Thanks to its sheer diversity in land mass, holidays in Thailand really do please everyone. The North is home to luscious thick green jungles and sensational mountains. With gentle rivers meandering through them, these natural tracks are perfect if you love being one with nature. Central Thailand is dominated by Bangkok. Another city that never truly sleeps. Spend hours admiring stunning Thai architecture, and make sure you check out the opulent Grand Palace. With plenty of street vendors, where better to try tasty Thai delicacies than the country's capital? Finish your South-East Asian adventure relaxing on one of the picture-postcard perfect beaches in Thailand’s southern islands.
Thailand holidays offer something for all the family – regardless of if you’re a thrill seeking adventurer, a culture enthusiast, or a sun-loving beach bunny.
The ‘land of smiles’ is the perfect place to sample a little bit of everything Asia has to offer: delicious food, incredible views, and exceptional hospitality.
Your own slice of paradise
Thailand's palm-peppered beaches are nothing short of heaven. With exceptionally clear waters, Thailand's beaches are perfect for a relaxing dip, investigating the marine life below, and an array of water sports. There are over 1400 islands in the south of Thailand. Between the marine life rich lagoons in the Gulf of Thailand and the exclusive isles in the Andaman Sea on the East, you have plenty of choices.
The land of smiles can thank Danny Boyle for its famous ‘secret’ beach Maya Bay. This spectacular secluded bay is only reachable by boat and is made up of a stretch of virgin white sand. The towering limestone cliffs will leave you in awe, and the perfectly crystal-clear waters make exploring the best coral in the region a breeze. Visiting this astonishingly beautiful beach should be a must for any sun worshipper. The island itself is an uninhabited national park, but the snorkelling, diving and photo opportunities are unmissable.
Bright Lights, Big City
Bangkok is a thriving hotspot for travellers who love the big city life. Despite its massive size, the capital makes for a holiday in Thailand that exceptionally blends nature, culture, and community. You get the best of all worlds. Enjoy a touch of luxury in the huge shopping malls and exclusive first-class hotels. Let your hair down and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife. With Chao Phraya River running through the middle of the city, you can step away from the tarmac commute and take to the waterways to explore the more rural banks of the river. Spend some time in the floating markets and ornate temples en route.
As the most famous landmark in Bangkok, be sure to admire the delicate craftsmanship at the Grand Palace. Its neighbouring temples Wat Pho and Wat Arun are not to be missed. Especially the enormous 40ft gold and mother of pearl reclining Buddha.
With over fifty thousand restaurants and eateries to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to sample Thailand's culinary delights. If you're looking for less commercialised offerings, Banglamphu, in Old Bangkok offers an array of authentic skilfully prepared delicacies.
Reconnect with Nature
Would you call yourself an outdoors lover? Head up to the north and don your walking boots to connect with nature. Near the tip of the country, on the border of Myanmar and Burma, you’ll find the small sleepy village of Pai. Its entire lack of any western influenced stores is a testament to the tradition of the town.
Another favourite to explore the natural attractions of Thailand’s northern provinces is Chiang Rai. Here you’ll find a gradient for all. From gentle ambles to more adventurous mountain treks for seasoned hikers, there’s a route for all the family. Each with enchanting scenery and majestic waterfalls to enjoy.
Take the time to visit one of the neighbouring hill tribe villages, where you’ll get a glimpse of untouched rural life. Experience centuries-old traditions first hand. The Mae Salong Hill Tribes put on colourful dance and music performances as well as delicate handmade crafts, the profits of which go into helping the community.
Where to stay
Thailand holidays typically begin in the capital city of Bangkok. Travellers are attracted to its thriving culture, excellent nightlife, and fantastic history. If you prefer a holiday with a touch of class, you can opt for one of the centrally-based high rises. If you'd prefer a quieter stay, take life at a slower pace and stay in the rural neighbourhoods dotted along the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
In between Pai, Chiang Rai, and Bangkok, you'll find the relaxed town of Chiang Mai, here you can embrace the ultimate 'Sabai Sabai' (laid back) vibe. This modern metropolis offers everything you could want from your northern holiday in Thailand. The city’s 300 temples and centuries-old pagodas will tick off your culture boxes. When you've had enough of the city life, its outstandingly beautiful landscapes are merely a few minutes from the centre. Here, you can hike and trek through the jungle. Hidden in the mountains are many Buddhist retreats. Take a vow of silence and awaken your other senses in this epic cultural experience.
For a sandier holiday with an air of sophistication, make your way to Hua Hin beach resort. Established by the Thai royal family in the 1920s as a summer retreat, this resort has a classier style than some of the other ‘backpacker’ resorts. At only two hours from Bangkok in Phetchaburi province, it's a great location for those wanting to combine the beach and the city without too much of a commute. Its mouthwatering seafood restaurants are not to be missed out on.
If you're looking for a romantic hideaway from the nightlight and watersport seekers, the romantic resort of Cha Am should be on your radar. With its own private beach, seafood restaurants and quiet vibe, few places offer the same calm for you and your loved one.
If you're looking for a lively holiday in Thailand, you'll love Pattaya. The upbeat atmosphere makes for a great base for those looking for a party holiday. Bungee, skydive, windsurf, and sail around the coastline by day, and dance away the night in any of the many buzzing bars and nightclubs.
Culture-rich Samui is more than just the party mecca backpackers know and love. The nocturnal activities only make up one small corner of a huge island. There’s more indulgence and adventure than there is a party. Try and find the enormous waterfalls dotted among the blanket of lush tropical forests.
Phuket was once a bustling trading port and is the largest of all of Thailand’s. It’s soft sandy beaches make for excellent diving and snorkelling spots. A variety of resorts cater to all budgets, with local shopping links and vibrant night markets to enjoy.
Krabi is a stunning masterpiece of greens, turquoise, and blues. With impressive limestone karsts towering above the skyline, Krabi is undeniably one of the most striking and well-preserved islands in the Andaman archipelago. Much of its charm comes from its welcoming locals. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the island’s lush rainforest and their cascading waterfalls and natural pools.
Safety and Security
For up to date advice on travelling to Thailand, please visit Safety and security - Thailand travel advice
BEST TIME TO GO...
The ‘land of smiles’ has a tropical climate with rainy and dry seasons. Many consider the best time to visit between November and February. During these periods, the temperatures are not too hot, and there is less rainfall than at other times of the years. Another good time to take your 5-star holiday in Thailand is in July and August when the rainy season is in full swing. The temperatures are generally lower, and rainfall may be restricted to a quick downpour in the afternoon.
Time difference:GMT +7 hours
Currency: Thai Baht.
Flight time from the UK (London):Approximately 12 hours.
Arrival Airport:Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. Transfers take approximately one hour.
Entry details for British passport holders:A visa is not required for stays of up to 30 days when arriving by air. Passports need at least six months validity from your date of entry. Before you depart, check the latest travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk.