Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, and rightly so. Thailand is renowned for its lush green jungles, crystal clear oceans, stunning beaches and rich cultural heritage. Aside from all this it is delightfully affordable and so convenient to travel around. There is also a great deal to see and do. Here are 10 reasons why you absolutely must visit Thailand at least once in your lifetime. There are some suprising new attractions like boot camp holidays which are becoming increasingly popular.
The tropical beaches of Thailand are a major pull for many tourists, but that isn’t to say that all of the beaches are overcrowded. If you hunt about there are plenty of quiet secret beaches, perfect if you are after your own private paradise. If you like things to be a little more vibrant and lively, then there are a variety of seaside resorts and beaches that offer scuba diving and snorkelling, as well as some exquisite seafood dishes. Whether you opt for the serenity or the more sociable option, there is no doubt that every Thai beach will boast beautiful golden sands and stunningly clear azure waters. Because Thailand is gloriously sunny throughout the year, you can really enjoy the beach setting whenever you choose to visit.
The exceptional food is one of the main reasons that people are drawn to Thailand, but the experience you get from eating a Thai meal away from Thailand is nothing like the authentic food which is cooked from beautifully fresh herbs and spices. Fresh coconut, lemongrass, limes and coriander mean that Thai food is beautifully fragrant and delicious. The wonderful thing about food in Thailand is that it is not only fresh, but also very healthy and incredibly affordable. Whether you opt for beach-side seafood restaurants, street food or even the more upmarket city restaurants. You can always guarantee an affordable delicious feast.
The prices & shopping
Visitors often comment on how good value it is in Thailand, but it’s not just the food that is affordable. Thai markets are astonishingly cheap, and a lovely way to meet the locals who are renowned for being super friendly and welcoming. Thai fisherman’s trousers are popular with tourists, they make great presents and are perfect for yoga, pilates or lounging around at home in. Whether you opt for classic black or something a little more vibrant, there is plenty of choice and they are all so affordable. The cost of living in Thailand is so reasonable that you don’t have to worry about whether you’re ripping off the locals. Supporting local business and tradespeople is a great way to give something back to this beautiful country. Other items that are worth buying as souvenirs include silk bags and scarves, hand-carved mango wood vases and ornaments and tablecloths. You can also pick up guitars for a very good price, and trainers and remote controlled toys are much cheaper here too.
Thailand is rich in World Heritage Sites such as the Dong Phayayen-Khao- Kai Forest Complex, the Historic Town of Sukhothai and Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries. Because of its Buddhist origins, Thailand exhibits a wealth of spectacular temples and sacred sites. There are some beautiful sacred caves in Thailand, often with painted walls and some even hold a temple within the cave itself. It is not only Buddhists who will find these sites fascinating, the temples are exquisite examples of traditional architecture and all of the sites offer a fascinating insight into the Thai culture.
Few places offer year round sunshine, but Thailand is amongst the destinations that benefit from perpetual warmth. There are distinct seasons in Thailand with March to May being the hottest season, June to October being rainy and November to February being cool. Throughout the year the climate is tropical and hot with plenty of sunshine. The rainy season means the green jungles and natural landscapes are lush and adds to the beautifully colourful and flavoursome fruit such as bananas, lychee, mangoes, tangerines and papayas, as well as the more unusual fruits such as jackfruit, mangosteen, pomelo, rambutan and durian (definitely an acquired taste but worth trying for the experience).
Boot Camp Holidays
Boot camp holidays are a wonderful way to re-engage with your body, dramatically improve your fitness levels and commit to changing your health for the better. Embarking on a boot camp holiday also means you get the opportunity to explore a different country as well as losing weight and gaining fitness. Thailand has some of the best boot camp holidays in the world which coupled with the stunning landscapes and the Thai experience makes for a very fulfilling holiday. We were the first fitness boot camp in Chiang Mai and are now proud to be 6 1/2 years old. Our luxury bootcamp holiday in Thailand is best rated and most renowned. Our bootcamp has become so popular that we have started a trend and fitness bootcamps are springy up all over Thailand. Our program which includes an intense fitness experience as well as the opportunity to visit a Buddhist temple, meet elephants and tigers, enjoy several Thai massages and really make the most of the glorious setting.
The Thai landscape is beautifully varied from the pristine expansive beaches to the vibrant buzz of the city. There is also a vast amount of dense lush green spaces, from stunning jungles to fragrant mango and bamboo groves.
Animal lovers will delight in the elephants which Thailand is famed for. It is certainly worth paying a visit to an elephant reserve if you are planning a trip to Thailand.
There are some beautifully serene lakes and tranquil paddy fields, as well as many breathtaking waterfalls.
The extreme sports
If you fancy trying some extreme sports or outdoor activities, then it makes sense to do them in a idyllic setting. Thailand offers some of the best extreme sports from sea kayaking to zip lining through jungles, from whitewater rafting to caving, waterfall abseiling to jungle trekking. As Thailand is so affordable you can get far more for your money than you might elsewhere, while enjoying the divine natural landscapes.
Here is Chiang Mai we love the X-Centre which offers bungee jumping, paint balling, zorb ball, go-carting and ATV’s.
http://www.chiangmai-xcentre.com/ We visit the x-center on Sundays as part of our cycle day. We have a fruit smoothie or fresh coconut water stop here and some of our guests challenge themselves further by completing a bungee jump!
Everyone who visits Thailand comments on how friendly they found the people living there. Of course we can’t generalise, but on the whole you’ll be met with smiles and people will go out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Being surrounded by positive, gentle and caring people simply makes you feel good and is all part of the Thai travel experience.
The spa treatments
Thai massage is incredibly powerful, relaxing and effective. If you suffer from aching muscles, stiff joints or postural problems then you really must make sure you add a Thai massage to your to do list while in Thailand. The spa treatments are incredibly luxurious, often using local flowers, fruits and spices for a very natural healing experience that smells divine. Many hotels and beach resorts have spas attached, as do the holiday boot camps which often include a number of treatments in the package price. Massage is a wonderful way to balance jet lag, so is ideal if you are travelling through time zones and want to really enjoy your holiday from the off. The massage and spa treatments are so integral to Thai culture that they are an essential part of any Thai trip.
So whether you are drawn to the beautiful beaches, the majestic temples, the rolling hills or the lush jungles, there is something for everyone in this stunning Southeast Asian country. Signing up for a boot camp holiday or trying some extreme sports are wonderful ways to inject some excitement and adventure into your trip. Whatever you choose to do, there is no doubt that you will fall in love with this incredible country. Please get in touch on our contact page if you would like more information on our fitness bootcamp here in Chiang Mai!