A World of Contrasts!
Sawasdee Thailand – ‘Sawasdee’ is the universal Thai greeting and the warm welcome you’ll receive when you come to experience Thailand.
With its rich history, ethnic and scenic diversity and unique culture, Thailand is without doubt the most exotic country in Asia.
Sensational beaches, mist cloaked mountains, ethnic minority hill tribes, magnificent scenery, flora, fauna, historical sites, incredible shopping and of course delicious Thai cuisine. Thailand has it all – a remarkable blend of age-old culture, history and natural beauty, yet with all the amenities and facilities of the modern world.
Thailand boasts superb world standard exclusive hotels, resorts and villas, as well as amazing luxury spas and wellness retreats.
Bangkok – Colourful, vibrant, exciting – located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River – ‘River of Kings’ and an amazing blend of old and new. Home to some of the best and biggest department stores, shopping malls and street markets in Asia – just waiting for you.
Experience Bangkok’s amazing history and culture – the spectacular Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) – just for starters.
Then there’s the food – casual open-air dining, cafes and street stalls through to elegant world-class Michelin Star restaurants, serving every cuisine imaginable and of course mouth-watering Thai food.
Bangkok – a destination in its own right and gateway to Thailand’s wondrous mountains, fertile plains and gorgeous beaches.
Phuket – Just a one hour flight from Bangkok takes you to the holiday island of Phuket. The beach areas are quite diverse, from action packed to laidback and super relaxed:
Patong Beach: Vibrant, exciting, active, colourful – that’s Patong. Fishing boats and Thai long-tailed speedboats line the palm-fringed beach, whilst water-skiers, speedboats and jet skis flash past. Shops, street markets, restaurants, coffee shops and bars line the roads. As the sun sets over Patong Bay, the nightlife heats up – lively little open air bars through to sports pubs, cafes and night clubs.
Karon and Kata Beach: These uncrowded beaches offer a ‘laid back’ alternative for families and couples to nearby Patong – just a 15 minute drive away.
Kamala Beach: A quieter stretch of sand with a very relaxed feel, 15 minutes north of Patong. Kamala Bay and fishing village sits surrounded by forested hills and is doubtless one of Phuket’s loveliest areas, with its quieter pace and less populated beach.
Laguna Phuket / Bangtao Beach: Borders the Andaman Sea’s warm waters and is home to many of Phuket’s most luxurious resorts, forming the integrated resort area of ‘Laguna Phuket’, with its par 71 Laguna Phuket Golf Club.
Koh Phi Phi and Koh Yao Yai – Phi Phi is famed for its amazing underwater coral and pristine waters. Explore Phi Phi’s bays and coves or the deserted beaches of neighbouring islands. Koh Yao Yai remains an unspoiled refuge of outstanding natural beauty. Wildlife is abundant and snorkelling on nearby reefs will be a treasured experience.
Krabi and Koh Lanta: Krabi boasts long stretches of pristine, soft white sand beaches and nearby rainforests, offering one of the most amazing seascapes and landscapes in the world. Spectacular limestone karsts sprout from the sea, making up 130 islands of adjacent Phang Nga Bay. Koh Lanta offers nine beautiful white sand secluded beaches, with a national park at the southern tip. Mountainous and rugged, the island boasts forested hills, sandy beaches, coral reefs and provides a charming retreat from modern life.
Koh Samui – A tropical getaway, with warm seas and coconut fringed beaches. Life is simpler – quiet, restful. Chaweng Beach is the main shopping, restaurant and nightlife centre. The beautiful beaches of Choeng Mon, Bo Phut and Natien offer a more natural environment with unspoilt and secluded beaches. Drive around the island in a little more than an hour – delightfully winding through coconut plantations, colourful fishing villages and quaint towns. The vistas are serene, rugged and breathtaking. Koh Samui is also gateway to the beautiful islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
Chiang Mai – 1 hour’s flight north of Bangkok and 310 metres above sea level is Thailand’s 2nd city and gateway to the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Founded in the late 13th century, Chiang Mai’s ancient Lanna perimeter is still marked by a moat, the remains of historic city walls and fortified city gates. Ancient temples and monuments attest to Chiang Mai’s distinguished past.
Perched stunningly on a nearby mountain side overlooking the city is Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, a must to visit, along with the ancient chedi complex of Wieng Kam Kum. Activities abound – white water rafting, mountain trekking, natural hot springs, day spas and much more. There’s the huge Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, local markets, the beautiful flower market and Sunday Walking Street market.
Chiang Mai is also famous for its cottage industries and handicrafts – silverware, woodcarving, ceramics and pottery, lacquerware, silk, fabrics and hand-made painted umbrellas.
Nearby mountain highlands are home to hill tribes including Karen, Meo, Lisu and Lawa. Many can be visited on a tour or by light trekking. These people have lifestyles which, in many respects, have been relatively untouched by the 21st century.
Chiang Rai and The Golden Triangle – 3 hours’ drive from Chiang Mai, lies Chiang Rai and an hour further, the ‘Golden Triangle’ – the spectacularly beautiful and mountainous region where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos converge, along the banks of the Mekong River. Visit the nearby ancient ruins at Chiang Saen on the banks of the Mekong and Thailand’s northernmost border town with Burma, Mae Sai. The ‘Hall of Opium’ – dedicated to the history of opium throughout the ages is a must, as is the mountain Royal Project of Doi Tung, renowned for its magnificent gardens, coffee and fruit plantations.
What To See and Do
- Bangkok’s Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha
- Walk the streets of Chinatown in the evening
- A long-tail speedboat ride on the River of Kings
- Visit the historic ruins at Ayuthaya and Sukhothai
- Cruise Phang Nga Bay
- Rock climbing in Krabi
- Scuba dive at Koh Tao
- Take a Thai cooking class
- Sample street food
- Experience the mountainous north and visit hill tribes
- Visit a tea and coffee plantation
- Cross the border into Burma for a few hours at Mae Sai
- Visit the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens
When To Go
Thailand is a large country and seasons, temperatures and humidity levels vary from the far north to the far south. Essentially there are three seasons; March to May is hot; the rainy season is from June to October; the cool season is from November to February. The mean temperature is 27.4ºC, the mean humidity is 75.3% and the mean annual rainfall is 1705.8 mm. Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui boast a tropical climate with an average temperature of 30˚C. This area has two predominant weather systems Phuket and Krabi is clear and sunny November to April and the rainy season is between May to October. Koh Samui seasons are opposite. Temperatures in the mountainous north (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son) during the December to February period can get quite chilly in the evenings and warmer clothing is recommended.