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10 Experiences to Discover in Thailand

Updated on August 24, 2019
mxkamlongera profile image

Maxwell has lived in Africa, Asia and Europe. He enjoys writing and sharing about the places he's visited and experienced.

There are a number of great experiences waiting to be discovered in Thailand where some of those activities are more obvious than others, while some of the other ones require a little more delving to discover. Starting from social excursions and finishing at more intimate experiences, here are 10 experiences waiting for you.

Table of Content

1. Experience a Rooftop Pool Party

2. Have a Scooter Road Trip

3. Take Part In Songkran

4. Visit a Night Market

5. Attend a Cooking Class

6. Experience a Waterfall Park

7. Stay a Weekend at an Island

8. Spend an Afternoon at a Park

9. Visit a Museum

10. See a Temple

1. Experience a Rooftop Pool Party

SO Pool Party atop Sofitel Hotel in Bangkok.
SO Pool Party atop Sofitel Hotel in Bangkok. | Source

Rooftop pool parties are a great way to handle the inescapable heat of Bangkok. These events are unique social gatherings held almost every month by Bangkok’s elite hotels where tickets start at around 300 Baht. It’s quite easy to find a pool party that works for you, and after finding what best meets your needs, all you have to do is turn up and enjoy what’s on offer.

These parties are targeted towards young adults, and you should give them a try if you’re interested in growing your social network or if you’re an extrovert looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon surrounded by likeminded people. The best part about these parties is that they don’t end with the pool; once it’s time to close down there is usually an afterparty elsewhere.

2. Have a Scooter Road Trip

Restaurant with a view of Ayutthaya.
Restaurant with a view of Ayutthaya. | Source

Outside of the chaos of Bangkok scooters are a great way of getting around without having to spend too much money or rely on public transport. The best part about them is being able to go where you please when you please, and organizing a road trip alongside other people is a great way to experience this freedom.

Road trips offer a great bonding experience for both new and old friends while allowing travelers to see Thailand’s countryside. Unless it is an extensive trip to another province most locations allow for a day excursion to a nearby town or area without too much hassle. Road trips are particularly great to execute on islands where you can rent and travel around the landmass and see the sights on offer.

3. Take Part in Songkran

People partying at a club.
People partying at a club. | Source

Songkran is the Thai New Year and takes place over three days, from 13 April to 15 April. The annual celebration is a festival centered on water and the washing away of bad luck. Families and friends spend time together, go to the temples to make merit, donate food, and pay respect to their elders and ancestors.

All over Thailand people celebrate the new year with varying levels of festivity, but the locations widely known for having great festivities for Songkran are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and the islands. As a cultural melting pot Bangkok offers the best variety as locals and foreigners come together, on the other hand, Chiang Mai is a lot more traditional in its approach, and lastly, being tourist hotspots, the islands offer great parties for those keen on merrymaking.

Since there are so many different ways to celebrate the Thai New Year, it is easy to find a part of the celebration that can fit your disposition.

4. Visit a Night Market

A view of Bangkok's famous Rot Fai Market.
A view of Bangkok's famous Rot Fai Market. | Source

Night markets are a big draw for a number of people because of the atmosphere surrounding the areas alongside the discount items on sale. There are different types of markets where some are about food, others are about clothes, and then there are those that offer a mix of things. With the right selection, almost anything you can think of is on sale at a night market. Just be very aware that a lot of items will not be authentic.

Depending on the location, a night market might happen every night, on fixed days, or only at select events while the type of market will also determine if there is the possibility to haggle on items.

5. Attend a Cooking Class

A full meal for two prepared at cooking class.
A full meal for two prepared at cooking class. | Source

There is a love for Thai cuisine from people all over the world, and because of this large demand it’s very easy to find a place that offers cooking classes in the Land of Smiles. Hotels, cooking schools, and at-home lessons are just a few examples of places that offer visitors a chance to create authentic Thai meals.

The opportunity to be taught how to cook Thai cuisine is a great experience for foodies and the fun atmospheres provide you with an occasion to bond with your cooking partner and enjoy a traditional meal at the end of it.

6. Experience a Waterfall Park

People enjoying the water at Sai Yok National Park.
People enjoying the water at Sai Yok National Park. | Source

Depending on which waterfall you choose to go to the venue can determine the experience you will have. There are certain spots popular with tourists and foreigners and there are other spots that the locals enjoy with a lot fewer tourists visiting those areas.

The Thai people enjoy waterfall locations that are more conservative in swimwear and are family-orientated as they have fun with their children and enjoy picnics on site too, whereas foreigners tend to go to the areas with more freedom in the dress code and rules governing venues.

Waterfalls across Kanchanburi Province

A
Erawan Waterfall:
Erawan Falls, Tha Kradan, Si Sawat District, Kanchanaburi 71250, Thailand

get directions

B
Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls:
Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall, Unnamed Rd Tambon Mae Kra Bung, Amphoe Si Sawat, Chang Wat Kanchanaburi 7

get directions

C
Jogkradin Waterfall:
Pilok, Thong Pha Phum District, Kanchanaburi 71180, Thailand

get directions

D
Khao Laem National Park:
Khao Laem National Park, หมู่ที่ 4 339 Prang Phe, Sangkhla Buri District, Kanchanaburi 71240, Thaila

get directions

E
Kroeng Krawia Waterfall:
Kroeng Krawia Waterfall, Highway 323 , Plang Phle , 71240 Sangkhla Buri , Kanchanaburi, Thailand

get directions

F
Patak Waterfall:
Thong Pha Phum District, Kanchanaburi 71180, Thailand

get directions

G
Pha Tad Waterfall:
Kanchanaburi 3204 Rural Road , Hin Dat , 71180 Thong Pha Phum , Kanchanaburi, 71180, Thailand

get directions

H
Sai Yok National Park:
Sai Yok National Park, Sai Yok, Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi 71150, Thailand

get directions

I
Takhian Thong Waterfall:
Kanchanaburi 2078 Rural Road , Nong Lu , 71240 Sangkhla Buri , Kanchanaburi, 71240, Thailand

get directions

7. Stay a Weekend at an Island

A pier leading towards Koh Samui.
A pier leading towards Koh Samui. | Source

The islands are one of the big draws to Thailand for foreigners. They’re beautiful, remote, and have a lot of English speakers so it’s hard to go wrong with them. Some of them are infamous for their parties, while other islands are more modest and offer quieter experiences. Depending on what you’re looking for you can find an island that caters to your needs; there are islands popular to foreigners and there are lesser-known ones that the locals prefer.

If you’re looking for a quiet experience and are eyeing one of the lesser-known islands, be aware that these areas are less likely to have English speakers, but the tradeoff is cheaper prices and more authentic Thai experiences.

8. Spend an Afternoon at a Park

Walkway along Chatuchak Park.
Walkway along Chatuchak Park. | Source

There are many attractive public parks to visit across Thailand with Bangkok offering several options to the point that it is a highly recommended city to visit parks at.

Speaking specifically to Bangkok, the city has a lot of parks on offer from known ones to unknown ones, big ones to small ones, and busy ones to quiet ones. There are parks for both introverts and extroverts; some of the parks are just beautiful sceneries to enjoy while other ones have features like outdoor gyms, playgrounds, butterfly gardens, and boat rides.

Parks around Bangkok

A
Benchasiri Park:
Benchasiri Park, สุขุมวิท22-24 Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, T

get directions

B
Benjakitti Park:
Benjakitti Park, Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10

get directions

C
Chatuchak Park:
Mo Chit, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand

get directions

D
King Rama IX Park:
King Rama IX Park, Chaloem Phrakiat Ratchakan Thi 9 Rd, Suan Luang, Khet Prawet, Krung Thep Maha Nak

get directions

E
Lumphini Park:
Lumphini Park, Thanon Rama IV, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thai

get directions

F
Princess Mother Memorial Park:
Princess Mother Memorial Park, 3 Soi Somdet Chao Phraya 17, Khlong San, Khet Khlong San, Krung Thep

get directions

G
Queen Sirikit Park:
Queen Sirikit Park, 200/1 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Na

get directions

H
Rod Fai Park:
Rod Fai Park, Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd, Lat Yao, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand

get directions

I
Sanam Luang:
Sanam Luang, Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep

get directions

J
Santi Chai Prakan Park:
Santi Chai Prakan Public Park Suan Santichai Prakan, Khwaeng Chana Songkhram, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krun

get directions

9. Visit a Museum

Aircraft on display at the Art Gallery & War Museum next to the River Kwai.
Aircraft on display at the Art Gallery & War Museum next to the River Kwai. | Source

There are plenty of museums on offer across Thailand ranging from war museums, art museums, science museums, and national museums. These places are littered across Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathon, and many other places so no matter your location there should be a place nearby.

10. See a Temple

A temple ruin at Ayutthaya.
A temple ruin at Ayutthaya. | Source

For those who are more spiritually inclined there is always the option to visit temples, be it a temple ruin or an active one. Whether you go for a ruin or an occupied temple there are a few, simple rules to keep in mind in order to be respectful. When it comes to ruins there are areas that may be off-access, food items are usually prohibited, and it’s a grave faux pas to step on certain areas or artifacts. For occupied temples dress code is important where shorts may be frowned upon, outfits that show a lot of skin should be covered up, and removing your footwear before entering the holy building is a must.

Be aware that when visiting temples there are entry fees and foreigners pay more than locals. If you happen to be visiting with Thai friends and can pass for a local then it’s best to keep quiet and let your friends handle the entry.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Maxwell Kamlongera

Comments

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    • mxkamlongera profile imageAUTHOR

      Maxwell Kamlongera 

      12 months ago

      Thank you kindly, JC!

    • JC Scull profile image

      JC Scull 

      13 months ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Very nice article Maxwell.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      18 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love visiting Ayutthaya as it is very peaceful. I was there several times for Songkran and because we were older, the younger ones throwing water would ask us first if they could do it. It was fun.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      18 months ago from UK

      This is a well-structured and well-illustrated article with a lot of good ideas for activities in Thailand.

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