When it comes to travel, there’s always one or two benchmark spots that define the region. In Western Europe, its France and the U.K. In the Far East, its Hong Kong and Tokyo. In South East Asia, it’s Thailand.
Thailand has the advantage of being one of the cleanest and most well organized countries in the region. And it does so without sacrificing any bit of Southeast Asian flavor or vibe.
Thailand, by nature of its geography, has a lot of spread out and sprawling landscapes between spots. Some of the best places are a bit far from the main cities, so studying a transport guide for Thailand before heading out will do you some good. While you’re out there, there’s a host of gorgeous islands and inland marvels. But getting around, although fairly easy, is always better with a bit of foresight.
Here are the 7 attractions you absolutely cannot afford to miss in Thailand.
The region of Northeast Thailand is well known for its rice farming and its vast wetlands. It’s also home to some of the most picturesque scenery on planet earth. And at the top of that list is Lotus Lake. Once you get there, you’ll be stunned by the range of colors and millions upon millions of little lotus flowers. Top that off with the afternoon gloaming and he crystalline mirror the lake turns into. But whatever you do, don’t go around Valentine’s day. It’s packed.
Temples are a beautiful part of Thai culture that anchors their belief systems and faith. Visiting and paying respects while on your trip is both a sign of great humility and immense learning. But the oldest of them all is Wat Mahathat, or “Temple of the Great Relic.” It’s located near Sanam Luang Park in the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, north of Bangkok. It’s a beautiful place to check out, granted you keep your cameras down and just soak it all in. On Sundays, a bunch of merchants goes there and form the largest amulet market on earth. Each has a special and specific use. It’s definitely another must-see yet not-so-typical attraction you can tell your friends about.
Ayutthaya Historical Park
For a gorgeous and unexpected trip to the past, look no further than Ayutthaya Historical Park. It’s got ruins that took almost two centuries to complete. As history tells it, this was the site of the second capital of Siam, parallel to Sukhothai. It was around for about four centuries before it was sacked and destroyed by the Burmese. The stone structures, to this day, serve as a wonderful sample of both Siamese and Khmer architecture.
Full Moon Party
With all these temples and historical sites, one’s bound to be itching for a party. Well, if you time it right, you can catch the Full Moon party on Haad Rin Beach in Kon Phangan. It’s wild. It’s a neon and booze-soaked dance festival filled with people from all around the world. It’s the go-to party even for backpackers and regular travelers alike. Don’t miss out!
Wang Saen Suk Garden
If you’re into the odd and interesting, or you’re just not the type of person that’s chasing the typical Instagram elephant and beach pictures, the Wang Saen Suk garden is just the place. It’s a bit bizarre, yes. It’s a garden filled with statues and depictions of Buddhist Naraka. If you’re not familiar, do a bit of research. This place is not for the feint of heart. It’s definitely the most gruesome and often unsettling spot you can go to. But hey, if you want to go somewhere literally none of your friends have been to or even heard of, this is your spot.
New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium
If you’re a fan of fight sports, you can’t go across the world to Thailand without checking out a real Muay Thai match at New Lumpinee. Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and they’re absolutely stunning to watch. The fights aren’t held every day so be sure to check out their schedule. But if you find one, it truly is an experience you don’t want to miss.
Last, but not least, you have got to see the floating markets for yourself. There’s a bunch of great drone shots online of the boats, but that doesn’t really give justice to the feel of it. The ones that used to be deep in the city are no longer around, but if you go just outside, they’re a treat to see. They served as the main highway for good ad transport back before the highways were built. Seeing them still operate is a tremendous blast from a rich and colorful past.
Thailand is well deserving of all the amazing praises it gets. It’s the prime spot to go to in Southeast Asia. Most people that travel to the region first goes directly to Bangkok or Phuket, and for good reason. It’s flourishing and rich culture is a treat for your senses. And there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that you’ll want to come back for seconds or thirds.