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Top 10 Must-Do Thai Experiences!

You cannot boast that you’ve truly been to Thailand (any part) till you’ve done all ten! This is your bucket list to an authentic Thailand Experience!

Words : Ellyse Ng

1)      Sun-lovin’ on a Koh

They call their sun-kissed islands “Koh”, and that word is like heaven to a beach lover like me. I’ve lain on the soft sandy beaches of Koh Lanta, bathed in the crystal waters of Koh Samui, and called Koh Lipe home for five glorious days. When you find yourself yearning for the best island experiences, Thailand’s wondrous Kohs beckon.

Pristine beaches, cerulean waters - all a Koh can offer!

Ah, this is paradise. Now, don’t wake me up till September ends…

2)      Eat tom yam like a pro

When I had my first taste of authentic tom yam, I was sitting on a dilapidated stool by the roadside, glamorously clad in singlet and shorts. The first spoonful, it was as if a fiery beast was trying to claw its way out of my mouth. From my spiced-up swollen lips, I vowed to never put myself through the torture ever again. Five days in Thailand and twenty two bowls of tom yam later, the mighty inferno was tamed. It takes time to acclimatize your taste palates to the spicy local delicacy, but once you’ve gotten past the initial flames, you’ll find yourself claiming tom yam as part of your daily diet in Thailand!

Make sure you have lots of water ready!

Warning: your insides may combust due to spiciness!

3)      Eat bugs

You’ll see the fried little cretins in roadside stalls, and you’ll always be curious how they’ll taste like. Let me tell you upfront – they taste nothing like chicken! Still, it was quite a memorable experience to put the fried insects in your mouth, the crispy legs touching the top of your mouth whilst you chew on the crunchy exterior. 

A variety of fried insects

Chew on this…if you dare!

4)      Go for a traditional Thai massage

The ladies/men are brutal, but that’s the reason why they are the best in the world! Massage parlours are aplenty, but once you’ve picked a great (and reliable) one, you’ll always want to go back for more pain. Using force on the acupuncture points, a Thai massage will leave you in pain for a split second, followed by a refreshing feeling of rejuvenation all day long. 

Pamper your senses, indulge in your holiday

5)      Haggle like there’s no tomorrow

Till today, no country holds a candle against Thailand’s shopping experience. The clothes go for cheap, and there is always room to haggle. From night markets to outdoor markets and to even roadside stalls, remember to ruthlessly ask for a discount.

Shopping in Bangkok street market

Lot noidaimai ? Cheaper please?

6)      Go for a ‘show’

Now, what are you thinking there? There are a whole lot of forms of entertainment in Thailand, but more well-known productions such as Siam Niramit in Bangkok and Phuket’s FantaSea will leave you breathless. Brilliant colours, extravagant props, impressive stage sceneries and animals that can act make these attractions world class.

A world-class show in Bangkok

Pic courtesy of Siam Niramit

7)      Full moon party

Ah, the world famous Full Moon Parties. Happening in Koh Phangan every month, who needs Ibiza when you could be here at the heart of the party at a fraction of the cost? Dance the night away on the festive beaches, where a melting pot of party-goers will join you in the colourful fiesta.

Only in Koh Phangan!

TIP: To party all night long, make sure you stock up on food and energy drinks!

8)      Say wat?

Wat – that’s the name given to the many sacred and holy temples of Thailand. It’s quite an enlightening experience to be surrounded by the rich history, heritage and resplendent stupas, as you watch the monks meditate in silence and go about their daily routines. 

Wat in Chiang Mai

9)      Get wet!

No…really. I kid you not. Head over to Thailand for Songkran, and you’ll see what I mean. No street is safe from the colourful splashes of water during the nation’s hottest month. You’ll spot many foreigners during the celebration – converging together just to be part of this fun festival! Tip – wear an old t-shirt. Chances are you will not be able to wash the colour off ever.

New Year festival Songkran in Thailand

Pic courtesy of Fattzai

10)      Tuk tuk

You’ve never truly had a full Thai experience until you’ve sat on a hell-raising tuk tuk ride through the city streets. These death-defying drivers will find every nook and corner to turn just to avoid the jam, and sometimes that would mean going against the traffic. Don’t worry – just hold on tight to your belongings (and to yourself!) and you’ll be just fine. 

Ride a tuk tuk in Thailand!

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