In the heart of South East Asia lies Thailand, a country filled with graceful people, natural beauty, a rich cultural past and heritage, and known affectionately and with good reason as ‘The Land of Smiles’. Thailand is a country of scenic diversity and ancient traditions, of tranquil temples and modern urban excitement. Varied are the experiences in Thailand, thanks largely to the 4 natural regions which Thailand is divided into.
The mountainous North, surrounded by impressive mountains, are home to exotic hill tribes, misty paddy fields, and centres like Chang Mai, which offer traditional crafts and customs, still carefully preserved from generations before. The Northeast Plateau, full of archaeological and anthropological mysteries including superb Khamer monuments from the time of Angkor Wat. Natural parks teem with wild life, and you will also find the gateway to neighbouring Laos via the Friendship Bridge which stretches across the mighty Mekong River.
The Central Region, in which can be found the evocative ruins of ancient Thai capitals, the sandy beaches of the East Coast, and of course, the colourful culture of the vibrant cosmopolitan capital of Bangkok. The Peninsular South, where you will find some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and off-shore islands, all offering an experience and beauty of their own. Climb waterfalls hidden in rainforests in Koh Samui, lie on deserted islands in Krabi or dive the pristine waters off nearly all of the Kingdom’s islands.
Those looking for colourful nightlife and a shopping experience ranging from sophisticated designer shopping malls to traditional, haggle-as-hard-as-you-can flea markets, will know that Phuket is the place to head to, however what many travellers do not know is that it also offers a more sophisticated side, with excellent accommodation options and attractions. Thailand Holiday provides top Beach destinations include Patong Beach, lively with shopping and bars; Karon, a smaller, more cultural experience; and Kata, ideal for families. And there is even more variety outside the towns, with simply stunning beaches and islands, hiking, jungle treks, bird watching and rock climbing, plus family friendly attractions such as the Phuket FantaSea theme park, or Splash Jungle, the first water park in the region that includes the National Geographic Dive Centre.
Climate: There are three distinct seasons: March to May is hot, with temperatures at around 25°C peaking at over 35°C. It then slowly cools. From June, average daily rainfall increases to a peak in September, when the humidity is generally over 80%. October to February sees much less rain, lower humidity and more relaxed temperatures.
Best time to go: A year-round destination
Flying time: 11h30mins
Our preferred airlines: Thai Airways, British airways, Emirates
Do I need a visa? British nationals do not require a visa, other nationalities should check with their embassy