Travel Tips : Temple tourism in Thailand

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol in Ayuthaya, Thailand

Thailand is a Buddhist country so of course there are many Buddhist temples. Many of them are old but there are even much more new Buddhist temples all over Thailand. And looking on a tourist map for Thai tourists you will see the map filled with the locations of temples. Thai people like to visit temples out of religions reasons and for good luck. And nowadays more and more also to take selfies when they are visiting famous temples. But what about western tourists? In their home country most of them will probably never go to a church, let alone that they would go visit a church during a holiday.

OK I understand that when you are for the first time in Bangkok you will visit the Wat Arun along the Chao Phraya. And the Grand Palace with the Wat Phra Kaew. And when you are in Chiang Mai you will have a great view over the city from the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. But it seems that the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) and travel agencies think that Thailand is only about temples and beach. Group tours in Thailand many times consists of temples, temples and more temples. That starts in Bangkok with Wat Arun, Wat Po and Wat Phra Kaew. Then to the ancient temples of Ayuthaya and Sukhothai. Then to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai and the White Temple in Chiang Rai. Or the Wat Chalong in Phuket, Big Buddha in Pattaya & Koh Samui or the ancient Khmer temples in North-East Thailand .And even when going total off the beaten track we offer you the Wat Phumin in Nan and the Wat Neramit in Dan Sai.

You would almost think that Thailand consists of temples and Buddha images. And that is what many people will remember of their first holiday in Thailand. But besides temples and islands with stunning beaches there is so much more in Thailand. If only tour operators and the TAT would give a bit more attention to it.
  • If you like cities you could spend at least a full week in Bangkok, exploring the real Bangkok along the Chao Phraya and canals (klongs). Enjoying delicious Thai food, shopping from local markets to expensive shopping malls. Go exercise in the early morning in beautiful parks, visit musea's, get lost in the small streets beyond the facade of modern Bangkok. Party in the nightclubs of modern Bangkok, see monks going for alms in the early morning. 
  • In Chiang Mai get lost in the small streets of the old town, find small markets & see the local way of life. On the Doi Suthep visit the Bhubing Palace & go hiking to waterfalls. Go hiking in the National Park between Chiang Mai and Lampang. And once you are there stay a few days in the old town of Lampang.
  • And of course there are beautiful National Parks like the famous Khao Yai but also less famous but not less beautiful like Doi Phu Kha, Tham Sakoen and Khao Sam Roi Yot.
  • Besides central-Thailand all Thailand is great for motorbike riding and bicycling. A great way to experience the real Thai way of life.
  • And for the people who just want to get out of their busy life-style there are beautiful & comfortable resorts at stunning locations to relax in all privacy and comfort. Might that be on a island with crystal clear seas or in the lush jungle of the mountains.
  • And the National Parks are a great location for some serious hiking, encountering waterfalls, hill-tribe villages and lush jungle.


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