THE GRAND PALACE & THE EMERALD BUDDHA
The main temple and possibly the biggest in all of Thailand. A huge tourist attraction and one you must visit. Filled with gorgeous white and gold temples, all hand decorated with cut glass and jewels. It sparkles in the sunlight and gives you the ultimate WOW factor. Filled with so many gorgeous mini shrines, buddhas and protective demon statues, gives you lots of things to photograph. I couldn’t put my camera away if I have to be honest. The architecture is just something else and filled with so much history.
TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA
Another must see, at the moment the buddha is having his feet re-done, basically getting a nice pedicure but that doesn’t affect the viewing really. Sheltered under a nice temple like cover it’s shielded from the sun so it’s nice and cool underneath, with plenty of shrines and mini temples in the surrounding grounds. The reclining buddha is completely covered in gold leaf and decorated with jewels. Along the side of the buddha are lots of small bowls, one for each monk in which you can take a small bag of coins and donate a coin to each monks bowl as a small donation to buy them food etc.
A floating market located in Bangkok, it’s a smaller version of the main markets but this is better as it’s not as crowded and feels more authentic other than another tourist attraction. You still get the traditional market with the families collecting their fresh produce mostly fish and fruits, in an array of colours and smells – it’s really a place to try traditional Thai food at such a cheap price. You can also catch a long tailed boat trip with other tourists or by yourselves to visit the orchid farm and some other smaller temples whilst also seeing how the poorer side of Thailand live in small water huts on stilts that are almost collapsing into the water. It”s good to get another feel of the poorer side of Thailand other than the built up tourist areas.
Phuket’s oldest town, filled with gorgeous architecture and old fashioned restaurants. It has a completely different vibe from the smaller parts of Phuket. The old retro style buildings kind of gives it a vibe of Havana in Cuba which is somewhere I would love to visit. There is also so much artistic graffiti around the town which make great photography subjects. One place you must eat at is Raya, a Thai restaurant based in an old Indonesian prison which still has parts of it’s original infrastructure and appearance. We ordered lots of small dishes a bit like tapas style and shared everything between the 4 of us, so we could get a taste of everything. We ordered squid soup and noodle balls, chicken and cashew nuts, sweet and sour chicken, crispy meat bites, boiled jasmine rice and little prawn toasts, won tons and nibble bits.
A DAY IN PHI PHI ISLAND
Now Phi Phi Island is also known as Party Island, so if you aren’t into that type of thing I would try to avoid it as much as possible, it’s basically the Thai version of Magaluf and Ibiza! However this island is stunning – surrounded by crystal clear blue seas that have that gorgeous ombre effect and can be seen for miles. You can even walk so far into the sea and it will still be up to your waist. Me and my family experienced a little bit of the party island at night and it was quite crazy and full of backpackers that love to get so drunk they have no idea where they are and always end up in the tattoo shops, which isn’t surprising considering there are like 6 on each little street, one after the other. This island is filled with some lovely resorts, and with plenty of beaches you are bound to find a quite beach away from the parties. You have to pay 20 TBH to get onto the island, which pays for maintenance and clearing up the rubbish, which is pennies to us – and you need to know this before you go as no one tells you until you get onto the island, which isn’t good if you have no cash on you. Catching a 2 hour ferry from the mainland is the main way of getting to this island. The island is in the shape of a dog bone with lots of beaches in the middle bit connecting the two sides of the island together. It’s definitely an eye opener and you need to see it at least once!
Located in the centre of Phuket, this marble buddha can be seen from pretty much anywhere in Phuket. This buddha is 15 years old and they are still building it and adding finishing touches which part of it will be a completely gold, silver and glass stairway to the top of the buddha. The building and construction of this buddha relies entirely on the donations from tourists and locals willing to donate to complete the construction. This buddha is surrounded with a buddha for each day of the week, including two for Wednesday being AM and PM. The surrounding areas below are filled with residential houses and also forests filled with rubber trees which are harvested annually to collect the rubber from the sap the trees produce. Inside and underneath the big buddha is a room filled with lots of older buddhas who go there to be repaired or shown on display there for the tourists to look at, you can also be blessed by a monk as well as picking up lots of souvenirs in which the money from those go toward the construction work. It is also said that you might see monkies in the surrounding areas of the buddha but unfortunately we didn’t see any monkies there.
THE GIBBON REHABILITATION PROJECT
Finally another place you need to visit, I would recommend booking this trip through Simba Sea Trips. They pick you up at 6am (early I know) but it’s best to get to this place early to avoid all the tourists so it’s not so busy. You have a private speed boat of about 14 people so it’s pretty sociable without being too crowded and you have 3 crew members to the boat. Food and drinks are included throughout the whole trip and they treat you all so well. You visit a kayaking station where your boat driver takes you through caves and around a small area before getting back on the speed boat, you then visit a floating village with a floating football pitch and receive a buffet dinner in their restaurant before going to James Bond Island which was featured in Man With A Golden Gun and a more recent James Bond movie and then moving onto a National Park beach where you can sunbathe and go swimming in the sea before heading back to the marina.
I really hope you found this post informative and enjoyed reading it. Is Thailand on your Wanderlust list? Are there any other Thailand related posts that you would like to see?