Author : Laurence Boyer-Turp
Thailand, known as the land of smiles, seduces travelers with the beauty of its temples, beautiful scenery, traditional cuisine and history. By visiting the country from south to north and from east to west, we discover the different faces of this country with many customs.
Any good stay in Thailand begins with an exploration of its capital, Bangkok. This city of 8.2 million inhabitants combines tradition and effervescence. The city is full of beautiful temples, including the famous Wat Pho, Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaew. Bangkok is one of those cities where the stay depends greatly on the neighborhood in which one resides and those ones we decide to explore. The districts of Wang Mai and Thewet are well away from the hordes of tourists and we discover a more typical and quiet Thailand with its fish markets, large ancestral trees and colorful streets.
After a stay in the frenzy of the capital, head to the south of the country to find a quieter Thailand. Recognized as a mass tourism destination for its white-sand beaches with crystal clear water, southern Thailand offers a wide range of activities for travelers willing to think outside the box. Indeed, it is possible to explore the southern provinces to include meeting the Muslim peoples of the country. Rich in diverse traditions, a whole new Thailand is emerging. This part of the country is distinguished by its religious traditions, but also by the fate of several villages during the 2004 tsunami. By visiting the affected regions, travelers still feel today the great impact of this natural disaster on the region. In order to revive their villages, the inhabitants have developed various expertise thanks to the support of regional organizations, including the organization Andaman Discoveries. Stays of a few days at Ban Talae Nok Homestay allow travelers to discover the traditional crafts of this friendly people, to taste regional dishes and to live at home.
When you head north, you will fall in love with this part of the country. Between the mountains there are villages of ethnic minorities with very particular customs. A majority of tourists do not dare to venture into these more remote villages where local people live, but this is where the beauty of the landscape is most striking. With unique culinary traditions, the people of northern Thailand immerse the tourist in a unique way of life. For hiking enthusiasts, the northern rice fields are the ideal playground for exploring this region and different types of accommodation are available according to the wishes of tourists. For travelers wishing to experience the friendly atmosphere of the hostels, Spicy Villa Ecolodge offers a memorable stay. Several activities offered in respect of local communities are organized by this accommodation: cooking class with a Thai chef, visit of the school of the community with a guide of the Karen tribe and traditional meal cooked in bamboo. By visiting solidarity accommodation, the traveler helps to support different local initiatives. A concrete example of the positive impact of tourism in a community can be seen in the Chai Lai Sisters organization, a social hiking company run by women of the Karen ethnic minority. Located in the small isolated village of Pong Noi, Chai Lai Sisters invites tourists to live short exotic stays sleeping in bamboo huts in the middle of the Thai jungle. A visit to Chai Lai Sisters helps to fund the Daughters Rising organization, whose mission is to prevent trafficking and the human and sexual exploitation of ethnic minorities, an important plague in Thailand.
After exploring northern Thailand and discovering the south, it is high time for the majority of travelers to descend to Bangkok. Before ending a trip to this country, a stop in a province of eastern Thailand is essential. The Kanchanaburi area, known for the infamous Kwai River Bridge, is also a waterfall enthusiast’s paradise. For the more adventurous, it is possible to rent a scooter to stay at Shanti Farm, an organic farm managed by two Thai people. Few tourists dare venture further than Erawan National Park, but the region is full of hidden treasures. Spending a few days at Shanti Farm is the perfect opportunity to explore Khuean Srinagarindra National Park and discover Phra That Cave.
A stay in Thailand is the perfect opportunity to live an adventure that will please your taste buds, to discover incredible natural landscapes and to meet people of extreme kindness. It’s up to you now!
Author: Laurence Boyer-Turp
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