With it’s picture-perfect white sand beaches, tropical forests and ancient Buddhist temples, along with some of the friendliest people you will find in the world, it’s little wonder why Thailand is Asia’s number one travel destination, with 16 million foreigners flying into the country each year.
Thai culture is still very much in tact despite the ever-growing flood of tourists, although it may not seem this way in the busy, neon-lit streets of Bangkok, you only have to travel out to the remoter farming villages, fishing communities and Buddhist temples to see the authentic Thai way of life.
Thailand’s capital Bangkok is a city of contrasts; you can see skyscrapers filled with expensive restaurants overlooking traditional street stalls selling local delicacies and old Buddhist temples standing next to air-conditioned shopping malls. The bustle of Bangkok is in vast contrast to the laid-back feel of Thailand’s northern capital – Chang Mai. And not far outside Chang Mai you will find unspoiled rainforests, elephant sanctuaries and picturesque waterfalls.
The cost of living is cheap, and there are good bus, air and train links around the country, making internal travel easy. Motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks are brilliant for getting around the bigger cities, but be wary of being overcharged.