- The Coast
Buddha in Phutthamonthon © Tevaprapas
Thailand Travel Guide
The most well-known and popular travel destination in Southeast Asia, the lure of Thailand is felt by millions of tourists every 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 the many street markets, the affordable electronics shops or the infamous bars of Bangkok.
But once out of the bustling 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 beach playgrounds such as Phuket, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Phi Phi 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, while the even more adventurous stray off the beaten path to Isaan.
Thailand's 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 such as Ayutthaya to get a sense of the country's long history. No matter what part of the country travellers visit, 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 November, January and February.
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.
What to do in Thailand
-Ride a boat through the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
-Laze on the sunny beaches of Phuket.
-Indulge in the infamous nightlife of Bangkok.
-Take a hike to the Lisu Hill-Tribe.
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.
Getting to Thailand
Getting to Thailand is fairly easy. There are many cheap direct flights to Thailand from the UK and even more cheap indirect flights to Thailand from the UK. There are no direct flights to Thailand from the US, but many indirect flights to Thailand from major aiports in the US. Nearly all flights to Thailand arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
Four Reigns by Kukrit Pramoj and Private Dancer by Steven Leather.
Pumpuang Duangjan and Khruang Sai Orchestra.
The Beach (2000), Brokedown Palace (1999), The Hangover 2 (2011), and Anna and the King (1999).
Satho (traditional rice wine).
Khao phat (Thai-style fried rice), and Pad Thai (traditional fried noodles).
What to buy
Thai silk, precious stones, affordable local clothing, and cheap electronics.
What to pack
A padlock for 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 every January. Thailand celebrates New Year in April at Songkran. Floating candles and hot air balloons make Loy Krathong the most romantic day in November.
Did you know?
-Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that wasn't colonised 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 Krating Daeng (Red Gaur).
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.
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