Thailand is called the Land of Smiles – and for good reason. The locals are kind, courteous and friendly, and you’ll find yourself smiling when you experience the wonderful food, luxury accommodation at reasonable prices and the fantastic shopping. There’s also many natural wonders to explore and fascinating cultural and historical sites.
Although Thailand has a highly developed tourism industry, it is still constantly evolving, and offers a great luxury holiday for less than many destinations.
1. Food. We all know Thai food is delicious, but the authentic regional delicacies in Thailand have to be experienced to be believed. The cuisine is so diverse you could try something new every day, and the cuisine changes from city to city and region to region. So you’ll never be short of new options.
2. People. The locals are relaxed and friendly, and their national motto of ‘mai pen rai’ meaning ‘it’s ok’/’don’t worry’, really sums up the vibe.
3. Luxury. Some of the most luxurious hotels in the world are found in Thailand, from big name chains to small boutique hotels. And the service is five-star even in the more humble abodes.
4. Island Hopping. The range of idyllic islands in Thailand is amazing. From the well-known Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Samui to lesser known paradises such as Bamboo Island, Khao Lak, Similan Islands and Koh Ngai, you won’t believe the beauty and aquatic wildlife in these gorgeous locations.
5. Bars. Bangkok is the mecca for the trendy bar scene, but you can experience beautiful beach bars on most of the islands. Thailand’s beach bars are definitely a must-do, from driftwood shacks to high-end beach clubs selling fabulous cocktails.
6. Massages. Thai massages are famous around the world and you can afford to have one every day! There’s also plenty of Spa retreats and detox programs at many resorts in Thailand if you’re looking to get healthy.
7. Festivals. The Thais seem to go from one festival to another! Most are based around religious activities, but many are, well, just because. Popular festivals include the national water fight festival in April called Songkran and the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival which involves gruesome self-mutilation. We don’t know why.
8. Shopping. From markets to high end brand names, there’s no end to the opportunities to spend your money in Thailand. Bangkok is home to massive shopping centres and unique emerging artist stores. Markets range from street eats to antiques to art. Allow plenty of luggage space. If furniture and homewares are your thing, you’ll find beautiful collections, with many stores offering a freight service.
9. Beaches. Yes, many of the beaches are now quite crowded with international tourists, but you can still find a patch of seclusion in areas such as Freedom Beach in Phuket or Sunset Beach on Koh Kradan. Regardless of where you go, the beaches are beautiful and offer crystal blue waters.
10. Nightlife. If you want to party, this is the country to do it. There’s a nightlife scene for every type of person, and the LGBTQ nightlife is particularly prevalent. Apart from the seedier side of things that many people hear about, there is also a strong reggae and jazz music scene.
11. Diving. There are several world-class dive areas including Pattaya, Koh Tao, the Surin Islands and Chumphon.
12. Temples. There are over 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand, with the most unique being found in Bangkok.
13. Adventure. From white water rafting and surfing to elephant sanctuaries and jungle ziplining, the options for a holiday adventure are endless.
14. Culture & History. Much of Thailand is modernized, but you’ll still find incredible historical sites such as the ancient ruins in Sukhothai that date back to the 1200s. It’s also lovely to experience traditional Thai dancing or take in a puppetry performance.
15. Wildlife. If nature is more your thing, head to Khao Yai National Park to search for tigers and wild boar. Many beaches in the south are filled with monkeys, such as Koh Phi Phi, which are a huge tourist attraction. Or Khao Sok National Park is famous for its gibbon population, as well as sun bears and leopards.
See all our current deals to Thailand here.