Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world - Twenty years ago it was considered 'daring' to travel to Thailand. Times have certainly changed. From the majestic five-star hotels in Bangkok to simple beach huts in Koh Samui or Koh Samet, accommodation choices are many. From the stunning plains and hills of the Golden Triangle to the wave-lapped white sand beaches of Phuket, Samui and Krabi, the kingdom radiates beauty.
In the North you will find breathtaking mountain ranges with waterfalls and fast flowing rivers for trekking and rafting, ethnic tribal groups with unique customs and clothing and people famous for their courtesy and hospitality.
The North-East, or Isan, is one of the country’s most intriguing destinations with many Stone Age and Bronze Age dwellings and artifacts, and several significant temples and national parks. The central plains and the east coast are dotted with national parks, seaside resorts and islands.
Thailand has so much to offer that one visit is never enough – you'll want to come back anddiscover more time after time.
Province and town summaries:
Thailand is a unitary state that is subdivided into 76 provinces and one special administrative area representing the capital Bangkok. The provinces are part of the provincial government, while Bangkok is part of the local government. Some of the most popular destinations are of course the many islands, every one of them featuring clear blue seas and soft white sand.
Thailand has a population of almost 70 million, with the capital alone being home to about 6.5 million Thais.
Accommodation in Thailand, in all the major towns and tourist centres, offers a huge range from basic hostels to 5-star luxury resorts. The very long coastline and hundreds of islands means there are many beautiful resorts right on the beach, perfect for special occasions such as weddings and honeymoons.
Food and drink:
Thai food is legendary, especially if you like spicy food.
Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. In 2011, seven of Thailand's popular dishes appeared on the list of the "World's 50 Most Delicious Foods”, a worldwide online poll of 35,000 people by CNN Travel. Thailand had more dishes on the list than any other country. The most popular were Tom Yam Goong, Pad Thai, Som Tam, Massaman Curry, Green Curry, Thai Fried Rice and Moo Nam Tok.
Outlets vary from some amazing street food, to fine dining in some of the best hotels in the world. If 5-star wine lists are not your scene then Happy Hours are everywhere in the tourist bar areas where you can sample both Thai and international beers and drinks.
Thai cuisine blends five fundamental tastes: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, and salty. Common ingredients used in Thai cuisine include garlic, chilies, limejuice, lemon grass, coriander, galangal, palm sugar, and fish sauce (nam pla). The staple food in Thailand is rice, particularly jasmine variety rice, which forms a part of almost every meal. Thai food is a highlight of any visit.
Healthcare is one of the issues that concerns most foreign travelers to Asia, however Thailand is the go-to place for some of the best healthcare in Asia, so if you have good insurance you can receive some of the best treatment in the world at reasonable costs, especially in Bangkok. Travel Loop Adventure strongly recommends a good travel insurance policy.
There are some things you can do that are just common sense.
• Cover up from the sun either like the locals with clothing, or high factor sunscreen, and wear a hat.
• Rehydrate as much as possible during the day.
• Mosquito repellents are also recommended if you are prone to being bitten.
• Small cuts and abrasions (especially on feet and legs) are very easily infected in Vietnam and so careful first aid is a must. Keep everything scrupulously clean and bring antiseptic cream.