Bangkok is a popular port although most ships dock at Laem Chabang, about two hours south. Once you’re transported to Bangkok you’ll be amazed by its mix of glittering skyscrapers and ancient temples (more than 400 of them). The must-see in Bangkok is the Grand Palace, built as the official royal residence and still used for ceremonies and state functions. The palace complex includes the most sacred temple in Thailand, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (actually made of beautiful green jade) and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, home to a famous statue of a Buddha ready to enter Nirvana.
Another popular excursion is the Damnoen Saduak floating market outside the city. A maze of canals is lined with long-tail boats piled high with a dazzling array of fruits and vegetables. It’s mainly a produce market but there are some souvenir sellers and some of the boats offer freshly cooked boat noodle soup.
Some cruises that visit Bangkok also call at Koh Samui, one of Thailand’s lovely islands. The white sand beaches are the main attraction but you can also go hiking, waterfall viewing or elephant trekking, or take an excursion to see temples along the north coast.
Another popular cruise ship port is the island of Phuket. There’s a lot to see, starting with Pha Nga Bay, where dramatic karst islands and cliffs rise straight up from the water. You’ll see why the bay has been featured in more than one Hollywood movie.
The beaches on the western shore of the island are beautiful and you can swim, snorkel and dive in the warm, clear water. From the beaches and many other spots on the island you’ll catch glimpses of the giant Big Buddha statue high on a hill. Drive or hike up to this impressive Buddha covered in white jade marble and you’ll see the smaller brass Buddha beside it while enjoying panoramic views down to the water.
For your Thai experience, you can select from several ocean cruise lines that visit Thailand or consider a river cruise as another way to discover this beautiful country. To find out more, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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