Thailand, the Land of Smiles, attracts bigger and bigger crowds of tourists every single year. From the historic temples, to the spectacular hotels, to the white sandy beaches and the sumptuous food, this paradise in the tropics just got everything in store for everyone.
If you are still undecided whether you should visit the country or not or if you are wondering why Thailand is famous for tourism and what makes it different from the rest of the tropical getaways across the globe, there are 15 reasons behind the immense popularity of the Kingdom of Thailand among all types of travelers.
But before you discover these reasons, take a look at some quick facts about Thailand:
- More than 40,000 Buddhist temples can be found all over the country.
- Thailand boasts of a coastline with more than 1,500 miles so tourists can look forward to being near a panoramic beach no matter where they are.
- Whatever the season might be, Thailand enjoys lots of sunshine and doesn’t get cold, making it an ideal destination all year round.
- Some of Thailand’s best restaurants and hotels are quite cheap just like most entertainment.
- Khao Yai National Park located in central Thailand serves as the home to elephants, wild boars, and tigers.
Without further ado, here are the 15 reasons why Thailand is famous for tourism:
- 1. Rich Culture and History
- 2. Surprising Modernization
- 3. Ease of Travel and Transport
- 4. Affordable Accommodation
- 5. A Splendid Capital City
- 6. Word-class Beaches
- 7. Eye-catching Ancient Temples
- 8. Mouthwatering Food
- 9. Unique Thai Markets
- 10. Fun Festivals
- 11. Pleasant Weather
- 12. Exciting Wildlife
- 13. Thai’s Culture of Smiles
- 14. Love for Sports
- 15. Quiet Rural Getaways
1. Rich Culture and History
Thailand has a quite long and complicated history. The earliest kingdoms in the country can be traced as far back as the Paleolithic era about 20,000 years ago.
However, the country enjoyed remarkable splendor throughout the consecutive kingdoms from 10th to 14th centuries after the establishment of the Sukhothai kingdom.
The Chakri dynasty is currently the Kingdom of Thailand’s ruling royal house and has been widely credited for the revival of its economy ever since it took over.
Around 95% of the country’s population is Buddhist. Chiang Mai City located in the north is deeply rooted in Buddhism in various denominations.
If you’d like to experience how it feels like to live a Buddhist life even for a day, don’t forget to go to Chiang Mai where you might want to spend a few days.
Here, you can see the ordination of young Thai men as monks where they offer gold-made gold to images of Buddha.
2. Surprising Modernization
Despite being categorized as a developing nation, Thailand takes pride in their state of the art communications and banking infrastructure.
Cellular and internet access can be found almost everywhere you go in the country. A Thai tourist SIM card is available for a cheap price complete with 8GB of data that feels like it doesn’t run low as well as high speed 4G internet access.
4G singles are available in every island and you can also enjoy high speed internet access even in remote islands and far flung rural areas such as Koh Lanta, Koh Wai, Koh Chang, and Koh Rong.
One thing that makes Thailand famous for tourism is the constant access to different means of communications like messaging apps using the internet and access to all their favorite movie sites through high speed internet even if they are the middle of nowhere.
Apart from access to 4G internet, Thailand also hast numerous modern shopping centers. The most famous of these is Central found in all major cities and most of the towns and smaller cities.
You can also enjoy cinemas showing the newest movies, children’s playgrounds, and fast food chains when you visit Thailand.
3. Ease of Travel and Transport
Some of Thailand’s transport systems are well organized while others can be described as organized mess. But, one thing is for sure. As long you as put your mind into it, you could visit any part of the country with no need to empty your wallet:
- Travel by air
Thailand airports have the most organized transport system. Flying to every corner of the country is possible with the use of domestic airline services for less than $50 in some cases.
- Travel by train
The rail system of the country is also well-established. There are three travel classes with available sleeper cabins for those long distance journeys. Just like air travel, the prices of travelling by train are also very reasonable.
- Travel by minibus or bus
If you cannot go to the airport, don’t worry because there are also minibuses and buses in the country. While these are not as organized as air travel, they are still worth the price as well as the experience you will treasure.
- Travel by ferry or boat
In most parts of Thailand, it is easy to travel from island to island or go to an island coming from the mainland. There are always boats for hire and even ferries.
Even if you are in Bangkok, you will be able o travel up Chao Phraya River or canals or klongs by riding river taxis to save yourself from traffic.
- Localized transport
There are more localized transport in towns and cities that make life easier and more convenient for tourists who want to stay cool and don’t want to walk under the heat of the sun. Motorbike taxis, songthaews, metered taxis, and tuk tuks as the easiest available options.
4. Affordable Accommodation
Luxury accommodation in the country is available at a fraction of cost compared to standard commercial hotels in the US or Europe.
Thailand is one of the very few countries with topnotch accommodation ranging from $60 for 3-star hotels to up to $300 for chic 5-star hotels.
To make things better, staying in most of these luxury hotels also include traditional dinner performances, spa pampering, Thai cooking classes, and of course, world-class Thai cuisine.
If you think traveling to Thailand isn’t within your reach, you might want to think again. Many of the best restaurants and hotels in the area are cheap so you will never run out of options no matter what your budget might be.
5. A Splendid Capital City
With more than 8 million people living in the city, Bangkok is often the very first stop for most travelers who will embark on their Southeast Asian journey.
It might be best if you look at a different angle when touring Bangkok. To ensure that you don’t get stuck in traffic, you can visit the Temple of Emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace by taking the Skytrain.
It is also recommended to walk to Amulet Market if you want to buy some souvenirs you can bring home.
6. Word-class Beaches
There is no question about it – the beaches of Thailand are the country’s most extraordinary natural feature.
With a coastline that spans for more than 1,500 miles to choose from, you can be sure that you will never be too far away from the white sandy beaches made from coral shells.
Although the recent years have resulted to large crowds of tourists flocking to some beaches like Jomtien Beach in Pattaya and Bang Saen in Chonburi, there are still a lot of amazing stretches of sand that are secluded and tranquil.
Some of these beaches that remain undisturbed and serene include Lamai in Koh Samui and Phuket’s Freedom Beach.
7. Eye-catching Ancient Temples
Thailand has more than 40,000 Buddhist temples. Wherever you might be in the country, you can be sure that there will be temples, pagodas, and shrines that you can visit for you to have a better understanding of the Buddhist culture.
The architecture of a temple represents the style of construction of the particular era when it was built and because most of them date back to various dynasties, the features of their architecture have significant importance.
All provinces have their own fair share of these ancient temples although the most abundant and unique ones can be found in the capital city of Bangkok.
The iconic Grand Palace is among the most magnificent temple attractions in Bangkok. If you are in Chiang Mai, make sure you drop by at Wat Chedi Luang Varaihara and the Temple of Emerald Buddha.
8. Mouthwatering Food
There is no doubt that Thai food is as diverse as it is delicious and sumptuous, with stark differences depending on the place where they are made.
Street vendors can whip up sour and hot dishes in just a matter of seconds, using ingredients such as fresh lemongrass, coconut milk, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. These are unique flavors dominant Thai dishes that you will recognize right away.
Some of the must-try Thai dishes include Pad Thai made of rice noodles stir-fried with seafood, fish sauce, tamarind pulp, and tofu; Tom Yung Goong which is a spicy and bright red shrimp soup made using lemongrass; and Som Tam which is a type of salad that originated from Laos prepared by mixing palm sugar, unripe papaya, savory fish sauce, sour lime, and hot chili sauce.
The best thing is that you can enjoy most of these Thai dishes without breaking the bank. In fact, you can have a complete hearty meal from a street vendor for as low as $5 or about $15 if you choose to dine at a nicer and more comfortable restaurant.
9. Unique Thai Markets
Thai markets are like nothing else in the whole world. All of them have their own distinct characters, from the items offered for sale to crowds of shoppers they attract.
The most notable out of these markets is none other than the floating market. If you wish to have an up close and personal experience of Thai lifestyle, one of the best places to go is the night market.
Back in the days, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market was only a market for the locals. However, it transformed into a tourist attraction these days.
It can get a bit crowded yet this is what makes up for the fun experience. You will be surprised at how people can maneuver boats through the packed canals.
It will take you two hours to reach the market if you are coming from downtown Bangkok.
However, if you could go there early in the morning, it would be possible to stay away from the water traffic and experience the most authentic atmosphere of the market. Thailand’s floating market is simply the perfect way to immerse yourself in its local culture.
10. Fun Festivals
Thai people just love their festivals and you can never blame them. Festivals are held in different parts of the country, most of which are hosted in temple grounds. Majority of these festivals are planned based on the lunar calendar, which means that their exact dates differ every year.
The Loy Krathong or Light Festival is among the most important and popular Thai festivals held annual every November on a full moon night.
This is celebrated all over the country where people release baskets shaped like lotus decorated with flowers and candles into the rivers. Bangkok and Chiang Mai are the perfect spots to celebrate the festival if you are visiting Thailand right in time for it.
Songkran is another Thai festival with cultural significance held every April. During this festival, a nationwide water fight happens for three days. This is the Thai New year that serves as the symbol of renewal for the Buddhist.
All over the Kingdom, you will see wild scenes of enthusiasm as people sing and dance with their whole body drenched in water.
11. Pleasant Weather
Being a year-round destination, the dry season is the busiest time for the country when temperatures don’t go beyond 32°C (90°F).
Beaches are crowded during hot season and once the monsoon season comes, the northern cities of Chiang Bai and Chiang Mai and the capital city of Bangkok attract the most crowds.
But, no matter what season you choose to visit Thailand, the country is never cold, thanks to all the sunshine it gets.
12. Exciting Wildlife
There are over 285 species of mammals here, including elephants, leopards, tigers, deer, otters, and Malaysian sun bears and various primate species such as macaques, gibbons, and moneys. There are 147 national parks in the country right now.
Birdwatchers can head over to Khao Sok National Park where they can also spot some rare apes such as the white-handed gibbon.
Khao Yai National Park is a great visit to combine wildlife watching and sightseeing. Touring the park for a day includes safari drives and hiking so you can enjoy a natural exploration as you watch the wildlife.
13. Thai’s Culture of Smiles
Thai wai and Thai smile are also among the many reasons why Thailand is famous for tourism. This plays a key role in their culture.
In general, Thais are among the most well-mannered and most courteous people you will ever meet so it is not really a big surprise that tourists just love to visit Thailand, with some even going back several times.
Mai pen rai is one of their favorite mottos that means never mind. The carefree attitude of Thai people is something that most Westerners are envious of.
Unlike Westerners who often lead stressful lives, Thai people look at emotions and stress from a different perspective. This is the thing about Thais that people love and appreciate.
Other interesting characteristics of Thai culture include their devotion to Buddhism and respect for the elders. All Thai men are encouraged to be a monk at one point of their lives.
14. Love for Sports
Breaking the ice and bridging cultural gaps are made easy through sports. Good thing that Thais love sports. In fact, wherever you find yourself in Thailand, you will see sports games on TV or watch live sports events.
Thais also love soccer that suits Europeans since they can watch all of their favorite teams with Thais who support them as well.
Muay Thai or Thai boxing is another very popular sport in the country. The country has numerous Thai boxing stadiums or gyms all over. If you wish to stay fit, Thai boxing is the best sport you can try.
15. Quiet Rural Getaways
While the tropical beaches might make up for the biggest number of tourism in Thailand, the country is also renowned for its stunning rural locations that can cater well to tourists even if they feel like they are right in the middle of nowhere.
It doesn’t matter if you wish to embark on a rural adventure or if you wish to stay in a quiet place, you will never have a hard time finding the best tours and accommodation for your needs.
One magical side of Thailand at a good distance away from life at the beach is the country’s hill tribes, farming villages, nature reserves and national parks, mountains, caves, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, forests, and wildlife.
For the best rural adventures, you can visit Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Pai, and Mai Hai Song. For these reasons, it is easy to see what Thailand is famous for tourism and continues to attract large crowds of foreign and local tourists every year.