Thailand has become one of the premiere vacation destinations of recent years, but what does a western tourist do, while visiting this beautiful country? There are certainly a number of Thailand tours to consider, but sometimes a vacation means getting away from the kind of organization and rigidity offered by most tour packages. Here, we’ll present a few options that are off the beaten path.
1. Shopping At The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
You can’t take a Thailand vacation and not visit one of the country’s floating markets, which comprise some of the area’s most interesting shopping excursions. The Damnoen Saduak floating market is the largest, offering an impressive selection of fresh produce. This floating market, which makes its home 100km outside of Bangkok, also offers an opportunity to take some of the most breathtaking photos of your vacation.
2. Indulge Your Naughty Side At Nana Plaza
If you haven’t brought the children along and want to spice up your Thailand vacation, this is definitely the place to do it. To get there, you will take Sukhumvit Road, the main thoroughfare in Bangkok, until you arrive at Soi 4. Hailed as the largest sex complex in the world, every taste is catered to in the go-go bars lining the street and the enticing women offering companionship along the way.
3. Koh Phi Phi Island Awaits
If this separate island looks familiar, you’re either a James Bond fan or you’ve seen Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach one too many times. In either case, this little island offers one of Thailand’s most exotic and beautiful beaches. A lack of roads suggests there’s also plenty of hiking available, if the shores lose their appeal.
4. Khao Yai National Park
While this stop may make a number of vacation packages, it’s worth mentioning for the awe-inspiring commune with nature that it offers. As one of the top three largest parks in Thailand, the 2,168 square kilometers features acres of grasslands, rain forests, and waterfalls. Taking full advantage of the park’s ecology are 300 species of birds, along with bears, elephants, deer, gibbons, and macaques (primates). Roads run throughout the park, allowing visitors to take in much of Khao Yai’s grand appeal.
5. Indulge In Full Moon Fever
It might be wise to plan your visit to Thailand to coincide with the full moon. This will afford you an opportunity to attend one of the country’s Full Moon Parties, a festive celebration that was invented by other tourists, years ago. According to local legend, a group of tourists were stunned by the beauty of the full moon, viewed from the beaches of Koh Phangan. Those revelers held a party to celebrate the event and it has no turned into a tradition, attracting close to 30,000 partiers once a month. When attendees aren’t enjoying the drinks, bright neon, and live music, they can usually be found taking a dip in the Gulf of Thailand.
6. Visit The Ruins Of Ayutthaya
Once, Ayutthaya was the capital of Thailand, founded in 1350 by King U Thong. The city thrived for centuries, until a Burmese army destroyed the city, burning much of it to the ground in 1767. The area was never restored to its former glory and exists today as a historical park, open to visitors.
7. Stay In A Haunted Hotel
Closing out this list is one of Bangkok’s most haunted hotels, Asia Hotel. This popular hotel, nestled amid departments stores, cafes and restaurants, and smaller shops, has been the hub of paranormal activity, since it was the victim of an immense fire in the early 1980’s. Today, guests report seeing spirits, getting groped in their sleep, and the sound of crying coming from the rooms. Local superstition holds that, if you knock before entering the rooms, you won’t evoke the spirits’ rage. The Tour East Holidays website may provide additional insights if you need more information.