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Luxury Thailand Holidays

Land of smiles

Thailand

Thailand's balmy temperatures and palm-lined shores make it a prime beach destination, but the Land of Smiles is much more than just sun and sand. Scenery-wise, the white sandy beaches often give way to greenery, whether it's groves of palm trees, rows of tall casuarinas or lush jungle.

You'll find Buddhist temples, or wats, everywhere - they're quiet sanctuaries in the middle of chaotic cities and calm retreats tucked away in countryside villages. Each temple is ornately decorated, often with golden spires and mosaic tiles, and always with Buddha statues.

The capital, Bangkok, is a whirlwind of a city, mixing skyscrapers, luxury hotels and super-modern shopping malls with ancient palaces, street-side markets and beeping tuk-tuks. Snaking slowly through the city is the Chao Phraya River - a boat trip along its waters is a great way to see the sights at a leisurely pace.

Then there are the beach resorts. On the west coast, you've got Khao Lak and Krabi. Khao Lak is home to huge swathes of unspoilt beach, plus a trio of national parks, while Krabi's white sands are overlooked by limestone karsts and cliffs.

Just across the Andaman Sea is the island of Phuket, which lines up pristine beaches, national parks and lively towns. Off the east coast of Thailand is the island of Koh Samui. It's one of Thailand's original holiday destinations, thanks to its fantastic beaches. 

Leanne Hall

I was so surprised by how varied the different parts of Thailand are. I enjoyed everything from exploring Koh Samui's temples and relaxing on postcard-perfect beaches in Phuket, to shopping at local markets in Bangkok. The ultimate highlight, though - feeding an elephant for the first time. Did I mention the Thai food is out of this world too?

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Destinations in Thailand
Bangkok
The Thai capital of Bangkok sprawls out along the Chao Phraya River, just north of the Gulf of Thailand. Gilded palaces, temples and skyscrapers light up the whole waterfront.
Khao Lak
Khao Lak showcases some of Thailand’s best beaches. Once a necklace of villages, this south-west region is now a string of laid-back beach resorts with a palm and mountain backdrop.
 
Koh Samui
Koh Samui is one of biggest islands in Thailand. It’s long been known as a luxury retreat, thanks to the beachside spa hotels that loop around its rainforest interior. 
Krabi
Krabi lies just across the water from Phuket. This is travel-magazine Thailand, where longtail boats glide between towering islands, rainforests and white-gold beaches.
Phuket
Phuket is the most-wanted island in Thailand. It’s so big it feels like part of the mainland, bundling together neon-lit cities, mountaintop Buddhist temples and chic beach retreats.
 

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Flight Information

Flight time from the UK to Thailand is approximately 11 hours 30 minutes.

When to go

Thailand has a tropical climate, which means it’s hot and humid for most of the year. Rainy months vary depending on where you are in Thailand: in south-western areas like Phuket, the monsoon season starts around April and finishes in October, while south-east destinations like Koh Samui see more rain between September and December (there’s still plenty of sunshine between showers, though). The hottest months are March to June, although humidity is high and average temperatures can push 40°C. Wait until after the rainy season if you prefer slightly cooler temperatures – between December and February, averages stick to the high 20s and early 30s.

Visa Information

British passport holders do not require a visa for stays of up to 30 days.

Tipping

Tipping is not expected in Thailand, although most hotels and restaurants will include a 10% service charge.

Introduction to languages

The official language of Thailand is Thai. English is widely spoken too.

Health

When travelling to Thailand, the following immunisations and tablets are recommended: hepatitis A, polio, typhoid and malaria. All routine immunisations should be up-to-date. Please contact your GP for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our pick of the top hotels in Thailand
Every one of our hotels is handpicked and personally visited by our team

Melati Beach Resort and Spa

Thailand, Koh Samui

The Slate

Thailand, Phuket

Rayavadee

Thailand, Krabi

Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort

Thailand, Koh Samui

Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas

Thailand, Phuket

The Sarojin

Thailand, Khao Lak
View all hotels in Thailand
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