But it is not only Bangkok that tourists visit. There are so much more to see and do outside the capital. Of course, if you are a first timer, you would definitely explore first the big city before going to the provinces.
Here is our list of the Top-10 things to see and do in Thailand.
1. Palaces – included here are the Grand Palace, Sanam Chandra Palace, Bang Pa-in Royal Palace
2. Temples and Churches – Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat arun, Wat Phra Pathommachedi, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Santa Cruz Church, Assumption Cathedral, Immaculate Conception
3. Parks – historical parks like Ayuthaya, Sukhothai, Phimai, Muang Singh, Ban Chiang, nature parks such as Khao Yai, Erawan, Tat Mok, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park and Tarutao, and public parks that include King’s Park, Lumphini, Chatuchak, and Benjasiri
4. Museums – National Museum, Jim Thompson House, Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, Human Imagery Museum
5. Islands – including Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samet, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Koh Chang
5. Beaches – such as Pattaya, Hua Hin, Krabi, Trat,
6. Privately-owned Attractions – Elephant Ground and Zoo, Crocodile Farm, Ancient Siam, Erawan Museum, Dream World
7. Going up tall buildings such as Baiyoke Tower II and King Power Mahanakhon
8. Shopping at Floating Markets, Night Markets, Chatuchak Weekend Market, and at the big shopping centers
9. Eating Thai foods at great Thai restaurants or on the street
10. Getting an authentic Thai massage or Medical Care
There are many other special reasons to come to Thailand. The country is well-known for its medical tourism like plastic surgery and even sex-change! You can also come to learn Thai kickboxing called Muay Thai. If you are of the religious type, Thailand is a good place to learn Buddhism. You may even want to become a monk.
The only drawback is that most locals knew very little English but that may change in the future because thousands of foreigners have been employed to teach English.
No doubt, Thailand is not as rich as Japan or any of the developed western countries but it is considered as one of the world’s tiger economies. Tourism plays an important role in the local economy. The government and the private sector was wise to invest tons of money to create a country that is really welcoming to visitors. This is not to say that the destinations and festivals are nothing but human creations for commercial purposes. Most of them are natural and steeped in tradition or history except that the government was quick enough to notice their commercial and touristic value.
Although traffic is a big problem especially in Bangkok, Thailand has one of the most developed infrastructure in Southeast Asia. Today, most of the favorite destinations including areas far from Bangkok are accessible to modern transportation.
Peace and order plus the hospitable attitude of the Thai people contribute to make the country attractive to visitors. Petty crimes such as hold-up, stealing, and other forms of lawlessness are not prevalent. You can walk at night and arrive home safe. You forgot your cell phone in a restaurant and most probably you can get it from the owner the next day. Of course, you need to be extra careful just the same. Thailand is not heaven and like in any other country, there are always some criminals lurking in a corner. Yet in Thailand, the most dangerous individuals are not the Thai people but fellow visitors.
Before jumping into the bandwagon, it pace to learn more about the country. Maybe, it is best to start reading its geography and history. Please check out the succeeding posts. Again, thank you for dropping by.
Photo above is a view of the western part of Bangkok as seen across the Chao Praya River. The building with a cross is Sta. Cruz Church.