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Situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, the Kingdom of Thailand is a one-of-a-kind holiday destination, perfect for visitors of any age or budget. Although recent headlines have revolved around things such as floods or political unrest, travellers need not be alarmed. All these issues have passed and Thailand is (and indeed was, even during “scary” times) a safe destination. With a wide variety of things to do and places to go, a visit to Thailand is sure to make lasting memories.
The capital of Bangkok is a truly world-class city, even voted "The Best in the World" by the travel industry. It offers visitors anything they could possibly hope or desire for and the urban landscape is filled with 5-star hotels and resorts, including international names such as Hilton, Marriott, and the legendary Mandarin Oriental. Public transportation is omnipresent and easy to navigate, with both a Skytrain and subway serving virtually the entire city, whisking travelers to their destination in air conditioned comfort for a low price. Of course, metered taxis are also always easy to find and quite inexpensive, especially compared to their western counterparts. Even a ride across the city will not cost more than US$5.
Bangkok also is home to several smart, upscale shopping malls, some of which are truly enormous, offering both local and imported goods at fair prices. A number of these complexes are so massive and cool that they are truly a sight to see in themselves. The recently opened Terminal 21, for example, has to be seen to be believed, with the entire mall set up in the style of an airport, and each floor is designed and styled after major world cities (Paris, Istanbul, San Francisco, etc.). For more local shopping, Bangkok’s bustling Chinatown offers more shops than can possibly be visited, many selling rare or exotic items. Even if you don’t buy anything, it is still quite the experience.
Thai cuisine is famed the world over for its unique use of spices and flavors. While this bit of its reputation is fully true, guests wary of spicy foods need not be concerned. Although some dishes are quite hot, there are a great many mild ones as well, and with Thai food as cheap and delicious as it is, many find the food to be one of the favourite parts of their trip. Street stalls are omnipresent, and literally any time of day a great meal can be easily and affordably enjoyed.
Outside Bangkok, many visitors to Thailand head for the beaches and resorts in the south, with incredible scenery and a rare chance to totally relax. The beaches are famed for their natural beauty and many visitors fall in love with the laid back vibe that the locals exude. Most beach areas do attract a decent amount of foreigners, and there is frequently also a vibrant nightlife scene. Of course, many villas and resorts are conveniently nestled away from all of the bustle for those looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday.
Whatever one is seeking, a visit to Thailand will almost certainly deliver. With varied sights, delightful local people and culture and the excellent local cuisine, a trip to the Kingdom can be tailored for any budget or wish list.