The Land of Sandy Beaches
Thailand or officially the Kingdom of Thailand is the 50th largest country in the world. Historically, the native people of the land are descendants of the Chinese who migrated to the country in the 11th century and came to be known as the Siamese. Many like the Khmer, Malay, and Mon kingdoms ruled the region. Ayutthaya, which became one of the most powerful kingdoms in the16th and the 17th century, has built palaces, temples and other monuments which showcase the architectural brilliance of the Siamese people. These relics are now popular tourist attractions in Thailand.
The land is also renowned for its natural beauty. The pristine beaches with fine white sand, wildlife reserves with a thick growth of vegetation, and the refreshing atmosphere of the hilltops lure tourists from around the world. Many activities are centered around the beach to entertain the visitors. Adventure activities like trekking, rock climbing, wildlife safari, and so on can also be enjoyed in Thailand. Those who party hard will find the pubs and nightlife of the cosmopolitan city of Bangkok satisfying.
Top attractions in Thailand
The capital city of the country is also one of the topmost tourist attractions in Thailand. The tourism possibilities of Bangkok are not limited to high rise buildings, busy streets, pubs, and bars that celebrate the nightlife. The city also contains many ancient monuments that proclaim the rich history of the land. Grand Palace — the 18th-century palace of the Kings of Siam — is a major tourist destination. The Emerald temple which houses the statue of Emerald Buddha is another historic monument that is worth a visit while in the cosmopolitan city. Other tourist locations include the riverside Buddhist shrine Wat Arun temple, Wat Pho temple, Sealife Bangkok underwater aquarium, Dusit zoo, and so on. You may also enjoy shopping in Khao San Road, Chatuchak Market, and the amazing floating market.
Thailand is famous for its pristine beaches. The country consists of many islands, each providing a unique beach experience. The beaches in Koh Yao islands has a laid back village feel with fewer crowds and calmer. The Klong Jark and Had Passai beaches are the ones that you should visit if loud noise and celebrations are not your things. The turquoise sea caressing the long white sandy shore is a relaxing sight. Koh Samui island, on the other hand, has some best luxury beach resorts that are ideal for those on their honeymoon trip to Thailand. Koh Tao is the island to go to if you are a Scuba diving enthusiast. If partying is your thing, choose the beaches in Koh Pha Ngan where the parties never end. Many activities and luxuries make Phuket beaches engaging. Koh Lanta with its all-round fun may be the best of the islands in Thailand.
A small peninsula in the southern part of the country, Rai Leh is one of the top places to visit in Thailand. The area is cut off from the mainland by lofty limestone cliffs. Adventure lovers adore these hills as it is the best spot for rock climbing. The seashore which lays overshadowed by the cliff has a long sandy beach lined with palm trees on one side and turquoise sea on the other. The calm atmosphere entices anyone who wishes to steer clear of all the noise and relax. After a long swim in the clear sea, you can lay down on hammocks or recliners where you can unwind and enjoy a nice sunbath.
Phanom Rung is an ancient temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located on the rim of an extinct volcano at a height of 402 meters, the temple is a unique place in Thailand. The Khmer architectural wonder was constructed between 10th and 13th century AD and was restored to its original form after a strenuous effort of 17 years (1971 to 1988) by the Department of Fine Arts. The sandstone and laterite structure has a stupendous 160-meter-long processional walkway bordered by seventy sandstone posts with lotus bud tops. The florid temple architecture with detailed stone carvings, the entrance embellished with various icons from Hindu mythology, and the stone sculpture of a five-headed snake will surely enthrall you. The Phra Narai Lintel, which depicts a reclining Hindu god Vishnu, decorates the eastern entrance and attracts attention due to the controversies associated with it.
Pai has come a long way in recent years from being a quiet market village to a buzzing tourist destination. The beautiful countryside has much to offer for visitors who seek solace from the humdrum of urban life. The enticing green hills, refreshing hot springs, and stunning views are the best remedies. Hence, those who prefer a quiet village experience choose to go to Pai. Because of the rush of tourists to the area, many resorts, restaurants, and souvenir shops have propped up. The Wednesday market, which attracts tourists and natives alike, is one of the best attractions that should be included in the Thailand tour. Shadicun village which is a Chinese village on the outskirts of Pai is also a location that lures tourists to the town. Moreover, many backpackers use Pai as a base for trekking and visiting hill tribes like Hmong, Lisu, Lahu, and Karen.
Khao Sok National Park
The Khao Sok National Park is an area containing a thick growth of rainforest with a wide variety of rare flora and fauna. The fascinating limestone hills are a unique beauty and have become an iconic attraction of the park. Spreading over an area of 739 square kilometers, the protected region houses one of the oldest evergreen rainforests in the world. The wildlife is lively with rare animals like elephant, sambar deer, Crab-eating macaque, Indochinese serow, Mouse-deer, Asiatic wild dog, and so on. The serene Cheow Lan Lake, located in the park, will attract tourists with its meditative stillness. Beautiful waterfalls, caves, rivers, and raft houses are other alluring factors of the National park. Hence, the reserve forest is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Thailand
Kanchanaburi, a small town in the western part of Thailand, is a beautiful countryside with a painful history. It tops the Thailand attractions list as it is here that the infamous Burma railway, nicknamed death railway, is located. It was built by the Japanese invaders in 1942 by forcing the Asian workers. The brutal treatment of the laborers resulted in the death of half of the workforce by the time the bridge was completed. JEATH (Japanese -English -American -Australian -Thai -Holland) War Museum was opened in March 2003 to commemorate the dead. There is also a monument and another museum dedicated to the martyrs. There are two national parks around Kanchanburi namely: the Srinakarind and Erawan National Park. The history and wildlife reserves around the small town make it one of the most visited places in Thailand.
Towards the northernmost end of Thailand, rests the city of Chiang Rai. The commercial hub is like a golden triangle that shares borders with Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. This tourist attraction in Thailand is not to be missed on your Thailand tour not only for its historic significance but also for its natural beauty and relaxing atmosphere. Historically, Chiang Rai became the capital city during the reign of King Mangrai in 1262. Since then, the city has survived many invasions and imbibed the culture of the conquerors. The Buddhist shrines, the Emerald Buddha statue and the nightlife make the city a hot tourist destination in Thailand.
Chiang Mai is the largest city in the northern region and one of the best places to visit in Thailand. It was founded in 1296 as the new capital of Lan Na. The place is famous for its Buddhist temples, many of which date back to the 13th and 14th Century AD. Wat Chiang Man is the oldest of all with a history which can be traced back to the 13th century. The temple houses Phra Sila and crystal Phra Satang Man — the two important Buddha statues in Thailand. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most famous temple in the land, is constructed on the Doi Suthep mountain which stands at an elevation of 1073 meters in the north-west of the city. The place also houses the Chiang Mai National Museum and Highland People Discovery Museum.
Ayutthaya was a Siamese kingdom that reigned the land from 1350 to 1767 AD. It maintained good trade relations with Persians, Portuguese, Chinese, Indians, French, English, and the Dutch. During its heyday, Ayutthaya island surrounded by three rivers was one of the affluent lands in the world. But following the Burmese conquest, the city began fading. The land still contains the ruins of the historical kingdom which built three palaces, more than 400 temples, and so on. Hence the place has become a great tourist attraction and should not be missed on a trip to Thailand.
Best Time To Visit Thailand
There are climatic differences between various coasts of Thailand. Though officially the monsoon falls between July and October, the country receives intermittent rain throughout the year. As it is a hot country, it is better to plan the visit in winter. Hence the best time to visit Thailand will be from November to February.