Thailand, formerly Siam, has a mystical quality. Buddhism is pervasive throughout the country and this means that there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of wats (temples) dedicated to the holy man. However, Thailand is not primitive or backward. To the contrary, it has embraced modern technology and capitalism while preserving its fundamental values and history. It is certainly a nation of great contrasts, which makes it extremely interesting to visit.
We spent most of our time in the city of Bangkok, but Chiang Mai, in the northern part of the country, deserves the attention of travelers. Use my “Walking Tour of Chiang Mai” to see the major sights, including
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, probably the most important stop for the tourist,
and the Phu Phing Palace.
However, plan to spend the majority of your time in Bangkok, the country’s capital and largest city. A visit to the Grand Palace complex is a must. Here you will find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
and the palace itself, a spectacular building.
Other worthwhile sights in the city include Wat Pho, with its huge Reclining Buddha,
and Wat Arun, with its myriad colorful tiles covering the pagodas.