Thailand is often portrayed as the gateway to South East Asia – an accessible, fascinating and beautiful destination for all. History buffs, nature lovers and party animals alike flock to Bangkok every year to experience everything this unique country offers.
One of the best accommodation options in Thailand is self-catering. Whether you’re seeking out Thailand mansions or more remote escapes, this South East Asian country has plenty to offer you.
Once you’ve booked your accommodation, the fun begins! Read our top Thailand tips to get the adventure started.
1. Experience Historical Bangkok When You Arrive
It’s highly likely that you’ll be arriving in Bangkok Airport, but don’t treat it as a simple stopover! Thailand’s capital is a hive of culture and history, blessed with stunning architecture and rich heritage.
For an awe-inspiring moment early on, head straight to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. This golden compound encompasses The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, as well as the former residence of the King of Thailand. Today, it’s a sacred site for Buddhists and Thai nationalists.
As you wander around this thriving city, check out Bangkok’s other glittering temples. Wat Pho, Wat Arun and Wat Traimit are just some of the beautiful structures you’ll come across.
2. Explore Upcoming Youthful Bangkok
Some areas of Bangkok have a reputation for sleaze and ill-repute, but artistic and vibrant neighborhoods are also emerging across the city.
Ari is the latest contender for Bangkok’s trendiest district, and is seeing more and more great restaurants and coffee shops filling its streets. Meanwhile, eager backpackers should check out the lively Banglamphu, which is home to numerous hippie markets, live music venues and even more temples.
Feel like looking for bargains? Visit Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market to find deals on everything from baby squirrels to Thai musical instruments.
3. See Exotic Species Up Close In Thailand’s Rainforests
Far from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, you’ll find some of the most lush, verdant rainforests on the planet. Kao Sok is one of the most popular forests for visitors, and is one of the most biodiverse in the world. There, you’ll witness groups of gibbons in the wild, as well as sun bears, tapirs, tigers and leopards.
Budding botanist will have plenty to see too. The forest is also home to striking blue and mauve orchids, a favorite snack among the herds of wild elephants who roam through these tress.
In the same national park, you’ll also get close to the Cheow Larn Lake, where fish eagles and osprey fly over the water in a bid to catch their prey.
4. Explore The Outdoors Of Thailand
As one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, there’s a reason why Thailand is a great vacation option from China.
Active travelers are spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor adventures in Thailand. If you’re in the south of the country, go to Krabi for hiking trails of varying difficulties and lengths. Beginners should seek out local guides for expert tips. No matter your level, you’ll be rewarded with stunning coastal views.
If you prefer water sports, hit the waves at the beaches of Nai Harn, Kata Noi and Kata Yai. All these locations offer great opportunities for surfing and other activities.
Hoping to embrace your spirituality in Thailand? Seek out local yoga classes near your area to let yourself go.
5. Taste The Best Thai Take-Away You’ll Ever Have
One thing that has certainly put Thailand on the map is its amazing cuisine! From phat thai to green curry, Thai food is uniquely fragrant, spicy and surprisingly healthy.
Visitors to the North of Thailand will discover authentic versions of their favorite dishes, such as khao soi (a type of noodle soup), larb (Thai meat salad) and gaang hang lair (northern Thai curry).
Meanwhile, visitors to southern regions will discover spicier, saltier dishes that are scarce everywhere else.
In Bangkok, expect long, detailed meals with several courses. These dinners often consist of soup, a fried dish, a salad, a curry and vegetables, which are shared.
6. Discover The Hidden Beaches Of The Trang Archipelago
Thailand is famed for its stunning beaches, which are now heaving tourism hotspots. However, if you’re keen to leave the crowds behind, that’s possible too!
Thailand is home to several secluded beaches that many visitors rarely discover, especially along the Trang archipelago. For those traveling with the family, go to Haad Farang (Haad Sai Yao) near Koh Muk for peaceful fun in the sun.
If you’re into snorkeling or deep-sea diving, visit Koh Rok Nok to see colorful coral reefs up close. Craving a little more romance? With the pristine sands on the beach of Haad Lang Kao, you really can’t go wrong.
7. Climb To The Top Of Thailand’s Highest Peak
What better way to end a trip to Thailand than with a bird’s eye view of its countryside? Go right to the top of Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand. Measuring almost 2,600 meters (8,415 ft) in height, the viewpoint offers unrivalled panoramas of Thailand’s northern forests.
Birdwatchers are in for a treat – Doi Inthanon is home to the highest number of bird species in Thailand. It is also crowned by two chedis, where Buddhist monks and nuns would traditionally meditate.
To avoid the crowds, attempt the short but challenging hike to the top instead of driving to the lookout.