Thailand – A Fascinating Country


1 Thailand

With its great beaches, good food, majestic mountains and an interesting culture, Thailand is absolutely fascinating and one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The country can be divided into five cultural and geographic regions. Southern Thailand is famous for its numerous islands and coastline on both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Eastern Thailand is well-known for its beaches along the Gulf of Thailand. Bangkok is the capital of the country and located in Central Thailand. Isaan is the great north-east region and Northern Thailand is popular for its hill tribes and the Golden Triangle.

Thailand is bordered by Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand to the south, the Andaman Sea to the west, Laos and Burma to the north and Cambodia and Laos to the east. The mountainous highlands are located in the northern area of the country and the north-east consists of the Khorat Plateau. Southern Thailand consists mainly of the narrow Kra Isthmus.

Botanical Apartments, Phuket

Botanical Apartments, Phuket

Phuket is Thailand’s largest island situated off the west coast in the Andaman Sea. Phuket has a beautiful mountain range from north to south in the west of the island. Hat Patong Beach is located approximately fifteen kilometers from Phuket town and offers many exciting water sport activities. Hat Karon is about twelve kilometers from town and has numerous tourist stores and restaurants. The scenic Ko Pu Island, Kata Noi, Karon beaches and Kata can be viewed from View Point. View Point is located between the Kata and Nai Han beaches.

Ensure to also visit Old Phuket Town around Phangnga, Yaowarat, Dibuk and Thalang roads. You will love the Sino-Portuguese architecture, museums, shops and houses. The Thalang National Museum is not far from the Two Heroines Monument in Phuket and worth visiting. The museum exhibits ancient artifacts and items from the war between Thailand and Burma. The Two Heroines Monument is a memorial statue of Thao Sri Sunthon and Thao Thep Kasattri.

3 phuket-buyuk-budha-heykeli

The Big Buddha of Phuket or Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha, a 45-meter image covered in white Burmese marble, is located on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata near Phuket Town. The massive image is one of Phuket’s most important and revered landmarks. The area on top of the hill attracts the curious and the devoted with hundreds of people visiting each day. The site also offers stunning views of the nearby beaches and ocean. Big Buddha of Phuket is devoted to HM King Bhumibol and the smaller image to HM Queen Sirikit.

Ko Chang Island is currently undergoing major development and definitely worth a visit. Ko Lipe is a small island offering great reefs and unspoiled beaches. This amazing island is located in the middle of the Tarutao National Park.

Wat Rong Khun or White Temple

Wat Rong Khun or White Temple

The beautiful White Temple is a must see. Mueang Chiang Rai is situated in Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai in the north of Thailand. The Wat Rong Khun is located at Ban Rong Khun. The beautiful white temple was built by artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat in 1998.

Sukhothai and Aytthaya are the former capitals of the old Siam and offer great historical and cultural attractions. Sukhothai is in close proximity to Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai, which are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kanchanaburi offers more recent historic sites, including the famous Bridge over the River Kwai. The unique hill tribes in the northern area of Thailand include the Lisu, Mien, Hmong, Karen, Lahu and Akha. The tribes are often visited as part of a trekking and be best base for arranging these treks is Chiang Mai.

Spending Time in Bangkok

Spending Time in Bangkok

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The capital of Thailand is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and is surrounded by the provinces of Samut Prakan to the south-east, Samut Sakhon to the south-west, Nakhon Pathom to the west, Nonthaburi to the north-west, Pathum Thani to the north and Chachoengsao to the east. Frangipani and bougainvillea bloom almost all over the city with its neon signs, saffron-robed monks, traffic jams, colorful markets and Thai architecture. Bangkok has a rich cultural heritage and is home to magnificent palaces and temples such as the Grand Palace.

The Palace offers an amazing collection of monuments and is home to the most sacred temple in the country. Wat Phra Kaew (official name Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram) on Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Nakhon houses the sacred Emerald Buddha.  Legend has it that lightning struck the temple’s chedi (a tall bell-shaped structure) in 1434 and when it fell apart, it revealed the Emerald Buddha.

Lumphini Park in Silom is the largest park, but tourists around Khao San Road usually relax at Santichaiprakarn Park situated along Khao San Road. The Queen Saovabha Institute Snake Farm in Silom and Siam Ocean World in Siam Square are popular tourist attractions.

Wat Arun, Bangkok

Wat Arun, Bangkok

On the west bank of the Chao Phraya River to Thonburi in the Yai District you will find the stunning temples of Wat Arun that is engraved on the ten-baht coins. The main temple stands over 70 meters high and if you climb the very steep and narrow steps, you will see that it is decorated with seashells and thousands of broken Chinese porcelain pieces. Wat Arun is considered to be the most beautiful temple in Thailand. The highest point offers magnificent views of the Grand Palace and the Chao Phraya River. The towers are supported by monkeys and demons. In order to get to the temples, you can take a river boat that stops at pier eight from where a small shuttle boat will take you across the river.

Most hotels in Bangkok offer traditional Thai massages. Some of the leading spas in the capital include Mandara Spa, Banyan Tree Spa, Leyana Spa and Devarana Spa. You can find small massage outlets on almost every street corner. Some of the so-called massage places are a front for prostitution, but it is fairly easy to distinguish genuine massage shop from more dubious places.

Thai Cuisine

7 Thai Cuisine

You can try the mealworms, grasshoppers, scorpions, crickets, water beetles and bamboo larvae in Khao San Road. These bugs are typically deep fried and served with soya sauce. Remember to break off the legs from crickets and grasshoppers to prevent it from getting stuck in your throat. Food from the north-east of Thailand, Isaan, is delicious. Kai yang or grilled chicken and som tam – a salad made from papaya – are really good dishes and widely available around Wang Lang in Thonburi. Ensure to also try khao man kai, which is a soup with prawns, lemongrass and galangal.

Thailand’s staple food is rice and the jasmine variety, also referred to as hom mali, is extremely popular. Common ingredients typically used in Thailand include lemon grass, lime juice, chilies, fish sauce and garlic. Night markets with food courts can be found in almost every town. Stir fries, curries, noodles, grilled fish and chicken are sold at most markets.

Visa Requirements for Entering Thailand

8 Traditional Thai Girls

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Thailand. Entry to Thailand is normally refused if you have a passport which is damaged or has pages missing.

If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than thirty days you must get a visa before you travel. Immigration officials in Thailand may ask you for proof of onward travel.


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