Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a metropolis where one can find both old and new, East and West, traditional and fashionable, blended together in a harmonious way. There are several magnificent Buddhist Temples inside the city and well-known attractions on its outskirts.
The old capital from 1350 to 1767, Ayutthaya (76 km from Bangkok), is today visited chiefly as a historical site, especially the ancient ruins left by the Burmese invasion of 1767. Bang Pa-in palace, and Bang Sai Folk Arts and Crafts Centre are places recommended for inclusion in a one-day tour. Kanchanaburi (128km), a good place for nature lovers, where they can raft down the stream watching enchanting scenery. The Death Railway and the Bridge over
the river Kwai are also located here.
On a trip to Saraburi (107 km), Buddhists should not fail to pay homage to the Buddha's Footprint there. Lop Buri (153 km) is famous for shrines in the Khmer style, and the remains of King Narai's palaces of the 17th Century. Nakhon Pathom (56km) is the town that boasts the tallest Buddhist pagoda both in Thailand and in the world.
The fine weather, the mountainous scenery, the exquisite handicrafts and the rich northern Thai culture are some of the charms of the North. Chiang Mai (697 km), the second biggest province of Thailand, provides visitors with a host of places of interest, such as, Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon, and Bhubing Palace.
Chiang Rai (785 km), located at the northern tip of Thailand in the very heart of the Golden Triangle, gains fame from its scenic views, exotic hill-tribes and exciting elephant-back riding tours. Lamphun (670 km) is a town of beautiful women, bountiful orchards and ancient temples.
Lampang (599 km) is the sole province in Thailand where horse-drawn carriages are still used as a means of transportation. Phrae (643 km) is known for the northern costume called mohom and Phae Muang Phi, a small area of weird earth formation.
Lying in the northwestern corner bordering Burma, Mae Hong Son (942 km) is well known as the "Town of Three Mists" because it is mist-shrouded throughout most o the three seasons. Sukhothai, the first capital of the Thai Kingdom, is known for its historic sites.
North Eastern Thailand
Known as Isan in Thai the Northeast consists mostly of a plateau. Some may think that this area is dry and lifeless. But in fact, it has large numbers of tourist spots, some of which are being developed. Nakhon Ratchasima (259 km), or Khorat for short, is the gateway to the Northeast, where are located the Thao Suranari Monument , Khmer
style stone shrine Prasat Hin Phimai and a 250-year-old banyan tree.
Khon Kaen (449 km), one of the northeastern commercial centres famous for the local product -- matmi silk. Ubon Ratchathani (629 km), where the annual Candle Festival is grandly celebrated. Sakon Nakhon (647 km) offers tourists the picturesque scenery of the vast Nong Han Lake.
Surin (457 km), the land of elephants, is world famous for its Elephant Round-up taking place at the third weekend of November. Buri Ram (410 km), is where the largest-Khmer style stone temple, Prasat Phanom Rung, is located. Loei (520 km), a challenging place for visitors who want to find out the lowest temperature of Thailand in
the cool season.
Just 2 hours' drive from Bangkok is Pattaya, the renowned recreation centre on the East Coast. Its find sand, blue sky and limpid sea are among many other good things that prove irresistable to both foreign and domestic tourists. There, they can enjoy themselves either quietly or by engaging in aquatic sports such as swimming , fishing, sailing,
water skiing, diving, and windsurfing.
Although Pattaya is the cream of Chon Buri, other places of interest are plentiful in this province--Khoa Sam Muk, where stands the Chao Mae Sam Muk Shrine highly revered by Thais; Bang Saen, the nearest-to-Bangkok beach resort for the families; Ko Sichang, a paradise island whose name has become the title of song. Chanthaburi (245 km), a coastal province famous for its gemstones, fruits, hot pepper and Chanthabun mats. Rayong (179 km), where the most
attractive tourist spot is the Samet Island, which has become very popular among foreign visitors. Trat (315 km), the most far-flung province on the eastern coast, is well known for its Ko Chang National Marine Park.
The most prominent tourist attraction in the South is inevitably Phuket (862 km), the biggest island of Thailand located in the Andaman Sea. It has rapidly become one of the best known seaside resorts of the world. Apart from the numerous beaches around the island and all kinds of accommodation facilities, it is famous for its seafood, coral and marine life. It also serves as a base for exploration trips to nearby islands.
The grand celebration of the Vegetarian Festival in October is another attraction. But if you find Phuket a little too crowded in the peak tourist season, then Samui Island of Surat Thani (644 km) will be another choice. Its tranquility and unpolluted environment will refresh you. Phetchburi (123 km) has many tourist attractions, including
scenic mountains, limestone caves, historical sites, ancient temples and quiet beaches.
Cha-am is the most famous beach resort of Phetchaburi with its long and clean beach. Prachuap Khiri Khan (281 km) is well known for the Klai Kangwon Palace, a summer palace of the King and the royal Family, and the oldest beach resort, Hua Hin. Apart from the tranquil beach, Hua Hin also provides several other attractions, such as the 18-hole golf course, Takiap Hill, Krailat Hill and Khao Samroi Yot National Park.
Ranong (568 km), Thailand's rainiest province, is well known for its hot springs and Burmese gems. Phatthalung (840 km) is believed to be in the realm of the ancient Sri Vijaya Kingdom, which has long been forgotten leaving only a few hallowed hills today.
Songkhla (950 km) is a famous seaside resort in the Far South where a cruise on Songkhla Lake is fascinating. Another famous place in this province is Hat Yai, the big bustling city widely known for the low-priced imported goods.
Phangnga (788 km), adjoining Phuket, is full of magnificent seascape and beautiful limestone caves. Krabi (814 km) and Trang (828 km) also have many fine beaches and beautiful scenery waiting to be explored. Tarutao Island off Satun(973 km), being the remotest, will provide you with the most marvelous underwater life and most tranquil atmosphere.