Ah, the powder white sands, city mazes and pinnacles of gold temple lathered across Thailand are calling your name. In a country known for its patchwork of vast landscapes and fascinating culture, alongside the sprinkles of island paradises in the sapphire waters, it wouldn’t be a mistake to assume you’ll be spoiled for choice of sights to see, scents to smell and seas to swim. With Winged Boots’ expertly-researched bucket-list of what to get up to while you’re in The Land of Smiles, you’ll be going from new tasting experiences to encounters with some of the planet’s most endearing creations quicker than you can say green Thai curry… oh, and we recommend you try that too.
Head to Koh Phangan for a legendary burst of neon face paint, burning flames spelling out ‘Full Moon Party’ and sandcastle buckets filled with alcohol.
1. Eat a fried bug from a street stall
Snacking is a way of life in Thailand, and when it comes to the local cuisine, the wildlife hasn’t got away scot-free. Why not try a fried worm, cockroach or cricket next time you’re browsing the street food stalls? It is protein-enriched, apparently.
2. Visit a waterfall
If you search hard enough you could find a plunging waterfall in nearly every province across Thailand. These aqua oasis’ are where locals retreat to, as much as tourists, in the humid weather. Two of our favourites are Mae Ya Waterfall, an hour outside of Chiang Mai and Bang Pae Waterfall, on the outskirts of Phuket.
3. See a temple
It’s a must in Thailand. The religious culture is tremendous here, with scenes of orange-clothed monks floating past you becoming a regularity as you start to travel around. Bangkok’s Wat Pho is a great place to start because, trust us, once you get temple-hopping around, beholding the magnificent architecture and decorative adornments, you won’t be able to stop. The ancient temples are breath-taking for those history geeks, and if that’s what you’re seeking, Ayutthaya is the place to head for.
4. Go snorkeling or diving to see coral reefs
Beach bums listen up. Southern Thailand is the place for you! Once you’ve bought your social media feed to life on the most instagrammable islands like Koh Tao, Koh Lipe and Koh Samui, the next thing to dive into is the crystal-clear waters, full of beautiful coral reefs and bustling marine life. Snorkelling or diving in these inviting seas will bring turtles, manta rays and huge schools of colourful fish to your eyeline without much searching.
5. Bargain at a street market
It’s a tradition anywhere in this part of the world – trying your best to weasel your way down to the lowest price can be a few minutes (or hours depending on your bargaining skills) of unexpected fun. Make sure to have a good sense of humour though and the vendors will turn into your best friend, and hopefully give you a fabulous deal too. Going to a street market is a must regardless of your bargain-hunter beady eyes, with the opportunity to weave around hundreds of stalls, some steaming with Thai aromas and some full of the latest tourist-magnet souvenirs.
6. Get a Thai massage
But know what you’re getting yourself into before! This traditional therapy is designed to heal combing pressure and yoga postures, so if you’re more into sleeping than stretching, a back massage or facial may be more up your street. When in Thailand though…
7. Go to a Full Moon Party
Head to Koh Phangan for a legendary burst of neon face paint, burning flames spelling out ‘Full Moon Party’ and sandcastle buckets filled with alcohol. Infamous across the globe, this is where to head for one of the most memorable raves of your life. Not in Thailand during the full moon? Check out the calender here and opt for the just as fun half moon or jungle party!
8. Visit an elephant sanctuary
Although there’s no denying the amazing pictures you’ll get snuggled up to these gentle giants, the experience will be unforgettable and one that is helping a bigger cause. Just make sure you do your research and head to a genuine sanctuary – take a look at our review of Elephant Nature Park sanctuary here.
9. Get a picture of a long boat on turquoise sea
The classic scene of paradise. Any of the stunning islands or beachside spots in the south will provide you with that quintessential picture of quaint long boats suspended on the glass-like waters underneath. Combine that with striking rock formations covered in forest-green shrubbery in the background and you have yourself a breath-taking sight.
10. Go to a Muay Thai match
This is the ultimate sport for both the Thai public and tourists. Known as “the art of eight limbs,” spectating this sport from VIP ringside seats, while watching the commotion of the only place where betting is legal, is a rite of passage. This isn’t one for the squeamish though – the use of fists, elbows, knees and shins can become quite something!
Has your wanderlust been conjured even more? Give our expert team of personal travel managers a call on 0203 816 098 or enquire here to start planning a bucket list worthy trip to this diverse country where you’ll find yourself striking off our hit-list straight away – after all, enticing culture is all around the moment you step out of your air-conditioned transfer and into the radiant sun.