The beaches of party islands Koh Samui and Phuket have been pleasing holidaymakers for decades. But if you like things low-key, there are much quieter beaches tucked away on tropical peninsulas, blissfully sheltered by limestone karsts. For your urban fix, Bangkok is pretty full-on, while for a complete contrast, there are jungle adventures and cultural trips into northern villages amongst the rice paddies. Don’t leave until you’ve tried two specialties: an authentic Thai massage (the pain is worth the gain you’ll feel the next day); and a Thai curry with sticky rice, to see why Thai is nicknamed ‘the king of cuisines’.
As the main gateway to the country and a popular stopover en route further east, the bustling capital of Bangkok is great for a few days to soak up the city’s frenetic energy, colourful sights and sounds. After you’ve shopped ‘til you’ve dropped in the malls and markets, famous for picking up great value products, including Thai silks fashioned into cushion covers, handbags and dresses, go sightseeing. From gilded temples to cruises on the Chao Phraya river and floating markets, there’s plenty to see. If you’ve a head for heights, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to have drinks and dinner at one of the sky-high rooftop restaurants and see Bangkok lit up at night.
Bangkok is all a bit fast and noisy, so after you’ve seen the sights, hit the beaches and unwind. You’ll find the best are in the south. If you’re after quiet beach resorts, try Hua Hin, Krabi or one of the island resorts off the coast of Phuket.
To really absorb the country’s rich cultural offerings, head north to the city of Chiang Mai—Thailand’s northern capital. Venture towards the mountainous landscapes, countryside, lush valleys and rice paddies, and there are authentic villages, several hundred temples, and orchid farms waiting to wow you. It’s also the place to observe local traditions such as a khantoke dinner and traditional dancing. There’s a great night market for quality arts and crafts including the local wooden carved bowls. If you’re looking for a more off the beaten track adventure, treks in the jungle can be had further north in Chiang Rai, a relaxed riverside city known as part of the Golden Triangle where Thailand meets Laos and Myanmar. Whilst here, the White Temple—like no other temple you may have seen—is quite a spectacle.
Tempted by what you’ve read? Need a few more ideas about where to go, what to see and how to go about it? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we’re always happy to chat through your “wish list” and help you formulate your dream holiday.