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Traveling in Thailand
By: Alex Smith

One of the great things about Thailand for the traveller is the variety of places to visit. From the urban chaos of Bangkok, to the beautiful mountains of the north, to the amazing beaches and islands of the coast Thailand offers the visitor a wide range of alternatives when choosing a vacation.

Most visitors arrive first in Bangkok. Despite the heat, traffic, pollution and crowds Bangkok has a lot to offer in the way of tourist attractions. The old town around the Royal Palace is the cultural heart of Thailand and is full of temples markets and traditional shop house architecture. The centre of Bangkok with its towering skyscrapers, gleaming department stores and luxury hotels is not only the business district but also the main entertainment area. Bangkok is a truly cosmopolitan city fueled by an unparalleled energy.

The north of Thailand is very different. Ancient and beautiful towns dotted with the golden roofs of ancient temples lie in the valleys and plains flanked by tree lined mountains populated, not only by northern Thais, but also by ethnic minorities with their own languages, dress and traditions. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the two most visited towns and both serve as a good base to explore this beautiful and remote part of Asia.

At the other end of the country along the miles and miles of coastline you can find some of the best beaches in the world. There are choices for all tastes and budgets. Phuket is sophisticated and developed with not only great beaches but also a plethora of opportunities for sailing, diving, golf and fishing. Whether you want peace and quiet or music and action, in Phuket it's always only a short distance away. Nearby Krabi is perfect for a family holiday with beautiful white sand and dramatic limestone scenery.

In the Gulf of Thailand Koh Samui provides a world class alternative with a wider range of cheaper accommodation. Nearby Koh Phangan is still comparatively basic and budget travelers enjoy the peace and quiet of what, at times, resembles paradise. Further away, near Cambodia, Koh Chang is also very quiet. If you want a beach resort with attitude, then head to Pattaya. Some love it, some hate it but it is never short of energy.

Throughout Thailand one is never far away from history and its legacy. The ancient capitals of Sukothai and Ayuthaya are both remnants of a glorious past. Through Isaan there are hundreds of examples of the power of the Khmer empire of Angkor. Both Phanam Rung in Buriram and Phimai in Korat are as good examples of Angkorian architecture as one can find.

West of Bangkok is Kanchanaburi and the famous, if tragic, Bridge over the River Kwai. Built by slave labour and allied prisoners during the Japanese occupation of World War II, it is a somber reminder of recent history and the suffering of war. Around Kanchanaburi there is also beautiful mountain countryside and waterfalls.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a water baby, a party animal or just in need of peace and quiet the odds are in your favour that somewhere in Thailand you can find what you want.

About The Author
Alex Smith maintains and manages the Cheap Thailand Travel website at http://www.cheapthaitravel.com - All of the materials on this site are the sole property and responsibility of Cheapthaitravel.com. This material may not be reproduced in any form without express written permission.

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