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Traveling in Asia? Try Thailand If You Want A Real Adventure

You won’t be disappointed.

When people think of globetrotting and visiting the Asian continent, usually, countries like China or Japan come to mind. Some of the more adventure-minded travelers may gravitate toward Nepal with romantic visions of the landscape surrounding Mount Everest. But then, an often overlooked country rich in both history and beauty nestled in Southeast Asia that you may not have considered is Thailand. You may be taken aback because you’re only picturing the bustling city of Bangkok, and outside of that, remote villages? Come to think of it, how familiar are you with Thailand? 

Formerly known as Siam, Thailand is a geographically diverse country boasting a land mass approximately the size of Spain. Although it borders several countries, including Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, and Cambodia, it isn’t landlocked. Along with miles and miles of coastline, you’ll also find that mountains and jungles make up Thailand’s terrain. Officially called the Kingdom of Thailand, the country has a constitutional monarchy and a parliament, although there’s a strong military influence. 

Bangkok 

Since you’ll more than likely arrive in Thailand via the Bangkok airport, you should plan to stay a day or two and take in the sights. There are several boutique hotels to choose from where you’ll be ensconced in luxury while still immersing yourself in the essence of Thailand’s culture. If sleek and modern is more of your style, there are plenty of high-rises with all the amenities you’ve come to appreciate and expect in any major city. Get an early start and head to Wat Pho for the monks’ early morning chanting ritual. Then, explore the temple complex to see the image of the reclining Buddha, which measures over 45 meters long. Jump on a ferry to cross the Chao Praya River to wander through the city’s secret garden of Bang Kra Jao. Or, maybe your visit has coincided with the Thai New Year in April, so watch out for the Songkran Festival celebrations that involve splashing people with water. 

Phuket 

South of Bangkok and on the coast is the tropical paradise of Phuket. It’s a popular tourist destination, thanks to its beautiful beaches and turquoise waters. The surrounding landscape is just as enchanting. While it’s completely understandable if you want to remain at an all-inclusive resort and unwind, basking in the sun and opulence of the Thai hospitality, you should know that Phuket has no shortage of activities and views to keep you enthralled. There are excursions to ensure you visit the best swimming destinations, with opportunities to swim with elephants and dolphins. Rent canoes to explore the limestone cliffs and sea caves that are virtually unreachable by other means of transportation, and learn that a lagoon surrounded on all sides by tall cliffs is called a hong. 

Of course, Thailand is much more than just Bangkok or Phuket. You’re selling yourself short if you bypass many of the other exquisite landmarks like the northern city of Chiang Mai, where ancient temples and marketplaces are set against the backdrop of the majestic mountains. However, budget and time are always factors when planning a trip abroad, so determine which outings appeal to you and whether the weather accommodates your plans or not. 

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