A jewel in the crown of Southeast Asia, the kingdom of Thailand combines unique culture, natural beauty, vibrant cities and incredible food to create one of the world’s truly amazing travel destinations.
From food and nightlife to beach breaks, family holidays and more, there’s something for everyone in Thailand. Read on to discover five of its key destinations.
Bangkok is truly the beating heart of this beautiful country, and a trip to Thailand’s capital city is the perfect place to discover world-leading food, unbeatable nightlife, cultural landmarks and more.
Its food scene is legendary: from street food and casual dining to some of the very best restaurants in the world, Bangkok caters for anybody curious and passionate about food. Where else can you find exquisite Pad Thai from a roadside vendor, mango and sticky rice from the food court in one of the city’s famous malls, and courses from a tasting menu at a two-Michelin-starred menu within the same few blocks?
If fine dining is what you’re after, the capital is home to some of the very best. Chefs from the UK, France, Germany and further afield have earned Michelin stars at their Bangkok outposts for decades, while a new wave of Thai chefs are also contributing hugely to its fine-dining scene at iconic contemporary Thai restaurants including Bo.lan and R-Haan.
When it comes to nightlife, the scene in Bangkok is also legendary. Soak up the views from one of the Sukhumvit district’s astonishing rooftop bars, or sip classy, creative cocktails in speakeasies, with two of its bars represented on the World’s 50 Best Bars list in 2022.
It’s not only food and nightlife that draw millions of visitors and holidaymakers to Bangkok each year – the city is also home to astonishing natural beauty and cultural attractions, from the beautiful River Kwai to the serenity of its Buddhist temples. Put simply, for a break with a bit of everything, Bangkok should be top of your list.
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Phuket is a classic holiday destination and a playground all in one. If the mention of a Thai island holiday has you dreaming of pristine beaches, where warm aquamarine waters lap at white sand and the sunset paints the sky in a rich orange and crimson glow, that’s exactly what you’ll find in Thailand’s largest island.
But it’s not all about relaxing, and beyond the sumptuous vistas and beautiful coastal resorts you’ll find a world of adventure and a nightlife scene that’s up there with the best destinations in Southeast Asia.
Elsewhere in Phuket, those beautiful blue waters aren’t just for looking at, and you’ll find some of the best watersports in the country just metres from the shore. As well as snorkelling and scuba diving, there’s also windsurfing, sailing and more to discover, with regular expeditions each day from its most popular beaches, from beginner to advanced level. If you need to recharge after a day on the water or a night under the lights, you know that sunset will be waiting.
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For the ultimate island escape, Koh Samui is a must-visit destination, and one that’s been the favourite of holidaymakers and travellers for generations. The island is a true paradise, where palm trees line beautiful beaches, and you can truly relax and unwind among some of the most bountiful natural beauty the country has to offer.
The island’s topography presents some beautiful scenery – perhaps none more so than the famous Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks, on the south-east coast of the island near Lamai Beach. These arresting rock formations and their resemblance to the human anatomy mean there are always eager visitors popping by to snap photos and catch a glimpse of this iconic local landmark.
Koh Samui has been a place where local fishermen and tourists have mingled for decades, and the historic Fisherman’s Village is living proof. Just the other side of the jaw-droppingly beautiful Bophut Beach, this quaint stop-off is home to everything from old shop fronts and new-school trendy restaurants – but the must-see is a night market on Mondays and Fridays, which sees everything from street food to clothing and souvenirs, and is a rite of passage for those visiting the island.
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Just the other side of the bay from Phuket is Krabi, a region that feels nothing less than authentically Thai, and a real-life utopia.
The southern region presents the perfect chance to do some island hopping – a favourite method of travellers to see the country. And it’s also the perfect place to catch a glimpse of traditional Thai life and customs, like its long-tail boats. These watercraft are a classic sight in Krabi, and the chance to charter one for the day to explore the region’s beautiful, crystal-clear waters has long been a staple for tourists in this part of the world.
Whether from the water or the land, Krabi is home to some seriously beautiful scenery. Just a few miles from its resort towns, you can find enormous, lush green mountains covered in mangrove forest, and monolithic limestone cliffs that create jaw-dropping vistas and the sense of being somewhere truly otherworldly. And the scenery isn’t just above the water – some of Thailand’s richest and most beautiful coral reefs are located in Krabi, making this destination one of the country’s best when it comes to scuba diving and snorkelling, too.
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Just north of Phuket in the region of Phang-nga is the region of Khao Lak, known for its beautiful tourist towns and resorts. It’s one of the truly family-friendly regions in Thailand, and its quieter and less crowded beaches make it the perfect place to connect and unwind across the generations.
Its watersports scene is among the best in the country, with beginner trips available to take children on their first snorkelling or scuba adventure among some of the warmest, clearest and most biodiverse waters to be found anywhere in the region. Travellers can bond over some truly arresting and inspiring natural sights, like swimming with sea turtles, or watching their eggs hatch and baby turtles making the journey from the sand to the lapping shore.
It’s also an adventure lover’s paradise, with many travellers to the region making the journey to the spectacular Khao Sok National Park. Home to some of the oldest evergreen forest anywhere on Earth, the park provides opportunities for walking and hiking among nature, witnessing jaw-dropping views from mountain peaks, taking to the Sok river by boat, or even catching a glimpse of majestic elephants in the wild on safari. However you choose to explore it, it’s sure to provide memories that are simply unforgettable.
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Book your Thai escape
7-night holidays from £939 per person with Kenwood Travel
If you’re interested in discovering Thailand with guidance and logistics from the experts, Kenwood Travel is the perfect partner. Being both Abta and Atol protected, with a TrustPilot rating of 4.9 and more than 45 years of experience in travel means you know your holiday is in safe hands when you book.
Speak to a Kenwood Travel Thailand expert on 020 7749 7309 or book online at KenwoodTravel.co.uk