Thailand is a magnet for travelers from all over the world for a good reason. It is an understatement to say that people travel to Thailand just for the great food, tropical climate, fascinating culture, exotic nightlife, and great beaches. Yes, Thailand has every single one of those, but it is the unique Thai experience that keeps tourists coming back for more. There is something in Thailand for every interest and every price bracket. Almost synonymous with the words “Asian vacation,” Thailand is a destination no one should pass up.
Thailand is also known for its exotic cuisines. Thai cuisine is famous for its enthusiastic use of fresh herbs and spices. As in most Asian cuisines, rice is a staple component in Thai dishes. Steamed rice is accompanied by highly aromatic curries, stir-frys and other dishes, incorporating sometimes large quantities of chilies, lime juice and lemon grass. Thai foods’ exotic flavors and culinary excellence made many of its dishes popular in Western mainstream culture. However, the true taste of Thai food comes from its authenticity. It’s not surprising to find authentic Thai food to be much more satisfying and tastier than its Western counterparts.
- Pad Thai- Pad Thai is the default national dish that is loved globally. In a sizzling wok, noodles are cooked with beans sprouts, onions, eggs, and choice of meat. It is lastly finished with grounded peanuts and served as the perfect meal to delight your cravings. It is not spicy and it tastes sweet and a bit sour, but everyone can spice things up to their liking.
- Tom Yum Goong- Another champion of Thai dishes, Tom Yum Goong is renowned for its fragrance and well-balanced taste. The soup blends chili, lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, lime, fish sauce, and other various ingredients to create the most exotic and fragrant dish. Prawns and mushrooms are also added for richer taste and texture. Its sour and spicy taste represents Thai cuisine.
- Curry- Curry is another favorite in Thailand. There are many variations of curry including red, green and massaman curry, which are coconut-milk based. The prevalence of curry demonstrates India’s influence in Thai culture. Red curry is the most common curry in Thailand. Green curry is sweeter and contains more cilantro and basil to create a more unique taste. Massaman curry (Massaman is Thai for Muslim) is even more unique with other spices and ingredients including cinnamon. While they all differ, there are so many variations of curry that are packed with rich flavor and aroma.
- Som Tam- Som Tam is green papaya salad. Orignating from Isaan, this dish is another demonstration of Thailand’s culinary excellence. The dish includes garlic, chilli, green beans, cherry tomatoes and papaya which allows you to enjoy a combination of sour, hot, salty, savory and sweet goodness.
It is already apparent, just by looking at the temples, to feel the rich culture of Thailand. Many of the historical sites celebrate religion, traditions, and legends.
- Grand Palace- The Grand Palace, located in Bangkok, will leave its visitors awestruck with its marvelous architecture and visuals. Once inside the palace walls, nothing can prepare a person for the amazing beauty and detail placed in its construction. Towering statues guard the gates, while precious Buddha statues sit on majestic thrones. Colorful painted walls depict the legend of Ramayana, a romantic tale of equal magnitude to the Greek’s Ancient Troy.
- Pattaya Beach- The famous beach of Pattaya is undoubtedly one of the most talked about attractions in Thailand. Here you’ll find white sands, resorts, night markets, bars, exotic restaurants, clubs, and much more! Although there are shows and activities available for the family, the core of this beach-city is widely known for its abundant nightlife.
Thailand definitely has no shortage of beaches. For a quieter beach-stay, there is the famous resort town of Hua Hin. Located in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula and south of Bangkok, this town is reputed for its relaxing beaches and luxurious resorts. In fact, King Rama VII liked this town so much he decided to build a Summer Palace here. The palace was named “Wang Klai Kang Won” or “Far from Worries,” which is now the full-time residence of current King Rama IX. With its white sands, beautiful sceneries, and ever-relaxing pace, it is no wonder why Royalties chose this town to be one of their most favorite destinations.
- Ayutthaya- Ayutthaya is a place filled with history and inspiring ruins. Internationally recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya was the former capital of the Thai Kingdom during its ancient years. During the 17th century, some foreign visitors claimed Ayutthaya to be the most illustrious city they have ever visited. A magnificent city with palaces and hundreds of temples, the city crumbled after a 15-month siege by the invading Burmese some 240 years ago. Today, ruins that stood the test of time still exist in this once thriving capital. The temples and compounds are still awe-inspiring and can serve as a memorable visit for those drawn to the relics of history.
- Kanchanaburi- Kanchanaburi, the gateway to Kanchanaburi Province, holds one of the most significant sites in World War II history. For most visitors the main attraction to be seen here is the Bridge over River Kwai. This iron bridge was immortalized in the famous movie and novel. The Bridge is part of the infamous Death Railway to Burma. Some 16,000 POWs and 100,000 Asian workers died during the construction of this railway. The site serves as a memorable reminder of tragic events in modern history. Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand can also be found in this city.
Thai baht is the currency of Thailand. The most recent notes come in denominations of 20 baht, 50 baht, 100 baht, 500 baht, 1,000 baht. The exchange rate is 1 Thai baht = $0.03, with fluctuating rates.
Customs & Languages
The official language of Thailand is Thai that is spoken by a majority of the people from Thailand. Their language/words are derived from others such as Pali, Sanskrit, Mon, and Old Khmer. In addition, their culture is heavily influenced from different parts of Asia like the Indians, Chinese, and other Southeast Asians. Religion such as Buddhism and Animism played a significant role in shaping their culture. As stated, since religion is such a huge influence, any form of physical contact with monks are forbidden. It is also a good thing to note that you should take your shoes off when entering homes and temples.
Here are some helpful words/phrases:
- Thank you — K̄hx k̄hxbkhuṇ
- Please — Kruṇā
- Hello — s̄wạs̄dī
- Excuse me — k̄hxthos̄ʹ
- How much? — Thèā h̄ịr̀?
- Where is the restroom? — H̄̂xngn̂ả xyū̀ thī̀h̄ịn?
Go to Thailand!
Famous beaches, grand palaces, dynamic shows, exotic nightlife, delicious cuisines…The list can go on! From ancient to modern history, it’s all here! It’s time for you to experience it. Find out why Thailand is dubbed to be one of the most popular destinations in Asia!