isan thailand bangkok
My boyfriend and I are going to Thailand on Nov 30-Dec 21.?
I know its the ‘cold’ season there, I was wondering if anyone has been there during that time and what places are worth going to check out or any other info about his time of year. We were also planning to go to Koh Samui.. We are only going for three weeks, this would help us out very much !!
Hi. Even though its the ‘cold season’ its still an average of 30 degrees C during the day. It means its hot, instead of being very hot, at that time of year. The things to do in Nov/Dec are same as at other parts of the year but you have a better (much better) chance of not getting rained on when you’re doing them compared to if you do them in April-October.
For things to do/sightseeing, starting with Bangkok, here are 26 things to do in Bangkok & Central Thailand:-
1) Grand Palace
2) Vimanmek Mansion (royal palace)
3) Thai Massage – the traditional massage is called ‘Nuat Thai’ and there are hundreds of places for this in Bangkok. This is proper Thai massage not the sex one.
4) Safari World – safari park (has elephant rides)
5) Dreamworld – amusement park (includes snow dome & grown-ups size go-kart track, rollercoasters, etc.)
6) Day trip to a Floating Market
7) Day trip to Ayutthaya – old capital of Thailand – 50 miles north of Ayutthaya (has elephant stables and elephant rides)
8) Day trip to Kanchanaburi – west of Bangkok – bridge over the river kwai/tiger sanctuary / muang sing historical park
9) Weekend Market, Bangkok
10) Suan Lum Night Market (also has a big wheel)
11) National Museum (Bangkok)
12) Shopping – malls: MBK, Siam Paragon, Central World Plaza (they all have movie theaters too).
13) Shopping – local markets: Pratunarm market, Chinatown, Thieves Market, Flower Markets
14) Day trip to Khao Yai National Park – east of Bangkok
15) River Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
16) Dusit Zoo & Tropical Gardens
17) Temples – famous temples include Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Marble Temple, The Temple of the Golden Buddha
18) Snake Farm, Bangkok – has quite a fun show
19) Jim Thompson’s House, Bangkok
20) Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo, just outside Bangkok, has everthing to do with crocodiles, crocodile feeding, crocodile wrestling, (ethical produced) crocodie products, elephant show & rides and a zoo.
21) Bang Pa-In Palace (near Ayutthaya)
22) Day trip to Nakhon Pathom
23) Muang Boran (Ancient City), south of Bangkok
24) Suan Pakkard Palace, Bangkok
25) Golden Mount, Bangkok
26) The Royal Barges Museum, Bangkok.
North-East Thailand (Isan)
1) Phimai – Angkor Temple complex (also Phimai National Museum and Sai Ngam – Banyan tree). Khmer ruins.
2) Buriram (Prasat Hin Lhao Phanom Rung Historical Park) – Like Phimai, another Angkor Temple complex – bigger than Phimai but harder to get to.
3) Prasat Meuang Tam Khmer Temple complex – not far away from Prasat Rung – not sure how you will be there without a car.
North Thailand (Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai)
1) Doi Inthanon – the highest mountain in Thailand (in Doi Inthanon National Park)
2) Waterfalls in Doi Inthanon National Park
3) Doi Tung (Doi Tung Royal Villa, Mae Fah Luang Garden)
4) Golden Triangle tour – the view from the hill of the river where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet ranks as a must see.
5) Hill Tribes Tour (normally part of a Golden Triangle Tour) – more of a cultural awareness thing rather than a must see.
6) Elephant trekking – there is a multi-day package that you can buy.
Some people also recommend Chiang Mai Zoo. I am sure its very nice. I think there are a lot of places to see animals in and around Bangkok:- Safari World, Dusit Zoo, Siam Underwater world, Khao Yai National park, (even Dreamworld & Ayutthaya (Ayudhya) have elepant rides), Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo, Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (Snake Farm, Bangkok). Even, Muang Boran (Ancient City), that doesn’t even promote istelf as a place to see animals has a deer reserve for Hog Deer, sometimes they can also be seen wandering around the ‘ancient’ monuments.
South Central Thailand
1) Phra Ramarajnivet Palace, Petchaburi
2) Phra Nakhom Khiri Palace, Petchaburi
3) Hua-Hin beach
4) Wat Khoa Takiep, Hua-Hin – if you are in Hua-Hin anyway, its worth going to as it a pretty hill-top temple. There is a Traditional Thai design part to the temple, but, in addition, slightly down the hill, near to the cliff, there is an interesting Chinese part. Also, there are lots of naughty monkeys within the grounds of the temple too.
For the an island you’ve decided on Koh Samui so I won’t trouble you with information about the other islands/beaches.
Hope this helps give you some ideas.
isan thailand bangkok
Santa, Buddha, Elves, and Hello Kitty? Christmas in Bangkok
Copyright (c) 2009 Ben Hart
Yes, elves in sombreros, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and a pink Frosty the Snowman in a cheap suit. This is Christmas in the Land Of Smiles.
It is often said among the many foreigners here that the Thai can never quite get it right. They often use blue Christmas lights instead of green; and sometimes pink and yellow, too. I once saw a Nativity scene which featured the Seven Dwarfs in place of the Apostles; and it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if a smiling Winnie the Pooh, honey pot and all, was tucked snugly into the crib reserved for Baby Jesus. This is Xmas in the LOS (Land of Smiles for the uninitiated).
I was in a taxi cab when I noticed the elves in big yellow sombreros. These were large wood cutouts that lined up along a stretch of road next to a popular shopping district here in Bangkok. It would appear as though these locations become draped with differing interpretations of both New Year’s and Christmas. It is a sort free association for the Thais, who seem to take any opportunity to revel in cuteness with little regard for tradition. Hello Kitty, Tom and Gerry, and that stupid blue cat everyone loves so much — all have a place in the echelon of Christmas spirits. They haven’t yet trifled with the image of Santa, but I’ve been on the lookout for a sleigh driving Goofy all week, and I’m sure there has to be one somewhere. It’s only a matter of time. As for the reindeer; these too seem to be acceptable on their own meritorious cuteness; but again, I’m on the lookout. Perhaps a team of flying rabbits or pink teddy bears will someday replace them at the head of Santa’s sleigh. As for the Christmas tree, there’s a hotel on New Road that keeps a Christmas tree up all year in the lobby. This dusty and rather distressed tree is crowned — not with a Star of David — but with a trio of pink wedding bells that congratulates some happily wed couple from Christmas past. I have witnessed other examples, but you get the idea.
It’s probably true that some foreigners find this complete bastardization of Christ’s birth as unfathomable and in poor taste. I, on the other hand, find it refreshing — and, if anything (and perhaps sadly so), a more accurate representation of what Christmas has truly become. And to most of us Western consumers, what it truly represents. In any case, it is Christmas in the Land of Smiles. So on behalf of everyone in the Kingdom, I’d like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Cinco Dimayo, and congratulations!
Ben Hart is an attorney from the United States, and Managing Director of Integrity Legal Thailand Co. Ltd., a Thai Company certified under the US-Thai Amity Treaty. Bill Reyland wrote the book “Sons of Isan,” a book based upon his experiences during a year spent in a Buddhist Temple in Thailand. To learn more, please see: Thailand Monastery.
One of us wahts to see people and culture, one of us wants nature and wild animals..What two places ?.?
Where in Thailand can satisfy both?
I think the real deal is the Khao Yai National Park + Phimai/Buriram idea given out in one of the answers above. If you’re into history you’ll love Phimai and Buriram. They are two well-preserved sites left over from the 12th-13th century (Christian dating) when what is now Thailand was was part of the Khmer Empire. As they date from the same period they have a lot of design similarities with Angkor Wat in Cambodia. They are not particularly far apart, both being in the southern part of Isan, nor are they very far from Khao Yai (a few hours east of Bangkok). You’re other question today about Lopburi, Sukothai and Ayutthaya is essentially looking at the next stage of Thai history when the Khmer empire went into decline, the Thai kingdoms gained their independence and Ayutthaya (with backing from the royal families from Lopburi and Sukothai) was founded (14th century onwards). Its shame you can’t go to all the sites (Phimai, Buriram, Sukpthai, Lopburi and Ayutthaya)because you’d get a feel for the Khmer cultural ideas that all the sites show in different stage of development – check out the design of the temples in Ayutthaya – there are a lot of Khmer derived features that you’ll see at Phimai, Buriram (and Angkor Wat in Cambodia). If you know what you’re looking for you can even see these in the relatively modern design of the Grand Place in Bangkok.
You will probably be able to get to Phimai fairly easily without being able to speak Thai. Its not so far from the city of Khorat. Buriram is going to be a bit more of a struggle. Not many foreign tourists make it there and its kind of in the middle of nowhere. You can just about see over to into Cambodia from the summit (its built on an extinct volcano) on a clear day.
Khao Yai National Park is easy to get to and many foreign visitors go there – it can even be done as a day trip from Bangkok.
I think Phimai and Buriram are the most interesting historical sites in Thailand. Send me an email through YA and I’ll email you a couple of my pictures to give you a flavor so you can figure out for yourself whether its worth the bother of getting to these, slightly out of the way, places.
The Muang Singh site in Kanchanaburi, also the remains of an old Khmer city, is not of an equal quality to the Phimai and Buriram sites; although if you can’t make it to them its still worth going to.
Memories From Thailand – Bangkok & Isaan – 2008
Some fotos from my visit to Thailand – Bangkok, Isaan, Khon Kaen, Chum Phae, Roi Et
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