An eternally-popular travel destination for tourists from across the world, Thailand has a lot going for it. It manages to fuse a respect for tradition seamlessly with a love of futurism, and there is a holiday itinerary here to suit everyone. Whether you’re looking for parties and nightlife, or serene sight-seeing, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this remarkable archipelago in South-East Asia.
If you’re looking at potentially traveling to Thailand – and we would certainly encourage that plan – then it helps to know a few things about the country. Below, we will go through a few Thai travel tips that will ensure you have the best time possible in this visually stunning nation.
Bangkok is brilliant but busy – and be prepared for the heat!
Close to 70million people live in Thailand, and among that number more than 8million are thought to be resident in Bangkok – in the region of 12% of the country’s total population. So the capital is a city with a lot of foot traffic, and if you’re planning to visit, you should be prepared for crowds. You should still visit, though, because it’s a stunning place with a hyper-modern cityscape and endless attractions. Magnificent architectural sites such as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are well worth visiting.
The city merits a few days in your schedule; you can’t see everything in a single jaunt. The best move is to find a house for rent in Lat-Phrao and enjoy the area’s excellent dining options while using it as a base to get out further into the city and experience the Asiatique market and the Bangkok National Museum. One further word of warning, however; Bangkok is one of the hottest cities in the world, and no matter which month of the year you visit, the mercury can get close to 100 degrees – so dress for summer, even in winter.
Chiang Mai is a peaceful and stunning spot
While Chiang Mai certainly counts as a city, it’s a world removed from the bustle of Bangkok, and its mountainous location offers some of the best views in all of the country. At more than 1,000 ft above sea level, there are exceptional sight-lines from pretty much everywhere in the city. Visitors to Chiang Mai will note that there is a lot of focus on non-motorized transport; a carriage ride is a sedate, and eco friendly way to see this charming city at its best.
Any visit to the area will be made better by visits to one or more of the 24 temples that are the jewels in the city’s crown. Many of these date from the 14th Century or older, with the tranquil Wat Chiang Man the oldest temple in the city. It’s a sprawling complex that contains many interesting locations within its boundaries. If you’re feeling contemplative, the Lotus Pond is a perfect place to sit for a time and let yourself relax.
Phuket is an upmarket idyll
As it is made up of more than 1,000 islands, Thailand naturally has plenty of coastline and therefore a wide selection of beaches. However, if you want to enjoy the best beach holiday the country has to offer, then Phuket is going to be the ideal location for your holiday. Not just the beach holiday destination of choice for Thailand, it’s one of the most recognized seaside resorts in all the world. Pronounced “Pu-khet”, this paradisiacal island is shared for the most part by two main cities; Phuket Town is a great family spot, filled with traditional shops and dining spots. Patong, meanwhile, is more coveted by couples and young adult groups for its exceptional nightlife.
The town is a particular high point. Visitors are advised to make their way to Thalang Road, which is in the process of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The thoroughfare is a testament to the strong Portuguese influence on Thailand (and this area in particular), with old-style mansion houses in Iberian style which have been converted into places of particular interest. Some have become museums, such as the preserved colonial-era Baan Chinpracha, while others are now trendy dining spots like the palatial Blue Elephant restaurant.
There is so much to see and do across the many and varied areas of Thailand, but the three cities mentioned above are perhaps the standout places to visit. If you fancy a trip to this beguiling part of the world, then there are no better places to start.