Holidays to Thailand

Tropical beaches and soul-stirring temples

Thailand has been given the nickname ‘The Land of Smiles’ thanks to its friendly inhabitants. And while the welcoming nature of its residents certainly deserves special mention, they’re not the only ones – visitors to this part of the world are guaranteed to leave feeling joyful, too.

The country’s scenery is straight out of a travel magazine, after all. Picture white-sand beaches washed by clear blue waves, traditional wooden longtail boats bobbing in the shallows, and national parks packed with waterfalls and ancient temples.

Golden beaches line Thailand’s southern shores, while the cooler climes of the north are home to remote hill tribes and verdant tea plantations.

The spiritual life of the country can be seen at every turn – from the golden spires of Buddhist temples to the saffron-robed monks and their flower petal offerings.

The sublime Thai cuisine is a hit the world over, and whether you’re dining in an elegant restaurant or stopping at a food cart on a Bangkok street corner during your holiday to Thailand, you’re sure to be in for a treat.

Away from the forests and tropical beach resorts, you’ll find the capital, Bangkok – a curious mix of modern skyscrapers and rustic riverbank cafés. It’s got everything you need to eat, sleep and play, including both pared-back and luxury hotels, electric nightlife, and a foodie scene that spans fine dining and world-renowned street food.

Welcome to beach heaven. White sandy shores, turquoise waters, delicious tropical cuisine and year-round sunshine – southern Thailand has indeed been dealt a good hand. The region is long and thin, with the Gulf of Thailand on one side and the Andaman Sea on the other. To the west you’ll find Krabi and Phuket, while off the east coast are the islands of Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao – ever popular with divers for its dazzling underwater displays.

The slightly cooler north feels very different to the beach scene of the south. Here you’ll find a mountainous region of lush tea plantations, wilderness and wildlife. The ancient city of Chiang Mai has temples galore and a fabulous night market, while gentle Chiang Rai is the gateway to the wilder regions of the north along the borders with Myanmar and Laos.

Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, to the west of Cambodia and Laos and to the southeast of Myanmar and the Andaman Sea. To the south is the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia.

The currency in Thailand is the baht, divided into 100 satang.

From London to Chiang Mai it takes from 11 hours and 40 minutes, or it’s from 12 hours, 20 minutes to Bangkok, or from 12 hours and 50 minutes to Phuket.

Though tipping isn’t customary in Thailand, it will always be appreciated. Many restaurants include a service charge as part of the bill so a tip isn’t always necessary, but hotel staff, taxi drivers, masseurs, etc. will be very grateful for a small tip (50-100 baht).

Thailand is seven to eight hours ahead of the UK, depending on British Summertime.

Thai is the official language, although English is widely spoken.

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