Thailand, originally called Siam, has the Andaman Sea to its west and the Gulf of Thailand to its south. It has mountains, a plateau region, thick forests, the Chao Phraya and Mekong rivers irrigating the land, and many surprises. Blessed by nature in the form of several beautiful beach regions, people flock to Thailand to sunbathe at the beaches, swim, water-ski, snorkel, wind-surf, or sail along. Skydiving and bungee jumping sends the adrenaline pumping in the dare-devils on the Thailand Tour Package!
Thailand is often referred to as a golden land, not because there is precious metal buried underground but because the country gives off a certain lustre, be it the fertile rice fields of the central plains, white sandy beaches or the warm hospitality of its citizenry.
Invariably, every Thailand holiday includes a visit to the kingdom’s capital city, Bangkok, or Krung Thep, “the city of angels” as it is known to its inhabitants. While the immensity of the city and the chaos of its bustling streets can be intriguing at first, those who spend some time in this vivacious city are quickly enamoured by the variety of attractions it contains, from exotic temples, which epitomize Thailand’s strong Buddhist history, to modern shopping malls, which have made shopping an integral part of any Bangkok holiday. As the kingdom’s political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital, Bangkok features attractions guaranteed to please visitors either simply passing through the city or spending their entire holiday in Bangkok. The city is dotted with glittering Buddhist temples of great beauty, magnificent palaces, classical dance performances, numerous shopping centres, and a still functioning traditional way of life, especially along the canals of the Chao Phraya River, the `River of Kings’, which winds through the city, thereby renouncing it as the `Venice of the East’.
Every itinerary includes a visit to Thailand’s Grand Palace, arguably the premier iconic sightseeing location. Other historical and cultural `must sees’ include the National Museum, Vimanmek Mansion and Suan Pakkad Palace, all of which either house fine art or are national treasures in their own right. The city is dotted with 400 glittering Buddhist temples of great beauty, magnificent palaces, classical dance performances, numerous shopping centres, and a still functioning traditional way of life, especially along the canals and the Chao Phraya River, the `River of Kings’, which winds through the city. Bangkok truly is the `Venice of the East’. The thickly-forested Lumphini Park, a captivating Butterfly Farm, Dusit Zoo, the Thai Aquarium, the Thai Water Amusement Park, numerous enchanting gardens, two huge parks – Rama IX and Chatuchak – that contain lakes, botanical gardens, besides traditional English, French, and Japanese gardens, are added attractions.
There are several charming Buddhist temples in Bangkok, including the Reclining Buddha temple with a huge statue of a reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, the oldest of the city temples opposite the stately Grand Palace; and, the Golden Buddha or Wat Traimit temple, which has a solid statue of the Buddha weighing 5.5 tonne in gold!
Ayutthaya is set in the heart of the Central Plain and offers an intriguing glimpse into a glorious past. Ranked as the most magnificent city in the Orient, as witnessed in the extensive ruins of numerous temples and palaces that are today preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hua Hin, a premier beach resort, towns the Gulf of Thailand, towards the south of Bangkok, making it one of the most popular getaway destination for city residents and tourists. A resort that is equally popular with young couples and families is also the location of the King of Thailand’s summer palace Klai Kang Won, `Far from Worries’.
The resort features a beautiful powdery sand beach, numerous seaside seafood restaurants, a lively night market, numerous beach activities, and some great inland activities. It is also the site of Thailand’s most popular music festival music festival, Hua Hin Jazz Fesival. Just down the coast at Takiab Bay, visitors can take seaside horseback rides and visit a hilltop Buddhist temple with a spectacular view on this unforgettable Thailand Holiday Package!
Phuket has sea, sand, sun, forests, pineapple clusters, rubber plantations, fishing villages, and nightclubs. Promthep Cape is inundated by tourists for dramatic sunsets. Many opt for water sports that include snorkeling, diving, yachting, kite-surfing, and parasailing. Not far is the stunningly beautiful island of Ko Phi Phi while Ko Tapu has spectacular limestone cliffs jutting straight out of the water. It is also called the James Bond Island as ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ was partly filmed here.
Chiang Mai, Thailand’s `Rose of the North’ is a cultural and natural wonderland with ethnic diversity, a multitude of attractions and warm hospitality. Accommodation along the beach and on the streets leading away from the sea range from simple guesthouses to luxury resorts, including some of the finest spa-retreats in the world Chiang Mai, or ‘new city’, is a spectacular blend of magnificent mountains, gurgling waterfalls, fast-flowing rivers, unique monuments and an ideal base for river rafting or trekking into the hinterland to meet the tribals. Its ancient temples stand alongside modern hotels and stores, an engaging fusion of its past with the present. . Its ancient temples stand alongside modern hotels and stores, an engaging fusion of its past with the present. Thailand’s `Rose of the North’, as it is popularly called, is a cultural and natural wonderland with ethnic diversity, a multitude of attractions, and welcoming hospitality for offering trekking, rafting, and beautiful and historic temples. Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes, a number of elephant camps, cooking and massage schools, numerous outdoor activities, a variety of handicrafts workshops, various cultural performances and breath-taking scenery make this retreat, one of Asia’s most attractive tourist destinations. The old city of Chiang Mai is a showcase of the north’s fascinating indigenous cultural identity that includes diverse dialects, a delectable cuisine, distinctive architecture, traditional values, lively festivals, numerous handicrafts workshops, northern style massage, and classical dances. Chiang Mai city features old-world beauty and charm as well as modern luxury and convenience.
Chiang Rai is Thailand’s northernmost province, a region of rugged mountains and fertile valleys, where this relaxed provincial capital offers excellent accommodation to serve as the perfect centre for exploring the Far North. Two high forested peaks, Doi Mae Salong and Doi Tung, are located just a few kilometres north of the town and both afford easy access into quite spectacular hill country. Of the two, Doi Mai Salong presents the wilder scene, while Doi Tung has been extensively and well developed as part of a royal project conducted under the auspices of the late Princess Mother. North-east of Chiang Rai is Chiang Saen, on the banks of the Mekong River. The site of an ancient and once powerful settlement, it is full of historical interest as well as being the nearest town to the famous `GoldenTriangle’, the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak Rivers form the border between Thailand, Myanmar and Lao PDR.
Koh Samui, Thailand’s second most popular island destination is located in the Gulf of Thailand south of Bangkok and a short distance from Thailand’s eastern seaboard. Being a significant is destination; it features stupendous beaches and a variety of activities and caters to tourists according to their pockets! It includes the fascinating site of the Ang Thong National Marine Park, a kayaking paradise, defining a gem island, lush with tropical forests, fringed with palm tree-lined stretches of golden sand, and surrounded by pellucid, aquamarine water, with the inhabitants primarily engaged in fishing and harvesting coconuts!
Koh Chang, Elephant Island, is the second largest island and the primary destination for those visiting the Koh Chang Marine National Park. Drawn towards its pristine beaches and sparkling waters with more well-to-do Thai and international travellers on this island, numerous luxury spas and resorts have sprung up to cater them. Nonetheless, the island is still a dream destination for budget travellers and families, as numerous gorgeous and tranquil beaches surrounded by crystal clear water dot the area with predominately unspoiled forests and pristine beaches. In addition to its natural beauty, the island is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including native birds, deer, and even a number of elephants. As for activities, Koh Chang and the nearby islands that make up the national park are great for snorkeling, diving, camping, and jungle hiking on this Thailand Tour Package!
Pattaya, is known for its’ cleanest and prettiest beaches. Most visitors go for river rafting, jet-skiing, or para-sailing. It has a vibrant nightlife besides many other delights including Ripley’s World of Entertainment, Mini Siam with a spectacular collection of miniature replicas of some of the world’s historic sites, such as Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens, and an underwater aquarium. There are trips in glass-bottomed boats to see its rich marine life off the Coral Island.
Chanthaburi, southeast of Rayong, is known as Thailand’s Garden Province being famous for its vegetable and fruit cultivation. Topping the list of fresh produce is three of Thailand’s most exotic fruits, durian, mangosteen and rambutan. Different fruits of the earth, in the form of rubies and sapphires were also formerly products of chanthaburi, and while the local gem mines have now been largely worked out, the provincial capital remains a renowned market for gems from all over Southeast Asia.
Though Thai is the official language, English is understood. Many festivals are celebrated here, of which two are reminiscent of India, Songkran that ushers in the Thai New Year, when people pour perfumed water on Buddha’s statue and, just like in Holi, sprinkle water on each other, whereas Loy Krathong has the entire populace down by the river, when small boats containing tiny candles, incense, flowers and coins are set afloat, just like the arti performed at rivers in India.
There is also an annual popular long-tailed boat competition, held traditionally between the last week of September and the first week of October. Another festival featuring beautiful and fancy rockets, the Yasothon Bun Bangfai or ‘Rocket Festival’, has a competition with rockets sent soaring high into the sky, also drawing thousands.
Bangkok has some excellent department stores and designer boutiques housed in upmarket complexes such as The Emporium, MBK or Siam Paragon and there are several sales around the year so tourists can be sure of picking up a bargain in clothing, bags, accessories, home furnishings, wooden handicrafts, art curios, paintings, cosmetics, exquisitely studded silver, gold and diamond jewellery! An escapade to Bangkok is not complete without experiencing the vibrant nightlife, during which time you may even witness the occasional elephant wandering the streets! The beach islands of Ho Huan, Phuket and Pattaya, that you disembark onto, are crowded with stalls selling seashells, jewellery and art in mother-of-pearl, trinkets, clothes, belts, bags, curios and souvenirs and some outlets selling delectable foodstuff.
International cuisine caters to the needs of travellers who come from far and wide. There’s also a smattering of Indian restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, and roadside stalls with delicious snacks. Innumerable shops, upscale boutiques, and street markets sell all kinds of merchandise. Spa treatments are available. Shop all you like but remember that you can get VAT refunds in Bangkok, so keep your shopping receipts intact. Spend with pleasure on the Thailand Tour Package!
The local climate is tropical and characterized by monsoons. There is a rainy, warm, and cloudy southwest monsoon from mid-May to September, as well as a dry, cool northeast monsoon from November to mid-March, and July-October happen to be the wettest and coolest months, when you can’t indulge in water sports. The southern isthmus is always hot and humid.
Thai people are known for their generosity and hospitality. With a tropical climate, the best time to go for a Thailand Tour is November-March and July-August, and especially November-February, though April-June and September-October offer discounted room rates while July-October are the wettest and coolest months, with a lush landscape at that time.