If you are planning to spend your next holiday in the tropical paradise known as Thailand, you are in for a treat, as this unique South East Asian nation has a colourful culture. A large country, Thailand borders with Malaysia in the south, Cambodia and Laos in the east and Myanmar in the west and north, and with that in mind, here are our best picks of places to visit in Thailand, the Land of Smiles.
- Phuket – This tropical island has to be number one on any list of Thai holiday hotspots, and with luxury Kamala Beach hotels, you can everything you could possibly need on tap. Phuket is best enjoyed between November and February, when the weather is dry and temperatures are cooler, but having said that, Phuket is nice all year round.
- Samui Island – This is the other main island tourist destination, which comes under the control of Surat Thani province, and is about a 60-minute boat ride from the mainland. Expect crystal clear seas and white sandy beaches, and much like Phuket, there is all kinds of water activities available on Samui island.
- Bangkok – No visit to Thailand would be complete without spending a few days in the chaotic capital, which has much to offer the tourist. A strange mix of old and new, Bangkok is an explorer’s paradise, with canals that spread through the city in all directions and three-wheel tuk-tuks that ferry tourists around the city. Visit some of the amazing temples while you are there and don’t miss the amazing weekend market at Jatuchak, which is open all year round.
- Chiang Mai – The major northern city, Chiang Mai has its own unique culture and is definitely worth the 1,000km trip from Bangkok. From there, you can make your way to Chiang Rai, which is the start of the trekking region, where you can see some spectacular scenery. The food and the local dialect cannot be found in other parts of the country and they even have their own music.
- Hua Hin – The former King Rama XI used to reside in the quiet coastal town of Hua Hin, where there is a large palace, plus you will find many hotels and resorts along this stretch of coastline. Located about 3 hours’ drive south of Bangkok, Hua Hin is the home to many European expats who wish to escape the cold winters at home, while the town is very developed tourist wise, so you can expect to find everything here.
Thailand is a wonderful country in which to spend your valuable downtime and all of the above destinations have something to offer the western tourist, and with friendly and smiling locals and a very low cost of living, you are sure to enjoy your Thailand holiday experience. Take the time to do some online research, as this will help you to plan your trip, and the chances are, you will be visiting Thailand again in the future.