YET some things are still in slight flux due to the current Covid situation, neighboring Thailand has more or less opened its doors to travelers from Malaysia and the rest of the world.
Currently, fully vaccinated foreign tourists to Thailand will receive instant approval after submitting the required documents for a quarantine-free Thailand pass to visit the country, while partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers no longer require mandatory quarantine.
According to a government spokesperson, citing a projection by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, tourists are expected to spend between 630 billion baht (over RM76 billion) and 1.2 trillion baht this year.
Considering the decriminalization of a certain medicinal compound that was previously banned in the country since the 1930s, and being the first Asian country to do so, Thai tourism has an added “attraction” on top of the existing lures that have constantly attracted tourism. there before the pandemic.
LYFE has compiled some of the places to potentially visit for the upcoming holiday season towards the end of the year.
Located in the mountainous region of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is an old city that was once the capital of the now defunct Lanna Kingdom. Being a rather old city, Chiang Mai is different from the more upbeat urban parts of Thailand.
There is no shortage of Buddhist temples. The moated and fortified “old town” is endlessly explorable with its museums, temples, old buildings and narrow lanes.
Despite its labyrinthine appearance at first glance, it is easy to find your way around.
Temples of interest include Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phan Tao and Wat Phra Singh. Other tourist destinations include Bo Sang Village, Chang Puak Gate Night Market and San Kamphaeng Hot Springs.
There are two tribes living in the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai that tourists are known to visit for a cultural experience; the Karen hill tribe and the Hmong tribe.
To reach their villages, visitors will have to cross gushing waterfalls.
The second place on the list which is close to nature, Ratchaburi is a province known for its natural beauty and also its famous Damneon Saduak floating market.
Ratchaburi also has the unique Khao Wang, a white palace on top of a verdant hill.
Other attractions include Bo Khlong hot springs, Khao Chon terraced waterfall and a number of mountains and caves in the province.
Just like Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi, the island of Ko Chang attracts nature lovers with its mountain peaks and challenging hiking trails, as well as the serene beauty of the ocean, as it is one of the largest islands of Thailand.
All along the coast, beaches and towns attract backpackers, with diving and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters being a major activity for tourists.
Being an island, the only way to get to Ko Chang is by ferry. Buses from Bangkok and Pattaya carrying visitors gathered at the docks just in time for the ferry service to transport them to the island.
For history and film buffs, there’s Kanchanaburi, which is the site of the infamous Death Railway that crosses the Khwae Yai River.
The bridge over the river is a reconstruction of the famous “Bridge over the River Kwai”, which was bombed in 1945.
Just as infamous as the Death Railway is Hellfire Pass, another railway line that crosses it, which is now a museum.
Visitors come from all over the world to these sites of horrific World War II atrocities to pay their respects to those who died building them. In Hellfire Pass, visitors leave a flag of their home country, with many coming from Australia or Great Britain.
Other WWII historical sites to visit and learn about this painful time include Thailand Burma Railway Centre, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum and Chungkai Cemetery.
Ko Pha Ngan
From all over Thailand (except maybe Bangkok), Koh Phangan is where travelers want to be for wild parties.
Every month, the island hosts the all-night Full Moon Party, which attracts countless backpackers and revelers. If you can time your visit to Koh Phangan at the right time, especially around New Years, you will soon understand why these holidays are infamous.
Apart from parties, the island has additional draws such as Leela Beach, Haad Yuan Beach, Phaeng Noi Waterfall.
The beaches are known for their white sand and turquoise water, but also because world-class scuba diving can be practiced here, and visitors can also get certified if they wish.
Koh Phangan also has a great market in the Thong Sala Night Market which offers amazing street seafood and other local cuisines.