25 Unexpected Things You Can Only See in Thailand
Thailand is a true gem that shows more and more unexpected sides as you discover it. Actually, the name of a head city, Bangkok, is just a shortened version of the full name that contains 21 words and is the longest city name in the world! Thailand attractions have a unique vibe that makes even ordinary things seem special, from restaurants filled with condoms and poo souvenirs to houses deep in the trees to adorable corgis in a cafe. Thai people worship lifelike dolls, print their selfies on totally unexpected things, and even David Beckham has found his place in a Buddhist temple.
Bright Side feels like this amazing country can’t be left unnoticed, that’s why we invite you to discover the most interesting places and surprising traditions of Thailand. Let’s go!
1. A Corgi café for all the dog lovers
If you happen to be fond of unusual places and are a dog lover, then Thailand knows how to entertain you. Start with this adorable Corgi café! Originally 2 of the owner’s dogs had 7 puppies, and their number just kept growing. The owner wanted to share this fun and joy with other people, so he decided to open this heavenly place. Adorable, friendly corgis and tasty meals are waiting for you!
2. If you want something unusual, you could try a coffee with your own selfie!
Drinking coffee is brought to a whole new fun level in Thailand! If ordinary milk foam seems too ordinary for you, then you can place an order to print your selfie of top of it. KC Selfie Coffee in Bangkok serves beverages like this for everyone — all you need to do is send them your photo in advance on Facebook and then just come pick it up. They also sell tea and other beverages with these prints.
3. You can create your own eco-souvenirs out of elephant poo.
Eco-tourism is blooming in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There is The Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park where tourists are offered a chance to collect elephant poo and participate in the whole process of paper making using the collected material. You can also make various souvenirs from it.
The whole process of learning the traditional handcrafting and collecting is really fun, and, of course, environmentally-friendly.
4. Prepare to get completely wet on the Thai Water Festival.
If you visit Thailand around April, you might have a chance to participate in a big and very important celebration — the Thai Water Festival, Songkran, that marks the beginning of the Thai New Year. Its most recognizable part is getting people wet using buckets and water guns. It is believed that by being soaked in water you get “purified,” so no one will leave the event dry!
5. Lifelike dolls are thought to bring good luck.
Thailand is a country of rituals and amulets, so there is no surprise that even dolls can become a source of a good fortune. Luk thep (which translates to “child angel”) dolls, are handled very carefully in Thailand.
It is believed that if you are nice to them, they will bring you great luck. That’s why people change the clothes of their dolls, keep them in their office, hire babysitters for them, and even buy them special meals at restaurants!
6. Samut Prakan — an ancient city with breathtaking buildings
This ancient city is 320 acres of beautiful gardens, water, and ancient architecture. The city itself is a mini-replica of the country that represents its most important buildings and structures. There are over 116 monuments that are placed in a certain geographic position with the same design — the main idea is to preserve the authentic and rich Thai culture for the upcoming generations.
One of the most impressive of these buildings is the Sumeru Mountain Palace, which is guarded by a giant Anand fish.
7. There are treehouses where you can feel like an exotic bird.
For those who want to be in unity with nature and to disengage from worldly vanity, there is a place where you can relax in a treehouse hidden in a forest in Keemala. You can start your day with morning yoga, spa treatments, and enjoy food with herbs and veggies, picked by chefs from the local plants. And you can do it all in a tree house. Some treehouses are equipped with amazing deep outdoor baths where you can enjoy the view of the forest and the nearby sea.
8. There’s a food market in the middle of the railroad tracks for those who prefer dangerous shopping.
Although the Maeklong Railway Market is just a market where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, there’s something that makes it a little more special — it’s situated right along the train line. Several times a day a train comes and runs directly through the market. In this situation, they just move their goods, wait till the train passes by and then keep working as usual.
Buyers can walk along the rail lines, but have to be extremely careful.
9. Cabbages and Condoms — a restaurant with an unusual name and even more unusual decorations
Cabbages and Condoms is a restaurant in Bangkok that has a rather defiant name, but its main idea is to direct people’s attention to social issues. Their motto is “Our food won’t make you pregnant,” which is a rather unusual one. The restaurant wants to promote a better understanding of family and pushes the idea that people shouldn’t be afraid of buying condoms. They’re a casual item, just like cabbages!
Don’t forget to bring your camera there — different dolls in the restaurant are decorated with... you guessed it, condoms.
10. There is a prison-themed hotel for those who want a convict experience.
For those who’ve always wondered how prisoners’ feel, there is a prison-themed hotel experience at SooK Station in Bangkok! You get an inmate number to use as a key, a robe, and can share a room behind bars with other guests, like in a real prison. You will also share a bathroom with them. If this is not thrilling enough for you, you can go into “solitary confinement.”
11. “Happy Cheese Toast” — a chewy-gooey rainbow in your hands
This nice crunchy toast is a favorite snack of many people. People in Thailand love to add a crazy twist to the most ordinary things — the Happy Cheese Toast cafe offers you the chance to eat a rainbow! They mix gooey cheeses, like mozzarella and swiss, and add some food coloring. As a result, you get loads of fun for your stomach and nice photos for your Instagram.
This is a pop-up cafe, so you have to check their Facebook to see where they are going to be next.
12. A huge festival filled with food organized just for the local monkeys!
Another must visit place is Lopburi, or “Monkey City.” It’s a place where The Monkey Buffet Festival takes place. During the festival lots of food is set up on a collection of large tables — there are various nuts, pineapples, bananas, watermelons, and lots more. And all of this is prepared just for the local monkeys!
Even though monkeys are worshipped in Thai folklore, the event itself was created just to attract more tourists.
13. This beautiful Buddhist temple is made from glass bottles.
The greatest example of how things can be recycled and reused is The Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple, that is also called the Temple of a Million Bottles. This amazing building is made out of 1.5 million empty Heineken bottles and Chang beer bottles!
Buddhist monks got tired of removing bottles from the water, so they decided to ask the local people to bring these bottles directly to them instead of throwing them away. This brilliant idea once again raises the awareness of how serious pollution has become.
14. The Amulet Market is filled with charms and talismans for good luck.
Another interesting market to visit in Bangkok is The Amulet Market. People come here in search of pendants, talismans, and charms to protect themselves and bring good fortune. There are no witches or shamans there, people are supposed to find the pieces that speak to their hearts.
Prices can also vary — from really cheap ones to very expensive. No matter whether you believe in pendants or not, visiting this place will be an interesting experience.
15. Thailand’s fine dining insect restaurant might change your view on gourmet food.
It feels like people in Thailand can’t just sit and eat in peace — they always have to do something a little bit extra. This time they mixed European-style aesthetics and the eating of insects. Each meal is exclusive and professionally done. And there is one thing that we can say for sure: not everyone would dare to try it.
16. Soccer fans should visit the David Beckham temple.
Tourists know this Buddhist temple as David Beckham temple, though, its official name is Wat Pariwat. The explanation of how the famous soccer player is connected to spiritual practices is pretty interesting. The head monk of the temple is a big Manchester United supporter, so he decided to place a little figure of David inside the temple.
Beckham doesn’t play for Manchester United anymore, but his figure still stays there as a great tourist attraction.
17. Thai’s Floating Lantern Festival is a real-life fairy tale.
The Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Thailand is a big celebration filled with unforgettable positive emotions. During the festival people write their wishes and prayers on rice paper lanterns and let them float in the sky. It is believed that the wish will come true only if you do good deeds over the next year.
18. You can feed fish that swim in the debris of an abandoned mall.
In 1999 The New World Mall in Bangkok caught fire and was abandoned. Then it got filled up by rainwater and started causing a mosquito problem. To solve this issue, local authorities decided to stock the waters with tilapia fish so they can eat these nasty insects.
Soon enough, the fishes filled the space and the mall became a new tourist attraction. Now you can enjoy the post-apocalyptic view and even buy some food to feed the fish.
19. Stay inside a piece of fruit in Thailand.
It seems like Thai people are really into unusual hotels. This time they went for the food — pineapple, dragon fruit, durian, mushrooms, and even bamboo — tasty looking, but totally inedible. The owners grow durian and other interesting fruit nearby and attract nature lovers from all around the world.
You can also enjoy the view of a beautiful waterfall and mountains from there.
20. Carry as much food as you want and still have a free hand.
Ba Ba Liu is a restaurant in Thailand where the owners have created something that is simply genius. People become busier with each passing year and sometimes need to combine walking and eating. So, these innovative restauranteurs decided to make this process as comfortable as possible.
This restaurant serves beverages and food together — just combine a special plate with food and a plastic cup and straw together! The plates have a hole in the middle so you can put the straw through it and enjoy your food on the go.
21. Make yourself feel like Eleven from Stranger Things at the Bangkok Float Center.
For those who haven’t watched the Stranger Things series — there are a lot of things going on in the show, but it’s mostly about a girl with supernatural powers. She enhances them by floating in a sensory deprivation tank.
To experience this in real life you can try a sensory deprivation tank at the Bangkok Float Center. You just chill in a 10-inch high bath with salt water for an hour. All in complete darkness. This is supposed to relieve stress and boost your health.
22. Take your best guess about whether things are real or fake at The Museum of Counterfeit Goods.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell which products are real and which are fake. In this museum, visitors can find a replica of literally almost any brand: from exact copies to real jokes. Some of them have letters replaced and some of them have different variations of styles and colors that make them look ridiculous.
The main idea of the museum is to raise awareness of how harmful the counterfeit business is. Sadly, Thailand is well-known for producing counterfeit goods and most producers use child labor and toxic chemicals in the production of these goods.
23. Have an unforgettable shopping experience at the Floating Market in Thailand.
If you love shopping and trying local fruits and vegetables, then this place is for you. Visit another unusual market in Thailand — the floating market. You can find basically any tasty food you need there, but they’re all sold on small boats around a river.
The market starts in the early morning, and once you get there you can get a boat for yourself with a driver. Sellers who are trying to attract business and the many curious visitors create a buzz that adds its own charm to the market.
24. There are about 22 types of bananas that grow in Thailand. And some of them are really huge.
You can find 300 different types of bananas that grow around the world, and 22 of them grow in Thailand. Some of these types took many years of selective breeding to make them look like they do today. Also, there are sweet and savory types of bananas, that come in smaller and bigger sizes.
Thai people not only eat bananas, but they boil their flowers in coconut milk, wrap products in banana leaves, and make banana stalk fiber to make buckets, hats, and other goods.
25. Even the tiniest things in Thailand are wrapped in plastic.
No matter how long you stay in Thailand, there is one thing that you will notice right away — people there are literally obsessed with plastic bags. They come in all sizes and shapes. Any food you buy, big or small, has to be placed in a plastic bag — street food and even drinks are all served this way.
Have you ever visited Thailand? What place would you like to visit first? Let’s discuss everything in the comments!
Preview photo credit spunoz / imgur