If you are wondering which country would be ideal to kick off your travels in South East Asia, Thailand is the answer. With its elegant temples, amazing beaches, easy accessibility, and a cultural similarity with India, Thailand is your perfect introduction to the region.
We have for you our top pick of places that are worth adding to your sightseeing bucket list for Thailand. If this is your first visit to Thailand, the capital Bangkok should be your first stop. Not only is Bangkok convenient because it will be your port of entry into the country, it also boasts of some fabulous attractions that you should not miss out on.
This is where the Kings of Thailand or Siam as it was previously known, ruled the country for about 150 years. It is by far the most recognisable structure situated right in the centre of Bangkok city by the Chao Phraya River, so you will have no trouble getting there.
The Grand Palace is a large complex of gilded ornate buildings relating to Thai royalty and administration. It is still in use on important ceremonial occasions. Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha is one of the buildings within the sprawling palace grounds and a big draw for visitors. Regarded as the most sacred Buddhist shrine in Thailand, you can see a statue of the meditating Buddha housed here, that has been carved out of a single block of jade. If you have the time, also look around the other impressive buildings such as the original residence of King Rama I who commissioned construction of the Grand Palace.
You can visit the Grand Palace any day of the week. Just check the opening and closing timings and ensure you are modestly dressed.
A visit to this 100-year old floating market located around a 100 kms from Bangkok is an interesting insight into local Thai culture and way of life. The way to explore this floating market is to step into one of the traditional long-tail boats. It will be paddled gently by your friendly boatman as he guides the vessel deftly between the innumerable market boats floating past selling all kinds of items from fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, souvenirs and even lip-smacking Thai food. Simply stretch out your hand and beckon the owner if the wares on any of these ‘boat shops’ catch your imagination. And don’t forget to drive a good bargain!
Thailand is a very popular beach destination so its beaches are usually noisy and over-crowded. To enjoy a relatively relaxed and peaceful Thai beach vacation, skip the usual Pattaya, Phuket trail and head towards the southern end of Thailand instead. You will be rewarded by sun-kissed beaches with soft white sand and stunning views of the serene turquoise waters, skirted by limestone cliffs and caves.
Among the collection of islands and beaches at Phi Phi Islands is Phi Phi Don which is the main island resort area where you will be staying. From here you can take short trips to the nearby Koh Phi Phi island beaches, Long Beach and Monkey Beach. Apart from soaking in the natural beauty all around, there is plenty to do here for water sport lovers as Phi Phi Islands have great spots for swimming, diving and snorkelling.
Can’t wait to check out these places in Thailand? While planning your vacation or applying for your Thailand Visa and of course shopping for some stylish beachwear, do ensure that you don’t overlook buying Travel Insurance for Thailand. There are many benefits of travel insurance while travelling abroad, from covering you in case of a medical emergency, a mishap such as your luggage, or worse, your passport getting misplaced or lost or even if your trip gets cancelled. Insuring your trip to Thailand will allow you to explore the sights and sounds around with total peace of mind.
If an action-packed adventure trip is more your style of a vacation, check out our tips on the top things to do in Thailand. For essential information on Thailand such as the best time to visit, must-try Thai delicacies and more, our Thailand Travel Guide will be a handy tool.