Thailand’s capital city is located roughly in the center of the country and is made up of several different sections. From the modern district of Sukhumvit with its Western-style bars and restaurants to the hippy hangout of Khaosan Road, Bangkok has a lot to offer visitors. The city is also famed for its red light zones, where scantily clad beauties gyrate on stage or take part in special shows. Those who like to shop will be in their element in Bangkok, and vibrant markets such as Chatuchak are excellent places to browse for bargains, while air-conditioned modern shopping centers come complete with branches of shops such as Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. Bangkok’s temples come in all shapes and sizes, from the ancient Wat Arun to the glistening Wat Po, which houses the enormous golden statue of the Reclining Buddha. Taking a boat trip along the Chao Phraya River is a good way to see many of the city’s most prominent attractions.
Thailand’s largest island attracts visitors from all over the globe with its intense natural beauty and vibrant nightlife scene. Party people tend to gravitate toward the area of Patong, which boasts a beautiful stretch of sand as well as the most colourful bars and clubs on the island. Those who want to soak up the sun somewhere more chilled-out will find a large number of other beaches to choose from, including Bang Thao, Karon, Kata Noi and Kamala Beach. Phuket is famed for its richly diverse nightlife scene, while includes a large number of bars and clubs that cater to gay tourists as well as cabaret shows. Phuket is also known for its vibrant festivals such as the Gay Pride Festival, while people travel here from all over the world to go scuba diving and snorkeling in the surrounding waters.
Situated just 150kms to the southeast of Bangkok, the coastal city of Pattaya is perhaps best known for its abundance of go-go bars. While men travel here from all over the world for the chance to party with Pattaya’s beautiful bar girls, those who are looking for more wholesome entertainment will be able to spend time exploring the city’s weird and wacky museums, such as Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and the Bottle Museum. Pattaya also boasts a beautiful beach, which is lapped by crystal clear waters and is a great place to soak up the sun for a while. Many people travel to Pattaya on a daytrip from Bangkok, while those who stay will be able to explore surrounding islands such as the enchanting Koh Larn.
Thailand’s third-largest island, Koh Samui, is a picturesque playground for those who want to unwind in paradise. The island boasts a large number of different beaches to choose from, ranging from Chaweng with its colorful nightlife scene to the more upmarket and chilled-out Bo Phut. People travel to Koh Samui from all over the world in order to take part in water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling and kite surfing, while this is also the gateway to nearby destinations such as the party island of Koh Pha Ngan and the diving hub of Koh Tao. Koh Samui is also home to a large number of interesting attractions, such as the unusually shaped rocks of Hin Ta and Hin Yai, the Temple of the Big Buddha and Samui Crocodile Farm.
Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s largest cities and can be found in the north of the country. Surrounded by intense natural beauty, Chiang Mai attracts a large number of expats, and boasts a vibrant nightlife scene full of bars, pubs and restaurants of all description. Temple-hopping is one of the most popular activities here, while those who climb to the top of Wat Prathat Doi Suthep will be rewarded with enchanting views of the entire city and the surrounding area. Many people use Chiang Mai as a base while taking part in elephant trekking, river rafting and jungle trekking, and this is a gateway to surrounding traditional hill tribe villages
Popular with Thai families and trendy travelers, the beach resort town of Hua Hin can be found around 200kms to the south of Bangkok. The town features a five-kilometer stretch of powdery golden sand, and while swimmers may be put off by the large rocks that can be found in the water at some stretches, this is a good place to sunbathe for a while. Hua Hin hosts a number of vibrant festivals throughout the year, such as the annual Hua Hin Jazz Festival, while the bars and restaurants here range from lively expat bars to the stylish bar that can be found in the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin.
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