Thailand

Wat Chalermprakiat Lampang

Wat Chalermprakiat: Lampang’s Mysterious Mountain Temple

Completed in 2015, Lampang Province’s Wat Chalermprakiat is one of Thailand’s most spectacular mountain temples. Many who come across pictures of its misty peaks capped with white pagodas immediately want to know where it is. But the temple is in such a remote location that few actually ever make it there.  My case was no

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Wat Huai Pla Klang Chiang Rai

Wat Huai Pla Klang: Seeing Chiang Rai From Guan Yin’s Eyes

In addition to its lush green landscapes, Chiang Rai has become famous throughout Thailand for its unique and unusual temples. Most notably, the White, Black and Blue Temples, which help put a brand new spin on the traditional Thai wat. But unbeknownst to many visitors to the city, there’s yet another Chiang Rai temple that

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Silver Temple Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s 4 Most Unique Temples

Chiang Mai is a city of over 300 temples. While not quite as many as Bangkok’s 400, consider the size difference. The capital has roughly 55 times more people than Chiang Mai! With so many temples concentrated in such a small area, how does one choose where to go? While the historical temples of the

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Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

A Day on Doi Suthep: Chiang Mai’s Holy Mountain

Chiang Mai residents have always regarded Doi Suthep as sacred. It plays a role in the folklore of the ancient Haripunchai Kingdom, which long predates Chiang Mai’s establishment. And the original inhabitants of the area, the Lawa people, believed the mountain to be the home of their ancestral spirits. Nowadays, in addition to scenic waterfalls

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Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai

A Day in Chiang Mai’s Old City

Even today, the ancient historical district of Chiang Mai is widely regarded as the heart of the city. In addition to centuries-old temples, the district also pulls in visitors with its cozy coffee shops, night market and even street art. Simply put, no visit to Northern Thailand is complete without at least a day dedicated

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Sakon Nakhon Guide

Sakon Nakhon: Thailand’s Best-Kept Secret

Considering Thailand’s immense popularity with tourists, its northeastern Isaan region hardly gets the attention it deserves. The area is home to stunning landscapes, a rich cultural heritage and some of the friendliest locals you’ll encounter in the ‘Land of Smiles.’ While Isaan consists of 20 provinces in total, you can’t go wrong with Sakon Nakhon

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Elephant Temple Wat Ban Rai

Wat Ban Rai: The Elephant Temple of Nakhon Ratchasima

Theravada Buddhism, also known as “the way of the elders,” is often considered the most old-fashioned and conservative form of the religion. But over the past few decades, numerous temples in Thailand have been challenging that stereotype. As evidence by colorful and surrealist temples like Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) and the Erawan Museum,

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Prasat Hin Phimai

Phimai: The Khmer Empire’s Most Important Outpost

When most people think of ancient ruins in Thailand, they picture the old Siamese capitals of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya. But one of the country’s most impressive stone temples is also one of its least visited. Phimai, located just outside the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, is a Khmer temple dating back to the 11th century. And

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Phnom Rung Buriram

Phnom Rung: Buriram’s Khmer Volcano Temple

Mostly built in the 12th century, Phnom Rung was one of the Khmer Empire’s most important temples outside of Angkor. Later on during the reign of Jayavarman VII, it was even a prominent stop on the road he built connecting Phimai with the capital of Angkor Thom. But nowadays, the impressive temple gets much less

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Khao Khanab Nam Krabi

Discovering the Caves of Krabi Town

Most who arrive at Krabi airport are eager to head straight to the beach. But the provincial capital, locally known as Krabi Town, is more than just a pass-through destination. From the town center you have access to both a stunning viewpoint and numerous caves. And some of these caves have been home to everything

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Chiang Mai Women's Prison Street Art

Street Art: Chiang Mai

Visitors flock to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to see its ancient temples, scenic mountains and maybe even ride some elephants. But not many realize that the city is becoming increasingly popular in Southeast Asia for another thing: street art. As Chiang Mai has long been one of Thailand’s most creative cities, not to mention one of

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MAIIAM Chiang Mai

A Guide to Chiang Mai’s Best Art Spaces

Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most thriving creative hubs. The abundance of universities, along with the cheap rent and slow pace of living, have combined to make the Lanna capital an attractive place to live and work for all sorts of creative types. While, as we’ll cover below, there are some great art spaces

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Wat Hua Nong Wiang Kum Kam Chiang Mai

Exploring Wiang Kum Kam: The Lost City of Chiang Mai

Not many people who visit Chiang Mai are aware that the city has its own set of ruins, known as Wiang Kum Kam. While not comparable to the glorious ancient capitals of Sukhothai or Ayutthaya, Wiang Kum Kam couldn’t be easier to explore. The ruins are a quick ride from Chiang Mai’s city center, cost

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Phra That Haripunchai

A Day in Lamphun: Deep in the Heart of Haripunchai

Lamphun is easily one of Thailand’s most historically significant cities. Before the establishment of the Lanna Kingdom, another kingdom called Haripunchai had long been the dominant force in Northern Thailand. Established in the 7th century by a queen from Lopburi, Haripunchai was a major cultural center where religion and the arts thrived for centuries. For

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Wat Phra Kaew Chofa

An Introduction to Thai Temples

Traveling through Thailand, it’s easy to get the impression that just about every tourist attraction is some kind of temple. There are, after all, over 30,000 of them. But if you haven’t grown up in the culture, it can be difficult to tell exactly what you’re looking at when visiting a wat complex. Thai temples

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Wat Phra Mahathat Nakhon Si Thammarat

A Guide to Nakhon Si Thammarat: South Thailand’s Historical Center

Nakhon Si Thammarat doesn’t appear on most people’s itineraries – even those doing extensive stays in South Thailand. But the more you learn about Thailand’s history, mentions of this ancient city will pop up time and time again. Going by names like Ligor and Tambralinga in old records, it long functioned as the premier trading

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Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat

Si Satchanalai: Ruins-Hopping in an Ancient Satellite City

The part of Thailand known as the North Central Plains has a lot to offer archaeology and history lovers. It is, after all, the home of Sukhothai, widely considered to be the birthplace of Siamese culture. But about 60km away, the ruling elite also built a sister satellite city. They even connected Sukhothai and Si

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Sukhothai Wat Mahathat

A Complete Guide to Sukhothai: The Birthplace of Siam

Sukhothai is one of Thailand’s most important historical and cultural sites, boasting some of the country’s most impressive ruins. The ancient temples span from the 12th to the 16th centuries and blend together a myriad of architectural styles. On top of that, Sukhothai is also the perfect getaway for scenic bike rides through the Thai countryside. In

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Wat Chang Rob Kamphaeng Phet

Touring the Forgotten Ruins of Kamphaeng Phet

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kamphaeng Phet has just about everything you’re looking for when it comes to old ruins. Extravagant ancient temples, fascinating history and a picturesque setting. But one thing it lacks, to the pleasant surprise of those who visit, are other tourists. Learn why this former outpost town dubbed the “Diamond

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Yi Peng Chiang Mai

Experiencing the Magic of Chiang Mai’s Yi Peng Festival

Looking up from the bridge, it appeared as if the sky was falling. Even in the remotest of deserts, I’d never seen a night sky so bright. These weren’t stars, however, but a special type of floating lantern called khom loi. Each year in November, thousands gather for Chiang Mai’s Yi Peng festival to watch a

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Lopburi Mahathat

A Day in Lopburi: Ruins-Hopping in Thailand’s Monkey Town

Lopburi, one of Thailand’s oldest cities, is also one of its most unique. It’s been continually inhabited for thousands of years by cultures like the Dvaravati and the Khmer. A king of Ayutthaya even took a liking to the town, moving his residence there and renovating the monuments. What makes Lopburi so different is that

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Wat Chai Wattanaram Sunset

Ayutthaya: Touring the Ruins of an Ancient Island Capital

The city of Ayutthaya, at one time, was among the most populated cities in the world. It was also one of the most luxurious and cosmopolitan, with traders and diplomats from around Europe and Asia setting up base there. But one day, that all came to a disastrous end at the hands of the powerful

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Thonburi Canal

A Weekend in Thonburi: The Temples & Canals of a Former Capital

After the destruction of Ayutthaya and before the founding of Bangkok, the city of Thonburi functioned for a short time as the Siamese capital. Today, Thonburi is merely a suburb of its younger brother. After getting absorbed by Bangkok’s relentless urban sprawl, ‘Thonburi’ now vaguely refers to the general area west of the Chao Phraya

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Wat Arun Prangs

Chasing the Emerald Buddha: Part Three

Part Three of this chronicle takes us from Laos back again to Thailand. Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaew, the current home of the Emerald Buddha, is the most visited temple in the entire country. But not many visitors realize that it’s not the first temple the venerated statue sat in upon its return to Siam. The

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Street Art Bangkok

Street Art: Bangkok

Bangkok is slowly emerging as a mecca for street art in Asia. Like in many other parts of the region, the art form has long been looked down upon and misunderstood by locals. But as the quality of the art work continues to improve, in addition to semi-regular events helping promote public art, Bangkok residents

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Kohk Mah Noi Phu Phra Bat

Peeling Back Layers of Time at Phu Phra Bat Historical Park

As I began my walk along the rocky trail, I couldn’t hear anything but the sounds of the birds. It had been a long journey to get here, requiring both a shared and private taxi through small-town Udon Thani province. Arriving at the Phu Phra Bat Historical Park, I was surprised to encounter such a

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Phra That Lanong Mural

Nong Khai: More Than Just a Border Town

Nong Khai tends to be a place that people merely pass through. Just across the river from Vientiane, Laos, the town is perhaps most known for its bridge and its immigration checkpoint. Foreign visitors, most of whom are making visa runs, rarely stick around for more than a night. But something about the mythical “birthplace

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Sala Keoku

Exploring the Surreal Sculpture Parks of Bunleua Sulilat

Entering the park, I gaped in awe at the towering, monolithic structures surrounding me. There weren’t only Buddhas, but giant Hindu deities and characters from the Indian epics as well. Not to mention a whole lot of other strange beings I couldn’t recognize. The idea for this otherworldly sculpture park came from a man named

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Lampang Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao

A Weekend in Lampang: Lanna’s Hidden Gem

Not a whole lot of visitors to Thailand have heard of Lampang, even if it’s just a 90 minute drive from Chiang Mai. Once home to a thriving teak trade in the 19th and 20th centuries, the city has been in a slump ever since that industry dried up. Some locals even blame the whole thing on a

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Emerald Buddha Chiang Rai

Chasing the Emerald Buddha: Part One

Battles have been fought over it. Multiple temples have been named after it. Chronicles detailing the history of its journeys have been found on ancient palm leaf manuscripts in numerous languages. Today, it’s revered as the protector of an entire nation and a symbol of a powerful dynasty. Despite being a carving of only 66

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Loh Samah Bay Ko Phi Phi

Krabi & Ko Phi Phi: Searching for the Perfect Beach

Thailand’s pristine, white sandy beaches attract millions of tourists every year. Many come with fantasies of swimming in the calm, turquoise waters in peace and seclusion. But do such places really still exist in Thailand? Surely the scenes on the postcards can still be found somewhere, right? Craving a dip in the ocean, I decided

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Erawan Museum Ceiling

Stepping Inside the Erawan Museum’s Three-Headed Elephant

The unassuming suburb of Samut Prakan, about 30 kilometers outside of Bangkok, is home to one of Central Thailand’s most unique and awe-inspiring attractions. Visible even from the highway is a 29-meter bronze elephant which towers over its surroundings. Not only is the 250-ton elephant massive, but it also has three heads. And to top

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Doi Tung Mae Fah Luang Botanical Gardens

Doi Tung’s Gardens Help Color Over a Morbid Past

Overlooking the mountains of neighboring Myanmar, Doi Tung’s Mae Fah Luang Botanical Gardens are home to a gorgeous array of plants and flowers from around the world. The well-kept gardens also act as a refuge for those eager to escape the stifling heat of central Chiang Rai. Walking amongst the sculpted landscape, it’s hard to

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