There are various reasons to visit Thailand, ancient temples, colorful traditional clothes of dancers and moves of kick-boxers, food, spa treatments, elephant rides and ‘dolce vita’ under the sun on endless beaches.
Beaches that are backed by the jungle full of small birds and quite large elephants, like Koh Samui, or backed by the phantasy rock shapes, like Krabi.
You may find a retreat on secluded Khao Lak, or social life of modern resorts in Phuket. There are modern forms of entertainment on Pattaya, and a full moon party on Koh Pha-Ngan, resembling more of ancient, mysterious rituals.
Thailand is the country with a long history and vivid tradition visible in Thai forms of dancing and kick-boxing. Thai philosophy of life influences the treatment programs in numerous spa located all around the country, and the ways of food preparation in Thai cuisine, which ingredients and recipes are covered with a slight mist of mystery. Mystery that can be solved by seeing the local products sold on the market,like during the one of the most famous floating markets Damnoen Saduak in Bangkok, where both merchants and customers arrive on boats to exchange goods while floating on the river.
With over eight million of habitants Bangkok is a vivid and noisy metropolis but at the same time the best place to endulge in the real Thai culture. There are plenty of futuristic solutions, like the new skytrain, but at the same time many of historical places, including Wat Phra Kaeo ( the Temple of Emerald Buddha ) and Wat Pho, which is also the centre for teaching of traditional Thai medicine.
Still, the capital of Thailand is only about two centuries old, to see the real temples, that once shaped the nation’s culture, one should visit Chiang Mai, which features the oldest wat built at the end of 13 th century. Around Chiang Mai there are several sites with elephants to see and to ride. Chiang Mai lies not far from the place, where meet borders of three countries: Thailand,Laos and . The area is better known as the Golden Triangle, the infamous route of opium smugglers, which is today alive only though the items preserved in the local Opium Museum. To visit this picturesque valley of rivers one can stay in an all-inclusive resort Anantara Golden Triangle.
If the tropcal jungle mood is too overwhelming, one can choose to visit one of the golf courses instead, and there are over 250 of them in Thailand, including the oldest one – Royal Hua Hin from 1924.
After the golf it would be nice to get a jacuzzi, or more sophisticated spa treatment, there are plenty of professional spa located around four- andfive star hotels, but the entrance is not restricted to the hotel guests only.
Diving, jungle bungee jumping, rafting and trekking are just some more activities, that add another reason for visiting this extraordinary country.
[photo courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand]