Things to do in Thailand
Thailand has a fascinating Buddhist culture with a number of beautiful temples and stunning, lush mountain scenery in the north, spectacular beaches and islands in the south, and energetic Bangkok and its surrounds in the centre.
Bangkok and central Thailand
The capital is an exciting mix of beautiful ancient Buddhist temples, golden royal palaces, riverside houses on stilts, traditional markets and a modern city of skyscrapers and malls. Delve into the culture of Thailand and visit the National Museum, Wat Pho (home of the giant reclining Buddha), riverside Wat Arun and the Grand Palace complex for a glimpse of the Emerald Buddha.
A city well-known for its cuisine, enjoy street food in the many winding streets, head to the Chinatown and one of many bustling food markets, enjoy sedate dinner cruises on converted rice barges, or journey further out of town to visit fascinating railway or floating markets.
Once the powerful ancient capital of Siam, in 1767 the city was destroyed by the Burmese army and much of the fabulously ornate city has been lost. What still remains of the now Unesco world heritage site provides a glimpse of life during the four centuries that the kings of Ayutthaya ruled.
A poignant visit can be made to the RiverKwai inKanchanaburi province. Visit the bridge, the well-kept Allied war cemeteries and theJEATH Museum, which documents the building of the railway under harrowing conditions by AlliedPOWs. It is also possible to take a ride along the railway itself – the train slows down at the most spectacular points for some great views of the jungle scenery.
Thailand’s second city, Chiang Mai is considered to be one of the most beautiful, and is often labelled the ‘Rose of the North,’ or the ‘City of Golden Temples’ as it features more than 300 Buddhist temples. Walking the narrow streets of the old city within the ancient moats, one can see remnants of Chiang Mai’s dynastic past. Be sure to visit Wat Doi Suthep, a glimmering temple perched on a mountain, offering spectacular panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
Southern Thailand is full to the brim with dazzling beaches, alluring coastline and isolated islands. Highlights include Hua Hin, one of the oldest and most traditional of the Thai resorts, famous Phuket, relaxing Khao Lak and the fishing town of Krabi. Islands like undeveloped Ko Lanta, inescapable Ko Samui and isolated Ko Kood are well worth the journey.
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