Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Phuket are three of the most interesting cities in Thailand. Know them, and know Siam.
Bangkok is the biggest city in Thailand. It’s also the capital, and has the highest population. The river Chao snakes its way like a black cobra through the city. It isn’t the longest river in the country, but it’s big, and has the most exotic floating markets in the country. After visiting one by boat, you can get a ferry to any one of many of the country’s most fascinating temples, museums or galleries. Bangkok isn’t the oldest city in Thailand, Ayutthaya is much older and it’s a former capital of Siam.
Ayutthaya has some the oldest temple remains in the country, and some of the most beautiful views of waterways and open green spaces. The old city is an island city, surrounded be 3 rivers. Most people live and work in the suburbs of the city. The housing is much more expensive in the centre, and most of the land is taken up by old temples, schools and universities. It’s my favourite city in Thailand, but it’s not the most exciting. If you like night life and adventure, you should try Phuket in the south.
Phuket is like Pattaya, but cleaner and more beautiful. It’s also a lot more expensive. You can go snorkelling, swimming, fishing, and enjoy some of the clearest diving waters in the world. It’s a gateway to many small islands and beaches. You can even visit places where ‘The Beach’ was filmed. If you like hiking and rock climbing try Krabi – the next province.
But don’t misunderstand me, these three places aren’t the best places in Thailand, but they’re three of the most defining of the country. The best places are those that only you will know: the shady tree, the lonesome waterfall, or the 40 baht noodle shop with pink plastic carnations. Know these places, and know yourself.