Destination Guide

Bangkok

The cauldron of cultures
Bangkok sure is an interesting city, full of contradictions and ongoing changes. The city is a colorful and exciting mix between yesterday and tomorrow, between tradition and modernization. Colorful Temples next to the notorious Red Light districts, neon- adverts, lively night-markets, giant shopping- centers, chaotic traffic, culinary delights of all kinds and prices- this metropolis really has almost too much to offer for just “one night in Bangkok”!

Things to see and do

  • Grand Palace: the “must see”- attraction in Bangkok. Nowadays the former royal residence only serves as a ceremonial ground, but it also houses the Temple of the emerald Buddha, the most revered of all Buddha- images in Thailand.
  • Shopping: the numerous nightmarkets, the weekend market at Chatuchak or modern shopping- palaces like MBK, Siam paragorn or Central World are shoppers haven and heaven.
  • Chaophraya: the River of Kings invites you for an evenings dinner cruise or daytime sightseeing.


Cha Am & Hua Hin

A truly royal destination
The quaint seaside retreat of Hua Hin and the quiet “sister” Cha Am are known for 2 things: hi-end and very luxurious resorts as well as very family- friendly beaches. You will find holiday -spots for the demanding, the families...and the demanding families! The nice summer climate also brought the Royal Family to have their summer retreat near Hua Hin- all is set for your own “royal” holiday!

Things to see and do

  • Night market: one the most popular attractions of Hua Hin. Stroll around, have some local food, bargain for some souvenirs or just enjoy the buzzing atmosphere.
  • Hua Hin Jazz Festival: once a year, Hua Hin turns into an Eldorado for music-lovers, when national and international giants of Jazz play the beach- venues of the city.
  • The old railway: the antique railway-station and the former Railway Hotel (now Centara Grand Beach Resort) are main sights in Hua Hin.


Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai

The beautiful North
The sister- cities Chiang mai and Chiang Rai really have a lot to offer, both in terms of nature and culture. Some of the most significant temples in Thailand are to be found here, the rich mountain- forests are habitat for many different species of animals and the hill- tribes represent ethnics cultures. Everybody who would like to experience a Thailand aside the famed beaches, should definitely plan for a few days “up north” and experience the “other Thailand”, a Thailand with evergreen hills and mountains and a slightly different appeal.

Things to see and do

  • Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai): the temple mountain of Doi Suthep offers not only a most revered shrine to visit. You will also enjoy a magnificent view from up there.
  • Golden Triangle: this where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. It was known as one of worlds busiest drug-smuggling areas.

 

Kanchanaburi

A step back in time
The small town to the northwest of Bangkok is famous for their sights from the younger history of the country. It is the place where you can visit the famous “Bridge over the River Kwai” and learn about Thailand's role in WW2. But it is also a place of natural grace and beauty. You may spend a night on one of the accommodations, floating on the River Kwai or take a ride on an elephant's back, through rich, green rain forest. Kanchanaburi has a lot to offer.  

Things to see and do
Of course you should take the opportunity to visit all things, connected to the River Kwai Bridge: the WW2- cemetery, the war museum or take a ride on the “Death Railway” through a scenic landscape with jungle and picturesque valleys.  

 

Khao Lak

A sunset paradise
Some of the nicest beaches in Thailand, magnificent sunsets and -although the touristic- infrastructure is fully developed- a calm and quiet place; all that is Khao Lak. As part of a national park, the region has kept it's natural charm, far from GoGo Bars and Jet Skies.  If you are looking for good food, excellent music, breathtaking nature, first- class dive spots and a nice kind of evening entertainment, you will find your Eldorado in Khao Lak.

Things to see and do

  • Similan Islands: no Khao Lak – holiday would be complete, without a dive- or snorkel- trip to one of the best dive-spots in the world. Some say, it is like swimming in a fish- tank. (The National Park is open from late October to early May)

 

Koh Chang

The sleeping beauty
Of course, infrastructure on Koh Chang is by now fully developed; places like White Sand Beach or Klong Phrao offer a variety of shops, restaurants and bars to choose from. But even in high- season one can not fight the impression, that Thailands second largest island is still in a state of sweet slumber. Koh Chang is still some kind of secret for lovers of nature, people who need it calm and quiet and no “mass- destination”.

Things to see and do

  • Nature on Koh Chang: less archtecture, more nature: visit the Klong Plu Waterfall in an archaic jungle scenery, take a tour on an elepahnts back or enjoy some excellent dive sights.

 

Koh Lanta

Southern comfort
You are looking for the perfect destination, that offers relative calm and quiet , a decent choice of restaurants and shops, nature and good, family- friendly beaches? Look no further, because you will find it all on Lanta Island. The main beaches are flat with mostly shallow waters and ideal for kids and you will find many places off the beaten tracks to discover Thailand's southern island world.

Things to see and do

  • Mother Nature...provides the best program and the best sights on Koh Lanta. Especially trips to the large mangrove forests are a good and exciting thing to do. But you may also go fishing with the locals and enjoy the “catch of the day” for dinner!

 

Koh Phangan

Much more than just “Full Moon Party”
Samui's little sister was mostly known for the monthly “Full Moon”- parties. Things have changed! There are now also “Half Moon”-, “New Moon”- and all kinds of other parties. But to reduce Phangan to a party- island, would be unfair. The vast stretches of unspoiled jungle- terrain, make it an Eldorado for hikers and nature- lovers. The nearby coral reefs attract divers and the relative safety of the beaches, make the island a good alternative for families with smaller children.

Things to see and do

  • Full Moon Party: of course it is worth joining the fun, when ravers and party- people from all around the globe enjoy a night of music and dancing on the beaches of Phangan.   

 

Koh Samui

From a hippies- dreamland to a destination for everyone
When the first backpackers came to Samui they had two things with them: and adventurous, exploring spirit and a lot of drugs. The hippies of the early days have long gone, the bamboo- huts and hammocks  have been replaced by some luxurious hotels. What remained, was the friendly and relaxed atmosphere.    The island is nowadays a top- destination for divers, families and party- people.

Things to see and do

  • Big Buddha: the 20 meter high, sitting Buddha is the most prominent landmark on the island.
  • Ang Thong Marine Park: hundreds of limestone islands, lonely beaches and colorful fish invite for exciting day- trips.
  • Koh Phangan: the notorious Full Moon Party still attracts hundreds of ravers every month.

 

Koh Tao

The unspoiled Thailand- island- feeling
People mostly come to Koh Tao for 2 reasons. They are either divers, because the island offers some of the best dive- sites in the Gulf of Thailand. Or they are people, looking for the calm and the quiet and an unspoiled island- retreat. Koh Tao still is far from being a “mass- destination”. You will find some shops and a good choice of restaurants in Mae hat, the islands main village- but you will mostly experience beautiful beaches, endless forests of palm- trees and may get that “Robinson Crusoe”- feeling in a small bungalow- resort.

Things to see and do

  • As mentioned, Koh Tao is a “divers paradise” and probably the best spot for diving in the Gulf of Thailand.

 

Krabi

Beautifully bizarre
Krabi is one of those rare places on earth, where Mother Nature seemed to be going a little wilder than elsewhere. If Krabi is nothing else, it is an ideal place for nature photographers. The huge limestone rocks and islands, give you that kind of “Jurassic Park” feeling and the beaches of the smaller islands are snow white and surrounded by crystal clear waters full of colorful fish! Krabi is a feast for the eyes and an asylum for the soul.

Things to see and do

  • Surrounding Islands: as Krabi is part of a national park and sunbeds on the beach are prohibited, take the “watertaxi” to small islands like Koh Poda or Kho Kai. Sand will never be whiter!
  • Shell cemetery: fossilized shells, marine plants and small animals by the millions to be seen at this gigantic pre-historic display. 

 

Mae Hong Son

A hidden mountain treasure
Northwest of Chiang Mai, close to the border of Myanmar, hides the mountain – treasure by the name of Mae Hong Son. The influence of the Burmese is clear to see in the temples and buildings of the area, some are built in the traditions of the Lana kingdom. Rich jungle and ethnic minorities ad to the picture of a “lost world” in the rainforest of northern Thailand, that waits to be discovered.

Things to see and do

  • Doi Kong Mu: from the mountain and it's temple you have a magnificent view of the surrounding area.
  • Long Neck Karen: probably the most famous of all the ethnic minorities in Thailand. The women of the some Karen-tribes artificially lengthen their neck by putting on heavy metal rings on.

Pai

Green Valleys and Rice Fields
Pai is a paradise for nature- lovers. If you are a passionate photographer: this is the place to go. Endless rice- paddies, green hills and valleys, jungle, waterfalls and last but not least a variety of ethnic hill- tribes. Since Pai has opened up to tourism, you will find good accommodation from cheap rooms to hi- end spa- retreats in the area, that has an especially nice climate in the winter months, when you may feel like taking a break from the beach- life.

Things to see and do

  • Mother Nature offers the best from her “entertainment”- program. You may go hiking or trekking, see waterfalls and hot springs, nested in green valleys or endless rice- fields or rainforests.

 
Pattaya

A destination for everybody
The eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand offers a hand full of destinations, that couldn't be more different: the notorious Pattaya, where live happens mostly at nighttime. The more family- friendly neighbor Jomtien or the charming island of Koh Samed, that changed from a daytrip- destination to a fully grown holiday alternative. Just choose your ideal destination. 

Things to see and do

  • Coral Island: popular day- trip destination with a widely intact coral world and many colorful fish.
  • Tiger Zoo: the largest of it's kind in Asia. Tigers and other big mamals are on display.
  • Mini Siam: Thailands most popular sights and some international attractions in a downscaled display.

 
Phuket

One island- endless possibilities
Phuket, for many, is still the embodiment of a Thai- holiday island. From the lively streets of Patong to the scenic beaches on the east coast with their postcard- panorama, there is a lot to see and do on Thailands largest island. Party animals go to Patong, families find excellent conditions at Kamala or Rawai, Nai Yang, Mai Khao or nai Harn are still quiet and idyllic and all who can just not decide, go to Karon or Kata, where they can find a bit of everything.

Things to see and do

  • Phang Nga Bay: hundreds of limestone- islands gave the area the name “Little Halong”. The most popular spot is James Bond Island.
  • Phromthep Cape: popular viewpoint in the south of the island, with nice sunset- panorama.

Bangkok Weather

77°
25°
°F | °C
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 95%
Wed
Thunderstorms
77 | 89
25 | 31
Thu
Thunderstorms
76 | 86
24 | 30

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