A Traveler’s Guide to Thailand

Top 9 things about the Land of White Elephants

A country known for its eating culture, crowded nightlife, heavy traffic at cities and strict laws, Thailand is the most sort-after travel destination of South-East Asia. What looks like an intimidating chaos at first turns into a next-level experience for any traveler visiting this part of the globe. For a newbie on the go to the Land of White Elephants, here are top 9 things to do (and some not to do’s) to make the best of the travel:

1. Explore Bangkok

Twilight view of Wat Arun
Twilight view of Wat Arun

The Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Temple of Emrald Buddha are the best of the city’s luminous attractions. Known as the former “Venice of the East”, nightlife roars best at Patpong, Silom and Nana. Cycling is a great activity around forests, trees and villages of Bangkok and outskirts. Visit the crocodile farm, safari world, and Sampran elephant ground and zoo. Shop in world class shopping malls like central world and MBK, and by the way, don’t forget the world famous Thai massage.

2. Try Street Food

 Street Food in thailand
Rice custard

You don’t need to worry about hygiene while your glands explode with saliva at the sight of food stalls in the streets of Thailand, especially the capital. Best of Thailand and the world, are all available to feast your stomach. Bonus: Food is cheaper in streets, a smart way to go local.

3. Shop in the floating Market

Floating market in Thailand
Floating market in Thailand

Damnoen Saduak is a floating market situated about 100 kilometers southwest of the capital. Wait for fruit and vegetable sellers to sail towards you at the bank, or take a boat and approach them yourself.

Tip: Early bird in the morning enjoys the serenity of the market minus crowds.

4. Cruise along the city coast

If you’ve ever been to Colaba, Mumbai, you know what I’m talking about. These mini version of ships accommodate around 20-30 people and run along the coast so that the panoramic view of the skyline can be observed. Known as Mekhala (traditional rice ships), this is a great opportunity to give travel a break.

5. Hike and roam around National Parks

Sukhothai Historical Park
Sukhothai Historical Park

Find the Khao Yai National Park just three hours north of Bangkok. Enjoy the less crowded jungle with facilities for hiking and swimming. This place is famous for wild elephants. On the southern part, lies the best park in Thailand, the Khao Sok National Park. Spend some time with nature before returning to the lively environment of the urban.

6. Get a rest in tropical islands

Poda Island
Poda Island

Thailand is famous for its beautiful tropical islands. Some of the best islands are Ko Chang, Ko Tao, Ko Jum, Ko Samuai, the Siliman and Ko Samet. The island provides all facilities for resting, eating and staying too. Finding the one among the million islands available and spending some quality time is worth spending the bucks.

7. Go diving

‘Scuba diving’ is one of the most famous activities here due to clear water and rich water life. The island of Ko Tao is one of the cheapest places to learn and try this amazing underwater experience.

8. Know the traffic rules

While urban and city strolling is a great way of exploring the city, having a basic knowledge about how the traffic works will reward high. Take care while getting on and off vehicles since vehicles run both ways. Traffic is a bit aggressive and it will take some time to get used to it. Also, bigger vehicles dominate smaller ones. ‘Law of the land’ applies which means if you get in an accident and you do not belong to the country, you are responsible for it.

9. Obey the law

Thailand is also known for its strict laws aside its awesome beauty and tourist friendly environment. Some of the things that can get you into serious trouble are:

  • Drugs
  • Tearing the King’s image on papers or notes, even currencies.
  • Overstaying the visa.
  • Drinking around places of worship, public offices, pharmacies, public parks, and other public places.
  • Not keeping the passport with oneself.

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