Thailand is the most visited country in Southeast Asia, and the reasons are obvious, for this country has it all: thick tropical jungle, warm ocean and great beaches, ruins of ancient cities, rich culture, fine cuisine… we could go on.
Sea, sand, and beyond
No doubt the biggest attractions of Thailand are its countless islands and beaches, in the center or south of the country. Andaman Sea is a home of the popular Phuket island —which, though now highly developed, still offers some of the most beautiful stretches of sand and sea. In the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is quickly becoming the hottest destination —and the world’s top resorts and hotels are quickly turning their attention to the island.
Thailand is more than the water’s edge though. There are hundreds of colorful temples and spectacular ruins of ancient cities, slowly crumbling in the grip of the thick jungles. There are numerous floating markets—with the food market in Talling Chan, on the outskirts of Bangkok (which takes place on weekends) as the most popular.
Experience has taught us that the reputation of Thai food as spicy is fully deserved
Thrill-seakers should look for the Thai Boxing tournaments —or hire a bike and brave the infamous traffic. And the romantic-minded will find plenty of inspirations too, from visiting half-wild tribes of ethnic minorities to indulging in spas session, found virtually everywhere.
Thai cuisine has a well-deserved reputation for being spicy, thanks to the small, torpedo-shaped chilis, called Phrik Khii Nuu. The locals are aware of the poor tolerance the Europeans tend to have for these fearsome chilies and will ask you twice if you really want it “spicy”. From our own experience we advise: do reconsider before saying yes. Fortunately at hand there is always a cold Singha beer…
But thai food is more than just the palate-burning dishes. There are other flavors too, especially the popular combination of lemon grass and fresh coriander, which give Thai cuisine their characteristic taste.
In the know
The cool season in Thailand lasts from November to late February. With low humidity, relatively low temperatures and clear skies, cool season is the best time to visit… bearing in mind the temperature will still be around the 30° C mark. This is also the peak tourist season.
Photos by Laskowski & Zadros, © TravelPlusStyle.com