Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a fascinating city. Visitors come to admire ornate royal palaces, renowned Buddhist temples, exotic street food and vibrant spirit of the city that never sleeps. A visit to Wat Pho that shelters Reclining Buddha, Wat Arun, Erawan Shrine, Grand Palace, and Chatuchak Market are just some of the attractions. Visitors can find out more about history in the Bangkok National Museum. They can take a boat trip along the Chao Phraya River and have wonderful views of the city.
In Bankgok, visitors can spoil themselves in Thai massage parlours. They can go shopping or enjoy Bangkok’s night life. (2 days)
Sukhothai, a peaceful rural city about 400 km north of Bangkok is a perfect place to experience the charms of Thailand’s pastoral life. It is a UNESCO World Heritage City – the birthplace of Thai civilisation. Its name means the Dawn of happines and even that might be a good reason to visit it. Fewer visitors come to this relatively isolated city, which makes visiting its attractions more enjoyable.
Sukhothai Historical Park and Si Sathchanalai Historical Park are sites with major temple ruins, some over 800 years old. The spiritual centre of Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai Historical Park and the site of the former royal palaces are the most significant parts.
The Sukhothai monuments belong to three different styles. Numerous temples lie across the area scattered like gems. A valuable archeological collection can be seen at Ramkhamhaeng National Museum. (1 day)
It would be a pity not to visit the authentic gem of Norther Thailand on the way to Chiang Mai. This serene city will cuddle travellers trying to avoid crowds. It is small and peaceful, but rich with splendor. Visitors can go visiting enhancing Buddhist temples, historic monuments and museums. However, scenic national parks, tranquility and unmatched beauty is what makes the area so distinguished.
The Chae Son National Park will welcome visitors with its mystical caves and spectacular Chae Son Waterfall inviting them to take a dip in hot springs. Pha Thai Cave National Park reveals 9-million-year-old limestone, stalagmites and stalactites. Visitors can climb 300 steps through green forest to reach Wat Phra Bat Pupha Daeng and see small white man-made stupas on sky-high cliffs – a miraculous sight.
The Thai Elephant Conservation Centre is an inevitable site to visit and spend time with these colossal but lovable animals.
Northern Thai cuisine will surprise you with tasty local delicacies. (2 days)
Not far from the tallest mountailn in Thailand, this old mountain city in the north of the country founded in 1296 was the capital of Lanna Kingdom. Today it encloses the Old City with walls and moats from the past and many ornate Buddhist temples – Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Phan Tao. Actually, the Old City is a living museum. It has narrow streets with a string of historical buildings and old shophouses. Visitors can easily get around the Old City on foot, which adds to the pleasant and relaxed sightseeing. For those who like art and unique local products like antiques and clothes, the Night Bazar, Nimmaanhaemin and Huay Kaew Road are the right places.
Perhaps the most stunning feature of the area are over 300 temples in and around the city. The province is packed with Lanna-style temples with curved wooden roofs. The most famous one is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, on the mountain overlooking the city. Visitors should certainly see the unimaginable beauty of Wat Suan Dok, Wat Umong, Wat Phra That Doi Kham and many other “wats”. (2 days)
Close to the borders of Laos and Myanmar in the north of Thailand, about 200 km from Chiang Mai lies the city of Chiang Rai. The historical attractions of the city are not of less value to the ones of Chiang Mai, but the atmosphere is more provincial and relaxed. This 800-year old city, one of the oldest Thailand’s settlements and the former capital of Mengrai Dynasty also preserves Lanna-style monuments. Although the city began to develop its touristic identity, most of it only stays close to the Clock Tower.
Fortunatelly, visitors can still admire strong links to the Tai ethnic culture. It is preserved in Oub Kham Museum and Wat Phra Kaew, a royal temple, a former house of the jade Emerald Buddha. Today, there is only its replica there. One hunded Khmer-style pillars form the Navel City Pillar, a monument designed close to the temple.
However, a new artistic wave brought the famous White Temple, the old style designed in the modern world.
Forests and mountain ranges offer stunning views and visitors can enjoy the stunning Mae Kok, and its pristine banks. (2 days)
Nong Khai is an exquisite place to find out about Isaan culture that dominated the north of Thailand. The little town lies on the west bank of the Mekong River close to the Laos border. The excentric Sala Keaw Khu Sculpture Park, the respected Luang Por Phra Sai Buddha Image, the exceptional Phu Phra Bat Historical Park and Tha Sadet Market are just some of the fascinating attractions in the town.
Visitor who stay in Nong Khai on the last day of Buddhist Lent will be able to see Mekong Fireballs, the mysterious crimson balls that rise silently from the river after dusk. (2 days)
Vistiors who want to experience Thailand off the beaten track will certainly like to stay in the land of mountains, rivers and waterfalls. This province features two remarkable national parks – the Khao Kho National Park and the Nam Nao National Park. The first one is home to wild elephants, loris, Asian golden cats and many other animals. The latter hosts tigers, leopards and bears.
Exquisite temples like Wat Pha Sorn Kaew arise amidst the natural beauty. They are another reason for stopping in this superb region. (3 days)
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