I was a little sceptic before visiting Thailand for an obvious reason – almost everyone goes there! Plenty of tourists, hotel resorts, the locals trying to sell you something everywhere. In short, all I expected was just one huge tourist attraction. Nevertheless, I decided to go to Thailand, in order to find out why it is so popular. And I must say that I was enchanted too.
It is true that Thailand is a very popular destination for travellers of all ages. This cause that the country is really multicultural, which gives it an exotic undertone. One of the main reasons why tourism flourishes to Thailand is low prices. Whatever it is, such as accommodation or delicious food. In Thailand, you can get a lot for little money
The atmosphere of omnipresent monks evokes strangely spiritual feelings. And the moment you enter a temple, you are blinded by gold-plated Buddha statues. Bangkok is full of temples and Buddha statues of various colours and sizes. Besides the temples, you can also wander off to meditation centres where ordinary people and monks meet to meditate together. However, if you have never meditated before, don’t expect that you will be successful at it at first try.
If you are going to Thailand for the first time, read 12 Things I wish I knew before visiting Thailand.
As the evening approaches, the streets of Bangkok start to come to live – especially the famous Khaosan road. It is full of discos and bars, stalls with clothes and good-smelling food. Also, sex market flourishes there. Thailand is famous for its tolerance and openness towards individuals of ambivalent gender. The streets are flooded with so-called lady-boys, who are, usually, men who underwent surgeries in order to look like women.
Elephants are undeniably a part of Thailand’s culture. There’s a number of elephant farms in Thailand where you can feed or caress elephants. The highest concentration of elephants is in the north of Thailand around the city of Chiang Mai. Each elephant has to make money in order to support itself. Looking after such an animal is an expensive matter. Elephants worked in the jungle pulling wood and were used to do various kinds of hard work in the past, even in the army, or helped with transportation. Nowadays, they use them in tourism. From painting pictures, through prepared acrobatics, to carrying tourists on their backs; however, you can also come across elephants begging on the streets. Those are usually baby elephants accompanied by Mahouts – elephant trainers. For a fee, you can feed baby elephants with sugarcane
If you are interested in historical sights, you will surely appreciate a visit to the former royal city – Ayutthaya. The atmosphere of the place is magical and it is full of ancient sights and temples.
For fans of nature, Thailand offers an infinite number of national parks and reserves. I picked Erawan National Park, which is a gorgeous showcase of waterfalls with crystal clear blue water. On top of that, you can swim anywhere there, so it was really worth it.
And for those who look forward to hanging out on the beach, there are islands such as Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, or Krabi – however, keep in mind that you can forget about empty beaches right away