If you are dreaming of your next vacation and want to go somewhere tropical, exotic and beautiful, consider Thailand. From the city of Bangkok to a trek through a tropical jungle, almost everywhere you look in Thailand, the view will be breathtaking.
To arrive in style, consider a Thailand cruise. For a truly relaxing trip, avoid the hassle of the airport and instead, spend the journey surrounded by relaxing waters, plenty of sunshine, and delicious meals. Cruises are a great way to spend quality time with your partner, friends or family and the ships will stop at many beautiful ports
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The Grand Palace
Your first destination should be the city of Bangkok and the absolutely astounding Grand Palace. The colors and statues will blow you away. Keep in mind that part of the palace is a temple, so please dress accordingly: no bare arms or legs or either men or women.
Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries
Animal rights activists may be wary about visiting elephants in Thailand. Previously, elephants were used to entertain tourists by giving them rides and they didn’t have the best living conditions.
There are no worries of cruelty now, however. There are six ethical elephant sanctuaries to visit where you will just see happy elephants.
The six sanctuaries are all different; you can even stay overnight in some! The one thing they all have in common, though, is that you will get to be up close and personal with the elephants, even bathing with, and feeding them.
The Hill Tribes
The Hill Tribes of Thailand were pretty much undiscovered until the 1950s. They are actually seven different groups called: Karen, Lahu, Hmong, Lisu, Akha, Mien, and Paudaung. They each have distinctive customs and dress.
It is believed that they all migrated to Thailand from central Asia. If you want to go and visit, be sure to select an ethical tour guide who does not treat the villages like human zoos. Many guides can arrange for you to stay overnight and really get to know the villagers.
The amazingly beautiful Railay Beach is a soothing, yet spectacular place to visit. It looks and feels like an island because you need to visit by boat. However, it is part of the mainland, just surrounded by amazing limestone cliffs. With pristine turquoise water and clean sand, it may well be the best beach day you’ve ever had.
After a day spent swimming, stick around for a spectacular sunset, then take your longboat taxi back to your hotel.
If you are wanting some fresh, delicious produce, or just want to photograph the colorful event, you will need to visit the floating markets.
You can ride in a longboat and float among the vendors or purchase from the banks of the canals. Along the banks are small, picturesque wooden houses selling sweets, snacks and souvenirs.
Khao Yai National Park
This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the park there exists a lot of diversity from jungles to waterfalls. One side of the park features (astonishingly) a wild-west theme park but the majority of the part is mountainous, lush and beautiful.
The Songkran Festival is Bangkok’s New Year water festival. It occurs between April 13th and 15th every year. If you happen to be in Thailand then, you can expect to see performances, parades, and even the bathing of Buddha statues.
You are also likely to get wet because water throwing is part of the festival. You won’t mind, though, because this is the hottest time of year in Thailand.
Chian Mai’s Night Bazaar
The night bazaar is arguably the best place for shopping in all of Thailand. It covers about two blocks and can be found where Loi Kroh and Chang Khlan roads meet. It all starts around sunset and amazingly goes on until at least 10:30pm.
Wondering what is sold at the night bazaar? The answer is almost everything from DVDs and “normal” clothes and shoes to Thai silk, traditional handicrafts and the ubiquitous sarong.
The floating islands can be visited by longboats and are unique and beautiful. One of them, Koh Samui, even boasts a giant, golden statue of Buddha.
Most tourists and tour guides agree that these are the essential things to do in Thailand. They are undoubtedly a great place to start, however, once there, you will surely come up with your own list of “can’t miss” sights.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)