Thailand

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When it comes down to planning your day-to-day list of things to do, ShermansTravel experts have you covered. To make sure you get the most out of your vacation, we recommend the can't-miss museums and attractions, as well as the off-the-path activities and unique local experiences that will make your trip truly memorable.

Things to do in Thailand

Anantara Golden Triangle

Celebrated five-star resort in the heart of the Golden Triangle, where Burma, Thailand, and Laos meet. Hillside tropical gardens give way to views overlooking the Mekong River, which globetrotters take in from their large verandas or their couple-sized tubs in luxuriously appointed rooms. The North, Golden Triangle, 229 Moo 1, Chiang Saen; 011-66-53-784-084; www.goldentriangle.anantara.com

Four Seasons Tented Camp

Absolute luxury reigns in these 15 freestanding tents overlooking a tranquil river and Burmese jungles. The high prices are worth it thanks to the antiques-filled interiors (think copper-clad bathtub), mahout training at the resort’s own elephant camp, and open-air spa treatments. The North, Chiang Rai; 011-66-53-910-200; www.fourseasons.com/goldentriangle

Grand Palace

Bangkok’s one can’t-miss landmark is home to the sacred Emerald Buddha (but not the Royal Family) within one of the Kingdom’s most stunning temples, a blend of European and Thai architecture. Rattanakosin, Na Phra Lan Rd., Bangkok; 011-66-2-623-5500 ext.1124; www.palaces.thai.net

Kanchanaburi

While the bridge over the River Kwai is disappointing, the Death Railway is a thrilling ride amid stunning scenery. For two hours, hold your breath while the train squeezes through solid rock cuttings and clings precariously to sheer cliff faces. Afterwards, relax at one of the floating restaurants in town. Central Plains, 81 miles northwest of Bangkok; 011-66-34-511-200; www.tourismthailand.org

Kayaking

Paddle amid giant limestone outcroppings for a couple hours or on a multi-day excursion in Phang Nga Bay, where eerie mangrove swamps and secret tidal lagoons are hidden inside karsts that seem straight out of a James Bond movie; book in advance. Seacanoe, Phang Nga Bay; 367/4 Yaowarat Rd., Patong; 011-66-76-212-172; www.seacanoe.net

Khao Yai

Unspoiled jungle mountains, animal spotting, rafting, and swimming in waterfalls make this Thailand's favorite national park. Luxury resorts welcome discerning eco-tourists just outside the park. The Northeast; www.dnp.go.th

Manohra Cruises

Cruise Bangkok’s Chao Phraya in a beautifully restored rice barge; daily dinner and cocktail cruises take guests along Bangkok’s major sights, but the real treat is the two-night cruise to Ayuthaya and back, with lodgings in one of four air-conditioned, teak- and mahogany-furnished staterooms. Bangkok Marriott Resort, Charoennakorn Rd., Bangkok; 011-66-2-477-0770; www.manohracruises.com

Phuket

Thailand's largest island offers jungle-clad hills, striking beaches, fantastic diving, and a merry stew of cultures. Add in endless shopping and a vibrant nightlife and you have the perfect holiday destination. Start at Patong Beach, notoriously busy but packed with tour operators that can start you out on the right foot. Patong Beach; www.phuket-tourism.com

Spa treatments

Nothing beats a spa treatment or a traditional Thai massage at the end of a busy day. Whether deluxe packages at a hotel or a quick rubdown at a traditional hole-in-the-wall, expect gifted therapists and prices much lower than anything back home. Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok; 011-66-2-236-7777; www.shangri-la.com/en/corporate/chi

Street food

Sampling local delicacies from Bangkok’s myriad street vendors is an unforgettable experience, and you don’t necessarily need to try bugs (though you should – the crunchy crawlers are really delicious), all-night stalls offer noodles, satay, dumplings, sticky rice, and other “safe” bets. Silom and Banglamphu districts, Bangkok

Sukhothai Historical Park

Visit the cradle of Siam at this spectacular, UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site dating to the 13th century. Walk among the remains of the ancient Royal Palace, breathtaking Buddha statues, and tranquil temples. New Sukhothai is a pleasant city, perfect for an overnighter. The North, 9 miles from Sukhothai Town; www.tourismthailand.org

Thai wine

A handful of local wineries have been churning out “New Latitude Wines” since the late ’80s. Light- to medium-bodied, they balance out the richness of spicy Thai dishes. Of the six major wineries, PB Valley (about 80 miles northeast of Bangkok) is the most visitor-friendly, offering day tours with tastings, a restaurant, and rustic cottages if you want to spend the night. PB Valley Vineyard, 102 Moo 5 Phaya Yen, Pak Chong; 011-66-36-226-415; www.khaoyaiwinery.com

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