Known as the “Land of Smiles”, Thailand is famous for its heart-warming hospitality. When you’re not befriending locals, you can spend your time getting lost in the bustling streets of Bangkok, basking on palm-fringed tropical beaches and exploring beautiful royal temples. Tantalising local cuisine is the icing on the cake.
Things to do
For most travellers Thailand conjures up postcard-perfect images of sugar-white sand, swaying palms and crystalline water. Escape to islands like Koh Tao and Koh Samui and you’ll find just this. Sunbathe and swim by day, then spend the evening sipping cocktails at beachside bars. For scuba enthusiasts, Thailand boasts some of the best dive sites in Asia.
Whether you’re seeking chef-driven restaurants or sizzling street food, Thailand is a paradise for foodies. In Bangkok, you can dine at sleek rooftop restaurants and trendy bistros. The street food scene is incredible, with carts serving piping hot pad thai, spicy papaya salad and sticky coconut rice topped with mango. Cooking classes are a great way to master the art of Thai cuisine.
You don’t have to go far to find emerald green rice paddies, tumbling waterfalls and lush tropical forests in Thailand. In the north, Chiang Mai is a popular base for hill tribe trekking to remote communities. Khao Sok National Park is a vision of towering limestone rock formations and turquoise bays.
Thailand is passionate about its Buddhist culture, with more than 40,000 temples dotted across the country. Built in the 13th century, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is one of the most evocative temples, enchanting visitors with its soaring stupa. In the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, you’ll find centuries-old temples surrounded by towering banyan trees.
Thailand is served by Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, as well as other major airports such as Chiang Mai International Airport, Phuket International Airport and Hat Yai International Airport. In Bangkok, the subway is the fastest way to get around, while tuk-tuks are popular in smaller cities and villages. Air-conditioned buses and minivans are a cost-effective way to travel long distances.