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Home | Elegant Traveller | Six Spectacular Cultural Experiences in Thailand

Elegant Traveller

Six Spectacular Cultural Experiences in Thailand

schedule4 Minute Read

Amy Henderson

Golden smiles, glittering temples and glorious food...

We can't wait to return to experience the rich culture, ancient gems and culinary marvels that make Thailand quite unlike anywhere else in the world. With a countless choice of cultural delights to explore, we've listed some of our very favourites below...

Cookery Classes and Foodie Tours

Food and feasting are a huge part of the Thai lifestyle and a great way to experience local culture is through your stomach! Create the taste of Thailand on a cooking lesson with an expert chef, collecting your fresh ingredients at a colourful local market, before transforming it into authentic and utterly delicious Thai dishes that perfectly balance the country's five distinct flavour pillars: sour, sweet, salty, spicy and bitter. Many of our featured luxury properties offer cookery schools and classes, allowing you to feast on your creations with sensational surroundings and top-class service.
Across the country, an array of food-based excursions is also available. Taste authentic cuisine while seeing more of Bangkok on a 'foodie tour' around the city, stopping to sample flavour-filled Thai street food and learning how the delicious dishes are made. Down south, Phuket is listed by UNESCO as a 'City of Gastronomy', and you can explore with a local culinary expert, discovering the delights of the city's food scene as you visit charming cafes in the iconic Shinto-Portuguese buildings, slurp noodles in traditional food courts and enjoy sweet treats from smiling street vendors.

Visit Ayutthaya and The Temples of Bangkok

A Buddhist land with a rich heritage, Thailand is home to over 40,000 temples, each one with a unique past and fascinating story. Truly spectacular, the ancient Siamese capital of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a captivating complex of archaeological treasures, Buddhist monastery ruins and reconstructed historical buildings from the once bustling metropolis of Ayutthaya. Longboat river cruises or walking tours are a great way to explore this historic area, located just north of Bangkok. In the heart of the country's capital, many more tantalising temples await - including Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and its reclining Buddha, and Wat Arun, otherwise known as the Temple of Dawn. Enjoy guided tours or simply stroll solo, soaking up the scenery and history.

Be Charmed by Chiang Mai

Head north to captivating Chiang Mai, the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, located on the banks of the Ping River. The moat-ringed Old Town retains a traditional Thai charisma and charm, allowing you to experience an authentic side to Thailand. Discover a labyrinth of cobblestone streets, ancient temples and old-fashioned shops filled with silks and art, while our range of unique excursions here range from a guided tour of the Wiang Kum Kam archaeological site to a tuk-tuk adventure in the nearby countryside. While in Chiang Mai, you should also be sure to visit the temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, descending the spectacular 300-step staircase to find a glorious golden spire, richly decorated murals, an Emerald Buddha, a shrine to the White Elephant, and incredible views of Chiang Mai from a flower-filled terrace - bliss.

See Bangkok Through a Local Lens

Combine your luxury stay with local experiences, enjoying a range of immersive activities that give a glimpse into everyday life in the country's capital. Travel by tuk tuk around bustling Bangkok at nightfall, stopping at an array of quirky bars, or cycle through the city's riverside communities with a local expert, learning more about the area's history, culture and art. Promising a splendid sensory experience of vibrant colours and alluring scents, Thailand's unique floating markets are made up of traditional wooden canal boats from which locals sell a range of Thai handicrafts, plush fabrics, fragrant spices and fresh produce. Many of the most impressive markets can be visited on a daytrip from Bangkok.
Floating Market Bangkok
Floating Market Bangkok

Try Muay Thai Kickboxing

Several of our stunning luxury hotels feature state-of-the-art boxing rings, inviting you to try your hand (and legs) at Muay Thai kickboxing along with an expert instructor. Muay Thai is the country's national combat sport and dates back to the 18th century. Referred to as the Art of Eight Limbs, the sport uses eight points of contact (as opposed to four in many other combat sports) and offers a fun-filled - but not easy! - workout. Why not reward your efforts with a post-boxing massage?

Alms Giving to Buddhist Monks

Learn more about Buddhism in Thailand and take part in the historic morning ritual of Tak Vart. This involves gifting food parcels to local monks who are not themselves allowed to buy or store food, due to disciplines set by Lord Buddha nearly 3,000 years ago. After removing your shoes according to the ritual, place your gifts (that are often created by the hotel's culinary team) into the grateful monks' bowls, in return for a blessing for your sharing. Remember, in Buddhist belief, those that give to the monks are more likely to enjoy a healthy and happy life in their next incarnation!
Alms Giving
Alms Giving

Amy Henderson

Content Team Leader

From driving along the sun-kissed California coast and whale watching in Canada, to swimming with turtles in Barbados, cookery classes in Oman and touring temples in Thailand, I've enjoyed some amazing experiences around the world. With a genuine love for all things travel, I can't think of anything I'd rather do than research, experience and share incredible destinations, luxury hotels and bespoke adventures.

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