Enjoy a World of Contrasts – Visit Thailand
Thailand is a world of contrasts – centuries-old temples and pagodas and 21 st century industries, unspoiled wilderness and teeming cities, Medieval artifacts and ultra-modern architecture. First-time visitors to Thailand are constantly struck by the intersection of the old and the new, and it is this charm that makes Thailand one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
If you want to see the dichotomy of old-world charm and new-world elegance firsthand, a trip to Bangkok should be your first stop. This teeming city is filled with people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. It is also a magnet for tourists from around the world. Whether you are looking for the most authentic Thai cuisine on the planet, some great shopping at the local bazaar or trying to get in tune with your spiritual side, you will find it all in Bangkok.
In Bangkok you can visit the Grand Palace, famous for its gleaming emerald Buddha. If you want to do some people watching or just relax, you can cruise down the narrow khlongs. A cruise down these famous canals will give you a firsthand look at the contrast between old and new. You can see men and women from remote villages as they bring their wares to market, right alongside 21st century merchants and salespeople enjoying the modern world.
To the north of Bangkok lies Chiang Mai, famous for its Thai cooking classes and its world-class Asian cuisine. If you want to learn to cook in the authentic Thai style, Chiang Mai is the place to be.
When you are done cooking, you can take a guided bicycle ride to the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam. History buffs will have a blast exploring the ancient ruins and thinking about life in times gone by, while ordinary tourists will love the scenic vistas and the beauty of a sunrise or sunset over the ruined city.
History buffs will also love the town of Sukhothai. The town’s nickname is “The Dawn of Happiness,” and that moniker is quite appropriate. This town dates back to the golden age of Siam, and its ancient artifacts are all on display here. You can spend the day exploring the ancient statues and monuments and admiring the stunning lotuses that dot the landscape.
If you want to see even more of the contrast between old and new, just head over to the famous H’mong Lodge. Here you will find one of the largest hill tribe groups in Thailand – the H’mong.
These ancient peoples have been plying their trades and making their way in life long before Bangkok became a 21st century city. While here, you can see the stunning silver jewelry and beautiful embroidered sashes the H’mong tribe members still wear – all made with the same ancient techniques.
Thailand is a study in contrast, but it is also a delight for all the senses. From the deliciousness of the local cuisine to the friendliness of its people, there are many things to love about Thailand.
If you have never been here before, now is the perfect time to book your first trip. If you have been to Thailand before, there is no time like the present to make a return journey.