6 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN THAILAND
1-hiking on the edge of a mountain
KHAO CHANG PHUEAK
Khao Chang Phueak is Thong Pha Phum National Park's highest peak. Located in the province of Kanchanaburi, near the Burma border, the park is overlooked by most tourists due to its remote location but is popular with Thais. Hiking its peak is on the bucket list of many Thai people as the view of the top is one of the most beautiful in all of Thailand. The Hike can be attempted from November to February during the dry season, the trip itself is strictly controlled by the national park organization who also limits the number of visitors they allow per day. I'd recommend an overnight stay there as you can set up camp in the mountains and wake up to a beautiful misty and fiery sunrise surrounded by the sea and a panoramic view of the mountains beneath you.
To arrange a trip, contact the national park: email@example.com, +66 34 532 114 (I recommend asking your hotel/Airbnb host to talk to them via messenger on their facebook ).
Erawan National Park is open to visitors from 8 am to 4:30 pm every day, all year round. The park contains 7 level of falls, which take about 2 to 3 hours to fully explore. The water is fresh, and each level is different from one another, some being bigger with more tourists, the others being smaller and containing fish. What I would personally recommend is to go early (as it gets busy around 12 pm), explore as many levels as you want, and then go off and wander into a zone not marked by a path to find your own private waterfall. This is what I did with my friends, and we ended up having a whole pool to ourselves with no noise pollution and only greenery surrounding us. Also, don't forget to bring a good mosquito repellent.
Admission fee for (foreigners) adult: 400 baht, children: 200 baht.
3-sleeping on the face of a cliff
KHAO PHU MAI DAENG
This is a 3 days and 2 nights hiking trip organized by Hyperventure where you basically sleep for one night on a suspended hanging tent off the face of a cliff, 180 meters above the ground. The journey starts by rappelling down the top of the 200 meters cliff, down 20 meters to the tent set-up. You'll chill there and even have dinner with the clouds beneath your feet overlooking a green forest and mountainous range. The next morning you'll witness an incredible sunrise, have breakfast, and rappel down the rest of the 180 meters to the ground below. The second night is spent at a luxury resort which you'll reach by kayaking down the river: The Royal River Kwai Resort and Spa.
Cost: 430$ (12,900baht) for 3D2N Package. For more information: Big Wall Rock Trip.
4-Muay thai camp
Muay Thai is Thailand's national sport and is often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” due to its use of fists, feet, elbows, and knees. There are hundreds of training camps scattered throughout the country with a wide variety of training to follow, some being 1 week long and others lasting up to 6 months. Most touristic areas like Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai have dozens of training camps that are very popular with foreigners but I would recommend going to a more remote area as the experience becomes more unique. You don't need to be skilled and experienced, some people even start off completely unskilled. This is an amazing experience to have, not only will you become more physically fit, which your body will thank you for, but you'll also become healthier and more serene as the training also includes a tailored diet and a new way of life, which your mind will thank you for.
Prices vary, make your own research and find an area and a camp that suits you best (always look for good safety and hygiene).
Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning 'Passing', and is Thailand's most celebrated festival, marking the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year from the 13th till the 15th of April. Water is one of the most important elements of Songkran as crowds of people run around throwing buckets of water or water guns shots at anyone within reach. This is also an important festival for Buddhists, who go visit temple throughout the days where water is poured on Buddha images and on the hands of Buddhist monks as a mark of respect. Across the years this festival has grown into a kingdom-wide 3 days water fight, where children, adults, and elders alike dance together and spray and throw water at each other on the closed-off-to-traffic roads. Having spent Songkran in Koh Yao Noi, Phuket and Bangkok, I can guarantee that Bangkok is the craziest wildest place to be during this festival (some say that Chiang Mai is also pretty amazing during that period). I'd recommend 2 roads in Bangkok in particular: Khao San Road and Silom Road, as they both completely get closed off and insane water gun parties take place there with music and people dressed as shower heads and other odd things parading down the streets.
The elephant tourism industry in Thailand is very controversial and has gotten a lot of negative exposure over the years. This is where the Elephant Nature Park comes into place because it's an actual humane place to visit that cares about their elephants and their rehabilitation. You can either visit for a day or volunteer with them ( Kind of like what I did in the Safari park (#5) in 7 Unique Experiences in Thailand ) for a couple of days, making them food, walking around with them, feeding them, and swimming with them. The guides are very knowledgeable about their elephants and have even been personally involved in some of their rescues. I would really recommend going there if you want to see elephants in a sustainable and respectable way (there shouldn't be any other ways to see and interact with them). Only 50 visitors are allowed per day at their sanctuary so you need to book online here. It costs 2500 Baht (75$) per adult and 1250 Baht (37$) per child which include an 8:00 am pick up from the Kanchanaburi bus station to the reserve and then a return at around 4:00 pm.
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