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Thailand Holidays

Inspiring, enigmatic, culturally overwhelming, naturally stunning and simply flavourful in every way, Thailand is Southeast Asia's most popular travel destination for a reason and everyone should take the time to discover why.

Thailand

Intoxicatingly alluring for its unique blend of culture, religion, lifestyle philosophy, delicious food adored the world over and the oh-so-famous ethereal beauty of its beaches, Thailand is a land that fascinates many and attracts hundreds of thousands each year. Be it for the fun-loving nature of its locals, the genuine friendliness you encounter everywhere you go and the open mind with which they welcome everyone and everything, Thailand not only makes you feel special, it draws you and pulls you closer with each new attraction.

Introducing Thailand

A country like Thailand has no short introduction, at least not an easy one but if we're going to attempt to sum up its unique riches and attributes we should begin where most people that go to Thailand begin – the mythical beaches.

Thai beaches are glorified and with justified reason, not only do amazing coral gardens flourish in crystalline shallow waters that glisten again the radiant sunshine, not only do the beautiful fine white sands beckon your call, not only do the tall palms sway towards you in an inviting manner, not only is the water the most entrancing shade of blue-green, but also the thriving marine life that lurks beneath the waves awaits your visit.

But beyond the allure of sun-kissed fine sands lies a whole world of wonder to be discovered, with so many things to explore and try, you'll never be short of things to do and experiences to have a go at. From remarkable temples to unforgettable rural encounters and natural adventures in amazing national parks home to varied wildlife to one-of-a-kind petting sessions with docile tigers trained by monks - Thailand has every ingredient in its recipe to amaze and captivate.

Spectacular beaches and glorious food

Remember how Thailand was the setting for the film The Beach? Well, needless to say, they couldn't have find a more striking setting for it, and of course, a Thai beach has every element to enchant, seduce, even hypnotise and lull visitors into a sense of wellbeing, contentment and utter peace.

Add tantalising food to the mix and you've got a glorious combination that will treat all your senses. Thai flavours leaves no one indifferent, with mouths tingling and hearts beating to the rhythm of fragrant dishes infused by aromatic spices and unique cooking techniques that are simple yet deliver such seemingly complicated flavours.

Flavourful food and magical beaches… what could be a more perfect combination on a holiday?

You have two stunning coastlines to choose from and at Thailand's beaches you can try every water sport imaginable, from surfing, to diving with whale sharks, snorkelling, kite boarding and so much more If you want to seek out unique hideaway spots from the masses at popular beaches such as Paton Beach in Phuket (the nation's favourite), there are hundreds of secluded coves to retreat to if you do your research and arrive prepared. They all promise an unforgettable experience.

Foodwise you'll be truly spoilt for choice as to where to dine, whether that's at a sophisticated venue or in popular street stalls. The best thing to do here is to embark on an eating tour along Bangkok's noodle shacks, to Phuket's famous seafood pavilions and try the Burmese market stalls in Mae Hong Song. A word of warning though – you will get hooked.

Legendary traditions, awe-inspiring temples and tiger encounters

Looking past the almost unavoidable allure of scenic beach resorts, Thailand has a diversity of attractions to keep every kind of traveller deeply interested.

There are gleaming temples no one on a visit here should overlook, with huge golden Buddhas framing the modern and rural landscapes with exuberance and flair. In Bangkok you will find many temples, also known locally as "wats", from tiny ones removed out of tourist areas to massive complexes that feature in every guide book. Wat Pho is one of the most impressive with its huge golden reclining buddy standing at 26 metres tall.

Religious affairs here are a colourful spectacle where devotion brings locals to engage in an ongoing dialogue with their divinities. You will find ancient banyan trees decorated as improvised shrines, wrapped in sacred clothes to honour the spirits, fortune-bringing shrines decorating the humblest of noodle houses and decorated dashboards help protect the roads from traffic accidents.

Then there's colourful traditions such as the Thai dance, a dramatic art form performed by beautifully costumed girls. It has many forms, from high art, also known as classical dance, to low art or folk dance, both enchanting in their unique ways. Don't miss the opportunity to watch one of these; it'll be one of the highlights of your trip.

For something different and slightly adventurous why not go for a personal encounter with one of the most majestic and imposing creatures of the animal world? It's possible, only in Thailand to visit a monk inhabited sanctuary where tame tigers wander about and where you can get the one-in-a-lifetime chance of bathing them, watching them feed up close en even petting them! This is for real thrill-seekers though and we don't recommend this activity unless you're a real dare-devil (travel insurance companies won't cover you for this). Now if that doesn't have the wow factor, we don't know what has!

Nature and going off the beaten path

Yes, there's much of Thailand that's been heavily trodden but that shouldn't put you off if you're seeking some remote corner where you can get to the real way of life of Thai people, from humble peasants to charming rural villages. You don't have to be a backpacker to experience raw Thailand at its purest; you can escape your comfortable accommodation in the heart of the city and get back to the bare necessities of life by visiting rural villages during the day and get to heart of the nation's rural life.

Go a step further the organised tours and wander off for yourself to find some rather unique places, carve your path along some jungle, stray from the beaten track and make your holiday more unique.

You can trek along many undiscovered trails after visiting famous ones, such as the Kahao Yai National Park (teeming with wildlife), the Ti Lor Su Waterfall, home to the nation's biggest and most beautiful waterfall and the Doi Inthanon National Park, where well-marked paths will take you to find rare birds and where you can rent a log cabin or a tent and spend the night breathing in the fresh alpine air.

Some things to experience off the beaten path include rock climbing or learning to slack-line walk in Tonsai, where you can also learn how to fire dance, participate in yoga sessions and enjoy freshly-prepared chai tea and coffee that's been locally grown.

If you're a motorbike lover then there's no better place to engage in this sport than in Pai, a beautiful scenic countryside region with some spectacular landscapes and the plus of encountering very few cars on its roads.

If you're in for a body-changing experience you could even get a Sak Yant tattoo from a Buddhist monk, they cost a mere $1.50 donation and consist of tailor-made blessings that the monks decide for you according to what they believe you need most.

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