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The Best of Thailand: Top 10 places to visit

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1. Bangkok

Bangkok is a restless and chaotic metropolis and an essential part of a trip to Thailand. Although noteveryone’s cup of tea, the culture-shock inducing capital has some incredible places of interest that you would be foolish to miss. The impossibly bejewelled Grand Palace should really be visited and if you have time, take a trip to Wat Arun (one of the oldest and best known landmarks in Bangkok) and Wat Po which is home to a huge reclining Buddha. The more adventurous head for the notoriousbackpacker’s road Khao San, Chinatown’s alleyways and bazaars and the infamous Patpong Night Market (located in the city’s red light district).

2. The Floating Market

The Floating Market- made famous by the James Bond classic “The Man with the Golden Gun” – can be found on the Damneon Saduak Canal. Although now a major tourist attraction, the market is a fun and photogenic experiencewhere visitors can get an idea of what trading was like in Thailand before the modernisation of the city. It’s also a unique shopping experience because if you want to buy something here you will have to hail down a narrow long boat piled high with produce. The region also has plenty of vineyards, orchards and thriving local businesses which are great to view by canal boat on route to the market.3. Chiang Mai

The spiritual city of Chiang Mai is a much calmer city than Bangkok but still an essential visit on the travellers trail if you want to see the best of Thailand. Dotted with temples, craft shops, great restaurants, Thai massage and cooking schools the city has a somehow relaxed and comparatively tranquil atmosphere. Many travellers often mention Chiang Mai as theirfavourite Thai city and once visited it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Its location high in the north mountainous region of Thailand also makes it a perfect base for the popular mountain treks and organised treks can be arranged very easily here. The trails from Chiang Mai are although interesting are often a well-worn path and many backpackers now head for nearby Pai – a gorgeously locatedtraveller’s mecca popular with artists and musicians. Pai also offers less touristy and more ‘rustic’ treks and visits to hill-tribes.

4. San Kamphaeng Hot Springs

San Kamphaeng is located 36km from Chiang Mai and its popular hot springs set in beautifully landscaped 40 acre parkland are well known for their restorative properties. The springs come from a deep source, are over 100degrees centigrade and high in sulfur. Here you can camp, dine, bath in the mineral rich waters or if you fancy – boil some eggs.

5. The East Coast Islands

Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are islands on the east side of Thailand which are popular with both vacationers and backpackers. The islands are known for their palm tree lined white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and laid...
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