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If Thailand had to be summarized in a few words they would be: cultural, friendly, and exotic. But of course, you can’t put Thailand into a box – that’s impossible for this popular Asian destination. Why? Because the country is also known for its warm climate, fun-loving, friendly people, cuisine, festivals (Loi Krathong, or the Floating Lantern Festival), and stunning beaches – its diversity shines through in Bangkok, Phuket Province, and Chiang Mai. Read on to learn more about these areas. You may want to visit one or more of them when you travel to Thailand.
Areas to Visit in Thailand
Bangkok, known as the City of Angels and Venice of the East, boasts a blend of modern and traditional architecture. It’s a sprawling city with impressive temples and palaces, historic markets, skyscrapers and rooftop bars. It’s humid, chaotic, and thrilling at the same time. The energy is infectious and it won’t take you long to be mesmerized by it.
Keep in mind the East meets West feel to Bangkok. Red-light districts, luxurious spa resorts, street vendors and trendy eateries, canals and gridlock, and temples call Bangkok home. You’ll even find Saffron-robed monks among the morning rush hour collecting alms. You may find that the city overloads your senses forcing you to visit a calmer area of the country where you can relax in peace and quiet. Don’t worry. You can always return.
It may be misleading to consider Phuket (the ‘h’ is silent) an island because it’s large – you don’t feel as if you’re surrounded by water. But rest assured you’ll find busy beaches such as those in Patong (sin city) along with beachgoers recovering from hangovers. If this beach is not your scene, you may find that laid-back Rawai on the southern tip suits you. From there, head to Phuket Town, the artsy and culturally interesting capital of the province, and soak up the culture. You’ll find influences of Sino-Portuguese, Chinese, Muslim, and Thai.
If you visit Phuket, consider the seasons. The northeast monsoon season is from November until April. The climate is sunny with low humidity and cool breezes and moderate seas. The southwest monsoon season is from May until October. The weather is rainy and unpredictable with swells off the Indian Ocean.
Even though Thailand’s northern capital has many planes and trains arriving with travelers, the city is easygoing. At first, you may be disappointed that you don’t see the mountains featured on travel brochures. But once you cross the Ping River, you’ll see Chiang Mai transform before your eyes. Doi Suthep will become visible when you enter the Old City.
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Chiang Mai is a place where you can recharge your body and mind by visiting peaceful monastery gardens or 1,000-year old temples. Wander around the city at your leisure and get a bite to eat from one of the Thai outlets. For dinner, you may dine at one of the many stylish restaurants serving gourmet cuisine to patrons. To explore Chiang Mai, consider renting a bicycle. Not only is it good exercise, but a great way to see the city.
Travel to Thailand and Experience the Contradiction
Picture yourself visiting Thailand. Perhaps you begin your trip in Bangkok, one of the most vibrant cities in the world. You may stay at a spa resort where you can get a massage every day and unwind from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. Or maybe you shop and buy souvenirs for family and friends. If you’re an art enthusiast, you may visit Phuket Town in Phuket Province. You can mix and mingle with artists and chat with them about their artwork. Whatever you choose to do, your Thailand vacation will be an experience of a lifetime.
Wherever you travel in Thailand, you’ll have fresh seafood, noodle dishes, and curries. When you return home, you may not eat at your favorite Thai restaurant again because the food may not taste the same. It’s a chance you’ll have to take.
Are you ready for a vacation of a lifetime? Then call your Travel Planners International agent. When you arrive in Thailand, you may discover that you want to stay. Why? Because the smiling faces of the Thai people will be hard to resist. The “land of smiles” is waiting for you.
by Amandah T. Blackwell, Savvy-Writer