Looking for somewhere to escape the English winter?
Trailfinders specialise in bespoke packages that allow you to discover your own private Thailand. Whether that’s an off-the-beaten track adventure in the Golden Triangle or discovering iconic Bangkok, Trailfinders recommend ten reasons to visit Thailand.
The Beach was filmed in Thailand – and small wonder. The tropical climate means year-round warmth – the sea stays around 28C year-round, or roughly 10 degrees higher than you can expect from even the warmest British waters on the luckiest of days. Coral sand comes in hues from white to gold.
Scuba diving is the closest most of us will get to being in space, and Thailand’s crystal clear waters are a great place to start. Coral, clownfish, giant clams, parrot fish and butterfly fish are pretty much guaranteed wherever you dive. Feeling lucky? Hope for turtles, dolphins or whale sharks…
Even in the toned-down version found on your local high street, Thai food is delicious. A true Thai green curry, based on a paste of freshly pounded herbs and spices or an authentic tom yam soup, will blow most people’s minds. Opt for a cooking course to bring the goodness home.
From the medieval temples of Chiang Mai to the contemporary art museums and royal palaces of Bangok, from meditating with monks to visiting hill tribes in northern Thailand, Thailand offers a million opportunities to get outside your comfort zone and discover a new culture.
The steamy heat of tropical rainforest powers an incredible diversity of life, from the macro to the micro. Thailand’s national parks are still home to wild tigers and even leopards, though sightings are rare: expect butterflies, tropical flowers and tonnes of monkeys (hopefully not temple monkeys).
From white-water rafting in mountain rivers through to kayaking the Andaman Sea, from trekking to remote waterfalls to riding elephants, from zipwiring through to rock climbing, kitesurfing or paragliding, Thailand is an excellent adventure destination — even for kids!
Make like Indiana Jones in the abandoned ancient capital, Ayutthaya, with its towering Buddhist monuments and ruined palaces. Or discover the savage history of World War II by visiting the Bridge over the River Kwai, which British, American, Australian and Thai prisoners of war died to build.
It’s a cliché, but it’s true. Thai people are incredibly friendly, and make foreigners welcome to their homeland. Particularly when you’re off the beaten track, whether in the countryside, remote hill tribe villages or a traditional food market, the Thais’ natural warmth shines through.
From the pink taxis, lurid Skytrain and glittering neon of Bangkok, through to the rich gold, orange, scarlet and russet robes of Buddhist monks, the elaborate dresses of women preparing for a festival, the blue of the sea, the lotus flowers floating in a bowl or the serene light of the lanterns at the Yi Peng festival, one of the first things that strikes first-time visitors to Thailand is the colour.
Sunset cocktails on a Bangkok rooftop, like Vertigo at the Banyan Tree, prove that Bangkok really is a world city, and sleaze and bar girls are strictly optional. Indulgent drinks at luxe spots like 9Gem on Ko Samui, or a simple beer at a quiet beach bar, will show there’s a lot more to island life than drunk teens at a Full Moon party.
Some reasons to book Thailand holidays with Trailfinders? Trailfinders have more than 42 years experience, offer 24/7 telephone support with no premium rate numbers, came top of Which’s 2013 travel provider survey and beat out 626 other UK companies to become Wanderlust Magazine’s Best Tour Operator in 2010.