Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. It's known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha.
Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. It's known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canalside communities and the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaew). Nearby beach resorts include bustling Pattaya and fashionable Hua Hin.
Offshore islands include Ko Samui and Phuket, with palm-fringed beaches and scuba diving, while Ko Pha Ngan is famed for raucous full-moon parties. The Phang Nga Bay features craggy limestone karsts rising from its waters. In the mountainous north, the city of Chiang Mai is known for its historic Old Town and hill-tribe handicrafts. Archaeological sites at Ayutthaya and Sukhothai preserve the ruins of historical temples and palaces, while national parks Khao Yai and Khao Sok offer rainforest trekking and wildlife viewing. Aromatic regional cuisines offer a complex blend of flavors, often with fiery spice.
Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple. Nearby is Wat Pho Temple with an enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun Temple with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire. Traditional teak buildings like the grand Vimanmek Palace and the residence-turned-museum Jim Thompson House contrast with the city’s skyline of modern high-rises. Shopping options range from the upscale mega-malls of the Ratchaprasong district to the thousands of tiny stalls at overflowing Chatuchak Weekend Market. The city’s renowned food scene spans traditional street-cart snacks – spicy, sour, sweet and salty – to upscale international restaurants. Bangkok is also known for its exuberant nightlife, with venues ranging from swanky rooftop lounges to basic backpacker bars and nightclubs of the notorious Patpong district.
10:00am-12:00pm : The Grand Palace
Explore the famous complex of ornate buildings at The Grand Palace, a gem in the country's architectural and political heritage. Established in 1782, the palace grounds have been added to over the centuries with eclectically designed buildings, halls, and pavilions. The official home of Thai monarchs until the abolishment of the absolute monarchy in 1932, the site remains open to visitors, with its well-maintained grounds and monumental architecture providing great photo ops and an immersive cultural experience.
12:30pm-2:00pm : Wat Pho
Visit Wat Pho, one of the six main Buddhist temples in Thailand. Admire the 46 m (151 ft) long Buddha statue and its memorable pose, and explore the wide range of temple buildings displaying rich and intricate religious designs and a history dating back to the 16th century. Vital to the spiritual and architectural heritage of the city and the country at large, the site houses the largest collection of Buddha depictions in Thailand. Said to be the first public university in the nation, the temple also has an illustrious educational history and still runs courses on traditional Thai massage and medicine.
2:30pm-3:00pm : Temple Of Dawn(Wat Arun)
Admire the grand and evocative design of Temple Of Dawn (Wat Arun), a towering Buddhist temple located in the heart of Bangkok. Established in the 1600s--but gaining its distinctive porcelain-clad prangs (spires) during the reign of King Rama II in the early 19th century--the temple represents an apex of religious architecture and is one of the best maintained of all buildings commissioned by the Thai monarchy. Open to the public as a place of worship and tourism, the site contains prized artifacts relating to the religious and royal history of Thailand.
3:30pm-6:00pm : Bangkok Art&Culture Centre(BACC)
The diversity of events at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC) ensures its place among the top cultural things to do in the city. One of the most popular places to visit among tourists looking for a haven of creativity to immerse themselves in, the center offers a range of experiences that include live performances and events related to local dance, theater, music, photography, and design. The center's aim is to provide a place of friendly and recreational cultural exchange, which makes it an ideal getaway from the hectic buzz of the city.
10:00am-11:30am : Jim Thompson House
Admire the artful curation of traditional Thai design at Jim Thompson House, a complex of buildings collected from across the country in the 1950s and 60s. The brainchild of American businessman Jim Thompson, this estate brings together classic architectural examples in one place and today offers an interesting introduction into traditional Thai arts and crafts, such as silk spinning. Relax under the verandas of the cool, rust-colored buildings, and admire the work of local craftspeople before enjoying a meal at the onsite restaurant.
12:00pm-12:30pm : Erawan Shrine(Thao Mahaprom Shrine)
Say a prayer to Phra Phrom at Erawan Shrine (Thao Mahaprom Shrine), a small but popular Hindu shrine. Visitors who stop here often light incense, make an offering of fruit or flowers, and admire the traditional Thai dancers, paid for by supplicants hoping to have their prayers answered. At the heart of the shrine sits a golden statue of Phra Phrom, the four-faced Thai representation of the Hindu god of creation, Lord Brahma. It is a popular tourist destination and is generally safe, however, in 2015 a bomb went off near the shrine, killing 20 people.
1:00pm-3:00pm : Spas
3:30pm-6:00pm : Chatuchak Weekand Market
Browse the day away at Chatuchak Weekend Market, a popular covered retail space in the city center. Attracting over 200,000 visitors on a typical weekend, the huge market offers 27 separate areas of stalls, with over 8,000 individual vendors plying their trade. From collectibles, souvenirs, and clothes, to fresh food, restaurants, and household appliance stores, the market contains a mind-boggling range of products. Its sheer scale will likely impress even those who have nothing on their shopping list.
10:00am-1:00am : Siam Paragon
Find what you're looking for at Siam Paragon, a modern, upscale shopping mall in Bangkok--and one of the largest in Asia. Since opening in 2008, the center has become a place to be seen for locals and a place to see for tourists: the stylish displays and elite brands on offer here make for an attractive place of commerce and leisure, while modern flourishes neatly encapsulate the will for modernization in the region. With a multitude of shops, international and local restaurants, and a multiplex cinema, the mall offers different experiences for a wide set of visitors.
1:30pm-4:30pm : SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World
Explore 6,000 colorful marine creatures at SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World, one of Bangkok's top tourist attractions. This well-designed aquarium offers a quiet break from the city bustle. For a closer view of underwater life, board a glass-bottom boat or take a stroll through a gigantic 180-degree glass tunnel. Other special activities include diving with rays and sharks, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at mysteries of the ocean at the nursery center. Kids will also love the 4D theater.
5:00pm-6:00pm : Raja's Fashions
Established more than 50 years ago, Raja's Fashions offers high-quality, bespoke clothing for men and women using only the finest Italian and British fabrics. Enjoy the attentive care of the owner, who most always welcomes customers with a drink in hand as you enter the shop. Arrange a fitting schedule to suit you, and take advantage of express service at no extra cost.
11:00am-5:00pm : Nature & Wildlife Tours
Explore rural Thailand and enjoy an up-close encounter with local wildlife by taking a nature tour from Chiang Mai. This exciting outdoor adventure will take you to a number of the area's top attractions, which include the country's highest peak and one of its oldest tea plantations. As your journey continues, you will have a chance to visit an elephant nursery, zipline through the jungle, learn how to pick tealeaves, climb an ancient staircase on the way to a sacred temple, ride a mountain bike past paddy fields and rural villages, and much more. You can choose between half-, full-, and multi-day tours.
10:00am-12:00pm : Wat Phra Singh
Walk around the grounds of a 14th-century Buddhist temple at Wat Phra Singh. With impressive buildings setting an atmosphere of royalty and reverence, this site has been officially deemed a temple of the first grade since 1935. An ornate Buddha statue reputedly from Ceylon, with a complex and rather mysterious history, takes pride of place in the main temple building. Admire the delicate artistry of the many murals and the simple beauty of the quiet grounds as the monks go about their daily routine.
12:30pm-2:00pm : Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan
Admire the traditional design and reverential atmosphere at Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan, a Buddhist temple located in Chiang Mai's historical center. King Saen Muang Ma initiated construction in the 14th century, intending to bury his father's ashes here. The project wasn't completed until the mid 15th century, and since then the temple has been rebuilt, refurbished, and redesigned on numerous occasions. Originally three separate temple areas, the sites were joined up to create the place of worship you see today, making it an area of impressive scale as well as architecture. Visit the grounds to discover its interesting and volatile history; look for the replica of the famous Emerald Buddha once housed here and the city pillar surrounded by three dipterocarp trees.
2:30pm-4:30pm : Spas
10:00am-12:00pm : Scuba & Snorkeling
12:30pm-2:30pm : Bangle Road
Enjoy the nightlife or daytime ambience of one of Phuket's most-visited districts at Bangla Road, known for its bars, music, and party atmosphere. With cheap beer, international restaurants, and street performances, the road offers plenty for reveling tourists to see and do at all times (though it is undoubtedly most popular after sunset). Much of the street has come to serve and promote tourism to the area, with shops selling souvenirs and businesses conducting most of their trade in English.
3:00pm-5:00pm : Spas
5:30pm-6:00pm : P & C Jewelry
10:30am-11:00am : Big Buddha Phuket
Head up the hillside and stand beneath Big Buddha Phuket, a 45 m (148 ft) statue watching over the surrounding landscape and settlements. Begun only a decade ago as a donation-funded project, the giant structure has come to encapsulate a sense of the spiritual and social character of Phuket. Offering extensive views of the surrounding area--and a peaceful break from the urban bustle--the statue's grounds serve as a popular meeting spot, a revered place of worship, and the endpoint of many hikes.
11:30am-12:00pm : The Phuket Gallery
Admire magnificent landscapes from Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Japan at The Phuket Gallery. The gallery sits in the heart of Patong, offering quality signed prints with luxury framing. Budding photographers can sign in for a workshop or a photo tour--the friendly staff will be happy to give you all the information you need.
12:30pm-2:30pm : Patong Beach
Head down to Patong Beach for daytime relaxation and nighttime partying. Offering a range of activities--from jet skiing and parasailing to massages--this entertaining and busy stretch of sand remains the focal point of the beach resort. The long beach stretches across the length of Patong's west side and boasts a good selection of restaurants and bars, giving quick and easy access to the nightlife and conveniences of the town center.
3:00pm-5:30pm : Jungceylon
Enjoy some pleasant shopping or simply stop by to pick up necessary supplies at Jungceylon, a ginormous retail space. The largest and most modern of its kind in southern Thailand, the mall attracts tourists and locals alike with numerous high-quality international brands as well as local Thai businesses. The innovative, themed design of its separate zones makes the space engaging and entertaining; restaurants aplenty and a multiplex cinema round out the options.