Whether it’s a visit to the ancient Wat Chaiwatthanaram, sightseeing on the Phuket coast, an upbeat party getaway or a relaxing beach holiday, Thailand really does have it all to offer.
Starting with Phuket, it’s easy to think that it’s all idyllic beaches, coves, and cliffs. Where’s the culture at? You’ll have to look closely. Dotted around are plenty of Chinese worship temples for you to examine and explore, including the Shrine of the Serene Light. Phuket Town also has a great coffee culture, and while it might be Milan or Turin, it can still boast great flavour in an exotic destination. If you’re arty, you’ll enjoy the boutiques and art studios sprinkled around Phuket Town – if you get past the souvenir hawkers, you can find vintage clothes, amazing fabrics, and fantastic ornaments. If you want a luxury getaway on the island of Phuket, head to Villa Sanyanga situated above Surin Beach on the west coast of the island.
If you’re looking for a bit of a faster pace, then Bangkok is where you should be heading. With never-ending nightlife (for example, there is the CosmicCafé, a place which will play EDM from around the globe), vicious Thai Boxing bouts and plenty to do, see and buy – Bangkok is certainly for those with a poor attention span! You could start a day with a tour of the Royal Family’s majestic Grand Palace before cruising down the Chao Phray river on a water taxi. If you’re about on the weekend, you won’t want to miss the weekend market that sells everything from authentic brands to smartphones and pets. There’s also plenty of amazing food on offer! If you’ve only got a small amount of time to take it all in, the Bangkok by night tour is a four-hour small-group tour that flings you around the city so that you can take it all in at rapid pace among the lights of Bangkok.
If you want to get off the beaten path, visit the paradise of Koh Phra Thong island. There is plenty of undisturbed nature including deer, sea turtles and hornbills. The resorts on the island are mainly coastal, leaving the centre of the island a protected and undisturbed wildlife hub.
As with many countries, it’s important to remember to act respectfully especially in regards to certain subjects. Mocking the Royal Family of Thailand is strictly off limits and is even a criminal offense. The best way to show respect is to act humble and keep your views to yourself. Also, you should stand when the ‘King’s Anthem’ or national anthem is played. Finally, because the King’s face is prominently displayed on Thai currency such as coins and notes, it’s important not to vandalize them or step on them. As with the Royals, it is important to show Thailand’s religion of Buddhism with equal respect. Cover your limbs on entering temples and don’t ‘be a tourist.’ Selfies with Buddha statues are a no-go as you’re placing the Buddha in a secondary position.
There’s certainly plenty to do in Thailand!