The Land of Smiles
The best cultures and backgrounds make Thailand an interesting and memorable country to visit. More people visit Thailand than any other country in Southeast Asia. This is no surprise as the Royal Kingdom of Thailand has much to offer for the visitor: historic culture, lively arts, beautiful beaches, a good nightlife, friendly and hospitable people and last but not least one of the best cuisines in the world. Travel in Thailand is easy due to a good network of trains, buses and airplanes. Most visitors enter the country via the Southeast Asian travel hub Bangkok, the City of Angels. From there you can do great daytrips to cities like the former capital Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi , known for the River Kwai bridge. Popular beach islands include Koh Samui and Phuket Island. Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand is popular for Thai culture and scenary.
From there most visitors head either north or south. In the north you can visit the interesting cities of Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Son.
The north is known for its fantastic trekking possibilities, the interesting hill tribes, and its gentle Lanna culture. In recent year Chiang Mai has become a center for learning. With class available in such things as Thai culture like Thai massage, Thai cooking, fruit carving, meditation, yoga and now even the age old art of elephant husbandry (mahout training), silversmithing and even Thai Language.
In the south the traveler can relax at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, for example, Koh Tao, Krabi, Koh Samui or Phuket or Trang. Some areas are very touristy, but it is easy to find some quiet spots. A little closer to Bangkok there is the resort town of Hua Hin and Khao Takiab Beach in Hua Hin, very popular as beaches close to Bangkok, Hua Hin which is home to one of the most used Palaces. Cha Am is also a popular beach area close to Bangkok just north of Hua Hin.
The Northeast is popular with independent travelers. Known by Thais as Isaan this area hosts some lovely forested mountains and national parks and very friendly people. The major highlight is probably the famous Khao Yai national park , but other interesting places are easily found in this area including Nong khai and Surin.
People with a limited time budget might go to the East Coast. There are many popular resorts, including Pattaya and Jomtien. The region is rich in natural resources, including rubber, rice, fishing, orchards and gemstones, and scenically arresting with several national parks containing waterfalls, virgin forest and uninhabited, remote islands. Popular islands locations are ko Samui, Ko Chang and Ko Samet.