Bangkok

Image of Bangkok - Introduction

Bangkok offers visitors the opportunity to experience fascinating glimpses of Thailand’s gentle culture amidst the bustle of a great and dynamic metropolis.

Bangkok was founded in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty. It is now the country’s spiritual, cultural, diplomatic, commercial and educational hub. It covers an area of more than 1,500 square kilometres, and it is home to approximately ten million people or more than 10% of the country’s population.

Chiang Rai

Image of Chiang Rai

Located 785 kilometres north of Bangkok, Chiang Rai is the capital of Thailand’s northernmost province. At an average elevation of nearly 600 metres above sea level and covering an area of approximately 11,700 square kilometres, the province borders Myanmar to the north, and Lao PDR to the north and northeast. The area is largely mountainous, with peaks rising to 1,500 metres above sea level, and flowing between the hill ranges are several rivers, the most important being the Kok, near which the city of Chiang Rai is situated.

Phuket

Located 867 kilometres south of Bangkok, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, shaped like an irregular pearl and measuring approximately 21 kilometres long. Connected to the mainland by a causeway, it has a coastline fringed with white sandy beaches and quiet coves, bathed by the clear blue waters of the Andaman Sea and set against a backdrop of green hills, coconut groves and rubber plantations.

Hua Hin

Image of Hua Hin

Prachuap Khiri Khan province’s capital, Hua Hin, is located 281 km. south of Bangkok. The old town was abandoned during the fall of Ayutthaya in the 1760s and a new settlement was established in 1845. Hua Hin is one of Thailand’s most popular seaside resorts among overseas visitors as well as Thais. Located on the sunrise (west) side of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin lies some 200 km. or a three-hour drive southwest of Bangkok and is renowned as Thailand’s most traditional beach resort.

Phang-nga

Situated immediately north of Phuket, from where it is an easy excursion option, Phang-nga covers an area of 4,170 sq. km. and its provincial capital lies 788 km. to the south of Bangkok. The province’s main attractions stem primarily from the area’s geological formations. This has produced an extraordinary number of islands, caves and rocky outcrops, the most notable being those preserved in the national marine parks of Ao Phang-nga, Mu Ko Similan and Mu Ko Surin. Inland the major sights are caves, waterfalls, temples and the archaeological site of Ban Thung Tuek.

I-San Lower Northeast

Northeast Thailand, or I-san as it is called in Thai, covers roughly one-third of the Kingdom’s land area, and for ease of travellers’ orientation it is best divided into upper and lower regions. All of the Northeast is exceptional in its rural landscapes, history and folk culture, while the upper and lower regions have their own distinct attractions, the latter most notably has the finest Khmer ruins to be seen in Thailand, as well as towns and villages with individual character and sights.

Krabi

For many, Krabi, located 814 km. south of Bangkok, is the most beautiful province along the Andaman coast. It is the kind of place where tired clichés like idyllic and pristine take on a whole new meaning. With the display of characteristic beaches and qualified soft coast of the Andaman, fine white sand, warm clear water and lush tropical greenery spilling onto the shore, provides a dramatic backdrop to the sites.

Trang

South of Krabi, the province of Trang is something of a mid point, figuratively speaking, an up-and-coming tourism destination that has yet to achieve the status of Krabi or Phuket. It is also distinguished by offering both coastal and inland attractions.

Ko Chang

Image of Ko Chang

This island’s status on the world’s tourism barometer has risen a few degrees in recent years because of its stunning natural beauty, and the fact that its once-rickety infrastructure has been solidified. More than 70 percent of the mountainous island is still covered in untouched rainforest, and there are many secluded beaches, complete with that vital tropical isle trinity of white sand, palm trees, and warm blue water, where you can really get away from it all and leave your troubles on the mainland. Ko Chang, or Elephant Island, is part of the Mu Ko Chang National Park.

Nakhon Si Thammarat

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The province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, situated approximately 780 km. from Bangkok on the eastern coast of the southern peninsula, is the historic heart and the second largest city of the region. Originally known as Ligor, Nakhon Si Thammarat dates back to 2nd century AD and subsequently gained importance as a staging post on the early trade route between China and southern India.

Ko Samui

Image of Ko Samui

Ko Samui is Thailand’s third largest island at 247 sq. km., and during the last decade it has become one of Southeast Asia’s premier tourist destinations. Samui sits snugly in the Gulf of Thailand, surrounded by other island gems like Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Tao, and is located 84 km. east of Surat Thani, the provincial capital on the mainland. With soft sandy beaches shaded by towering palms, delicious fresh seafood and a vibrant nightlife, Samui has a magical formula that seems to cast its spell on everyone.

Pattaya

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A famed international playground in the sun where the action is non-stop. Enjoy yourself to the max in a dazzling kaleidoscope of sports and entertainment.

Pattaya is a phenomenon. Once a tiny fishing village, it has developed into a renowned international playground. Colourful and alive with activities, it is unrivalled as a beach resort, offering more attractions in greater profusion than any other single destination in Southeast Asia.

Sukhothai

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Sukhothai is located on the lower edge of the northern region, with the provincial capital situated some 450 km. north of Bangkok and some 350 km. south of Chiang Mai. The province covers 6,596 sq. km. and is above all noted as the centre of the old Thai kingdom of Sukhothai, with major historical remains at Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai. Its main natural attraction is Khao Luang mountain park. The provincial capital, sometimes called New Sukhothai, is a small town lying on the Yom River whose main business is serving tourists who visit the nearby Sukhothai Historical Park.

Ayutthaya

Image of Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya province is relatively small at 2,557 sq. km. and is easily accessible due to good road, rail and river connections and its proximity to Bangkok. Straddling the Chao Phraya River, the nation’s principal waterway, the province is extremely important, as it was the Siamese capital for four centuries. The city of Ayutthaya is 76 km. north of Bangkok and boasts numerous magnificent ruins from its days as the capital. Just to the south, in perfect condition, stands the royal palace of Bang Pa-in set in splendid gardens. The province is also noted for H.M.

Hat Yai & Songkhla

Image of Hat Yai & Songkhla

Songkhla is one of Thailand’s most southerly provinces, bordered on one side by the Malaysian state of Kedah and on the other by the Gulf of Thailand. In its cities, the province has a distinctive double appeal with two contrasting focal points: the busy modern hub city that is Hat Yai, and the old world atmosphere off Songkhla, an ancient port, the two being only 28 km. apart.

Chiang Mai

Image of Chiang Mai

Located some 700 km. from Bangkok, Chiang Mai is the principal city of northern Thailand and capital of the province of the same name. Popularly known as “The Rose of the North” and with an enchanting location on the banks of the Ping River, the city and its surroundings are blessed with stunning natural beauty and a uniquely indigenous cultural identity. Founded in 1296 by King Mengrai as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai has had a long and mostly independent history, which has to a large extent preserved a most distinctive culture.