Whether you’re planning to lie on the warm golden sands at Koh Samui and get some vitamin D or explore the fun night life scene in Bangkok, there’s a huge number of things to do in Thailand. In fact, it can get quite mind boggling if you’re not prepared in advance. There are great chances that you might rue in hindsight about missing out on some incredible things to do in the Land of Smiles.
With its multitude of tourist destinations, Thailand has quite a lot to offer to the huge influx of foreign visitors that stream in from all over the world, throughout the year. But Thailand is also a fantastic spot to get some shopping done, without busting your wallet.
Thailand shopping is full of surprises and exciting deals that will get you raring to get into a full-blown retail therapy mode. Here’s a guide to help you figure out what to buy and more importantly where to shop in Thailand.
Shopping is fun, especially when it comes to clothes. Nothing spells ‘vacation’ as much as a trendy and cool pair of shorts paired with a funky T-shirt. But Thailand shopping doesn’t always have to be compromising with low-quality items. Even shopping on a budget can yield perfectly good results.
For clothes, handbags, shoes, cosmetics and accessories, there are plenty of places in Bangkok alone where you can shop to your heart’s desire. Malls like Platinum Fashion Mall and Pan Tip Plaza are great choices, but night markets also carry some fantastic clothes. Do make a point to bargain hard though. You can find some excellent shops near major tourist attractions and temples.
Shopping in Thailand would be incomplete without getting yourself some gorgeous Thai silk. It is renowned the world over and is known for its top-notch quality and affordability along with some interesting designs.
Thai silk is colourful and makes a fantastic gift for the people back home. It can be bought in yards, or as readymade clothing, scarves, ties and even bed covers. However, you do need to be wary of buying synthetic silk. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re buying authentic silk would be to shop at any of the Jim Thompson outlets in Bangkok which are known for their quality products. You can also check out Pahurat Textile Market or even the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
You can’t go shopping in Thailand without bringing back some of the funky and stylish accessories that you can buy there. Fashion accessories can be bought in shops, in malls and even by the roadside. And they’ll still be stylish and unique. Shoes are quite affordable here and you can buy all sorts – strappy sandals, high heeled shoes or even flip flops and you can be sure that they’ll last you for quite some time.
Bags, belts and other such accessories can be found in any of the night markets that are there, especially in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. As for jewellery, it’s indeed a shopper’s paradise. From necklaces, earrings, finger rings and bracelets, you can find them all here. Sparkly and irresistible, they make for some great gifts or you could simply keep them all for yourself. Choose from shopping malls such as Siam Paragon if you want some high-end jewellery. Alternatively, you should take a trip to Chinatown if you want to buy intricately designed gold jewellery.
Thailand shopping would be incomplete if you didn’t come back with some of the fragrant Thai spices that will remind you of the delicious food you’ve had on your trip there. Thai spices are often packed in vacuum-sealed packets and will not present a problem while travelling. Even the chilli pastes and other wet ingredients come in airtight containers.
Gourmet Market and Spice Story, both of which are located in Siam Paragon, offer some of the choicest spices you can take back home. Please note that while these are slightly on the expensive side, their quality cannot be argued with. Other places you can get spices would be Pahurat (Little India) or at the Chatuchak market.
From coconut oil to candy to coconut palm sugar, there are numerous coconut products that you can bring back from Thailand for yourself or as a gift for friends. Local markets are a good place to pick these up.
Even the coconut shells are beautifully decorated and are on sale. There is a dazzling variety on offer. These are available as bowls, candle holders, soap dishes and are even carved into spoons. Being a tropical country, coconut is indeed king here, but what’s interesting is that Thai coconut oil is also considered to be the some of the best in the world.
Take back some of that holiday cheer with you in the form of Thai alcohol. The famed Thai rum Sang Som is an award-winning spirit that will remind you of your fabulous Thailand holiday while Thai whisky and brandy are also good options.
Chilling with a Thai beer is perfect while you’re on holiday, but don’t forget to take a look at some of the exotic alcohol while here. Adventurous souls may not hesitate from taking a sip from a scorpion or snake-infused alcohol to give you that special kick.
Shopping in Thailand is incomplete without a bunch of souvenirs that you can take back home with you. You can buy some refreshing Thai spa products from supermarkets or even pick up some colourful handicrafts in the street markets. Triangle cushions, local pottery, wooden carvings, batik scarves, trinkets are great choices as souvenirs that you can use to liven up a dull room or light up a loved one’s face when you present it as a gift.
Thailand shopping can be delightful and not expensive at all if you know what to look for and where to buy it. SOTC offers fabulous deals and offers on Thailand tour packages to take you on a memorable trip to Thailand that will be full of fun and some fabulous shopping to take back home.
No visit to Thailand is complete unless you’ve visited the Grand Palace in Bangkok. This glorious series of buildings can be found in the heart of the city and they are simply magnificent. The official residence of the Kings of Siam and then Thailand since 1782, the Grand Palace is stunning in its grandeur.
It is lit up during the nights, making it even more enchanting. On its grounds sits the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand. If you love soaking up history and marvelling at the detailing in such monuments, then this is definitely one of the recommended things to do in Thailand.
Just ten minutes away from The Grand Palace is Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It is renowned for the giant reclining Buddha within the temple, which is 46 metres long and is covered in gold.
Wat Pho is one of the oldest temple complexes in Bangkok and dates to 1782. It is interesting to note that the Reclining Buddha is not sleeping or simply lying down, but actually depicts the passing of Buddha into Nirvana after death.
The Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand is an excellent rehabilitation centre which rescues and takes care of elephants and other animals. A visit to this park helps in the healing of these animals. There’s a real joy in seeing them in their own environs, making it one of the top things to do in Thailand.
Ko Mak is indeed a tropical paradise in Thailand. If you want to stay away from the thronging crowds at the beaches, then one of the wisest things to do in Thailand would be to arrange for a visit to Ko Mak.
A sparkling tropical island in Eastern Thailand, it has white sands and clear blue water. It is also one of the largest privately-owned islands in Thailand. While certainly not like Pattaya, because of the absence of any sort of night life, Ko Mak is certainly one of the most enticing places to visit in Thailand.
Nature enthusiasts will love this national park which is located in Kanchanaburi town. It has some spectacular limestone caves. But you will be awed the majestic Erawan Waterfalls which thunder down over seven tiers.
Exploring all the seven levels through the jungle trail can be an exhausting trip, but well worth the time and effort. There’s a natural swimming pool at each level where you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the refreshing water, along with the fantastic adventure. Just three hours from Bangkok, Erawan National Park also has several hiking trails, making it one of the most fun things to do in Thailand.
Thai cuisine has layers that unleash the taste with every bite. If you’re waiting to indulge your taste buds, then one of the most amazing things to do in Thailand would be to indulge in the delicious street food on offer.
Most streets are packed with stalls where you can find everything from delicious Pad Thai to grilled meats and fresh fruit. Don’t miss out on the Som Tam. It is one of Thailand’s most famous dishes made of shredded green papaya, peanuts, dried shrimp, fish sauce and chillies. Get an authentic taste of the local culinary culture with Thai street food.
While these parties have now gained a sort of notoriety, one can’t argue with the kind of fun they bring to those who are young at heart. Every full moon is celebrated with revellers trooping into the beaches of Koh Phangan at night. There’s lots of dancing and drinking. While no one is really looking at the moon, do look up at least once to appreciate its beauty!
Bangkok is full of floating markets, but this one is the largest of them all. Picture a canal filled with colourful boats selling fruits and loads of other items with bustling vendors advertising their wares energetically.
Located around 100 km from Bangkok, this is an unforgettable sight, offering visitors a glimpse of exotic Thailand. The tour includes paddling through the floating market in a traditional longtail boat, enjoying the various fresh fruits and delicious Thai food on offer. Even simply soaking up the brilliant atmosphere makes it one of the most exciting things to do in Thailand.
The Night Bazaar at Chiang Mai is fun and full of colourful stalls which will bring your innate bargain master to the fore. The one kilometre stretch of road is packed with stalls selling all sorts of copied designer items. You’ll be surprised at the sheer number of interesting things on sale here.