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Thailand Travel Guide
There’s a reason Thailand has been one of the top choices for holidaymakers the world over for years: a holiday to Thailand offers a world of undiscovered delights that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. The fact that it’s also excellent value for money, even when you turn to luxury hotels, is simply an added bonus.
Whether you’re looking for an island hideaway to relax and geatawy from the everday stresses on an idyllic beach, or a culture-rich trip filled with exotic temples and ancient wonders, Thailand is the ideal holiday destination. This real life fantasy Island lets you do anything from river rafting to elephant riding and rainforest trekking. It’s safe to say: there’s a holiday to suit you in Thailand.
When Is The Best Time To Holiday In Thailand?
If it’s Ireland’s rain you’re attempting to avoid with a holiday to Thailand, it’s worth researching your calendar wisely. Thailand has three main seasons: a rainy season from May to October, a cool season from November to February and a hot season from March to May.
While on instinct you might choose the hot season, it’s worth noting that temperatures often rise to 35°C. For some people, a holiday in Thailand is more pleasant in the cool season, but you’ll still see temperatures of around 30°C.
If you’re set on visiting between November and February, Phuket in the Southern Island is the best place to hit. During the cool season, Koh Samui in the Northern Island is your ideal destination. If you’re hoping to stay in the capital city of Bangkok, to avoid unbearably humid temperatures, we’d recommend visiting in mid-January.
5 Unbelievably Romantic Things To Do In Thailand
1. Rooftop dinner – We’re not used to super high rise hotels and bars in Ireland, so take advantage of the incredible views by heading for dinner just before sunset in a rooftop restaurant so you can watch the city light up around you.
2. Sunset cruise on a Chinese Junk – Enjoy a glass of fine wine and the tropical sunset while sitting on the decks of a traditional Chinese Junk in the gorgeous surroundings of the Andaman Sea.
3. Phang Nga Bay – Make unforgettable memories while exploring one of the world’s wonders at Phang Nga Bay. Have a canoe-guide paddle you around the caves to let you take in the natural wonder and sheer limestone karsts jutting out of the emerald-green water.
4. Taling Chan – One of the most traditional floating markets you’ll find in Thailand, the focus is on food and it’s served from boats in canal-side restaurants. This an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
5. Siam Paragon – A movie theatre with a difference. Siam Paragon’s Enigma has sofa beds for seats with heaps of pillows and blankets. A romantic idea especially if one of your first dates was to see a movie.
Thailand Attractions – Making The Most Of Your Holiday
There’s plenty of variety in what you can see and do during a holiday in Thailand, but these are our picks for what you really can’t miss in Bangkok:
· Bangkok Sightseeing River Cruise – If you’re going to see Bangkok’s iconic symbols and biggest attractions, including the Temples (notably, the Wat Arun Temple of Dawn), the Chao Praya River and the ancient capital city of Ayutthaya, what better way to see them than on a cruise? You can choose between a traditional rice barge or a modern luxury cruiser depending on what you fancy.
· Chinatown – If you’re a pair of foodies, there’s no way you’ll want to miss Chinatown in Bangkok. The vibrant street-side cuisine after sunset draws huge crowds, and it’s just as busy during the day, as it’s famed for its gold shops. Head during major festivals like the Chinese New Year to see it at its best.
· Wat Pho (the Old City) – You might not have ever thought about seeing a 46m gold leaf reclining buddha statue, but it’s safe to say it’s magnificient. If giant Buddhas aren’t your thing, Wat Pho is considered the leading school of massage in Thailand, so you could squeeze in some pampering while soaking up the history. Be aware, a Thai massage can be more of a physiotherapy workout than a relaxation practice.
Strange Things To See In Bangkok
· Beckham Temple – Not a word of a lie, Bangkok has a Buddhist temple with a gold statue of David Beckham built into its altar!
· Robot Building – Bank headquarters rarely make tourist destinations, but United Overseas Bank’s HQ is a Bangkok icon for its robot shape.
· Elephant Building – Similarly, Thailand’s most talked about structure is the Chang Building, aka the Elephant Tower, the world’s largest elephant.
· Erawan Museum – worth visiting if only to see its ornate 100ft tall three headed elephant art display.
· Forensic Museum – not your average museum, the Forensic museum is in a hospital featuring six distinct museums, the creepiest three of which (Pathology, Anatomic, and Forensic) are perfect for the morbid or those looking for something totally ‘out there’.
You’ll probably want to venture beyond Bangkok to really get the most of your honeymoon in Thailand. There’s so much to see and do we’ve just picked some of our favourites:
· Koh Phangan Full Moon/Half Moon Parties – Koh Phangan combines beautiful white sandy beaches with insane parties to give you a really unique outdoor nightclub experience every month.
· Elephant National Park, North Thailand – A sanctuary for elephants and the only place in Thailand where you can be guaranteed the elephants are well treated.
· Phi Phi Islands (near Phuket) – If you’re hoping to relax in beautiful surroundings, head straight for Phi Phi Islands. It’s one of the most gorgeous spots in all of Thailand, without all the hustle and bustle of some of the cities.
· Doi Suthep-Pui National Park (Chang Mai Province) - Explore jungles, mountains and meet hill tribes all in one go. If you’re not exhausted just thinking about it, you can add in some white water rafting, mountain biking and/or bamboo rafting to the mix.
Dining, Shopping And Accommodation In Thailand
• Thailand is a little hard on itself when it comes to accommodation, which is excellent for you. Typically, you can assume that hotels are one star better than the rating you see on their website. While some of the really, really top end hotels are a little more expensive, most hotels are quite inexpensive.
· It can be a little disconcerting at first, but a three course meal in a good restaurant usually costs only around €2. You shouldn’t fear food poisoning based on the price – food is just really great value across Thailand.
· If that wasn’t cheap enough for you, street food is everywhere and besides being super cheap, it’s a really great way to sample the local delicacies.
· Don’t be afraid to give the local beers a try! Imported beers are available and aren’t overly expensive, but the local ones are worth sampling and are very good value.
· Most Irish holidaymakers who head to Thailand find the shopping a big draw. You’ve got everything from unique boutiques in Bangkok’s mega-malls to night markets to choose from, so definitely take advantage of the unique bargains you can bag in Thailand.
Useful Tips For Your Holiday In Thailand
· Market shopping is cheap, but be prepared to haggle!
· Shops/restaurants/bars tend to close for three days to coincide around Royal Family Birthdays – so plan in advance to avoid disappointment.
· Watch where you’re crossing – Thailand is known for its dangerous drivers, so keep your wits about you even on pedestrian crossings and use overpasses when you can.
· If you’re visiting temples, dress conservatively (preferably in white) and always remove your shoes and hat when you enter. Never sit with your feet pointed towards the buddha, as it’s considered disrespectful.
· Thai people find it hard to say no, so even where the answer to something simple like “Do you have mayonnaise?” Is no, you’ll probably be told “Yes, but ketchup”. They understand what you’re saying, but this just means no.
· You’ll find it hard to avoid the mosquitoes, so never skip the spray on repellents. Use at least 50% deet during the day, and always 100% at night.
· Agree prices before you get in Tuk Tuks to avoid being scammed.
· Finally, try a mango in Thailand – we hear they are the best in the world!