Situated along white sandy coast and amongst lush mountains, Thailand is renowned to be a popular holiday destination. Thailand is a country in South East Asia, it borders Myanmar (Burma) to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the southeast and Malaysia to the south.
In Thailand, you will be spoilt for choices for crystal clear water lapping onto miles of wide sandy beaches, tranquil and lush jungle and a haven for bargain shopping.
What to do and see in Thailand?
The Capital City
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand is a vibrant city that captures modernity and yet retained the uniqueness of Thai culture. There is a feast of attractions for visitors in Bangkok. Glittering Buddhist temples portray the devotion of the Thai people, magnificent palaces that tell stories of Thailand glorious past and massive arrays of shopping places are amongst the endless things to see and do in Thailand. A visit to the Chao Phraya River is a must, the river wind through the city and is an excellent way to explore different parts of Bangkok. Thai classical dance with intricate head gear and costumes can easily be observed on temple grounds or on stage in some of the shows around the city.
Thailand is also known for its markets and if you are in Bangkok over the weekend, rides on a Tuk Tuk to Chatuchak market. The weekend Market or known to locals simply as “JJ” Market sells a myriad of products ranging from clothes to antiques. It covers over 35 acres (1.1 km square) and is one of the biggest market in the region. Be prepared to do some haggling as it is a norm at the market stalls.
Thailand is blessed with beautiful beaches washed by clear waters. There are over 500 islands on the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. As the list of beaches in Thailand grew, the current popular beach and islands include Phuket island, Krabi, Phi Phi islands, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Chang, Koh Samet, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Cha Am.
The amenities in these beaches range from traditional to modern. You can opt to stay in luxurious hotels with spa facilities and large pools or experience the Thai style of living in wooden huts and bungalow. There are plenty to do and not do in Thailand. The rich marine life also makes it a great place to scuba dive or snorkel. Water sports such as water skiing, wind surfing and fishing are amongst some of the activities available. However, the inviting white sand and sea breeze is so therapeutic, you might not want to do anything but relax.
There are several cities in Thailand that is steep with history and rich in culture. Cities such as Ayutthaya which served as the Thai capital for 417 years (1350 to 1767) is now a tranquil city with spectacular ruins of its glorious past. Surat Thani, a former capital of the Srivijaya Empire, the kingdom that dominated the Malay Peninsula and much of Java whose empires grandeur can still be admired in many areas of Chaiya District. Chiang Mai, affectionately known as ‘rose of the north’ is the heart of the Lanna culture and a place where traditions is still very much preserved. The city lies amidst the rolling foothills of the Himalaya Mountains and houses more than 30 temples within the remains of a historical wall city.
Thai culture is heavily influenced by Buddhism. Moving around Thailand, Buddhist temples known as wats, resplendent with gold and multicoloured architecture is a common sight. Thailand Buddhists follow the Therevada School which follow closely to its Indian roots and places heavier emphasis on monasticism. However, one pre Buddhist tradition still exist in Thailand and that is the spirit house. The spirit house structure is usually found at the corner of houses or business. A renowned spirit house is the Erawan Shrine located in central Bangkok on the ground of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. The Erawan Shrine attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every year, most asking for blessings and protection.
Weather in Thailand
The weather in Thailand is hot and humid all year round, with exception of the mountainous region and in province in the far north of Thailand. It is generally hot from March to June, with temperature reaching as high as 40C, rainy from July to October and cool from November to end of February.