While health should be your primary concern, it’s only natural to want to plan your travels for when things calm down. And if you’re looking for a unique, beautiful place to visit, Thailand should be somewhere towards the top of your list.
In fact, we’ve already outlined 5 Fun Things to Do’ in the country, including going shopping at the night market and a food trip down the metro. However, if you’re the type of traveler looking to experience your destination’s sights, history, and culture, this list might inspire your travel plans that little bit more. Here are five historic places every traveler must visit in Thailand.
Krabi is one of the country’s southern provinces, locally known for its centuries-old monuments and impressive collection of ancient Thai artifacts. It’s believed that people have lived there since the prehistoric period. It’s also the location of the Wat Tham Sua or Tiger Cave, whose mythical legends precede the monks of the temple. As explained in an ExpatBets travel safety guide for Thailand, remember to pack a can of bug spray during the trip. Thailand is a tropical country, and Krabi is near a jungle, so these critters are present all year long. So, don’t let bug bites ruin your entire tour.
Chiang Saen is one of the oldest cities in Thailand. It was reportedly built in 545 by the first Thai settlers from China. Due to its rather dark history under the ambitions of King Rama I, Chiang Saen has been a ghost town since the 13th century. Still, it’s worth a visit to see the old architecture, which you’ll find is more intricate than the Thai designs we’re more familiar with today. As a bonus, it’s located at the border of the Golden Triangle or the body of water in the middle of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. If you have your passport and visa, you can sail directly to the other two countries.
Nakhon Ratchasima in Northeast Thailand is home to many parks with great historical value. One such place is the Phimai Historical Park. Built sometime during the late 11th century, Phimai is a place dedicated to the Khmers—an ethnic group in the Southeast. They mainly practiced Hinduism, so you’ll get a glimpse of Thailand before Buddhism became popular. Nowadays, it has been converted into a Buddhist temple. Tasty Thailand’s temple guide suggests that you need to wear appropriate clothes and remain silent whenever you enter these places of worship to respect Thai culture.
Sukhothai is a UNESCO World Heritage City. It was the first capital of Siam, which proved to be the cradle of Thai civilization in the early 12th century. “Sukhothai” means “the dawn of happiness,” which the ancient kingdom reflected greatly in their art, architecture, and formulation of flowery texts. If you love to take photographs, visit the Wat Si Chum, one of two temples in the north, during the early morning. You’ll find a huge Buddha statue inside, and early morning daylight will ensure that your shots won’t have a glare on Buddha’s face.
Much like Sukhothai, Ayutthaya is also a UNESCO World Heritage City with deep ties to Thailand’s history. In the 14th century, Sukhothai was annexed by Ayutthaya. Eventually, the latter became the second capital of Siam. You can explore its temples on foot, but it’s highly recommended that you stop over at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum as well. This two-story building is host to most of the excavated artifacts throughout Ayutthaya, making it the perfect starting point on your historic journey in the ancient city.
Thailand has a rich culture that has been influenced by many ethnicities that populated the country over the years. The best part about this is how most of them are preserved. When you’re in the area, even at least one of them is worth a visit.