A Quick Guide To Exploring Thailand

Thailand is a country of opposites. It’s packed with tranquil and palm fringed white sand beaches on one hand and neon lit vibrant cities on the other. If it’s a holiday of variation you are looking for then you have come to the right place. Culture, spirituality, nature, artifice, history and lots more besides are all there for the taking. And whether you are backpacking on a shoestring or going five star all the way, this fascinating country has something for everyone.

So why visit?

Let’s start with the capital city  Bangkok. Everyone has an opinion on this city. And everyone should experience it at least once! Especially since you can head to online comparison sites like Cheapflights to find low costing tickets. An intriguing mix of modern chic buildings and ancient temples are stewed together in a heady experience. Famed for its colourful floating markets, street vendors selling everything from fried insects to knock off Rolex watches you will be hooked. Five star accommodation and cheap as chips backpackers lodges cater for all wallets in this city and the food isn’t too shabby either.

But if you are yearning for a slightly slower pace, then it’s time to head off to Chang Mai. This bohemian place is Thailand’s 2nd city. Around 700km North West of Bangkok, Chang Mai is a must see. Over 300 temples straddle all areas of the city with around 120 of them being inside what remains of the old city walls. Also within these walls beats the heart of a thoroughly modern city. Hip shopping boutiques, classy hotels and coffee shops can all be found here.

But if you yearn for those palm fringed white sand beaches already mentioned then it’s time to book a flight or boat to Koh Samui. This little slice of paradise is Thailand’s 3rd largest island. Koh Samui allows the traveller to experience both secluded, sandy beaches with pristine aqua water where you will not see another soul and party packed beaches full of the hip and cool gang. Most of the larger tourist beaches are well facilitated with cafes, bars and restaurants but you really can get away from it all here if you so desire. However, if you do want to party all night long, then there is only one destination. Koh Pha-Ngan is famed for its ‘Full Moon Parties.’ Staying up so late its almost early, these free for all parties are a riot and almost as quintessentially Thai as temples and rice. Again, the choice of accommodation spans all the spectrum with beach huts being the thing for young backpackers

When is the best time to visit?

The cool season between November and March is a pleasant time of the year to visit Thailand. Humidity levels are generally lower and temperatures are still hot enough to wear very little should you so desire. However, this is also peak season so the main tourist attractions and places will be very busy. It will pay to book accommodation and travel well in advance if you choose to visit then. February to June can also be a good time to visit Koh Samui as the island has its own little ‘micro climate’. This time of the year tends to be hot and quite dry.

Photo by yenpox on Flickr

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