Thailand: Sights, hot spots and popular destinations

thailand sights

Fascinating comes Thailand with the strong contrast between dream beaches in the south and the mountainous north at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. In between lies the home of the Thais in simple mountain villages, small secluded villages between rice paddies and of course the exciting capital Bangkok.

Thailand's Sights: Ching Mai

At the foot of Mount Doi Pui, this unique and charming town of Chiang Mai is very idyllic and sheltered from the wind by the Ping River. Chiang Mai is the ideal starting point not only for extended trekking tours in the north. Also a hike on the back of elephants through the untouched nature of the unique beauty of the surrounding landscape should not be missed. On a walk through the alleys of the old town, the visitor encounters interesting old buildings at every turn.

The indisputable highlight of the visit to Chiang Mai is the fascinating insight into Thai culture and religion, conveyed by more than 200 temples. High above Chiang Mai on ca. Wat Phra Doi Suthep is perched 1000 meters above sea level on Suthep Mountain. Imposing, but also very strenuous is the staircase that leads up to the temple with 300 steps. To the right and left colorful balustrades made of winding snake bodies accompany the ascent.

But it is worth the effort just for the spectacular view from the terrace of the temple over the city of Chiang Mai. The center of the temple complex is the 20 meter high Chedi. The gilded shrine, which is supposed to house a Buddha relic, shines like a pagoda.

thailand chiang mai

The Lana Temple – An oasis of tranquility

In 1477, King Tilokkarat had the Lana Temple built on the occasion of the eighth Buddhist World Congress. The actual name of the temple "Wat Jed Yod" means "Seven Peaks" and has its origin in the seven towers of the temple. The Mahabodi temple in Bodhagaya in northern India served as a model. Here in Bodhagaya Buddha is said to have experienced his famous enlightenment in the crown of a tree. The strangler figs on the temple grounds are said to be descended from the legendary tree.

Only few visitors of Thailand and Chiang Mai find the way to this temple complex, which is therefore not overpopulated by a stream of tourists. As a result, visitors will find a truly tranquil oasis and quiet retreat here.

Visible from afar – Wat Chedi Luang

An earthquake almost brought down the pagoda of Wat Chedi Luang. Today the imposing Chedi of the temple complex rises again with 60 meters in the height. The original 90 meters of height were no longer safe enough due to static problems. Thus, it is still a stately structure, visible from afar and at the same time the landmark of Buddhist temple building.

The famous emerald Buddha figure was brought to Laos for safety reasons after the earthquake. Today you can admire a replica of the statue made of black jade. The exterior of the temple is decorated by four golden Buddha statues. Each of these Buddha figures looks in a different cardinal direction.

Wat Chiang Man in the center of Chiang Mai

Lovers of particularly beautiful carvings, valuable wall paintings and colorful sculptures are magically attracted to Wat Chiang Man. It is the first temple built in Chiang Mai. The oldest part of the complex is the striking and richly decorated pagoda in the center. The "Chedi Chang Lom" rests on a pedestal of fifteen mighty elephants.

In stark contrast to this is the small pond, on which quite idyllic pink lotus blossoms determine the atmosphere. In the middle of the pond a wooden library rises on a brick base.

Thailand's hot spot: Bangkok

Even though Bangkok's original name means "village in the plum grove" and today it is affectionately called "city of angels", this modern, rapidly growing metropolis has little in common with the original poetry. Nevertheless, even in this huge metropolis between skyscrapers of steel, glass and concrete, there are still many a tranquil place and a walk in the extensive urban area leads to some of the more than 400 Buddhist temples.

bangkok sights

Taling Chan and Wat Phra Kaeo

Many of the numerous khlongs had to make way for modernity, but in some places the picturesque klonghs and floating markets still hold their own. One of them is the famous Taling Chan in the southwest of Bangkok. The sheer volume of narrow, rocking boats with freshly caught fish and bright, fresh fruit is unmanageable. In this area of the city, the traditional cookshops still offer their delicacies to the hungry market visitors and tourists with their tempting smells.

On a walk through the old part of Bangkok you can't miss Wat Phra Kaeo, the temple with the emerald Buddha. Especially pilgrims come from far away to this temple with the richly decorated Wat. Wat Pho, the oldest temple in Bangkok, Wat Mahathat and the "Great Palace" are located close to each other. They form the historical ensemble in the heart of Bangkok.

Thailand's popular destinations: Phuket

The south of Thailand is mainly domicile for bathing tourism on fine beaches and in the crystal clear sea, but also in the midst of an irresistible, blooming landscape. Along the south coast, the largest island of Thailand extends over an area of 550 square kilometers. While the interior of the island is dominated by rubber, pineapple and banana plantations, coconut palms sway along the picturesque beaches by the sea.

Some areas are also still overgrown by dense jungle, similar to the north of Thailand, which once covered the entire island many years ago and has gradually been wrested from the land. In between the jungle thicket there are some rocks, over which watercourses cascade down and form small lakes or pools. natural pools, where you can take a refreshing bath during your hike.

phuket thailand

Phuket City

Phuket Town is the epitome of a vibrant Asian city. There is heavy traffic everywhere, with the famous tuk-tuks making their way through. Cookshops can be found on every corner. You just have to follow the seductive scent. Merchants offer their goods and souvenirs on the streets and in tiny stores. The magnificent temple complexes in the midst of the crowds seem stark and out of this world.

It gets quiet as soon as you enter one of the temples. Floral decorations made of masses of exotic flowers and the scent of incense sticks make any hustle and bustle go away. Buddhist monks dressed in saffron yellow robes are a natural part of the street scene. Although Phuket is considered a tourist center, even here the centuries-old traditions and customs are maintained and continued. The festival of lights "Loy Krathong", the Chinese New Year, is very romantic.

The great Buddhist power of faith can be felt on the highest Buddhist holiday, the "Viskha Buja". Large processions commemorate the birth, enlightenment and complete extinction of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama and his exit from the cycle of rebirth.

The south of Phuket

It is also romantic at the southernmost point of the island of Phuket, at Laem Prom Thep. Since the mid-1990s, the Kanchanaphisek, the lighthouse, is enthroned on the top of the rocky cape. Inside there is a small museum, which tells about the history of the temple. An information board gives information about the times of sunrise and sunset at this place, because the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises are said to be enjoyed at this place below the lighthouse.

But not only the setting sun attracts streams of visitors here, but also the Brahma shrine. The statue has four faces facing the four cardinal directions. Devout Hindus lay flower garlands and wooden elephants around the golden shrine and pray for good luck, health, wealth and a long, fulfilled life. The scent of the lit incense candles is said to appease the gods and spirits and to be benevolent to the desires.