Thailand in a nutshell

The basic layout of Thailand

Thailand is embarrassingly cheap and thrillingly exotic, yet accustomed enough to tourism that travel is a snap. The chaotic carnival of Bangkok—a sprawling Metropolis scattered with ornate wats (temples) and golden stupas where full-body massages cost $7.50—is worth a few days to wander the markets and explore the khlongs (canals) by longtail boat.

To the north of the city lie the half-ruined ancient capitals of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya. Chiang Mai and its 600 temples beckons you to set out for hilltribe treks in the surrounding mountains near the Burma border.

South of Bangkok, Thailand stretches thin into the Malay Peninsula, rimmed with stellar beaches and dotted with spectacular islands where coconut palm-shaded bungalows sit beside sandy beaches (avoid overdeveloped Phuket and overcrowded Ko Phi Phi in favor of laid-back Ko Lanta or, on the Gulf of Thailand side, Ko Samui).

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in April 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.