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Sightseeing in Thailand

Thailand is full of color and vibrancy and the sites spell out just this. The places in and around Thailand are as fascinating as it can be and they have all the ingredients to make your tour a fascinating experience. Here are some of the places that you can visit- Bangkok

Most people spend a few days in Bangkok either for shopping, partying, history or all three. If there is just one sight worth seeing in Bangkok, it is the Grand Palace, also known as Wat Phra Kaew. The palace compound includes the Royal residence, several ornate temple buildings, extensive murals from the 1700s, and Thailand’s national treasure – the Emerald Buddha. Arrive early and give yourself ample time to explore this exquisite palace. The most exotic (and traffic-free) way to arrive at the palace is by boat. The view of the palace from the river is magnificent. If you are not dressed appropriately, the palace compound has a changing room and lends clothing and shoes to unacquainted visitors.

Included in the price of the ticket to the Grand Palace is entry to Vimanmek Golden Teak Mansion, located a few kilometres from the palace. This is a most elegant old residence-turn-museum, once home to Thailand’s past King Rama 5 (the current King is Rama 9). The mansion is said to be the world’s largest golden teak building and enjoys a quiet, scenic location on a lake. However, make sure you are not wearing shorts or a sleeveless shirt as you will be refused entry.

From Bangkok, you can take a day cruise upriver to the ancient capital city of Ayutthaya. The bus and train will take you there as well, but travelling by boat is the most exotic and scenic way to go. You will see numerous temples and old teak houses along the way. The historical centre of Ayuttaya is an island in the middle of three converging rivers. Majestic ruins and lotus ponds make up this historical national park. A nice way to explore the ruins is by renting bicycles.

Thailand’s older capital city is Sukhothai,located further north. This is a larger version of Ayuttaya with extensive ruins and waterways. You can get there by plane or bus. Spending the night in the old city is a special experience. In addition, the water-oriented festivals of Songkran and Loy Kratong are enthusiastically celebrated here.

North and Central:

Chiang Mai
, in the north, is another ancient capital surrounded by waterways. There isn’t much left in the way of ruins, except for the old moat and sections of the wall that once enclosed the old city.Chang Mai is a hub for trekking into the mountains either by foot or elephant, rafting along rivers and visiting interesting hill tribes. It is also a great city for dining and shopping! Again, the water-oriented festivals of Songkran and Loi Kratong are enthusiastically celebrated here.

Pattaya is a holiday city on the sea, just about 2 hours drive outside Bangkok. While the beach isn’t idyllic, the nightlife and excitement of Pattaya certainly caters to party-goers.

Hua Hin is another convenient weekend getaway 3 hours drive or quick flight from Bangkok. It is a narrow city on the shores of the Gulf of Siam.Hua Hin’s biggest draw is its close proximity to Bangkok and choice of hotels. It is also home to a Royal Palace where the King of Thailand spends most of his time.

Koh Samet is a tiny island 3 hours from Bangkok. An eclectic crowd of Bangkok Thais, expats and tourists enjoy the quietude of this relaxing retreat from the city. Fine white sand, warm blue water and great food are the highlights, not to mention evening fire dancing at Silver Sands and Naga bars.

Koh Chang is Thailand’s second largest island, sitting in the Gulf of Siam. While most of the island is dense jungle and national park, its shoreline is quickly being developed into a resort destination. It is 6 hours drive from Bangkok and a short boat ride from the province of Trat, near Cambodia.

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Koh Samui is Thailand’s third largest island further south in the Gulf of Siam.Ko Samui offers something for everyone – nightlife, quietude, shopping, sunbathing, etc. One of the best things about Samui is that you can see the sea from just about anywhere on the island. The choice of direct beachfront accommodation suits any traveller on any budget as well. You can get there by plane or ferry.

Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are smaller islands off accessible by boat from Koh Samui.Koh Phangan is famous for its Full Moon Parties. Koh Tao is a main diving destination.

Phuket Island sits on the opposite coast fringed by the great blue Andaman Sea and is Thailand’s "Pearl of the Andaman". While many of Phuket’s beaches are very developed, its interior remains as green, lush hills, even some virgin rainforest can be found. Phuket truly offers something for everybody, but its main draw is its beaches and the clear water that surrounds its beautiful shores. Phuket is a world-class dive and yachting destination; the many small, surrounding islands providing endless discoveries, adventures and peaceful retreats. Unlike Thailand’s other islands, you can drive on and off Phuket by way of a short bridge. There is also an international airport.

In Phang Nga Bay on Phuket’s east coast, sit the islands of Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao and Koh Lanta. Smaller versions of Phuket, these islands offer beautiful beaches and various water activities.

Krabi is just across Phang Nga Bay from Phuket. Once a sleepy little beach town, Krabi' dramatic beauty continues to draw more tourists each year, yet still offers tranquillity.

Top Things to Do:

Ride an elephant. Most tourist areas offer elephant rides through the jungle and is an experience like no other!

Hike around a national park. Thailand is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, much of it preserved in several expansive national parks; many of which are known to still harbour wild elephants, leopards and tigers, among a plethora of wildlife and lush vegetation.

Kayak or sail around Phang Nga Bay. This picturesque bay lies between Phuket and Krabi and is dotted with hundreds of tiny limestone islands and deserted beaches. Some islands have inner-sea lagoons and caves which are fun, if not a bit thrilling to explore by kayak.

Go diving at the Similan Islands. This chain of islands sits off the west coast near Myanmar and is home to some of the best diving in the world. The most common and convenient way to go is on a live-aboard dive boat. You can also charter your own boat and camp on the main island.

Visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok. This impressive compound is home to Thai Royalty, ornate architecture, extensive murals, and the Emerald Buddha statue, a national treasure.

Get a massage at Wat Po. This massage school is the most famous and highly regarded in Thailand. Visitors can receive a traditional Thai massage or enroll in a massage study course within Bangkok’s oldest and largest temple. It is located near the Grand Palace.

Lounge on a beach. Southern Thailand boasts a seemingly endless array of beautiful beaches. From Phuket’s action-packed Patong to Phang-Nga Bay’s deserted little coves, there’s a beach for every preference. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Cycle around an ancient capital. Thailand’s former capital cities provide peaceful parks rich in ruins and fascinating sights. The best way to explore the old cities of Ayuttaya or Sukhothai is by renting bicycles.

See a cabaret show. Thailand’s transvestites are probably the most beautiful ones you will see. Sceptics will have a hard time believing these dainty waifs are (or were) actually men! Cabaret shows are popular throughout Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Samui.
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Recommend :   Bangkok  |  Phuket  |  Pattaya  |  Chiang Mai  |  Chiang Rai  |  Hua Hin / Cha-am   |  Koh Samui  |  Krabi  |  Koh Phi Phi  |  Koh Phangan  |  Koh Chang
Kanchanaburi  |  Khao Lak  |  Koh Mak  |  Koh Samed  |  Koh Tao  |  Koh Kood  |  Koh Lanta  |  Pai  |  Maehongson | Sukhothai
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