Nestled in Southeast Asia’s pristine Indochina Peninsula, Thailand is a place of mystery, culture, beauty and serenity that attracts over 15 million visitors a year.
Thailand is probably best-known for its beaches. The hundreds of islands that make up this island nation provide you with thousands of exquisite beaches to choose from. But the postcard-worthy seaside utopias provide more than just sand and sunshine though; you can enjoy a Thai massage right on the beach, sip from fresh cool coconuts or enjoy fantastic snorkelling just a few steps away. For those looking for more action, many of the beaches are geared toward partying; with beach bars, music and bonfires to help you party the night away.
If you’re at all culturally-inclined, Thailand will be your wonderland. The meeting point of two of Asia’s great cultures; Thailand is a beautiful combination of Indian and Chinese influence. Despite an amount of westernisation and a thriving tourism industry, traditional culture is still very much a part of everyday life. Buddhism has been the most prevalent religion in Thailand for over a thousand years, and as a result, the country is home to scores of breath-taking temples, monasteries and stupas, including the famous Wat Pho Temple. You’ll also find ancient cities such as the lost city of Wiang Kum Kam, beautiful palaces and a host of lively festivals that celebrate tradition, culture and nature. Thai people are exceptionally warm and welcoming, and are well-known for inviting visitors to join in their celebrations.
One of Thailand’s greatest draw cards for visitors is the cities. While the beaches offer you exotic tranquillity, the cities’ streets overflow with life. Bangkok is a must for city-lovers. A bustling fusion of ancient and modern; the city has it all – high fashion shopping malls, ancient temples and gardens and of course, the endless markets. When the sun sets, the cities really come alive. Restaurants, live music, shows, night clubs and high-end rooftop bars with exquisite views await you. If Bangkok isn’t quite your style, Phuket or Krabi might be just up your alley.
But irrespective of whether you choose the city or the beach, you’ll be in love with the food. Thai food no longer needs an introduction anywhere in the world, but there’s always a little something different when you try it in Thailand. The sweet, salty, spicy combinations explode with flavour, colour and freshness. Visit one of the many street food stalls and taste some of the local delicacies – or two, or even three! Thai food is some of the healthiest in the world, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your body beach ready.
One of the best things about Thailand as a destination though, is the price. There really are options for any budget. It’s well-known that Thailand is a firm favourite amongst backpackers, but those who are willing to spend a little more will really be in for a treat. Affordable hotels and beach bungalows, and low-cost local flights will make you feel like a king, without breaking the bank.
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THB : Thai Baht
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