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Most travelers heading to Thailand visualize it as a country of countless beaches, scenic islands, and never-ending parties. Hidden behind its glamorous nightlife and famed beaches is a culturally rich country, begging to be explored. It is the real Thailand that guidebooks and brochures barely talk about like the Erawan National Park.

So if you are a traveler who likes to get under the skin of a place and look beyond the touristy exterior, here are some tips when travelling to Thailand. Read some authentic experiences and things to do in Thailand that you should definitely try during your travel in Thailand with kids.

1. The White Temple of Chiang Rai


Most travelers who visit northern Thailand, near Myanmar and Laos start with the city of Chiang Mai. In the center of Chiang Rai every day they open a small night market. Next to the market there is one of the cheapest places to eat in Thailand while you listen to live Thai music. Visit the White Temple and the Black House, the two most famous places in the city.

One of the new ones, is the Blue Temple or Wat Rong Suea Ten, but you also have the ancient Wat Phra Kaew or the Wat Phra Singh. Another new, in the outskirts, and also white is the beautiful Wat Huai Pla Kung. Try the Khao Soi, a Thai dish with Burmese influence. It is a spicy noodles soup that is delicious. Visit the Mount Doi Tung and Wat Phra That or the Doi Tung Royal Villa.

Next to it are the pretty Mae Fah Luang Garden. Mae Salong or Santikhiri is a town only an hour from Chiang Rai. They say that the town looks like the beautiful Shangri-la of the province of Yunnan in China. If you want to enter Laos you are in the perfect place. Only 2 hours by bus from Chiang Rai you will arrive at the village of Chiang Khong. There you can take a boat and cross the Mekong River to enter Laos. Phu Chi Fa is a hill near Chiang Rai very famous among locals.

2. Pai, a hippie town in Thailand


In Thailand, Pai is one of the destinations where the tourist is more homogeneous. Virtually all are young western backpackers. Pai is a small town that earned the reputation of being the main destination of the hippies, artists and bohemians of Thailand. Then they began to arrive foreigners and in the town they appeared budget hostels, t-shirts and souvenir stores.

There are also shops of local and foreign hippies selling bracelets, paintings to what not. There is also plenty of Thai vegetarian food and small wooden cafes with foods of Thailand and a very careful decoration. Why do almost only backpackers go to Pai? Probably the main reason is the 750 curves of the road to cross to reach Pai from Chiang Mai. In addition, the city, culturally speaking, does not have much to offer more than a couple of small temples.

The people who usually go to Pai, normally have many days of traveling in Thailand and go with the calm, to relax and to make excursions in motorcycle from the town from time to time. Without a motorbike you can not do much. They say that Pai should get the rhythm, a pacific island-style rhythm, where minutes and hours lose importance.

Once you have a vehicle to move, you can visit the Pam Bok Waterfall because it is easy to bathe in and has rocks that look like slides that you can slide through. Another quite popular is the Mor Paeng Waterfall. The Pai Grand Canyon is a good place to go to do some excursions, especially in the afternoon.

The two most important temples are Wat Klang and Chedi Phra That Mae Yen. The first contains a fairly old Buddha image and a Mon-style pagoda. It is located in the center of town, where the night market is held. The second temple is on a small peak with nice views of the area. You will see it from many places in the town if you look at the mountain. The huge white Buddha is easy to find. There are 352 steps to climb.

3. Stay with the Hill Tribes of Chiang Mai


Absolutely no experience gets as immersive as staying with the hill tribes of Thailand. It is the perfect opportunity to live and eat like the locals. It is a 3-4 day trip where you trek through the jungles to find yourself in a village in the mountains- a village made of simple huts and hardworking tribals.

Throughout your days here, you will sleep on the floor of a village hut, shower using buckets, pluck coffee beans (if you feel like it), eat home cooked meals and of course, click tonnes of photos with adorable children. You will certainly have a better appreciation of Thai culture once you return.

Note: Beware of tourist scams which combine everything into a day tour from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. They probably don’t even take you to a real village.

4. Have a heart to heart conversation with a Monk in Chiang Mai


There are many temples in Thailand which have Monk Chat programs. These programs let you have informal discussions with prep school age Monks, accompanied by their teacher of course. So you are not only participating in a fun exchange culture here but also helping them get better at English. And what do you talk about with them? You can talk about anything right from their ambitions to sharing your own stories.

5. Celebrate Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai


Do you want to see the lantern festival in Chiang Mai? Yee Peng or sometimes even written as Yi Peng is a unique festival in northern Thailand, celebrating the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar usually in November. Yee Peng has been celebrated as an independent event to celebrate the end of the monsoon season and the start of the cold season, but nowadays it is celebrated in tandem with Loy Krathong.

Although other cities and cities in northern Thailand celebrate Yee Peng, Chiang Mai is the best place to experience this truly magical festival. All around Chiang Mai you will see thousands of lanterns (khom loy) floating in the sky, candles that cover the small sois (lanes), special parades and krathong (floating flower offerings) floating on the Ping River.

Usually, a big new years eve lanterns event takes place at the University of Maejo about a week before Yee Peng. During the actual Yee Peng festival, the Three Kings Monument, the Thapae Gate, the Old Town moat area and the Ping River are the main places where the celebrations take place.

If you prefer not to be part of the hustle and bustle of Thapae Gate or the Ping River, escape to the crowd and head to a rooftop bar or take a leisurely stroll down the candlelit lanes. The temples and local houses decorate their entrances with flowers and coconut leaves and the act of making or donating khom loy and krathong is significant in Buddhist culture.

6. Celebrate Chinese New Year in Chiang Mai


Do you want to see the Chinese New Year in Chiang Mai and wondering what to do in Chiang Mai for new years eve? The Chinese New Year is an equally important event. The Chinese New Year is celebrated from the end of January to the beginning of February, in the small Chinatown of Chiang Mai. The gastronomic stands show off the best culinary specialties of Chinese cuisine accompanied by live concerts and allegorical parades.

7. Take a Thai cooking Class in Chiang Mai


Thailand is blessed with an amazing cuisine and if you want to dig into it a little more than ordering a Pad Thai, then enroll yourself for a Thai cooking class. It starts with your teacher taking you to a local market to buy the ingredients. That in itself is an overwhelming experience. The markets are hectic, but it’s a great place to see the locals in action.

Once you have all the ingredients in place, it's time to grind them up into a curry paste and whip out some lip-smacking Thai cuisine. And the best part about the class is, you get to eat what you make!

8. Caring for elephants in Chiang Mai


In Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai , it is typical to take an elephant excursion in one of the many Elephant Camps that offer nature walks on the backs of these giants. IThe Elephant Nature Park is located about 55km from Chiang Mai. Patara Elephant Farm is another one of several elephant farms in Chiang Mai. In Thailand there is a centuries-old tradition called Phajaan. This technique of training consists, literally, in splitting the spirit to the elephants.

9. An island getaway to Koh Chang


Unlike other big sister islands of Phuket and Koh Samui, Koh Chang is a smaller island which is mostly unscathed from the tourists. This park is great for trekking and a great hub to other surrounding small islands. With passing time, its popularity is increasing and more local and foreign tourists are visiting it. Enjoy amazing cuisines of this island and make the most of your vacations.

10. Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan


Located in the abyss of Thailand, between the islands of Ko Tao and Ko Samui, Ko Phangan is famous for its nightlife and composed parties. It is mostly visited by backpacking community, who want to merge themselves with natural beauty. This island is full of thick rainforests and white sand beaches. There are also beautiful Buddhist temples that we recommend you to visit.

Each year, a Full Moon Party is organized on this island. If you are flexible with the dates, we suggest you visit it in those days. The Fullmoon Party is the most famous beach party in the world. It is organized every month every full moon on the beach of Haad Rin. 10,000 and 30,000 people gather each month wanting to have fun.

There are several stages with DJs, and each bar opens its beach bar facing the beach. Each stage and each bar plays a different music. There is music for all tastes from techno, trance, house, drum & bass, R & B, reggae, commercial music, etc. There are Thai food stalls all night, people who paint body and face with fluorescent tattoos, and animation is guaranteed by jugglers and shows with fire, in addition to fireworks.

Alcohol is served in abundance, especially in the buckets (beach cubes with straws with distilled drinks like whisky, rum, vodka, refreshing drinks, and a very powerful Thai energy drink. As in any mass party, drugs are also present. Keep in mind that the issue of drugs is very haunted in Thailand with very hard penalties and that during the party there are many police incognito.

If your goal is to stay near where the party is being held, the best place is Haad Rin. Alternatively there are also many people who stay at Baan Tai, a long beach near Haad Rin and which is very well connected to it.

floating markets Thailand

11. Enjoy a traditional Thai lunch in a floating village in Phuket


Phuket is a province in Thailand. The capital city is also named Phuket. It is spread over a large island along with several smaller islands on the west coast of Thailand. Phuket is the most visited destination after Bangkok. It features countless resorts and best beaches in Asia for honeymoon along with hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, and accommodation for tourists. You can also visit historical museums, monuments and other significant places that are all over Phuket.

Koh Panyee is a floating village near Phuket. The entire village is supported on stilts, making for an interesting day trip. What is surprising is that Koh Panyee is a full-fledged village with schools, a police station and shops selling everything from t-shirts to souvenirs. You can just stroll along its walkways and get lost in its simple beauty.

Although Phang Nga bay cruises include Koh Panyee in their itinerary, we would recommend hiring a longtail boat and going there by yourself. If you reach early, you might be the only visitor. Sail to the south of the Koh Naka Yai island, where you can practice kayaking and enjoy beautiful deserted beaches. Next, you will arrive at Koh Kai Island for an excellent diving session.

12. Stroll through Phuket, a town steeped in history


While travelling to Thailand, Phuket old town is a world apart from its ultra-urban vibe. It's a town steeped in history. The architecture is European influenced and its quaint streets are lined with Sino-Portuguese shop-houses and colonial mansions. There are many cafes, bakeries and eating joints along the way. You can just grab a cup of coffee, wander the area and absorb its old-world charm.

13. Shop at the bustling night markets in Phuket


Night markets are one of the best places to watch locals go about their daily business and mingle with them. They are also good for buying funky accessories, cheap clothing, and wacky souvenirs. The brightly lit stalls, energetic atmosphere and the aroma of delicious Thai cuisine are what draw travelers to them. So even if shopping doesn't catch your fancy, night markets surely make for a gastronomic delight.

14. Walk with elephants at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

You can visit Thailand at the cheapest packages from the USA. Thailand is Southeast Asia's most popular travel destination where you can find cultural, historic and natural attractions. Thailand is also famous for the most beautiful beaches and islands throughout the world. Beach lovers across the world visit Andaman Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, as this place is heaven for them. Phuket is Thailand's largest and most developed island.

Khao San Road is a famous tourist street for cheap shopping, dining, and nightlife. Buddhist Temples with monks surrounded emits spiritual energy around. You can trek to the hills and have a view of lush green landscapes around. Thailand is also known for its nightlife. If you are visiting Thailand don't miss out to enjoy its lively nightlife. You can get a visa for Thailand from USA in any Thai embassy.

Thailand's numerous islands have a great deal to offer visitors. There is a reason why Thailand is called the land of smiles. The locals have a great deal to smile about including gorgeous surroundings and a plethora of awesome native animals like elephants. Elephants are incredible creatures to behold.

They live long lives and are extraordinarily intelligent. When you spend time with them, it is easy to feel a sense of kinship with these gentle giants of the jungle. Unfortunately, however, while the Asian elephant is a significant figure in the culture of Southeast Asia, not all of the area's inhabitants are as respectful of them as you would think.

In fact, many elephants in the region endure sad, painful and hard-working lives. In their youth, they are made to endure the Phajaan, a barbaric ritual in which a wild elephant's spirit is broken to make it more submissive to their owners. After having endured this, the elephants spend decades typically working in the logging industry, bearing extremely heavy loads every day.

Moreover, they are often beaten, tortured and even shot if they show any signs of non-compliance. When they grow too old and weak to work in the logging industry, they usually transition to carrying tourists on their backs. It is enough to make animal lovers shed a tear, but fortunately, there are people in the region who are dedicated to changing this status quo.

What makes Phuket Elephant Sanctuary such a wonderful place to stay is the respect, compassion, and love with which their rescued elephants are treated. These elephants have known only toil and pain all their lives but at the sanctuary, they are able to roam free. They also have the constant care and supervision of their Mahouts (carers) who keep a respectful distance and help the elephant only when needed. They share a bond of trust with their charges.

You won't be able to ride or swim with elephants here, as unbeknownst to some tourists these are actually strenuous and upsetting for the animals. Here, guests are invited to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat (although there are some who are happy to be fed by guests).

As soon as you set foot in the sanctuary, the love and passion that the management and staff have for the elephants and giving them the best possible quality of life are palpable. The sanctuary is a truly life-changing place to visit, especially for animal lovers.


15. Buddhist Temples in Phuket


In Phuket there are 29 Buddhist temples and the most important of them all is Wat Chalong or as locals call Wat Chaiyathararam. It is located in Mueang and was built to venerate two great Buddhist monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang. Wat Chalong or also known by tourists as the Chalong Temple is the most important and visited Buddhist temple in the province of Phuket.

Poh Than Jao Wat temple building contains two statues of an old man called Ta Khee-lek which was a famous local that won the lottery several times and another statue in the hall called Nonsi. The large central pagoda contains splinters of Buddha's bones and is decorated with paintings on the murals that depict the life of Buddha.

To get to the most famous temple in Phuket you should take the Chao Fah Nok road from the Central Festival shopping center and you will find the temple on the left.

16. Happy Ending in Koh Phi Phi


A small archipelago in the Krabi province in southern Thailand, this place is truly amazing for a happy ending massage. Ko Phi Phi is the biggest island, with most of the inhabitants living here. Most of the architecture is new on this island as it was severely hit by tsunami. However, this place is a must for anyone to visit as it possesses truly natural beauty beyond anyone's imagination. There is plenty of accommodation on the island for everyone to stay, and there are always plenty of beaches to wander.

17. Kicking Back on Koh Lanta


Koh Lanta comprises of different islands off the shoreline of Krabi province, Thailand. There are multiple beaches in these islands and the best one is situated on the biggest island known as Ko Lanta Yai. This place is full of tourists all year around. It is also a great place to do some snorkeling and scuba diving.

Observe the coral reefs and sea kingdom from the depths of the sea, and if you are lucky you may come across some ray fishes and even whales. There are also the odds and ends of an ancient rainforest as well as plant life. The accommodation is also ample there. You can find bungalows as well as huts to stay.

18. Camping in Koh Tarutao


This island is a part of 51 islands that have its place in the Tarutao National Marine Park archipelago in southwest Thailand. This island offers unspoiled and silent atmosphere to all the visitors, and they can easily relax in this environment without worrying about anything. There are multiple huts and bungalows that can be leased for your stay.

You can also enjoy mountains and jungles. This island is a home to large turtles. So try to observe without disturbing them with your presence.

19. Beachineering in Koh Lipe


A settlement of sea wanderers, Koh Lipe is an island in the Adang-Rawi Archipelago in the Southwest of Thailand. A small island outside Tarutao National Park, you can practically walk around this whole place in an hour or two. Development of any building is prohibited by law, and tourists are warned not to take part in any activity that hurts the ecology of this beautiful place.

The beaches have plenty of accommodation in the form of huts and bungalows. If you want a beach experience with your beloved, with a little extra privacy, this is the place to come for a mother daughter trip.

20. Hua Hin


Planning your holidays still and looking for a all round destination which can be full of entertainment, food, beach, art, culture and activities for children. Then look no further than Hua Hin which is approximately 2 hours drive from hustling and bustling capital of Bangkok.

With pristine and calm beaches, the city has host of things to visit like visiting the largest water fall in Thailand - Pala U waterfall, visit the hua hin railway station which is the most iconic train station in thailand. Wander over the marsh bueng bue wood board walk it gives us a ultimate experience with the surroundings.

Don't miss visiting the Phraya Nakhon cave, one of the most remarkable cave shrines in Thailand. Your visit can't end if you don't visit the weekend Cicada Night Market. Its a experience in itself.
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