A popular destination for travelers, Thailand has something for everyone, from 5 star luxury seekers to money conscious back packers. It’s a land with a fascinating history, breathtaking scenery, ancient temples and a long standing culture of Buddhism. With palm studded beaches, sugary white sands, azure seas and idyllic islands it’s the ultimate place to relax and let the laid back atmosphere wash over you.
A major tourist destination, Kanchanaburi has a truly magnificent landscape with waterfalls, forests, rivers and caves dating back to the times of Neolithic man. It’s the ultimate outdoor adventure park with all sorts of activities available from rafting, canoeing and fishing to golfing, mountain biking and bird watching. There are even treks into the dense jungle in search of elephants for those of you who like a little more adventure in your life. But if this seems too much like hard work then just relax on the beautiful white sand beaches.
Probably one of the best known Thai destinations after Bangkok, Phuket was made famous as far back as 1974 when it featured in the Bond film, ‘Man with the Golden Gun’. In Phuket you can experience a hedonistic lifestyle as you relax on miles and miles of soft sandy beaches by the shimmering aquamarine waters of the Andaman Sea. It’s the perfect place to try out some water sports or just eat and drink in the many restaurants and bars which line the sands.
3. Maya Bay
Another beach made famous on the big screen, Maya Bay played a central role in the 2000 film ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo di Caprio. Beautiful white sand surrounded by coral reefs and limestone rocks; it proved to be the perfect location although the landscaping carried out by Fox productions didn’t endear the film makers to the locals. It seems nature has now reclaimed its birthright, the 2004 tsunami removing most of the Fox productions landscaping and returning it to its natural state.
4. Haad Rin, Koh Pha Ngan
If you’re finding all this talk of relaxation too staid for your tastes and you’d prefer somewhere with a party atmosphere then head to Haad Rin, a beach which is more famous for its Full Moon Parties than for its natural attractions. That’s not to say that it isn’t beautiful, it still has the requisite golden sands, crystal clear waters but it also has a lively vibe which lasts all day and well into the night.
5. Koh Phi Phi Don
Hindus, Buddhists and sea gypsies live in harmony in this hedonistic paradise where unspoiled beaches, clear emerald seas and craggy cliffs make up the familiar landscape of this area. Koh Phi Phi, like most islands, can only be reached by sea in one of the puttering colourful long tails and once you are there, you’ll find that there are no roads and no traffic in this unspoilt haven of tranquillity and peace. In fact the most arduous thing you’ll have to do here is raise your cocktail glass or maybe practice a few downward dogs during a yoga session on the pristine beaches.