"The ancient ruins, temples, jungles, wild countryside, beaches and tropical islands of this breathtakingly beautiful country really do have to be seen to be believed"
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Thailand holidays transport visitors to the stunning region of Southeast Asia, into a mystic country blessed with captivating culture and history, golden beaches on idyllic islands and a fascinating culinary scene. Holidaymakers will revel in the various treats that this beautiful Asian country has to offer, pleasing island hoppers and beach bums in search of a little slice of paradise, culture vultures that wish to immerse themselves in the country’s endless network of temples, and city slickers hunting down an original metropolis.
Many visitors on holidays to Thailand will choose to base themselves in the midst of culture and chaos within one of the country’s bustling cities, like the capital Bangkok or the beautiful old city of Chiang Mai. Others will flee the city streets for island escapes, absorbing the tranquil surroundings of Phi Phi Island or Koh Tao, while some will seek a flavour of ancient history at the ruins of Sukhothai or Ayutthaya. Wherever you choose to go for your break, you’re sure to be hypnotised by this country’s unique appeal.
There are endless things to do in Thailand, a country that continues to thrive on its strong tourist draw, quickly becoming one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet. Those seeking culture and history will revel in the bygone wonders that adorn the country, found in the form of ancient ruins, grand temples and striking landmarks. Beach bums are well catered for too, with stunning beaches and idyllic islands easily fulfilling your Robinson Crusoe fantasies. Thailand’s wildlife is another captivating lure, with elephants, tigers and monkeys lurking in the beautiful and diverse landscapes that make up this wonderful country.
Wine and Dine
One of the most indulgent Thailand attractions is the country’s mouth-watering culinary scene. Such is the reputation of Thai food you’ll be likely to stroll past one or two Thai restaurants in your local town. But there’s no better place to tuck into some of the country’s most famous dishes than in the restaurants or street food stands that adorn the capital city Bangkok. Whether you go for pad thai, phat thai kung or kuay tiew, you’ll be spoilt for choice for dining locations in the capital. From the upper class restaurants serving authentic meals, such as Rock Restaurant and Bar or Thai on 4, to street food areas like Ratchawat Market and Sukhumvit Street.
Action and Adventure
Adventurous types will find many things to do in Thailand to get their heart racing. Among some of the most intriguing activities are those found on and in the water. Water sports are highly popular, and the country’s stunning coastline only adds to the appeal. Diving and snorkelling are real must-dos, with an abundance of underwater creatures such as sharks and turtles ready to be discovered. There are numerous snorkelling and diving tours around Krabi, taking you out into the ocean surrounded by karst islands and blue water. In the north, the ocean is replaced by the mountains and diving and snorkelling make way for rafting and hiking. Around Chiang Rai and the border with Laos are some extremely rewarding treks.
Romance and Thailand go hand-in-hand pretty well, mainly down to the stunning scenery, coastal beauty and contagious vibrancy and culture. Among the most endearing Thailand attractions are the beaches – a real magnet for couples. Around Phuket you’ll discover wonderful strips of sand backed by fine dining, spa treatments and luxury hotels, resulting in the perfect getaway for loved ones. Around Krabi, couples will find much of the same, but it is the mesmerising boat trips that make this destination particularly romantic. Bobbing along between karst islands, finding hidden lagoons and deserted coves – it is like living out your very own secret love story. Even around the capital city you can find this sort of romance in close quarters – escaping to the beach resort of Hua Hin will provide ample respite from the city chaos for lovers.
A cultural haven awaits you when you book your holidays to Thailand. The country is full of captivating temples and ancient sites, transporting visitors to a bygone era full of mystery and vibrancy. Temple lovers will never run out of things to do in Thailand, especially in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The cities are adorned with temples and palaces, with Wat Arun and Wat Pho the most breath-taking in the capital, while in Chiang Mai you cannot miss Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep – try saying that after a Thai whiskey or two! It is certainly worth visiting one of the country’s ancient capital ruins. The two most famous and impressive sites are Sukhothai and Ayutthaya – the former is best explored by bike. For some history that plays closer to home, heading to the river town of Kanchanaburi will transport you to one of the focal points of WWII. The town is home to the bridge over the River Kwai as well as a number of Commonwealth cemeteries.
Thailand has long been a hangout for the young, backpacker crowd and with this is a heavy focus on creating a vibrant nightlife scene for tourists. You’ll find this ethos embedded in most major tourism destinations, including both the islands and cities. Bangkok’s Khao San Road is perhaps the most notorious night spot in the country, offering cheap drinks and cheap thrills every night of the year. The scene doesn’t diminish on the isolated islands, with Phi Phi Island and those situated off of the east coast synonymous with partying. One island in particular has become very famous for its raunchy and lively Full Moon Party. Koh Phangan is the location, hosting a massive backpacker party on the full moon of every month – expect carnage, but fun carnage.
Cities and Sacred Sites
Most holidays in Thailand begin in the frenetic capital, Bangkok. This huge, modernised metropolis is a backpacker’s hangout and a holidaymaker’s haven, striking an alluring balance of history and culture with modernised luxuries and a vibrant nightlife. From the captivating beauty of the Grand Palace and the mystifying nature of the Wat Pho and Wat Arun temples to the raw rowdiness of Khao San Road and luxurious shopping and hotels – this is a city of juxtapositions. If Bangkok becomes too much, visitors often choose to head to the chilled north, descending in droves on the wonderful city of Chiang Mai. Home to countless temples, happy elephants and hosting the breath-taking Loy Krathong Festival, this is a unique city like no other in Thailand.
The northern city of Chiang Rai is another popular stop for tourists on Thailand holidays, dropping in on the stunning White Temple before embarking on some treks around the expansive countryside, while of all the ruins in the country - that of the first capital, Sukhothai, is by far the most intriguing and expansive.
Vibrant Jungles and Sandy Beaches
Holidays to Thailand give you the choice of two stunning coastlines, both dotted with paradisiacal islands and lined by perfect beaches. The country is a dream for island hoppers, with the backpacker-friendly havens of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui adorn the east coast, while to the west you’ll discover Phi Phi Island and many beautiful islets located off of Krabi. The province of Krabi itself is home to some stunning beaches and a lively rock climbing scene, and just to the west the beaches of Phuket are equally alluring.
You don’t have to flock to the islands and beautiful beaches to experience Thailand’s natural majesty, with many of the country’s highlights found in the form of inland national parks and mountainous jungle. The northern retreat of Pai is situated in a picturesque valley near Chiang Mai and has become a popular retreat for hippies, drawing to a contagious bohemian atmosphere. The surrounding countryside is the area’s main draw, boasting waterfalls, mountainous vistas and gushing rivers.
For an unprecedented Thai national park experience, look no further than the stunning Khao Sok National Park, arguably the country’s most beautiful wildlife reserve. Home to stunning flora and snaking rivers, an adventure around Khao Sok during holidays in Thailand will give you the chance of spotting tigers, elephants and gibbons in their natural habitat.