Discover Amazing Stories in Amazing Thailand
Renowned for its rich diversity of culture, destinations and activities, each of Thailand’s four regions showcases its uniqueness; from the mountainous highlands with waterfalls, hill tribe villages and Lanna styled temples in the North, to the fertile river valleys, home to the current and former capitals in the Central region, to the underrated culture-rich gateway to Indochina suitable for off-the-beaten-track travellers in the Northeast and the peninsula sandwiched by the clear blue seas of the Andaman and the Gulf of Thailand in the South.
Central (Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Trat, Kanchanaburi, Sukhothai)
This region is home to Thailand’s current and former capitals; Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. Bustling Bangkok is one of the world’s most visited cities that will keep your energy at a high with tantalising food options, from street food to fine dining and rooftop bars; a shopping extravaganza with bargains galore at the weekend and night markets to luxury shopping malls; and intriguing cultural attractions such as the ‘Wat Prakaeo’ Temple of the Emerald Buddha, ‘Wat Arun’ Temple of Dawn and ‘Wat Pho’ Temple of the Reclining Buddha which is also home to the traditional Thai Massage School.
Just a 2.5hr drive west of Bangkok is Kanchanaburi, home to the WWII Death Railway and National Parks with several stunning waterfalls perfect for bushwalking. To the east of Bangkok is Pattaya, a lively resort town suitable for family holidays and party lovers and Trat, an idyllic seaside province home to Ko Chang and Ko Kood.
‘Wat Prakaeo’ - The Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok
Rod Fai Night Market in Bangkok
South (Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Trang, Surat Thani)
This region is home to Thailand’s most popular beach destinations i.e. Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, and Ko Samui and one of the world’s best diving sites, Mu Ko Similans. Phuket offers accommodation suitable to any budget and activities for all types of travellers. Not far from Phuket are beautiful small islands such as Ko Phi Phi (in Krabi), Mu Ko Similans and Ko Panyee (in Phang-Nga). Phuket is also famous for its world class golf courses, wellness spa resorts and Asia’s biggest yacht racing the annual King’s Cup Regatta. Railay (in Krabi) is popular for international rock climbers with its prominent limestone range and stunning views.
Travellers who prefer a more idyllic atmosphere have options in Trang islands (in Trang), Khaolak (in Phang Nga), Ko Lanta (in Krabi) and Khao Sok rainforest (in Surat Thani).
Railay Beach in Krabi
Ko Lanta in Krabi
Khao Sok in Surat Thani
To the east coast of the region is Thailand’s second most popular beach destination, Ko Samui (in Surat Thani) offering activities and accommodation to suit all budget types and preferences. It is also an embarkation point for nearby islands such as Ko Phangan, Ko Tao, Ko Nang Yuan and Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park.
North (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son)
Chiang Mai in the North features mountains with stunning scenery, cultural treasures, great food and a variety of activities, in particular handicraft workshops and cooking classes.
Neighbouring Chiang Mai is Chiang Rai (to the left) and Mae Hong Son (to the right). The area is suitable for trekking and mountain biking with many waterfalls and caves waiting to be explored. For centuries the highlands in this area have been inhabited with hill tribes such as the Akha, Yao, Lahu, Khmu, Hmong and Lisu.
This region is also home to over 30 Royal Projects, the development projects initiated by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and members of the Royal Family aiming to improve the environment and to promote the sustainable living of the villagers. Many of of the villages welcome visitors on a day visit and in some cases they have accommodation and restaurant facilities available for tourists.
Examples of the Royal Projects which have facilities ready to welcome foreign visitors include Royal Agricultural Station Inthanon in Chiang Mai, Royal Agricultural Station Angkhang in Chiang Mai, Doi Tung Development Project in Chiang Rai.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in the North.
Tham Lod in Mae Hong Son
This region is rich in cultural diversity with influences from Laos and Cambodia. The Southern half of this region features historical sites reflecting the Khmer influence, whereas the Northern half features the ultimate destination for many trekkers, especially Loei.
Prasat Hin Phimai in Nakhon Ratchasima
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