[ Read Part I Here ]
The 99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand List from Thai Airways’ Sawasdee Magazine continues.
21. Italian Cuisine :: Thais have a love affair with Italian food. Perhaps it’s the garlic and the chilli. Perhaps it’s the noodles. Perhaps it’s the similar culture of sharing food and eating with your hands. Who knows! But we love it. And there are plenty of good Italian joints all over town.
22. Cruising Southern Thailand :: Thai Airways offer a 4-day cruise in a traditional junk and sail through the seas of Phuket.
23. Koh Samet :: Island paradise 4 hours from Bangkok by bus and ferry.
24. Hill Tribe Jewelry :: Silver, beads, and polished stones creation for everyday people to fashionistas.
25. Coffee Culture :: We’re not just talking Starbucks, but the Chinese coffee brewing stall on the side of the road. But while we’re talking coffee, it’s Starbucks everywhere in Bangkok. I counted 4 within 1 km radius around my house in Soi Langsuan. And it’s packed all the time with Thais and foreigners alike. Yes. We love our coffee.
26. Village Fair :: local “temple fairs” (ngan wat) and carnivals are fun. Not just games and rides, but traditional reats like folk theater (likay), classical country music (look toong) concert.
27. Songkhla :: The southern province with amazing cultural and architectural blends of Malay, Portugese, Chinese and Thai. The Sino-Portugese style houses in the Old Quarter. The best collection of folk arts in the country at Songkhla National Museum.
28. Old Culture and Modern Life :: Catch the monks walking down the street for alms at the crack of dawn through the modern city.
29. Phuket Vegetarian Festival :: The Chinese Taoist extravaganza held in October features the test of their faith that is self-mutilation i.e. a guy threads copper piping through his cheecks. Beyond the thrill and gore, there’s the wonderful vegetarian dishes in disguise. No, that wasn’t chicken you just ate but the miracle that is flavored and textured soy protiens! I recommend the vegetarian lo-mein.
30. Khon Theater :: You can catch the Thai high art, extravagantly masked and costumed, Khon performance, recounting the tales of the Thai version of Ramayana, the Ramakien, at the National and Chelermkrung theaters.
31. Miss Jumbo Pageant (aka Miss Elephant Beauty Contest) :: Big is beautiful indeed where the prime qualification of contestant is for her to weigh in as close to 100 kg (over 200 lbs) as possible. No, it’s not Thai people being mean to plus sized beauties but this is an event to raise money for elephant orphanage and rescue mission.
32. Thai Haute Couture :: Thai designer labels with a touch of culture and fashion sense of London, Paris, and New York. And priced to match!
33. Koh Chang of the East :: The granite island yields endless beaches, waterfalls, and best-preserved rain forest. Accommodates all from 5-star hotel to rental tents. Don’t confuse this one to the east of Bangkok with the one near Ranong.
34. Edible Bugs :: Stevesuphan mentioned it a few blogs ago. Fried grasshoppers, silk worms, and other creepy crawlies sold on the streets for snacks.
35. Songkran Festival :: See Richard’s extensive blog on the week-long, country-wide festival of water fights!
36. Prawn-zilla :: River prawns of the unusual size? They do exist and are served up in riverside restaurants in Ayutthaya.
37. Nan :: Nan is a quiet small province off the beaten tourist track in northern Thailand. Rich in history of the Lanna Kingdom, dated back to 14th-15th century, and cottage industry of cotton weaving.
38. Phu Chee Fa Summit :: Sunrise at Phu Chee Fa summit in Chiang Rai is unforgettable.
39. OTOP Products :: One Tambon, One Product program of regional arts and crafts provide you with endless options of local products to purchase.
40. Mango and Sticky Rice :: Succulent Nam Dok Mai mango and sweet and fragrant sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and sugar. Drooooool.
Don’t you go away now. We still have 59 more entries to go!