A Paradise Land of Smiles
By Gabriela Fernandez
Thailand is a land for adventure and discovery! Located in the heart of Asia, this nation of 66 million people offers a stunning combination of tropical coastlines, lush rainforests, ancient cities, centuries of culture and exquisite cuisine. Thailand is also one of the largest job markets in the world for teaching English abroad, providing a perfect vehicle for those who want to immerse themselves in this magnificent country.
If you teach English in Thailand, you will probably arrive in the capital of Bangkok, one of the most colorful and scintillating cities in Asia, but the country is home to so many beautiful destinations, so much great culture, food and fun to experience! Ride elephants, admire the tigers, swim with sharks and delight yourself with the diversity of aromas, flavors and colors of Thailand!
Capital, and economic and political center of Thailand, Bangkok is a fascinating city of contrasts, particularly between ancient and modern. Here, ancient temples and grand palaces stand stride soaring skyscrapers, and commerce is conducted in traditional floating markets as well as sleek modern shopping centers.
A great way to discover Bangkok from a street-level perpsective is to take a ‘tuk tuk’ (a motorized rickshaw) and get the adventure started! Explore the Buddhist temples and the Grand Palace, take a water taxi with the locals on the Chao Phraya river, explore traditional street markets and enjoy the sunset at the top of the Wat Arum!
2. Chiang Mai
Home to more than 300 temples, Chiang Mai is the spiritual capital of Thailand. Located in the north of Thailand, this slow-paced city is far more calm and relaxed than frenetic Bangkok. Enjoy the mountains and head to the most famous temple in the area, Wat Doi Suthep. In the surrounding hills, discover the culture and traditions of local tribal villages, and learn some classic Thai dishes while taking some cooking classes!
If you are looking for paradise, you may just find it in Krabi where warm, turquoise waters and white sandy beaches are complemented by hot springs, a wildlife sanctuaries, limestone cliffs,and dramatic caves !
4. Hua Hin
This is one of the favorite destinations for Thai Royalty. It’s an elegant resort town and family-friendly with attractive beaches and great services. Enjoy the golf courses, mountains, caves and abundant wildlife before kicking back with a cold drink and some authentic Thai cuisine.
Maybe one of the most popular destinations in Thailand, Pattaya is famous for its beaches, bars, restaurants, clubs, nightlife and parties! Divers will delight in exploring local offshore reefs and wrecks and other activities include golfing, riding horses, bungee jumping, or enjoying watersports. Some other local attractions include the local floating market, "Elephant Village" and Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens. You can also get your TEFL Certification in Pattaya.
6. Koh Samui
It’s the third largest island in Thailand and is just gorgeous! Koh Samui has everything to relax and calm your mind; a beautiful coast, the “Ang Thong National Marine Parks,” lagoons, white sand beaches, palms all around, coconuts juices, cocktails and more. On special occasions like New Year's and the Spring Songran Festival, be sure to check out a local water buffalo fighting contest (much tamer than Spanish bull-fighting). Also, be sure to sample southern Thailand's legendary spicy cuisine, which claims its roots in the culinary traditions of Indian, Malay and Indonesian traders and fishermen who have settled the region over the centuries.
7. Koh Tao
Koh Tao is one of Thailand’s primary diving meccas. But you can also just enjoy the serenity and the calm of its beaches, fall asleep listening to the sea clashing with the rocks under your bungalow and let you thoughts be calm.
8. Koh Pagnang
If you are in mood to party, this is the place. Legendary for its “Full Moon Parties” and “half-moon parties” Koh Pagnang is one of the busiest small islands for all of those that are looking to dance, drink, meet people and welcome the sunrise!
One of the busiest islands in Thailand, Phuket is a great destination for nightlife and entertainment, restaurants, bars, clubs, karaoke, tattoo shops. All around the city different night shows, circuses and performances are offered. Phuket is a really quiet place during day time, but after the sunset, it awakes!
But apart from its nightlife bonafides, Phuket also offers centuries of history as a trading center for Asia and Europeans traders going back centuries and some of its old charm can still be found in the local markets of Phuket Town.
Ayutthaya is one of the most impressive places in Thailand and brings to life fables. Like the younger sister of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Ayutthaya is a mix of mysticism, ancient temples and extreme valuable ruins. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a place to get inspired by the reclining Buddha or the Buddha head overgrown in the tree roots…here just let your imagination go …
11. Phi Phi
Not only is Phi Phi one ofthe most legendary sights in Thailand, but it may also be one of the most romantic places on earth. Phi Phi is absolute paradise on earth offering a stunning combination of white beaches, turquoise waters, slate cliffs, friendly locals (and friendly foreigners!), great food, and nightlife. Koh Phi Phi Dong is an ideal place for scuba diving, snorkeling and also to swim with sharks! This magical place will be in your mind forever after you have had the pleasure to indulge yourself just with being there!
Enticed yet? If not, you may want to check your pulse.
If you are excited about teaching English in Thailand and living in the "Land of Smiles", contact us about TEFL certification options and get your sunscreen ready for a great adventure!
Related Articles on Thailand:
- Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand Q&A with Sarah Ballhaussen
- Thailand Q&A with Stephan Stansfield
- Thailand Q& A with Mitch Amarando
- Pattaya Thailand TEFL Course
- Oh, The People You Will Meet
- Teaching English Abroad: The Greatest Experience
- You Are My Destiny, ESL Teacher of the World
About the Author -A Chilean and a former resident of Seoul, Korea, Gabriela Fernandez is a passionate traveler, journalist, writer and political scientist with extensive international experience working as a broadcaster, writer and actress for television channels, radio stations and magazines across the globe. With a Master's Degree in International Development & Cooperation, she has explored cultures and cuisines the world over while traveling to 6 continents, more than 20 countries and hundreds of cities worldwide.