What to Do and What to See in Thailand

Thailand has become a dream vacation destination for countless tourists each year.

Koh Lipe Island, Thailand

Thailand has become a dream vacation destination for countless tourists each year.

It’s seductive exotic allure and generous price tag has seen the country’s tourism industry explode to welcome approximately 20 000 000 arrivals per year.

Also known as “The Land of Smiles“, Thailand is one of the most popular tourist countries in Asia, but it also keeps important track of historical and artistic past.

The geographical position has allowed the fusion of traditions and language of two great cultural centres in Asia: Chinese and Indian.

These two features allow all types of travellers to find interesting aspects: from the big and chaotic metropolis full of life as Bangkok to the ancient ruins, temples and deserted cities, from the sunny beaches of Phuket to the jungles of Khao Yai National Park for naturalists fans.

To enter the Thailand the tourists must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country (remember that, by law, tourists are always required to bring along their original passport).

The tourist visa is not required for stays of less than 30 days (29 nights).

You can extend your stay in Thailand to a week directly at the cost of 1900 baht (there will be fines if you stay over 30 days).

For stays like those you must apply for tourist visa (valid for 60 days) at the Thai Embassy or the Consulate. Pay attention: any extension of the visa must be necessarily made at the Consulate of competence.

Thai law is very strict about it and you might even encounter very serious troubles.

Recommended are the vaccinations against hepatitis A and B (high prevalence of HBV).

The malaria risk exists throughout the year in rural areas, especially forest and hills.

There is no risk in cities and major resorts (Bangkok, Chiangmai, Pattaya, Phuket). Thailand offers the visitor a great variety of places, even alone you will like the trip and it will able to satisfy the most diverse tastes.

When one has lived in this beautiful land for an extended period of time seeing people come and go on a daily basis, it quickly becomes apparent just how diverse the country’s attractions are with visitors all flocking here with a different focus in mind.

Of course, most are drawn by the islands and their palm fringed beaches, warm tropical weather and resorts located in the most captivating settings.

Some come to explore the country’s ancient history and rich culture, some for the unrivaled family friendly recreational opportunities, there are those who seemingly come for the endless parties, but some come to experience exotic nature in its most natural state.

Scuba divers, animal and nature lovers, those who like to hike in verdant rain forest, kayakers who want to explore exotic shores or those who just who just want to relax in peace and tranquility in blissful seclusion on an unblemished beach finds Thailand irresistible.

While locations such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya draws the biggest crowds for very good reason, there are a number of under-valued locations less mentioned on travel brochures and magazines which in the absence of large crowds, noise and therefore un-scared by mass tourism offers the perfect escape to experience raw nature while still enjoying high standard accommodation.

If your idea of an exotic getaway is one of discovering the gifts of nature and beautiful scenery unhindered by boxed-in resorts, early morning elephant treks showcasing untouched jungle rather than a raunchy nightlife and if you have an appetite for adventure rather than all-round commercial activity disturbing your peace, then you should head for one of these amazing locations in Thailand.

Koh Chang

Though not a fraction as touristy and commercialized as Thailand’s biggest island Phuket, Koh Chang is the country’s second largest island and the biggest in an archipelago of 53 other smaller islands scattered around its shores.

It is located to the north-east of the Gulf of Thailand and though easily accessible it has survived large scale construction and retains a mostly natural state. Part of the reason for this is that the island is also a designated national marine park.

It features several waterfalls and streams which can be visited during hikes or elephant treks through its jungles.

The beaches are pristine and tranquil and offers breathtaking views. Around its shores the water is teeming with bright tropical marine life and coral making it a treasure chest for both scuba divers and snorkelers.

Koh Tarutao

Koh Tarutao can easily be referred to as the last of the unconquered Thai islands.

It is completely unspoiled and the largest island in an archipelago just a few kilometers from the Thai-Malaysian marine border.

There are no commercially developed hotels and resorts. Accommodation is in the form national park-run bungalows or tent camping sites, it does not even have an ATM and hopefully it stays this way for a long time to come.

The entire island is covered in dense rain forest, perfect for adventurous exploration.

Scuba divers will have a ball with pinnacle dives showcasing the most amazing under water scenery.

Koh Lipe

This is a tiny island and part of the Tarutoa archipelago.

However, due to the fact that it does not form part of the Tarutao marine park, things are already changing so if you still want to experience this paradise island in its natural state you better hurry.

The island is so small that you can cover to entire circumference by foot in an hour.

Snorkelers will have a fab time since you can walk into the water from one of the island’s 3 pristine beaches for snorkeling which will showcase coral reefs and an abundance of fish species.

In fact, 25% of the world’s tropical fish species are found in these waters.

Koh Yao Noi

Noi is the Thai word for small and is befitting for this paradisaical exotic little rock.

It is located in Phan Nga Bay 45 minutes by boat from Phuket. Phang Nga Bay is famous for its mystical appearance with lime stone formations jutting from he ocean and soaring high into the sky.

It also features several uninhabited islands, iconic land marks such as Koh Phi Phi and amazing scuba dive opportunities.

These are the views you will enjoy from Yao Noi island.

The island itself is not as undeveloped as Tarutao for example, but pristine nevertheless.

The number of resorts are very limited so the island never see large crowds, does not have a nightlife to speak of. It has a very small commercial centre which basically consist of a few informal vendors, a shop or two and a few restaurants.

Its biggest attractions are its serenity, relaxed atmosphere, beguiling views and totally secluded beaches seeing almost no other person except the ones willing driving the few kilometers among the deserted roads enveloped by jungle.

The Mae Rim Valley in Chiang Mai

Mae Rim Valley in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Khao Lak

Khao Lak, Thailand

Khao Lak is a a dream destination not only of you want to experience un-scared nature, but also if you want to go somewhere romantic and peaceful and are looking for quiet and pristine beaches.

Ironically, this area is only a two hour drive from Phuket making it very easily accessible, yet it retains a mystical charm.

Nature lovers will have an exciting time here and scuba divers can use it as a departure point for trips to world famous nearby islands like Surin and Similan, both of which are protected marine parks.

Chiang Mai is Thailand’s northern capital. It is a big city spread out over a vast area and does get pretty busy.

However, if you take the road leading out the city toward Mae Rim, approximately 20 minutes drive away, you enter a whole different world. The Mae Rim valley consist of rolling hills and mountain peaks covered in dense rain forest, rivers, streams and waterfalls.

Here and there clearings showcase rice paddies with farmers casually tending to their crops.

The area is home to several national parks to hike in and also offers the opportunity to visit the famous hill tribes and experience their traditional way of life. In fact, you can even stay over in a hill tribe village for a really authentic experience.

The most striking feature about Thailand is the fact that the beaches are not only sandy and exquisitely vast and they are serene but also full of that adventure atmosphere that is highly desirable. There are numerous places that a person can indulge themselves in and get the best of the Thai beaches.

Pattaya is one such place where the beaches are serene, full of charm and inviting for all those who love water sports. Swimming, wind surfing and beach volleyball are some of the activities that a person can sample here.

There are of course many other beaches that give the tourist a taste of the blue seas and the feel of the soft sand rubbing their toes.

Nightlife is the other thing that attracts European tourists to Thailand.

The nightlife found here is not just the dancing and the intoxication.

One gets a chance to attend multiple beach parties where the parties are unending and the fun more that exhilarating.

The best place known for this heaven on earth fun parties is Phuket which is just a few minutes from the capital city Bangkok.

It is the one place where the sea meets the land, and at the meeting point unmeasured fun is experienced by all.

The good thing about the beautiful land called Thailand is that there is more that it offers than many tourist destinations combined.

The trails up the limestone heaven hugging mountains, the breathtaking valleys on the Lao border side and the scenic golf courses spread all over the land are just some of the treats that one gets. The cuisine served in many of the Thai restaurants leaves the tourists craving for more.

The cuisine is made of the best south-eastern recipes with some addition of the western tastes and some Indian tastes, this makes the cuisine exquisitely delicious and many a tourist are tempted to go back based on that simple Thai factor.

Culture cannot be forgotten as it has played a very pivotal role in promoting the tourism trade in Europe.

The rich unrelenting cultural hold of this southern end country has fascinated many.

The Buddhist cities like Chiang Mai is one of the favourite destinations for the ones who want to learn a little bit of this land’s rich history.

The history of many of the places in Thailand goes as far back as the BCs. This is made more fascinating by the fact that Chiang Mai was built in 1296 and its original plan and structures still used today.

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