Top visited travel sites in Thailand
It is impossible to see everything Thailand has to offer in one trip. This will take several trips. The main parts of Thailand that you will want to discover are the Islands and beaches, historic temples and handicrafts. It is hard to find one place that has all of these, you may have to travel to several parts of Thailand for this.
Thailand's coastline contains some of the finest islands and beaches in Asia including:
Ko Chang, an archipelago, with a quiet beach and inexpensive beach stays, accessible by boat. Ko Samet, located only three hours from Bangkok on the eastern gulf coast. The fine white sand and clear blue waters attract many tourists on weekends and holidays.
Pattaya , on Thailand's eastern gulf coast is popular for go-carting, parasailing, wave-running, sailboarding, dining and the nightlife.
Ko Pha-Ngan just north of Ko Samui in the gulf of Siam, has the least expensive accommodation in the country. Ko Samui, off the coast of Surat Thani, is Thailand's third-largest island. Here you can go snorkelling and diving, accessible by boat and air. Ko Tao, has the best diving in the area, accessible by boat.
Ko Surin, Ko Similan & Ko Tarutao are the Andaman Coast island groups. The islands offer fantastic diving and snorkelling, accessible by boat, and only during the non-monsoon months (November to April). Phuket is off the Andaman Coast, Thailand's largest island. There is great diving at nearby islands and reefs, and it offers the best Thai cuisine of any of the islands, accessible by air and road.
Krabi is a province facing Ao Phang-Nga, opposite Phuket on the Andaman Coast, it offers a range of beaches and islands ringed with striking limestone formations. Rock-climbing, snorkelling, diving, boating and beach camping are the main activities.
Thailand has around 80 beautiful National Parks, some of the best being: Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand's largest and least explored park.
Located along the Myanmar border in Phetchaburi Province, best visited from November to April. Doi Inthanon National Park, near Chiang Mai surrounds Thailand's tallest peak, Doi Inthanon. The cloudy upper, slopes support an abundance of orchids, lichens, mosses and epiphytes as well as almost 400 bird varieties. It can be enjoyed all year round. Thung Salaeng Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, encompasses vast meadows and dipterocarp forests - good hiking territory. The Siamese fireback pheasant is its most famous resident. Thung Salaeng Luang has limited facilities, best visited from November to February. Khao Yai National Park is one of the best in the world in terms of wildlife variation and scope of protection - it was recently designated as an Asean National Heritage Site. It encompasses one of the largest monsoon forests in South-East Asia, and is home to a herd of wild elephants, best visited from October to June. Phu Kradung National Park is a flat-topped, bell-shaped mountain park in Loei Province. It is famous for its pine forests and spectacular sweeping views. Wild elephants are occasionally seen, best visited from October to December.
Khao Sok National Park contains some of ThailandÔ€s endangered species, including tiger and clouded leopard as well as two species of rafflesia (the world's largest flower), in the western part of Surat Thani Province, best visited from December to February.
Thailand is famous for its Buddhist temples. The best places to see these are Ayuthaya, Lopburi, Kamphaeng Phet Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai and Chiang Mai. Ayuthaya is about an hour north of Bangkok by road. It holds many 14th to 18th century temple ruins on an 'island' created by two rivers and a canal. Lopburi, features a mix of Khmer and Thai monuments. Chiang Mai & Lampang These thoroughly northern-Thai cities contain many older wooden temples built in the Shan, Burmese and Lanna styles, including Wat Phra which is thought to be Thailand's oldest surviving wooden temple. Sukhothai & Si Satchanalai are located in lower Northern Thailand have been made into historical parks that feature temple ruins dating back to Thailand's 'Golden Age'. Kamphaeng Phet is a World Heritage site in lower Northern Thailand and features Sukhothai-era temple ruins, this is a smaller and well-maintained historical park.
Thailand has many great museums. The main museums are: The National Museum, is housed in a former vice-regal palace in Bangkok. The country's most well-endowed museum contains pottery, sculpture, furniture, clothing and musical instruments from Thailand and many other places in South-East Asia. Phutthaisawan Chapel, a temple building on the grounds, contains some of the country's finest Buddhist mural paintings. Chao Sam Phraya Museum & Palace is the source of an extensive display of art and artefacts distributed among two separate national museums. Nan National Museum is the best place in Thailand to view art objects from the Nan kingdom in the far north. Phimai National Museum is a new and well designed museum in the small town of Phimai, containing exhibits of Khmer art from the Angkor period as well as earlier Dvaravati-style art. Dr Thawl's Folk Museum in Phitsanulok. Here you can find the nation's best-preserved collection of northern Thai folk utensils, including everything from basketry and ceramics to coconut graters.
ThailandÔ€s strong culture means that there are many handicrafts for purchase throughout the country. Some of the best places to go to find these are Chiang Mai, it has been the North's main handicrafts centre for over 30 years. Here you'll find virtually every type of craft produced in the region. Northern specialities include silverware, woodcarving, painted umbrellas, hill-tribe crafts, leather, ceramics and antique furniture. Nakhon Ratchasima & Surrounds has the best selection of handmade cotton and silk textiles. Ubon Ratchathani, in Thailand's north-eastern corner, offers a good selection of crafts from nearby Cambodia and Laos, plus locally produced silver and ceramics. Nakhon Si Thammarat is a provincial town on the lower Southern Gulf coast. Her you will find many indigenous handicrafts. Songkhla & Surrounds are great for cotton prints, sarongs and batik.
Monarchy and religion are the two sacred cows in Thailand. Thais are tolerant of most behaviour, as long as it doesn't insult one of these. Buddhism is the dominant religion, and orange-robed monks and gold, marble and stone Buddhas are common sights. Make sure you are suitably dressed when visiting a temple, no shorts or singlets.
Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as a sacred object. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything which might indicate a lack of respect.
Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman has to give anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it.
Shoes should be removed when entering a private Thai home.
100 Satang in 1 Baht. (B=baht) Notes are issued in denominations of B1,000 (grey), B500 (purple), B100 (red), B50 (blue), B20 (green), and B10 (brown). There are 10, 5 and 1 baht coin, and 50 and 25 satang. Most foreign currencies and traveller cheques are easily changed at bank, hotel or moneychangers. All major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the kingdom.
For short trips, bicycle rickshaws are a popular, inexpensive form of transport. It is important to agree on a fare before accepting.
Water taxis and ferries ply the Chao Phraya River. The taxis are long-tailed boats. The jetty adjacent to the Oriental Hotel is a useful stop. It is often the quickest way to travel north-south.
Though buses can be very crowded, they are convenient and inexpensive. Buses operate from 5am to 11pm.
If Thai driving intimidates you, you may wish to hire a driver. The additional cost is small, and the peace of mind great.
These unmetered three-wheeled polluters, called tuk-tuks, are slightly cheaper than taxis and are best used for short trips in congested traffic. But the drivers are tough negotiators, and unless you are good at bargaining, you may well end up paying more than for a metered taxi.
Songthaews seat passengers on side bench seats and can serve as minibuses or as private taxis. If they travel as a minibus, they will follow a fixed route and the fare is set. If they are used as a taxi, the fare must be negotiated.
Available at all major hotels and shopping centres and streetside. Whilst many taxi services are on a metered basis, check the fare basis before travelling.
BangkokÔ€s latest facility providing ease of travel throughout the city at the reasonable costs. The Sky Train has added a totally new dimension to getting around this exciting city.
All US, Canadian, Australian and UK citizens holding a passport with validity of at least six months can stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without a Visa. For other passport holders you should check with your local Thai Embassies or Consulates.
Thailand is long procession of tourist destinations. Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Patong, Chiang Mai, Phang Nga and Krabi are the leading lights of Thailand tourism destination fraternity.
Bangkok, counted among Asia's most cosmopolitan and versatile cities, was established as the Thai capital in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty.
One of the most visited tourist destinations of the country, the city boasts several exquisite monuments. It is also known for thrilling amusement parks, fabulous shopping, rollicking nightlife and spa massages.
( click here to know more about Bangkok )
Krabi is a southern Thai province lauded for stunningly beautiful palm-fringed beaches, rejuvenating spas and strange but marvelous limestone caves. Equipped with all necessary modern tourist accoutrements, Krabi has become a darling of tourists.
A tropical paradise, accompanied by popular hotspots like Phi Phi Islands and Koh Lanta, Krabi must be visited by any tourist in Thailand.
( click here to know more about Krabi )
Patong is the beach which finds most favor with the tourists in Thailand. In addition to marvelous powdery beach, the place provides wonderful nightlife experience, thrilling adventures and plenty of shopping.
Praised all over the world for diving, the beach provides a memorable vacation. The place deserves top priority in the itinerary of Thai tourists.
( click here to know more about Patong Beach)
An internationally well-known seaside resort, Pattaya is a vibrant city night and day. It's population is a colourful potpourri of mixed nationalities from far and near. A vast range of tourism-related activities await the pleasure of visitors, from relaxing on the beach, actively taking part in land and sea-based sports ...
( click here to know more about Pattaya Beach)
Phang Nga Beach
Phang Nga is distinct, thanks to it's limestone cliffs jutting out of green water. Strange-looking caves, impressive lagoons and tiny tranquil beaches await the travelers. Offering wonderful seascapes, Phang-nga is praised the world over as a diving paradise. So don't forget to visit the place for journey to Thailand is incomplete without it.
( click here to know more about Phang Nga Beach)
Idyllic beaches, action-packed water sports, rollicking night life, fun-filled shopping, endless amusement.... Phuket is a place which can make holidays of your dreams reality. Counted among one of most visited beach destinations in Asia, it is no surprise that Phuket has earned the epithet 'Pearl of the South'. A visit to Phuket invites such experience which is unforgettable.
( click here to know more about Phuket Island)