Leisure in Thailand extends far beyond your customary site-seeing tours that are on endless offer around every corner of every major city, resort or a tropical island. This is about the most pleasurable activities that justify real vacations. For many, this beautiful part of paradise is just cause to spend quality time relaxing and unwinding as much as possible to release the stress of normality.
Hiking and Mountain Trekking, Thai Cooking Courses, Bridge, Thai Massage, Water Sports, Theater and Classical Dance, Golf, Kite Flying, Ten Pin Bowling, Karaoke, Shopping and Cinema, are just a few of the right sort of ingredients that will allow you to enter the real pleasurable activities when visiting Thailand.
If you're looking to release a little more energy then you could always try your hand at Bungy Jumping, Para-Sailing, Go Kart Racing, Big Game Fishing, Thai Kick Boxing, Rock Climbing or Horse Riding. Lots to do to keep you very busy and entertained throughout your entire vacation. Leisure in Thailand at its best.
Thailand has some of the best diving and snorkelling sites in the world and it comes as no surprise as to why thousands of holidaymakers flock to these idyllic islands and beautiful beaches to explore the country's spectacular coral reefs.
From the amazing locations to the abundant exotic undersea marine life. From the more experienced diver to the absolute novice. Whether a child or an adult. The experience will simply take your breath away and the memories will linger longer.
There will be cherished moments for the whole family to enjoy and the best of all, you won't have to bring your own equipment. Everything is provided for you, from dive lessons to rented equipment. You won't even need a PADI diving certificate to explore the underwater beauty.
If you so wish, you can even pass your diver's license in Thailand. And rest assured, you'll be in perfectly safe hands.
Thailand is ideal for snorkelling too. The clear crystalline waters permit you to observe at close quarters, stunning underwater scenery, marine plants and thousands of species of colourful tropical fish. Snorkelling locations, facilities and all the proper equipment can be arranged for you on many of the islands.
Most of the best snorkelling destinations are around Phuket, Phi Phi and the Similan islands as there are so many sites here offering shallow coral reefs which have perfect conditions for snorkelling. Exploring the coral reefs all around Kai Nok and Koh Racha Yai near Phuket can easily be achieved on a day trip.
The Phi Phi islands provide excellent snorkelling locations. You can snorkel around the coral plateau on Bamboo Island just northeast of Phi Phi Don Island or the one at Koh Lanta situated in the southern most district of Krabi Province.
The nine islands that make up the Similan National Park is probably the most exciting and spectacular of all the snorkelling sites around Thailand's Islands. Located 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the island of Phuket in the Andaman Sea, these islands offer you clear shallow waters right in front of the beaches.
Although I have yet to go to the archipelago of 51 islands that make up the Tarutao National Marine Park in the southern province of Satun, also in the Andaman Sea, I do believe there are some great snorkelling opportunities there.
There are some excellent forested jungle trails and rippling streams throughout the whole of Thailand where you can experience the thrill of elephant trekking. From Phuket in the south to Chiang Rai in the north, elephants are plentiful.
Considered sacred in a land once used for extreme logging, but now outlawed, the owners of these magnificent regal creatures provide alternative employment as is evident in the form of entertainment. Unlike the harsh circumstances that prevail in commercial carnivals, most Thai elephants have more freedom.
Throughout Bangkok, you can spot the odd elephant roaming around the city, albeit with its owner guiding it through traffic congested areas. However, this is mostly at night.
One of the best regions to view vast troops of elephants in their natural habitat would be around Chiang Mai in the north. Elephant camps here not only provide an ideal setting for animals but also a secure and protective environment. Another option is to combine elephant trekking with a bit of river rafting on the Mekong river in the northeast outbacks of Nakhon Phanom.
This photo is courtesy of www.pictures-thailand.com
There are lots of places in Thailand where you can learn more about horses and take part in horseback riding. Bangkok Saddle Club in downtown Bangkok is a fairly new club where you will find a horse riding arena, grooming yards and a library and classroom where you can learn more about these beautiful animals.
Horse Shoe Point and Country near Pattaya is a one of a kind lifestyle centre where the whole family can come and relax while enjoying a variety of activities in a natural tropical garden setting. This fully equipped facility, established in 1999, caters for all leisure and sports activities for both children and adults.
Phuket Laguna Riding Club is a wonderful outdoor adventure training centre and horse riding club located adjacent to the Dusit Thani Laguna Resort Hotel where you can enjoy a ride through rice fields, coconut plantations or along the beach. Another one is Phuket Riding Club near Rawai Beach. Both clubs have training facilities and well-tempered horses suitable for the young.
Horseback riding in a romantic setting on the beaches of Hua Hin is another way to enjoy some wonderful leisure in Thailand. Dusit Polo Resort at Cha Am provides lessons for anyone wanting to learn more about horses.
Whatever the budget, Thailand has got to be one of the best shopping meccas in the whole of Asia. You'll certainly be able to literally shop until you drop at the vast array of irresistible glitzy shopping malls, huge department stores, boutiques, bustling street stalls, markets and night bazaars to name but a few.
the cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai to the resort towns of Pattaya and
Phuket, you'll find just about everything that your heart could
possibly desire. Favourite buys include
and cotton, artworks and artifacts, silver and gold, pearls and
diamonds, umbrellas and masks, antiques and ceramics, cameras and
computers, cosmetics and curios, handicrafts and a lot more.
Leisure in Thailand extends to relaxing in a Thai Health Spa which in itself can be a very welcome and rewarding experience. Being on the receiving end of a wonderful Thai massage is satisfaction in the true spirit of the art of sensual freedom.
There are many configurations of massage therapy from your basic Thai foot massage to the more traditional ones. What the heck, you can even try one of the erotic massages available everywhere. Luxury hotels and resorts provide spa services as do numerous other establishments around the country.
There are a number of highly established Thai cooking schools around the country where you can not only learn new culinary skills but also get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. By blending various herbs and spices that provide the exquisite flavours, making Thai food so unique, you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. With your new found expertise, you may even want to try one or two Thai recipes to impress your friends once you finally return home.
For an alternative form of relaxation, you are welcome to spend time at an expat Bridge Club in Pattaya where friends meet every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:00 pm for a game of bridge and to catch up on all the local gossip. The bridge club is located in the heart of Thailand's ultimate tourist beach city.
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