Thailand’s coastline and islands has produced miles and miles of glorious beaches. From the developed, tourist mecca of Phuket to the laid-back islands of Ko Samui or Ko Tao, you can be as busy or as lazy as you want, lounging around in turquoise waters before mozying off to a beachside bar for a drink. Perfect.
One of the world’s most intoxicating (and some would say toxic) cities. It’s full of traffic, noise and chaos, but has plenty to see and do. The backpacker mecca of Khao San Road has cheap acccommodation, food and drink and is a good place to pick up bargains. Pat Pong Road is the globally infamous area that would make Amsterdam’s red-light district blush. For a bit of culture there’s Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace, Wat Traimit and Dusit Palace Park.
Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace
Open: Seven days a week 8.30am-3.30pm
Open: Seven days a week 8am-5pm
Dusit Palace Park
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 9.30am-4pm
Tickets: Adult 100B
In the country’s far north, Chiang Rai is a compact, (reasonably) laid-back city, and is a good base for exploring the surrounding jungle, organising treks, visiting hill tribes and outlying regions, or organising a trip into Laos for a boat trip down the Mekong.
Increasingly popular with backpackers, Pai offers a perfect base for exploring the surrounding region. With plenty on offer from tubing and whitewater rafting on the Pai River to hot springs & waterfalls.
Khao Sok National Park
Located in Southern Thailand, the Khao Sok National Park offers stuning landscapes from jungle to soaring limestone cliffs plus an array of wildlife, from Asian elephants, bears, tapirs and many varieties of monkeys.
Another spot popular with backpackers, Chiang Mai mixes old with new and is another perfect base from which to explore the lush surrounding region.
Without doubt one of the world’s best cuisines, and in contrast to somewhere like France, you don’t have to pay a fortune for a decent feed. Curries, noodle soups, salads and stir fries are all specialities, ranging from hot ‘n’ spicy to mild and tangy.