The allure of a visit to Thailand is an intense one due to its varied enticing elements.
Thailand is unique with its mix of friendly smiling people, ancient culture and religious artifacts, lush landscapes, great beaches and modern metropolis. It is difficult to cull the list of fascinating destinations to see in Thailand to a mere handful but here is an attempt to offer some requirements during your visit.
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and one of the world’s great cities. Bangkok is a modern city with world famous nightlife, world class restaurants and fabulous shopping. It also is the home to some of the most important Buddhist temples and relics in the world. These include Wat Phra Kaeo (Emerald Buddha Chapel), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Saket (Golden Mount), and Wat Benchannabophit (Marble Temple).
Chiang Mai is north of Bangkok and is in a green valley surrounded by mountains. It is well known for its Arts & Culture Center, many museums, beautiful Buddhist temples and two elephant sanctuaries. This is also a well known area to study Thailand’s delicious cuisine through numerous cooking schools.
Ko Tao is an island in the Gulf of Thailand in the southern part of the country. It is a world famous scuba and snorkel destination where you can swim with turtles, stingray, barracuda and even whale sharks. Other beach destinations include Phuket, Hat Khao Lak, Ko Mak, Ko Kut, Ko Pha-Ngan and Hat Phra Nang.
Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand and is about 85 km north of Bangkok. It is a world heritage site known for its historic Buddhist temples, museums and parks. Important sites to see here include Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Ancient Palace Chao Sam Phraya Museum and Phra Ram Park. Ban Chiang located in the northeaster part of Thailand and is another world heritage site and is considered to contain some of the world’s oldest Bronze Age artifacts.
One of the best times to visit Thailand is during its cool season which runs from November to the end of February. The weather is warm, with temperatures averaging about 30 degrees Celsius 85 Fahrenheit but with low humidity and clear skies. This is Thailand’s peak tourist period.
Some important national holidays are Magha Puja which is celebrated at the full moon in February. Monks and others bear flowers, incense and candles and circle the countries temples after sunset. The Songkran Festival is April 12 – 14. This is the Thai traditional New Year’s festival and a great place to experience it is in Chiang Mai. Visaka Puja is the most holy day for Buddhists as it celebrates the birth of Buddha. It is celebrated in May at the full moon.