Discover stunning tropical islands, fascinating hill tribes, delicious cuisine, an energetic nightlife, rich culture, bargain shopping and warm and friendly locals.
A long time favourite on the tourist trail and Southeast Asia’s primary travel destination, there are plenty of good reasons that travellers, once they’ve visited Thailand, continue to return time and time again. Thailand has it all – beautiful beaches, stunning tropical islands, fascinating hill tribes, delicious cuisine, diverse scenery, an energetic nightlife, rich culture, year-round sunshine, bargain shopping, warm and friendly locals and it's cheap!
The only country in Southeast Asia to avoid colonisation, on the surface Thailand can appear to be a greatly westernised, first-world country. However when you venture out of the tourist areas and cities, you’ll discover more traditional Asian scenes of farming villages, fishing communities and strongly held Buddhist beliefs. Known as the “Land of Smiles” for the warm and friendly faces of the Thai people; you may, at times, find yourself questioning their genuineness however the majority of the time, their intention is pure and their warmth, real.
Approximately 85 kilometres outside of Bangkok, is the ancient Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya - the capital of Thailand from 1350 to 1767. Once one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas, it was attacked by the Burmese in 1767 and burned to the ground. What remains today are some magnificent archaeological ruins of tall towers and Buddhist monasteries that blend almost perfectly into the cityscape. The most popular ruin is the Ancient Palace and Wat Phra Si Sanphet, home of the Royal Palace until 1448 until a monastery was built on the grounds.
Slightly farther out of Bangkok, closer to the Burmese border, is Kanchanabari. A fairly nondescript town, it is best-known for its humble river and its infamous bridge. The Japanese Army captured, and sent to work, prisoners in an attempt to complete the Kwai River Bridge. Also known as Death Railway Bridge for roughly 16,000 prisoners of war and 96,000 Asians that died building it. The bridge was the endpoint for the 415 kilometre Thai to Burma Railway line. The line being significant in Australian history for the 9,500 Australian prisoners of war that worked on it, 2,646 of which died building it. See the sombre JEATH War Museum and Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery to learn more about the horror that occurred here during World War II.
Thailand is blessed with some of the most stunning beaches and islands in the world. Where warm turquoise coloured waters lap gently against soft white sand beaches, palm trees rustle in the breeze while dramatic tree-covered limestone rock formations burst out of the ocean and line the shores, seemingly reaching for the bright blue sky. While inlands waterfalls, jungle and fine Thai temples can all be explored, reminding you that you are, in fact in as Asian country!
Offering plenty of activities for those not content to laze around by the pool or on the sun-soaked beach, water sports are abundant, as is the shopping, dining, nightlife and street markets. Hua Hin is a charming beach resort town less than 200 kilometres from Bangkok. Its clean, sandy beach is ideal for snorkeling and sunbathing. Perfect for families and couples, it features no less than 8 golf courses, a variety of shopping and street markets bustling with locals and an old-world charm not often found on Thailand’s more popular beach destinations. Must-see spots in Hua Hin include Pa La-u Waterfall and Wat Huay Mongkol, once home to Luang Pu Thuat.
Located on the Andaman Coast, Krabi offers stunning seascapes of emerald green waters and pristine landscapes. Its scenic waters are dotted with spectacular limestone karsts making its coastline not only unique, but incredibly picturesque. Nestled in Phang Nga National Marine Park, it’s a great holiday destination for those wanting a more authentic Thai experience while still enjoying the beauty of Thailand’s beaches. Krabi town and Ao Nang are where you’ll find food, shopping and nightlife in Krabi.
The islands surrounding Thailand boast crystal clear waters, secluded sandy beaches and lush tropical rainforests begging to be explored. Take a day trip to one of these islands and enjoy some snorkelling or scuba diving in these underwater worlds teeming with marine life; scale sheer limestone cliffs or trek through untamed wilderness exploring the jungle. For a blissful escape, retreat to one of the islands for a few nights or island-hop with a few nights on each for pure indulgence. Popular islands include Ko Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Khao Lak and the island synonymous with raucous full-moon parties, Koh Pha-Ngan.
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