If you can’t bring home all the delectable treats you’ve tasted in Thailand, then join any of the special cooking courses offered in major cities. Thai cuisine is one of the most sumptuous – not to mention eye-catching – gastronomic selections in the world. It’s only natural that you would want to replicate the flavors in your own kitchen.
Major cooking schools can be found in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui. There are certain institutions that teach everything, from basic Thai recipes to specialty regional cooking. Some hotels also offer short courses for people who are interested in whipping up magical dishes with typical Thai ingredients such as lemongrass, fish sauce, Kaffir lime leaves, Thai chili pepper, coconut milk, and jasmine rice.
You haven’t really been to Thailand if you hadn’t experienced bargain shopping in its markets. In the capital alone, there are markets such as Suan Lum and Patpong, which are set up at night to feed the retail frenzy. Weekends, however, are dedicated to the Jatujak Market, just off the Mo Chit Skyway Station. More retail therapy can be found in top shopping malls such as MBK, Siam Paragon, and Gaysorn Plaza. In Chiang Mai, the night bazaar is a festive venue for local crafts and wares, while high-end shops are found by the riverside.
Thailand is the premier spa destination in the Southeast Asian region. There’s no other place where both environment and technique go hand in hand to provide the best pampering on this side of the planet.
The signature Thai massage is a unique experience one just has to try during a visit to this fascinating country. A blissful 60-minute session is guaranteed to eradicate all stress and exhaustion. Massage establishments are ubiquitous in the city – you’ll find one in almost every corner, and they offer affordably priced foot or body massages.
If you want to become a licensed therapist and open your own spa, you can take special courses in schools such as the Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical School. Various courses teach the rudiments of massage techniques.
For a full pampering retreat, stay in one of the resort spas scattered throughout resort destinations like Hua Hin and Phuket. Luxury resort properties such as Banyan Tree, Six Senses, Apsara, Mandara, Aman, and Chiva-Som may charge top dollar, but the experience is well worth the price.
An adventure in Thailand should always include an elephant ride. It has become a popular part of tours when visiting local villages and nature parks.
Highly recommended places to try elephant trekking include the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampan and Elephant Hills in Khao Sok. In Chiang Mai’s Maesa Valley, the Elephant Camp is home to the largest congregation of elephants in northern Thailand. Mae Kok Elephant Camp in Chiang Rai is situated on the riverbanks, providing access to hill tribe villages and forests as well. In Kanchanaburi province, you can combine elephant rides with rafting and mountain biking when you drop by Thong Pha Phum and Sangkhlaburi.
Hill tribe visit
Most of the northern parts of Thailand remain untouched by modern times. Hill tribe villages provide a glimpse into the traditional life of Thailand’s indigenous people. It will also give you a chance to get acquainted with their crafts and other means of livelihood.
Hill tribe visits may also consist of bamboo rafting, elephant rides, and mountain-biking, depending on the location. The ethnic villages of Lahu, Karen, and Shan in Chiang Mai are popular stops on the tourist trail. The Hmong Village offers homestays within the traditional setting. And in Mae Hong Son province, a hill tribe visit also includes a trek in Doi Mae Ukor, one of the best hiking trails in the northern region.