There are more than 30,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand, with every community having at least one in its vicinity. The temple has always played a significant role as a social, educational, and spiritual center. Much of the Thailand’s artistic and cultural heritage can be seen in the architecture and decoration of the temples, with their murals, woodcarvings, and Buddha images. Popular temples are Wat Phra Kaeo (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple), and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). These are all in Bangkok and highly recommended to all visitors.
Royal Palaces of Thailand
The royal palaces of Thailand provide a fascinating glimpse of the majesty and splendor of the Thai monarchy. Several of them are open to visitors, including The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Phra Nakhon Khiri Summer Palace in Phetchaburi, Bang Pa-In Summer Palace in Ayutthaya, Vimanmek Palace in Bangkok, and Mrigadayavan Palace in Phetchaburi
Thai Cuisine and the Art of Fruit & Vegetable Carving
Thai cuisine is as rich and diverse as its culture. To experience the real thing surrounded by the sights and sounds of Thailand is truly special. Bangkok and other major tourist destinations offer an incredible selection of dining places in all price ranges. From curbside food stalls selling simple but good food, to smart, upscale restaurants, there is something to please everyone.
Thailand is also a treasure trove of exotic tropical fruits and vegetables. The art of fruit and vegetable carving is a part of the Thai heritage. It is used to decorate the plate as well as the table. It also provides an inner peace and contentment to both the carver and the diner in a very different way.
Most visitors will be exposed to classical Thai music and dance at the National Theatre in Bangkok or in a tourist-oriented restaurant. Exploring other Thai performing arts will enhance your cultural experiences. Seeing Khon classical masked dance, originally performed only in the royal courts, is a must. Chalermkrung Royal Theatre offers several performances such as Khon, Thai dance performances, dramas, and plays. Other options include Siam Niramit and Joe Louis Theatre, offering a world-class spectacular performance in one-of-a-kind cultural theme complex, and a small traditional Thai puppet show, respectively.
Muay Thai is a national form of martial art and increasingly popular worldwide. There are several Muay Thai stadiums across the country. The main tourist spots often provide twice-weekly shows, but the real thing is best seen in Bangkok at Lumphini Stadium on Tuesday and Friday nights, and Ratchadamnoen Stadium on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights.
The architecture and way of life along the river and canals continues to remain true to Thailand’s beginnings. Floating markets are a colorful reminder of the days when farmers brought their produce to sell by boat early in the morning. Popular floating markets include Damnoen Saduak, Taling Chan, Amphawa and Tha Kha. For more insights on the riverside community, take a canal trip along the canal of Klong Om to the island of Ko Kret in Nontaburi, home to the Mon community. Enjoy the lush fruit orchards with a visit to Ko Kret pottery village, and Klong Khanom Wan, the “Dessert Canal.”