Cultural Experience | Thailand

Top Ten Tips for Capturing the Spirit of Thailand

With incredible food, stunning islands and the friendliest locals around, Thailand is intoxicating!

“The Land of Smiles” as it’s called, has been a top destination for college students, luxury travelers, and backpackers alike. Here are 10 tips for getting to know the best of this beautiful country.

1. The most magical spot to capture a sunset: Any of the Thai islands! Many people don’t know this but Thailand has some of the world’s best islands for diving, lounging on the beach, partying, and of course sunsets. There are hundreds of islands to choose from but some of the best include: Ko Tao, Ko Samui, Ko Lipe, and the famous Ko Phi Phi.

2. The most interesting local custom that sets Thailand apart: Any visitor to Thailand will quickly note the exceptional hospitality that you are greeted with by almost anyone in Thailand. Though the language is vastly different, you will find no shortage of people willing to help you out or show you a good time. A smile can work wonders on any trip abroad but particularly in Thailand. However, never point with or show anyone the bottom of your feet as this is a big cultural no-no here!


3. The most breathtaking historical place you will find in Thailand: Ayutthaya. This beautiful city was actually one of the original capitals of Thailand back when it was still the kingdom of Siam, and as a result is filled with some of the country’s best ancient ruins. In addition, Bangkok’s Wat Pho and Wat Arun temples are not to be missed! Remember to bring a scarf to any temple you visit in Thailand in case it is required that your shoulders should be covered.

4. The most amazing view can be found: On the rooftop bars of Bangkok. Bangkok is one of the most exciting and sprawling cities you’ll ever come across, and what better way to enjoy the view than at one of the city’s many rooftop bars! For some of the best views head to the Vertigo and Moon Bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel or the Sky Bar at the lebua at State Tower to watch this amazing city come alive at night.

5. The most entertaining event you will go to in Thailand: A Muay Thai Fight. I’ve never been one for combat sports, but after attending a local Muay Thai fight in Thailand I’m hooked! Having originated here, this is more than just a sport and is guaranteed to be one of the most lively events you’ll ever attend in your life! Even if you’re not into the fighting go for the excellent people watching this event provides. In addition, at the beginning of every match each of the fighters does a type of spiritual dance across the ring to ward off negative spirits which provides a wonderful look into the historical and cultural aspects of this sport.

6. The quirkiest markets: Floating markets! These can be found all around Bangkok and are one of the funnest ways to shop. One of the most well know is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

7. The most interesting place to wander and get lost in: Chiang Mai. This northern Thai city is filled with some of the country’s most breathtaking temples, as well as access to hill tribe villages that provide a unique look into the daily lives of local villagers.

8. The most awesome tourist attraction you will find: Riding elephants! It seems everywhere you go in Thailand there’s elephant rides being offered. These giant, beautiful creatures are sacred to many in Thailand and after spending the day with them, it’s easy to see why! Head to Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai or the Baan Tha Klang village in Surin province for the chance to become an elephant mahout for the day. You’ll not only ride them but also care for them, feed, and swim with them!

Elephant Thailand Image


9. The most delicious local food that makes you never want to leave: All of it! I think it’s safe to say that Thailand offers some of the best cuisine in the world so you really can’t go wrong. However, if I had to pick favorites it would be massaman curry, a delicious stew composed of coconut milk, potatoes, peanuts, and meat, poured over rice. For dessert, try traditional mango sticky rice, a sticky rice flavored with coconut cream and fresh mango on the side. Conclude with some deliciously refreshing and sweet Thai Tea to wash it all down and you have yourself one phenomenal meal.

10. The best place to enjoy the nightlife: Khaosan Road. Famous along the backpacker trail, this small street turns into one of the biggest and craziest nightlife scenes in the world! Here you can find cheap accommodation, party every night, and if you’re willing, try some of the more interesting delicacies like scorpion or spiders!

While these ten tips provide a glimpse into one of my favorite countries in the world, there are tons more waiting to be discovered in Thailand! No matter where you go in this incredible country, it is sure to be one of the most exotic, fun, and culturally rich destinations you ever visit. Make sure to pick up your own original and authentic Spirit Jersey at before your trip! Custom and individual orders are available.

Tori Danforth

University of South Florida | 7 stories

Tori is currently a senior at the University of South Florida, majoring in International Studies with a minor in Linguistics. Growing up in a family that has a serious addiction to travel and adventures has allowed her to visit twenty-five countries and live in three. When she's not planning her next trip, her hobbies include yoga, paddleboarding, telling stories, and consuming at least a half pint of ice cream a day. After college she plans to serve in the Peace Corps and become a full-time wanderer.

One response to “Top Ten Tips for Capturing the Spirit of Thailand”

  1. Arthur Higbee says:

    Love your articles!

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