Thailand is one of those holiday destinations that has it all. Lavish resorts, pristine beaches, bargain shopping, and a cultural history so interesting you could immerse yourself in it for months on end.
The friendly, ever-smiling, nation is the perfect stop for anyone looking to immerse themselves in exotic culture and take some time out to unwind.
Still not convinced? Here’s a look at our 5 Reasons to Visit Thailand:
Islands and Beaches
Thailand’s islands and beaches are the equivalent of an 18K diamond ring in a Tiffany’s store. Thailand is full of some truly beautiful gems, but the 18K diamond ring, aka Thailand’s islands and beaches, are what we all desire.
Peppered throughout Thailand’s two bodies of water, in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your slice of paradise.
Phuket, an island itself, makes for a fantastic base for which you can explore the exquisite surrounding islands and beaches. Grab a longtail boat and head on over to some of the best islands in the region, and melt into relaxation on one of the many powder-white beaches that occupy this area.
Koh Phi Phi and the surrounding islands rise up from the ocean like an optical illusion. Dramatic limestone cliffs are front and centre, with hidden coves nestled in every nook and cranny. The islands are home to some superb stretches of sand, which are complemented nicely by the dense jungle that hugs the coast.
Spend a day exploring the pristine beach and dramatic scenery at Maya Bay, the famed filming location of The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Street food is Thailand’s specialty. The delectable aromas that saturate Thailand’s streets will have you salivating the moment you step foot outside your hotel.
If you’re spending some time in Bangkok be sure to allocate some of it to wandering around the various boroughs in search street food. Yaowarat Road in Chinatown has an endless supply of vendors, each offering up a steaming plate of something delicious. Visit in the evening when the main food vendors really come to life.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market will give you a more authentic look at market life, and an appreciation for the intricate task of market-trading on water. These floating markets buzz with the flurry of vendors selling some of the best food in the region.
If cooking is more your flavour, take some time out from the street scene and spend a day at one of the fantastic cooking school’s on offer around the country. You’ll learn to craft a range of traditional dishes, such as curries, Pad Thai, or fish cakes, and you’ll learn about the Thai food philosophy that each dish should play up a taste sensation of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and/or spicy.
You’d be hard-pressed not to fall into a sublime state of relaxation when visiting one of Thailand’s many pristine islands and beaches. But if sand between your toes and floating in azure water won’t do the trick, never fear. Thailand can deliver the goods.
If high-end spas and five-star resorts are your idea of relaxation, Ko Samui can cater to your every need. Lavish resorts and infinity pools are plentiful on this large, well-developed island.
Spend a relaxing day getting the full spa treatment: oil massages, scrubs, wraps, and steams are the order of the day. If you’re looking for a treatment that comes with serious health benefits, the 2500 year-old art of Thai Massage might just be for you. There are claims this ancient practice can remedy migraines, anxiety, improve sleep, release blocked energy, and even relief from asthma.
Immerse yourself in Thailand’s colourful heritage by visiting one of the 40,000 plus Buddhist Temples, known as ‘Wats’ in Thai, that are dotted throughout the country.
With most international flights landing in Bangkok you have the opportunity to explore the many wonders of this bustling capital city. Be sure not to miss the solid gold statue of the Golden Buddha, which rests inside Wat Traimit Temple in Chinatown, or The Grand Palace, home to Thailand’s King.
Heading further south – 8kms south of Phuket City to be exact – you’ll discover the beautiful site of Wat Chalong. This temple has been welcoming locals and westerners for over a century, and is the perfect place to learn about the Buddhist beliefs that are such an integral part of the Thai culture.
If you’ve time, and the inclination, a yoga or meditation retreat is a fantastic way to not only learn about Buddhist practice but to practice the art of being present yourself.
Hire a tuk tuk for the day and explore. Your driver will know all the best spots in town, and if you’re in Bangkok there are a few hidden gems they may be privy to.
Fancy a suit tailor made to you? Head down Sukumvhit Road in Bankgok and you’ll get just that for anywhere between THB3,500 – THB5,000.
Whether you’re in the city or on an island in the Gulf of Thailand, you’ll never be far from a market. Markets are a great way to bag a bargain, especially if you’re a good haggler. Wander the stalls and hunt for top notch silks, handbags, jewellery, and antiques among other things.