Every year, more and more tourists flock to Thailand’s golden shores and majestic temples. In fact, in 2016, more than 32 million travelers booked a vacation to the Land of Smiles to explore all that this diverse land has to offer.
You might be wondering, “Why should I visit Thailand when it is so crowded with tourists? Why not head somewhere a little less well-known?”
It is understandable to be concerned about the crowds, but if you plan your itinerary with care, you may be surprised by just how easy it is to avoid the swarms of tourists. You can take in the big sights and enjoy many secluded experiences off-the-beaten-path.
Here are 10 reasons to make Thailand your go-to destination for your next vacation!
1. Thailand’s beaches truly are unrivalled
Imagine it … you wake up in your luxury suite with a view of the ocean, slip into your swim trunks or suit, and stroll down to the beach. Warm sands await you. You stretch out on your beach towel to soak in the rays and work on your tan. When you get too warm, you jog a few feet and splash into some of the most beautiful crystalline waters you’ll ever see. You then stroll over to the beach bar to grab a delicious, refreshing cocktail.
Sound like paradise? That’s because it is. And if you enjoy snorkeling and diving, be sure to check out Thailand’s colorful coral reefs. Traveling with a special someone and ready to take the plunge and say “I do?” In Trang, you can tie the knot underwater!
2. The ancient temples and rich spiritual heritage of Thailand will enrich your soul
Have an interest in Buddhism? Thailand is the spiritual heartland of one of the world’s most celebrated faiths, abounding with temples, pagodas, shrines, and statues of Buddha. These temples and shrines are architecturally astonishing, and many of them date back centuries. Whether you are a Buddhist yourself or you simply want to learn more about this fascinating religion, you will find that a vacation to Thailand offers you the chance for an unforgettable spiritual pilgrimage.
3. Enjoy the dynamic nightlife
Chances are good that you have already seen plenty of representations of Thailand’s legendary nightlife in TV shows and movies—but the sleazy bars which typify those productions really only represent one aspect of Thailand’s dynamic nightlife. Between Bangkok and Phuket, you will find everything from hip dance clubs to exclusive rooftop bars which offer you a view of the city lights. You can also enjoy a dinner cruise along the Chao Praya River or hit the after-dark market stalls to snag some sweet deals (more on shopping in just a little bit).
4. Thai food is just absurdly good
While every country on the planet boasts some culinary delights, Thai food is distinctive; you can recognize the unique flavors which dominate Thai dishes immediately: coconut milk, lemongrass, and curry. While Thai restaurants are phenomenal, you will also find your mouth watering just walking down the streets in Bangkok or Phuket. Be sure to stop at one of the stalls to taste tangy hot and sour or spicy stir-fry.
Best of all, Thai food in Thailand is cheap. If you want to enjoy Thai food in the US, you are usually going to be paying an arm and a leg for it. While on vacation, you can enjoy more authentic versions of your favorite Thai cuisine at a much cheaper price. While you are at it, don’t forget to take a Thai cooking class so that you can bring the flavors and aromas of Thailand back to your own kitchen!
5. A vacation to Thailand is surprisingly affordable
On that note, you can actually travel in Thailand on a relatively low budget if you shop around for the best deals. There are luxury accommodations in Thailand which cost no more each night than a standard commercial hotel stay in America. Many of these posh hotels provide an abundance of extras: dinner shows featuring traditional performances, world-class cuisine, pampering at the spa, and even classes in Thai cooking.
So if you think that a trip to Thailand is out of your reach, think again. The flight will cost you money, and so will the time off, but the hotels and restaurants are quite cheap, and so is much of the entertainment.
6. Incredible opportunities for shopping.
What can you do with all the money you saved on food and accommodations? For those who love shopping, Bangkok is a land of opportunity like no other. Not only does this city boast some spectacular malls, but there are many unique shopping experiences as well. These include night markets, which have a carnival-like ambiance, and vintage shops, which offer stupendous deals on antiques and used wares.
But that isn’t all. There is also the most spectacular experience of all: floating markets! Purchase fresh produce, local cuisine, and a slew of handcrafted merchandise including Thai silk, crafted candles and beautiful postcards and paintings direct from vendors in boats!
If you’re ready to get away from the crowds in the city, there are countless opportunities to venture out and take in the beauty of nature. While many of those opportunities are on the mainland, no trip to Thailand is complete without going island-hopping.
When you go island-hopping, you climb into a boat and take a short trip across clear, breathtaking waters to check out any of the dozens of different islands surrounding mainland Thailand.
Each of these islands has its own unique features, atmosphere, and identity. On some of them, you will discover small villages filled with welcoming locals, and on others you will find unspoiled beaches. Head for a hike into the lush jungle, snorkel or dive near the islands, or if you prefer, you can simply relax on the beach or enjoy some delicious food and beverages in one of the local villages. Each of Thailand’s islands is a jewel in the ocean just waiting to be explored and experienced.
8. Breathe in the fragrance of some of the world’s most spectacular gardens
Thailand is celebrated for its colorful cultivated landscapes, primary among them the famous Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. Located in Pattaya, this garden wonderland is a fanciful Eden, offering many whimsical worlds to explore, chief among them the famous Stonehenge Garden, complete with a replica of Stonehenge at its center.
At Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, you can also stroll through the French Garden, the Italian Garden, and the Flamingo Garden. Walk among the Four Towers, explore the Mammoth Garden, or check out the swirling colors of Butterfly Hill. Every one of these gardens offers spectacular opportunities for photography as well as a tranquil setting perfect for a relaxing stroll. Enjoy the aroma of thousands of blooms and the balmy weather for which Thailand is renowned. A day at Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is one you will remember forever.
9. Get up close and personal with elephants!
For animal enthusiasts, the most exciting reason to visit Thailand is probably the elephants. If you dream of getting to see these adorable, amazing creatures up close, then consider booking a visit to the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort.
The Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is a luxury hotel in Thailand which overlooks the Mekong river. It also happens to be an elephant rescue operation currently hosting 20 of nature’s gentle giants. Staying at the resort, you will have a chance to walk the elephants, ride on them, and care for them. You can even participate in Traditional Mahout Training.
Many tourists to Thailand who stay at the resort say that it was by far the most exciting and unique experience they had while they were visiting Thailand, and that they would do it again in a heartbeat, even though it is also one of the more expensive activities you can do. There is nothing quite like the experience of splashing in a river with the elephants as they take their baths, or feeding a baby elephant its breakfast!
10. Discover why Thailand is called the “Land of Smiles”
Finally, you probably have heard that Thailand is nicknamed the “Land of Smiles.” While nobody seems to be positive of the exact reason for the name, most visitors to Thailand come back agreeing that it is a reflection of the country’s tremendous hospitality.
In Thailand, you will always be greeted with a smile. While many countries simply tolerate tourists, it is one of Thailand’s biggest industries, and the Thai genuinely enjoy sharing the wonders of their country with visitors from all around the world. You will be treated like a VIP in every restaurant you visit, pampered like a king or queen at luxury resorts, and greeted in the local markets as if you are an old friend.
In short, it isn’t just the beautiful gardens, grand temples, and vibrant nightlife of Thailand that make this country a joy to visit—it is also the people of Thailand, whose smiles will light up your day and end up redefining your vision of hospitality.
So now you know why Thailand is such a popular tourist magnet. Are there less popular destinations you could visit? Of course, but Thailand’s charm is one-of-a-kind. The experiences you can have here are utterly unique. Where else can you go from clubbing downtown and shopping after-dark markets to meditating at a Buddhist temple in the morning? Where else can you bathe with elephants or go island hopping to discover pristine white beaches?
Thailand is a land of adventure … and it’s waiting. If you’re ready to book the magical Thailand vacation of your dreams, get in touch with us. We can’t wait to help you plan your visit to the Land of Smiles!