Things to do in Thailand
Beautiful shades waiting to be discovered
Thailand is known for the genuine friendliness and warmth of its people, and it’s easy to see why, with endless reasons to smile in the golden child of South East Asian destinations. A rich, multifaceted culture, a fun-loving vibe with plenty to see and do, and kilometers of glittering coastline inviting sun-kissed days exploring the tropical waters. Experience it all and more with My Thailand!
The unique tapestry that is Thai culture has been woven over centuries from many different threads, creating the colourful, vibrant and genuinely warm society we get to experience today. The gold thread of religion remains a strong influence with Buddhist temples acting as social, spiritual and educational centres for the local population. Whether you come to pray for health or good fortune, consult with the monks or simply seek peaceful reflection, these works of art remain an important part of everyday life. Striking architectural features such as high peaked gables and towers, natural surrounds including sacred Bodhi trees and intricate ornamentation are all part of the reason these holy centres have become so popular among tourists. Each wat has its own distinct style and story to tell, from mountain sanctuaries to city-bound complexes. Wat Chalong is the oldest temple in Phuket, with its chedi containing a splinter of Buddha’s bone. Intricate ceiling paintings, statues covered in gold leaf and famous porcelain artefacts decorate the many halls inside the beautiful grounds of Wat Chalong.
If the thread of religion is gold, there must be a scarlet thread that binds Thai culture together: the bright, warm and generous thread of food. The fresh and exotic Thai palette of flavours is drawn from a melting pot of other cultures including Malay, Chinese and Indian alongside the influence of the sea gypsies. From fresh local seafood to the zing of lemongrass and chili, whether in noodles, curry or a vast range of street eats, Thai food will have your mouth watering. Try Phuket Town for street vendors and hole-in-the-wall eateries run by the same family for generations, or visit one of the many local markets for another authentic experience. Stroll through lanes crowded with bright pyramids of fresh produce and homemade chili pastes, crafts and souvenirs, as well as tantalising snacks. The ever-popular Weekend Market (or Naka Market as it’s known locally) kicks off mid-afternoon and is a popular choice in Phuket for its vibrant atmosphere and seemingly endless array of goodies.
It’s no secret that Phuket and Patong Beach are partying hot-spots, but there’s so much more to Thai entertainment than bright lights. One of the best Phuket activities may be the souvenir that keeps on giving—a Thai cooking class to unravel the secret complexities and balanced flavours required for this world-class cuisine. For a change of gear, experience the rush and marvel at the skill of a Muay Thai match at Bangala Boxing Stadium or wander the city streets after sundown to catch magic tricks, hip hop and samba dancers, or fire performers. If you still long for pumping music and glowing neons, Bangala Road comes alive after dusk with live music, bartenders and promoters for the many clubs, bars and cabarets. Linger near the beach for those coveted views and tropical pool party vibes. Iguana Beach club has a slightly more relaxed atmosphere for those more interested in chatting than dancing.
If you still can’t get enough, explore wider with a sunset cruise through beautiful Phang Nga Bay. Wildly popular throughout the day because of its dramatic limestone cliffs, caves and secret lagoons, the bay becomes quiet and peaceful as soon as the sun sets. Passing only a few fishing boats, sail the calm waters under a silver moon and enjoy dinner aboard for a truly romantic experience. During the day, thickly-forested mountains and palm-fringed secluded islands offer an experience you won’t forget. With crystal waterfalls to quench the tropical heat, abundant national parks and wildlife centres to properly acquaint you with the living, breathing treasures of this South East Asian gem, you’ll never fall short of things to do in Thailand!
Think white sand and clear waters fading into a thousand shades of blue-green before they meet the distant horizon. Gentle tides and soothing breezes waiting for you beneath the waterline, Thailand’s many beaches are perfect for snorkelling and there’s no need for a wet-suit with water temperatures sitting around a balmy 27-28°C. Take the plunge and explore underwater gardens and exquisite marine ecosystems drift over intricate coral, anemones and bright tropical fish. Ao Sane, off the south end of Phuket, and Kata Beach are 2 prime diving locations with abundant marine life and great visibility. On the flipside, from May to October the winds change and whip the sea into conditions more suited for surfing. The temperatures are still great but the waters are less busy, making for a small but lively surfing community—from smaller waves fit for beginners at Karon Beach to high-speed reef breaks at Kalim.
The tropical waters are perfect at any time of year for discovering wonders via sea kayak or canoe. Self-paddle from the beach or seek out hidden lagoons and limestone caves while you float above the emerald waters of Phang Nga Bay. Join a guided tour to explore the hongs: collapsed cave systems that can only be reached through sea caves at low tide, or kick back and relax on an island-hopping tour. Jump over to the east coast and The Gulf of Thailand to discover turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and the jungle-covered islands of Angthong Archipelago. The Gulf islands are also notorious for yoga retreats and full moon parties alongside areas of great natural beauty and secluded fishing towns seemingly untouched by tourism.