I have been living in, and exploring southeast Asia for the past 3 years and without question my favorite country in this corner of the world is Thailand. This vast country has so much incredible natural wonder and man-made beauty to discover that it is no surprise just how popular the country is amongst travelers and tourists.
I wanted to share with you some of the most amazing experiences which I have had in Thailand, in the hope that it will inspire you on what to do the next time you are in this outstation country. And so without further ado, here are the Thai experiences which I think that you simply have to try out.
What better way to cut through and explore the heart of Thailand’s most beautiful natural settings than to do so in a group, riding on a motorbike? There are many motorcycle tours in Thailand available and in my view the best is the tour which runs from November to February that takes you through the heart of the Golden Triangle and along the banks of the huge Mekong River. If you love to explore nature, you will be hard pressed to find a better experience than this. These tours are designed to give you the best of Thailand’s nature and cities and they are the perfect way to spend your time in the country.
Playing With Elephants
The elephant is the national symbol of Thailand and throughout the country you will find plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. If you plan on doing this then I recommend that you do so in the elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai. Elephant tourism has a very dark side in many areas of Thailand with many of these magnificent beasts being trained in brutal circumstances. Animal tourism doesn’t have to be this way, as you will see when you visit the responsible sanctuary in Chiang Mai.
Hill Tribe Experience
Because of the fact that so much of Thailand is rural land, there still exists many traditional tribes and communities who remain largely unaffected by modern life. Across the north of the country, you can take a break from the tourist trail and head deep into the wilds to visit the Akha, Lisu, Hmong and Karen tribes. Visiting these tribes is a remarkable experience and serve as a reminder of simpler times. These colorful tribes also benefit from your visits if you are able to purchase some of their hand-made items.
Thailand has a staggering amount of festivals which take place each year and the most famous of them all is Songkran, the Thai new year festival which takes place on the 13th of April each year. One traditional part of the festival involves washing Buddha with water to cleanse sins and start the new year fresh, has taken on different proportions in the current age. These days Songkran, whilst still widely respected, has turned into a full blown water fight as locals celebrate the new year. Try to avoid the popular tourist destinations if you want a truly accurate Songkran experience.
Have you visited Thailand before? Which were your favorite places? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.