Friendly and fun-loving, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic, Thailand beams with a lustrous hue from its gaudy temples and golden beaches to the ever-comforting Thai smile.
Sand between Your Toes
Thailand's beaches are mythical: tall palms angle over pearlescent sand, coral gardens flourish in the shallow seas and beach parties are liberally lubricated with alcohol and fun. With a long coastline (well, actually, two coastlines) and jungle-topped islands anchored in azure waters, Thailand is a tropical getaway for the hedonist and the hermit, the prince and the pauper. And in between the kissing cousins of sea and sky are dramatic limestone mountains standing sentinel. This paradise offers a varied menu of playing in the gentle surf of Bang Saphan Yai, diving with whale sharks in Ko Tao, scaling the sea cliffs of Krabi, learning to kiteboard in Hua Hin, recuperating at a health resort in Ko Samui and feasting on the beach wherever sand meets sea.
The celestial world is a close confidant in this Buddhist nation, where religious devotion is a colourful and ubiquitous spectacle. Gleaming temples and golden Buddhas frame both the rural and modern landscape with exuberance. Ancient banyan trees are ceremoniously wrapped in sacred cloth to honour the resident spirits, fortune-bringing shrines decorate humble noodle houses as well as monumental malls, while garland-festooned dashboards ward off traffic accidents. The Thai's ongoing dialogue with the divine anchors the day-to-day chaos to a solid base of tranquillity. Visitors can join in on the conversation through meditation retreats in Chiang Mai, noisy religious festivals in northeastern Thailand, peaceful underground cave shrines in Kanchanaburi and Phetchaburi or scenic hilltop temples in northern Thailand.
A Bountiful Table
No matter what draws you to the country first, a Thai meal will keep you hooked. Adored around the world, Thai cuisine expresses fundamental aspects of Thai culture: it is generous and warm, outgoing and nuanced, refreshing and relaxed. And it is much more delicious in its native setting. Each Thai dish relies on fresh and local ingredients – from pungent lemongrass and searing chillies to plump seafood and crispy fried chicken. With a tropical abundance, a varied national menu is built around the four fundamental flavours: spicy, sweet, salty and sour. And then there are the regional differences, which propel travellers on an eating tour of Bangkok noodle shacks, seafood pavilions in Phuket, Burmese market stalls in Mae Hong Son, and luscious tropical fruit everywhere. Cooking classes reveal the simplicity behind the seemingly complicated dishes and mastering the markets becomes an important skill.
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Is it safe to travel to Thailand right now?
On 22 May 2014, Thailand’s military seized control of the government in a self-professed effort to 'reform the political structure, the economy and the society.' Coups are nothing new in Thailand – this is the 12th since 1932 – but the current situation has understandably left travellers with a few questions...
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Thailand's Islands & Beaches
Bays of peach-tinged sand, cotton hammocks swinging lazily between palm trunks, castle-like karsts emerging from the deep. These dreams of a tropical paradise become a reality along the coasts of southern Thailand.
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Discover the heart and soul of Indochina on this tour of four very diverse countries. Encounter history, both ancient and modern, and witness the unbelievable splendour of Angkor Wat. Our CEOs will ensure your accommodation and transportation are covered—so you can choose the activities that interest you. Push through hectic city lanes and tap into the pulsing nightlife.
Cambodia on a Shoestring
Marvel at the incredible Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat and the clear turquoise waters at Sihanoukville. This journey packages Cambodia’s treasures into 10 well-paced days. Brave Ho Chi Minh City’s jam-packed streets with other travellers your own age—you can be sure they’ll keep pace with you—or check out the more laid back waterways of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.
Thailand's wild and wonderful November festivals
Thais love to celebrate, and so the yearly calendar is full of festivals, holidays and other reasons to make merry. The end of rainy season marks the advent of tourist season, with many wonderful festivals for travellers to take part in...
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Buffering Bangkok from the sea and the hinterlands, this fertile river plain is Thailand’s cultural heartland. It has birthed rice crops without coaxing, and cultivated a distinct Thai culture centred around the seasonal patterns of the region’s ‘mother waters’. The rivers brought rich mineral deposits from the northern mountains and sea traders from the oceans.