Thailand: 10 Places You Must Visit

“You only live once”, it seems to be the phrase every one of us hears the most at some stage of our lives just before we’re challenged to do something outrageous. The question is did you do it? Are you planning to do it?  If you haven’t, then there’s no better way to start than by booking a trip to the “land of smiles” as it is popularly known and find out for yourself just how a few days in Thailand will get you from  feeling like “the average Joe” to living like Indiana Jones, adventure-adventure-adventure!

Chiang Rai

If you have added “trekking” under interests and activities on every one of your profiles online, then chances are that you are quite the adrenaline junkie. If you have been looking for just the right terrain to cure you’re “trek-fever”, then Chiang Rai’s mountainous and alluring landscape is just perfect for that.  But Chiang Rai’s features go beyond that of extreme sport lovers. This provincial capital accommodates business and leisure travellers with its variety of five star hotels and cheap backpacker guesthouses, sunny weather and delicious eateries. The city is the simultaneously the economic hub of the Golden Triangle, encompassing the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand itself.

Chiang Rai is rich in museums that tell a story of the local heritage, the culture and the architecture. Visit the Chiang Rai beach well known for its beautiful riverboat cruises and nifty picnic spots. So on now on your “To do list” it should read “1. Go to Chiang Rai immediately” or else it is definitely time to change your to do list.

Pai

In contrast to its history, Pai has evolved into a lucrative town that stretches between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. Getting around is just part of the adventure; you can easily rent a bicycle or a scooter for just $3 per day or even use some of the minibuses that move throughout the city.  The town is quite calm, with a lot of interesting night markets on Wednesdays. There are a few hidden paradises in the town such as the Pai hotsprings.They are a bit tricky to find, but that is nothing a little direction from locals won’t solve. Pai is a favored destination among backpackers and tourists wishing to explore the region.

Phanom Rung

Phanom Rung is one of Thailand’s most amazing Khmer architecture site, aged over a thousand years old. Built on an extinct volcano, it was originally a Hindu religious site and later became a Buddhist one. Several additions were made during the 15th-18th Buddhist century

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park really puts the “ark” in “Park”, why?, because it is pretty much has every wildlife animal that you’ve ever wanted to see, and those you didn’t even know existed (we are pretty sure that Noah and everyone on his ark would agree with us on this one).This breathtaking reserve is home to creatures such as beras, wild boars, various monkey breeds, Asian elephants, langurs. The surrounding environment is made up of brightly coloured jungle forests, glistening rivers and lakes along with limestone karsts as a cherry on top. Remember that every minute that passes as you read this article without packing your bags immediately; at least two people are probably booking a flight to Khao Sok National Park which means two less available seats on the flight you should be on. Question, why haven’t you booked your ticket there yet?

Railay

There’s an interesting English expression that says “No man is an island”. Our guess is that the people who came up with that expression were either city-life fanatics (most likely Wall street stock brokers who found no point in having land with green patches and trees everywhere…well unless you were planning on grinding down the trees, coating them with a few chemicals, making paper from it and printing dollar bills). Man being an island is no longer a topic we need to debate on with the existence of mainland attractions like such as Railay.

This breathtaking destination which is accessible only by boat gives a feeling of being on an actual island. Edged by four beaches, one of them being Haad Phra Nang, popularly known as one of the best beaches in the world Railay is the perfect place to appreciate nature’s masterpiece scenery, clear water springs surrounded by powdery sand and karst cliffs. And finally, nothing will make you love being “caught between a rock and a hard place” like one of the world’s greatest-rock climbing destinations, with 700 routes bolted to dozens of cliffs pegged with crags and caves. Every man wants to be an island now, especially one that “rocks”.

Ayuthaya

In  more ancient times, no city gave people quite the feeling that Ayuthaya did. Not much has changed since its present ruins are still one of Thailand’s major tourist attractions. This historical and majestic highlight founded in 1350 rests on an island surrounded three rivers that connect it to the Gulf of Siam. The city is situated approximately 80kms north form Bangkok and is easily accessible by local transportation such as car, train, or even by boat. Trips can be made during the daytime or overnight.

Ayuthaya was, in its time, acclaimed as one of South Asia’s largest cities owing to the reign (417 years) of its Kingdom, accumulated wealth, rich culture and its worldwide commerce which came about when the Kingdom’s territory expanded beyond territories such as Laos, Myanmar, Laos. There are a host of museums to visit and a little birdie told us that the cuisine is quite a treat. Enjoy a variety of Thai cuisines in a beautiful Thai restaurant. We recommend the freshly-caught grilled monster river prawn, served with appetizing Thai spicy sauce. Mmmmm… Now we’re hungry.

Kanchanaburi

If you are looking to capture a glimpse of the atmosphere from the darker times of history, then a trip to the western part of Thailand will definitely interest you.  Over the bridge over the river Kwaithat located in Kanchanaburi lays the Death Railway where Asian labourers as well as Prisoners of war lost their lives during the construction of the Railway in the midst of WWII. There is a significant amount of the accommodation in this historically rich destination is built on and  along the river, with some very enjoyable midrange options overlooking the river for visitors to relax all through the day as well.

Not only for history buffs, beautiful Kanchanaburi has within it a rich mixture of modern clubs, superb restaurants and natural features like no other. There’s no better way to describe Kanchanaburi than to equate it to that  “Only One” collaboration by Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Kanye West…it is simply a good blend of the old and the new.

Chiang Mai

Perhaps you’ have noticed that the recent series of your dreams have taken place in lush landscapes, green patches of forest paradise, which is probably why you’ve been harassing your snooze button just so you can stay there a little longer. So what is the message that the universe is trying to communicate to you? , that Chiang Mai is what dreams are made of. With flourishing hill tribes and outdoor adventures surrounded by modern and historical Thai architecture, this culturally rich city is peaceful haven where ancient traditions are still practiced today.

Bangkok

The commercial hub and capital of Thailand; Bangkok is filled with the best of all worlds from luxurious hotels to back packer hostels. The city is lined with street vendors selling all sorts of souvenirs and tantalizing foods. For foodies looking to get a taste of the local cuisine, there is an overwhelming mix of street food rich in the underlying flavours – spicy, sour, sweet and salty. The city is filled with scenic canals, flowering tropical plants. Although there may perhaps be a language barrier, it is outright impossible not to love the locals. With their friendly attitude and hospitality, they will have you saying “หนูกำลังจะย้ายไปอยู่เมืองไทยค่ะ แม่” in no time. Translation: “I’m moving to Thailand mom”

Thailand Islands

These islands off the coast of Thailand are famous throughout the world for their jaw dropping beaches, others for their beautiful scenery and some even owe their popularity to the party atmosphere and vibrant night life. There are three main sets of islands in Thailand located to the east of Bangkok :  Ko Samet and Ko Chang, in the Gulf Ko Samui lie Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao, and in the Andaman Phuket and Ko Phi Phi. Phuket is the country’s largest and most developed island, it is connected to the mainland by two bridges. Ko Phi Phi is well known for the movie “The Beach”, while Ko Tao is Thailand’s diving mecca. But there are many, many more beautiful islands to choose from.


Are you going to Thailand? Roaming charges are still most notably the biggest hassle for overseas travelers. Fortunately there is a way to get rid of any roaming charges, make and receive unlimited calls from all over the world and even use local mobile number while you are overseas. Want to know more?

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Written by Mbula Ngulube

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