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STA Travel Blog

Thailand: Beyond Bangkok

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for those looking to find bliss, but paradise isn’t always found diving head first into an infinity pool. You probably already know all about the beautiful beaches and the electric nightlife of Bangkok, so here are a few experiences to shake things up a bit and make your Thai adventure EVEN more memorable…

1. Caring for rescued elephants

elephant thailand
Whether you’re a volunteering veteran or a first timer, caring for rescued elephants will warm the coldest of hearts. The Thai Elephant Conservation project in Chiang Mai is home to around 30 rescued elephants who have sadly suffered a lifetime of abuse working in the tourist trade before they found their way to this little sanctuary. Help feed and take care of these glorious creatures, conserve their environment and be prepared to get a little wet when it comes to communal bath time!
Interested in this volunteering project? Get in touch with us here.

2. Teaching in Thailand

THAI GIRL
What better way to experience authentic Thai culture than teaching in a local community? Not only is teaching highly gratifying, it’s a life changing experience. Of course it will come with its challenges, but the smiles on the Thai children’s faces as they’re learning is so worth it. The students are incredibly respectful and so grateful that you’re there, which is an attitude you’d struggle to find in a UK school. If you’re thinking of doing it, DO IT!

In Thailand, you’re qualified to teach English if you’re a native speaker and have a degree from a four-year university course, plus a TEFL or TESOL certificate. Most schools do prefer if you have previous experience, but it’s not essential.

3. Exploring ancient Ayutthaya


Just outside of Bangkok lies Ayutthaya, the Kingdom’s ancient former capital. Founded in 1350 by King Ramathibodi, Ayutthaya quickly became one of the world’s most impressive cities with its grand architecture and culture. It maintained its position as the capital for over 400 years until the Burmese invasion which caused destruction to its many palaces and temples. Many ruins still remain today and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1981.
Don’t leave Ayutthaya without seeing the 600-year-old Wat Panan Choeng. Another Temple? Yes, but sheer size of the 3 metre statue of the Golden Buddha makes the journey worthwhile.

TOP TIP: Travelling here from Bangkok can be a fun experience as most tours will take you on Thailand’s historic highway, the Chao Phraya River with a return by bus.

4. Authentic floating markets

Amphawa Floating Market, Thailand —– Read more ➡ http://ttm.ag/2kALOfy —– by @myfacesandplaces

A post shared by The Travel Magazine (@travelmagazine) on


Looking for a taste of “old Thailand”? Take a 30-mile journey outside of Bangkok to the town of Amphawa to get a real sense of how the locals spend their weekends. Approximately 200 boats gather around the canal for the occasion. The vendors will cook you up fresh grilled seafood and tasty noodles straight from their boat which you can feast on by the tranquil Amphawa canal.

TOP TIPS: The weekend markets run from midday to around 8:30pm so don’t worry about missing out if you’re travelling from Bangkok. Although the market runs all weekend, definitely visit on a Friday when there are less crowds. Amphawa also has a fascinating museum of delicious Thai desserts that you can get to by boat – yum!

5. Paradise Island

If you’re in Thailand this April, you’re in luck! Paradise Island is a brand new music festival for the eco-conscious traveller. The first of its kind in southern Thailand, the festival is located on Koh Samui on a chilled out corner of Chawang Beach and promises a diverse line up of musicians and DJs, as well as activities like massage workshops, yoga and Thai cooking classes. Feeling artistic? Try your hand at local crafts, traditions and experiences that even Glastonbury couldn’t offer you!

Paradise Island will be working closely with the local community to ensure that environmental sustainability, reforestation and nature conservation is at the forefront of the festival. Good guys!
Get a different slice of paradise and see what Thailand is really about.
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