Loud, colourful, and indescribably beautiful, it’s hardly surprising that hedonistic Thailand has long been a haven for western backpackers. With affordable prices, parties that never seem to end and beaches that are only fractionally less than idyllic even at the height of the summer rainy season, it’s difficult to find a downside.
Commonly used minority languages in Thailand include Lao, Yawi (Malay), Teochew, Mon, Khmer, Viet, Cham, Hmong, Akhan and Karen.
Brash capital Bangkok is a city of two faces. There’s the one that drinks from buckets all night, munches on insects from street carts and viciously kicks its way around a boxing ring, and then there’s the one that bows respectfully in the towering golden temples, removing its shoes before kneeling before Buddha, and employs its blind as ultra sensitive masseuses.
Head south and you’ll stumble across a deluxe brand of beach, where you can snorkel around towering headlands and feel the flutter of sharks against your legs, or sit at a private table with your feet in the water and dine on finely cooked fresh fish. The tiny island of Ko Tao has become a diver’s Mecca, where underwater adventurers can come face to face with mammoth whale sharks, while nearby Ko Phangan is a self-gratifying playground of fire swinging post-hippies and (now weekly) moon cycle parties that’ve gained a worldwide reputation from the well documented, unmitigated carnage.
If you prefer something a bit tamer, opportunities to volunteer with animals are abundant in Thailand. The northern city of Chang Mai is something of a cultural hub, where you can learn to cook exquisite Thai cuisine or stomp off into the jungle on an elephant and explore the surrounding wildlife. Central Ayutthaya’s glorious temples and moated location gives a glance at the Thailand of old, all oversized Buddha statues draped in vibrant saffron robes and in-temple saunas shared with monks. Nearby Kanchanaburi is the harrowing site of the Bridge Over the River Kwai, where thousands died building the railway. Now you can sleep in floating houses on the river, and snack on freshly caught river snails.
Heading for Thailand might be something of a backpacking cliché, but there’s a reason for that: it’s stunning, and it has masses to offer.
Bangkok’s reputation for excess precedes it. Sleazy, energetic, and the gateway to what many see as the world's greatest and most incredible backpackers’ paradise, it’s a city that on t…
Phuket is a provincial tropical paradise. From the beautiful lagoon where Leonardo Di Caprio starred in ‘The Beach’, to the striking sunsets, palm strewn beaches and extraordinarily clear…
Chiang Mai is often described as real Thailand, it is also the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is located 700…
As Koh Phangan’s larger and calmer cousin, Koh Samui is the most accessible of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, with an airport and ferry service. Koh Samui has rapidly established as …
As far as down and dirty reputations go, few places are a match for Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. One place most certainly is, though: Pattaya. While more recently the government have done t…
Koh Phangan is an island in the Gulf of Thailand in South East Thailand. It is famous for its full (and half and black) moon party at Haad Rin Beach and as a backpackers destination. Ko Phang…
Like most of the better-known corners of Thailand, Krabi is all about spotless, dream-like stretches of beach. Krabi’s bay area is the focus of so many jealousy inducing photographs that yo…
Hua Hin is a Thai beach town on the road south from Bangkok, and while its increasingly popular (and boasts a Hilton Hotel), it's still off the Thai backpacker trail and well worth a look for…
Ao Nang is a central point of the coastal province of Krabi, Thailand. The town consists chiefly of a main street, which is totally dominated by restaurants, pubs, shops and other commerce ai…
A small town nestled in northern Thailand near the border with Myanmar along the northern route to Mae Hong Son, straddling the Pai River against one of the most beautiful backpacking destina…
Looking for a small-scale tropical paradise? You might just have found it. Diminutive enough to barely even register as a spec amongst the Gulf Of Thailand, Koh Tao is famed for its diving, a…
Koh Lanta is an island just off the west coast of Krabi which is becoming a popular tourist destination, the island is known for its long, sandy beaches and scuba diving. It can easily be rea…
For those of you who have seen the movie The Beach, Koh Phi Phi existed very much like it did in the film: a laid-back, mostly unheard-of tropical island that only the most adventurous sorts …
Chiang Rai is mainly a stopover on the way north, but can also function as a good base for doing some hill tribe trekking in the surrounding area.
The hill tribe museum gives a lot of inf…
As the home of the notorious Bridge On The River Kwai – the sight of countless international deaths at the hands of the Japanese during a Second World War railway-building project – Kanch…
Located just 300 kilometers southeast from Bangkok, in Trat Province near the Cambodian border, Ko Chang is Thailand's second largest island after Phuket and , amazingly, largely overlooked. …
One of the oldest and most legendary cities in the ancient world was Ayutthaya, otherwise known by its full name of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. Founded in 1350 as the headquarters for the kingd…
The Amphoe (district) Cha Am is a beach resort in central Thailand.
Cha Am is a kind of insider's tip cause the place is not really well-known.
A lot of Thai people spend their holidays in …
Hat Yai (also known as Haad Yai / Had Yai) is a city in southern Thailand near the boundary to Malaysia.
Geographical location 7°1′N, 100°28′E. With a population of 155,585 (2005) in …
Phang Nga is a province in Thailand which is directly north of Phuket island. Several people do not realise that they actually have been to Phang Nga thinking that they were in Phuket.
Patong Beach is a little easy and caotic village on Phuket island's west coast. It is the main tourist resort in Phuket. It contains an important centre of Phuket's nightlife and is the centr…
Sukhothai is a historical city in Thailand. It was the first capital of Siam and was founded in the 13th century and its dynasty lasted over 200 years. King Ramkhamhaeng is the most famous ki…
Located at the heart of the Northeastern Thailand (Isan), Khon Kaen is the capital city of Isan and is an important centre for the region's silk trade it is also the capital of the province K…
The district is the gateway to the Northeast (Isan) of Thailand from the central region, as the main pass through Phetchabun mountain range is located within the district. The southern parts …
Rayong, which is located approx. 220 kilometers from Bangkok, another delightful seaside province on Thailand’s eastern gulf coast. Most of Rayong province is marked by mountains interspers…
Mae Hong Son is surrounded by mountains and punctuated by small but picturesque Nong Jong Kham( Jong Kham lake). This town is still peacefull compare to Chiang Mai. The town's population is m…
Koh Chang is located in the Trat province, in south-east Thailand. It's the second biggest island in the country, and has some 5000 people living there. There is a road that follows the coast…
Nong Khai is a city in North East Thailand. It is located on the southern bank of the Mekong River.
The country of Laos is situated across from Nong Khai on the northern bank of the Meko…
Its possible to go to islands from Phuket by boat. Phi Phi Islands will leave you breathless. Phi Phi Ley (or Leh) is the home of the movie "The Beach" with Leonardo Di Caprio so you will see…
If going to Ko Lipe, Ko Lanta or other islands in the area it might be necessary or convenient to stay overnight in Trang. Personally I find the place nice and friendly and with very good loc…
A small peninsula located between Ao Nang and Krabi,
Railay (Rai Leh)boasts a large beach that is a popular destination for backpackers and family alike. With calm waters and impressive lim…
Koh Lipe is a small Island in Tarutau National Park in southern Thailand. It is inhabited by about 500 Chau Ley (Sea Gypsies) and has a rapidly growing tourism industry. Currently there are…
Koh Samet is a small island only a few hours by bus and boat from Bangkok, and is therefore a popular weekend destination with Bangkok residents. The island is quiet and a great place to just…
Nonthaburi is officially classified as a separate city/province but it is actually like a suburb of Bangkok due to its very close proximity to Bangkok. The colorful Nonthaburi pier on the Cha…
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ayuthaya was the former capital city of Thailand. Although the capital had withstood several invasion attempts, it was finally conquered and plundered b…
The main reason you might end up in Phitsanulok is as a gateway to visiting the Sokhothai Historical Park. Phitsanulok is on the train line between Chiang Mai and Bangkok and is about 7 hours…
bordertown to laos and not very spectacular by itself
not too dodgy for being a bordertown, though - has some nice bars and guesthouses... and of course banks & atm - get your laos cash he…