and eat breakfast at the floating market as vendors are already out in their boats selling their produce.
One of the most famous floating markets you should visit in Thailand is Damnoen Saduak floating market which is located about an hour and a half drive from Bangkok. A relaxing guided boat tour of Damnoen Saduak market will be able to provide a sense of the traditional way of life in Thailand. Other floating markets you have to visit are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Amphawa and Tha Kha.
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Khao Yai National Park is another gem in Thailand that is worth discovering. It is the oldest, third-largest national park in Thailand and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This protected area spans 300 square kilometres and is about a two and a half-hour drive from Bangkok.
It would be best if you come for the whole day with a local guide to this national park because of the vast area that can be discovered. Many animal species can be seen roaming around freely in this park such as macaques, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, and pythons. Most visitors are looking forward to seeing Asian elephants, white-handed gibbons and the giant hornbill.
Khao Yai National Park has numerous trails you can go through via foot or bicycle and many beautiful waterfalls you can have a quick dip in to freshen up yourself. You could also camp out in this park with your own tent, rent a tent, or even stay in a cabin if you want to spend more time exploring the area.
Ko Phi Phi is a small archipelago consisting of six islands located in the Krabi Province Southern Thailand. For those wanting to visit Thailand, it is a must to stopover at the Phi Phi islands as it has white sandy beaches, stunning rock formations and crystal clear turquoise waters teeming with colourful marine life.
There are two islands, Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh. Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest of the islands and the only island with permanent inhabitants. Whereas, Ko Phi Phi Leh is known for being the filming location for the 2000 movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo Dicaprio.
One of the main attractions in Koh Phi Phi is Monkey Beach, located on the southwestern side of Tonsai Bay. The beach got its name from the macaques that live on the beach and in the neighbouring jungle. Another area you need to visit is Long Beach located along the island; it’s a great spot to catch the sunset and spend some quality time with your loved ones.
Khao Sok National Park is considered as one of Thailand’s most beautiful wildlife reserves by many tourists. The national park features a mix of diverse ecosystems such as a rain forest older than the Amazon, a limestone mountain range covered in karst formations, lakes and rivers in the Surat Thani province of southern Thailand.
The park is home to various wildlife like Asian elephants, Malayan sun bears, Malayan tapirs, tigers, barking deer, wild boar and a range of monkeys breeds like pig-tailed macaques, gibbons and langurs. If you’re lucky, you’ll manage to catch these animals in action once you’re deep into the evergreen rain forest.
Suppose you’re an adrenalin junkie who enjoys outdoor activities. In that case, you’ll enjoy being in this park as there are activities such as ziplining, cave exploring and kayaking and tubing on the Sok River. If what you’re looking for is something more relaxing, then you can experience trekking through the jungle to observe wildlife, beautiful waterfalls and take a dip in natural pools.
With so many amazing places to visit, you are bound to have the time of your life and encounter many first time experiences in Thailand. Settling down in Thailand to visit more places could even be a great alternative, we have a comprehensive set of listings in Thailand which might pique your interest.
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