The links between Asia and the rest of the world date back centuries. Exploration and trade over land and sea saw many areas come under colonial rule. Within South East Asia there was a single exception; Siam (now Thailand) never had a European colonial master. The numbers of tourists visiting Thailand today, in access of 30 million, confirm that the Country welcomes visitors and has many attractions to keep them coming back. Once international long haul flights became readily available, tourists came from far beyond the borders of Asia. The beginnings of tourism from far afield began slowly in the 1960s and Thailand Travel has accelerated dramatically reaching today’s impressive numbers. Thailand is the most popular of the South East Asian countries and is an excellent introduction to this part of the world.

Bangkok is the most popular airport of entry and the city itself is certainly worth a few days within Thailand travel packages before holidaymakers move on to popular coastal resorts or the north of the country where Chiang Mai is a very popular base.It is worth looking in more detail at the popular parts of Thailand:

•    Bangkok, the current day capital in Central Thailand is one of the most exciting cities in the world.
•    Phuketin Southern Thailand, one of a number of coastal resorts.
•    Pattayaand the wonderful beaches and islands of Eastern Thailand whose interior also deserves inspection.
•    Chiang Mai, the focal point of Northern Thailand, is the hub of a hilly region with much to attract those keen on the environment and activity.
•    Isaan which is the north east area bordering with Cambodia and Laos.

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When you start to think about Thailand travel you need to bear in mind the climate and the regional variations before reaching a decision on when to go. There are times when it may be too hot to explore cities and their temples yet wonderful on the beach. Likewise the main rainy season varies by region so if you want to do comprehensive Thailand tour packages to see most of the country then you may have to accept it will rain at some point or other.November around to February should be generally dry and cooler than the rest of the year in all but the south east. As a result it is the most popular time for a visit to most of the country though the south east’s driest months are May to October. The internal travel infrastructure is good with plenty of flights as well as rail and coach options. Those on Thailand tour packages have no reason to look at arranging such things but it is nice to know that they are in place.

Thai people are naturally hospitable but they do expect visitors to respect their religion and culture. That means showing due regard to the way they dress when visiting temples for example and there are some things that tourists should learn about the attitude towards the head and feet. There are some simple rules to follow and it must be said it costs nothing to be polite during your Thailand travel.

While you may not have time to attend any cooking classes during your holiday in Thailand, you will have plenty of time to sample the famous cuisine that differs quite markedly from Chinese for example. The flavours vary from hot with red and green chilli curries to the subtle use of lemon grass, garlic, coriander and coconut milk. Thai food is not necessarily hot. It has evolved over time with plenty of outside influences; it could be argued that this mirrors how the country itself has evolved.

Thailand’s modern day capital is fairly chaotic it has to be said. That is partly due to its rapid development but it is part of its charm in some ways. Often the best way to get around in on the water though the Skytrain has meant that it is not always necessary to travel by road.

There are many places that tourists have to see when they are in the City and most revolve around Buddha. Thailandtravel itineraries often revolve around Buddhism and the understanding of the importance of showing respect to Thai religion, history and culture.  The Grand Palace is a major landmark in Bangkok and within the site there is the first of three distinctively different Buddhas:

•    The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaew) originated in the 15th Century well before the Palace was built.
•    The reclining Buddha is in Wat Pho. It measures 150 feet long and 50 feet high; even its feet are 16 feet if that makes sense. It is not the easiest thing to photograph because of its size and its unique reclining ‘’pose.’’
•    The final one of the three is by far the most valuable. It was covered in plaster to hide its actual real value. Its final home after a couple of moves is Wat Traimit where it had been for 20 years until it was accidentally dropped and damaged in the mid-1950s. The damage revealed gold and this Buddha is solid gold. Imagine the value of a 14th Century solid gold Buddha 10 feet high!

There is much more to Bangkok than Buddhas. Thai cuisine has become highly regarded and one excellent way to enjoy the City is on a dinner cruise when Bangkok lights up and reveals itself to diners.Thailand travel experience really gets no better than this.

Jim Thompson’s house, or houses, are now a museum; six traditionally built teak houses that have remained the same since the mysterious disappearance of Thompson in the Malaysian jungle in the late 60s. Thompson was an American who revived the silk industry resulting in the worldwide demand for silk taking off.

The floating markets are another thing to see in Bangkok. There’s no time for sleeping because there is so much to do, day or night.

Ayutthaya north of Bangkok was the ancient capital of Bangkok and deserves a visit. Its origins date back to the middle of the 14th Century but much of the old city was destroyed by the Burmese when they invaded in the late 18th Century. However stone buildings survived and the old city became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991. It is close enough for a day trip from the new capital with a few hours to see the impressive ruins of Ayutthaya which is also a modern day city.

Southern Thailand
This region subdivides into several. The Island of Phuket is perhaps the most famous destination but there are many others to consider within the South.

This is a region for those wanting a great beach holiday with the change to swim, dive and sail and then enjoy the wonderful seafood dishes in Thai cuisine:

•    The West Coast is the Andaman Sea and the coastline can be sub-divided into four:

          Northern Coast including Khao Lak, Silimilan and Surin Islands and Ko Chang.
          Phuket, well-developed but still a treat.
          Krabi with is islands, coral reefs and white beaches.
          Ko Tarutao Archipelago and the Trang Islands.

•    The Gulf of Thailand Coast faces east:

         Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and several other stunning destinations in the central part of region.
         The Southern Coast which is perhaps less developed though there have been a few political problems in the deep south.
         The coastline has been used for many film locations and has probably replaced the Caribbean as the ideal beach paradise.

Eastern Thailand
This small region of Thailand is between the Capital, Bangkok and the Cambodian border. Many people combine more than one country in Indochina for their holidays and indeed Thailand and Vietnam tour packages are certainly worth looking at. If you want to know more about the other countries within Indochina then a simple enquiry will help you with your questions.

The coastal part of this region sits on the Golf of Thailand with Pattaya being the most famous resort and the closest beach to Bangkok. The Islands of Ko Samet and Ko Chang have become increasingly popular while there are others that have yet to develop.

The interior is interesting and worth a visit; a mountainous environment en route to Cambodia.

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Chiang Mai and the North  
The most popular internal flight route within Thailand is from Bangkok heading north to Chiang Mai, the City and its Province. It provides quite a contrast from both Bangkok and the coastal resorts.Thailand Travelprovides a range of experiences and the altitude of the northern region means that the climate is slightly different and the range of activities different from elsewhere in Thailand.

The City sits below mountains and one of the main attractions, the 14th Century Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep looks down from above across the City. Its golden dome is quite distinctive and on clear days is easily visible from the city. There are just 170,000 inhabitants in sharp contrast to the 11 million that live in Bangkok so the experience is far less intense.

The old city is fairly small and many of the temples are in easy walking distance of each other while those interested in history and culture can learn more by visiting some excellent museums. However many people are attracted to Northern Thailand for the opportunity it provides for outdoor activities ranging from hiking, mountain biking and climbing to rafting and fishing. After a busy day a massage might be welcome followed by a meal at one of the excellent restaurants. Tourism has led to a number of international cuisines being on offer though seasoned travellers are surely more likely to prefer the excellent Thai cuisine?

Isaan is often forgotten but its proximity to Cambodia and Laos means that is a region where multicultural influences have been part of its historical development. It is largely an agricultural region but that is no reason to omit it from Thailand travelbecause it does provide a different experience from other areas of the country. The highlights include a number of national parks, with Khao Yai a UNESCO World Heritage site, Khmer architecture that spreads eastwards into Cambodia and the Mekong Valley. The best examples can be found in Phanom Rung Historical Park and Phimal Historical Park.

What Are your Thoughts?
Now that you are considering Thailand travel and you know a little more about the regions within the Country you will probably be thinking about the main things you want to see. Holidays to Thailand offer the chance to go to any part of the Country with the stunning coastline especially popular. Tourist numbers in the main coastal resorts mean that you may be faced with crowds if you pick Phuket or Pattaya yet if you want solitude there are many places where you are unlikely to meet more than a handful of people.

In contrast there are many who like to explore interior regions amongst the mountains and greenery. The popularity of the Bangkok – Chiang Mai is evidence enough that plenty of overseas travellers want to do that.Thailand travel packages can include some time in Bangkok linked with days in Chiang Mai and its immediate surroundings.

The Eastern Region and Isaan both offer alternatives to Chiang Mai with in the case of Eastern Thailand offering the beaches of Pattaya as well as the interior.

When it comes to a decision a great deal will depend upon how much time you have and whether you want to go to other countries within Indochina as well; Thailand and Vietnam tour packages are certainly worth consideration if you are thinking along those lines.

Good tour companies are used to providing advice and answering questions about Thailand travel on a regular basis and can tailor holidays to Thailand to suit their clients. It costs nothing to get in touch with questions of all kinds. The hope is that once you have been introduced to this wonderful part of the world you will return time and again. There is always something new to see!

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