Rediscover Thailand’s charm
With popular destinations opening up and a revived natural landscape, Thailand is back on the map
Thailand is open and ready to welcome international travellers. As part of the destination’s Sandbox initiative, four of Thailand’s most popular beach destinations (Phuket, Ko Samui. Ko Pha-ngan, Ko Tao, Krabi and Phang-nga) opened this summer and have since successfully welcomed more than 43,026 travellers, generating at least 2,330,000,000 Thai baht. Thailand continues to roll out its reopening plans this winter with 30 more sought-after destinations reopening by the end of 2021. These include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, and in early 2022 further provinces such as Kanchanaburi, Nan, Satun and Surin are set to reopen.
There has never been a better time to visit Thailand because while it’s been a very challenging year for the tourism industry, Mother Nature has enjoyed the break at least. The destination’s beaches, nature and local environments have flourished and look more beautiful than ever.
Libong Archipelago Wildlife Reserve’s sea channels in southern Thailand are some of the last habitats of the endangered dugong, with higher numbers of this sea cow now being spotted. Visitors can search the seagrass beds, which help protect the rare species, for this cute creature on boat tour with with a naturalist on hand to share their insight into the mammal. Schools of false killer whales, another protected species, have also been spotted off the island of Ko Lanta, while Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak are reporting healthy turtle populations since they’ve had the beach to themselves.
With this, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is focusing on sustainability and community-based tourism activities for both locals and visitors to benefit from. These initiatives are one of the best ways for tourists to discover more about the destination they’re visiting, all the while supporting responsible tourism.
Travellers looking for escapism and travel that challenges them and opens their eyes will enjoy Thailand’s authentic experiences and rich cultural offerings. These differ across the country, with each region championing its own unique identity that’s reflected in the food, language and culture.
ROOTED IN CULTURE
Festivals are a great way to get immersed in this local culture, for example visitors can see Chiang Mai ablaze with colour at the annual Chiang Mai Flower Festival or they can get wet during Songkran, Thailand’s traditional Thai New Year water festival. To get a glimpse of what life was like in ancient Thailand, travellers can explore the historic ruins and atmospheric old temples at the former capitals of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. History lovers will also enjoy Kanchanaburi, the location of the infamous Death Railway and the Bridge on the River Kwai.
Food is also at the very heart of Thai culture, making the country one of the best foodie destinations in the world. From simple street food to high-end dining, visitors can fill up on tasty street eats, vegan cuisine or indulge at Michelin-starred restaurants. Part of the joy of any trip to Thailand is the fun of interacting with street food vendors, restaurant staff and in local markets.
It is this charm and friendliness of the Thai people that helps to make this an extra special destination to visit. Thailand’s world-famous hospitality and Thai-smile welcome continues to attract repeat visitors year after year.
Not forgetting that Thailand is home to an array of some of the world’s most incredible islands and beaches, there are popular party spots, hidden gems and everything in between for visitors to choose from. As travel to Thailand restarts, these visitors can once again enjoy single-destination beach holidays, or mix and match their favourite islands – Phuket and Phi Phi Islands are a great combo.
If a visitor is in need of a health and wellness holiday there can be few better destinations in the world than Thailand, where traditional Thai massage is a part of daily life. They can get their “me time” in at any of the country’s amazing spas or health resorts – a holistic approach to physical and mental wellbeing promises to soon soothe away any stresses of work or a hectic lifestyle.
So whether a solo adventurer is in search of cultural experiences, a family is looking for a great-value holiday, or a couple is seeking the ultimate romantic escape, Thailand offers it all.
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