- Cruising / Sailing
- Cultural Exploration
- Ecotourism / Green Travel
- Learning Activities
- Medical Tourism
- Outdoor and Adventure Activities - Air Activities
- Outdoor and Adventure Activities - Land Activities
- Outdoor and Adventure Activities - Water Activities
- Self Drive
- Spa and Wellness
- Weddings & Honeymoons
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.
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.
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.
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.
Weddings & Honeymoons
With idyllic tropical beaches, majestic temples, fascinating culture, and world class service and accommodation, Thailand is undoubtedly a romantic kingdom. Consequently, it’s a top destination for those looking to marry in an exotic land or experience the ultimate honeymoon. In fact, many of Thailand’s finest hotels and spa retreats offer wedding and honeymoon packages specifically designed to ensure you have the ultimate romantic getaway. Whether you are looking for a private beach-side swimming pool, an outdoor tub overlooking the jungle, a romantic riverside candle-lit dinner, or the ultimate his and her pampering at a Thai spa, Thailand has innumerable options to make your special date the most memorable experience of your lives.
Hiring a car and exploring Thailand on your own is an outstanding way to see the real Thailand, as hiring a Thai car is a cheap way of seeing rural areas and meeting everyday Thai people. Whether you hire a car to explore around Phuket or to see the countryside around Chiang Mai, renting a car is generally an easy and fairly inexpensive proposition. One way rentals between destinations (e.g. Bangkok-Chiang Mai) are also a possibility, though you should expect to pay a drop-off fee.
Avis, Hertz and other international car hire agencies are well represented in Thailand, although many rental companies will not rent a Thai car or provide insurance to drivers who do not have an international driving license. While it is technically legal to drive in Thailand with a valid foreign driver’s license, having an international license will make renting and driving a Thai car potentially less problematic.
Furthermore, Thailand has an excellent network of well maintained roads and highways between all the provincial capitals and major towns and cities in between.
Most roads and highways are in good condition, and have two or three lanes on each side, including a majority of the north-south route (from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to the southern beaches). Road signage follows international convention and is in both Thai and English, though some are only in Thai (like 'Stop' and 'Give Way'). Buy a decent road map before you set off, though it’s well to remember that Thai words aren't always romanized consistently (e.g. Petburi road on the map and Phetchaburi road on the street sign are one and the same).