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Tourist Information

Bangkok

As the political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital of Thailand, Bangkok features both old-world charm and modern convenience, at times served up in an apparently chaotic manner, but always with a gracious smile. Invariably, every Thailand holiday includes a visit to the kingdom's capital city, Bangkok, or Krung Thep, “the city of angels” as it is known to its inhabitants. Many tourists who travel to Bangkok are immediately overwhelmed by the sheer size of the city and the vast number of attractions Bangkok has to offer. Indeed there are a wide variety of Bangkok sightseeing opportunities spanning more than two centuries of rapid development following the city's founding in 1782 by King Rama I, the first king of the present Chakri dynasty; since that auspicious date, Bangkok has swelled to a cosmopolitan, 21st century city of more than ten million inhabitants.

While the immensity of the city and the chaos of its bustling streets can be intimidating at first, those who spend some time in Bangkok are quickly enamored by the variety of attractions Bangkok contains, from exotic temples, which epitomize Thailand's strong Buddhist history, to modern shopping malls, which have make shopping an integral part of any Bangkok holiday. As the kingdom's political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital, Bangkok features attractions guaranteed to please visitors either simply passing through the city or spending their entire Thailand holiday in Bangkok.

Nearly every Bangkok holiday includes a visit to Thailand's Grand Palace, arguably the premier Bangkok sightseeing attraction. Situated in the heart of Bangkok's Rattakosin district, the gleaming spires of the Grand Palace are conveniently located nearby Bangkok's most spectacular temples, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keaw), the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), and Wat Po, which features an enormous reclining Buddha and was home of the first Thai massage school in the kingdom. These iconic destinations are top attractions to all visitors who travel to Bangkok looking to appreciate Thailand's unique cultural traditions.

In fact, there are more than 400 functioning Buddhist temples throughout the city and it's not uncommon when you travel in Bangkok to spot saffron robed monks collecting morning alms or traveling throughout out the city, including along the Chao Phraya, the “River of Kings”, which passes alongside Rattakosin and the Temple of the Dawn.

The winding Chao Phraya is connected by numerous canals from which Bangkok has earned its nickname the “Venice of the East”; when you travel around Bangkok, a cruise on the Chao Phraya, a visit to a floating market, or an exploration of the cities “back alley” canals (klongs) are themselves unique Bangkok attractions.

Other historical and cultural Bangkok sightseeing ‘must sees' include the National Museum, Vimanmek Mansion, and Suan Pakkad Palace, all of which either house fine art or are national treasures in their own right.

Beyond Bangkok's historical district, there are plenty of other attractions that make a Bangkok holiday both enjoyable and memorable. While modern “downtown” districts along Silom and Sukhumvit Roads were once nightmares of oppressive heat and unbearable traffic, a modern and convenient electric rail system, including an elevated sky-train and underground subway have made travel in Bangkok both easy and enjoyable. Connecting hotels directly to modern shopping malls and traditional markets, such as the Chatuchak (JJ) weekend market, the MRT and BTS electric rail systems have literally elevated Bangkok shopping to world class status.

Of course, no Thailand holiday is complete without experiencing Thailand's vibrant nightlife, during which time you may even witness the occasional elephant wandering the Bangkok streets!

Whether, the purpose of your Thailand holiday is to immerse yourself in Thailand's unique culture or simply to splurge in Bangkok shopping malls, when you travel to Bangkok you are guaranteed a fascinating experience of both old world charm and modern convenience and luxury.

Over the last few decades, Bangkok, Thailand's capital city, has changed into a modern, exciting, and sophisticated city. Bangkok offers visitors not only the modern amenities they would expect from other cosmopolitan cities, but also a unique treasure trove of cultural attractions. Thailand, in the heart of Southeast Asia, was never colonized and thus kept its unique culture and heritage intact. Bangkok offers visitors the opportunity to experience a fascinating glimpse of Thailand's gentle culture amidst the bustle of a great and dynamic metropolis. Amazingly, this great city has had astounding success in combining the ancient and modern worlds.

For tourists, Bangkok has a feast of attractions to offer. The city is dotted with 400 glittering Buddhist temples of great beauty, magnificent palaces, classical dance performances, numerous shopping centers, and a still functioning traditional way of life, especially along the canals and the Chao Phraya River, the "River of Kings", which winds through the city; Bangkok truly is the "Venice of the East".

Hua Hin

Hua Hin, one of Thailand’s premier beach resort towns on the Gulf of Thailand, is less than 200 km south of Bangkok, making it one of the most popular weekend getaway destination for city residents. A resort equally popular with young couples and families, tourists and Thais, Hua Hin is also the location of the King of Thailand’s summer palace, Klai Kang Won, “Far from Worries.” Hua Hin features a beautiful, powdery sand beach, numerous seaside seafood restaurants, a lively night market, numerous beach activities, and some great inland activities, not least of which is golfing at some of Thailand’s most renowned courses. Hua Hin is also the site of Thailand’s most popular music festival, the Hua Hin Jazz Festival. Just down the coast at Takiab Bay visitors can take seaside horseback rides and visit a hilltop Buddhist temple with a spectacular view. Accommodation along the beach and on the streets leading away from the sea range from simple guesthouses to luxury resorts, and includes some of the finest spa-retreats in the world. Hua Hin is accessible via train, bus, or car and the seaside community of 60,000 residents epitomizes warm and welcoming Thai hospitality. 
The seaside town of Hua Hin, meaning “Stone Head”, was named after the rocks at the north end of the powdery sand beach. Hua Hin became Thailand's first beach resort after a train line was laid in the 1920 to provide access from Bangkok and King Rama VII established his summer retreat in the area. With a 5 kilometer-long beach that features numerous activities and hosts an annual jazz festival, the laid back and hospitable town of Hua Hin continues to draw both tourists and Thais. 

In addition to beach activities, outstanding seafood restaurants, and a vibrant night market, Hua Hin is well known for having some of the finest golf courses in Thailand, as well as some of the most renowned resorts and destination spas in the world.

Phuket

What comes into the mind of travellers when we talk about sea, sun and sand? Phuket must definitely be one of the answers. Especially when we think about the island in which there is plenty of accommodation and all kinds of facilities. In addition, a number of various activities can also be found on this island. In the early Christian Era, the cape of Phuket was locally referred to as Jung Ceylon, while locals called it Thalang, which evolved to Thanlng the name of the main town to the north of the island. As the perfect stopover sheltering traders from monsoons, Jung Ceylon welcomed merchants from India, Persia, Arabia, Burma, China and aslo Siam. During the 16th century, the island was also a popular trading port for tin. In 1785, Thaland town was surrounded by Burmese troops who invaded the coastal area. It was under the leadership of Chan, the widow of the governor, and her sister, Muk, who united the local resedents and successfully fought and drove the invaders out of Phuket. It took over 30 days for the defending troops of Phuket, under the command of Chan and Muk, to claim their victory. As a result of such heroic deeds, noble titles were granted to Chan and Muk as 'Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, repectively. There are still hightly respected by Phuket residents even today. When the city was in a peaceful state, the development of mining was so unprecedented. Chinese businessmen and miners later migrated to Phuket and soon enjoy thriving weath. The island's long history has shaped the distintive Phuket of the present with its diverse ethnic groups, culture, architectural influence, and fine cuisine. Phuket has a lot more to offer its visitors than its natural heritage of sea, sand, sky beach, forest, and world renowned diving sites. Sino-Portuguese architecture casts its spell delighting travellers to the city, while Phuket style of hospitality has never failed to impress visitors from all walk of life.

Chiang Mai

Thailand’s “Rose of the North” is a cultural and natural wonderland with ethnic diversity, a multitude of attractions, and welcoming hospitality. Chiang Mai literally means “new city” and has retained the name despite celebrating its 700th anniversary in 1996. King Meng Rai the Great founded the city as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom on Thursday, April 12 1296 around the same time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. King Meng Rai even conferred with his friends, King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao before choosing the site where the capital of the Lanna Kingdom was to be founded. Henceforth, Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, it was also to be the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand, King Meng Rai himself a very religious leader who even founded many of the city’s temples that remain important to this day. Chiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to experience both historical and modern Thai culture coexisting side by side: the city features centuries-old chedis and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. This dichotomy is best appreciated within the moat-encircled old city, which retains much of the fortified wall that once protected the city center as well as the four main gates that provided access to the former Lanna capital city. Strangely, for many years tourists had mistaken Chiang Mai simply as the base from which they could plan trekking and rafting trips to hill tribe villages and explore other provinces. Once in Chiang Mai however, tourists are surprised by the fact that there are so many things to discover other than its beautiful and historic temples. Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes, a number of elephant camps, many cooking & massage schools, numerous outdoor activities, a variety of handicrafts workshops, various cultural performances, and breathtaking scenery make Chiang Mai one of Asia’s most attractive tourist destinations. The phrase "a day in Chiang Mai is enough to see things around town" was once a common expression. Today, two weeks in Chiang Mai may not be long enough for travelers to experience all that Chiang Mai has to offer. The old city of Chiang Mai is a showcase of the north’s fascinating indigenous cultural identity that includes diverse dialects, a delectable cuisine, distinctive architecture, traditional values, lively festivals, numerous handicrafts workshops, northern style massage, and classical dances. Chiang Mai city features old-world beauty and charm as well as modern luxury and convenience. In addition to centuries old temples and some outstanding shopping opportunities, Chiang Mai is also blessed with pristine natural resources including mountains, waterfalls, and rivers. The presence of numerous hill tribes that feature a wealth of unique cultures enhances Chiang Mai’s distinctive diversity. Hill tribe trekking, often combined with river rafting and elephant riding has always been one of Chiang Mai’s greatest tourist attractions. Nowadays there are innumerable activities and attractions both in the city and the surrounding province, including massage instruction and golf. Moreover, visitors can visit workshops where they can learn about the production of silk or silver, and purchase memorable, hand crafted souvenirs. With such a diverse range of attractions and an equally grand selection of dining and accommodation options, Chiang Mai is a place where both backpackers and luxury tourists can enjoy the ultimate Thailand holiday