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20 December 2014
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From hot-air ballooning to kite surfing, nearly every imaginable activity can be arranged during your holiday in Thailand.  Select from the following activities to learn more about Thailand’s diverse activities or browse the highlighted activities and select those you wish to add to your travel planner by clicking the link with the green circle.

Highlight Activities in Thailand
Cruising / Sailing

Cruising / Sailing

From Bangkok to the beach and even in Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, where there is water there are boats, and tourists have many opportunities to take a cruise as part of their exotic Thai holiday

In Bangkok a cruise is a great way for tourists to see the city. The Chao Phraya River is a major transportation artery and features numerous options for travelers to sightsee via boat; it’s incredibly convenient as well; most boat services connect to the BTS Silom line at Saphan Taksin station and visit sightseeing attractions up and down the river, including the Chao Phraya’s most celebrated sight, Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn).

In addition to daytime cruises to see the sights, there are a number of dinner cruises where Thai food is served. These dinner cruises are also major attractions in Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya, which is just upriver from Bangkok: a journey which serves as a fascinating cruise of its own.

Around Thailand’s beaches and island there are innumerable opportunities for getting aboard a boat for a single or multi-day adventure. From Phuket, boats provide day trip service to Phan Nga bay, Koh Phi Phi, and even the Similan Islands. From Koh Samui, day cruises combine snorkeling and lunch around Koh Nang Yuan, the postcard-perfect three islands connected by narrow strips of sand. Renovated Chinese Junk ships and other posh sailing vessels are also available to sail upon either for a single day’s outing or a longer, more exclusive romantic holiday.

Even the smaller islands allow you to hire long tail boats for the day and make your own day trip, cruising between beaches and nearby islands.

Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism

In recent years, 1.4 million international patients have received medical treatment in Thailand, and the number is increasing annually.

No matter where you go in Thailand, medical tourism offers a wide array of procedures. The country has earned a reputation for dependable and affordable treatments and services, including massage centers, spas and wellness clinics and retreats, as well as surgical procedures such as laser, cosmetic, and cardiovascular. Thailand’s high standards and healthcare expertise make it a world leader in medical tourism, while the options for a post-medical treatment holiday are the best in the world.

If you ask those patients who have received healthcare in Thailand, they will give you the same reasons why, summarized in these “Six Reasons to Make Thailand Your Medical Tourism Destination”.

1. Thailand features internationally accredited medical facilities

Hospitals and other medical facilities in Thailand pride themselves on their high standards, and many have subjected their premises and systems to the most rigorous inspections by applying for accreditation and certification, whereby a qualified standards organization - distinct from the healthcare organization under review - assesses the hospital or facility to determine if it meets a set of standards and requirements designed to improve the quality of patient care.

Thailand was the first country in Asia to achieve JCI accreditation in 2002, and 15 hospitals are now accredited.

2. Thailand’s medical professionals are highly qualified

The physicians, surgeons and nurses have been trained to the highest levels, while many specialists have been conducting research and gaining experience at the world’s best medical institutes with some even leading the field in which they specialise.

Many Thai doctors and surgeons practicing today have won awards for their work, and more than 500 doctors practicing in Thai hospitals are American Board Certified. These medical professionals are skilled at providing the highest quality medical treatment.

3. Cost saving

The cost of medical treatments in Thailand is significantly lower compared to identical treatments in the West and other developed parts of the world.

Some comparisons include: the US $130,000 cost of a heart bypass in the United States, which can be performed by skilled and qualified doctors at a Thai hospital for only US $11,000.

Even most cosmetic treatments are around 50% less expensive in Thailand than in the US, where breast enlargements costs around $3,500-4,000 as opposed to $2,600-$3,200 in Thailand.

4. No waiting lists

Thai hospitals have numerous operating theaters and enough qualified surgeons that there is little, if any, waiting for scheduling even the most complex and invasive procedures.

5. Thailand’s medical technology is state-of-the-art

All of Thailand’s leading hospitals feature state-of-the-art technology that helps them provide the highest degree of medical treatment and service, such as,Siemens Biograph 64 PET/CT, Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), and Blood Marrow Stem Cell Transplant.

6. Thailand offers excellent service

Thais are proud that their national character has won them a well-deserved reputation for their compassion and warm hospitality, and that’s why the country is nicknamed “The Land of Smiles”. Patients become so at ease that they feel almost like a guest on holiday from the moment they arrive at the hospital.

In all aspects of medical tourism, Thailand’s professionalism and accumulated experience guarantee you are in good hands.

Shopping

Shopping

Without question, Bangkok is one of the world’s premier shopping destinations. Shopping in Thailand is world class, featuring 21st century shopping malls, such as Siam Paragon; multi-story electronics malls including Panthip Plaza; expansive local markets, such as the JJ weekend market; and local markets from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani that sell everything from clothes and household goods to food and flowers.

Nearly every city and town has a central market that is a fascinating way to spend a few hours and a great way to pick up toiletries, clothes, or local handicrafts. In the larger, touristier towns like Chiang Mai, weekend markets and night markets feature all variety of handicrafts both modern and traditional, including t-shirts and dresses made by inspirational young artists and puppets and jewelry crafted by hill tribe communities.

Bangkok’s night markets on Patpong and Sukhumvit Roads are ideal places to pick up souvenirs or gifts for those back home, while more impressive gifts can be procured from retailers such as certified antiques dealers, gem and jewelry shops, or Jim Thompson, the famous silk pioneer. In regards to gems and antiques, it should be noted that there are numerous occurrences of scams involving antiques and gems, and restrictions on the export of Buddha images. Otherwise, with the right guidance there are genuine opportunities to make some brilliant shopping discoveries.

Getting clothes tailor made in Bangkok is a top priority for many, though boutique shops in Siam Square feature the latest ready-to-wear designs from the city’s chic young designers. Meanwhile, in Chinatown, almost every conceivable knick-knack and trinket is for sale in the myriad mazes of back alleys, while those shopping for gold can do so along the district’s Yaowarat Road.

Learning Activities

Learning Activities

Because of its reasonable prices, outstanding weather, and warm hospitality, Thailand is a top destination for those looking to learn something on their holiday. Thai cooking, Thai massage, and Muay Thai boxing are popular cultural subjects of study that can be undertaken in a day or over an entire holiday. Flight schools, golf lessons, rock climbing instruction, and scuba certification are other popular holiday activities that benefit from Thailand’s rich natural resources, high standards of professionalism, and inexpensive pricing.

Meditation

Meditation

As a Buddhist nation, Thailand is full of spectacular temples, the purpose of which is for Thais to devout themselves to the principals passed down by the Buddha, nee Siddhartha Gautama. As Thailand is such a welcoming country and Buddhism is a non-restrictive religion, it is easy for visitors to study Buddhism and learn meditation at a number of temples and meditation retreats around the country.

While those simply curious about Buddhism can attend “monk chats” at Wat Chedi Luang or Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai, these and other temples allow visitors to check themselves in for a week or longer of intensive meditation study.

While certainly intriguing, these meditation retreats are not for those unprepared for serious self reflection: the purpose of meditation is to clear the mind and achieve clarity and inner peace; consequently, most meditation programs do not allow students to talk during their stay, with the exception of meditative chanting and discussions with senior monks to help their meditation techniques. Furthermore, by its very nature, meditation can be somewhat mundane, and so visitors are expected to follow the routines and procedures quite thoroughly if they wish to genuinely learn to meditate properly and achieve the most from their experience.

For those unable to commit to a remote meditation retreat from which they cannot easily leave, Wat Mahatat, near Bangkok’s Grand Palace, allows visitors to study meditation no less strictly, but with more flexible time requirements.