Today, dearest fellow travelers, a quick look at some things to do and sights to see in Thailand. My many friends who have been there before: what am I missing? Other than the metric ton of street food I plan to eat, of course.
Volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park
Elephant rides are popular throughout Southeast Asia, but the elephants usually work in terrible conditions and it’s generally more ethical not to contribute to their ill treatment by paying for rides. Instead, you can pay about $400 for a week of volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park, in the northern part of Thailand, and contribute to the healing of elephants who used to give tourist rides or do backbreaking work in logging operations. Volunteers muck in as needed, helping feed, bathe, and clean up after the elephants. It sounds like an amazing experience.
Relax on the beaches of the western coast
Phuket is probably the most famous resort town in Thailand, partly for the name that Westerners love to mispronounce (it’s really pronounced Poo-KET) and partly for the gorgeous beaches. But also there are monuments to the two sisters who defended the town from invaders through trickery, which sounds pretty excellent.
Visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok
It’s a giant palace compound, made up of multiple residences, temples, gardens, and courtyards. The royal family has lived elsewhere since 1925, and now it’s open to the public, so you can wander around for entire days, taking in the exquisite architecture and imaging yourself dancing along to the soundtrack of The King and I.