Take your pick from city highlights, island living and jungle adventures in diverse and magnificent Thailand...
Bangkok is the ideal location for visiting the palaces or exploring the floating markets, while it is also great for nightlife and shopping. The northern parts of Thailand such as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are particularly popular among backpackers. Visit James Bond Island of the Phi Phis for scenes from 'The Beach', or opt for some beachside luxury on the island of Phuket. Alternatively, many spa resorts can be found in areas surrounded by craggy hills, tropical jungles and sparkling rivers and waterfalls.
Thailand hotels cater for all needs and budgets...
Guests can choose from cosmopolitan city-centre hotels in Bangkok and quieter retreats in rural or coastal regions.
A large proportion of hotels in Thailand are equipped and furnished to a high standard. For those seeking opulence and relaxation, choose a spa-based resort, many of which also have access to superior golf complexes. These hotels offer a wide range of spa treatments, including traditional steam baths that are famous throughout the world. Beauty therapies and massages are also available. You can also spend some time in tranquil surroundings to practise the art of meditation. Natural healing forms an integral part of Thailand's culture, having evolved over centuries, so it is common for hotels to offer superb spa facilities.
You will find all major international hotel chains are well represented together with large Far East luxury chains such as Dusit and ShangriLa, Mandarin Hotels, Anantara, Amari and Jasmine hotel brands. Family-friendly resorts offer comprehensive entertainment programmes, but if you prefer more traditional accommodation and simplicity, choose a small, quiet beachside hotel. The majority of tourist hotels are equipped with good facilities, such as televisions, room service and swimming pools. In Bangkok especially, some hotels are ranked amongst the world's best and customer service is usually outstanding.
Thailand is a year-round destination, so it is always recommended to book hotels as soon as possible.
From temples and islands to trees and markets, the attractions of Thailand are countless...
Wherever you stay, be it on the mainland or on one of the gorgeous islands that flank the nation, there is something to excite and captivate very close by.
Top five attractions
The temples and palaces of Bangkok
The city is dotted with magnificent monuments to Buddhist deities and you can spend days meandering this vast metropolis and stumbling upon little-visited temples. The big draws however, and absolute must-sees, are Wat Arun Palace, on the Chao Phraya River, and Wat Phra Kaeo, which is part of the Grand Palace complex and home to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Phang Nga Bay
A masterpiece of nature off Thailand's west coast, the sea is punctuated by great limestone formations that reach for the skies. No brochure or photograph can prepare you for the real thing.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
A legacy of an ancient trading-route stop, the night market is friendly and welcoming. You can buy the usual tourist souvenirs and handicrafts while sampling authentic street food. It's an experience not to miss if you stay in this northern city.
Phi Phi Islands
If tropical paradise is what you want then venture to Thailand's Phi Phi islands, which are famed for pristine beaches of white sand and turquoise waters. Take a boat trip to Phi Phi Leh, where 'The Beach' was filmed.
Khao Yai National Park
This park, around two hours northeast of Bangkok, is a sprawling mass of trees and mountains, where bear, elephant, deer and monkeys roam. Heo Suwat, one of the park's waterfalls, was also a filming location for 'The Beach'.
Thailand's major events are about joyous and traditional celebrations of friendliness and goodwill...
You'll be welcome at any of the following annual events, which all take place at locations around the country.
Chinese New Year; January/February: Thailand has the biggest Chinese population outside China so it's no surprise that the New Year goes off with a big bang across the nation. The dancing of the dragons takes place in most locations and is a real treat to watch.
Songkran; April: This mass and friendly water fight marks Thai New Year. A sprinkling of water traditionally granted good luck to the recipient - these days a lot of luck is dished out via buckets and water guns!
Loy Krathong; November (usually, as the event falls during the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar): Beautifully decorated floats - krathongs - are made of banana leaves, flowers, bread and plants and are crowned by candles and set free on the nation's lakes, rivers and seas. Fireworks light the skies above and frame a truly spectacular sight.