While there are many fantastic vacation destinations to choose from around the world, Thailand should certainly always be on your bucket list. The land of smiles is home to a wide range of attractions that appeal to globe trotters with varied interests. Even in a family with mixed personalities, there is sure to be something that will strike their fancy and want to make them come back. Let’s delve into 5 of the top reasons you will want to make your next vacation a Thai vacation.
1. Beaches and Wildlife
The pristine white beaches and shimmering turquoise waters of Thailand’s coastlines are world-famous. But nothing beats actually setting foot on that sandy shoreline and being able to bask in that warm sun. While their popularity means that some beaches can be a bit crowded, Thailand is made up of multiple islands with over 1,500 miles of coastline, meaning you are never quite far from a less inhabited location where you can enjoy some relative tranquillity.
Thrill-seekers will enjoy the many opportunities to try out water activities like diving and snorkelling. From the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea, there are plenty of idyllic waters to explore Thai coral reefs and frolic amongst exotic sea life like manta rays and leopard sharks.
Beyond the tropical beaches are many wildlife sanctuaries and parks where you can catch intimate glimpses and even interact with some of the most amazing and rare wildlife. The country is home to over 10% of the world’s species and has a natural forest cover of about 25%, making it an ecological paradise for animal lovers. It hosts 147 national parks where you can discover everything from elephants to macaques.
2. Medical Treatment
Medical tourism has gained much popularity because it allows travellers to achieve dual purposes on a single trip. They can get the medical treatment they want and still enjoy a great tropical vacation. Thailand has become one of the top health and medical tourism destinations in Asia thanks to its appeal on both fronts.
Medical costs in Thailand are often drastically cheaper than what you would encounter in the west. Some treatments can be as little as a tenth of the cost back home for many medical tourists. You may find that your insurer would be willing to foot the bill as long as it comes out less than a trip to your local hospital.
The quality of medical care is also high, with the industry heavily invested in the latest technology and top medical talent with international experience. Many hospitals are JCI accredited and adhere to top ISO standards. The range of treatments also varies greatly from dental work in Phuket to IVF treatment in Bangkok. The industry is also well-developed, making it easy to transition from hospital stay to beach vacation. Some hospitals cater specifically to this niche and have built medical facilities that are just as comfortable and resplendent as some of the country’s top 5-star hotels.
3. Inviting Culture
Thai people are known for having warm and inviting personalities. It is a part of their culture to welcome visitors with generosity and respect, making this a particularly great vacation destination for novice travellers. The laidback and friendly locals are eager to be helpful, be it in the countryside or metropolis. Even if you do not speak the Thai language, there is sure to be someone around who will lend a hand with translations. Many Thais speak some amount of English and will work with you to get your message across. Just be polite, calm, and smile too.
Those that have travelled in the country know the people to be both polite and well-mannered. Even under stressful conditions, they tend to take a more relaxed perspective and are rarely seen to display anger. Whether it is because of being predominantly Buddhists or just local culture, once you make a friend here, it can easily become a lifelong association.
The party lifestyle in major cities like Bangkok and Phuket is also a boon to night owls. There are many restaurants, clubs, and bars that operate all night long, with a wide range of entertainments and plenty of booze to indulge in. For those of the LGBT community, destinations like Bangkok make for a wonderful place to meet friendly people and revel in the nightlife.
4. Delectable Cuisine
Thai cuisine is famous for its delicious taste and easy accessibility. From high-end restaurants to street stalls, there are many options to choose from in terms of continental and Thai dishes. The flavours and smells of the local delicacies can be found around virtually every corner. Budget travellers are especially appreciative of the affordability of local restaurants and street food, which give them the chance to enjoy generous portions at great prices.
From mild to spicy, the diverse range of colours, fragrances, and unique flavours that make up Thai cuisine are a delight to any palate. And with many of the best dishes served fresh and cheaply from outdoor stalls, you come to realize that Thailand is quite the foodie’s paradise.
5. History and Festivities
Thai history is long and colourful, dating back to the Siamese Kingdom. You will find various locations within the cities and rural areas where there is ample evidence of the people’s architectural ingenuity and artistry. Many amazing structures date back to different dynasties and speak to the vibrant Buddhist culture of the region. Every province has its stock of palaces, temples, shrines, pagodas and statues that date back to different eras and architectural styles that mark significant periods in Thai history.
Buddhist temples and monuments are abundant with over 40,000 destinations spread across the country. They vary in size and design, with many built up using wood, stone, metals, and gemstones. If pressed for time, consider a visit to Sukhothai where you can explore replicas of many of the country’s renowned palaces and temples
Festivals are also part and parcel of the rich history and culture of the people, with many of the temples being a focal point for such events. They mostly revolve around the lunar calendar, with festivities playing out across the country. From the flower and candle baskets of the Loy Krathong Light Festival to the water fights during Songkran, there are many different celebrations you can organise your next Thai trip around to ensure a more immersive and enjoyable vacation.