5 Great Places to Visit in Thailand

Thailand is a unique and truly beautiful country that offers everything from busy, modern cities to ancient ruins and Buddhist temples, gorgeous natural landscapes and villages, and fantastic beaches. With so many different activities and places to enjoy, it’s no wonder that Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s best travel destinations. To plan an unforgettable trip, check out the five places to visit in Thailand below.

5 Great Places to Visit in Thailand

Pattaya Beach

Pattaya Beach is a hugely popular beach in Thailand, featuring 2.5 miles of gorgeous sand and loads of exciting water sports, from paragliding and wind surfing, to jet skis, and more. Although this beach is typically very busy and not the secluded hideout you might be searching for, it’s a great spot for renting a lounge chair and enjoying a Thai massage.

Bangkok

Bangkok is Thailand’s capital, as well as the biggest city in the entire country. It features amazing palaces, breathtaking high-rise buildings, fun nightclubs, busy markets, streets that are lined with vendors selling food and souvenirs, and ancient temples. Despite being a bustling center filled with traffic and quite a bit of noise, you can also find some green spaces. And you definitely don’t want to miss out on seeing the Wat Phra Kaew temple, where you’ll find the Emerald Buddha.

Phuket

The most famous beach, and the most developed and largest island of all of the country’s islands, is Phuket. This incredible island is easy to get to because it’s connected to the country’s mainland with two bridges, and it’s known for its impressive and exciting nightlife, where you’ll find plenty of alcohol, cabaret shows, and bars. By day, you can enjoy some of Thailand’s best beaches in Phang Nga Bay for some fun in the sun. You can easily search for a long term rental Phuket if you decide to extend your stay.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is yet another city in Thailand that’s a very popular tourist destination. Once there, you’ll notice that it’s surrounded by the majestic mountains of the northern part of the country, and you’ll also likely encounter plenty of backpackers who are ready to explore the hill tribes and the lush landscape. Outdoor adventurers will feel right at home, but you will also find modern architecture, as well as historical elements, throughout the city, including many beautiful Buddhist temples, the most famous of which is Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.

Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is found in the western part of Thailand, and it is an area that is revered for its natural beauty. You will be able to easily access breathtaking waterfalls and natural parks from here, such as the Srinakarind and Erawan national parks. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, this is definitely a spot that you should add to your itinerary.

As you plan your next trip to Thailand, keep the above five places in mind. With so many amazing places to see throughout the country, it may be difficult to squeeze everything in, but it will be worth every second.

Hua Hin or Phuket – Where to go for a Golf Holiday in Thailand?

Golf Holiday in Thailand

The increasing numbers of people heading to Thailand to play golf, suggest they must be doing something right, in what is a famous holiday destination. The likes of Tiger Woods, Ernie Else and Colin Montgomerie have all played golf in Thailand and the development of new Thailand golf courses to attract golfers from all over the world seem all set to continue for the near future.

Two golf destinations in-particular, attract many golfers to Thailand and they are Phuket and Hua Hin, which both offer attractive options for golfers. However, when deciding where to go for a golf holiday in Thailand, which of them comes out on top?

The latter of the two, Hua Hin, is classed as being Thailand’s original beach resort, with a blend of city and sand, making it an attractive option for visitors. From the town itself, there are ten golf courses in Hua Hin, within a 30-minute drive, giving visitors plenty of choice and variety, without having to travel long distances every day.

However, it’s not as easy to reach Hua Hin as it is other destinations within Thailand, such as Phuket, which has an airport welcoming flights from Asia, America and Europe. For visitors looking to play golf in Hua Hin, there is little other choice than to arrive in to Bangkok and make the journey by road, which can take up to three hours or by train, which takes even longer. Therefore, if travel time is a concern, Phuket may be the best option. That being said, by arriving in to Thailand via Bangkok, it provides the opportunity to stay there for a few days and sample some of the golf courses in the Bangkok region. This makes for a more varied golfing holiday and sightseeing trip in general.

That being said, Phuket only has six golf courses to offer its visitors, in comparison to Hua Hin’s ten. A choice of six golf courses in Phuket may be more than enough for some visitors, in which case, for convenience alone, Phuket would be a good choice. The town is regarded as a somewhat more luxurious choice than Hua Hin, featuring some of Thailand’s more up-market hotels and restaurants. So, if style and comfort is of importance when booking a golfing holiday, Phuket certainly gets the nod.

Although Hua Hin has a larger selection of golf courses than Phuket, quantity does not always mean quality. Phuket’s Red Mountain Golf Course and Blue Canyon Golf Club are regarded as two of the best golf courses in Thailand, if not Asia and are definitely worth a visit. That being said, for those golfers on a budget, Hua Hin is the cheaper of the two destinations. The price of accommodation and playing golf is cheaper in Hua Hin and other potentially important factors, such as taxi rides, are also cheaper. So for those on a tight budget, Hua Hin would be the better choice. In addition, it’s worth noting the top golf courses in Phuket can get quite crowded, which is not so much of a problem on the courses of Hua Hin.

With a cheaper venue, comes cheaper golf courses but unfortunately, this can come at the detriment of quality. The golf courses in Hua Hin, generally, cannot compare to those in Phuket. Banyan Thailand, may be one exception, which was designed and constructed by GolfEAST, which are a group of local architects and engineers. There are some sensational views from the golf course and it’s easily ranked inside the top ten in the country. However, the best of the other golf courses in Hua Hin only really compare to standard courses one would find in Europe or USA, meaning they are certainly enjoyable to play but do not compare to those in Phuket. There are a couple of golf courses in Hua Hin, which probably fall below the standard of average courses in Europe and the USA, such as Sawang and Milford and these are perhaps best avoided, in favour of courses such as Banyan Thailand.

Furthermore, for those who are looking to make the most of their time away from the golf course, by visiting attractions and taking part in other activities, Phuket definitely has the edge. The beaches are fantastic and Phang-Nga Bayís limestone islands, make for an incredible day trip. There are also excellent snorkelling and diving trips to be taken from Phuket, to nearby islands, which is something not available in the close vicinity of Hua Hin.

Both Phuket and Hua Hin clearly have their pros and cons, when it comes to choosing which to use as a base for a golfing holiday.

Phuket is the more up-market of the two, with generally superior quality golf courses and a wider range of things to do away from the golf course. Not only that but itís easy to reach, thanks to the local airport. However, although Hua Hin requires a journey from Bangkok, this opens up the option of playing golf in two areas of the country, plus Hua Hin has the bigger choice of golf courses, at more competitive prices. These are the deciding factors, when choosing where to go for a golf holiday in Thailand.

Koh Samui, a splendid destination

Koh Samui is one of the most fabulous and popular islands in Thailand. A holiday on this idyllic island means white pristine beaches, emerald warm waters, world-class international cuisine, water sports, lush tropical forests, fascinating Buddha temples, luxurious spas and beach front villas. The island is a place where the most breath-taking natural wonders meet the opulence of a very modern tourism. It is perfect for enjoying an exotic holiday that mixes so beautifully the true Thai experience with the comfort and luxury of a 5 stars vacation.

Amazing Waterfalls

Koh Samui has some of the most impressive waterfalls hidden in its wild mountain interior, but two of these spectacular cascades can be easily accessed by tourists – Namuang and Hin Lad. The best time to visit them is from September to March, during or just after the rainy season. This is when there is enough water flow to make them look truly amazing.

The Big Buddha

The Big Buddha is the most famous temple on Koh Samui. With a height of 12 meters, this gold statue of the Lord Buddha in a seated position is a must if you are visiting the island. Tourists from across the world come here to discover the peace and mystery which transcends from the Big Buddha, inviting us to contemplate, relax and meditate.

Sailing

If you love sailing then you will definitely adore sailing on the serene warm waters that surround Koh Samui. You can opt for a sailing safari on your own catamaran accompanied by a safety vessel that will carry your supplies and luggage so you can stop overnight at some of the resorts located near the island.

Kayaking

Ang Thong National Marine Park is truly unique. This collection of pristine islands gravitates around Koh Samui and offers you the chance to enjoy a kayaking trip of two hours. Simply relax and feast yourself with some of the most spectacular sceneries you have ever seen.

Luxurious Beach Front Villas

Extravagant villas, modern amenities, infinity pools and spa treatments- these are just a few of the delightful temptations that Koh Samui uses for alluring its tourists. The island hosts more than 700 resorts and hotels, and thousands of bungalows and private beach front villas. There are many and very diverse choices for all types of budgets and tastes. But you can be certain of one thing – it will be the most luxurious holiday experience ever.

Festivals

Koh Samui loves to celebrate and it would use any excuse for throwing a good party. And the festivals here are fascinating for travellers- vibrant, colorful, hypnotic and overwhelmingly joyful. The King’s Birthday is one of the greatest celebrations on the island and it marks his Majesty King Bhumibol‘s birthday, on the 5th of December.

Family Friendly Holiday Destinations in the Far East

While children gain a wealth of information in school, nothing replaces experiencing the cultures of far off places first hand. Luxury family holidays in the Far East offer a unique opportunity for visiting spectacular destinations where future memories last a lifetime. The Thai culture embraces youth and the people especially fawn over children from other countries. Being a family orientated culture, the country offers much in the way of activities. 

Family

Thailand family holidays have something for everyone from youngsters to retired adults. The stunning beaches of Koh Samui draw guests from many international destinations. When looking for a place to spend a day of quality family time, guests hire a boat and venture to the Angthong National Marine Park. The location features an archipelago of more than 40 uninhabited islands boasting lush rainforests, soft sandy beaches and colourful coral reefs. Spend the day exploring an island filled with caves, rock formations and waterfalls. Discover the amazing world under the sea by snorkelling in the clear waters along the shore and float from one island to another on a kayak. 

Koh Samui

If planning to journey to Phuket, luxury family holidays may include unique nature safaris on the back of an elephant. These eco-friendly Thailand family holidays introduce members to the culture of the people living in the rainforest. Embark on a canoe ride to a local village and the location of an elephant camp. Learn about the conservation efforts, care and training these docile animals receive and the importance they play in the heritage of the people. Guests also have the rare chance to participate in the elephant feeding and bathing processes. Take a tour of the jungle while aboard one of these massive creatures and learn about the many animals and plants that reside here. 

Elephant

Spending luxury family holidays close to Bangkok or other large cities almost guarantees plenty of activities appropriate for all ages. When tired of seeing museums and theme parks, Thailand family holidays might include a trip to the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectariums. The destination offers brightly coloured flowers and plants along with huge shade trees. Mazes, ponds and architectural features along with ornamental landscaping give one the impression of experiencing an enchanted wonderland. Walk or cycle through the environment designed to support a number of exotic insects that include various species of butterflies. A fascinating indoor display explains the life cycle of the butterfly and provides illustrations of the species found in the insectariums. Pack a lunch and beverages and spend a pleasant afternoon in search of some of the most beautiful outdoor creatures.

The Delights of an Asian Adventure

Asia is an amazing continent to travel in, with stunning cultures, experiences and environments around every corner. The only struggle is trying to narrow down all the different options into a viable trip. Below are 3 of our favourite spots which you should consider to include on your journey through Asia.

India
India is often high on travellers’ lists and rightly so. You could spend years just exploring India itself and forget about the rest of Asia, still without touching every corner of this enchanting country. The obvious popular spots will continue to attract tourists from around the world; Agra and its incredible shrine the Taj Mahal, the tropical beaches of Goa, the towering Himalayas. Then there are the frantic cities of Delhi and Mumbai, where life runs at 1000mph and seeing a cow walking down a dual carriageway is a common occurrence. However, much of India’s beauty is in getting off the beaten track and discovering some of the places which aren’t packed with tourists. Ooty is a charming village in the hills which is fantastic for trekking and surrounded by tea plantations. Despite being off the main tourist route, hotels in Ooty are plentiful and you won’t struggle to get there. Then there is Hyderabad, which loses out in the city stakes to Delhi and Mumbai with most visitors, but is the IT hub of India and is rich in history and tradition. Take some time on your holiday through India to stray from the usual route and you won’t be disappointed.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh is a city which has recovered from much torment, though now represents a fantastic place to visit in its own right. It offers something very different to the other key capitals in Asia like Bangkok or Tokyo, with a much more relaxed feel and a true insight into the culture and history that the city has seen.

When visiting Phnom Penh there is plenty to do, though a lot of the focus will probably be on the city’s history and the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Trips to the killing fields give a sombre insight into the atrocities that happened here. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as there is plenty to enjoy about the city now it has recovered, not least the Mekong river, which is host to the Mekong islands which are certainly worth a visit. One of the best things about PP though is going about daily life with the locals, enjoying the local food and discovering more about the Buddhist religion and the general way of life. It’s a fascinating place, and one worthy of a stop in any trip around Asia.

Phuket, Thailand
For all the historical fascination that Phnom Penh provides, Phuket is quite the opposite, but it is still brilliant in its own way. Phuket is all about paradise islands, the backpacking scene and forgetting about your worries. The city itself isn’t the most attractive, though it is still home to some wonderful beaches and blue seas. Phuket’s genius is in its location though, playing gateway to the hoards of paradise islands which lay off the coast. Book into one of Phuket’s luxury hotels and then use it as a platform to go and visit the many incredible islands nearby. From Koh Phi Phi, famed for its appearance in the film The Beach, to Koh Yah Noi, there are more paradise islands than you can shake a stick at. Once you’ve sampled all your favourites you can go home happy, content that you’ve experienced paradise. Some don’t make it that far though, and simply pick their favourite and never leave.

Asia is an immense continent, packed with treasures for an adventurous traveller, but these 3 places stand out for us, and shouldn’t be missed if you’re lucky enough to tour this incredible place.

This is a guest post from Tom at Malta Holidays, Europe’s own little pocket of paradise…