Choose from 178 Fun Things to Do in Thailand
The Rose Garden is a worthwhile day trip from the capital. Not a botanical garden as the name suggests (although there are roses in a well-maintained and beautiful garden), it's a cultural center that provides a one-stop shop for learning and experiencing all things Thai.
If you visit the center on a tour, your visit will be timed to take in the daily show at 2:45pm in the Thai Cultural Village. You'll see Thai folk dancing, Thai boxing, sword fighting and an elephant show.
If the show doesn't sound like your thing, there are plenty of hands-on art and craft activities to engage in throughout the Rose Garden. If you've ever wanted to plant rice or make a lantern out of palm leaves then this is the place to do just that.
The Rose Garden is 32 km (20 mi) west of Bangkok. Many people visit here as part of a combined tour that includes a trip to the floating market at Damnoen Saduak.
- Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a must-visit for spiritual travelers and first-time visitors to Chiang Mai.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces, and be prepared to do some climbing.
- The temple is accessible to wheelchair users (including the elevator and cable car to the top), but there are some steep ramps.
Thought to be the oldest wat in Chiang Mai, Wat Chiang Man is a typical northern Thai temple, with massive teak columns holding aloft the central sanctuary.
The wat has two important Buddha images; one on a marble bas relief, the other a crystal seated Buddha. They’re visible in a glass cabinet housed in a smaller sanctuary.
The walls of the wat feature red stenciled murals, depicting scenes from the life of Chiang Mai's founder, Phaya Mengrai.
Wat Chiang Man is in the northeastern section of the moated old city of Chiang Mai.
- Wat Arun is an important place of worship, so be sure to dress appropriately for your visit. Modest clothing (covered shoulders and long pants or a skirt) is a must. Cover-ups can be rented near the temple’s entrance.
- Entering the complex requires a small fee.
- Remember to bring sun protection and comfortable shoes for scaling the steps.
- Be prepared to wait your turn to climb the central spire (prang) and make way for visitors heading back down. The experience is not well suited for those scared of heights or visitors with limited mobility.
The temple consists of many buildings, but the most spectacular is the golden wihan that houses the Phra Singh. Look for classic Lanna architectural features like the three-tiered roof, white chedi with an octagonal base, and lion statues guarding the entrance. It is possible to go inside to see the Buddha statue, just remember to remove your shoes first.
Wat Phra Singh is an active temple and lucky visitors may see chanting monks or a blessing ceremony. Many novice monks study here and are happy to practice their English by sitting and chatting with tourists in the temple gardens.
The suggested donation is 20B
If you’ve ever wanted to chat to a Buddhist monk, pull up a chair at Wat Chedi Luang. As you enter the wat from Th Phra Pokkao, turn right and you’ll see some tables under a sign reading ‘Monk Chat.’
The partially ruined wat dates back to the year 1441, and is most famous as the former home of the incredible Emerald Buddha. Nowadays, a jade replica fills the eastern niche of Wat Chedi Luang, and you can see the original in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew.
Wat Chedi Luang has undergone a restoration program, which has added several Buddha images, porticoes and statues.
Wat Chedi Luang is in the center of the moated old city of Chiang Mai near Th Ratchadamnoen, a non-stop shopping strip of stalls and street food.
- If you plan to enter the temple, wear clothing that covers your legs, chest, and shoulders.
- Make sure you remove your shoes before entering the temple.
- Photography is allowed inside the temple; however, mobile phones must be in silent mode.
- If you want to cool down, head to the air-conditioned exhibition hall that features life-size wax models of Buddhist figures.
- The temple is free to enter, but donations are encouraged.
- The Emerald Buddha Temple is a must-see for spiritual travelers and first-time visitors to Bangkok.
- The temple maintains a strict dress code: shorts, short skirts, and sleeveless t-shirts are not permitted on the temple grounds.
- Be prepared to remove your shoes before entering the temple.
- While the lawn and gardens of Bangkok’s Grand Palace are accessible to wheelchair users, the temple interior is not due to a series of steps leading inside.