Ten Unmissable Experiences In Thailand
- 28th March 2013
Of course these are just a few of the incredible things to see and do in Thailand, the list could go on forever. But I’ve put these in my top ten most amazing experiences that are not to be missed…
1.Bangkok Floating Markets – Travelling by boat is a fantastic way to experience Bangkok, and enables you to see right into the heart of this bustling city. Glide your way along the Chao Phraya River, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Thailand’s largest city. A river cruise enables you to see many of Bangkok’s main attractions, including Temples, Wats and of course the famous floating markets. Take time to work your way down the busy canals, stopping at each merchant boat to explore the endless variety of fresh fruits, spices, trinkets and souvenirs they have to offer. Here is also a fantastic place to grab a traditional Thai lunch, choose from the many dishes the locals have cooked up in their boats on the banks of the river. From Thai curries to sukhothai noodles, pad thais to fried insects, there is too much to choose from, and everything is sure to be delicious!
2.Get A Bird’s Eye View of Bangkok– suspended 64 floors above the city; Sky Bar is a truly unique and beautiful way to see Bangkok. Located at the top of the State Tower, Sky Bar is one of the world’s highest open-air bars, and is undoubtedly the coolest bar in all of Bangkok. The atmosphere is truly ecstatic, complemented by live bands that provide the theme to your sky-high experience. The bar opens at 6pm, and for the best views get up there before sunset. Grab a cocktail, sit back and watch as the world rotates beneath your feet.
3.Take a Tuk Tuk Across the City – A ride in a tuk tuk through the bustling streets of Bangkok is bound to get your heart racing, and an experience you simply cannot miss out on. The three-wheeled cabs weave they’re way across the city 24 hours a day, and make for an enthralling ride! Sit back and watch as Bangkok wizzes past you, but make sure to hold on as they can reach speeds of up to 60mph. With no windows or doors you feel right in the heart of the action, with sounds and smells bombarding you from every direction. Drivers will happily take you wherever you wish to go, just make sure to agree on a price before you travel to avoid any nasty surprises when you arrive.
4.Climb the Steps of Wat Arun- Otherwise known as “Temple of Dawn, ”Wat Arun stands 70m tall on the banks of the river Chao Phraya in the centre of Bangkok. With stunning panoramic views over the city, river and surrounding temples, climbing to the top is a breath taking experience . The Temple is best visited in early morning to avoid the midday heat and large crowds, and make sure you cover your shoulders and knees to comply with Temple rules. Ensure to take care when climbing the stairs, the near vertical steps are narrow and not for the faint hearted! To get there, simply take the Tha Tian express ferry across the Chao Phraya river. It will drop you off directly in-front of the Wat.
5.Catch an Overnight Sleeper Train – Train is by far the easiest, cheapest and safest way to travel across Thailand. Jump on an overnight sleeper train in Bangkok and watch as the stunning country that is Thailand unfolds in front of you. Taking the train is a must do, and a genuine Thai experience. Trains bound for both northern and southern Thailand leave Bangkok’s Hualamphong station daily. To check the most up-to-date timetables and prices check out the State Railway of Thailand website, and ensure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment!
6.Explore Lampang’s Enchanting Ruins By Bike – located in the Sukhothai Historical Park, around 80km south of Chiang Mai, the ancient ruins of Lampang are truly magnificent. The old city dates back hundreds of years, and captures the enchanting history of Northern Thailand. The best way to explore the Temples is by bike, rent a bike for a next to nothing and explore at your own leisure. Bike around the Bunchop Em-im Orchard in Amphoe Sawankhalok to taste a variety of fruits such as coconut, star fruit, banana, and plum mango.
7.Dig Out Your Hiking Boots– Delve into the heart of the jungle in northern Thailand, and get back to nature with a trek through the jungle. Spend two to three days exploring the rainforest with one of Chiang Mai’s expertise guides, and take time to learn basic bush skills. Learn about building fires, making shelters and even catching frogs. The jungle offers a stunning backdrop to an adventure of a lifetime; you will visit waterfalls, mountains and local Hill Tribe’s to gain an insight into their traditional way of life. Although at times the trek can be very challenging in the heat and humidity, it is an incredibly rewarding and worthwhile experience. Many tours also include, rafting and elephant trekking, so shop around before you buy! The majority of tours leave daily from Chiang Mai and all transport, food and drink is included.
8.Sleep in the Floating Bungalows of Khao Sok – The sheer beauty of Khao Sok National Park is difficult to describe in few words. Located in the Surat Thani province, the park stretches for over 739km2 and is home to the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world. Take a long tail boat across the vast blue lakes, as you gaze up at the towering limestone mountains. Taking a plunge into the crystal clear waters is a fantastic way to cool off, and incredibly refreshing after the inescapable heat of Bangkok. Swim and sunbathe at your leisure and soak up the peace and tranquility of Thailand’s most beautiful landscape. A great place to stay is the floating bungalows located in the heart of the park. Sleep with the lake under you and the undisturbed night sky above you. Make sure you keep a look out for shooting stars, as these are regular occurrence. The food provided is outstanding, consisting of multiple traditional Thai dishes and as much fresh fruit as you can it. By far the most beautiful and breathtaking place you will visit whilst in Thailand.
9.Share a Bucket on the Beaches of Koh Phangan – Visit the beautiful beaches of Koh Phangan by day and you’ll find a lovely, peaceful island with coconut trees and plenty of sandy white beaches. However come nightfall, thousands of neon-covered backpackers descend on the beach each month to experience the island’s most famous tradition, The Full Moon Party. Each month between ten and thirty thousand travellers don their glow sticks, grab a bucket cocktail and dance on the beach until dawn. Be a part of the largest party in South East Asia, and experience just what the island has to offer. Fire shows, incredible Dj’s, and every cocktail combination under the sun. However the parties are not without their dark side. Drugs and drink spiking are common practices so take great care if visiting during these times.
Although Full moon is not for everyone, Koh Phangan has plenty to offer. Visit the island between party times and the beaches are much quieter, with the opportunity for a relaxing evening stroll along the sand. Take a trip to Bottle Beach, also called “Haad Khuat”, one of the most isolated beaches on the island. Located on the north coast, the beach is accessible by longtail boat from Chalok Lam, and will provide you with that real tropical island feeling.
10.Relax With a Thai Massage – Ask any traveller, you simply cannot visit Thailand without having at least one Thai massage. This traditional practice originates from ancient Asian medicine, and is designed to unwind, relax and energise. Lie back as a masseur works their way from the tips of your toes to top of your head, leaving you feeling completely peaceful and calm. Although be prepared for some serious stretching and unusual positions at times! But the outcome is completely worth it, and you will certainly feel the positive effects for days after. Massages usually last for 60 minutes and cost the equivalent of just a few British pounds. Parlours are incredibly common and can be found on most Thai streets.