Are you an adrenaline holiday freak who needs travel to be an adventure? Great, Thailand’s for you. Or are you looking for some really seriously deep relaxation? That’s good news, because Thailand’s perfect for you! Or perhaps you’d like to party? Yes, Thailand’s wonderful for that. City breaks in new, exciting, exotic locales? Thailand!
This wonderful South-East Asian country really does have it all. Increasing globalisation is also bringing it more easily in reach of Western tourists. Many will head for perfect tropical islands like Phi Phi, made famous in the movie, The Beach. The Andaman Coast has beaches too, but is also a top diving and climbing destination. Bangkok’s famously big and busy, with great shopping, lots of culture and incredible food. The northern cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are a little less frenetic, and have beautiful historic temples galore. Yes, Thailand’s got it all.
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Thailand offers a myriad of magical – even mythical – holiday experiences. You can be spiritual at Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok’s Temple of Emerald Buddha or Chiang Mai, a whole city of temples. Or you can be completely materialistic among the capital’s luxury shopping – or fake luxury shopping if you fancy - outlets. From perfect tropical islands to pristine rainforest you’ll see some of the most spectacular natural sights on earth. They call Thailand “the Land of Smiles” and you should get a warm welcome from luxury spa hotel to village store. With a developed tourist sector, you’ll also find all the facilities and extras you would in any other top travel destination.
Currency: Thai Bhat
English speaking: Spoken in tourist areas
Local Time: GMT +7 Hours
Airport name: Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) - Bangkok
Flight time: 11-12 Hours
Distance to city centre: 30km
Transfer options: We have a range of transfer options available to book when booking your holiday. There is a taxi rank at the airport and local buses run frequently from Bangkok..
You’ll probably pass through Bangkok on any trip to Thailand. The city is a transport hub and dominates the country, with more than one in 10 of the country’s inhabitants living there. It has a long history that’s represented by the likes of the Grand Palace and temples like Wat Arun and Wat Pho. Partiers should head to Patpong and Khaosan Road. Families will enjoy the zoo and aquarium or one of the city’s many museums. Globalisation has brought money flooding in to the Thai capital, and the luxury travel, dining and entertainment sectors keep on growing. Even the famously chaotically traffic is improving and being replaced by smart new public transport routes like the Skytrain, which gives you great views as well as clean, fast, safe access to many top visitor attractions.
There’s lots to do in Chiang Rai province, including its small, historic capital city. This area is well established on the backpacker trail. More illicit travellers have also passed through this area that’s on the Mekong River border with Laos and across the Ruak River border from Myanmar/Burma. The Golden Triangle of opium growing and heroin smuggling fame is now another jungle tourist attraction. The city, which has a history going back to the 13th century, is a good base for those excursions, but also has its own attractions, including the wonderful temple of Wat Rong Khun and a laid-back atmosphere and good value dining, accommodation and entertainment.
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and one of the favourite parts of the country with visitors. Those who go there get a rainbow of attractions, whether they lie back on the white sand beaches, dive into the green hill forests, or stroll round Phuket Town’s colourful plantation-town streets. The south has developed resorts, while the north’s beaches are more isolated and unspoiled. It’s brilliant for adventure sports and socialising, retreating from the world into spirituality or diving into it with both feet. Phuket Town is a sometimes-overlooked delight, and offers some of the best value on the island if you fancy a change from the resorts. It’s also got loads of culture, and is one of Thailand’s trendiest cities for the arty crowd.
Ko Samui is Thailand’s longest-established international tourist destination. It still has the attractions that first attracted those foreign visitors – the beaches and harbours are outstandingly beautiful, and parts of the sea here are protected marine national park. That makes boating, diving and water sports very popular activities. Ko Samui has also embraced more exclusive visitors, and has fantastically good food, excellent spa hotels and stylish beach bars. It’s very clean, safe and well-served with facilities and staff. The south of the island is less well developed, but equally charming, from its back-street temples to fantastic, family-run seafood shacks.