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Thailand travel guide

Delicious food, beautiful beaches, great diving, trekking and wildlife-watching – what doesn't Thailand do brilliantly?

Long the backpackers’ South-East Asian favourite, it’s easy to see why Thailand creates such a buzz: scores of fabulous, sandy beaches; tongue-tingling cuisine; fascinating culture – and all at great prices.

In Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, explore glittering palaces, peaceful temples and night markets. In the north of Thailand, trek through the jungles and hills to discover tribal villages, then learn to rustle up your own Thai curry at a cooking class in Chiang Mai.

Thailand’s many laid-back islands beckon scuba divers and hammock-snoozers alike – Ko Pha-Ngan is renowned for its full moon parties, while Ko Tao, Ko Lanta and Ko Phi-Phi are hotspots for dive courses.

Take a trail through time – explore Thailand’s ancient sites at Sukhothai, Ayuthaya and Prasat Phanom Rung, or visit a piece of more-recent history at the Bridge on the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi.

Wildlife-watchers head to the dense rainforest of Khao Sok National Park and monkey-inhabited mountains of Khao Yai National Park. Further south, grab a paddle to sea kayak among the karst outcrops around Krabi.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Hunt down the perfect island – choose from scores dotted around the coasts bordering the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Thailand
  2. Try exotic snacks at Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok
  3. Explore the hills around Chiang Mai
  4. Learn more about meditation and life in a monastery at Bangkok’s Wat Mahathat
  5. Dive underwater worlds at Ko Tao or Ko Phi-Phi
  6. Explore ancient ruins at Sukhothai and Ayuthaya
  7. Kayak the Andaman Coast around Krabi

Wanderlust tips

Treat yourself with an authentic and affordable Thai massage in Bangkok’s Wat Pho temple, where practitioners are trained in the fine art of balancing energy and releasing blocks. 

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