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Introducing Thailand

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Royal Grand Palace, Bangkok © Thailand Tourist Board

Thailand Travel Guide

The most well-known and popular travel destination in Southeast Asia, the lure of Thailand is felt by millions of tourists each year. Enticed by the sparkling beaches of the islands in the south, the enigmatic temples and hill-tribes of the north, and the neon lights of Bangkok in between, exotic Thailand has something for every traveller.

A great value-for-money holiday destination, Thailand is a favourite with both budget travellers and determined shoppers, who come to spend their baht at either the electronics shops or bars of Bangkok.

But once out of the infamous capital, the natural splendour of Thailand really shines. The limestone karst rock formations and lush rainforests of Khao Sok National Park and other nature reserves are popular spots for jungle trekking, and the crystal-clear waters around the southern islands like Phuket and Koh Pha Ngan are a paradise for scuba diving and watersports. Many travellers venture north to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai to see the many beautiful temples and the famous Hill-Tribes, and the more adventurous stray off the beaten path to Isaan.

Thailand's strong and unique culture is just as big an attraction however; hundreds of visually-stunning Buddhist temples and shrines are scattered across cities and villages, and visitors can tour the ruins of ancient cities like Ayutthaya to get a sense of the country's long history. No matter what part of the country you visit however, a holiday in Thailand is an experience to be remembered for a lifetime.

Best time to visit Thailand

The weather in Thailand is divided into three seasons: the cool season (November to February), the hot season (March to May) and the rainy season (June to October). The cool season is usually considered the best time to visit Thailand, as it has the most sunshine and least rain. However, the December holidays tend to be busy and the prices inflated, so the overall best months to visit Thailand are January and February. Read more on Thailand's Climate and Weather.

What to see in Thailand

-See the enormous golden statues at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

-Take in a Muay Thai match in Bangkok.

-Visit the many Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai.

-Tour the remains of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, ancient seats of Siamese culture. Read more about Thailand Attractions.

What to do in Thailand

-Ride a boat through the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

-Laze on the sunny beaches on Phuket.

-Indulge in the infamous nightlife of Bangkok.

-Take a hike to the Lisu Hill-Tribe. Read more about Thailand Activities.

Holiday resorts in Thailand

Thailand has many popular resorts for sun-seekers looking for the perfect beach holiday. Each resort has its own character, varying from lively nightlife to laidback and secluded, from single's heaven to family-friendly holiday. Find your perfect Thailand holiday resort here.

Getting to Thailand

Getting to Thailand is fairly easy. There are direct flights to Thailand from the UK, however there are many more options with stopovers. The only direct flights to Thailand from the US depart from Los Angeles. Nearly all flights to Thailand arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. Get more information on Thailand Airports.

Read

Thai Girl by Andrew Hicks and Bangkok People by James Eckardt.

Listen

Pumpuang Duangjan and Khruang Sai Orchestra.

Watch

The Beach (2000), Brokedown Palace (1999), The Hangover 2 (2011), and Anna and the King (1999).

Drink

Satho (traditional rice wine).

Eat

Khao phat (Thai-style fried rice).

What to buy

Thai silk, precious stones, and cheap electronics.

What to pack

A padlock for your bags: leaving backpacks in hotel rooms and outside temples gives pickpockets a good opportunity to help themselves.

What's on in Thailand

The colourful Bor Sang Umbrella Festival celebrates traditional craftsmanship each January. Thailand celebrates New Year in April at Songkran. Floating candles and hot air balloons make Loy Krathong the most romantic day in November. More information on Thailand Events.

Did you know?

-Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that wasn't colonized by a Western power.

-The official ceremonial name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.

-Popular energy drink Red Bull originated in Thailand and was originally called Red Guar.

A final word

Exotic and enticing, a holiday in Thailand is an unforgettable experience, promising both stunning cultural sights and a bit of fun and relaxation.

Become our Thailand Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Thailand travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Thailand or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

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