Take a trip to Thailand
The kingdom of Siam is known for its beaches and its paradise islands with unequalled sea beds. There are countless of them so avoid Pattaya or Phuket: you will find much better elsewhere. Let’s mention the island of Koh Lipe on the southern side of Thailand, the archipelago of Koh Similan or the wild Koh Kut, not far from the Cambodian coast. You will undoubtedly arrive in the country via Bangkok, a sprawling and bustling megalopolis that deserves to be visited as it has so many hidden facets, far from the clichés. History lovers will head to the ancient capitals of the kingdom, Ayuthaya and Sukhothai, but also to the fabulous Khmer Buddhist temples of the Khorat plateau. The omnipresent fauna will delight young and old. Take advantage of your stay to visit an elephant sanctuary and take a ride on the back of the pachyderms. Be careful to choose a center where the animals are respected.
Tour guides in Thailand
Five ideas for guided tours in Thailand
Bangkok can drive the tourist crazy if he doesn’t take the time to settle down. He will not know that it is not only a city of transit and that it abounds in thousand surprises. Here is a non-exhaustive list.
– The Grand Palace. Right on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the former imperial residence impresses by its size and by the treasures it contains, such as the precious Emerald Buddha.
– The temple of Wat Saket, located on an artificial hill called the Mount of gold, constitutes the ideal place to have a panoramic sight on the whole capital.
– Wat Pho: this temple has the statue of the largest reclining Buddha in the country (15 meters high and 45 meters long).
– The largest market is called Chatuchak. It is THE place of bargains par excellence, but you will have to know how to find your way between its multitudes of alleys and its 15 000 merchants.
– The Lumphini Park will allow you to taste some serenity and peace in the heart of the bustling agglomeration. It is one of the most extensive gardens in Bangkok. You can even see Malayan monitor lizards around the lake.
– At the National Museum, you can learn more about Thai culture. A visit with an English-speaking guide is available at no extra charge.
– Board the Ruea Hang Yao, the typical boats that navigate the Klongs, the many canals that wind through the megacity. They offer a different and less stressful way to travel along the banks of the river. This is how you can reach the floating market of Damnoen Saduak, still picturesque although it has become a bit too touristy.
Koh Tao Island
Koh Tao, located on the west coast of Thailand, has a tropical climate. This means that it is hot and humid all year round, with a rainy season from mid-October to early December. It can be reached via the coastal towns of Don Sak or Koh Phangan. The island is rather small and therefore offers very few means of transportation, and the roads are not in very good condition. The easiest way to get around is by long-tail boat: these boats take you to the various important places on the coast more quickly. The advantage of all this is that mass tourism is less oppressive on Koh Tao. You will be able to enjoy the fine sandy beaches, the coral reefs for snorkeling, and in the evening, to party. The most popular beaches are Mae Haad or Sairee. For more peace and quiet, head to the heavenly islets of Koh Nangyuan. For hiking, venture out on different excursions, such as Two Views where you will have a bird’s eye view of Tanote Bay, which surrounds Sairee Beach.
Khao Yai National Park
For all the escape lovers, here is one of the biggest parks in the “land of smiles”. Located 200 kilometers from Bangkok, the gateway to the country, the small town of Pak Chong, 14 kilometers from the visitor center, offers bungalows that you can rent. The Khao Yai rainforest is characterized by its altitude, which can reach 1300 meters, which explains the incredible variety of plants that grow there. The park has several waterfalls, the most famous being Haew Suwat and Haew Narok. As far as animals are concerned, there are many species, the most emblematic of which are leopards, gibbon monkeys, elk, bears and nearly 300 wild elephants. For more security, it is better to be accompanied by a private Thai tour guide to walk in the reserve and to be dressed in order to avoid cuts and the inconvenience of insects, snakes and other leeches. Different levels of tours are offered, from the easiest ones, which can be done on foot and last only a few hours, to the most complicated ones with climbing and suspension bridges. If you prefer the tranquility, you can rent a 4×4 or a scooter and take the mountain roads.
Province of Mae Hong Son
To discover a different aspect of Thailand, head to the northwest, on the border with Myanmar, to the province of Mae Hong Son. It is a privileged place where you will be able to discover the way of life of the mountain tribes, for example the Karen. The area is best visited by renting a scooter. You can admire the pagodas of Wat Jong Kham and Wat Jong Klan, or climb the Doi Kong Mu hill to reach the temple of Wat Phra That. Take the direction of Ban Rak Thai village and observe the tea fields around. Cross the famous Su Tong Pae bamboo bridge. The beautiful Mae Surin waterfall, surrounded by flowering meadows, is another option for a nice excursion. For even more escape and isolation, head to Mae Sariang and its natural park of Salawin. Between cliffs, streams, rice fields, herds of elephants wandering in the countryside, you will be spoilt for choice to wander off the beaten track.
The small town of Kanchanaburi is located in the province of the same name, about 140 km northwest of the Thai capital. It is a charming place where tourists will find many ideas for outdoor trips, starting with the famous bridge over the River Kwai. It was built during the Second World War by military prisoners under the orders of the Japanese, and this titanic and exhausting work caused the death of thousands of people. You can go there by train, by the line bearing the sinister name of Death Railway and which goes to Nam Tok. You will then reach the seven superb waterfalls of Erawan or those of Sai Yok. For a peaceful stay in the Kanchanaburi region, there is nothing better than floating hotels made of bamboo.