Our friends on Season 14 of The Amazing Race have already been to a number of incredible places, including Romania and Siberia. During episodes 7 and 8 the remaining weary travelers headed towards Thailand for some more good-natured fun. Let’s find out what incredible sights they missed out on exploring.
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The first half of their trip to Thailand took place in Phuket – located on the western shores of Thailand and featuring a vibrant nightlife, spectacular beaches, and dozens of attractions. Of course, our travelers got to see very little of the area, spending most of their time at the Phuket Zoo.
In nearby Pattaya you’ll be delighted by the Elephant Kraal. This is an incredible site for those traveling with children and features a two hour show in which the elephants are able to display their unique skills. While it seems strange to see the elephants in the city you can be assured that the Elephant Kraal has an excellent reputation and is known for not mistreating the lively pachyderms.
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The focused travelers also missed the opportunity to check out Khao Rang, an incredible viewpoint where visitors can go to catch a glimpse of the entire town of Phuket. Khao Rang is a hill situated in the northwest section of town and can be a bit difficult to find if you don’t have a great map or guide. The view at the end is well worth the effort you’ll have to make to get there.
History buffs will really enjoy a trip to the National Museum, also located right in Phuket Town. Inside you’ll find dozens of monuments and artifacts depicting the history of the island. You’ll also learn about the heroines credited with saving the island from a Burmese invasion.
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After leaving Phuket the exhausted competitors headed towards Bangkok where they were met with additional challenges. While they were busy chasing down their bags and hailing taxi cabs, the average tourist was busy exploring one of the most culturally diverse cities in the area.
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The gang on the show may have spent some time in the waterway but we guarantee they didn’t have the chance to really explore them they way they deserve to be explored. At one point the waterways at Krung Thep used to be known as the Venice of the East but many of the paths were later paved. The ones that do remain are very clean and are filled with longtail boats, ferries, and even houses on stilts. If you really want to explore you should consider a Chao Phraya Tourist Boat day pass – you’ll hear commentary about historic sites as you travel from destination to destination.
Our fierce competitors also missed out on an opportunity to visit the Suan Pakkard Palace. On the palace grounds you’ll find a group of small teak houses on columns surrounded by lotus pools and beautifully manicured lawns. The Lacquer Pavilion features panels depicting the life of Buddha – though the age and origin of these artworks are still debatable.
The Flower Market in the Chinatown section of Bangkok is a sight worth seeing. The market is a street full of flower vendors and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The best time to visit is at night because you’ll get to see the market bustling with activity as delivery trucks restock the vendor stalls or carry away products purchased by local hotels and restaurants.
Thailand in General
Visitors should avoid Thailand between October and December unless, of course, they don’t mind muddling through monsoon season. If you do visit during that time, you can expect to pay prices that are around half of those charged during peak months. The months of January through July are considered peak and prices for attractions and hotels are much more expensive. Thankfully, our Amazing Race contestants don’t have to worry about finding their own lodging.
No matter where you visit in Thailand, make sure you wear plenty of insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes. While malaria is now considered to be very rare, it does still exist. The sun shines bright on Thailand, so make sure you’re wearing plenty of sunscreen and protective clothing during your stay as well.
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Hopefully you’ll have more time to visit Thailand than our friends competing in The Amazing Race. Take your time, explore the area, and submerse yourself in the area’s unique culture. You’ll never regret a trip to either Phuket or Bangkok!