Thailand is a destination hosting a multitude of incredible activities and things to do. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing time on the beach, a buzzing inner-city adventure exploring a unique culture’s intricacies, or a wildlife extravaganza, Thailand is a mystical East-Asian paradise which has it all.
With so many different things to see and do though, one of the biggest issues visitors face is finding the time to fit it all in. So, to make your time in Thailand as enjoyable and fun-filled as possible, we’ve developed a series of the top things to do. You can use this page as a checklist to tick off as you enjoy your holiday. We guarantee that if you manage to do even just a couple of these things, you’ll have yourself a truly Thai-riffic time!
1. Take a Walk
One of the best things you can do in Thailand to soak up the culture and atmosphere is simply walking around the area you’re staying in at your own pace. Put on some sturdy shoes and stroll along the first road or beach you come across. Thailand is literally buzzing with culture and stimulation of the senses, so just explore it at a slow pace, and make sure you stop every now and then to sample some things, listen to the sounds and take in the scents.
2. Eat a Meal
Obviously, you’re going to want to be eating more than just one meal, but you’ve got to make sure that you have at least one entirely authentic Thai meal. There are so many hole in the wall restaurants and street-side vendors that sell all varieties of delicacies and delicious treats that are sure to surprise you. But don’t let the look of them fool you! East-Asian cuisine boasts some of the most unique and powerful flavours you’ll find anywhere in the world, so leaving without trying it out is something you’ll definitely regret!
3. Go Shopping
Thailand’s markets and shopping centres are utopias for shopaholics and casual browsers alike. If you’re spending any time in Bangkok, you can’t miss spending some of it in the MBK centre. This monolith of a shopping centre has level upon level of different goods and trinkets with everything from clothing and electric goods through to groceries and restaurants. You’ll be amazed by the myriad of escalators going up and down throughout this place. You’ll also find Chatuchak Weekend Markets in Bangkok – which, as their name suggests, are only open on the weekends. Like all of the local markets you’ll find around Thailand, these are loaded with all sorts of exciting goods and bargains to excite you. And one of the best parts is that bargaining with the vendors is encouraged – so you can haggle until your heart’s content for the best prices!
4. Explore Thailand’s History
Thailand is home to a huge number of ancient temples and palaces, each of which have their own unique aspects that make them a wonder to visit. The ancient civilisations of Thailand were seriously impressive with their architecture and structural engineering so taking some time to admire these buildings is an activity in itself. If you’re going to be in Bangkok for more than a transfer, then we’d recommend you visit the Grand Palace. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it’s also home to an incredible museum-like display of Thailand’s rich culture and history.
5. Treat Yourself to a Spa
Most of the hotels you’re likely to be staying at will have their own in-house spa facilities, and you can book in a time at the front desk to enjoy some serious pampering. If, however, you’re staying somewhere that doesn’t host its own spa, or you feel like getting out of the hotel, then there are plenty of options which you can find on the street. Typically, an hour long relaxing massage in a local parlour will only cost you around AU$10.
6. Take a Cooking Class
Like we said before, Thailand is home to some of the most enticing cuisines and flavours in the world. So why would you not want to take a cooking class and be able to reproduce those same flavours anytime you like at home? Many of the hotels offer cooking classes as one of their activities though the cost isn’t going to be included in your usual accommodation. But trust us when we tell you, it’s well worth being taught by a professional Thai chef, and a great hands-on experience in itself.
7. Go on a Tour
There is an enormous variety in tours you can organise through your hotel, with all of them covering different aspects and areas of Thailand to suit your preferences. However, one of the absolute must do’s that we can’t recommend enough is taking a cruise out to James Bond Island. You might recognise this place from its namesake film, The Man with the Golden Gun. Just make sure you bring along a snorkel when taking a cruise - the waters around Thailand’s islands are home to some extraordinary wildlife and colours.
8. Spend a Night on Phi Phi Island
The majority of tourists who visit Phi Phi Island do so during the day (literally hundreds on a daily basis), which can make the experience quite crowded and hard to appreciate the natural beauty. So why not spend a night or two on this incredible island and experience the place without the usual rush of tourist traffic? Watching the sunset from the beach here is something you’re sure to never forget!
9. Experience an Elephant Safari
If you love elephants, or if you’re just after a unique experience, then you can’t go past spending some time at the Elephant Hills Jungle Safari. This is a place that advocates animal welfare, so you won’t be riding any elephants, but you will get to spend the night with them! You’ll be set up with your own luxury tent and spend your time with the caretakers feeding and caring for rescued elephants. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that isn’t only exciting, but genuinely beneficial to the local elephant population.