Known as the Land of Smiles, this Southeast Asian hot spot is famous for its exotic beaches, dramatic limestone karsts, deliciously spicy food and friendly locals.
Thailand’s stunning tropical scenery includes limestone cliffs perfect for climbing, palm tree-fringed islands where you can snorkel in clear water, soaring mountains home to interesting villages and lush jungles to explore on a trek. The country also offers an exciting mix of temples, palaces and wildlife adventures.
Bangkok is often the first stop on a visit to Thailand as the main international airport is here. Stay for a few days to experience the exhilarating blend of tradition and modernity. Go to the old quarter for the 18th-century Grand Palace, home to the statue of the Emerald Buddha. Nearby is Wat Pho, known for the 150-feet (46-meter) long statue of the Reclining Buddha. Sample delicious street cuisine at Wang Lang Market and browse the stalls of Chatuchak weekend market. Visit Siam for its megamalls, smart boutiques and restaurants. At night, Silom's pubs, clubs and bars attract the party crowds.
If you have time to sightsee some of Thailand’s other cities, go to the temple ruins of Ayutthaya and the elegant palaces and gardens of Nonthaburi.
Many come to Thailand for its beaches and warm, crystal clear waters. Swim, snorkel and rock climb at Railay Beach. Sunbathe on the horseshoe bays of Ko Phi Phi and enjoy a traditional Thai massage on Pattaya Beach.
Charter a boat to investigate some of the hundreds of islands off Thailand’s coast. Dive among the coral reefs off Surin and Similan. Explore the mangrove forests and caves of Ko Lanta and hike through forest trails to see the waterfalls on Ko Chang. Sink your toes in the sand on the beaches of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan.
Allow for extra time to experience more of Thailand’s natural beauty and fascinating wildlife. Look for exotic bird species in Doi Inthanon National Park that surrounds Thailand's highest peak. Trek through the jungles of Chiang Mai and volunteer to help out at the Elephant Nature Park. This is a wildlife sanctuary for elephants, buffaloes, dogs and many other animals.
Nature, culture and beach pursuits make Thailand a popular vacation spot.