Aside from its world-class cuisine, tranquil Buddhist temples, buzzing Bangkok nightlife, and endless shopping possibilities, Thailand is renowned for the hospitality of its people. You’ll never be on short things to see and do as a visitor in the Land of Smiles, so be sure to soak up as much of the culture as possible! Start your trip in Bangkok — Thailand’s capital — but then be sure to visit outlying areas such as Chiang Mai in the north, or the islands in the south. No matter where you end up in Thailand, though, you’ll never be short of things to do.
Eat the Street Food
A trip to Thailand wouldn’t be complete without sampling the local cuisine. There’s probably no better dining destination in the world for adventurous foodies. If you’re fine with eating standing up or perched on a stool at the side of the road while tourists and locals swarm past you, then you’re in luck — you have the world’s best street food on offer so enjoy it. Try the pad thai (noodles), som tam (papaya salad), pia pao (fish barbecued in salt), gai/moo bing (grilled chicken/pork skewers) and fresh fruit smoothies! Street food stalls are everywhere.
Get a Traditional Thai Massage
With so much exploring and shopping on offer, you’ll definitely want to find some time to unwind, and there’s no better way to do that in Bangkok than with a traditional Thai massage. Sometimes referred to as a “Thai yoga massage,” traditional Thai massages are an ancient healing system that combines acupressure with Indian Ayurvedic principles and assisted yoga postures. Wear loose clothing, as you’ll remain clothed during the massage, and the massage therapist will stretch and compress your muscles by bending you into a variety of yoga-like positions. Some people might find parts of the traditional Thai massage painful, but you’ll always be able to explain your comfort level during the massage.
Watch a Muay Thai Fight
Muay Thai (or Thai Boxing) is a combat sport that involves striking and clinching. The sport is loved by millions in Thailand and has now become popular on an international scale. Professional fighters train for years before joining the professional league. Head to Rajadamnern Stadium, the oldest boxing stadium in Thailand, to see an authentic match between world-class fighters. Or, consider taking a Muay Thai course in the south, where many backpackers end up learning the art in week-long or month-long courses.
Soak Up the Views from a Rooftop Bar
Take in spectacular panoramic views over Bangkok from the rooftop Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar, located 61 stories (198 meters) above the city. Sip an expertly-crafted cocktail or dine al fresco on the former helipad, which is now a chic eatery and watering hole with 360-degree panoramic views. It’ll be hard to compete with that view, but it’s a good idea to dress up a little bit. Both the restaurant and bar have a “smart casual” dress code, so flip flops and backpacks are a no-go.
Have you ever been to Thailand? If so, do you have any suggestions or tips for people? If not, what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!