Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and has many temples, sacred to the Buddhists who dominate the population here. It is nicknamed Venice of the East because of its many khlongs or canals. Its floating markets are a unique shopping experience, with vendors and buyers traveling in narrow canoes and navigating their way through the crowded and noisy waterway.
But Thailand is best known for its stunning natural beauty, like the white-sandy beaches of Koh Samui. The Grandpa and Grandma rocks, locally called Hin Ta and Hin Yai, are natural rock formations jutting out from the sea that interestingly resemble the male and female anatomy. A 15-meter tall statue of the Big Buddha stands statue on the northern coast of the island, while the NaMuang waterfall cascades down 18 meters to provide a relaxing spot. People on holiday can pick up souvenirs in the business center of Nathon town.
In Phuket, jungle tours are conducted, including elephant rides through lush greenery. From the Chalong highlands, one can get amazing views of the Chalong Bay and the Phi Phi Islands in the distance. The Phang Nga Bay with its limestone cliffs and rock formations is a day trip from Phuket. The old part of the city is filled with architectural heritage, left behind by the Sino-Portuguese colonists. Among the cultural attractions of the city, the award-winning theatrical show at Fantasea should not be missed; trapeze artists, dancers and trained elephants bring the enormous stage alive with their performances, with dazzling costumes and sound and laser effects. Visitors should also attend a cabaret show to appreciate the lady-boy phenomenon, where male dancers sporting feminine costume, make-up, body language and gracefulness convincingly pass off as ladies.
Pattaya is another sea-side vacation spot in Thailand. Besides the beached, the local market in Chonburi, the coral life displays at the Marine Aquarium, and the Monkey Cliff locally called Khao Sam Muk are places of touristic interest. There are several oyster farms, where these sea creatures are cultivated for their precious pearls to form a booming industry in Thailand.
The cuisine of this country is an international hit, with spicy coconut-based curries, stir-fried noodles and a host of other dishes that impart their unique flavors from the locally grown vegetables and spices. Tropical fruits like rambutan, mangosteen and the foul-smelling yet tasty durian are found abundantly. One can book a rented apartment by the beach in any of the major cities and enjoy a pampered, exotic vacation with memories to last a lifetime.