Affectionately known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand’s defining characteristics make it easy to see why this beautiful country has earned such a well deserved moniker. A backdrop of idyllic curved bays, sparkling turquoise waters and lush tropical greenery topped with with mouth-watering curries, exotic fruits and a large helping of hot sunshine make this must-see Southeast Asian destination a little piece of Paradise.
The laid back northern city of Chiang Mai is slower paced than it’s well known southern counterpart of Bangkok, yet exudes a charm laced on one hand with heritage and modern style on the other. Contemporary hotels sit happily alongside the historical walled inner-city, and ancient temples provide an atmospheric backdrop to the famed cookery courses that send ancient Thai methods back with confidence to every corner of the globe. Authentic wares handmade and used by local people in the surrounding villages burst from street stalls, and the heavy air of night markets is filled with scents of extraordinary, delicious cuisine.
To the south, the bright lights, vibrant streets and buzzing waterways of Bangkok herald it’s status as Thailand’s exuberant capital city, but don’t be put off by the skyscrapers and sophisticated shopping. Bangkok has a big heart for true Thai tradition that is evident at every turn, characterized by smiling faces, majestic lines of monks and the trumpeting of elephants. It’s easy to escape the bustle on a longtail boat drifting through the canals of the Venice of the East, or relaxing for hours at the hands of an authentic masseuse.
Sprinkled in the crystal clear Gulf waters that surround southern Thailand’s tail, iconic
palm fringed islands and white sands set the scene for blissful beach days. Each sun drenched island has its own personality, from the compelling after-dark party ambience of Koh Phangan, hammocks of Phuket and heavenly snorkel friendly waters of Koh Phi Phi to the coconut trees and coral reefs of Koh Samui - an idyllic, must-see retreat that stands out as the St Tropez of the Thai isles. The hidden jewel of Koh Lanta reveals deserted beaches, paddle boarding, deep sea fishing and scuba diving, plus stunning uninterrupted views of the Andaman Coast to provide once-in-a-lifetime memories that remain long after the sun sets.
Adventure, beach, cities, culture, honeymoon, wellness
When to go:
All year round although November to March is recommended
Although the climate ranges from heavy rain and dry summers its best to travel between November and March for the best experience of the main attractions.
Flight duration from the UK:
14 hours (approximate)
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