One of my favourite places in the world, Thailand is a gorgeous country that I honestly had never thought about until I travelled there. It may not have been for tourism purposes but the country still left an imprint on my life in a way that cannot be described in words. The top reason you should go to Thailand is that I have never experienced a culture besides Thailand that is so contrastingly similar to ours yet so different as well. Plus it is full of unique cultural heritage that would capture any eye and soften any soul, which is why I want to go back.
There are five regions of Thailand: North, Northeast, East, Central, and South, which are divided into 75+1 provinces, each geographically distinct from the others; each Thailand province contains unique cultural, historical, and natural attractions from the northern peaks (replete with wildlife and home to exotic hill tribes) and the central plains (the “Rice Bowl of Asia”) to the northeastern plateau (stretching to the Mekong River border with Laos) and the spectacular beaches and islands of the south (including both Phuket and Samui).
THINGS TO DO and PLACES TO SEE
Chiang Mai Zoo. Over 200 types of Asian and African mammals can be found in this striking landscape, here at Chiang Mai Zoo. This family-must-visit attraction can be found at Doi Suthep foothills, just next to the beautiful Huay Kaew Arboretum. Say hello to the China Panda Family Ambassador to Thailand, Linping, Lin Hui, and Chuang Chaung at the Panda House. Follow by immersing yourself in Asia’s longest 133-meter underwater tunnel at the newly aquarium where you will discover the rare sea and river fish from northern regions including Khong River Basin, Amazon River Basin, and the mangrove. Don’t miss, Nakhon Ping Bird Aviary, the spacious walk-in aviary named the largest one of Thailand where you will explore a vast array of more than 132 local and international bird species with the scenic view of a waterfall.
Wat Pho. Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimonmangkalaram or Wat Pho, as it’s commonly known, was built in the 16th century and is regarded as the royal temple of the reign of King Rama I, is famous for two things: (1) the 46-meter-long Reclining Buddha built in 1832 featuring the feet beautifully inlaid with mother-of-pearl and (2) the Thai massage.
Wat Pho is also regarded as the country’s first public university as when King Rama III ordered a restoration of the temple, he demanded a revision of lost sciences, segmented into eight categories and engraved them onto several stone inscriptions (later registered the UNESCO Memory of the World since 2008) so people were free to read and learn—and Thai massage was one of eight the categories. After wandering around wall paintings, you can stop by the massage pavilion to try traditional Thai massage using ancient techniques to release muscle tension. A selection of Thai massage courses are also available for those who are interested.
The Grand Palace. Probably the most visited and remembered landmark of Thailand, The Grand Palace in Bangkok is where every visitor must pay a visit at least once in their lifetime. The construction of the Grand Palace began in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I, the founder of Chakri Dynasty, to become a royal residence, and it has been the utmost architectural symbol of Thailand ever since. The Grand Palace served as a significant royal residence until 1925 and is now used for ceremonial purposes only.
Elephant Kraal Pavilion (Phaniat) is located in Suan Phrik sub-district. It is four kilometres away from the city along Highway 347 at km 42-43. It is on the same way as Wat Phu Khao Thong, (so you can visit both places on the same day) but you need to turn right and go straight along the road, and there will be a sign leading to the Phaniat Palace. Phaniat is very big for the king to stay and watch the elephant round-up or catch wild elephants in the Phaniat, which is a traditional ceremony to select elephants to for official use both in peace and war. A mahout would lure elephants from outside the city into the Phaniat and then select only the required one for training. When there are state guests, the king would always offer them the Elephant Round-up, because this ceremony is not only an elephant selection but also a kind of entertainment. About 200 kilometres away from the Phaniat is the Ayutthaya elephant nursing centre or elephant village. It is a rest area for elephants after work, where calves are taken care of. Tourists are welcome to take photos with young elephants.
Thailand is known for its beautiful Classic beaches, stunning rock formations, and vivid turquoise waters teeming with colourful marine life – it’s paradise perfected. There are different beaches one can explore and each has its own attractions. Check them out here.
I couldn’t possibly exhaust the number of things you can do and see in Thailand in this brief overview so please check out Tourism in Thailand and The Thailand Guide for even more brilliant information when researching a trip to Thailand.
Thailand features not only one of the finest cuisines in the world but also a wide selection of restaurants serving authentic Italian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and other global cuisines. Eating Thai food is a top attraction for visitors to Thailand, as Thai food is world-renowned. Thai restaurants, street stalls, and bars are more than eateries; they are places for people to get together and enjoy each other’s company as well as dine on some incredibly tasty Thai food. Eating is a Thailand nightlife attraction in its own right!
• Street Food. This was a pleasure and experience that was personally incredible. The blend of spicy and sweet in the Thai-cart-prepared meals brings forth a simple yet delicious mix of exotic flavours in your mouth. I would recommend everyone who can sample street food as much as they can while they are in Thailand.
• Baan Rim Pa Restaurant. A magnificent Thai style teak house nestled on a cliff with spectacular views over the Andaman Sea.
• Baan Khanitha & Gallery. ‘Baan Khanitha’ is a two award-winning Thai restaurant.
• Blue Elephant. Blue Elephant made their name outside Thailand as a stylish restaurant chain serving authentic Thai food, but this is their first Bangkok restaurant. Located in an old colonial-style building in a great setting, style and ambience.
• ร้าน spice house. Perfect for a family outing, Starting with a fresh mind and ending with finale’ feeling this restaurant is located on the based floor inside of Jungcelon Patong, Phuket.
• Come Dara. Perfect for romantic meals and dates, The Colonial House Art Gallery and Riverside Thai Restaurant is graced with soft live music.
Having been to the North, East, and the capital city of Bangkok, I can honestly say that Thailand is known for its nightlife.
• The Walking Street in Pattaya is a whole street in this coastal area that only receives travellers who come on foot. It is filled with attractions that feel surreal, such as one-act magic shows, men with monkeys doing tricks, and people advertising the numerous clubs and massage parlours that are on the sidewalk. It has become a famous tourist destination for anyone who wants to experience the nightlife.
• Bangkok’s nightlife isn’t all rowdy and naughty. On the opposite spectrum, the city’s got a fascinating lineup of cool and classy jazz bars ideal for whiling away the hours in style. The Saxophone Pub, for example, is a local expat favourite that has reached legendary status. It delivers consistently good music, food and service with a different jazz band every night playing a combination of jazz, blues and old classics.
• Chiang Mai nightlife can be whatever you want it to be, the city offers a broad scope of drinking and dancing options but for the most part, live music venues have the monopoly. Riverside drinking is a popular pastime where residents and visitors settle down by the Ping River with a chilled drink and some good company, while the live band entertain with classic blues, jazz and rock tunes – a hallmark of any Chiang Mai visit.
Thailand features not only some of the finest hotels and resorts in the world but also arguably the greatest variety of accommodation to choose from. Thailand accommodation options range from rural homestays to luxurious five-star spa resorts and nearly everything in between. Check out where to stay in Thailand for all the best options.
1. Kenyan citizens need a visa to travel to Thailand, though the process is generally not that taxing as I got mine in two weeks. For the application, you will only need a passport valid for at least 6 months following your departure date. It is also recommended that your valid passport have at least 2 remaining unused pages for any necessary entry and exit stamps that may be issued, a confirmed travel itinerary, and proof of funds and accommodation.
2. Distance from Kenya to Thailand is 4482.8 Miles. The approximate travel time from Nairobi, Kenya to Bangkok, Thailand is 9 hrs, 19 mins.
3. There are multiple flights from Kenya to Thailand for as low as 693 dollars.
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