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Thailand

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The land of a thousand smiles, Thailand boasts an enchanting combination of some of the world’s finest beaches, awe-inspiring landscapes and a fabulous array of hotels – ranging from simple and stylish beach or city hotels to luxury resorts. Wander through bustling cities, relax upon secluded shores, volunteer at an elephant sanctuary and eat to your heart’s content in this fascinating country. And, with plenty of domestic flights on offer – gettingg around couldn’t be easier.

Best time to visit

Peak season is from November to February. It’s hottest from April to May and rainier but still sunny from June to October. There are seasonal variations between beach resorts; for example, east coast beach resorts have more sun and less rain from May to June. Northern Thailand is generally cooler than Bangkok in winter and hotter in summer.

Holiday highlights

Thailand is a dream destination full of natural beauty and a captivating culture.

Few destinations can rival Thailand for the beauty of her beaches, with stunning white sands and gently swaying palms crowning near-every shore. And with so many beaches to choose from, there is one for every palate, from lively beaches thronged with bars and restaurants, to secluded hideaways accessed by a privileged few, with everything in between as well.

Popular beach destinations include the vibrant, Andaman Sea island of Phuket or the Gulf of Thailand isle of Koh Samui, both enjoying lively resort centres such as Patong on Phuket and Chaweng on Koh Samui with spectacular natural scenery, secluded hideaways and world class hotels. Experience beautiful Krabi with its spectacular limestone cliffs, or the royal beach retreat of Hua Hin. Or, for a more peaceful experience, visit one of the more untouched destinations such as Koh Phangan or Khao Lak. Thailand’s beautiful beach resorts are also your gateway to some of the region’s best diving.

Stray from the beach resorts and Thailand delivers a rich cultural history. The spiritual reverence of countless monasteries, pagodas and temples of Bangkok and Chiang Mai is a particularly remarked upon experience. Adventurous travellers can also explore the UNESCO World heritage sites of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai with their decadent ruins and the famous Bridge on the River Kwai, with its haunting nearby historic sites and memorials.

No holiday to Thailand is complete without a visit to the nation’s renowned (some would say infamous) capital city, Bangkok. Busy, hectic, crowded, exciting and never dull, this Asian metropolis is fun-filled and always a highlight. Explore vibrant street markets, vast modern malls and even a floating market. Dine at the roadside with the locals or atop a skyscraper at the luxurious Banyan Tree’s Vertigo restaurant. Explore sights including innumerable pagodas and the spectacular Royal Palace.

A natural landscape of spectacular beauty and sparkling variety can be also be experienced whilst holidaying in Thailand, from the remote hills of the Mekong region to the rainforest of Khao Sok National Park. Beautiful coastal landmarks include the famous limestone islets of Phang Nga Bay and ‘The Beach’ on gorgeous Koh Phi Phi.

Thai people are inherently hospitable, smiles are warm and genuine, and service – whether in budget, ramshackle beachside diners to high end spas and resorts – is always a delight and delivered with grace, charm and a smile. Above all things, it is the Thai people that have made Thailand such an engaging holiday destination, more so even than the beautiful beaches and clement climate.

Thai food is an institution in its own right, and these days you’ll find it wherever you travel. Whether it’s the Maldives or South Africa, Thai favourites such as Red and Green curries and Pad Thai can be seen on the menu of most discerning hotels and resorts, testament to the fact that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But in the land where it originates, the cuisine is always at its freshest and finest, spiced to perfection, exotic to taste and always the perfect complement to sultry days and balmy nights.

So take time out for a relaxing beach getaway, an awe-inspiring cultural escape, a glittering city break or a combination of all three and tailor make your perfect Thailand itinerary.

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