Thailand is one of the most inviting locations for any traveller seeking an exotic escape. Experience stunning landscape, blissful weather, beautiful beaches and a tourist-friendly culture.
Thailand exudes beauty and its spectacular array of islands provide the backdrop for awesome aquatic activities, spectacular hiking routes and buzzing nightlife. The only thing you’ll be short of is time to get around and see it all! Here are four top reasons to visit Thailand, the backpacker’s holy land.
1 – Awe-inspiring beaches
Thailand’s islands and delightful coastline boast a mix of bustling and untouched beaches. Railay Beach is one of the most famous in this Asian paradise, only accessible by boat. Serene views and silent surroundings contrast with a high-octane rock climbing experience, with the turquoise sea acting as a safety net below. The iconic limestone formations surrounding Railay Beach are hard to leave behind as your boat departs.
Kata Beach in Phuket offers an archetypal combination of golden sand, blue seas and beautiful palm trees, perfect for relaxation. It’s a surfer’s paradise with consistently high waves flowing over iridescent waters. Don’t think it’s always quiet however, the calm vibe disappears during the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival, where you can experience an authentic dose of Thai-Chinese culture. Kata Beach truly encapsulates some of the best aspects of Thailand for you and your travel buddies to enjoy.
2 – Incomparable nightlife
It’s no secret that Thailand is home to an astonishing range of night time activities. To describe them all would be an entire article in itself, so here are my favourites. Haad Rin beach on Koh Phangan is home to the infamous monthly Full Moon Party. Thousands of party-goers take part in this unforgettable dusk-till-dawn event, which will leave you and your travel buddies debating whether you ever want to leave Thailand at all.
Pattaya also provides some of the best nightlife in the country. A mix of bars, clubs, shows, lights and action come together to create something truly mesmerising. Club Insomnia, Pier Club and Mixx Discotheque are some of the best hangouts along the infamous Pattaya strip. I genuinely believe that Thailand is the stuff of dreams for the party-loving Travamigo who doesn’t know and doesn’t want to know when the night will end!
3- Fine dining and drinking in Thailand
Thai food has stormed its way onto the streets of Britain and has been welcomed with open arms, but there’s nothing like trying traditional cuisine in Thailand. I can confirm without contention that Thai food is delicious, there’s simply nothing like it. One of the most popular dishes is Pad Thai. Found on any street corner, this stir-fried mix of noodles topped with an array of vegetables, meat, spices and sauces is a national treasure. Tom Yum Goong is a spicy soup bursting with flavours and shrimps as well as classic Thai spices and flavours, it truly is Yum!
The drinking experience in Thailand is up there with the quality of the food. Order a cocktail bucket to share (or forget) memories with your travel buddies. One of the best drinks for Thai nationals and tourists alike is Sangsom, a potent rum, which is often mixed with something softer. There’s a variety of popular Thai beers on offer including Singha, Leo Super and Phuket Lager Beer, which are some of the most popular beverages in terms of strength, flavour and price. There’s no shortage of alcohol and hence no stopping once the festivities begin.
4 – Thai temples and culture
Thailand has a rich history and culture which goes far deeper than the partying image often projected by backpackers. Thai temples are usually Buddhist and constructed in traditional styles, featuring sparkling mosaics, golden pagodas and Buddha statues. I personally found Wat Arun, or ‘Temple of the Dawn’, to be a humbling piece of architecture that truly encapsulates the culture, religion and history of Bangkok. Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is found within the grounds of Thailand’s Grand Palace and is a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site for many.
Religion is a very integral part of Thai society. With around 95% of the population identifying as Buddhist, this is a large factor in shaping local culture and lifestyle. Experience one of the Thai-Buddhist annual festivals, which include northern Thailand’s Yi Peng skylantern festival and Loy Krathong. The Thai New Year water festival, Songkran, is the most famous and involves a giant water fight in the streets, which symbolises cleansing and renewal.
Thailand’s incredible culture, nightlife, food and natural beauty make this extraordinary South East Asian escape an essential stop for any adventurous Travamigo. It’s going to be difficult for me to top the Land of Smiles – I might simply have to go back!