Thailand is a beautifully diverse country stretching for over 500,000 square kilometers full of culture and history waiting to be uncovered by visitors. It’s also famous for its modern cities, tropical islands and, of course, the reason so many set out to see this country – the dream-like beaches, urging you to live for the moment.
You probably won’t be able to explore this entire country on one visit (the perfect excuse to come back!) but here are some Thai highlights that are well-worth catching.
Enjoy the chaos
Bangkok is Thailand’s capital city and first-time visitors will either embrace the chaos of this metropolis or be overwhelmed with culture shock. This is the world’s number one tourist destination and 15 million visitors hit the city each year to sightsee at Wat Phra Kaew – the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace and the delightfully scenic Lumpini iPark. In stark contrast, the famous nightlife is another major draw and your travel funds will stretch a lot further in the restaurants, bars and nightclubs than they do at home. The bars and restaurants of the city’s Sukhumvit District are especially stylish. There are also dozens of cafes in Bangkok that offer a quick caffeine fix. Centuries old village homes, skyscrapers, floating markets, ultra-modern shopping malls and of course the Thai restaurants and delicious street food all mix together to make a city of unparalleled diversity.
The most famous island
If you’re booking Thailand holidays you’ll no doubt have your eyes set on those Andaman Sea islands that grace the covers of most Thai holiday brochures. Phuket is probably the most famous and it’s a popular choice all year round (as is Maya beach on Phi Phi) thanks to the film The Beach. But Phuket is also a lot of fun with those ice-white beaches during the day and a nightlife that will continue long after your head has hit the pillow. There are some islands here that are still relatively tourist-light including the unspoilt Koh Racha and Krabi, home to some of the most spotless beaches in this area.
Andaman Sea getaway
Those looking to get off the beaten track but with access to plenty of modern facilities should journey to the Khao Lak in the Takua Pa District. This is a beautiful region that provides a good base from which to explore northern Andaman, the Surin Islands and both the Khao Lak and Lam Ru National Parks. Yes there are huge swathes of white sand to relax on each day but the town of Khao Lak also offers hotels, restaurants and a number of markets. If you’re still itching to discover even more secluded beaches then travel 2.5km north to Hat Bang Niang – a blissful location that’s well-worth the journey.
Enjoy your time in Bangkok but if the city begins to overwhelm then it’s probably time to get out to those beach locations to relax, rejuvenate and most of all, have fun.
This article was created in partnership with Accor Hotels.