What’s your first thought when you think of Thailand? Is it the mile-long, white, sandy beaches, the gilded temples or the bustling night markets? If you’re thinking of visiting Thailand you’re going to want to read on! We have handpicked, with the help of our Thai team, the ‘must sees’ on your trip to the land of a thousand smiles.
Thailand is one of the most beautiful places in the world, that’s a fact! But there are many more things to explore than the beaches and monasteries. Here are our top ten!
Street Food Cooking Classes
Ok, we might be a little bias because here are Thaikhun we also do cooking schools but these are a must whilst you’re in Thailand (in Phuket these cooking classes take place on the beach!) Each class will be individual but during them you will learn how to cook up a storm with the freshest, most authentic Thai ingredients which are sure to give you an explosion of flavour and cooking skills that you can bring home with you.
You will most likely see an Elephant no matter where you go in Thailand whether you intend to or not but we want to make sure that you visit the sanctuaries! The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is a project which has set up ethical sanctuaries around Thailand. There are activities such as bathing & jungle walks with the world’s largest land animal which are located around the country.
Find your local Big Buddha! The official religion in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism, practiced by more than 95% of the population which is why it would only be natural for many Buddhas to be located around the land. These Buddhas are on hilltop locations and you no doubt will spot them a mile off, but don’t let this deter you! Whether you walk or catch a lift up to the top you will not be disappointed, the views are incredible.
If you’re only going to choose a couple of our top ten, let this be one! It will be an experience of a lifetime and one that you will reminisce on years after. The temples in Thailand comes in all shapes and sizes but they never compromise a true sense of serenity. With breath-taking intricacy and an instant sense of belonging, these temples are a truly magical. In some of the temples you can receive blessings off the Buddhist monks.
There are countless shopping opportunities in Thailand with huge shopping malls and night markets but the floating markets are something more cultural for you to get involved in. Full of life and colour, you need to tick this off your bucket-list! From fresh fruit to fish and herbs to hats, these markets have everything to offer.
Thailand is the hotspot for scuba diving! With thousands of different colour and shaped fish, flush coral reefs and vibrant green seaweed, these crystal clear waters will feast your eyes with a view like no other. Be sure to do your research before your visit to ensure you book onto one of the courses and these do fill up fast. If you want to go more casual then you can always snorkel in the water too but be sure not to go out too far.
Explore the islands
No matter what your trip to Thailand entails, whether you’re going to Bangkok for two week or purely island hopping for 3, be sure to explore all that the islands have to offer. There are hundreds of Thai islands that you can enjoy. Some of our favourites are; Koh Samui, Koh Chang, Koh Phayam, Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yuk.
Northern Thailand, with its lofty jungle mountains, is truly a paradise for outdoor adventurists and trekking enthusiasts. Not only will you view amazing forestry but the wildlife you will come across will be worth your while. Be sure to wear your insect repellent though! If you’re visiting further down south then Krabi offers a rainforest trek to visit the natural hot springs and emerald pool which is something you must do whilst you’re there.
We recommend you do your research before you plan your trip to Thailand as Thai festivals are huge! You can experience the vegetarian festival in Phuket with the visit to the Chinese Taoist temples. Here you can take part in prayers, get blessings and witness “maa songs” on how they are preparing for the following day parades.
Songkran, Thai New Year, is the biggest festival in Thailand. People travel from all over the globe to be with their friends and family to involve themselves in week-long water fights and street parties to celebrate the past year. This takes place in April so don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with a water gun on your first step off the plane!
The second-best known festival in Thailand is the Loi Kratong, Festival of Lights. Usually around October/November this festival is one of the most beautiful sites you will see. The festival is planned on the full moon dates which is why this changes every year around the autumn equinox. With thousands of floating lanterns this is something, no matter how many sites you see, that you will never forget.
Star-gazing on the beach
Last but definitely not least, this isn’t so much a ‘must see’ but a ‘must do’! Spend the night on the beach with the real fire barbecue and star gaze until light. With Thailand boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world you’d be crazy to miss out on this opportunity whilst you’re there. After a long day of trekking through the jungle or scuba diving in the Andaman sea, relaxing under the stars will be the perfect end to the perfect holiday.