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experience

Thailand

Thailand is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, warm hospitality, and vibrant culture. Situated in Southeast Asia, its blend of history, spirituality, adventure, and relaxation makes it a favourite among travellers worldwide.

From the dazzling white-sandy beaches and turquoise waters to dense jungles and misty mountains, the country boasts an impressive array of natural gems that makes it a destination of choice.

Explore ancient temples adorned with golden spires, such as the iconic Grand Palace and Wat Arun in Bangkok or the spiritual haven of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, in Chiang Mai. Participate in traditional festivals, like the dazzling Loy Krathong or the vibrant Songkran, where the streets come alive with water fights and joyful celebrations.

Indulge in the tantalising flavours of Thai cuisine, renowned for its harmonious fusion of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty flavours. From savouring authentic Pad Thai and aromatic green curry to exploring the vibrant street food markets, your taste buds will be tantalised by an explosion of culinary delights.

Beyond the cities, the beaches are renowned for their crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re in Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, or any other beautiful coastal destinations, you’ll be greeted by powdery white sands, turquoise waters, and dramatic limestone cliffs that create a picture-perfect setting for relaxation and adventure.

Beyond the beaches, several sites are a must-see in Thailand, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites:  Ayutthaya Historical Park, which features the ruins of the ancient capital of Siam with magnificent temple complexes and fascinating historical sites, and Sukhothai Historical Park, the capital of the Kingdom of Sukhothai. The park boasts well-preserved ancient ruins, including Buddha statues and temples.

Thailand is also a shopper’s paradise, where modern skyscrapers coexist with ancient temples and traditional markets. From bustling markets like Chatuchak in Bangkok to the night bazaars of Chiang Mai, you’ll find a treasure trove of handicrafts, silk garments, and unique souvenirs. Don’t forget to pamper yourself with a traditional Thai massage, renowned for its therapeutic benefits and relaxation.

With its tropical climate, Thailand is an ideal destination year-round. Whether you’re seeking beach holidays, cultural exploration, or thrilling adventures, Thailand has something for everyone, so don’t hesitate to visit the Land of Smiles for an unforgettable getaway.

Time zone: UTC + 7

Currency: Thailand’s currency is the baht (THB). Each baht is subdivided into 100 satangs. You will need baht for markets and street food and carry smaller bills like ฿20 or ฿50 notes to pay taxis as they don’t generally carry change. Cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants, and convenience stores. There are many international ATMs where travellers can withdraw cash.

Language: Central Thai, Chinese, and Malay are the main languages spoken in Thailand.

Transportation: Avoid using local public transport and opt for an officially licensed taxi or arrange transport with your hotel if possible.

Cuisine: Thailand’s cuisine is renowned for its inventive use of fresh local ingredients like lemongrass, Thai basil, and coconut milk. The food is a vibrant fusion of aromatic spices and bold flavours that will tantalise your taste buds.

Safety: Thailand is considered a safe travel destination. Travellers are always advised to take standard safety precautions like being aware of their surroundings, avoiding isolated areas at night, and being cautious with personal belongings in crowded places.

Tipping: Tipping is not expected in Thailand, but small gratuities for good service are appreciated. It is customary to leave change in coins as a tip in restaurants, tips of 20 – 50 baht for porters, and perhaps 20 baht left for the cleaner.

Social: Thailand has conservative cultural norms that should be respected. Dress modestly by covering your shoulders, knees, and ankles. Opt for longer shorts, pants, or skirts, and wear a shirt that covers your shoulders without showing any cleavage. Thailand has strict drug laws to avoid any illegal substances, which can lead to serious consequences, including heavy fines, imprisonment, or even the death penalty.

Health: It’s always best to err on the safe side, so vaccinations for hepatitis B, Malaria, Japanese encephalitis, or rabies are recommended depending on your itinerary and planned activities.

What to See
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The moment you step foot in Thailand, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colours and bustling street scenes. From the shimmering gold temple roofs to the vibrant tuk-tuks zipping through the city streets, the vivid signage and neon lights adorning the markets and nightlife areas, there is an energy and vibrancy that permeate the visual landscape.

The Floating Markets (Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa) are a sight to behold and provide a unique and colourful feast for the eyes. And beyond the cities, Thailand is home to natural visual splendours, including pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters and lush greenery, whether it’s the dense rainforests, terraced rice fields, or sprawling gardens.

What to Taste & Smell
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Thailand offers a symphony of flavours and aromas to tantalise the senses. Whether exploring the lush rainforests, hiking through the mountains, or relaxing on the pristine beaches, you’ll encounter the earthy smell of the forests, the salty scent of the ocean, and the refreshing aroma of tropical plants and flowers.

The air in the bustling streets of Thailand is filled with the enticing fragrance of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal, all key components of authentic Thai dishes.

And when you step into the traditional spa or massage parlours, you’ll be greeted by soothing scents of essential oils like lemongrass, lavender, and jasmine. The aroma of these oils, combined with the calming ambience, helps create a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

What to Hear
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The sounds of Thailand encompass the bustling urban symphony of traffic, street vendors, sizzling food stalls, and the serene melodies of nature in the countryside. Together, these sounds create a diverse auditory landscape that reflects the country’s vibrant energy and natural beauty.

The country’s culinary delights, bustling markets, traditional practices, and natural beauty combine to create a tapestry that is a delight for visitors. Combine this with the hospitality and kindness of the Thai people, and a visit to the Land of Smiles is bound to leave you in awe.

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