Thailand: Land of Smiles
Whether you're keen on backpacking for a month, spending a well-earned annual holiday somewhere exotic and fun, or simply looking for a romantic tropical island getaway, the Kingdom of Thailand is hard to beat.
The country’s generous culture, dazzling temples, tropical beaches, lush interiors and great food (don’t forget the food) have earned Thailand its spot as travellers’ favourite Southeast Asian destination, and it’s surprisingly affordable too.
When to go to Thailand
The best months for a visit to Thailand are November to the end of February, but don’t be put off in the other months either.
The rainy season lasts from June to October. During these months, expect far fewer tourists and lower prices. More often than not, you’ll be rewarded with beautifully clear mornings and evenings, with refreshing monsoon downpours in the afternoons.
The capital is a great place to start your trip in Thailand. It includes plenty of historic temples and opulent palaces to explore, and is famous for its street markets, where you can buy exotic food, inexpensive clothing and souvenirs. Bangkok comes to life at night with a host of cabaret shows, live music, nightclubs, bars and restaurants to choose from.
Located in the south, Phuket is famous for its gorgeous beaches. The area is also home to some magnificent waterfalls, situated in virgin tropical forest. Tourist activities include swimming, snorkelling, diving, jet-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing and yachting. There are several spectacular islands around Phuket, such as Phi Phi Island, Khai Island and Racha Island, and these can all be visited by boat.
Patong is the largest beach resort on the island of Phuket, and is known as the party capital of Asia. You’ll find a wealth of bars, nightclubs, world-class restaurants and other attractions in and around its famed Bangla Road.
The north of Thailand is known for its cultural and historical sights. Chiang Mai, in particular, is popular for its temples and proximity to mountainous areas settled by indigenous hill tribes, approaching the border of Myanmar (Burma). Surrounded by scenic mountains and countryside, Chiang Mai is a great place for hiking, elephant riding, water-rafting and mountain biking. Chiang Mai is also known for its vibrant nightlife and extensive night market.