Thailand: Land of Smiles, Spice & All Things Nice

Thailand brings me back to my senses.  It also brings me back to Thailand time and again so I can recreate fond memories of enjoying a spicy curry dish, being pampered at a luxury spa, bartering at a night market, watching the sunset on an idyllic island or giving alms to a Buddhist monk in the early dawn.   

Thailand captivates, surprises, relaxes but never disappoints me. Known affectionately as the “Land of Smiles,” visitors are always greeted with a friendly “Sawasdee.”  Thailand ticks the boxes of my must-sees and dos when visiting a destination: a plethora of cultural activities, savoury cuisine, soft adventure, wildlife, diverse landscape and luxurious resorts and spas. But it’s the service-oriented culture prevalent throughout Thailand drawing me back time and again to this intriguing kingdom.  

Experience your own Thailand sensory adventure with these suggestions.

Spice it up at a Thai Cooking Class/School

Add a little spice to your life. Many luxury resorts and independent cooking schools offer Thai cooking classes. The classes can range from a couple of hours to multi-day.  Why not bring a taste of Thailand home to your kitchen

Feeling Regal?  Head to The Grand Palace

Take a tuk-tuk to one of Thailand’s most revered cultural and historical sites – The Grand Palace. Built by King Rama 1 in 1782, a main attraction in the Palace complex is the gold-leaf covered Reclining Buddha which stretches 46 meters long. Step inside The Chapel of the Emerald Buddha, the most important building at the Grand Palace and holds the treasured Emerald Buddha. Thailand’s fascinating history and culture come alive here.  

Cruise the Waterways on a Long-Tail Boat

Long-tail boats (Ruang Hang Yao) are a common sight and a popular way to transport goods as well as tourists. They are colourful 14-28 foot boats with an innovative 5-foot pole for steering. Hire a captain and set out on a water adventure through narrow waterways observing Thai daily life on the river banks. Make a stop at a floating market and stop to sample the vendor wares.

Walk with the Elephants

Elephants played an important role in royal ceremonies and cultural festivals. In recent years, tourists have ridden, bathed and walked with the elephants which have caused much controversy.  Some outfits that have been inspected and certified by elephant care organizations for correct and acceptable elephant practices include Patara Elephant Farm and Maesa Elephant Camp. Rather than riding elephants visitors can learn about this special animal and observe or walk with the elephants. Do your research on what elephant camps have been accredited.

Savour the View and a Cocktail on Bangkok’s Rooftop Bars

Bangkok is a world leader in rooftop bars and restaurants. Live it up, way up, with your favourite cocktail in hand while relishing Bangkok’s stunning skyline. Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar is Bangkok’s highest rooftop bar and restaurant (located on the 76-77th floors) and brings sophistication and 360-degree views to your cocktail tête-à-tête.  Other popular rooftop bars include RedSquare Rooftop Bar (25th floor), Bangkok’s first Vodka bar, Scarlet Rooftop Wine Bar & Restaurant (37th floor) and Banyan Tree Hotel’s stylish Moon Bar (61st floor). The sky’s the limit when it comes to drinks with a view.

The Thai Touch

Experience a touch of Thai from street spas where you can receive an invigorating hour-long foot massage for less than $20 or feel like a royal at one of the many luxury spa resorts. Six Senses, Anantara, Avani, Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree, Four Seasons and other top spa and hotel luxury brands make their spa oasis home here. Wellness is taken to a new therapeutic level with expertly trained therapists, serene settings, and innovative treatments.

The Streets of Thailand – A Treasure Trove of Food and Culture

Thailand is considered the street food capital of the world.  Treat yourself in Thailand to a Michelin-star or fine dining restaurant but to truly experience local Thai culture pull up a plastic chair and order a green curry chicken and Chang beer from a street vendor. No fuss – just taste. Your wallet and taste buds will thank you. Where there is street food there are usually lively markets with vendors selling crafts, clothing, spices and decorative items. The Lumpini Night Market in Bangkok and Chiang Mai night markets are especially popular.

For more information on Thailand contact Hibiscus International or visit: Tourism Thailand

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