Travel Guide | Thailand

Floating Lanterns to Floating Markets: 6 Tips for Students in Thailand

Our Team Gives Students the “Must Do” list for Thailand

Take in the vast Chatuchak Weekend Market

When traveling through Thailand, make sure that you visit the Bangkok markets.  You will be able to find these small, local fresh markets tucked away from the tourist eyes.  They sell everything from paintings to puppies. Out of all the markets in this large capital, make sure you go to the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It was opened in the early 1980s and is 35-acres of market stalls; 8,000 market stalls to be exact. To make it easier to wrap your head around this massive market, the best time to visit is fairly early in the morning.  You are allowing yourself plenty of time to wander, explore, and become lost in the atmosphere.  This is a real, local place that is bustling with the locals during the weekend.  – Paige Wagner

Now try the Floating Markets

The markets in Thailand are must visits. A unique type of market culture is the floating markets around Bangkok. The Chao Phraya River and its canals run through Thailand’s capital city, creating a different kind of bustling commercial experience for tourists. While floating to each market booth you’ll find handmade crafts (many wooden elephant carvings), clothes, and a plethora of local food, e.g. rice and noodle dishes, seafood, and fruit. One specific Thai cuisine that cannot go untasted is the staple dish of mango and sticky rice. This sweet, summer dessert can be found in the states, but is unmatched in its home country.  – Kristin Naujok

The Paradise of Ko Samui

Make sure to stop by Ko Samui, one of country’s largest islands. This backpacker’s paradise is full of dense rainforest, picturesque beaches and a nightlife scene worth staying up for. If you’re game to get in with the crowd, head to Chaweng, the island’s most popular beach spot – and for good reason. Filled with boats and people, this beach is straight out of a postcard with its white sand beaches, clear water and breathtaking view of the island’s hills. Fill the rest of your time on the island with snorkeling, indulging in the freshest seafood around or taking a sightseeing tour of the Buddhist temples and hidden treasures of Thailand.  – Rachel Jenkins

Send a Lantern Floating in the night sky.

One of the most anticipated festivals in Thailand is the “Yi Peng” Lantern Festival, celebrated on the 25th of November every year. Across the country, cities light lanterns and locals participate in colorful parades to celebrate the start of winter. One to two weeks before the festival, however thousands of floating lanterns are released into the night sky in the Sansai District. If you’ve always been in awe of the lantern scene in Disney’s “Tangled,” imagine what it would be like to experience it in real life!  – Veronica White

Live Like a Local and Smile

The culture is Thailand is one to be noted. It is known as being the land of smiles. Smiling is an important part of their culture and their main form of greetings. The head in the Thai culture is known as being very sacred, so it is important to never touch a person’s head. Touch is a sign of trust in this country so it is important to note that when meeting locals. It is also seen as very rude to point so it is recommended to gesture with an open hand. When you are offered anything in this culture note to accept it with grace. If you wish to not accept what is being offered it is polite to decline politely and smile. It is a very friendly culture and you’ll be sure to make friends as long as you keep these cultural standards in mind.  – Alyssa San Agustin

Visit the Wats

Chiang Mai is the biggest city in the mountainous Northern Thailand. The city takes the shape of a rectangle with a moat surrounding all four sides and gates to get out.The city has hundreds of different temples to visit. The most famous is Doi Suthep at the top of the mountain, which is home to a beautiful golden spire and the White Elephant statue. You can learn a lot about the history of the town and even get blessed by a monk. Other wats worth going to are Wat Umong for meditation and Wat Chedi Luang known as the dog temple.  You can read more about Chiang Mai here  – Sam Corio

There’s much more to do and see in Thailand. Take a look!


Photo: Tori Danforth

College Tourist Contributor

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