Reasons to Visit
For some Thailand is synonymous with beaches and there is no debating that many of the islands and beaches in the south of the county are truly stunning with a dramatic backdrop of limestone casts which literally erupt out of the water. Many of the islands are still relatively undeveloped and the crystal clear water and abundance of marine life make for some stunning diving and snorkelling.
An absolute paradise for food lovers, from the spicy soups of the north to the sublime creamy green curries in the south, Thai food is adored by visitors and locals alike. For those who wish to broaden their palate Bangkok is one of the cuisine capitals of the world with food from virtually corner of the planet represented in the various stalls and restaurants.
"Mai pen rai" is a common expression used by the Thais which means "it's all right". This sums up their approach to life and is reflected in their warm smiles and genuine love for giving warm and friendly service to the farangs (friends) who visit their country. Many people say their main reason for repeat visits is down to the warmth of the people. This warmth permeates through all levels of Thai society from city dwellers to the many ethnic hill tribe people living in the north of the country.
Nowhere does the natural beauty of Thailand shine through more than in the national parks dotted around the country. Thailand has one of the highest percentages of protected land of any nation in the world. Whilst today the larger species such as the Asiatic bear and Asian tiger are rather elusive, there are still great viewing opportunities available including hornbills in Doi Inthanon, wild elephants in Khao Yai and giant manta rays in the Similan Islands.
The majority of Thais are devout Buddhists and this devotion manifests itself in the ornate and wonderfully sculptured temples, or wats, which can be found in every part of the country. The two most famous examples are Wat Pho in the capital, Bangkok and the magnificent Doi Suthep in the northern town of Chiang Mai which is perched on a hill overlooking the city. However a typical journey through Thailand will throw up an array of more subtle but no less interesting wats where the locals can be seen paying their respects to Buddha.
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The Orient Express passes over the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi.
Bangkok is one of the world's major hubs for onward travel but, it doesn't have to turn into a few frustrating hours spent in its airport. Find out why 48 hours spent in the city can be the ideal start or end to your trip.
Kanchanaburi is home to the Bridge over the River Kwai, and serves as a poignant reminder of the atrocities suffered here during World War II. Also nearby is Erawan National Park.
On arrival at the camp, the morning's activities take you on an exploration of the tropical rainforest of Khao Sok National Park. You explore the rivers that cut through the mangrove forest in a small motorised dinghy.
The Mekhala is fully self-contained and offers individual air-conditioned cabins with double beds, a dressing table, wardrobe and storage lockers.
An early start will get you to Wat Pho in time to experience the monks early morning chanting ritual and avoid the crowds who arrive later.
From the picturesque mountains of the north, through the fertile central ricelands to the perfect white sand beaches of the south, Thailand is a place of unspoiled tranquillity. Ancient cities date back to earlier Siamese civilisations, while national parks are rich with tropical flora and fauna. Finally, the people offer a warm welcome and an exquisite sense of hospitality and style.
13 Days from £1,850pp
Spend time in the busy city of Bangkok, before heading to Khao Sok National Park for some outdoor activities. End the trip with some time to relax on the beach.
12 Days from £2,535pp
Discover the less developed and unexplored parts of Thailand in 12 days including Bangkok on a city safari, the stunning Khao Sok national park and the quiet beaches of Khao Lak.
15 Days from £3,015pp
A perfect trip for the whole family taking in Bangkok, the national park and history of Kanchanaburi and Chiang Mai, indulging your adventurous side with an overnight train journey, bicycle tours, zip wires and some much earned relaxation on the beach.
Our escorted small group tours are different from our tailor-made holidays in that travel is always in small groups with the services of an experienced guide throughout the trip.
11 1/2 hours (Bangkok)
British Airways, EVA Airways, Jet Airways & Thai Airways
The best time to travel.
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.
Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.
Travel is not recommended.
Snow or ski season.
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Further reading:When to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout ThailandCountry Guides
Other countries in Southeast Asia:BorneoBurmaCambodiaIndonesiaLaosMalaysiaPapua New GuineaThe PhilippinesVietnam
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