Thailand today is a ‘go to’ destination for anybody looking to get away from the stress and bustle of mundane life. It is even a weekend destination to many, given travelling has become cheap and quick. With airlines competing to give better prices, Thailand has become an easy holiday spot for the commoner. Unlike a few other holiday destinations where shopping is the only entertainment, Thailand presents you with a number of things to do, all within reachable distances at affordable rates.
The people of Thailand are apparently proud of their distinct culture and traditions. They have managed to take full leverage of their strengths, the land, its history, its diversity, its produces, beauty, beaches, resources, the people, their traditions, lifestyle and culture. So, if you are looking for more than just a bathe in the sea or a dip in the pool, Thailand may just be right for you.
For those intrigued by history, they will find it vividly preserved in the various monuments, temples and palaces spread throughout Thailand. The monuments are all tended to periodically so as to keep them looking almost fresh out of a story book. They are painted in vibrant colours and shades, standing tall and magnificent, impressing the thousands of visitors travelling to see them. The premises are well maintained with manicured lawns, flower gardens and well kempt grounds. If you can tune out the crowd and frenzy around you, and imagine yourself standing in solitude, you can very well travel back to the not-so-distant history when these places were home to the royalty. The royal temples with their continued prayers and rituals are time machines that transport you back centuries. Thailand boasts of not just its magnificent royal history but also of its mesmerising culture, lifestyle and natural beauty.
In the city, you come across people desperate to keep up with the fast paced western lifestyle as well as the advancements in the developed countries. Public Transport is amazingly efficient, convenient and easy. City roads have traffic congestions and long waits, getting busier toward evenings, especially weekends. Streets are crowded with tourists, hawkers selling almost everything imaginable and food stalls putting up an array of food prepared in Thai style and every other style known. Malls and supermarkets compete with the best anywhere, be it for the brands available or the variety of things on offer. It’s a shopper’s paradise.
The Golden River cruise in the evening gives you a mesmerising glimpse of the city and its people, bathed in glowing lights. The high rises standing beside centuries old temples form a strange paradox that reflects Thailand today. The Golden River is also a crucial aspect of their internal logistic system, with a good share of transportation of grains, oils and basic necessities being carried out on the river, a system that any developing country with ample water ways within it, can learn from.
Excitement doesn’t begin and end within the city, for life outside the city in Thailand is a whole different story. In the outskirts is where the country’s personality and uniqueness is displayed. Well connected roads and expressways make travelling easy and comfortable to the many beautiful distractions. The floating markets have a culture distinct from any other, because around these markets are whole communities that still depend on sales from boats for livelihood. They sell food, authentic Thai cuisine, exotic dishes and desserts, fresh vegetables and juicy fruits, decor products, Thai textile and many other exquisite handmade wares. Bargaining is a rule and you can come off with very beautiful things for less than half the price, they quote. Given the exchange rate of Thai currency Baht is not too high, and paying for these do not cause you much heartache.
A description of Thailand is incomplete without a mention of its beaches, although much is written on it. Phuket is an international holiday destination and it easily lives up to its reputation. Travelling to Thailand once, should be on your bucket list.
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