While Thailand is justly famous for its wealth of Buddhist temples, the holiest of holies is the Temple of the Emerald Budda in Bangkok. If you are looking for another taste of Thai culture, seasoned with tradition, take a cooking class in a five star hotel, or take in a classical theatre performance at a renovated art-deco theatre in the capital.
Lovers of sports and the great outdoors will not be starved for choice. There is abseiling down a gushing waterfall in the country’s biggest national park; there’s elephant-back riding in the mountainous and verdant north; and plenty of sunken pleasures await aquanauts in the supremely scenic, national marine parks of the Andaman Sea. Then again, you could have a ball playing golf at seaside resorts like Hua Hin and the ever-popular island of Phuket. Or learn the ropes of Muai Thai kick-boxing at a resort on Ko Samui.
But there are plenty of less strenuous options. Find some peace of mind by doing a Buddhist-style meditation retreat at a forest monastery. Tune up your body with a healthy detox programme at a beachside resort. For a shopping spree of epic proportions, head for that behemoth of a bazaar – the Weekend Market in Bangkok. To make tracks into the past of ancient Siam’s glorious Kingdoms and World War II history, hop aboard the legendary and luxurious Eastern-Oriental Express.
Of course you’ll discover thousands more side dishes and appetizers to make your vacation – or return trip – a smorgasbord of excitement and relaxation. But these 20 astonishing and truly satisfying ’main courses’ need to be fully savoured.
- The Grand Palace – Relish a Regal and Religious Experience
- Khaosan Road – Come Down to the Crossroads
- Chatuchak Weekend Market – Break Your Budget at this Mammoth Bazaar
- Khon, Hun Lakhon Lek and Siam Niramit – Be Wowed by Yesteryear’s Theatrical Traditions Today
- Pak Khlong Talad & Yaowarat – Let Yourself Bloom
- Floating Market & Khlong Tour – Cruising the Canals, Rolling on the River
- Gulf of Thailand – Make a Big Splash in the Gulf of Thailand
- Relaxing in Pai – Call of the Wild
- Muai Thai – Jump in the Ring
- Biking Tour in World Heritage Sites – Time Traveling on a Bicycle
- Elephant Trekking – Riding a Jumbo
- Abseiling in Khao Yai – On Top of Thailand
- Diving at Similan & Surin Islands – Explore Sunken Treasures
- Andaman Coast – Be Adventurous Like James Bond
- Meditation – Find Some Peace of Mind
- Beauty Spa & Thai Massage – Take a Dose of Healthy Tourism
- Tom Yum Kung, Phat Thai, & Cooking – Savour the True Spices of Thai Life
- Songkran & Loi Krathong Festival – Make Memories at Amazing Festivals
- Golfing – Tee Off on Tropical Greens
- Travel by Rail – Ride the Rails in Splendour and Comfort