Thailand is seen as the #1 tourist destination in South East Asia. Best know for its modern urban sprawl of Bangkok, its stunning temples and its breathtaking beaches, this is a country with plenty of things to see and do.
Here are a few of the countless attractions that are well worth visiting on the Thailand holidays:
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is among the most famous destinations in Bangkok with its series of gold-tipped buildings constructed over 200 years ago. Going back to 1782, this beautiful building was the nominated home for the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand after changing the country’s name). This is a large complex with plenty of historical features and intricate and beautiful architecture to admire, but can quickly get crowded with tourists. Today, this must-see sight in Bangkok is still regarded as a spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom. But, for the travellers on the Thailand private tour it is best to dress respectfully and wear clothing that covers the shoulders and knees (entry to the Grand Palace can be refused otherwise).
While at the Grand Palace it is worth visiting the Emerald Buddha, as well as Wat Pho which is nearby and home of the largest reclining Buddha in the country. Also, the stunning Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is a pleasure to see up close with its highly detailed mosaic work.
In the evening, the Grand Palace is illuminated to give a quite charming and romantic experience.
The Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle is the region of the Mekong River that connects with the Ruak River (also referred to as Sop Ruak), and this point is famous because it is the point at which Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. By standing on the Thai riverbank it is possible to see Laos and Myanmar – although a boat hire is possible for those travellers that want a closer look. In the region of the Golden Triangle, there is plenty of signage as well as elephant and Buddha, and market stalls
A visit to the Golden Triangle Park makes it possible to learn about the regions past, including its prior use as a prolific opium-growing area. Also, for those interested in the more off the beaten track experience on the Thailand tours, there is plenty to explore in this part of Thailand.
Thailand’s national symbol is the elephant and a revered animal. For the tourist there are plenty of opportunities to work with or encounter these animals across the country. A great place to visit is the Elephant Nature Park, which helps to rehabilitate the elephants that have been rescued. Most of the elephant reserves have decent quality accommodation nearby, including Elephant Hills, which is a tented camp environment that makes it really easy to interact with the wildlife.
Unfortunately, there are also the elephant 'sanctuaries' that have issues with animal cruelty, and it is best to avoid any of the places that make the elephants perform tricks.
Thailand has a coastline that stretches nearly 2,000 miles to give the travelling tourist plenty to see and do. With plenty of long-tail boats ready to be hired for the day, it is really easy to start island hopping to discover as many islands and beaches as possible. Great places to island hop for stunning scenery include the Andaman Sea in the region of Krabi and Phuket, as well as Phang Nga Bay on the west coast with its famous limestone rocks. A visit to Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Lee are perfect for the clear blue waters that are very enticing for snorkelling.
Plus, the clear and calm waters are perfect for taking a kayak out for a trip around the islands. Kayaking is a great way to really explore the local area without having to join the crowds on the passenger ferries or tourist boats. Some of the finest coastlines in the Gulf of Thailand include the picturesque Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phan Ngan.
Hill tribe villages
A visit to one of the hill tribe villages on the Thailand travel packages makes it possible to get a really authentic feel of the country. For travellers in the north of the country, there are a few tribes to meet like the Karen, Hmong, Lisu and Akha. A tribal trek is a great way to get a break from the typical tourist trail and it can benefit to travel with a local guide when touring the more remote regions of the country.
Festivals, events, and celebrations seem to be taking place across the country throughout the course of the year. Most of the festivals are related to religious events and make it possible to get a true reflection of the local traditions and customs.
Tourists on the Thailand customized tour are always welcomed to join in the festival activities – although it is important to be respectful and wear the appropriate clothing when entering the temples or other religious buildings.
Must-see occasions include Naga Fireballs in October, Thai New Year/Songkran in April, and Loi Krathong which is held in November.
A visit to a floating market gives a unique and interesting experience with the rickety boats willing to take the tourist out and explore the wide-ranging attractions. The best time to visit the floating markets is early in the day to beat most of the crowds, while the morning is also great for the best bargains.
The best known of the floating markets is Damnoen Saduak in the Ratchaburi province, which is in the region of 100 km from Bangkok, and makes a great stopping point en route to Cha-am/ Hua Hin. One of the most authentic markets that has little tourist trade is the Taling Chan Weekend Floating Market in Bangkok, which is great for its Thai fruits like pungent durian, yellow longan and custard apples.
Ancient ruins and national parks
Thailand has plenty to discover at its national parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites. The country’s diverse landscape is available to admire at places like Khao Sok National Park (one of the best in southern Thailand), Sai Yok National Park (rich in rare animals, caves and waterfalls), Khao Yai National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and Phimai Historical Park (12th-century Khmer ruins).