When you see vacation photos from Thailand, 90% of the time those photos will feature an elephant. Thailand tourism has become increasingly popular due to its elephant tourism which allows visitors to get a close-up experience with elephants in a natural environment. However, Thailand is filled with many beautiful islands, holy temples, and great eats. To get you prepared for your trip to Thailand, here are 5 things to do in Thailand besides elephants.
1. Temples (Bangkok)
There are over 33,000 active Buddhist temples in Thailand. These temples are very prominent and an integral part of Thailand as 93.6% of all people in Thailand are Buddhists. Because these temples are seen as a holy, the structures are very impressive and immaculately ornate. My personal favorite was the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) which dates back to the 14th century. You can experience the religious culture of Thailand, but remember to cover up! There are nothing but breathtaking views from the entrance to the end. A temple is definitely worth looking at if you are ever in Thailand.
2. Thai Cooking Class (Chiang Mai)
We attended Thai Cookery School (Pra Nang) where we were guided through the process of preparing and cooking traditional-style Thai food. With a class of 2-10 people, you start out by visiting a local market to select the freshest ingredients for the dishes you will create. We created 5 dishes, which included a soup, stir fry, curry, an appetizer, and a dessert. Vegan options are also available. The class is 4 hours and will give you insight on the food culture of Thailand. In the end, you will get a recipe book to recreate those traditional dishes and a certificate to prove your mastery.
3. The Jim Thompson House
The Jim Thompson House is a true hidden gem. This museum is about an American, Jim Thompson, who moved to Thailand and changed the silk industry. You get to explore the actual house of Jim Thompson and the mystery behind how he disappeared. There is a silk shop attached as well as an inside/outside restaurant with very tasty and cheap food. This museum will give you an opportunity to learn about Thai silk and all the innovation that surrounded it.
4. Monkey Beach (Ko Phi Phi Don)
This is for those that love animals. Monkey Beach is located on Phi Phi island which is known for its breathtaking views. Imagine going to an island full of monkeys that are happy to see and interact with humans. You are allowed to feed the monkeys and take all the pictures you want. They have boats that you can take over to the island while you take in all the sites or you can rent a kayak and head over there yourself.
5. Chiang Mai Night Safari
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can get up close and personal to all types of animals at Chiang Mai Night Safari. Chiang Mai Night Safari is a nocturnal zoo that will entertain you at every turn. The evening will start off with a narrated animal show that introduces you to cool animals. Next, you’ll hop on a tram and go to the Savanna Zone. The Savanna Zone is full of animals whose habitats are in the African savanna. There you will see giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and more. Afterwards, you’ll head over to the Predator Zone which is full of carnivores! There you will see lions, bears, pumas, and more. This is a place you won’t forget as you have face to face interactions with various animals on this night safari.
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