For people seeking sun, sand and plenty of adventure, Thailand is amongst the top places in the world to visit. The beautiful scenery of the coastal islands compliments the rich culture and mountainous regions to the north, not to mention Bangkok, one of South East Asias most intriguing cities. Theres a multitude of places to visit and things to do in Thailand, and whether youre a tourist or a backpacker, youre almost sure to never get bored by the countrys rich offerings. Indeed, you could choose to spend a week bronzing yourself on a beach in the south, or spend months exploring the highlands to the north and the borders with Laos and Cambodia. If youve got a trip to Thailand in store for this year, then take a read of this article to find out about some of the top destinations.
Thailands third largest island is situated in the Gulf of Thailand, while being a particularly popular option with backpackers in search of booze and sun. So the legend has it, the island was little more than a tiny self sufficient tourist community until 1979, when two tourists arrived via a coconut boat. What they arrived at was a series of beautiful beaches on bright blue waters, and since then tourism has boomed. Ko Samui is now a particularly popular choice with the suitcase brigade as well as the more hippy inclined backpacker set. It can offer the comforts of home on its beautiful beaches, and gives a welcome boozy respite for those who have ventured off the beaten path and want a return to civilisation.
An island for those who want a little more than the offerings of the more tourist centric islands, Ko Chang is a rock that soars out of the sea, complete with jungle, rugged terrain and of course, many of its very own beaches. Located to the East of the Gulf Thailand near Cambodia, you wont find the regular sellers of knock off Ray-Bans and DVDs in a hurry, and the tourist hubbub is replaced by a more natural tranquillity. The island is home to an array of stunning wildlife that inhabits the scenery. Sea eagles, Andaman kites and hornbills all nest here, while you may even see a reticulated python if you venture inland! When visiting make sure you take on of the dirt pathways for a nature adventure.
Most travellers choose to breeze through Krabi town, as people are keen to move on to the paradises of Ko Phi Phi and Railay. These two gems of the Andaman Sea boast some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of Thailand, which is a spectacular feat if you consider the extent of beautiful coastland and mountains in the country. Railay is located behind a layer of impenetrable cliffs, and it is only possible to get there by boat. Surreal limestone formations make it a fantastic place for rock climbing, while the beach is possibly the revered in the country. Ko Phi Phi don, meanwhile, is an island 30km to the South West of the mainland of Krabi. As the backlot for The Beach, staring Leonardo Di Caprio, its not difficult to see why the place is thought of as one of the worlds top island paradises.