Thailand Country Guide

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History & Culture

Bangkok is often the start of many visitors' visit to Thailand and while modern, the city has a rich cultural heritage. Most visitors at least make a visit to the Grand Palace, a collection of highly decorated buildings and monuments. The palace is home to Wat Phra Kaew, the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand that houses the Emerald Buddha. Other cultural attractions in Bangkok include Wat Pho, Wat Arun and Jim Thompson's House. These are just a fraction of possible sights you could visit while in the city.

 
 
 
 
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Grand Palace in Bangkok by Shizhao

The former capitals of Siam of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai make excellent stops for those interested in Thai history. A visit to Sukothai can be combined with a visit to Si Satchanalai and Kamphaeng Phet, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Khmer architecture is mostly found in Isaan, with the historical remains of Phimai and Phanom Rung being the most significant.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya by Ahoerstemeier
For those interested in recent history, Kanchanaburi has a lot of sights related to World War II. The Bridge over the River Kwai, popularised by the film of the same name, is the most famous attraction here but the museums in the vicinity are a lot more moving. 

In the northern provinces live unique hill tribes, often visited as part of a trekking trip. The six major hill tribes in Northern Thailand include the Akha, Lahu, Karen, Hmong, Mien and Lisu. Each of these tribes have their own distinct language and culture. Chiang Mai makes a good base for arranging these trekking trips and has some cultural sights of its own such as Wat Doi Suthep.

Akha hill tribe village by Sputnikcccp

 
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