Jon Sweet's Travel Guide to Discovering Thailand

Photographer Jonathan Taylor Sweet (@jonathantaylorsweet) explores Thailand and discovers the mesmerizing beauty of its people and geography.

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Traveling to new countries is often when we learn the most. Being out of our comfort zone, in a new culture, can be eye-opening. It certainly was for Jonathan Taylor Sweet during his two week stay in the amazing country of Thailand. Jon was mesmerized by the country’s history, people, landscapes, and, of course, the food was unbelievably good. And Thailand's vibrant culture only mirrors the beauty of its landscape. Jon soaked in every ounce of it, but here were his top 5 experiences:

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1. Walking Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a Buddhist temple in the city of Ayutthaya that reflects the long-standing Buddhist world view of Thailand. Built 1630 by king Prasat Thong as a memorial to his mother, the temple's attention to detail will leave you in awe. 

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2. A Long Tail Boatride

The beautiful long tail boats that fill the waterways of Thailand are definitely worth a stop. Jonathan took a ride across Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park. From there, he drove to Khao Lak, which is a series of villages outside the park, on the western side of Thailand, near the Andaman Sea. The name “Khao Lak” literally means “Lak mountain,” and riding by the rock formations reaching out of the water will make you feel like you've entered another world.

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3. Take A Drive

Driving in Thailand is interesting. You can be driving on a four lane road that will suddenly turn into a nine lane one, yet, within the chaos of cars, bikes, and animals, there is a system that the locals are accustomed to, and it becomes a beautiful dance. If you're lucky enough to drive out of the city, you'll be met with beautiful countryside, quiet roads, and maybe even an animal friend too. 

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4. Kick Back On the Beach

There's a gorgeous, small beach town on the coast of the Andaman Sea in Khao Lak. The beaches in Thailand are a truly unique experience. The beautiful coastlines are met with tropical forests, allowing you to quickly go from catching some rays on the beach to hiking to a refreshing waterfall.

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5. Shop The Markets

You'll find a couple of options for markets. Some are floating markets on the water, while others are huge street markets that would take more than a days worth of walking to get through. Either way, you'll be sure to find unique foods and handmade goods. 

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