Thailand is a mecca for backpackers and tourists throughout southeast asia with endless reasons to visit and experience this beautiful country, we have put together some of our favorites in this list of 10 reasons you need to visit Thailand.
Thailand has an amazing menu of unique foods, each one exploding with flavors from all over the spectrum, warm, sweet with salty, and spicy with earthy and served cold. Its all delicious but the dishes served on the street corners is where the real food is at. Every kind of meat and meatball and seafood and pastry and exotic fruits and deep fried insects and smothies and coffee, more than you could even imagine, line the streets of Thailand. Oh and did I mention that its super cheap? You can get a family size portion of pad thai for about 2$ USD.
Water Monitors are a species of lizard that can be found throughout Thailand and other areas of Southern Asia. Adult Monitors can grow to an average size of 1.5–2 m (4.9–6.6 ft) but the largest specimen on record, from Sri Lanka, measured 3.21 m (10.5 ft). Right about now you’re wondering “why would this real life monster be on a list for reasons to go to Thailand?” Well these giant reptiles are amazing to check out, they are a protected species and young lizards can be found in bigger cities hanging out in the open canals and near most any large water source. I came across a bunch at a park in Bangkok, and they were all just sunbathing on the shore at the edge of the water. They dont seem to have any interest in people but definitely keep your distance when checking them out.
As someone raised in the western world, I had a certain idea in my head of what a Buddhist Monk would be like. I guess I gathered this idea blindly through movies and stories but none the less I was really interested in observing these men who have dedicated their lives to the teachings of Buddha. I must say, Monks are alot like everyone else, I mean besides wearing safran robes and not eating after mid-day they are alot like us. They have cell phones and ride on motorcycles, they have chores and duties and worries just like we do. They live in temples or Wats and spend most their time learning the Buddhist teachings. Every morning at dawn monks head out from their Wats to collect donations from the townspeople, this is an amazing sight if you are open to waking up that early. You should always treat them with the highest of respect and remember they are people.
The Chiang Mai Zoo is one of the only places in the world that serves as a sanctuary for Pandas, and they are too adorable to pass on. Even though the sleep 20 hours a day and when they aren’t sleeping they’re lazily munching on bamboo, these fury little bears are still interesting to check out.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is where the King of Thailand once resided with his royal family and is still used for government business today. On the grounds are many buildings that have been converted into galleries and museums to preserved and display the countries history. Wat Pho is also on the grounds of the palace, one of the most extravagant in all of Thailand. The Grand Palace is one of the most popular sights in Thailand, so prepare for a crowd when visiting.
Tuk Tuk Rides
What is a Tuk Tuk you ask? Well it’s part taxi and part motorcycle with a twist of tricycle mixed in it, usually operated by what seems to be a drunk magician that constantly seems lost but in good spirits and somehow always manages to get you to your destination. They are dangerous and amazing and a right of passage for anyone visiting Thailand.
Let me start this one off with a disclaimer and some desperate hopes you take my advice, please do not ride an elephant when you visit Thailand. Elephants are big and strong but they still feel pain and struggle and they are not built to carry you around the jungle. That being said there are some really ethical and great ways you can hang out with elephants while also making them happy and comfortable. If that is something that sparks your interest check out how you can volunteer here.
Wats are Buddhist temples where monks live and followers of the faith go to pray and show tribute to Buddha. Each one is different from the last and with over 33,000 of them, it would nearly take you a life time to see them all. To enter a Wat you must have clothing covering your legs and shoulders, this is strictly enforced and should be respected. At the more popular Wats they often rent out loaner pants and jackets for those unprepared tourists, but be ware, they are usually made out of burlap and very itchy in the heat of Thailand.
The beaches in the south of Thailand near Phucket and on the surrounding islands are straight out of a dream. Beautiful sandy beaches stretching into aqua blue waters and framed by giant rock formations and the lush jungle only feet away. When you sit at work day dreaming of paradise, you’re probably picturing a beach on Koh Phi Phi.
Thailand is known as the “Land of Smile” and for good reason, the people are very friendly and helpful. I was stopped many times by people wanting to just talk to practice their english with me, a shop owner even bought me a beer just so I would hang around a little longer and continue our conversation. Most people are happy even with very little, sharing smiles on the street with anyone who is willing to recipricate the gesture. Thailand is a truly amazing place, full of so many great people and sights and if its not there already you should definitely add it to your bucket list.