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From hot-air ballooning to kite surfing, nearly every imaginable activity can be arranged during your holiday in Thailand.  Select from the following activities to learn more about Thailand’s diverse activities or browse the highlighted activities and select those you wish to add to your travel planner by clicking the link with the green circle.

Highlight Activities in Thailand
Learning Activities
Learning Activities

Because of its reasonable prices, outstanding weather, and warm hospitality, Thailand is a top destination for those looking to learn something on their holiday. Thai cooking, Thai massage, and Muay Thai boxing are popular cultural subjects of study that can be undertaken in a day or over an entire holiday. Flight schools, golf lessons, rock climbing instruction, and scuba certification are other popular holiday activities that benefit from Thailand’s rich natural resources, high standards of professionalism, and inexpensive pricing.

Self Drive
Self Drive

Hiring a car and exploring Thailand on your own is an outstanding way to see the real Thailand, as hiring a Thai car is a cheap way of seeing rural areas and meeting everyday Thai people. Whether you hire a car to explore around Phuket or to see the countryside around Chiang Mai, renting a car is generally an easy and fairly inexpensive proposition. One way rentals between destinations (e.g. Bangkok-Chiang Mai) are also a possibility, though you should expect to pay a drop-off fee.

Avis, Hertz and other international car hire agencies are well represented in Thailand, although many rental companies will not rent a Thai car or provide insurance to drivers who do not have an international driving license. While it is technically legal to drive in Thailand with a valid foreign driver’s license, having an international license will make renting and driving a Thai car potentially less problematic.

Furthermore, Thailand has an excellent network of well maintained roads and highways between all the provincial capitals and major towns and cities in between.

Most roads and highways are in good condition, and have two or three lanes on each side, including a majority of the north-south route (from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to the southern beaches). Road signage follows international convention and is in both Thai and English, though some are only in Thai (like 'Stop' and 'Give Way'). Buy a decent road map before you set off, though it’s well to remember that Thai words aren't always romanized consistently (e.g. Petburi road on the map and Phetchaburi road on the street sign are one and the same).

Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism

In recent years, 1.4 million international patients have received medical treatment in Thailand, and the number is increasing annually.

No matter where you go in Thailand, medical tourism offers a wide array of procedures. The country has earned a reputation for dependable and affordable treatments and services, including massage centers, spas and wellness clinics and retreats, as well as surgical procedures such as laser, cosmetic, and cardiovascular. Thailand’s high standards and healthcare expertise make it a world leader in medical tourism, while the options for a post-medical treatment holiday are the best in the world.

If you ask those patients who have received healthcare in Thailand, they will give you the same reasons why, summarized in these “Six Reasons to Make Thailand Your Medical Tourism Destination”.

1. Thailand features internationally accredited medical facilities

Hospitals and other medical facilities in Thailand pride themselves on their high standards, and many have subjected their premises and systems to the most rigorous inspections by applying for accreditation and certification, whereby a qualified standards organization - distinct from the healthcare organization under review - assesses the hospital or facility to determine if it meets a set of standards and requirements designed to improve the quality of patient care.

Thailand was the first country in Asia to achieve JCI accreditation in 2002, and 15 hospitals are now accredited.

2. Thailand’s medical professionals are highly qualified

The physicians, surgeons and nurses have been trained to the highest levels, while many specialists have been conducting research and gaining experience at the world’s best medical institutes with some even leading the field in which they specialise.

Many Thai doctors and surgeons practicing today have won awards for their work, and more than 500 doctors practicing in Thai hospitals are American Board Certified. These medical professionals are skilled at providing the highest quality medical treatment.

3. Cost saving

The cost of medical treatments in Thailand is significantly lower compared to identical treatments in the West and other developed parts of the world.

Some comparisons include: the US $130,000 cost of a heart bypass in the United States, which can be performed by skilled and qualified doctors at a Thai hospital for only US $11,000.

Even most cosmetic treatments are around 50% less expensive in Thailand than in the US, where breast enlargements costs around $3,500-4,000 as opposed to $2,600-$3,200 in Thailand.

4. No waiting lists

Thai hospitals have numerous operating theaters and enough qualified surgeons that there is little, if any, waiting for scheduling even the most complex and invasive procedures.

5. Thailand’s medical technology is state-of-the-art

All of Thailand’s leading hospitals feature state-of-the-art technology that helps them provide the highest degree of medical treatment and service, such as,Siemens Biograph 64 PET/CT, Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), and Blood Marrow Stem Cell Transplant.

6. Thailand offers excellent service

Thais are proud that their national character has won them a well-deserved reputation for their compassion and warm hospitality, and that’s why the country is nicknamed “The Land of Smiles”. Patients become so at ease that they feel almost like a guest on holiday from the moment they arrive at the hospital.

In all aspects of medical tourism, Thailand’s professionalism and accumulated experience guarantee you are in good hands.

Cultural Exploration
Cultural Exploration

Thai culture features a number of performing arts including Thai dance, drama, and sport, all of which have a number of intriguing variations. Variety shows that feature a number of different theatrical arts are common in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya. There are also venues that feature Thai culture shows that specialize in particular arts.

Perhaps the most popular among visitors is classical Thai dance, which is typically accompanied by live classical Thai music. Thai dance performances in Chiang Mai, which are typically arranged in conjunction with a dinner of traditional Thai food, also feature dances from various hill tribes living in Thailand. Thai theatre includes performances by masked dancers as well as puppet shows, either performed by similarly masked dancers, or from behind a curtain using the shadows of the puppets to recount tales from Hindu and Buddhist lore.

Other Thai culture performances include wedding ceremonies, theatrical performances of ancient Muay Thai boxing matches, and of course exhibitions of Elephants, either showing off their working skills or even playing musical instruments.

Meditation
Meditation

As a Buddhist nation, Thailand is full of spectacular temples, the purpose of which is for Thais to devout themselves to the principals passed down by the Buddha, nee Siddhartha Gautama. As Thailand is such a welcoming country and Buddhism is a non-restrictive religion, it is easy for visitors to study Buddhism and learn meditation at a number of temples and meditation retreats around the country.

While those simply curious about Buddhism can attend “monk chats” at Wat Chedi Luang or Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai, these and other temples allow visitors to check themselves in for a week or longer of intensive meditation study.

While certainly intriguing, these meditation retreats are not for those unprepared for serious self reflection: the purpose of meditation is to clear the mind and achieve clarity and inner peace; consequently, most meditation programs do not allow students to talk during their stay, with the exception of meditative chanting and discussions with senior monks to help their meditation techniques. Furthermore, by its very nature, meditation can be somewhat mundane, and so visitors are expected to follow the routines and procedures quite thoroughly if they wish to genuinely learn to meditate properly and achieve the most from their experience.

For those unable to commit to a remote meditation retreat from which they cannot easily leave, Wat Mahatat, near Bangkok’s Grand Palace, allows visitors to study meditation no less strictly, but with more flexible time requirements.