Welcome to the land of smiles! Thailand is the land of temples and beaches too. So, I am sure no tourist would leave the country without a smile on the face. Only this statement about the country attracts tourists from far and wide places on the globe. Thailand has developed so much that you can expect any kind of fun and thrill here. In this article, I will take you on the tour of its largest cities namely, the capital and Chiang Mai that are also among the top destinations in the list of attractions in Thailand.
BANGKOK is the metropolis, the commercial hub, and the city of economic and political interactions. The glossy new overland metropolitan railway here is among the top attractions in Thailand, which allows tourists to fly over the muddled scenes. However, the city has also a negative status of boasting traffic congestion and pollution. But, that has been taken care of by the new railway, cheap river boats, and the cheap air-conditioned taxis. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the hotels of Bangkok are at its best here. Further, the site is also the home of the Grand Palace that is a major tourist attraction occupying a huge area and Wat Phra Kaeo that is a temple complex where the Emerald Buddha is the most admired. If you go with the name, you might think that the Buddha statue is adorned with the emeralds, but that is not true. In fact, it is made up of clear green jade.
From the Grand Palace, go upwards to explore the lavish Royal Barges that are yet utilized for special processions on the river. Within the city, I am sure you will love to explore a myriad of religious heritages sites – more than 300 Buddhist temple and shrines. Out of these, the most popular are Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), and Wat Trimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha). Wat Pho is among the largest temple complexes holding a series of more than 30 temples out of which the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is the largest. Here, the Buddha’s statue is really a giant one. Relaxing in the gardens encircling the temples is a recommend leisure activity here. There is also the national school for traditional Thai massage here.
Rather than a local market, the Floating Market is among the interesting tourist attractions in Thailand. Other places of interest are Lak Muang (the city stone), the Erawan Shrine where offerings are made, the National Museum in the Suan Pakkard Palace offering an exhibit of valuable antiques, and the former home of the American silk-dealer Jim Thompson who is said to have been disappeared since 1967 and now offering a craft museum with a shop of high-quality and cheap silk items.
Speaking about the excursions, explore the old capital of Ayutthaya upriver and the old summer palace at Bang Pa-In. Within its limits, check out for the stunning edifices like the classic Thai pavilion, a neoclassical palace, a Chinese-style pagoda, and a Buddhist temple bearing many features of a Gothic church. If you drive towards the east of the city, the main highlights are the Ancient City that is an extensive private park with models of the nation’s historic monuments and the temple ruins of the Khmer era besides the Cambodian frontier. And yes, just in the outskirts of the city, do not miss to visit the Rose Garden Country Resort featuring daily performances on Thai music, dance, and games.
CHIANG MAI is located in the far north as the second-largest city. It is a base for excursions to the most ancient and stunning temples, the teak forests and their trailing elephants, caves, waterfalls, and northern hill tribes. Two of the main attractions in Thailand are here – the Doi Suthep temple and elephant trekking. Nestled on a hill, the temple allures you by offering some great city views when the days are clear days. You can reach there either by a funicular or a staircase of 400 steps. Here, the banisters surely demand your attention, which are a mammoth green-and-red finished serpent that twists downwards to meet a dazzling dragon’s head. Elephant trekking is so interesting around the countryside, which have pulled thousands of tourists since the last decade.
From Chiang Mai, consider taking an excursion to explore small villages looping the city famous for the local handicrafts. One of them is the Mae Sa Valley where an elephant training school and a close by orchid farm exist. If possible, take a longer trip to the Doi Inthanon National Park and Chiang Rai that act as the base to reach to the Mekong River and the Golden Triangle. One more great opportunity is to drive to Mae-Hong-Son near Myanmar for trekking or motorcycle touring.