Thailand holidays offer the promise of breathtaking beach escapes, tranquil temples and exciting jungle adventures.
Whether you’re looking to get away from it all at a sun-kissed resort or ready to lace up your hiking boots and explore, the ‘Land of Smiles’ has something for everyone.
Experience the energy of Bangkok, sampling delicious street food on Khao San Road and touring the golden stupas of the Grand Palace. Dive beneath the perfectly blue waters off the coast of Koh Samui and swim with sea turtles through colourful coral reefs.
You’ll find rest and relaxation in the luxurious palm-fringed resorts of Phuket and Krabi. Meanwhile, in the mountain-dotted north, the city of Chiang Mai charms with its tranquil air and chance for wildlife-filled hiking trips.
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From snorkelling over beautiful coral reefs to trekking along leafy jungle paths, Thailand holidays offer something for everyone.
Thailand’s beaches are famously picturesque, with palm trees dotting white sand beaches and turquoise waves lapping at the shoreline.
Soak up the sun at one of Phuket’s luxurious resorts or revel in the serene pace of life on Thailand’s eastern islands.
The warm waters surrounding Koh Samui are perfect for paddling, while excellent snorkelling can be found in the shallow seas of nearby Koh Tao where you can swim with Hawksbill turtles and whale sharks. Enrol in a diving school and explore the reefs and wrecks that lie off the islands’ shores.
Head to the northern city of Chiang Mai and you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of jungle-clad mountains and hilltop temples. The north of the nation is well-known for its hiking trails and mountain towns shrouded with mist, making it an ideal destination for an active holiday in Thailand.
Make your way to the mountain temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a spectacular Buddhist site that serves up stunning views of Chiang Mai below.
Join a trekking tour for the best way to experience the Thai jungle, heading into the national parks in search of wildlife, including leopards, bears and monkeys.
Bangkok is one of the world’s most-visited capitals. This city is a true feast for the senses, buzzing with the hum of scooters, the glow of neon lights and the aromas of delicious Thai cuisine.
Explore the golden spires of Wat Arun on the banks of the Chao Praya river, or marvel at the opulence of the Grand Palace, home to the Thai royal family until 1925.
Try your hand at haggling amid the myriad stalls of the Chatuchak weekend market. Afterwards, recharge your batteries with a boat ride on the peaceful lake waters of Lumphini Park.
Thailand’s paradise islands are a must. Each has its own unique atmosphere and activities to offer, from the diving schools of Koh Samui in the east to the breathtaking scenery of Krabi on Thailand’s south-western coast.
Take a lazy day trip to the stunning bays of Koh Phi Phi or visit the limestone formations of Ko Khao Phing Kan – dubbed ‘James Bond Island’ after its starring role in a 007 adventure – to the northeast of Phuket.
Phuket itself is the self-professed capital of beach holidays in Thailand and a fantastic place to begin your adventure.
Ayutthaya provides a spectacular window into Thailand’s past and can be reached in a few hours by train from Bangkok.
The epicentre of the former Kingdom of Siam until 1767, the temples and fortifications here have remained relatively unchanged over the intervening centuries.
Situated on an island between three rivers, take an atmospheric walk through the stupas and palaces of the former capital – keeping an eye out for the carved Buddha head hidden among the roots of a Banyan tree.
Soak up the atmosphere and enchantment of one of Asia’s most exciting capitals while staying in refined luxury right in the heart of the city.
The 137 Pillars Bangkok offers sleek and modern suites, complete with access to a rooftop bar and infinity pool boasting stunning views of the city skyline.
Planning a family holiday to Thailand? The resorts on the southern coast and islands offer a great range of options.
The Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa is a fantastic base to access the sea and sand of Phuket, with seafront suites putting the beach on your doorstep and offering the chance to enjoy your own personal plunge pool.
Take a break from the outside world with that special someone on a romantic holiday in Thailand.
The Conrad Koh Samui has its very own full-service spa with treatments that include couples’ massages. While away the afternoon in the infinity pool, gazing out across the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
The local currency in Thailand is the Thai baht (THB). There are plenty of ATMs, while debit and credit cards are widely accepted in shops, restaurants and resorts.
Songkran, or Thai New Year, falls on April 13 and celebrations last for several days. Public holidays are also observed on days relating to the royal family, including birthdays and memorial services.
The national language of Thailand is Thai, though many of the locals will speak a little English, especially in tourist locations.
Thailand is a large country with an extensive rail and inter-city bus network, along with a number of local airports. Bangkok has both a Skytrain and underground rail system, while taxis and tuk-tuks are also widely available.
The national religion of Thailand is Buddhism, with many temples open to tourists. It’s important to remain respectful when visiting these sites, dressing modestly.
You’ll be asked to take off your shoes before entering a temple and it’s forbidden to take photos of the resident monks.
Temple sites are very welcoming and some, especially in the northern city of Chiang Mai, hold special meet and greets in which tourists can learn more about the monks’ way of life.
Thai cuisine is famous across the globe, with favourites such as green curry and tom yum soup now a staple on restaurant menus all over the world. You’ll find authentic examples of these delicious dishes throughout the country.
Head to one of Bangkok’s night markets to enjoy traditional Thai cuisine in all its glory, from flash-fried pad thai to massaman curry.
The evening meal is an important part of Thai culture and people will often gather to chat while sitting on small stools around their favourite food stall.
Thai people are well known for their friendly nature and welcoming attitude. For the best experience, there are a few local customs and cultural considerations it helps to be aware of.
The Thai national anthem will be played at many key landmarks and train stations, once in the morning and once in the evening. It’s customary to stand in silence whenever the anthem plays.
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