Things to Do in Thailand - page 3
Phranang Beach is a sweeping curve of pale gold sand that’s backed by limestone cliffs and overlooked by the distinctly-shaped Chicken Island. Phra Nang Cave (Princess Cave) features a one-of-a-kind fertility shrine, while bioluminescent plankton create spectacular night-time effects when conditions are right.
This partially ruined wat, possibly the largest structure in ancient Chiang Mai, dates back to the year 1441 and is most famous as the former home of the incredible Emerald Buddha. Nowadays, a jade replica fills the eastern niche of Wat Chedi Luang, although you can see the original in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew.
You can boil an egg in minutes in the 80 C water of the Mae Kachan Hot Spring (Mae Ka Chan) located in Chiang Rai province. The water from the main geyser is too hot for bathing, so instead there are separate pools where you can soak your feet in the naturally warm water and relax amid the gardens.
Mae Kachan hot springs make a popular rest stop for people traveling between the cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. In addition to the hot springs, you’ll find washrooms, souvenir shops, restaurants, food vendors, and people selling raw eggs to boil in the hot springs!
Tup Island(Koh Tup) is one of the most popular offshore islands around Krabi, and is a staple part of the itinerary for most day trips from the mainland. Situated southwest of Ao Nang and between Poda Island and Chicken Island, Tup is smaller than the other islands in the archipelago it belongs to, but its white sands and excellent snorkeling certainly don’t disappoint.
Tup Island(Koh Tup) is most commonly visited as part of a ‘Four Islands’ longboat tour from Ao Nang. The three other islands include Poda Island, Chicken Island, and Mor Island, with a stop at Phra Nang Cave Beach usually included. This entire area is incredibly scenic, with panoramic views of the Krabi coastline as its backdrop.
The clear waters and abundance of tropical fish surrounding Tup Island(Koh Tup) make it a haven for swimming and snorkeling, although many visitors prefer to simply relax on the beach or enjoy a stroll. At low tide, a sandbar emerges linking Tup Island with Chicken Island as well as the smaller Mor Island. This unique occurrence is commonly referred to as Talay Waek, meaning ‘divided sea’.
Located in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province, Erawan National Park is one of the most famous natural areas in the country. Known for its impressive seven-tiered waterfall and abundance of native flora and fauna, the park is a popular weekend spot for locals from Bangkok and Kanchanaburi as well as for international visitors.
Set at the intersection of Thailand, Laos and Burma (Myanmar) known as the “Golden Triangle,” the Hall of Opium Museum seeks to inform its visitors about the history and effects of the opium seed.
The Golden Triangle area is historically well-known for its role in the growth and distribution of opium. Tracing from its first use over 5,000 years ago to current abuse and addiction issues, learn about the opium trade’s past and present both in this area and worldwide. There are several educational multimedia exhibitions throughout, including ones on the process of production and the dangers of consumption. Walk through a dark tunnel to a flowerbed of poppies, the plant from which opium is derived, to enter.
Surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and backed by thick forest, the interconnected fairy-tale beaches of Railay (Rai Leh) are accessible only by boat. The four beaches—Tonsai, Phra Nang, East Railay, and West Railay—offer powder-soft white sand, clear calm waters, and a decidedly bohemian vibe perfect for those looking to get away from it all.
If you only see one temple during your time in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan should be it. Set in the heart of the old city, the temple was founded in 1345 and is home to Chiang Mai’s most sacred relic—the Phra Singh, an image of the Lion Buddha housed within a golden shrine.
Wat Phra That Hariphunchai is a large and famous Buddhist temple located in the center of Lamphun in Northern Thailand. The complex’s numerous structures originate from different periods; while the temple is thought to date back to the 11th century, the central stupa originated in the 9th century.
An arched entrance gate guarded by giant statues of red lions gives way to the walled temple grounds. The complex features some unique architecture, some fine Buddha images, and two chedi in the typical Hariphunchai style. One of the ancient chedi, Chedi Suwan, is a Mon style brick spire standing 21 meters tall that dates back to the beginning of the 15th century. The newer Lanna style chedi, Phra Maha That, stands at 46 meters high and is covered with golden plates and flanked by a multi-tiered golden umbrella.
Other structures of note include the temple’sHo Trai, the building where the ancient Buddhist scriptures are kept. This Lanna style scripture library is an elegant teak structure with a multi-tiered roof and intricately carved doors. It sits on top of a three-meter high red stone platform, which protects the scriptures from flooding.
Part of the tiny Poday archipelago off the coast of Krabi, Poda Island (Koh Poda) ranks among the most pristine of the islands that line the coast. Dramatic limestone formations are visible from the white sands of the beach and a nearby coral reef provides excellent snorkeling.
More Things to Do in Thailand
Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar is perhaps the city's most popular attraction. The colorful mix of shops and stalls sell all sorts of things, from ersatz designer fashions to embroidered hill tribes textiles, Thai silks, silver jewelry, carvings, ceramics, and antiques. It’s also one of the best places in town to sample some spicy street food.
With blue-green waters that can turn a vivid emerald when the light is right, the Emerald Pool (Sa Morakot or Sra Morakot in Thai), is a natural travertine swimming pool set in a protected evergreen forest. A pretty path lined with smaller pools runs through the trees to the Emerald Pool, then continues to the Blue Pool further on.
The energetic Asiatique The Riverfront—part open-air night bazaar, part shopping mall—combines the city’s old traditions and modern commercial energy. Located at the former East Asiatic Company trade docks, the complex contains more than 1,500 shops and boutiques, about 40 restaurants, and several entertainment venues.
Krabi is famous for its towering limestone cliffs, idyllic beaches and peaceful mangrove forests, and Ao Thalane (Thalane Bay) represents one of the most beautiful mangrove forests in all of Thailand. On this stretch of coast 12 miles (20 kilometers) from Krabi Town, dense mangroves shroud the karsts and cliffs, hiding caves, small inlets and secluded lagoons.
The best way to explore Ao Thalane is with paddle in hand. Shaded by the canopy, kayaking through the winding network of mangrove roots gets visitors close to nature, where it’s possible to spot kingfishers, crab-eating Macaques, river otters, herons, monkeys, monitor lizards and snakes. It’s an ideal place to escape the bustle of Ao Nang or Krabi for a day spent surrounded by only the sounds of nature.
Perched in the highlands near Chiang Rai some 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) above sea level, the Choui Fong Tea Plantation has been producing some of Thailand’s highest quality teas for nearly half a century. Benefitting from the rich soil and climate of the region, the plantation grows Assum, Oolong, green and black teas, which are handpicked and then blended by tea specialists from Taiwan.
Visitors to the Choui Fong Tea Plantation can see firsthand how tea is grown. Neat rows of tea trees cascade down a hillside, where workers can be seen carefully picking the leaves by hand. Next door to the plantation building is a cafe and shop, where you can sample teas and treats with stunning views overlooking the plantation or purchase teas or tea-themed souvenirs to take home.
Standing nearly 90 feet tall, the Giant Swing is located in front of Wat Suthat in the heart of Bangkok. The teak archway, originally used in religious ceremonies, was constructed toward the end of the 18th century, during the reign of King Rama I. It has since undergone several renovations.
Ao Nang beach sits along the edge of the town of Ao Nang, Krabi’s main tourist hub. Fine sand, clear waters, beautiful views, and cluster of bustling bars and restaurants make the beach a popular spot to spend a day relaxing in the sun or swimming in the Andaman Sea.
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park protects a swath of verdant forest and mountain ranges in Northern Thailand near Chiang Mai. Named after a hermit who lived in the forest before it became a national park, Doi Suthep-Pui is perhaps most famous for the temple at the summit of Doi Suthep Peak (known for its stunning views of Chiang Mai).
As the most significant of Phuket’s 29 Buddhist temples, Wat Chalong attracts hundreds of visitors daily. A mountain backdrop emphasizes a golden spire, while wall paintings inside each temple depict vibrant Buddhist images. The main stupa, known as the Grand Pagoda, is said to harbor a splinter of the Buddha’s bone.
At the Pattaya Floating Market, traditional thatched huts perched on stilts over the water house vendors selling handicrafts, Thai street food, and souvenirs from around the country. The market’s four areas represent the culture and architecture of Thailand’s four main regions: north, northeast, central, and south.
The Maeklong Railway Market is one of the more unusual markets in Thailand. Selling vegetables, fruit, and other food items, it looks like any other market on the streets of Thailand—until a passenger train goes roaring through the middle of it. When the siren calls, the stalls scatter and make way.
The Baiyoke Sky Tower is the second-tallest building in Bangkok. It houses a large hotel, viewing platform, restaurants and bars, shops, and a revolving deck. The sweeping views of Bangkok are impressive, especially at night, and will help you get your bearings in the Thai capital.
Known for its limestone rock formations rising out of the turquoise Andaman Sea, the protected Ao Phang Nga National Marine Park covers a large swathe of water in southern Thailand. Many visitors come to the area to enjoy the scenery and take part in watersports.
The weekend-only Chatuchak Market is a one-stop shopping spot in the Thai capital, with stands selling everything from street food to blue jeans, and silk scarves to beauty products. If you can’t find it at the sprawling Bangkok market, it probably doesn’t exist.
- Things to do in Krabi
- Things to do in Phuket
- Things to do in Koh Samui
- Things to do in Chiang Mai
- Things to do in Bangkok
- Things to do in Ko Pha Ngan
- Things to do in Koh Tao
- Things to do in Ko Lanta
- Things to do in Ko Phi Phi Don
- Things to do in Surat Thani
- Things to do in Cambodia
- Things to do in Laos
- Things to do in Gulf of Thailand
- Things to do in Southern Thailand and Andaman Coast
- Things to do in Northern Thailand