With so many affordable flights to Thailand, there’s never been a better reason to visit this Southeast Asian paradise. Famed for its world-class beaches and spectacular islands, this is the perfect destination for a laidback holiday in the sun. For those visiting for the first time, we’ve put together this handy guide on some of the best things to see and do.
No trip to Thailand’s southern islands would be complete without visiting Maya Bay, a secluded cove made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster, The Beach. Set amongst a lush backdrop of dramatic limestone cliffs, white sands meet turquoise waters for a picture postcard setting. Located on the small island of Phi Phi Ley, many tour operators provide daily excursions visiting the bay that include a stop for snorkeling.
Known as the pearl of the Andaman, Phuket has long been regarded as one of Thailand’s major tourist hot spots. Many visitors flock to the sin city of Patong which offers a thumping mix of nightclubs and beachside bars. Partygoers should head to Bangala Road which offers all-night fun, every day of the week. For a more refined experience, visit Phuket’s old town which is home to Buddhist temples alongside art deco inspired shop fronts and quaint cafés. It is best explored in the early morning to beat the crowds and midday heat.
With an endless choice of world-class diving spots, Thailand is great for an underwater adventure. Travel to the island of Koh Tao on the east coast and you’ll find plenty of dive schools offering certified tuition and accreditation. Alternatively, the dazzling reefs of Krabi on the west coast offers something for the experienced diver. Here you can explore underwater tunnels, caverns and even shipwrecks.
Full Moon Party
This all night beach party has gained legendary status with thousands travelling to the island of Ko Pha Ngan to rave into the early hours. Bars and clubs line the beach with something to suit all tastes from thumping techno to dance and reggae. There’s also an exciting mix of performers from fire eaters to jugglers which keep the crowds entertained until sunrise. The island also hosts ‘Half Moon’ and ‘Quarter Moon’ events, which means the party never has to end.
For a once a lifetime experience, visit one of the many elephant camps which are located throughout Thailand. Always choose a camp which follows international safety standards or those which focus on animal welfare. Local guides can provide information on the animals and you can even help on a range of conservation duties.
Take in some of these sights and attractions on your first holiday to Thailand and you won’t be disappointed.
Images by Thomas Sauzedde - idirectori used under Creative Commons License.