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December 2021

Where to Go in Thailand

Source: DiscoveryThailand Staff
Given its rich diversity Thailand has a lot to offer its visitors. Of course, Bangkok is one place most start and end their visit to Thailand. The cultural and administrative centre of the country, Bangkok has plenty to offer. Of course, a big, brash, modern city like Bangkok has the creature comforts and entertainment that visitors look for and it's famous for
its famous nightlife (with go-go places like Patpong and Nana on most visitors' itineraries). But beyond that, where should a visitor go in Thailand?

Although there are numerous places that warrant a visit, there are some 'staples' - places that most visitors to Thailand end up visiting. Starting in the north, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are popular ports of call. Their dramatic mountainous landscapes coupled with unique histories make both intriguing and entertaining places to visit. Also in the north, Sukothai offers less in terms of dramatic scenery, but more in terms of history and culture. The ruins of Sukothai's ancient city offer a glimpse of Thailand glorious past, as does Ayutthaya in central Thailand.

As yet a part of Thailand that is not visited as often of other regions, the northeast (or 'Isan' as it is known locally) does offer some 'off-the-beaten track' treats. Buriram is becoming a firm favourite with visitors, as is Loei. Although Loei is in northeastern Thailand, it has a lot in common with the mountainous regions of the north. The coldest province in the county, Loei, offers dramatic scenery enhanced by the presence of mists and fogs.

For many with connections to the Second World War, Kanchanaburi is a 'must-visit' destination. A number of sites present Kanchanaburi's role in the war and help chronicle the deaths of many thousands of soldiers who died as POWs in the area during the Second World War.
Source: Genesis
Thailand's eastern provinces have much to offer, not least Chonburi, home to Pattaya, one of Thailand's leading destinations. Pattaya has the distinction of being the closest resort city to the capital and drawing masses of 'weekenders'. It is also an international tourism destination in its own right. Pattaya's finely tuned nightlife includes a huge offering of go-go alongside great restaurants and its own unique take on cabaret! Other resort cities include Hua Hin and Cha-am - both with excellent beaches and only a short drive from Bangkok.

Of course, there are places worthy of visits that are common to all of Thailand's provinces. The country's National Parks are always worthy of a visit, wherever you are in the country. But it is the diversity of Thailand and the attractions it offers which are its strength. Be sure to visit the key destinations, but spare some time to get off the beaten path and experience a Thailand that is not on the tourist map. It's worth the effort to see another side to this glorious country.

Of course, Thailand is rightly renowned for its islands; some of the best island destinations in the world… clear waters, white and golden sands, palms and coconuts - truly paradise on earth. Some of the major islands to visit include Koh Chang - still emerging from relative obscurity and therefore still reasonably quiet.

Source: Genesis
The Phi Phi Islands are famous too and include the actually place where 'The Beach' was filmed (yes - you too can stand where Leo stood!); Phuket - an island the size of Singapore with plenty of great beaches to experience; James Bond Island - yes, that island, the one in the 'Man with the Golden Gun'; the Surin Islands - a bit tricky to get to but well worth the effort; Koh Samet - an island with a unique place in Thai culture and some glorious beaches; Koh Phangnan - famed for its Full Moon Parties and hedonism in paradise; and Koh Samui - an island of lovely beaches and bays, coconuts and forested hills.

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Thailand Destinations:
Central: Ayutthaya | Bangkok | Hua Hin | Kanchanaburi | Phetchaburi | Prachuap Khiri Khan |
North: Chiang Mai | Chiang Rai | Mae Hong Son | Nan | Sukhothai |
Northeast: Buriram | Chaiyaphum | Khon Kaen | Loei | Nakhon Ratchasima | Nong Khai |
East: Chonburi | Pattaya | Rayong | Trat | Koh Chang |
South: Koh Samui | Krabi | Phang-Nga | Phuket | Ranong | Songkhla | Surat Thani | Trang | Phi Phi Islands |
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