When it comes to far off adventures at a price that can’t be beat, Thailand is always a sure thing. Whether it’s the fabulous weather, the parties that never seem to stop, fantastic nature or a dynamically rich culture, Thailand has something for everyone from the north to the southernmost tip. You could be a first timer or an old pro when it comes to visiting this tropical paradise but the country always offers a chance to see it anew and is particularly appealing when the weather turns cool elsewhere in the world.
Take a look below at some suggestions for the best ways to experience what Thailand has to offer depending on your tastes and time frame. Whether it’s a few days in Bangkok or a few weeks lounging in Phuket or Ko Phi Phi, the only thing you’ll regret about this holiday is not taking it sooner!
If you’re looking or a city that will continue to surprise you around every corner, look no further than Bangkok, the capital city that has many flights connecting it to the rest of the world. It has every modern amenity you could hope for at a fraction of the price you could find it back home. Use it as your base to see the amazing temples and shrines dedicated to Buddhism or the imperial grounds of the royal family and be amazed at how much there is to do and see within this incredible metropolis.
Full Moon Parties
So much has been said about Full Moon Parties that I won’t go into too great of detail about what they are about, except that they are definitely for those who like to party. Taking place, as the name would suggest, around the full moon, these parties see travellers from all over the world revelling in the electric atmosphere on the beach and just generally going nuts – often with a little extra ‘help’, if you catch my drift.
As a country that has been around for a very long time in various forms, Thailand has its share of old buildings that have fallen into disrepair – the result is a hauntingly beautiful setting for exploring a piece of Thailand’s incredible history. If you think checking out old British castles is a good time, you’ll be blown away by the ruined sites in Thailand. Just outside of Bangkok lies the old capital of Ayutthya, a city burnt by the Burmese many years ago but a must see for anyone who has the chance.
Thailand has been host to many battles and wars over the years, but you may be interested in checking out those sites relating to WWII as many are the final resting places of soldiers from all over the world. Of particular note is the bridge on the river Kwai, made famous by the movie of the same name, which was blown up and then rebuilt not long after. Nearby is the JEATH war cemetery, an immaculately kept allied war cemetery that will humble you long after you’ve returned home.
Technically a US territory, Puerto Rico is not just a home away from home for US citizens it’s a completely different Caribbean world. Known for a long history, including several historical monuments to visit, Puerto Rico has a unique culture that visitors enjoy exploring. This culture is combined with great views over the Atlantic Ocean and a great beach life that is enjoyed year round. Things to do in Puerto Rico include:
501 Norzagaray St | San Juan
El Morro is a massive naval fortress that juts out of San Juan habour. This six story fortress was built in the mid 16th century to deter attacks from the sea. In its history El Morro has withstood several attacks, including during both World Wars, but now has retired from active service as a naval fortification and has become Puerto Rico’s main tourist draw. Not only does El Morro offer great vista views over the Atlantic it also has a network of tunnels, barracks, and even prison cells for visitors to explore. Most part of El Morro are open to the public and exploration of the massive site can be done at visitors leisure. Admission into EL Morro is just $ 5 dollars US.
Visitors to Puerto Rico often recount their experience at Mosquito Bay as one of their favourites. This south Viques Beach might not sound like that much till one takes into account its unique attribute of literally glowing at night. Thanks to the 700,000 bioluminescent dinoflagellates in each gallon of bay water, the water in Mosquito Bay glows in the darkness providing a once in a life time swimming or boating experience. Access to the bay is free so check Mosquito Bay’s official web site to find out the best times to enjoy its illuminating qualities.
Rt 187 | Carolina
Carolina Beach is one of Puerto Rico’s most popular public beaches. Though Carolina beach can be crowded visitors still do adore its white sand beaches and warm water. Also, there is always a life guard on duty while the beach is officially open from 8 am until 6 pm ensuring beach safety. Visiting the beach is free, but if you bring a car there will be a $2 dollar parking fee charged.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square presents a combination of pagoda and shikhara style of temples. The place is an architect’s delight as it is a fine specimen of sculptures and woodcarvings. The temples are located around the fifty-five window palace made of brick and wood. Bhaktapur Durbar Museum represents the traditional art of Nepal. The ancient city engages you with a fine display of magnificent local products, pottery, and various other artworks apart from the beautiful temples. Some of the most important places in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are:
55 Window Palace: Dating back to 15th century AD, 55 Window Palace is a marvelous construction that displays architectural splendor in a very fine form. It was built by King Yakshay Malla and later was renovated by King Bhupatindra Malla during 17th century. The palace derives its name from the unique construction of 55 windows in a balcony, which is a fine example of woodcarving.
The Golden Gate: The main entrance to the courtyard of ancient palace of 55 Windows, Golden Gate, is an awe-inspiring specimen of architectural excellence. King Ranjit Malla erected the Golden Gate, which is embellished with mythical creatures.
The Lion Gate: The Lion Gate was erected in 1696 AD. It has two big-sized lion statues on either side. The statues of Lord Shiva and Ugrachandi are compelling attractions of the gate. It is believed that Bhadgaon King cut off artisans’ hands after they completed the artwork to ensure that such work is not repeated elsewhere.
The Art Gallery: The Art Gallery houses ancient paintings representing the faiths of Hinduism and Buddhism. The gallery is frequented by researchers of these faiths to obtain an insight into the traditions that prevailed in the past.
Patan, also known as Lalitpur, is located on the south of Bagmati River and it is one amongst the three royal cities in Kathmandu valley. It is also the oldest among the three cities. Patan Durbar Square has been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Famous for its rich cultural heritage, Patan is home to fine arts. The splendid woodcarvings and metal statues speak stories of the skills of artisans. Considered to be established during the 3rd century BC, Patan is a cultural center where many festivals are celebrated every year. Four Ashoka Stupas built in four cardinal points of Patan are considered very important architectural treasures of the land. The Stupas are said to be built by Emperor Ashoka during 250 BC. Temples, palaces, statues and stone baths are some of the constructions found in Patan Durbar Square. Given below are some of the famous places in Patan Durbar Square.
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar: Also referred to as the Golden Temple, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar was built by King Bhaskar Verma during 12th century. The golden façade of the three-storied Pagoda looks stunningly beautiful. Buddha’s golden images and wall carvings are found inside the temple.
Patan Museum: Patan Museum ranks among the best museums in the Asian continent. The museum is situated in an ancient palace, which dates back to 1734. The collections in the museum depict the rich cultural history of Nepal. Most of the collections are bronze statues and gilt copper objects. The garden adjacent to the museum offers a pleasant sight and a peaceful resting place.
Patan Zoo: Nepal’s only Zoo, Patan Zoo, was established in the year 1932. Initially a private zoo, the year 1956 saw the zoo opened to public. The zoo is home to more than 700 species of animals, which include 14 endangered animals in Nepal. The pond in the zoo offers boating facilities.
Godavari Botanical Garden: Godavari Botanical Garden is situated on the southern side of Patan Durbar Square. The garden has a wide range of plants and the dense forest offers great scope for bird watching and hiking. It is also a famous picnic spot.
Kumbeshwor Temple: Kumbeshwor Temple is one among the two 5-tier temples in Nepal. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple dates back to 1391 and it was initially a two-tiered construction. The natural spring inside the temple is considered to come from the famous Gosainkunda Lake.
It is also famously called as Basantapur Durbar Square and Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square. Located in front of Kathmandu’s royal palace, this spectacular Durbar Square reflects the artistry that prevailed in the past. Kathmandu Durbar Square houses palaces and ancient temples that belong to the periods between 12th and 18th centuries. The cultural spirit of Nepal centers in Kathmandu Valley and hence Kathmandu Durbar Square gains more prominence. It consists of two divisions, which are referred to as outer complex and inner complex. The outer complex has famous temples namely Taleju Temple, Jagannath Temple, Shiv-Parvati Temple, Big Bell and Kumari Bahal. The inner complex has old palace, courtyards, Basantapur Durbar, Hanuman Dhoka and other structures.
The palace in the complex was the residence of the Nepalese Royal family until 19th century and coronation of kings took place here. The temples representing Hindu and Buddhist faiths are constructed in pagoda style. The stunning architecture involved in the construction of temples and palaces in Kathmandu Durbar Square makes the place one of the most frequented tourist destinations. No wonder, Kathmandu Durbar Square ranks amongst the eight Cultural World Heritage sites. Some of the important places in Kathmandu Durbar Square are:
Taleju Temple: The first three-tired temple of the land, Taleju Temple, is considered an important religious site by followers of Hinduism and Jainism. Legend goes that Goddess Taleju had appeared before the king in the form of bee to advice that the temple be built resembling the design of yantra.
Jagannath Temple: Jagannath Temple was initially dedicated to Lord Vishnu and later it was re-dedicated to Lord Jagannath. The temple is a fine example of architectural splendor of the past. Exquisite carvings on the doors and windows are an inspiration to any artistic mind.
Shiv-Parvati Temple: It is one of the famous temples in Kathmandu Square Durbar. Dedicated to Shiva and Parvati, the temple is believed to be reconstructed later.
Kumari Bahal: Kumari Bahal is the abode of Living Goddess. Built in the year 1757, it resembles a monastery. A girl chosen to be living goddess of the town lives in the place until she reaches puberty after which she returns to her normal life.
Bhandarkal: Bhandarkal is yet another attraction in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is a botanical garden established by King Pratap Mall during 17th century. The garden earns its name after a palace that houses the statue of Jalashayana Narayan, the Sleeping Vishnu. With wide range of fauna, Bhandarkal is haven for nature lovers.