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Ten Unmissable activities to do in Thailand : Part One

Posted by admin on Mar 2, 2010 in beauty, lists, travel

Thailand is fondly referred to as the land of smiles, and three weeks travelling through its sunlit shores was enough to convince me that the smiles are genuine. Whenever you travel abroad there are always going to be areas set up for tourists, with people pushing to sell you their wares and persuade you that their shop/bar/museum is the best, but in Thailand they tend to take refusals with good grace and smiling faces.

I was a complete newbie to the East and though I arrived armed with a Lonely Planet and heaps of advice from some great sources, till you experience it for yourself, everything else is just words on a piece of paper. Here are my top ten unmissable experiences that I strongly suggest you add to your itinerary.

Co Van Kessel Cycling Tour in Bangkok

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Chinatown is a weird winding mess of crazy side streets, narrow alleys and men frying fish whilst juggling cans of condensed milk. It’s crammed to the rafters with all sorts of visitors, from locals doing their weekly shops to tourists trying to barter over jewellery. Add the sounds of motorbikes, mandolins and distant temple bells and you have a cacophony of colour and confusion. This was what I had to cycle through, manoeuvring my road bike in and out of people’s shopping bags, and the random escaped menageries that adorned the narrow paths. Bright colours, strange scents, it was strange to be whizzing past this vital thriving community on a bike, but my guide was insistent and we passed though this chaos to start exploring the hidden backstreets. Some roads were so narrow that both shoulders grazed the wall, whilst other paths meant near-fatal collisions with accelerating mopeds. Every forty minutes or so we stopped for water (provided) and there were many stops for pictures, which were happily taken by our guide. The tour of Bangkok involved two boat trips (depending which tour you opted for) and we took a ferry across the waterways to western Bangkok and spent an hour cycling through lush shrubbery.

It was humbling to view the variety of housing people lived in, from ramshackle shanty style buildings to palatial European marble houses, and seeing them built next to each other spoke volumes about the structure of society in Thailand. Lunch was held aboard a floating restaurant, a delicious mixture of rice with a variety of dishes, and there was fresh fruit for dessert. You couldn’t help but admire the guides dedication, as she spoke flawless English and had a huge wealth of knowledge on the surrounding area. ‘I did a degree in health and tourism’, she told us. ‘This is how I save for my training’. Read more…

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