Explore Thailand

Enjoy opportunities of being in the right place at the right time

 

Have a rest and relax

Get out of a daily routine

Seek for peace and simple resting while introducing yourself to new horizons.

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City Tours

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Well-known Landmarks

Bridge on the River Kwai

Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province is home to the famous Bridge on the River Kwai and the beginning of the Thai-Burma Death Railway, both poignant reminders of the thousands of POW's and forced laborers who lost their lives in WWII. Made famous by the 1957 David Lean movie of the same name, the building of the bridge in 1943 was one part of a huge Japanese wartime project to link Thai and Burmese railway lines and create a direct route from Bangkok.Due to illness, starvation and neglect, thousands of people lost their lives building the bridge and railway – you can visit the graves of nearly 7,000 POWs at the nearby Kanchanaburi war cemetery. Parts of the original bridge are now displayed in the War Museum here. You can walk along the restored railway bridge on foot or take a train specifically for tourists.

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Water & Amusement Parks

Black Mountain Water Park

Occupying 10 acres (40,000 square meters) fifteen minutes outside of Hua Hin, Black Mountain Water Park opened in 2011 and has already become one of the most popular regional attractions. Large, clean and staffed with professionally trained lifeguards, the waterpark features all the crowdpleasers, including Thailand’s biggest wave pool, lazy river, zero entry pool, children’s pool and a 56-foot (17-meter) tall tower with 9 water slides. Changing rooms and lockers are offered free of charge. An on-site restaurant serves a variety of Thai and international dishes, and park-goers will also find snack and ice cream kiosks located throughout the waterpark.

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Hot Springs

Mae Kachan Hot Spring (Mae Ka Chan)

You can boil an egg in minutes in the 80 C water of the Mae Ka Chan hot springs 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 Ka Chan hot springs is 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!

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Gardens & Parks

A-Maze Garden

Well-oriented travelers will love testing their directional skills amid the towering hedges of Puket’s A-Maze Garden. Situated just outside this popular coastal town, A-Maze Garden has become a destination for family fun and a unique alternative to the temples and beaches southern Thailand is known for. Travelers can wander (or race!) through the 1,000-square-meter labyrinth in search of a quick escape, or take their time navigating the twists and turns of this one-of-a-kind southeast Asian destination. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon—or an entire day—on a visit to Phuket.

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See different sceneries

See different sceneries worldwide

Discover a vast number of beautiful places in our planet that you may not even know about yet.

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Nature and Wildlife Tours

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Top Attractions

Scenic Landmarks

Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam

Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam -- it’s a mouthful that in English means “canal of two waters” – is a stunning natural paradise where crystal-clear freshwater springs meet saltwater mangrove forests. Located about 21 miles (34 kilometers) outside of the town of Krabi, Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam is lined with boardwalks, making it a photogenic place for nature walks beside and above the water. Wooden chairs placed throughout give guests a spot to stop and admire the views. One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the area is in a canoe. Rentals are available by the hour or the day, and from the park entrance, you can paddle all the way to the Andaman Sea.

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Well-known Landmarks

Golden Mount (Wat Saket)

The Golden Mount - or Wat Saket - was constructed by King Rama I shortly after the founding of Bangkok. Built just outside the original city walls and intended as a burial site, the mount has many thousands of bodies interned here - most of them dating from Rama II's rule when plague swept through the city.Built on swampy ground, the hill was rebuilt by Rama III who added a chedi (stupa) which promptly collapsed due to the shifting foundations. Rama V built the golden chedi we see today on the rubble of the previous chedi. The golden chedi is rumored to contain some of Buddha's remains – including his teeth. Concrete walls were constructed during World War II to ensure the structure remains stable. The Golden Mount looks its best at night when it glows gold against the dark sky. It is worth visiting in the daytime too for fantastic views across the city.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mae Ping River

The Mae Ping River cuts through Chiang Mai just a few blocks east of the old city and night market. In central Chiang Mai the banks of the river have been developed and are home to hotels, open-air restaurants, and bars, while in the countryside the river retains its natural charms. The ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam is also set on the banks of the Mae Ping River south of Chiang Mai.Sight-seeing tours and dinner cruises along the Mae Ping River available. For the more adventurous, kayaking and rafting trips can be arranged.

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Well-known Landmarks

Doi Inthanon National Park

In the center of Doi Inthanon National Park rises Thailand’s highest peak. Doi Inthanon, named after Chiang Mai’s last sovereign, King Inthawichayanon, summits at 8,415 feet (2,565 meters) above sea level, and while temperatures at the top run much cooler than in Chiang Mai, you’ll never see snow on the peak.While a vast majority of visitors come to the park to take in the views from the summit (accessible by car), the surrounding forests, waterfalls, stupas and nature trails make it one of Thailand’s most spectacular national parks. Birdwatchers flock to the park in hopes of spotting some of its 362 species of birds, while other visitors come to picnic and swim at Mae Klang Falls.

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Gardens & Parks

Erawan National Park (Erawan Falls)

Located in the Kanchanaburi Province, the Erawan National Park it is one of the most famous in Thailand. Famed for its impressive seven-tiered waterfall, the park is a popular weekend spot for international visitors, as well as locals from Bangkok and nearby Kanchanaburi.Just over 80% of the Erawan National Park is covered in verdant rainforest, with winding nature trails allowing visitors to marvel at the giant trees and spot the diverse wildlife that call the park home. Deep in the forest, tigers, wild elephants, cobras, and gibbons all live here, while avid bird-watchers should look out for hornbills, woodpeckers, and parakeets. The major attraction at the Erawan National Park, however, is Erawan Falls. Named after the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology, these falls have seven levels cascading down over 1,500 meters and are widely regarded as among the more beautiful falls in Thailand.

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Gardens & Parks

Khao Yai National Park

Located just two hours northeast of Bangkok, the Khao Yai National Park is the oldest and largest national park of its kind in Thailand. Covering more than 2000 square meters in the Panom Dongrak mountain range, the park is sprawled across four provinces. The area features one of the largest monsoon forests in mainland Asia and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site (as part of the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex).As you might expect then, the Khao Yai National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and offers some truly spectacular natural scenery to marvel at. Some 200 elephants call the park home, as do tigers, leopards, Malaysian sun bears, deer, gibbons, snakes, and macaques. Keen birdwatchers will be in their element around the park’s designated walking trails, with the bird list here reaching over 390 species, including one of Thailand's largest populations of hornbills.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Na Muang Waterfall

The cool sound of water tumbling down a rocky cliff face and into a pool greets you at Na Muang Falls.Nestled amongst the island's central mountains, the falls have two tiers: a lower stretch easily reached by foot and a higher tier that’s best reached by hiking or riding on elephant back. The lower tier of falls is suitable for swimming.The road to the lower falls is lined with food stalls and souvenir vendors, and elephant handlers offer their animals for rides to the top tier.

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Gardens & Parks

Doi Suthep–Pui National Park

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park protects a swathe 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, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.Founded in 1383, the temple is one of the most sacred in the North and affords some of the most spectacular views in Chiang Mai. The temple is reached via 306 steps leading up to the peak, but the climb is worth it for the views and the stunning temple itself. Other cultural attractions of note within the park include Bhubing Palace, the winter residence of the Thai royal family, as well as San Ku, an ancient earth mound dating back to the thirteenth century. While most visitors come to Doi Suthep Pui National Park to see the temple, it’s also a place of great natural beauty, where numerous nature trails wind through the forest and past several waterfalls.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya)

The Chao Phraya River (or Mae Nam Chao Phraya) runs north to south through Thailand, whose most notable and densely populated cities lie along the river's main tributary.In Bangkok, the Chao Phraya is a major transportation artery. A vast network of ferries and water taxis, known as long tails, ferry locals and tourists up and down the river, connecting with the city's main sights. For many, these boats are the preferred way of getting around Bangkok, whose streets are often choked with traffic.Several boat lines compete for business on the river and its canals and you’ll find variations in price and distance traveled. If you start at Tha Sathon (accessible via sky train at Saphan Taksi), you'll chug sedately past (or be able to disembark at) Chinatown, Wat Arun, Wichai Prasit Fort and the Grand Palace. There’s no denying it - the Chao Phraya is a murky and sometimes smelly river, but even a short boat trip along it gives you a fresh perspective on the city.

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Geological Formations

Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks (Hin Yai/Hin Ta)

Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks - or Hin Yai/Hin Ta - are rocky outcrops on Lamai Beach. Often photographed and commented on, the rocks bear an uncanny resemblance to male and female genitalia.The rocks are set on a lovely stretch of beach, and create tranquil rock pools when the tide is in.

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Gardens & Parks

Ang Thong National Marine Park

No trip to Koh Samui is complete without spending a day at sea visiting the islands of Ang Thong Marine National Park. Scattered across the sea lies an archipelago of 42 small islands with sheer limestone cliffs, white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons and dense vegetation.A lovely sight from sea or land, the islands offer snorkeling and diving, beach picnics and hiking to lagoons and caves.

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Gardens & Parks

Ao Phang Nga National Park

More than 40 islands dot the green-blue waters of Ao Phang Nga National Park near Phuket. Their distinct limestone cliffs, unique sea life and close proximity to one another have made this natural escape one of the most popular Longtail boat trips in all of Thailand.Ko Kan—also known as James Bond Island—Ko Phanak and Ko Hong are some of the regular stops on these memorable excursions. Travelers can coast over the mostly calm waters and see the spot where James Bond his out in The Man with the Golden Gun, or explore the caves of Lod Yai and Lod Lek. In addition to dozens of distinct and beautiful islands, travelers will pass through mangrove forests, where it’s easy to spot kingfishers, blue winged leafbirds and some of Thailand’s other unique wildlife.

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Scenic Landmarks

Doi Mae Salong

Doi Mae Salong is a mountain in northern Thailand with an elevation reaching 1,800 meters. The stunning scenery and cooler temperatures make it a popular retreat for Thais and tourists alike with activities such as mountain trekking, visiting hill-tribe villages, and touring tea plantations.Nestled near the mountain is the village of Mae Salong (officially known as Santikhiri, meaning "hill of peace") which offers accommodations to suit all budgets. The village was originally settled by anti-communist exiles from China who were granted asylum by Thailand. The Chinese influence can still be sensed in the town's language and food.

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Wildlife & Zoos

Gibbon Rehabilitation Center

Run by volunteers and financed by donations, the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center in Phuket rescues gibbons (a type of ape) that have been held in captivity, then rehabilitates them before safely reintroducing them to the wild. Gibbon poaching is a serious problem, with poachers stripping the jungle of these beautiful creatures and then parading them around bars and other tourist areas. At the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center, gibbons are retaught how to live in the jungle. They are socialized with other gibbons and introduced to what should be their natural food. The center is not a petting zoo, so there is no touching of the animals, but visitors can watch them from a viewing platform.Insider's Tip: You can help the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center’s mission by avoiding bars that house them around Thailand and ignoring the gibbon handlers that ask for money in exchange for photographs. By paying for these photos, tourists are contributing to the suffering of these animals.

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Wildlife & Zoos

Bung Boraphet

Bung Boraphet is the largest freshwater swamp in Thailand, covering an area of more than 200 square kilometers. The site is home to a large number of sea flowers, along with unique fish and birdlife, including the tiger perch and the incredibly rare white-eyed river martin. From November through March, a huge number of waterfowl migrate to Bung Boraphet, and indeed, one of the main draws is birdwatching. Other popular spots and activities include a crocodile farm, boat rides on the lake, and an extensive aquarium. Some parts of Bung Boraphet have been designated as no­-hunting areas by the Wildlife Conservation Division, and in 2000, the site was declared a wetland of international importance by the Thai government.

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Learn while traveling

Educate yourself while traveling

Witness diverse culture of people and learn history on the go.

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Classes & Workshops

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Religious Architecture

Temple of the Protruding Buddha (Wat Phra Thong)

Wat Phra Thong is perhaps not the most impressive of Phuket's temples, but it surely has the best story behind it. And once you know the story, the 'half image' that forms the center of the temple will have way greater resonance.According to lore, a boy was out watering a buffalo and tied it to some metal protruding out of the ground. In quick order, both boy and buffalo died, but the boy appeared to his father in a dream and told him to investigate the object.When the father dug around the place, he found the tip of a golden Buddha sitting buried in the ground. All attempts to excavate it over the ensuing centuries failed, and there are stories of attacks by hornets when locals tried to dig it out in the 18th century!Eventually it was decided to leave the exposed top of the Eventually it was decided to leave the exposed top of the Buddha statue where it was - it so obviously resisted being dug up! - and build a protective layer and a temple over it.

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Well-known Landmarks

Wat Suthat Thepwararam

Wat Suthat is one of the oldest and most revered temples in Bangkok. It is one of just six temples in Thailand classified as the “highest grade of the first class royal temples.” It houses an eight-meter tall bronze Buddha statue seated in the Mara position, as well as some intricate wall murals that depict the life of the Buddha.However, Wat Suthat is perhaps best known for the giant red swing (or Sao Ching Chaa) that sits in front of it. The huge 20-meter-tall swing, which is made from teak wood, was built at the end of the 18th century when it was used as part of an annual religious ceremony. Inside the temple, magnificent wall murals portray the stories of the Buddha, while others depict scenes of daily life in the Rattanakosin era. Along with those found in Bangkok’s Grand Palace, these murals are considered some of the best and most extensive in the whole of Thailand.

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Well-known Landmarks

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

The golden spire of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep glitters near the summit of Doi Suthep, a 1,676 meter (5,500 foot) mountain outside Chiang Mai. The wat was established in 1383, and is one of northern Thailand's most sacred temples.Gold and copper catch the sunlight, including a five-tiered gold umbrella that's one of the holiest sites in Thailand.The International Buddhist Center at the wat hosts informal discussions, chanting and meditation.While you’re here, enjoy the cooler mountain climate and explore the park’s forest, orchids and wildlife.

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Well-known Landmarks

Wat Chedi Luang

If you’ve ever wanted to chat to a Buddhist monk, pull up a chair at Wat Chedi Luang. As you enter the wat from Th Phra Pokkao, turn right and you’ll see some tables under a sign reading ‘Monk Chat.’The partially ruined wat 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, and you can see the original in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew.Wat Chedi Luang has undergone a restoration program, which has added several Buddha images, porticoes and statues.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Jim Thompson House Museum

A top destination for visitors in Bangkok, the Jim Thompson House is a museum dedicate to the 20th century American businessman Jim Thompson, who almost single handedly reinvented the Thai silk trade. Housed in the former home of Mr. Thompson, the museum contains art he obtained while traveling in the region as well as very informative demonstrations showing the entire process of making silk, from how the silkworms are raised through to the production process.The house is made up of six traditional Thai-style homes that were purchased one by one and formed into an elaborate mansion-like complex that includes a drawing room, painting pavilion, library, study and silk pavilion. Certainly a fan-favorite, the gift shop contains loads of great silk products as well as books and paintings showcasing the life of Jim Thompson.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Bangkok National Museum

The main branch of the National Museums in Thailand, Bangkok's main public museum is also the largest museum in all of South East Asia. Spread out over acres of green grounds and multiple buildings, the museum is a showcase for Thai art and history. Although it used to be considered unorganized, dusty and forgotten, it's recently been renovated and updated and now features a vibrant collection of artifacts with clear English-language descriptions.Inside you will find a truly enormous collection of treasures including paintings, sculptures, bronzes and prehistoric art from Thailand and other Asian countries. You will want to give yourself plenty of time to thoroughly cover the exhibits and may want to consider hiring a guide for a more targeted tour. Highlights include a replica funeral chariot hall, the Buddhaisawan chapel and the weapon galleries.

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Religious Architecture

Tunnel Temple (Wat Umong)

This Buddhist temple near Doi Suthep mountain is also known as the “Tunnel Temple,” both for its unique network of underground tunnels and its location in the forest. There is a large stupa to visit, as well as “talking trees,” which feature words of wisdom in both Thai and English. Monks here live in a very natural setting, among deer and ponds full of fish and turtles.Stroll the temple grounds under trees and across trails, or explore the underground tunnels, featuring many shrines to Buddha. It is said that the tunnels, dug underneath an artificial mound, were created to keep a highly regarded monk who was prone to wandering from getting too far from the temple. It was later abandoned, adding to its ancient, wooded feel—but today several monks live on the site. Its tranquil environment makes it a popular spot for meditation.

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Religious Architecture

Wat Chiang Man

Thought to be the oldest wat in Chiang Mai, Wat Chiang Man is a typical northern Thai temple, with massive teak columns holding aloft the central sanctuary.The wat has two important Buddha images; one on a marble bas relief, the other a crystal seated Buddha. They’re visible in a glass cabinet housed in a smaller sanctuary. The walls of the wat feature red stenciled murals, depicting scenes from the life of Chiang Mai's founder, Phaya Mengrai.

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Religious Architecture

Wat Phra Singh Waramahawihan

If you only see one temple during your time in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh (also known as Wat Phra Sing Waramahawihan) 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 (Lion Buddha image).The temple consists of many buildings, but the most spectacular is the golden wihan that houses the Phra Singh. Look for classic Lanna architectural features like the three-tiered roof, white chedi with an octagonal base, and lion statues guarding the entrance. It is possible to go inside to see the Buddha statue, just remember to remove your shoes first. Wat Phra Singh is an active temple and lucky visitors may see chanting monks or a blessing ceremony. Many novice monks study here and are happy to practice their English by sitting and chatting with tourists in the temple gardens.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre

For a crash course in the history of Chiang Mai, pay a visit to the Arts & Cultural Centre in the heart of the old city. Using a mixture of labeled artifacts, audio recordings, photographs, and life-size dioramas, the centre’s multimedia exhibits take you on a journey from Chiang Mai’s ancient past as the Lanna Kingdom to its present as a modern, cosmopolitan city. Topics include royalty, religion, agriculture, and hill tribe people. There are also subtitled videos about the history of Chiang Mai that you can watch in air-conditioned comfort.In addition, the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre serves as a venue for special exhibits and cultural events. Enquire with the staff about upcoming events like dance or music performances.

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Buildings & Structure

Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha)

Arching in front of the sacred Wat Suthat in Bangkok, what is left of the Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha) is a tall teak structure that once supported a giant seat used during Brahman festivals to honor the god Shiva. The landmark is often spotted on walking and biking tours through Bangkok. During the festivities, participants would swing in arcs in an effort to reach a bag of gold suspended from a bamboo pole, which was believed to encourage a good harvest. A black-and-white photograph illustrating the ceremony can be found at Wat Suthat's ticket counter nearby.Constructed toward the end of the 18th century by King Rama I, the swing was later damaged by lightning during the reign of Rama II. In 1920, it was renovated and moved to its current location in front of Wat Suthat. However, there were so many injuries and even accidental deaths that the ceremonies were discontinued for good by the end of the 1930s. In 2007, the Giant Swing was replaced with the current model.

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Religious Architecture

Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok’s brilliant golden spire stretches high into the skyline of the northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai and has done so just west of the old city walls since the 14th century. The name roughly translates to "field of flowers," as the temple stands on a site that was once the garden of a ruling monarch. Today, the ashes of some of the royal family are tucked into the wat’s spires, as homage to leaders past.Wat Suan Dok is a favorite among travelers, particularly photographers, who gather amid the temple’s ornate structures during sunrise and sunset to capture impressive photos filled with rose-colored light. A 500-year-old bronze buddha—one of the largest in the region—also makes this a popular stop. Aside from the structure itself, there is a Buddhist university at the site as well. Monks in training are often eager to share conversation and practice their English with visitors in informal "monk chats."

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Museums & Exhibitions

Ancient City Museum

This 320-acre outdoor museum filled with lush gardens and historic structures showcases the art, architecture and culture of Thailand’s rich and diverse heritage. In a single stop, travelers can explore replicas of the nation’s most iconic buildings, including 116 pavilions, temples, floating markets and shrines all laid out to scale in their accurate geographic positions.Visitors should plan to wander through the garden of stupas, which showcases the significance of Buddhism on local traditions, as well as the Garden of the Gods, where Hindu deities are on display. While structures housed in the Ancient City Museum are no substitute for the real thing, they certainly provide travelers on a tight schedule with a taste of what Thai life, culture and art is like.

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Religious Architecture

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Next door to the Grand Palace you’ll find the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). It’s the largest and oldest wat (temple) in Bangkok and, as the name suggests, is home to the enormous reclining Buddha. You’ll also find many more Buddha images at Wat Pho, which is said to have more statues of the Buddha than any other Bangkok temple. The Reclining Buddha was crafted to celebrate King Rama III’s restoration (1824 - 51). At 150 ft (46 m) long and 49 ft (15 m) high it is the largest Buddha image in Thailand. The reclining Buddha is decorated with gold leaf and his eyes and foot soles are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Wat Pho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage and in 1962 a traditional medicine and massage school was established here. The school is still going strong and you can book massage appointments or apply to study at the school. Its reputation precedes it, so you'll need to book well ahead to get a massage.

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Buildings & Structure

Democracy Monument

This politically significant monument located in the heart of Bangkok commemorates the nation’s transition to a constitutional monarchy. Some 75 cannonballs surround the base of the statue, which measures exactly 24 meters tall—a number that is particularly significant, since the new constitution was signed on June 24. And while relief work along the bottom or the monument depicts military, citizens and law enforcement responsible for birthing the current state, locals say the Democracy Monument continues to be a gathering place for demonstrations and for calls to action in times of political unrest or during threat of dictatorship.

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Religious Architecture

Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)

Located at the end of Chinatown's Yaowarat Road, near Hua Lampong Station, Wat Traimit is home to the world's largest gold-seated Buddha. Measuring in at three meters tall and weighing over five tons, the Golden Buddha makes Wat Traimit a prominent stop on Bangkok’s temple trail.This impressive statue attracts floods of visitors who come to marvel at its impressive size and gleaming golden surface, but was once hidden from invading armies by a covering of plaster. Pieces of the plaster that once formed its disguise can now be found on display in a case within the temple.

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Well-known Landmarks

Ayutthaya

Prior to Bangkok becoming Thailand’s capital, Ayutthaya was the center of the Siamese Kingdom, from 1351 to 1787. Known throughout the world for its riches and open attitude towards foreign traders, the kingdom prospered for over 400 years before falling at the hands of the Burmese after a 15-month siege.Once a majestic city with three palaces, 400 temples, a succession of 33 kings and numerous dynasties, Ayutthaya and most of its heritage (art, literature and historical records) was destroyed in the battle with the Burmese. Visitors can still get a good sense of Ayutthaya's former glory, however, in the ruins of the old city and what remains of the imperial palace.Architecture and history buffs will enjoy the intriguing mix of architectural styles that clearly show a strong Khmer (Cambodian) influence. Such is the significance of this historic city and its surrounds, that it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Religious Architecture

Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit)

A major destination among travelers in Bangkok, The Marble Palace is aptly named for its design, which is entirely made from Italian marble. Completed in 1911, the temple is the home of the golden Buddhist statue called Phra Buddhajinaraja and is still a live shrine, often filled with patrons who make offerings or light candles inside.Buried beneath the statue is said to be the ashes of King Chulalongkorn and outside the main shrine in the gallery are more than 50 statues of Buddha depicted by several different cultures and variations of Buddhism in the region.Located near to the Dusit Palace, the spacious complex on Si Ayudhya Road is built on the site of an older temple and was once used as the headquarters of Thai troops fighting against the Laotian army.

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Religious Architecture

Wat Chalong

There are 29 Buddhist temples on the island of Phuket, but Wat Chalong is the most elaborate and important. It is dedicated to two abbots who used their medical skills and authority to assist during the Tin Miner's Rebellion of the 19th century.The building is large and impressive, but the main interest of the temple for visitors is its history. There are numerous stories that have grown up about its abbots and their magical qualities. Statues of the abbots inside the monastery are covered in gold leaf. Thai tourists visit here in great numbers, often to make decisions or receive lucky numbers. You can do as they do, but be sure to make a donation, and dress modestly.

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Religious Architecture

Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

Apart from the beaches, Koh Samui’s distinctive icon is the golden Big Buddha Temple - or Wat Phra Yai - visible above the red-tiled rooftops on the island’s north coast.The 12 meter (40 foot) Buddha statue is visible from several kilometers away, and even from an airplane if you’re arriving or departing by air.The temple, shops and restaurants cluster at the base of the statue, and ceremonial stairs lead up to the top for terrific island views.

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Sights & Landmarks

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

Also known as the Don-Rak War Cemetery, the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery commemorates victims of the building of the Burma Railway during World War II.Located on Saeng Chuto Road, the main road of the city of Kanchanaburi, the cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and contains the graves of Australian, British and Dutch POWs who were forced into labor by the Japanese, who controlled the area at the time of the Burma Railway construction. A nearby privately funded museum, the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum, contains interactive displays describing the history of the railway and the prisoners who died building it. The city of Kanchanaburi is easily accessed by rail and bus from Bangkok, and the war cemetery is located about a 5 minutes walk from the city's main station. The central Bangkok railway station has trips to the Burma Railway and stops to let visitors view the cemetery.

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Religious Architecture

Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)

Deep within the Grand Palace grounds you’ll find Thailand’s most sacred sight - the Emerald Buddha (Phra Kaew Morakot) contained within the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Phra Keow). This temple is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in the country and is an essential palladium of Thai society.Within its walls is the highly revered Buddha sculpture, carved from a single block of jade and dates from the 14th century AD. Believed to have been crafted in Sri Lanka, the Emerald Buddha was transported and revered throughout Southeast Asia before being brought back to Thailand from Laos in 1552. It has sat in its present shrine within the Grand Palace walls since 1784 and remains an important symbol of the Thai nation.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Hall of Opium Museum

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.

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Religious Architecture

Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun)

The Temple of the Dawn - or Wat Arun - towers 260 ft (79 m) above the Chao Phraya river. With fabulous views of the rising and setting sun and of the city's main attractions, the temple is one of Bangkok's most visited sights after the Grand Palace.Named by Bangkok's founder King Thaksin to signify the rise of the new kingdom (after Ayutthaya was destroyed), the Temple of the Dawn was originally much shorter until its expansion during King Rama III's rule (1824 - 1851). Local people donated the ceramic pieces that make up the temple's unique exterior decoration.It is possible to climb the temple for views across the river to the Grand Palace and beyond but its narrow steps are not for the faint hearted.

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Religious Architecture

Temple of the Great Relic (Wat Mahathat)

Wat Mahathat is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, not far from Bangkok’s famous Grand Palace complex. Dating back to the eighteenth century, this ancient temple was later altered significantly after one of its monks, Prince Mongkut, became King Rama IV of Thailand.Wat Mahathat serves as the center for the Mahanikai school of Buddhism, and as such is a hub for monastic learning for its members all across southeast Asia. This large and busy temple shares its grounds with monastic cells, schools, offices, and other buildings, and features a peaceful garden towards the back of its grounds. Meditation classes are held here that welcome everyone, with many worshippers and other visitors attending these sessions before visiting the various viharns, shrines, chedis, and Buddha images within the temple’s sprawling complex.

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Experience fun and excitement

Have a good time

Travel long distances just for fun and explore places where being happy is a way of life.

Top Activities

Night Tours

Top Attractions

Geological Formations

Chiang Dao Caves

This group of caves in the Chiang Dao region north of Chiang Mai is full of massive limestone and crystal formations. Though there are many caverns at the base of the Doi Chiang Dao mountain range here, these five in particular are interconnected and open to explore, with impressive stalagmites and stalactites hanging and growing from the ceilings and floors.Buddha images on the walls of the caves are evidence of their use as shrines and meditation sites. Estimated to run seven miles (12 km) deep, the first two caves are well-lit, but you’ll need a guide and a lantern or flashlight to access the others. Seasonally, an underground river flows through some of the caves, along with many other natural wonders and cultural sights to be discovered and explored.Seasonally there is an underground river flowing through some of the caves. There are both natural wonders and cultural sights to be explored; just be sure to bring some light or hire a guide who knows the way.

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Buildings & Structure

Chalong Big Buddha

Built on a patch of virgin rainforest high above Phuket City and visible from most vantage points, the serene - and very, very, big - Chalong Big Buddha will wow you even from a distance. Close up, it's quite overwhelming.The giant statue was built by donations - visitors who donated were allowed to choose how their money would be spent. Also donated was the white marble that covers the sculpture, giving it a tranquil white glow.There is another Buddha statue on the site, a smaller brass one - it stands a mere 12 meters (36 feet). The Big Buddha is 45 m (147 ft) and its lap is 25 m (82 ft) wide at the base. The smaller Buddha is dedicated to the Queen of Thailand, the larger to the King. Climb to the Buddha's feet to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and magnificent views.

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Stadiums & Arenas

Rajadamnern Stadium

Travelers in search of a true Muay Thai experience need look no further than Rajadamnern Stadium. The indoor sporting arena located in the heart of Bangkok is one of two major venues in the city, and a favorite among both travelers and locals. Prizefighters have been entering the ring here since 1945, and while things have certainly changed (the original stadium was open-air, but a concrete roof now protects spectators from the elements), the excitement of the fight.remains the same. Fight cards include nine match-ups nightly. The seats are basic but the beers are cold, making it the perfect way to spend an exciting evening in Bangkok.

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Go for a new adventure

Discover top adventure travel spots

Reward yourself with an opportunity to explore the nature in different and more radical way.

Top Activities

Night Tours

4WD Tours

Nature and Wildlife Tours

Extreme Sports

Top Attractions

Water Activities & Tours

Phra Nang Beach (Phranang Beach)

Part of a small peninsula located between Krabi Town and Ao Nang, Phra Nang Beach is one of the most scenic and picturesque beaches in the country. This short but broad strip of sand boasts that classic jaw­dropping beach scenery only found in Thailand, with pure white sand framed by limestone cliffs and lapped by calm waters that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. This whole area is particularly popular with rock climbers, and even if you don’t join in, it’s fascinating to watch those who do climb up right from the beach. At the southern end of the beach is a giant limestone cliff that contains the famous PrincessCave, said to be the home of a mythical sea princess. Other activities to keep you amused while you admire the scenery include having a massage, enjoying a barbecue, hiking, sunbathing and, of course, going for a swim.

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Water Activities & Tours

Chaweng Beach

Chaweng Beach - or Hat Chaweng - is Koh Samui’s most popular, longest and perhaps most lovely beach. Clear blue-green sea, palm trees, coral reefs and lively nightlife come together to create a laid-back party atmosphere at Chaweng, the second biggest resort hub on the island. Drinks are sold on the beach by passing vendors and there are water sports for every taste, from windsurfing to water skiing. Dive operators run tours from Chaweng Beach, and this is where you’ll find most of the island’s nightclubs and bars. At beachfront restaurants you can dine right on the sand as the sun sets over the sea.

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Hot Springs

Emerald Pool (Sa Morakot)

Originating from a warm stream in the lowland forest of Khao Nor Juji, the Emerald Pool (or Sa Morakot) is a hot spring located within the Khao Pra­Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary in Krabi. The dazzling Emerald Pool is 115 long, 214 meters wide, and deep enough to swim in (although, due to the high levels of calcium carbonate, visitors should avoid swallowing any water while doing so). The color of the water varies according to the reflection of the sunlight at different times of the day. To experience the most intense emerald hue, visit at dawn or as early in the morning as possible. There are three nature trails that lead to the Emerald Pool. The first is a direct 800­ meter path from the main entrance. The second is via ‘Thung Tieo­Sa Morakot’, which is around 1400 meters long and and more challenging, but is ideal for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The third method is the longest at just under three kilometers, and is a scenic nature trail through the forest.

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Water Activities & Tours

Ao Nang Beach

Luxury beach resorts with pampering garden pools and high-end add-ons attract a jet-set crowd to Ao Nang Beach on the Andaman Sea. Ao Nang is an ideal base for island-hopping trips, sea-kayaking adventures and day tours to local attractions like snake farms, pineapple plantations and hot springs. Diving excursions head off from Ao Nang to nearby Raillay or further afield to Koh Phi Phi. The seafront promenade at Ao Nang is lined with souvenir shops, tailors and restaurants.

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Celebrate a special occasion

Go for a romance travel

Escape from home routine and find a romantic place to celebrate your special occasion.

Top Activities

Sustainable Tours

Half-day Tours

City Tours

Full-day Tours

Top Attractions

Fun & Games

MBK Center

In a city full of posh shopping center, MBK Center (Ma Boon Khrong Center) is more than just your average shopping mall. It is eight stories high and contains 2000 shops and restaurants selling clothing, watches, shoes and electronics. Its enormity and reputation as a great place for a bargain make it extremely popular with expats, locals and visitors. The center cycles through 100,000 people a day! Located just off of Siam Square, it is immediately distinguishable by its sleek glass facade with MBK in green letters. If you're looking for inexpensive clothing or electronics this is the place for you, although keep in mind that unlike it's higher priced neighbors, Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon, many of the name brand duds here are fake.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Koh Yao Noi (Ko Yao Noi)

Koh Yao Noi is situated midway between Phuket and Krabi in Phang Nga Bay. It’s a diverse and scenic island, with mangrove forests lining its west coast and white-sand beaches fringing its eastern edges. Yao Noi is around half the size of neighboring Koh Yao Yai, but is nonetheless the more developed of the two. However, beyond the 7Eleven, high-end resorts, and guest houses, local life on Koh Yao Noi continues, with farming and fishing the main source of income for the island alongside tourism. Yao Noi is a joy to simply ride around, either on a hired motorbike or via a tuk tuk. It has one main road that circles the southern half of the island, with smaller paved roads taking off in different directions, plus a few dirt tracks leading up to the north. Along the way, it’s all about taking in the scenery – the wooden houses on stilts, rubber plantations, rice paddies, and mangrove forests. Other activities available on the island include kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, and swimming.

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Buildings & Structure

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

The Bang Pa-In Palace is situated 60 kilometers from Bangkok and just a few kilometers from Ayutthaya. Originally built in the 17th century by King Prasat Thong of Ayutthaya, it was later destroyed by the Burmese and left abandoned for almost a century.During the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV) in the 1850s, part of the palace was restored, but most of the site seen today is down to his predecessor, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who restored and expanded the entire grounds. Today the palace is still used by the Thai royal family as a summer residence. The iconic buildings scattered across the complex each feature their own unique architectural style. For example, the Wehat Chamroon Palace was built using traditional Chinese materials and designs, while the Aisawan Tippaya Asna Pavilion, set in the middle of a lake, is typically Thai. Other buildings are clearly European in architectural style.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Poda Island (Koh Poda)

Koh Poda, part of a tiny archipelago in Krabi province off the west coast of Thailand, ranks among the most picturesque of the many uninhabited and semi-inhabited islands that line the coast. Longtail boats drop visitors off along a stretch of sugar soft, white sand beach, famous for its clear waters and stunning views off offshore limestone formations. Thanks to its west-facing beach, the area is particularly lovely around sunset.Tropical fish are visible in the waters just off the beach, but just a little further out a coral reef rings much of the island, providing excellent snorkeling opportunities for those who can pull themselves from the beach. While the island does have a single guesthouse, most visitors come on a day trip from nearby Ao Nang.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Hong Islands (Mu Ko Hong)

The southern Thailand province of Krabi is surrounded by surreal rocky islands that poke out of the surrounding turquoise Andaman Sea, including the beautiful group known as the Hong Islands. A popular day-trip destination from Ao Nang, the Hong Islands are fringed with rainforest and white-sand beaches, with rocky viewpoints and hidden lagoons. Offshore dives reveals a spectacular underwater world of coral reefs, and if you’re sea-kayaking you can access lovely sea caves.

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Places of Natural Beauty

James Bond Island (Ko Khao Phing Kan)

This iconic set of islands used to be nothing more than a spot on the map in Ao Phang Nga National Park. But in 1974, when James Bond chose Khao Phing Kan as a hideout in The Man with the Golden Gun, this rarely visited limestone island became a popular destination frequented by travelers on Longtail Boat tours. Along with the island's new fame came hoards of tourists and potential destruction of the island's natural beauty. So since 1998, it has been forbidden for boats to approach Ko Tapu, the 66 foot (20 m) limestone rock that lies just off the shore, in order to stop the erosion of the limestone and eventual collapse. Travelers love the lush vegetation, rocky cliffs and dark caves that make this pair of islands easy to spot. Most trips offer the opportunity to swim and explore the surrounding waters and hungry visitors can make the most of their excursion by eating lunch at the nearby floating Muslim village.

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Scenic Landmarks

Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga)

Phang Nga Bay is a classic Southeast Asian bay - bright jade water, limestone pinnacles and all. A large part of it has been protected as a national park.Notable islands in Phang Nga Bay include the so-called James Bond Island (it's featured in The Man with the Golden Gun) and Koh Panyee, where you can visit a fishing community built out on stilts across the water. Bear in mind that this community is a Muslim one, so dress modestly.You can take tours that will drop you at various beaches to swim and snorkel and take you to James Bond Island and Koh Panyee; you can also canoe.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Racha Island (Raya Island)

When people talk of Racha Island, they’re usually referring to Racha Yai, which sits, along with the smaller and uninhabited Racha Noi, around 25 kilometers off the coast of Phuket. Both islands are blessed with white sandy beaches lapped by crystal clear waters, making them popular with divers and snorkelers on day trips. However, Racha Yai is becoming an increasingly popular place to stay a while, offering a variety of accommodation options to choose from.Racha Island’s main beach, Ao Tawan Tok (also known as Ao Bungalow), is a U-shaped bay consisting of white powdery sand and perfectly turquoise water, not unlike nearby Siam Bay, although the latter is home to a longer and much more peaceful strip of beach. Kon Kare Bay and Ter Bay on the other side of the island offer similarly tantalizing beaches, plus ample opportunities for diving, snorkeling, and fishing trips.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Maya Bay (Maya Beach)

The stunning Maya Bay became a major tourist attraction after the 2000 film, The Beach, was filmed here. It’s situated within Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands, off the coasts of both Krabi and Phuket on the mainland, and is distinguished by its beautiful white-sand beach sheltered by limestone cliffs on three sides.There are in fact several beaches here, but most are small and some only exist at low tide. The main beach, where most boats drop passengers just offshore, is a 200-meter long strip of silky white sand. It’s surrounded by clear waters filled with colorful coral and an abundance of exotic fish, making it an absolute haven for snorkelers. Walking inland is also a treat, with a path that winds through lush greenery and reveals some simply spectacular scenery.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi)

Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands, but most of them are just limestone spires. The only ones of any size are Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Ley. When you come to visit these heavenly islands, you'll be coming into the port on Koh Phi Phi Don.After the infrastructure here was largely swept away by the 2004 tsunami, it was hoped that rebuilding could take place with more care for the environment and a swing upmarket. But the rush to get the tourist business back on track meant that the island - with all its rash of tourist businesses - remains much the same. Koh Phi Phi Ley has its share of over-touristing too - Maya Beach is where the film The Beach was shot, and it's regularly crowded and littered. Koh Phi Phi Ley is also famous for its bird's nests, which are used in soups.Despite the islands' commercialization, they remain stunning little patches of paradise - all silken warm waters, limestone pillars and luminous underwater scenery.

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Buildings & Structure

Grand Palace

A visit to Bangkok's Grand Palace is at the top of every visitors 'must-see' list. Built in 1782 by King Rama I who established Bangkok as Thailand's new capital, the Grand Palace became the Royal seat for 150 years. The striking buildings within the palace complex reflect the spirit of each successive monarch and the era in which they ruled. While Thailand's current (and longest-reigning) monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej has never lived in the Grand Palace, the complex is still used to mark ceremonial and auspicious happenings. Deep within the Palace grounds you'll find Thailand's most sacred sight - Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha) contained within a beautiful temple (Wat Phra Kaeo). This highly revered Buddha sculpture is carved from a single block of jade and dates from the 15th century AD. To make the most of your visit it is worthwhile hiring a guide who will help broaden your understanding of the Grand Palace and its colorful history.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Nang Yuan Island (Koh Nang Yuan)

In many ways, Koh Nang Yuan is the paradisiacal location most people imagine when they think of Thailand. Consisting of three tree-topped islands adjoined by a tan-colored sandbar beach, Koh Nang Yuan is one of the most sought after destinations in all of Thailand. The best part? Unlike nearby Koh Samui or Koh Tao, accommodation options are extremely limited on the island, meaning the crowds remain relatively sparse as well.Most people come to Koh Nang Yuan on day trips from other nearby islands and snorkeling excursions as well as scuba dives are extremely popular. And although the quick day visits are available, you'd be doing yourself a great favor by coming to the island and spending a night or two. In the evenings and early mornings, you can almost have the entire beach to yourself. During the heart of the day, activities such as snorkeling, zip-lining, and hiking are available.

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Theatres & Cinemas

Calypso Cabaret

Held in the Asia Hotel in Bangkok, the Calypso Cabaret is certainly a show with a twist, using traditional cabaret to parade Thailand’s famous transsexual culture. It’s filled with lots of great costumes, dancing and singing, and performers accommodate all nationalities, singing songs and acting in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese.Each show contains several fascinating acts, including that of Carmen Miranda, who rides ostriches on the stage while dancing in the bright lights, a very convincing Marilyn Monroe impersonator and the comedic styling of Geisha, who performs in Japanese, but is hilarious in any language.The controversial nature of the event make perhaps do not make it ideal for family outings, but these highly professional shows bring lots of memorable moments, including from Korean songs of the Wondergirls and the fantastic and overwhelming finale—which we will not give away here.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Koh Yao Yai (Ko Yao Yai)

Along with the smaller but more developed Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yao Yai sits in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, with Phuket to the west and Krabi in the east. A beach-lover's paradise, Yao Yai is one of only a few of Thailand’s southern islands that remains a quiet, unspoiled refuge away from the crowds. Meaning ‘Big Long Island,' Ko Yao Yai is 18 miles (30 km) from top to bottom. It’s populated by thick mangroves, coconut groves, rubber plantations and picturesque villages, all of which are fringed by pristine white-sand beaches. The island has thus far managed to avoid any major tourism development, though it features a smattering of resorts and guesthouses. Fishing and farming remain the primary source of income for residents. A visit to Koh Yao Yai means to slow down and enjoy the lush landscapes, making it ideal for couples on a romantic break, families seeking a quiet beach holiday or those simply looking for peace away from the crowds of Phuket.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Koh Tan (Koh Taen)

In stark contrast to its famed northerly neighbor, tiny and sleepy Koh Tan tempts visitors with empty beaches and vehicle-less roads just three miles and a 15-minute boat ride south of Koh Samui’s southern tip. Koh Tan (also spelled Koh Taen) is sometimes also called Coral Island for its diversity of colorful hard and soft corals, and it often serves as a popular day-long escape for snorkel or kayak excursions through its clear inshore waters. Though the island doesn’t have quite the aquatic diversity of other more remote locations, it still affords excellent snorkeling, relatively empty beaches and navigable mangrove swamps all very close to a major tourist hub. Longboats make the crossing daily and usually stop at several unique coral spots around the island. On land, Koh Tan spans only three square miles, and its population barely tops 30 people; their rustic lifestyle with limited electricity affords a glimpse of what much of Thai Island-living was like decades ago.

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Theatres & Cinemas

Phuket Simon Cabaret Show

Can you believe your eyes? Are all these glossy divas really...boys? Well, yes and no. Simon Cabaret features both transvestites and transsexuals. But don't worry, this is not some tacky Pat Pong experience - though not light on the kitsch, it's actually a highly professional act. In the grand tradition of drag, the show features high-color extravaganzas interspersed with comedy and 'diva' acts in which the 'actresses' mimic famous Western drag icons like Shirley Bassey or Tina Turner. Lip-sync - and lipstick - ahoy! It's all pretty harmless and something you might take your grandmother to if she's fond of a laugh. And indeed, you'll see lots of grandmothers there, along with a host of tourists.

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Fun & Games

Asiatique The Riverfront

Asiatique The Riverfront is a large open-air mall situated in the once bustling international trade docks of the East Asiatic Company. It faces the Chao Phraya River and Charoen Krung Road and was opened in 2012 after an extensive renovation of the site. Asiatique blends the traditional side of Bangkok with its rapidly growing modern side by combining a night bazaar and a swish, contemporary shopping mall. It features more than 1500 shops, stores, and boutiques and around 40 restaurants all within the same complex. It offers a good variety of shops, with a range of brands and independent outlets drawing a mixed crowd of locals and tourists. Opening only in the evenings from 5pm, Asiatique also has a strong focus on entertainment in addition to retail therapy, with nightly shows including cabaret acts, Thai boxing, and screenings at its on-site 4D movie theater.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Coral Island (Koh Larn)

Coral Island, or Koh Larn, is a picture-postcard island off the coast of Pattaya. The popular day-trip destination is set up for underwater diving in the surrounding coral, glass-bottom boat tours and beachfront relaxing at one of several beaches on the island.Activities like sea-kayaking and parasailing are also catered for, and buffet lunches are served on the sand.

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Try exciting meals

Experience a variety of food on the trip

Escape from ordinary everyday meals and reward yourself with delicious and special gourmet dishes.

Top Activities

Lunch Cruises

Dinner Cruises

Top Attractions

Market

Tha Kha Floating Market

The Tha Kha Floating Market offers a peaceful respite from the crowds of Bangkok and the throng of tourists attracted to the larger floating markets closer to the capital. The market takes place each weekend in a tranquil, rural setting amid the canals and fruit plantations of the Samut Songkhram province. Among the rural scenes and local traditions, visitors to Tha Kha will find locals punting along the waterways in wooden boats filled with fragrant flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, colorful spices, and dried fish. Despite being only 10 kilometers from the larger and more famous Amphawa Floating Market, this is a wholly relaxing affair, where you can get an insight into rural village life and drift along the sugar-palm-lined waterways with a friendly local guide.

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Market

Sampeng Market

Perhaps the most popular of Bangkok’s street markets, Sampeng Market—known by locals at Yaowarat—is an energetic and eclectic space in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood that’s jam packed with food, fabric, jewelry and other random items. Locals flock to crowded stalls in search of wholesale items, while tourists can be found sampling spicy dishes and combing through collections of t-shirts, handbags, jewelry and artwork. Travelers are encouraged to barter for lower prices, although most items are tough to find cheaper. Those who prefer a more typical shopping experience can head to nearby Terminal 21, a well-known shopping mall with fewer crowds and standard international offerings.

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Market

Phahurat Market (Little India)

Phahurat Market is located in the Little India area of Bangkok in the Phra Nakhon district of the city, which has a large Sikh community. Just a stone’s throw from Chinatown, visiting the market and its surrounding areas means a discovery of smells, sights, sounds, and tastes—a true feast for the senses. The market is so named due to the main road that connects it, where stall and shop owners sell all manner of Indian-style clothing, jewelry, and food amid a labyrinth of narrow alleyways. These crowded lanes are mainly filled with swaths of fabrics, as well as ready-to-wear items of clothing. The area also extends along Chakrawat Road and further along Sampeng Lane, where neighboring restaurants offer a range of Indian cuisine to choose from. The Phahurat Market is a popular and often crowded place, where visitors can wander around and soak up the atmosphere, stopping to haggle for some fine silks or to nibble on a delicious Indian snack from a street cart.

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Market

Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)

In a city and country known for its colorful markets, none stands quite so vivid as Bangkok’s Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market. The largest floral market in the Thai capital -- both retail and wholesale -- sits on the banks of the river just south of Wat Pho. Open 24 hours a day, the market starts each day primarily as a vegetable and fruit market before giving way to the flowers. As you wander through, you’ll see flowers from around the world, piled high in stall after stall -- delicate orchids, bunches of colorful carnations, fragrant roses, lilies and forget-me-nots.

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Thailand

25 Featured Attractions

Religious Architecture

Temple of the Protruding Buddha (Wat Phra Thong)

Wat Phra Thong is perhaps not the most impressive of Phuket's temples, but it surely has the best story behind it. And once you know the story, the 'half image' that forms the center of the temple will have way greater resonance.According to lore, a boy was out watering a buffalo and tied it to some metal protruding out of the ground. In quick order, both boy and buffalo died, but the boy appeared to his father in a dream and told him to investigate the object.When the father dug around the place, he found the tip of a golden Buddha sitting buried in the ground. All attempts to excavate it over the ensuing centuries failed, and there are stories of attacks by hornets when locals tried to dig it out in the 18th century!Eventually it was decided to leave the exposed top of the Eventually it was decided to leave the exposed top of the Buddha statue where it was - it so obviously resisted being dug up! - and build a protective layer and a temple over it.

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Fun & Games

MBK Center

In a city full of posh shopping center, MBK Center (Ma Boon Khrong Center) is more than just your average shopping mall. It is eight stories high and contains 2000 shops and restaurants selling clothing, watches, shoes and electronics. Its enormity and reputation as a great place for a bargain make it extremely popular with expats, locals and visitors. The center cycles through 100,000 people a day! Located just off of Siam Square, it is immediately distinguishable by its sleek glass facade with MBK in green letters. If you're looking for inexpensive clothing or electronics this is the place for you, although keep in mind that unlike it's higher priced neighbors, Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon, many of the name brand duds here are fake.

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Market

Tha Kha Floating Market

The Tha Kha Floating Market offers a peaceful respite from the crowds of Bangkok and the throng of tourists attracted to the larger floating markets closer to the capital. The market takes place each weekend in a tranquil, rural setting amid the canals and fruit plantations of the Samut Songkhram province. Among the rural scenes and local traditions, visitors to Tha Kha will find locals punting along the waterways in wooden boats filled with fragrant flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, colorful spices, and dried fish. Despite being only 10 kilometers from the larger and more famous Amphawa Floating Market, this is a wholly relaxing affair, where you can get an insight into rural village life and drift along the sugar-palm-lined waterways with a friendly local guide.

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Gardens & Parks

Tweechol Botanic Garden

Quiet swimming pools, well-kept bike trails, popular paddle boats, manicured gardens and pristine topiaries make Tweechol Botanical Gardens, just outside of Chiang Mai, a popular destination for travelers looking to escape the big town hustle and enjoy the slower pace of northern Thai life.Visitors can walk through wild orchid displays and collections of unique succulents, or ride bikes through more than 100 varieties of palm trees on a visit to Tweechol. Travelers will also learn about the traditions of the Lanna people, and children will love the small but impressive zoo—home to dozens of animals including ostriches, deer, camels and peacocks.

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Sights & Landmarks

Bangkok Cruise Port (Laem Chabang)

The capital of Thailand, Bangkok is an electric, cosmopolitan city boasting over 11 million residents. With a vibrant nightlife, bustling markets, grand temples and palaces and enough canals to merit the moniker “Venice of the East,” the city has something for everyone.There is so much to see and do in Bangkok, one day really isn’t enough; to make the most of your visit, you may be well advised to book an organized excursion to save time.

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Sights & Landmarks

Phitsanulok

Somewhat off the tourist track, one of the country’s largest provincial capitals, Phitsanulok, is set along the Nan River in the north of Thailand. Surrounded by a landscape of mountains, rice fields, and forests, this was home to a settlement of Khmer people in the 10th century. Centuries later, the capital of the Sukhothai kingdom moved here, and the Ayutthaya kingdom later declared it as its capital too.Today, Phitsanulok is a bustling and diverse city with plenty of cultural attractions to please international visitors, including Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat, which contains one of the most revered Buddha images in the country. Phitsanulok also makes for a convenient base from which to explore the ancient attractions of nearby Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai, and Kamphaeng Phet.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Sukhothai Historical Park (Historic Town of Sukhothai)

Nearly 200 unique ruins are tucked into the 70 square kilometers of land that make up the Sukhothai Historical Park, including towering buddhas, ornate palaces and crumbling temples. Travelers can wander the area on foot, or rent bikes and ride between the structures that date back as far as the 13th and 14th centuries.Visitors love the quiet, peaceful escape of the park, which provides a stark contrast to some of Thailand’s more urban destinations. The most popular ruins are located near the central entrance and are visited by most tour groups, but the sites further afield are equally beautiful and far less crowded.

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Sights & Landmarks

Siam Square

Siam Square is often referred to by locals as the center of Bangkok due to its central BTS sky train sop. The area also has a way of just drawing people in as a major entertainment and shopping mecca for consumers looking to buy anything from designer jeans to knockoff watches. It's a popular destination for locals, expats and tourists.Despite its name, Siam Square is not really a square, it's more like a maze of tiny streets crammed with shops, restaurants, street vendors and more. Whatever you need to buy, chances are you can find is somewhere around here. Towering over the chaos are many 5 star hotels as well as three major upscale malls: Siam Center, Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon. Wander above and below and enjoy consumerism at its finest.

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Geological Formations

Chiang Dao Caves

This group of caves in the Chiang Dao region north of Chiang Mai is full of massive limestone and crystal formations. Though there are many caverns at the base of the Doi Chiang Dao mountain range here, these five in particular are interconnected and open to explore, with impressive stalagmites and stalactites hanging and growing from the ceilings and floors.Buddha images on the walls of the caves are evidence of their use as shrines and meditation sites. Estimated to run seven miles (12 km) deep, the first two caves are well-lit, but you’ll need a guide and a lantern or flashlight to access the others. Seasonally, an underground river flows through some of the caves, along with many other natural wonders and cultural sights to be discovered and explored.Seasonally there is an underground river flowing through some of the caves. There are both natural wonders and cultural sights to be explored; just be sure to bring some light or hire a guide who knows the way.

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Sights & Landmarks

Sukhumvit

Sukhumvit Road is the longest boulevard in Thailand (with the Skytrain running along most of its length), and the surrounding neighborhood has become the city’s makeshift international zone, with expats and well-off Thais living on the small side streets, called sois, that intersect it. It’s a neighborhood where choices are endless. Luxury hotels stand beside budget accommodations, and the food scene from five star to street stand is top notch.What Sukhumvit lacks in tourist attractions it makes up for in its buzzing shopping and nightlife scene. By day air-conditioned shopping malls offer just about anything under the sun and sumptuous days spas promise relaxation. By night the neighborhood comes alive with some of Bangkok’s top nightclubs (and a few notorious red light districts).

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Lopburi

Situated 150 kilometers north of Bangkok, Lopburi is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, dating back to the Dvaravati period when it was known as Lavo. The influence of the Khmer empire is particularly evident throughout the city, but it reached the peak of its commercial, cultural, and political importance when the seventeenth century Siamese King Narai made it his second capital. The ruins seen in Lopburi today are mainly from this era, including the large palace on the Lopburi River. Narai was also responsible for restoring many of the Khmer temples, as well as various monuments that he restored and transformed into Buddhist shrines.Today, hundreds of monkeys have made some of the major ruins of Lopburi their home. These macaques have become as much a part of the city as the ruins themselves, but it’s wise for visitors to stay on their guard as they will steal cameras, small bags, and, in particular, anything that remotely resembles food!

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Gardens & Parks

Lumpini Park (Lumphini Park)

This urban oasis in the heart of bustling Bangkok offers travelers and locals a 142-acre escape from the chaos of the city. Towering trees, well-designed playgrounds and an artificial lake where visitors can rent boats and float in peace are part of the draw to popular Lumpini Park. Runners follow worn paths that wind through the grounds and cyclists loop through the park between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. Lumpini Park is the perfect place to relax, unwind and recover before heading back into the street of Bangkok.

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Well-known Landmarks

Wat Suthat Thepwararam

Wat Suthat is one of the oldest and most revered temples in Bangkok. It is one of just six temples in Thailand classified as the “highest grade of the first class royal temples.” It houses an eight-meter tall bronze Buddha statue seated in the Mara position, as well as some intricate wall murals that depict the life of the Buddha.However, Wat Suthat is perhaps best known for the giant red swing (or Sao Ching Chaa) that sits in front of it. The huge 20-meter-tall swing, which is made from teak wood, was built at the end of the 18th century when it was used as part of an annual religious ceremony. Inside the temple, magnificent wall murals portray the stories of the Buddha, while others depict scenes of daily life in the Rattanakosin era. Along with those found in Bangkok’s Grand Palace, these murals are considered some of the best and most extensive in the whole of Thailand.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Koh Yao Noi (Ko Yao Noi)

Koh Yao Noi is situated midway between Phuket and Krabi in Phang Nga Bay. It’s a diverse and scenic island, with mangrove forests lining its west coast and white-sand beaches fringing its eastern edges. Yao Noi is around half the size of neighboring Koh Yao Yai, but is nonetheless the more developed of the two. However, beyond the 7Eleven, high-end resorts, and guest houses, local life on Koh Yao Noi continues, with farming and fishing the main source of income for the island alongside tourism. Yao Noi is a joy to simply ride around, either on a hired motorbike or via a tuk tuk. It has one main road that circles the southern half of the island, with smaller paved roads taking off in different directions, plus a few dirt tracks leading up to the north. Along the way, it’s all about taking in the scenery – the wooden houses on stilts, rubber plantations, rice paddies, and mangrove forests. Other activities available on the island include kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, and swimming.

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Sights & Landmarks

Lampang

This historic town in the north of Thailand is known for its quaint streets and horse-drawn carriages. Travelers use this quiet area on the bank of the Wang River as a convenient jumping point for trips throughout the region, but it’s also worth exploring.Visit the National Elephant Institute to learn more about the care and protection of some of the country’s largest mammals or head to the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang to check out traditional Lanna architecture. Travelers love the popular Gad Gong Tha weekend night market, and it’s impossible to leave this scenic town without experiencing the pleasure of a traditional Lampang carriage ride.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum Kam is an ancient “lost city” located on the banks of the Mae Ping River. It was founded in the 13th century by King Mangrai and was the royal capital prior to Chiang Mai. Wiang Kum Kam was abandoned in the 16th century due to flooding, and was only rediscovered in 1984.Wiang Kum Kam has been partly restored to its former glory and visitors can tour the ruins of ancient temples and see the carved stone tablets unearthed by archaeologists. Some of the sites have plaques with information in English and guides are available for hire.

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Scenic Landmarks

Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam

Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam -- it’s a mouthful that in English means “canal of two waters” – is a stunning natural paradise where crystal-clear freshwater springs meet saltwater mangrove forests. Located about 21 miles (34 kilometers) outside of the town of Krabi, Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam is lined with boardwalks, making it a photogenic place for nature walks beside and above the water. Wooden chairs placed throughout give guests a spot to stop and admire the views. One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the area is in a canoe. Rentals are available by the hour or the day, and from the park entrance, you can paddle all the way to the Andaman Sea.

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Well-known Landmarks

Golden Mount (Wat Saket)

The Golden Mount - or Wat Saket - was constructed by King Rama I shortly after the founding of Bangkok. Built just outside the original city walls and intended as a burial site, the mount has many thousands of bodies interned here - most of them dating from Rama II's rule when plague swept through the city.Built on swampy ground, the hill was rebuilt by Rama III who added a chedi (stupa) which promptly collapsed due to the shifting foundations. Rama V built the golden chedi we see today on the rubble of the previous chedi. The golden chedi is rumored to contain some of Buddha's remains – including his teeth. Concrete walls were constructed during World War II to ensure the structure remains stable. The Golden Mount looks its best at night when it glows gold against the dark sky. It is worth visiting in the daytime too for fantastic views across the city.

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Well-known Landmarks

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

The golden spire of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep glitters near the summit of Doi Suthep, a 1,676 meter (5,500 foot) mountain outside Chiang Mai. The wat was established in 1383, and is one of northern Thailand's most sacred temples.Gold and copper catch the sunlight, including a five-tiered gold umbrella that's one of the holiest sites in Thailand.The International Buddhist Center at the wat hosts informal discussions, chanting and meditation.While you’re here, enjoy the cooler mountain climate and explore the park’s forest, orchids and wildlife.

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Sights & Landmarks

Bang Rak

Hugging the Chao Phraya River and home to some of the city’s best hotels, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife, Bangkok’s Bangrak is a blend of international and local culture. Particularly famous for the commercial shopping district around Silom Road, Bangrak covers a huge area, although most locals usually consider it to be the area surrounding the river.Aside from its shopping centers and high-rise hotels, Bangrak is home to a number of attractions, including the Bangkok Folk Museum, plus the religious sites of Wat Hua Lamphong and the famous Hindu temple, Sri Mahamariamman. The area between the Saphan Taksin Skytrain station and the junction of Charoen Krung and Silom Road is well worth a stroll along. It’s a teeming melting pot of local life and home to a number of hawker food stalls serving delicious and traditional local cuisine.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mae Ping River

The Mae Ping River cuts through Chiang Mai just a few blocks east of the old city and night market. In central Chiang Mai the banks of the river have been developed and are home to hotels, open-air restaurants, and bars, while in the countryside the river retains its natural charms. The ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam is also set on the banks of the Mae Ping River south of Chiang Mai.Sight-seeing tours and dinner cruises along the Mae Ping River available. For the more adventurous, kayaking and rafting trips can be arranged.

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Well-known Landmarks

Wat Chedi Luang

If you’ve ever wanted to chat to a Buddhist monk, pull up a chair at Wat Chedi Luang. As you enter the wat from Th Phra Pokkao, turn right and you’ll see some tables under a sign reading ‘Monk Chat.’The partially ruined wat 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, and you can see the original in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew.Wat Chedi Luang has undergone a restoration program, which has added several Buddha images, porticoes and statues.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Jim Thompson House Museum

A top destination for visitors in Bangkok, the Jim Thompson House is a museum dedicate to the 20th century American businessman Jim Thompson, who almost single handedly reinvented the Thai silk trade. Housed in the former home of Mr. Thompson, the museum contains art he obtained while traveling in the region as well as very informative demonstrations showing the entire process of making silk, from how the silkworms are raised through to the production process.The house is made up of six traditional Thai-style homes that were purchased one by one and formed into an elaborate mansion-like complex that includes a drawing room, painting pavilion, library, study and silk pavilion. Certainly a fan-favorite, the gift shop contains loads of great silk products as well as books and paintings showcasing the life of Jim Thompson.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Bangkok National Museum

The main branch of the National Museums in Thailand, Bangkok's main public museum is also the largest museum in all of South East Asia. Spread out over acres of green grounds and multiple buildings, the museum is a showcase for Thai art and history. Although it used to be considered unorganized, dusty and forgotten, it's recently been renovated and updated and now features a vibrant collection of artifacts with clear English-language descriptions.Inside you will find a truly enormous collection of treasures including paintings, sculptures, bronzes and prehistoric art from Thailand and other Asian countries. You will want to give yourself plenty of time to thoroughly cover the exhibits and may want to consider hiring a guide for a more targeted tour. Highlights include a replica funeral chariot hall, the Buddhaisawan chapel and the weapon galleries.

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Market

Sampeng Market

Perhaps the most popular of Bangkok’s street markets, Sampeng Market—known by locals at Yaowarat—is an energetic and eclectic space in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood that’s jam packed with food, fabric, jewelry and other random items. Locals flock to crowded stalls in search of wholesale items, while tourists can be found sampling spicy dishes and combing through collections of t-shirts, handbags, jewelry and artwork. Travelers are encouraged to barter for lower prices, although most items are tough to find cheaper. Those who prefer a more typical shopping experience can head to nearby Terminal 21, a well-known shopping mall with fewer crowds and standard international offerings.

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