Thailand is full of wonders. You can experience the culture through their food, ancient architecture, and night life which seems never ending. The list would be much too long if I wrote down every experience I enjoyed during my 6 week stay. Instead, here is a list of what I believe are the top things to see and do in Thailand.
5. Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)
This is the White Temple in Chiang Rai I mentioned in my other article here. This temple is definitely worth the trip because it is unlike any other temple you will see in Thailand, maybe even Southeast Asia. Visiting a temple in Southeast Asia is inevitable even if it isn’t one of your top priorities. These temples are so intertwined with the peoples everyday lives here in Thailand. It would be a disservice not to visit at least a few in order to gain some perspective about Thai culture.
Wat Rong Khun, more specifically changed my perspective on how I actually viewed each temple I visited. Most temples you’ll want to visit were constructed hundreds of years ago. The carvings on the walls just look like pretty designs, but actually act as a time capsule. Most carvings tell stories of what was going on in their culture at the time, what was popular, who was king, etc. This never really resonated with me until I visited the white temple. The guy who created this art exhibit, designed it based on Buddhist temple architecture. Inside the temple are massive murals of pop culture references and events that occurred at the time he was painting. This temple will act as a time capsule of our generation for people to visit for hundreds of years after we are gone. That is pretty damn awesome.
4. Take a Cooking Class/ Eat all the Foods
This one is pretty self explanatory. Thai food is amazing, and the best way to experience it is first hand. Learn to make it, so you can take those recipes home with you! What better souvenir is there? I found after a while that I would get stuck on certain food items and stopped trying new menu options. Yes the pad thai and thai green curry were delicious but there are so many more amazing options out there. By taking a cooking class, you see what goes into each dish, and how changing only a few ingredients can make a completely new dish. I love bringing the recipes home and testing them out on my family, they love trying it and feeling like they got a piece of the culture as well.
3. Full Moon Party
Once again, I covered this a bit in my other article, here but I want to explain why it is a party you shouldn’t miss. Let me first say, this party has absolutely nothing to do with Thailand or its culture. Also, this party is most definitely devastating for the beach because drunk people throw their garbage on the ground, which then flows to the ocean. It is essentially a really fun/insane beach party.
There are definitely mixed reviews on the full moon party, but if you do it right, you’ll have an amazing time. Go to the party with only a few friends you trust so you can look out for each other. If you know your personal drinking limits, moderate yourself, hydrate throughout the night, and eat some food. Move from DJ to DJ up and down the beach to experience everything this party has to offer. There is something about drinking/dancing until the sun comes up, then plopping your drunkass on the beach to watch a spectacular sunrise. Be smart, know your limits, and wear your dancing shoes. It will definitely be an experience you will never forget.
There are so many different islands/beaches to visit, each with their own unique qualities. Good snorkeling is commonplace on all the islands, as well as affordable open water diving courses. There is nothing better than relaxing on a beach all day with good friends then heading to dinner to watch the sunset. After the sun goes down is when the happy hour starts and the fire twirlers come out. The beaches of Thailand can not be summed up in a paragraph so I’ll just post a few extra pictures in this section.
Learn about elephants by visiting a sanctuary! Thai people have a long and interesting history with elephants. Get an up close and personal experience with these majestic giants. MAKE sure to do your research though, there are many companies that claim to be a sanctuary when they are 100% not even close. I visited Baan Chang Elephant Park and loved my experience which I talk about in my other article, here.