Some countries are great, some countries are not so much, and this has always made me wonder what is it that creates this difference? It is my trip to Thailand that finally enlightened me with the answer – it is the People! Every country has a history, amazing culture and cuisines that is dipped in both its history and culture. The Thai people, as beautiful as they are, are blessed with hearts of gold and everyone wears a pure smile on their faces. This is the prime reason why I would go back, even if eventually I may forget about the beauty of this country.
It was my ‘squad’ (yeah, that’s what my friends want our group to be called) who after centuries of planning and cancelling, reached the country to experience what is so ‘Amazing’ about Thailand! And, well, wherever there’s more than one person, you can never decide on the places you would finally visit. It took us a 15-day long argument within ourselves before we could decide on the places to visit in Thailand.
Hence I list these 10 Thai places you must visit with your friends. So now, you guys don’t have to argue and fight over which places to visit since now a complete stranger of unproven intellect is passing down his ‘wisdom’ to you just because he has the internet!
While Bangkok is very much like any other metropolis, it beautifully hides the years of history and culture in the madness of the city life. I cannot talk about Bangkok without mentioning the beauty, historical significance, extravagance and the intricate craftsmanship that The Grand Palace, Wat Arun and the Wat Prakaew boost of! While the crazy ones can enjoy the nightlife in Bangkok, the history and art aficionados will be pleased with these beautiful temples and palaces.
While Bangkok represents the modern day Thailand, a short bus trip away is the historic Ayutthaya, which will give you a glimpse of its ancient glory. The old palaces and temples are a proof of its importance as the capital city of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The good part is that you can make a quick day visit from Bangkok and be back if you are short of time, but it definitely takes more than a few hours to fathom the greatness that this city once basked in.
- Chiang Mai
How can a city, that’s still called the ‘New City’ even after it celebrated its 700th anniversary in the last millennium, not be intriguing? A city where the old, the modern Thai traditions and architectures co-exist, the city is a treat for nature lovers as well as for those who wish to feast their eyes on the landscapes and enjoy outdoor adventures. As with any other historically blessed places, Chiang Mai has some beautifully ancient temples including the famous Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.
Here is something for the beach lovers! The second-most popular destination in Thailand, this island province is famous for its happening beach culture and fantastic resort accommodations for the tourists. And when you’ve had enough of the beach at night, there is more than you can ask for in the name of shopping and night clubs to testify for the great nightlife Phuket has to offer!
- Ko Chang
This one is my personal favorites, mainly because it is quieter and hence more serene for me as compared to Ko Samui or Phuket. A mountainous island with coral reefs, white sandy beaches, rainforests and numerous waterfalls, I cannot count the number of times I thought of quitting my job and start living in a hut there!
Kanchanaburi is a package of natural beauty and a piece of the tragic war history. You can find a number of war cemeteries and war museums, each of which speak about the city’s time and the historic Kwai River Bridge that is linked to the Death Railway to Burma during the Japanese occupation in the 1940s. And when your heart and head is heavy with the emotional and informational overload (didn’t happen to me though), you can retreat outside the place for a refreshing visit to the Srinakarind and the Erawan national parks.
- Khao Sok National Park
One of the finest and most beautiful wildlife reserves, it is bound to please the photography buffs. Located in the Surat Thani province in the Southern part of Thailand, the national park encompasses scenic lakes, rivers, jungle forests and limestone karsts. Rich with wildlife that includes the great asiatic elephants, wild boars, bears, barking deer, langurs and pig-tailed macaques, my DSLR finally got to see the things it was built for!
- Rai Leh (Railay)
This is another ‘my-kind-of-place’, and for me, the beauty of this small peninsula lies in the fact that the only way to access this place is by water transport. The amazing beaches and the smooth, relaxing natural ambience makes you want to forgive your boss for giving you a hard time approving your leave. And even though this place is slowly falling prey to businessmen trying to make money out of tourists by building bungalow resorts, thankfully these ugly structures remain hidden behind the trees and cliffs, away from the view when you relax in the beach.
- Sukhothai Old City
This old city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and this is enough to describe why this place must be visited for sure. The Wats and the proudly standing ruins of the old and once prosperous city are a treat for the photography lovers. They tell you stories of the long history of centuries of battle and of the Buddhist devotion that this city have been known for in the past.
- Phanom Rung
This Hindu temple dedicated to the great deity Lord Shiva is situated near the village of Nang Rong and is famously known for its awe-inspiring and stunning architecture. This temple was built somewhere between the 11th to 13th centuries by the Khmer people. Constructed out of laterite and sandstone, the Khmers built it to represent and resemble the sacred abode of Lord Shiva in the Himalayas – Mount Kailash.