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The MUST Visit Destinations in Thailand

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  • The MUST Visit Destinations in Thailand

    The must visit destinations in Thailand

    Who hasn’t yearned for a vacation to get away from the struggles of everyday life? And for many of us, the Land of Smiles is where our wanderlust first leads us. What’s not to appreciate about its scenic landscapes, sites imbued with years of history and delicious cuisine. So when you’re ready to pack your bags and fly to Thailand, here are the best destinations you need to visit at least once.

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    Bangkok
    Best features: We recommend visiting Khao San Road, a hotspot for bars, clubs, street eats and cafes. Additionally, do some sightseeing at the Grand Palace to marvel at the spectacular temples or the sacred Wat Phra Kaew to take in the Emerald Buddha. Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city is a bustling metropolis with plenty of things to see and do. It is a juxtaposition of modern and historic sights where high-rise skyscrapers and glitzy nightclubs lie in contrast to ornate palaces and ancient temples. When it comes to spending, the city is ready to sell. There are busy marketplaces of all kinds (such as the floating variety, which is a top attraction in the city) giant malls, and streets bordered with vendors selling souvenirs as well as tasty food and drinks. However, if you don’t fancy street food, indulge in the thousands of gourmet and upscale restaurants instead. Arguably, the city is most alive at night – spectacular rooftop bars, live music and trendy nightclubs are in abundance or alternatively, raise your adrenaline by watching a Muay Thai fight. Moving around Bangkok is quick and easy due to the BTS sky train, MRT metro, countless buses, taxis or tuk-tuks that are located at every corner. But most importantly, you’ll be guaranteed to find accommodation to fit your needs, regardless of your budget. In summary, as the saying goes “one night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster!”.

    Chiang Mai
    Best features: The mountainside temple known as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a must-see for visitors. Other noteworthy temples to explore in Chiang Mai are Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh. Located in the North of Thailand, Chiang Mai is packed with culture and history. This is evident by the 500-plus temples that scatter the region, including one of the most renowned temples in Thailand, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Travellers come here to explore the lush landscapes and mountain scenery but it also has plenty of exhilarating outdoor activities such as rock climbing, white water rafting and jungle hiking. If you fancy, travel to Doi Inthanon to visit ethnic hill tribes, take in the waterfalls or interact with elephants at an elephant sanctuary. Another key feature in Chiang Mai is the Northern Thai Food. This food is unlike Thai food found in the South in the sense that it has strong Burmese, Chinese and Laos influences. Some examples of the most famous dishes are Gaeng Hang Lay (Northern Thai curry) and Sai Ua (Northern Thai sausage). However, best of all is the price. Most meals cost under a dollar, thus making Chiang Mai one of the most budget-friendly and affordable cities in Thailand.

    Koh Pha-Ngan
    Best features: Visit the Thong Sala Night Market to get a taste of the local culture; the seafood dishes stand out due to their mouth-watering flavour and freshness. If you want to experience nature, spend the night camping at Ranger’s Island in Ang Thong National Park which is only a short boat ride away. Koh Pha-Ngan is best known for its wild parties and nightlife, with its Full-moon celebrations as its claim to fame. These parties attracted thousands and transformed the beaches into lively nightclubs with an atmosphere similar to a festival, great music and lots of booze. They were held each month at locations such as Sunrise Beach at Haad Rin. Despite this, Koh Pha-Ngan is also recognized for its nature and has a lot to offer in terms of adventure travel. In fact, the island is actually a designated “ecotourism zone” and a huge percentage of its land consists of protected national parks. The island’s eastern shore has a variety of well-established trekking routes, while the Phaeng and Than Sadet waterfalls excellently exhibit the island’s natural beauty. Furthermore, the beaches are unmissable, Bottle Beach, Haad Yao and Haad Salad are all well-known yet not overly busy.

    Khao Yai National Park
    Best features: For some breathtaking views, hike to the Pha Diao Dai aka the “Lonely Cliff” for an overview of the forests and mountains. Alternately, The Haew Suwat Waterfall is another notable attraction; this waterfall is famous for its debut in Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie “The Beach”. Not only is Khao Yai National Park Thailand’s oldest and 3rd largest park, but it is also one of the most popular due to its population of around 300 wild elephants. Located in the San Kamphaeng Mountain Range, it spans over 2,000 square kilometres and is home to a mix of evergreen rainforests, mountains and open savannahs. Due to its diverse terrain, the park is rich in flora and fauna. It has around 2,000 species of plants and is home to gibbons, tigers, jackals and bears. As it’s only a few hours from Bangkok, it’s a great option for a day trip if you’re in the city.

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    Krabi

    Best features: The Phi Phi islands have a reputation for beautiful beaches (head to Maya Bay and Phi Phi viewpoint to find out why). However, for something more laid-back, Koh Lanta is ideal. Its long sandy beaches lined with beach bars are the perfect way to pass the time. Finally, Railay Beach (only accessible by boat) is not only renowned for its white-sand shores but its rock-climbing as well. Situated in the South, Krabi is another one of Thailands most popular beach destinations. Often regarded as the most “picturesque” province it has beautiful landscapes both inland and at sea. In total, it has 150 islands off its 150-kilometre long coastline so there are many beaches to explore. In addition, it has a great selection of natural assets such as a “jungle-covered interior, towering limestone cliffs, caves, waterfalls and exotic wildlife”. With a range of accommodation from budget to deluxe, Krabi is the ultimate getaway.

    Phuket
    Best features: Two popular tourist attractions in Phuket (aside from the beaches) are arguably Wat Chalong and The Big Buddha. We also recommend visiting the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park, where you can interact with the elephants ethically by feeding and playing with them in the mud baths. Phuket is the largest of Thailand’s 1400-plus islands, as well as one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations outside of Bangkok. It’s best known for its tropical beaches that have white sands and blue lagoons. Patong Beach is popular amongst first-time travellers who visit for the nightlife and water sports. However, beyond this, there are plenty of other beaches to explore. Embark on a speedboat to the tranquil Freedom Island, catch a long-tail boat to James Bond Island, or finally relax and have a beach massage during sunset at Bang Tao. At these beaches, don’t forget to partake in some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. Aside from this, hiking, white water rafting, jungle trekking and jet skiing are some of the other activities you can enjoy. Or walk down Phuket Old Town and revel in its beautifully painted shophouses and old “neoclassical” buildings. Finally, there is plenty of entertainment after dark with lots of buzzing nightclubs, bars and pubs to party the night away in.

    Koh Samui
    Best features: Go to the centre of Koh Samui to the mountainous forests where several waterfalls can be found. One example of this is the Na Muang Waterfalls which cascades into a pool perfect for a swim. Besides this, Koh Samui’s mummy is an obscure tourist point. Located in Wat Khunaram, the body belongs to the monk, Luong Pordaeng, who died in 1894. It’s considered an “important cultural site” and is an exhibition for visitors to pay their respects. Koh Samui is Thailand’s 3rd largest island located in the Surat Thani province in the Gulf of Thailand. It is one of the most popular Thai islands due to the fact that it has its own airport and thus is easy to access. The island features a variety of beautiful sandy beaches such as Chaweng, Lamai, Taling Ngam and Natien but is also home to mountainous forests and temples, such as Wat Phra Yai, a Big Buddha statue that’s 12 metres high. In addition, the island is also a hotspot for luxury resorts, high-end spas and excellent golf courses. There is a great selection of places to eat, particularly at Nathon which is full of lively restaurants and bars.

    Ayutthaya
    Best features: The temple Wat Mahathat is known for its Buddha’s Head, which is surrounded by a tree trunk and roots. While Wat Lokayasutharam houses Ayutthaya’s largest reclining Buddha, measuring 42 meters in length and 8 meters in height. Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage site located on the Chao Phraya River valley. It is another popular destination in Thailand and is situated about 80 kilometres north of Bangkok. Here, ancient remains offer a glimpse into Siam’s golden age. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is especially photogenic, featuring tall stupas that you can climb. Other relics such as Buddist temples, monasteries and statues of Wat Mahathat, Wat Na Phra Men, and Wat Lokayasutharam are also available to visit. In total, the park has around 50 relics and temples.

    Sukhothai
    Best features: Some temples that are worth visiting are the Noen Prasat, an old palace and the Wat Si Sawai which is the oldest temple in the area. The Wat Sa Si, located in the middle of a lake is also another well-liked temple. These relics lie in contrast to lakes, moats and gardens that are scattered throughout the park, creating a beautiful disparity. Similar to Ayutthaya, Sukothai is another one of Thailand’s ancient capitals. It’s a small UNESCO listed town that houses the ruins of the 13th-century Sukhothai kingdom (the 1st capital of Thailand). The park contains a total of 193 ruins that are spread out across the region. Each site has varying levels of preservation and display temples, palaces and monuments all surrounded by ancient walls. Perhaps the most impressive of them all is the Wat Mahathat with its “standing Buddha relics and lotus-shaped stupa”. Additionally, exhibited in the middle of the park is the Wat Si Chum – a pavilion where a 15 meter tall standing Buddha resides. If you want to learn more about the park’s past, head to the on-site Ramkhamhaeng National Museum that displays a small collection of antiques.
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    Kanchanaburi
    Best features: The climate of Kanchanaburi, “cooled by the altitude, forest and rivers, is a welcome respite from the heat and congestion of the nearby capital city”. In addition, compared to some of the other destinations like Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is relatively quiet. Due to this, it’s the perfect place for a peaceful weekend getaway. Kanchanaburi is one of the most popular historical destinations in Thailand. The province has a fascinating history but is best known for its dark connection to WWII. For example, it’s “Death Railway”, which is an infamous site. Built in 1712, it was originally assembled with the intention to connect Thailand to Burma. However, its construction caused the deaths of 12,500 soldiers and 85,000 Asian labourers instead. This is not the only wartime relic; the Bridge Over the River Kwai located near the Myanmar border is another famous site. Finally, if you want to delve deeper they also have multiple museums dedicated to Kanchanaburi’s local history. Kanchanaburi is not only filled with historical sites but is abundant in nature as well. In particular, Erawan National Park is definitely worth a visit. Here, explore the multi-level Erawan Falls, the Phra That Cave, or the Khao Pun Cave where you can find the Reclining Buddha. Aside from these, a more secluded yet scenic spot is Huay Mae Khamin. Kanchanaburi is only about 2 hours from Bangkok and thus is accessible by train, bus or private taxi if you’re in the city.
    Last edited by Tripadvisor; 11-02-2022, 03:47 PM.

  • #2
    MUST Visit Destinations in Southern Thailand

    Phatthalung might not have the popular attractions in Chiang Mai or the touristy glitz of the islands, but that’s part of the appeal. It’s a lesser-known province in the south, so there are chances to avoid the backpacker crowds and explore some of Thailand’s less well-known historic sites and tourist hotspots. Our list of the top Phatthalung attractions will help you find the best places to visit in this province.

    Thale Noi Bird Sanctuary
    The first and largest wetlands reserve in Thailand is Thale Noi. More than 200 different bird species, including great cormorants, pheasant-tailed jacanas, lesser whistling ducks, white-breasted waterhens, and many others, call this place home for at least part of the year. One of the most popular activities in Phatthalung is taking a birding tour, which is ideal for tourists, researchers, and serious bird enthusiasts. Visitors can observe reed mat-making demonstrations and tour nearby villages in addition to opportunities to watch birds. October and March are when many birds are present and the plant life is most vibrant, making them the ideal time to visit.

    Khao Ok Talu
    The mountaintop that looks over everything in this southern province may be its most recognizable feature. It’s simple to locate Khao Ok Talu. A staircase makes it easier for those who want to climb the mountain, which is 250 meters high and offers a bird-eye view of Phatthalung.
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    Wat Khuha Sawan
    The first royal temple in Phatthalung was located in this Ayutthaya-era structure. A set of stairs behind the wat leads to a cave. As you enter the cave, you can see the initials of the royal family written on the walls. In the large hall of rocks lit by natural light, there are many statues of reclining and seated Buddhas, some of which are gold-plated. The town, the lake, and the mountains can all be seen from a chedi perched high on the cliffs. Above them is a bodhi tree with copper-colored leaves. Former hermits who lived nearby left several Buddha statues in a smaller cave.

    Ban Lam Pam
    On the banks of Songkhla Lake, about seven kilometers east of Phatthalung is the fishing community of Ban Lam Pam. Two impressive cliffs on the Phatthalung plain are another well-known natural landmark that can be reached by boat from Tham Malai Grotto. The cliffs are known as the “mountain of the decapitated head” and “mountain of the pierced heart” because the straight, towering cliff has a large hole. The cliffs are said to be two women who engaged in a fight out of jealousy and were later turned to stone. On the hill is a small shrine.

    Phraya Thukkharat (Chuai) Monument
    This monument, which is close to the town’s center, honors the bravery of Phra Maha Chuai, a monk who led the local population in the Nine Armies War under Rama I to fight and defeat Burmese forces.

    Khao Chai Son Hot Springs
    Relax in the warm waters. These thermal springs are located in the village of Khao Chai Son, about 20 kilometers north of the city. This is a fantastic place to go to unwind after sightseeing and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Phatthalung region’s lush jungle. Around 140 degrees Fahrenheit is the natural flow temperature of the springs. The Yai Hom and Kao Chaison caves are nearby and worth visiting if you have time and are looking for other things to do.

    Chalerm Phra Kiat Bridge
    The longest bridge in Thailand is Chalerm Phra Kiat, which is 5.5 kilometers long. It provides breathtaking views of the water and the fishing communities that call the “Wang Tanot River” home and connects two distinct provinces. The abandoned twin houses perched on stilts in the river are one of the most well-known sights to be seen from the bridge. At sunrise, the view over the water is stunning when the sky’s reds and oranges reflect off the water.

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    Grand Canyon Phatthalung
    The Grand Canyon Phatthalung’s red rocks, which were at least partially formed by mining activities, might not be as grand as their name suggests, but they are unquestionably attractive to look at. Around the rock formations, there is a lot of water, and there are even shady spots to sit and enjoy a snack or a cold drink. There have also been several little outdoor eateries and cafés that have popped up nearby over the past couple of years, offering fantastic views of the water and the lush surroundings. You can even scramble up the passages between the rocks for higher-up views if you have the proper footwear.

    WANDER AROUND THE BAMBOO MARKET – PA PAI SANG SUK
    The name, which translates to “the Bamboo Forest that brings happiness,” accurately sums everything up. In the bamboo forest, there is a market. Additionally, most items there are also made of bamboo, from the foods to the crafts. You can stroll around, sample the local fare, look at bamboo crafts and goods, sip coconut water from bamboo cups, and sample some desserts. You could even meet some new people! We recommend Pa Sa Gu, who uses natural dyes to create the most beautiful handmade crafts. Additionally, you can enjoy delicious cake, stroll through the gardens, and feed the fish. Pro Tip: it’s a great place to relax and have breakfast before heading to Thale Noi!

    Wat Khao Aor Thailand south
    It was thought to have been a learning institution before it became a temple; it was known as the ThisaPamok School and was comparable to Takkasila in India. It was probably founded before 857 by Brahmins from India during the “Dravidian Yatra” era, during which the Brahmins spread their religious beliefs from India. This location was well-known for its supernatural powers and ancient medicine. Particularly connected to the herbal plant known as Wan; later, there was a Wandipping ritual and numerous other forms of black magic. Eventually, it gained national recognition as a location that retained the magic and spells for invulnerability up to the present day. Currently, an annual festival called “Follow the path of the Lord Buddha, Follow a trace of the ritual of Khao O House” is held.

    Khao Pu-Khao Ya National Park Thailand south
    The mountains in the national park area, well-known to the Phatthalung people, inspire Amphoe Si Banphot’s name. Mainly, Khao Pu is considered a sacred mountain where “Ta Pu,” a semi-god highly revered by the populace and the locals, resides in spirit. The Park, part of the expansive Banthat Range, is known as the “virgin forest” because it is always covered in a lush evergreen forest. It offers two nature trails that are good for researching natural resources, studying herbs, and other outdoor activities.
    Thailand south
    Lan Khoi White-water Rafting Thailand south
    Is rafting in the Amphoe Pa Phayom region of the province of Phatthalung. In 2011, rafting on Huai Nam Sai began. It is a very picturesque waterway ideal for rafting because it flows through islets in a stunning natural setting over a distance of 5 km in about 2-3 hours. The only location in the nation where tourists can go rafting during dry and wet seasons. Professional staff will be stationed along the route to watch for tourists’ safety. Visitors can enjoy swimming if there are other activities besides rafting. There are also accommodations for overnight stays.

    Hot Spring Cold Stream Thailand south
    The hot spring is located near Khao Chai Son. The Khao Chai Son Sub-district Administrative Organization has developed what locals consider a sacred pond into a tourist destination offering lodging, hot mineral bathrooms, and hot mineral pond services. The location of Tham Phra, a Cave with an approximately 1-meter-deep cold pond with year-round water inside, is 700 meters to the north of the pond. In the upper section of the cave, there is a mural painting and a statue of a reclining Buddha. The hot spring in this location comprises underground holes through which water emerges. If there is any shaking, the water’s temperature will increase. At about 60 degrees Celsius, hot mineral water can treat some illnesses, including paralysis and aches and pains syndrome.
    Last edited by Tripadvisor; 11-28-2022, 04:16 AM.

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