VISIT THAILAND1.0.2 for Android
The description of VISIT THAILAND
Thailand has so many unique destinations that it could take you years to see them all. From its hundreds of islands, to its metropolitan capital city, Thailand caters to all types of travelers and budgets. On our recent trip to Thailand we spent four weeks exploring national parks, ancient ruins, pristine islands, and modern cities. Here is our list of the top 15 places we think you should not skip out on your next Thai adventure.
Ayutthaya Historical Park
Ayutthaya is a fascinating historical park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. At just a one-hour drive from Bangkok, it makes for an easy and refreshing day trip out of the city. Ayutthaya was the second capital of Siam (Thailand) for 417 years from 1350 to 1767 until its destruction by the Burmese. In their attack, Burmese forces burned the city to the ground and destroyed sacred shrines, chedis, and Buddha statues. The structures that managed to survive the fire were buried beneath the ground for hundreds of years.
Nowadays, much of Ayutthaya has been unearthed and its ruins form an archaeological park. Visitors can walk around the ruins with relative freedom to see magnificent temples, palaces, and Buddha statues. The park is home to several striking buildings.
Among them are Wat Phra Ram Temple, Wat Chaiwatthanaram monastery, and Wat Phra Si Sanphet. Once you’ve finished touring the grounds, don’t miss the overgrown Buddha head behind Mahathat Temple. This unique relic has become a major tourist attraction and the iconic image of Ayutthaya.
Bangkok’s Grand Palace
After the destruction of Ayutthaya, the capital of Siam was established along the Chao Praya River in Bangkok. The Grand Palace complex was built for the new capital; a 218,000-square-meter walled city comprised of royal residences, throne halls, government offices, Buddhist temples, and priceless works of art. Visitors should reserve a minimum of three hours to explore the site. Several striking buildings emerge as one walks around the vast complex. The upper terrace (pictured above) features a large golden chedi, a miniature version of Ankor Wat, and the Royal Pantheon that contains statues of past rulers of the Chakri dynasty.
Among the Grand Palace’s other buildings is the exquisite Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha. As with all Buddhist places of worship, proper dress is required and the Grand Palace is the most strictly enforced site in the country. Ladies should cover their shoulders, men must also wear shirts with sleeves, and no short skirts, shorts, or tight pants are permitted. Admission is 400 THB per person. The Grand Palace in Bangkok is one of the must-do things to do in Thailand.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Thailand’s markets are exciting, lively and a significant part of the local culture. Experiencing the flurry and sensations of a floating market from a long-tail boat is a memorable way to spend a morning. The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is about an hour and a half drive from Bangkok. Although it has become quite the tourist attraction, it is a completely functional marketplace with food, souvenirs, clothing, and fresh produce. If you don’t want to visit with a group, your hotel can help hire you a private driver/ taxi to take you both ways (approximately $60 USD but prices can vary). Plan to depart at 6 or 6:30 a.m. and eat breakfast at the market. Vendors sell noodle bowls, coconut pancakes, spring rolls, fresh fruit, and stir fried dishes, which you can eat on the boat as you see the market.
This particular market fills up quickly with tourists by mid-morning, so it is important to arrive early to avoid the boat traffic. The price for a one-hour long boat tour will run you another $60 USD. The tour usually includes several stops at souvenir stalls and a coconut processing plant.
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