One of the best things about visiting any location is learning about the culture and the local people’s way of life. It is fascinating to discover what makes each and every country unique. Thailand is a place that is well known for having lots of character, intriguing culture and a vibrant ambience. This blog post will provide you with all of the information you need to know regarding Thai customs and etiquette. So, keep on reading to find out more.
It’s interesting how, over time, your memory of an experience can change and you remember things differently. An example of this was my visit to a Ping Pong show in the Patpong district of the night market Bangkok – the infamous “entertainment” show where ladies perform “tricks” from their nether regions! Tourism in this Thailand red light district area drives the economy, and is a lucrative income for the girls involved. In 2004 the area was decreed an official “entertainment zone” by the government, and venues stay open until 2am.
If it’s officially classed as “entertainment” it can’t be bad or immoral, right? Prostitution in Thailand is illegal so surely there’s no harm in a ping pong show?
If the delectable Bradley Cooper can hang out here in “The Hangover 2”, it’s got to be good for grins. There is even a “Bangkok Hangover Tour” which takes you to the nightlife areas experienced in the movie, including Patpong, so how wrong can it be?
What were my thoughts, as a liberal thinking woman, whilst watching a controversial tourist show?
I absolutely loved Chiang Rai. Out of all the places I visited in Thailand, this was my favourite. A mountainous region with less tourists than other parts of Thailand and a laid-back vibe, I found the locals to be friendlier and more genuine than in other parts of the country. I’m not saying they weren’t friendly elsewhere in Thailand, I just found locals to be … well … really friendly!
Chiang Rai is often overlooked, and tends to be a place used as a stopover for Thailand to Laos or Myanmar border crossings. If you take the time to stay here, you will find it has so much more to offer than a city to just breeze through.
Apart from the people, why else did I love Chiang Rai? Let us show you why you should visit Chiang Rai.
Everyone knows Thailand has stunning Temples, but have you considered doing a Temple Tour of Chiang Rai? This largely overlooked area of Northern Thailand has some of the most breath-taking architecture I have seen and we were captivated by its unique style. A few of the temples are new and still under construction, but did you know that Chiang Rai is the original home to Thailand’s most highly revered Buddha image, the Jade Buddha now housed in the Grand Palace of Bangkok.
Steeped in history and for a brief period of time, Chiang Rai was once the capital of Northern Thailand. This is why I would like to take you on a Temple-Tastic tour of Chiang Rai.
Let me show you a side to Chiang Rai you may have not considered.
Chiang Mai is a place many tourists visiting Thailand would recommend; much quieter than Bangkok but still full of Thai history with plenty of temples to see.
A mountainous region with all the conveniences of a City, people travel here for a change of pace, oh, and for Songkran festival, which sees the population double during this 5-day event.
We were in Chiang Mai for Songkran. There are plenty of things to do in Chiang Mai so we obviously visited the usual touristy parts, but we also did a few different things.
So, as the famous Thai saying goes, this post is “same-same but different”.
Chiang Mai seems to have a temple or wat around every corner, probably because there are over 300 there. No other province in Thailand has as many as Chiang Mai, so how do you choose which ones to visit?
How about we help you!
We love visiting Temples and often take our time wandering around taking a plethora of photographs from every angle. The myths which form their historical importance and significance are fascinating plus, we just love looking at Buddha statues which come in a huge range of sizes, colours and materials… mainly gold!
When we were in Chiang Mai, we naturally did the Old City Temple Tour however we also ventured just a little further… but which ones do we recommend?
I love animals, it’s as simple as that. Just like most animal lovers, I enjoy close up animal encounters, however in the tourist industry, this isn’t always in the animal’s best interest.
Elephants are a classic example. Finding a true ethical elephant sanctuary in Thailand isn’t as easy as you would think. We wanted no riding, no bathing, no mud baths, and all did at least one of these.
During the four months I spent touring Africa, I encountered many elephants in their natural habitat. Aything less than seeing these beautiful, intelligent, high spirited animals roaming free saddens me.
Everyone knows that elephant tourism in places like Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and even Bali means these gentle giants have suffered for the pleasure of humans. How on earth was I able to get a close-up experience with them, knowing they were not “performing”?
Volunteering was a great place to start, but which out of the plethora of sanctuaries would I choose when I was visiting Thailand?
Elephant Valley Thailand was the one for me!
If you have visited a Buddhist country and seen Buddhist monks walking around wearing their distinctive orange robes, do questions pop into your head? Do you wonder what their lives are like, what their daily routine is and if they miss anything? I know I have asked myself these questions, then in Thailand I discovered Monk Chat and knew I would get my chance to find out more.
We were told we would have about an hour with the monks, but would we be able to fill the time with our questions or would there be periods of awkward silence? Would they be able to understand our English language and accents? I had questions about my questions …
I guess it’s time to find out!
Thailand is a magical destination with many unique attractions that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. One of the most popular attractions are the floating markets. You may have seen a glimpse of these markets in movies, or you may have seen pictures but honestly, you have to go to these markets to truly appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of these places.
If you are going to Thailand, make sure a tour of a floating market is a part of your trip. Are you unsure which ones to visit? I will share with you my top 6 to help guide you!
When you were a child, if you loved having water fights in the street with your friends, then Songkran Festival is definitely for you!
If any festival is going to regress you back to a time when life was care free and you could run around soaking one another, head to Chiang Mai Thailand for the world’s largest water fight. It is hilarious!
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Featured in Lonely Planet's Top 5 Posts for August 2018
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