Thailand

The Grand Tour of Thailand

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Located in the southeastern part of Asia, Thailand is the 12th largest country in the world. It borders Myanmar and Laos. There are six regions that makeup Thailand thus being, the north, northeast, east, south, west, and central. The seasons vary depending on the month, but usually are wet, cool, and hot. The rainy season is between May and October.

North

Mountains and landscapes dominate the northern part of Thailand. Some of the top places to visit in this region are as follow :

- Doi Inthanon

Located in the Chom Thong district, this is the tallest peak (8,415 feet at the highest point). To honor King Inthawichayanon, the 7th ruler of Chiang Mai from 1870 to 1897 the mountain adopted its name. The King admired forests and wanted them to be preserved during his term and after. This peak is very known amongst locals and tourists who come often to visit during the cooler seasons.

- Chiang Mai

This is and has been the northern capital since 1296. It’s the oldest city and the most touristy in this region with many temples to visit and markets to go to on the weekend. It is referred to as the New City in the language of Lanna which is one out of three ethnic groups; the others are Shan and Karen.

- Pai

This is a smaller area than Chiang Mai and about four hours away. It’s known as the hippy town to the locals. The practice of yoga, tai chi, and having a healthy eating and living style is in the roots of this town. So if you enjoy living a healthy style this town is definitely worth your while to check out.

- Chiang Rai

This is another popular destination with a population of 75,000. This city is a nice change of pace from mountain and green areas in other northern parts of Thailand.

Northeast

Khao Yai National ParkThis region of Thailand is the least popular out of the others, the least visited, and the poorest. With pretty flat land you can find many farms here. There are some popular places to visit in the Northeast, however, the most popular spots of this region include:

- Khmer Ruins

From reviews, these ruins are one of the best places to visit in Thailand. Not only are they interesting but they are a historical cultural structure in the northeast. Originally around the 13th century, Khmer rulers had built these temples that disappeared in forests, but then later found in the 19th century.

- Khao Yai National Park

In 1962, this was the first country’s national park to be established and it has been preserved to this day. The park has over 300 different kinds of birds you can see, so bring your binoculars! There are beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails to visit as well.

East

The east part of Thailand is a mix of ocean and mountains, some of the most popular places to visit are :

- Koh Samed

This tiny island is known for its clear waters and white smooth sand. Aside from the beautiful scenery, tourists can enjoy fine cuisines and night time activities for example:

- Lima Bar

It’s small but according to reviews has very interesting but good cocktails.

-Sunrise Bar

Is another small bar, it’s chill, and they have guest DJs often.The sunsets on this island are also a must see.

- Bang Saen

This town is quiet during the week but very lively on the weekends. There is a lot to do here like, go to the beach, eat fresh local seafood, check out art museums, bar hopping, etc. It’s a nice getaway from Bangkok, but still fairly close.

South

The south is more a touristy area due to the many beautiful beaches in the Gulf and Andaman sea. Some of the best spots are as follow:

- Phuket Province

Phuket island is the largest island in Thailand! The island is very mountain like with much to do with everything from eating yummy cuisine to seeing pink sunsets. Patong Beach is one of the south coast areas of this island. You can do many things such as snorkeling, diving, and sailing. In the more mountainous parts of this island, it is nice to explore the mountains, forests, and cliffs.

- Koh Samui

This island is beautiful and very popular with both man-made and natural things to see. Whatever you see or do on this island will be worth it and many memories will be made! Some places to check out while you are on the island is as follows:

- Ang Thong National Marine Park

This part of the island is very high in exotic sea creatures and wildlife. Many tourists like to do snorkeling, hiking, and kayaking while they are here. Don’t forget your camera!

- Big Buddha Temple

This is exceptional while you are at the Phuket Province island. This Buddha is so big, 12 meters high to be exact! Around the Buddha is a temple with much smaller Buddhas inside.

West

The West has beautiful waterfalls and there are many national parks to explore. Take a break from the busyness of the city and enjoy some nice nature. Some great tourist spots are:

- Thong Pha Phum National Park

With mountain landscapes, tropical forests, and wildlife animals this national park will be an exciting visit. There are two main lookout areas the, Doi Tong Palae and the Noen Kut Doi. The Noen Kut Doi is the highest part and has the most incredible views of the mountains. Within this National park, there are some waterfalls to visit as well including Namtok Chokkadin, Namtok Pha Pee, and Namtok Chetmit.

- Sai Yok Yai Waterfall

This exquisite waterfall is apart of the Sai Yok National park. These falls are often talked about in Thai poems and songs. There is a lot of beautiful scenery in this park to see, it will be worth the visit.

Central

Floating MarketOne of the most populated cities makes up the central part of Thailand also known as the Bangkok, and it’s the capital. With a population of over 8 million people. The city is very international with many expats coming from all over the world. Bangkok is one of the world’s top tourist destinations and also the center of Thailand’s media Industry. Bangkok is the center of modern education in Thailand, they now have about 1,351 schools just in this central part of the country! Some of the top things to do in Bangkok are as follow:

- The Grand Palace

Built in 1782, this is the most famous landmark in the central part of Thailand. The king and the royal government lived on this ground until 1925. The palace is split into four main areas thus including, the outer, middle, and inner courts, and lastly the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. These separate courts can be defined by tradition and laws.

- The Floating Market

This market will be unlike anything you have ever seen before; fresh fruits and vegetables fill boats. Locals can prepare a meal for you in their boat. The experience is very unique and you won’t want to miss this.

- Jim Thompson’s House

Named after the American entrepreneur who was the founder of the Jim Thompson silk company. With his contribution of the development for an industry of silk in Thailand, he was awarded the order of the Elephant. Take a tour through this authentic Thai style house and learn the history of Jim Thompson.

Food

Thai FoodRice, like in Asian cuisine is an essential part of the meal and eaten with almost every meal. Thai food is known to be very flavorful and has many spices. Many spices are used in every dish. The food is slightly different in every region in Thailand. Portuguese influence the Bangkok cuisine whereas, Central Thailand’s cuisine is centered around the Dvaravati culture. The Northeastern part of Thailand is close to the country of Laos and they are a big influence on the culture of the food. And the south of Thailand has a Hainanese influence on their food. Some of the top dishes to try while you are in Thailand are:

-Pad Thai

A type of fried noodle, you can get thick or thin noodles; this dish includes crunchy peanuts, fried egg, bean sprouts, and onions. It’s coated in a sweet, salty, tangy, spicy sauce. If you love noodles you will love this dish.

-Tom Yum Goong

Goong meaning shrimp in Thailand this lemony, lime, mushrooms, and chili for a kick soup is a very well known dish in Bangkok. It’s worth a try if you want to try the most popular in the country you are visiting!

-Tom Kha Kai

Also known as coconut chicken soup, although it isn’t as spicy as the Tom Yum Goong, the chilies still give this soup quite the kick. The coconut milk is a nice pairing for this soup, as it cools your tongue from the spiciness.

-Pad Krapow Moo Saap

Just like the Tom Yum Goong, this dish is just as popular, but don’t worry it’s not as spicy! You can ask for less spice. Eat it for dinner or lunch. Who wouldn’t be brave enough to try this fried basil and pork over rice?

Shopping

- Shopping Mall Bangkok

Bangkok is the biggest area for shopping. There is everything from ginormous malls with all kinds of stores to flea markets/weekend markets that sell silk and cloths and other goods.

-Central World

Step foot into the biggest shopping mall in Thailand, with a total area size of 830,000 square meters; this experience is sure to be thrilling. Enjoy a variety of experiences such as restaurants, brand named clothing stores including Zara, Guess, Adidas, Toys R Us, e tc , electronics, books, furniture, and salons. The best part is there is an ice skating rink to enjoy either before you shop, after or during!

- Chatuchak Market

This weekend market is a well known touristy spot to get those special gifts. It may seem kind of chaotic with over 8,000 stands to visit, but the market is divided into 27 sections which should make it easier to navigate. The Chatuchak market is split into 11 different categories of merchandise, some including books, artwork, handcrafts, clothing, etc. You won’t want to miss on this unique adventure.

 Religion

Citizens of Thailand have the freedoms to practice and be apart of any religion they would like, but there must be a Theravada Buddhist. This is required by the law that the king must take part in. The Theravada is a specific type of Buddhism, that uses teachings from Pali. The most commonly practiced religion in Thailand is Buddhism. About 90% of the people there practice the Buddhist religion. Thai people are very religious and pray many times a day. They are also very open and like to talk with foreigners about their religion. There are many temples you can visit in Thailand to learn more about the Buddhism and the practice. There are also a large populations of Muslims in Thailand about 10% makeup Thailand. Islamic faith is the second largest in Thailand. Several hundred Islamic schools are spread out throughout Thailand.

Climate & Weather

For the most part weather in Thailand is very warm with humidity and more tropical than other parts of Asia. It said to be that Thailand has three seasons all year round, rainy, dry and hot. The Northern and Southern regions of Thailand however have a slight difference in climate and are influenced by monsoon winds. In the Northern parts of Thailand between the months of November and May it’s pretty dry but sometimes there is a nice breeze. There can also be heavy rainfall during these months. Whereas, the Southern parts of Thailand is both wet and dry. May to October, you will find the weather to be rather warm and then from October to February it will be cool and dry. The South will have more rainy days the the Northern regions. When it’s hot in Thailand, it will be really hot somethings temperatures above a 100 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius). You can monitor the weather before travelling or during your travel to Thailand, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

 

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