Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its coastlines. It’s surrounded by the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, and the countries of Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos. Thailand has a mix of cultures, thanks to its Chinese and Indian influences. The two main religions found in the country are Buddhism and Hindu, and you’ll find a number of shrines and temple complexes that reflect this fact. Almost all of them are open to respectful tourists, and you’ll find some of them on this list. Some of the other best places to explore in Thailand in 2018 include pristine beaches, interesting villages, and more.
1) Phanum Rung
Few things are a beautiful as this complex of Hindu shrines that sit atop a long-extinct volcano. The spot was chosen purposefully 10th century when construction on the shrines began. It took another 300 years to finish them. Together, the shrine complex represents Mount Kailash, a very sacred place for Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. The shines consist of elaborately carved structures that face east, and at certain times of the year, all 15 of its doorways are illuminated by sunlight. Every April worshippers gather to celebrate the Phanum Rung Festival, and tourists are welcome to participate.
2) Khao Sok National Park
It’s not really a trip to Thailand unless you visit one of the national parks. This one in particular is a wildlife reserve. You can stay in a small hut on its outskirts and spend your days wandering the jungle in search of gibbons, wild boar, Asian elephants, langurs, and even barking deer. There are hiking paths to ensure that you don’t get lost, but you’ll still need to be careful, since you never know what a wild animal is going to do. With that said, make sure to head to some of the outlook points that provide a beautiful panoramic view of the reserve.
3) Ko Tau
If you really want to get off of the beaten path and visit a place popular with backpackers, not regular tourists, visit Ko Tau. Its name translates to “Turtle Island” and this remote beach is filled with the creatures. Ko Tau is located in the southern part of Thailand, off of its Central Gulf Coast. It’s a little remote, but the trek to get there is worth it. You’ll be greeted by scenic vistas, clear water, and very pretty, yet slightly rocky beach. Although there are some places to stay near Ko Tau, they are rather rustic. Don’t expect to find any luxury accommodations or tourist stands in this area. It really is worth visiting however, as it’s a little slice of paradise.
4) Loy Krathong
Loy Krathong isn’t actually a place to visit. It’s a festival known for its spectacular candle-centric ceremony. It takes place every November throughout the country. Celebrants create Krathong out of a floating piece of banana leaf or Styrofoam and top it with a candle. Some people include strands of hair and fingernail clipping as well. These are then floating in a body of water – everything from a swimming pool to a freshwater lake or river will work. The Krathong are meant to thank a certain river goddess who has the power to take away people’s bad luck and even grant wishes. Loy Krathong is quite a beautiful sight, thanks to all of the floating candles.
Bangkok, also known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, is the capital of Thailand, so of course it has a place on this list. The city is a bustling metropolis of over 11 million people. It’s been broken up into sectors, or neighborhoods, each with a different flair. You’ll find many things to do in the city, from visiting museums and cultural institutions to eating at some of its many restaurants. The town has a public transit system, which makes navigating it fairly easy. There are plenty of places to stay, from upscale hotels to more moderately priced options. Bangkok provides an easy way for visitors to get a feel for the country, and enjoy many of the things that it has to offer. You definitely need to explore this city!
Another excellent city, Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to the fact that it used to be the ancient capital of Siam. The city, which is also known as Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, consists of interesting architecture, most of which was built around 1300 A.D. Although only parts of the original complex remain, the ones that do are quite remarkable, as they look like nothing else that you’ll find in this part of Thailand, let alone the world. It’s worth spending some time in Ayutthaya, although the town isn’t known for being a tourist hot spot.
Author Bio: This guest post is a work of John Smith promoting Ferry Samui blog, one of the best places online to check about places in Koh Samui, insider secrets as well as travel tips and tricks.