Thailand benefits from a wealth of attractions. Enclosed by the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, the country is most famous for its fabulous coastline and world-class beach resorts, but there is much more to Thailand than sea and sand; step away from the beach and you will discover a country with a long, rich history and a vibrant, modern culture.
Though among the fastest developing countries in East Asia, modern Thailand is also a deeply traditional country, where Buddhism remains a way of life for the vast majority of the people. The familiar icons of Theravada Buddhism—saffron-robed monks, golden Buddha statues, pyramidal pagodas—are visible the country over, from the chaotic streets of Bangkok in the south to the sleepy rural villages of the north.
Thailand’s traditions sit easily with, even complement, its modern outlook. In the bustling capital of Bangkok, glitzy shopping malls stand side by side richly-decorated temples. The city’s shrines, draped in bright orange garlands, receive a constant flow of worshippers, while the colourful markets crammed with bargains are a shopper’s paradise.
Thailand, which was one of the first developing countries to develop a tourist industry, is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful and unique hotels, and not just on the coast. Whether you prefer international-standard or stylish boutique hotels, relaxing spa resorts, floating raft houses, village home stays, jungle tree houses or a cruise on a converted rice barge, Thailand offers it all.
THAILAND TRAVEL ADVICE
The best time to visit Thailand is between November and March when the weather is mostly dry
Conversely, the best time to visit Koh Samui, off the east coast, is from June to September
Temperatures are consistently high although it can be a little cooler at night in the north during the dry season
The hottest time of year is March and April, just before the rainy season starts
Thai people have, for the most part, a deep reverence for the monarchy, a dynasty that has kept the country independent for centuries
Thailand is the jumping-off point for visits to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar
Regions in Thailand
There are few cities in Asia that feel as alive and vibrant as Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, an intoxicating blend of Eastern and Western influences.
The vast plains that extend north and west of Bangkok, otherwise known as the Central Plains, are Thailand’s traditional heartland, and to this day remain the cultural, religious and economic heart of the country. Explore Thailand's distant past in the ancient capitals of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, or its more recent history in Kanchanaburi, site of the infamous Death Railway.
Northern Thailand is home to the country's second city, Chiang Mai, a vibrant, colourful town with a very different character to modern Bangkok. The city is the gateway to Thailand's northern hills, which offer marvelous opportunities for trekking and adventure.
Thailand is famous for its beautiful coast and island getaways, from the busy resort of Hua Hin south of Bangkok to the stunning island retreats of Phuket and intimate Koh Chang. Thailand's beaches are perhaps the finest in all of South East Asia.
Example itineraries in Thailand
Discover Thailand's rich history, from 13th-century Sukhothai, royal seat of the first Siamese dynasty, through old Ayutthaya, Thailand's great historic capital, to modern-day Bangkok.
Discover Thailand's rich culinary history in this ten-day exploration of the country's food and culture.
Take in the best of Thailand's city sights and beautiful beaches in this ten-day romantic holiday designed for two. This itinerary can be easily tailored to suit honeymooners.