It seems that there is a festival going on somewhere in Thailand every day of the year. Some are nationwide events such as the Songran Water festival and Loy Kratong and many more are local events. Many of the festivals are a local celebration and in no way set up as a tourist attraction which makes attending them all the more interesting as they represent a fine insight into Thai culture. Indeed many are poorly advertised so you should ask locally if there are any festivals going on during your travels around Thailand.
Festivals are amongst the most fascinating things to do in Thailand.
A useful resource is the Thailand Tourism website at http://www.tourismthailand.org/See-and-Do/Events-and-Festivals
With 3,219 km of coastline and some of the clearest water and beaches in the world it is no surprise to find that water activities feature high on the list of things to do in Thailand. Diving, fishing, boating and yachting are available in the sea. Inland there are more water activities as the rivers and lakes are a delight to enjoy. Tubing and lake diving, white water rafting as well as more gentle bamboo rafting are just some of the things to add to your itinerary.
River and sea cruises are on offer and taking a cruise along the mighty rivers of Thailand will provide a unique viewpoint from which to experience the wildlife, peoples and culture of Thailand.
In most of Thailand you are seldom very far from mountains. In the south the limestone cliffs replace the rolling foothills of the Himalayas found in the North. Doi Inthanon is the last or first mountain in the Himalayan range and the highest point in Thailand.
With mountains come outdoor activities such as trekking and climbing. There are 148 national parks many of which are in mountainous areas and they are all dedicated to preserving the local wildlife. Trekking in Thailand is recognised as being amongst the very best in the world.
Up in the mountains the rivers run fast and often cascade over escarpments dropping hundreds of feet to the next level in their journey to the sea. White water rafting is an obvious thing to do in these areas. It is closely controlled and safe. Our Thailand map will give you an insight into the distribution of mountains in Thailand. Khao Sok has some of the best trekking in Thailand and some of the best preserved nature. Find out more in our Kho Sok trekking section.
Everywhere that you travel in Thailand the local culture is strong and visible. By visiting the numerous temples you will see Thais in a different light as they pay homage to the Lord Buddha and the festivals and other events are other showcases of Thai culture. The Thais love to play music, sing and dance and need no excuse at all to have a party. Join them and experience the joyfulness that is part of most Thai lives. There are cultural shows that are put on as a tourist attraction but many of their shows are a simple celebration of their lives. These shows would go on with or without tourism.
One of the most rrewarding things to do in Thailand is to learn to cook some of the fabulous Thai dishes that you will enjoy during your travels here. (Find out more on our Thailand Foods page)There are many facilities in which to learn and you can pick up many of the basics with just a one or two day cooking course. More extensive courses are also available.
Many visitors are intrigued by the calmness of the Thai people and going on a retreat, usually in a monetary, is a good way to find out more about the Thai culture, Buddhism and indeed, yourself. There are many opportunities to go on retreats of varying length and vigour.
Thailand is rapidly becoming known as a place to come for various health treatments. World class dentists are able to offer dental treatments at a fraction of the costs in the west. Other medical procedures can be carried out without joining a waiting list in several hospitals that are world class.
Other treatments include Spa treatments for cleansing inside and out with the help of various forms of massage, locally sourced products and expert practitioners.
It is unlikely you will go through your visit to Thailand without receiving at least one massage and Thai massage is seen as a part of natural good health in Thailand. Many come to Thailand wishing to learn some of the techniques themselves and learning Thai massage is a very popular thing to do in Thailand. The Northern City of Chiang Mai is a centre for massage schools. Don't forget to book a Thai massage when you stay at Our Jungle House.
Many of the main tourist areas now provide for families and younger people travelling, and Thailand is certainly no longer the destination solely of the backpacker traveller or the well-heeled spa dwellers.
This is an introduction to things to do in Thailand and cannot be a comprehensive outline in the space provided. Suffice to say you will find that wherever you are and whatever your interests you are sure to find plenty to excite you on your travels around the Kingdom.