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What to see in Thailand

Thailand Attractions


There is so much to see and do in Thailand that few visitors can resist returning. With an expansive coast line and gorgeous tropical islands, Thailand is justly famed for its wonderful beaches and laid-back lifestyle. Inland, there are the iconic sights of lush jungles, rolling hills and rice paddies. As a country of Buddhists, there is also an abundance of golden temples and beautiful, spiritually-inspired architecture. One word of caution though: to avoid the common fate of temple fatigue, don't try to see too much. Rather concentrate on a few key attractions and spend some quality time in each of them.

In contrast is the buzzing atmosphere of Bangkok, whose neon lights and smoggy streets blend with gardens and floating markets to create a unique hybrid of old and new - at a frenetic pace.

One reason why Thailand is such a rewarding sightseeing destination is that it has retained its distinctive identity in the face of significant western influence. That makes visiting here an exciting and exotic experience, whether you are a resort loving beach bum or an adrenaline junky exploring hill tribes and river rapids. More good news is that Thailand is blessed with year-round temperate weather so you visit at any time, although in the months from June-October rough sea conditions may make some islands unreachable via the ferry system.

Getting around is fairly easy and remarkably safe. An excellent bus network connects even far-flung towns with the major cities, while a comfortable sleeper train connects Chiang Mai in the far north with the capital Bangkok. Many people prefer to see the sights via organised tours and air-conditioned buses, but by doing so you risk missing out on the fun of getting between attractions, where you will encounter local people in unexpected ways.


Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is the former capital of Siam, from 1350 until mid-18th century, and at one time was one of the largest cities in the world. The capital was relocated to Bangkok in 1768 when the Burmese…

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Chiang Mai Temples

Temple tours of Chiang Mai are a wonderful attraction for visitors. The old town is home to the most honoured temples and some tranquil Buddhist sanctuaries. The historic Wat Pra Singh holds the revered…

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Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is an escape from the Western-style shopping malls of Bangkok and a glimpse into the past, revealing the centuries-old way of life of the residents whose stilt-houses…

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Kanchanaburi

Eighty miles (130km) west of Bangkok, the town of Kanchanaburi has secured its position of infamy as the original site of the Bridge Over The River Kwai, where during World War II allied prisoners…

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Lisu Hill-Tribe Display

A worthwhile Chiang Mai attraction is the Lisu Hill-Tribe display at the Hill-Tribe Research Institute Museum. The lives and cultures of the hill-tribe people of Thailand are exhibited here through…

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Mae Sa Waterfall

Set in the lush Doi Suithep-Pui National Park, only 10 miles (15km) out of town, the Mae Sa Waterfall is definitely worth visiting on any Thailand holiday. Follow the winding pathway to the waterfall's…

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Muay Thai

Fight fans will get a kick out of Thailand's national sport, Muay Thai. The matches can be best watched at the Rajadamnern stadium but be warned, the prices for foreigners or farang are much…

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Pai

Located 83 miles (135km) up a coiled mountain road from Chiang Mai in the extreme northwest of Thailand, Pai is an unlikely tourist attraction. The town has undergone a number of transitions from hill…

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Phang Nga Bay

The holiday spot of Phang Nga Bay is characterised by sheer limestone cliffs that jut vertically out of the emerald green water. The bay contains a fascinating collection of 3,500 islands, most of…

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Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden

A beautiful Chiang Mai attraction, the first genuine botanical garden in Thailand was the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden in the Mae Sa Valley. It now also serves as a centre of botanical research and…

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Royal Grand Palace

The Royal Grand Palace is a popular Bangkok attraction. Construction of the palace began in 1782 and was completed in time for the coronation of King Rama I, and opened in 1785 to signify the end of…

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Similan Islands National Park

The Similan Islands have a reputation, even among the many Thai islands, as one of the world's top scuba diving sites. The intense blue waters are framed by white coral sand beaches, and are home to…

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Sukhothai

Now a small city in southern Thailand, Sukhothai was once the seat of an ancient Siamese culture. The Sukhothai National Historic Park has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is dedicated…

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Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)

Dating back to the 13th century, the buddha at Wat Traimit stands nearly 10 feet (3m) tall, weighs over five tons and is believed to be solid cast gold, the largest gold statue in the world. It was…

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Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Situated adjacent to the Royal Grand Palace, Wat Pho is Bangkok's oldest, largest and most famous temple, recognised by the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. The grounds of Wat Pho contain over…

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Vimanmek Mansion Museum

Built by King Rama V in 1901, the exquisite golden teakwood mansion, also known as Vimanmek Palace, is located in the Dusit Palace complex. It was restored in 1982 for Bangkok's bicentennial and King…

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Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)

Wat Benchamabophit, also known as the Marble Temple, is constructed of white Carrara marble (even the courtyard is paved with polished white marble) and is known as one of Bangkok's most beautiful…

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