The Most Colourful Places in Thailand to Visit. By Dawn Jorgensen

Knowing that Visa Free travel to Thailand has resumed, it’s time to curate some quintessentially Thai bucket lists to guide us to the best places, experiences and stays on our return visits.

A destination that speaks to every kind of traveller, Thailand is renowned for its delicate and ancient architecture, vibrant cities, sacred temples, warm waters, idyllic beaches, heart-warming elephant sanctuaries and endless natural attractions.

One of the many things to be loved about Thailand are the vibrant layers of colours found throughout; from the homes, markets, food and spirit houses. But which are the most colourful places to visit in Thailand?

  1. Wat Phra Keaw, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Be dazzled by the brightly painted temple guards, ornate mosaics, bronze and gold trimmings, and if emerald is your favourite colour – the magnificent and historically significant Emerald Buddha. An absolute city landmark, Bangkok’s spectacular Phra Keaw or Grand Palace was built in 1782 and for 150 years was the home to the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. It now serves as a museum and place of worship. The Grand Palace amazes visitors with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail and is a proud symbol of Thai craftsmanship. The spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom, it is important that visitors dress respectfully when visiting the Grand Palace or entry can be refused.

  1. Old Phuket Town, Phuket

In Old Phuket Town you will find an array of colourful shrines, temples, ornate and beautifully preserved candy-coloured shop houses, old-world cafés, tiny print shops, private and public museums. Built on riches garnered from Phuket’s tin boom, look out for the Sino-colonial mansions that were occupied by Phuket’s tin barons of 100 years’ ago. Phuket Old Town is easy to tour on foot and this is what we recommend. The best time to do this is early in the morning or after the day has lost its heat. Notice the blend of cultures that live here, from Thais, Chinese, Malays, Indians and Nepalese, a young and growing Eurasian community and a unique mix of Hokkien Chinese and Thais called Baba. Phuket Walking Street, a 350m long cosmopolitan stretch known for its many stores, restaurants, bars and guesthouses, really comes to life each Sunday Market between 4 and 10pm.

  1. Tha Rua Shrine, Thalang, Phuket

One of Phuket’s largest and most elaborate Chinese temples, the Tha Rua Shrine is colourfully adorned with brightly painted statues of dragons and deities. Decorated in bright gold, red and green, it’s an arresting sight with its oversized mythical creatures and Taoist divinities. In the center of the front terrace there’s a huge brass container, which was brought to Phuket from China. Inside the prayer halls are several statues of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Prominent Taoist deities adorn the alters and Chinese paintings, some describing Phuket’s history with English translations, can be appreciated. The 4th-oldest Taoist temple in Phuket, the Tha Rua Shrine is found close to the Heroines Monument on Thepkasattri Road in Thalang.

  1. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Bangkok

Floating markets are alive with different shades of colour as traditional boats laden with yellow, red, orange and green goods for sale are navigated by. Of the several floating markets in Thailand, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is one of the biggest and most popular. A vivid display providing a wonderful photo opportunity whilst giving insight in a bygone way of life. An early morning start is recommended to avoid the heat and catch the market at its liveliest. The floating boats are piled high with tropical fruit and vegetables, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked onboard. It is recommended that you enjoy a visit on a guided boat and have cash for easy transactions. The market is situated about 100km outside of Bangkok and it is well worth the travelling time.

  1. Red Lotus Lake, Udon Thani Province

A seasonal spectacle is the Red Lotus Sea about 40 kilometres from the city of Udon Thani. Officially known as Nong Han Kumphawapi, the lake at about eight kilometres long and three kilometres wide is an important water source in the region. Rich in a variety of fish, birds and aquatic plants species, the lake’s unique ecosystem is of interest to both Thai and International academics who continuously conduct research studies here. Each year between December and February an incredible natural phenomenon occurs as the lotus blossoms bud and bloom, turning the entire lake into a sea of bright pink flowers. The vision is especially magnificent at sunrise, given the effect of the light bouncing on the flower-blanketed water. The flowers are best enjoyed from a boat as you lazily float around the lake and soak up nature’s beauty.

  1. White Temple, Chiang Rai

Strip away all of the colour and brace yourself for a different kind of bright at Wat Rong Khun. Arguably the most visited site in Chiang Rai, Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple, draws countless tourists to its unusual yet iconic splendour each year. The famous temple is an eternal work in progress by designer and artist Chaloemchai Kositpipat, who has carved with painstaking detail the pure white ornate facade and path leading to the entrance. The Buddhist temple is unique in its shape and structures, with brilliant white and silver adorning the outside, and the trippy murals on the inside. All statues and displays are symbolic of desire, greed, suffering and the