From the picturesque forested mountains of the north, through the fertile river plains in the heartland, to the legendary immaculate swathes of white-sand beaches of the south, Thailand is a country like no other.
The present day capital and the starting point for many Thailand holidays, is Bangkok - one of Asia’s most dynamic and exciting cities where modernity meets tradition in all its glorious aspects. Guests staying at The Peninsual Bangkok enjoy a complimentary shuttle boat to the Sky Train Station, which will whisk them off to all the shopping malls, the Chatuchak Weekend Market, all of Sukhumvit Road's attractions and even the riverside. At the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok guests can participate in one of their Thai Cultural Programmes which cover a variety of topics such as Thai Art and Architecture, Thai Beliefs and Thai Dance and Music.
Then there are the wonderful beaches such as Phuket the ‘pearl of the Andaman’ and Koh Samui with its tropical, coconut palm lined beaches and azure blue seas offering some of the world’s best diving sites. Just off the shore at Four Seasons Koh Samui is an expanse of rocks which provides a home to a multitude of marine life and offers spectacular snorkelling opportunities whilst Trisara's dedicated PADI dive company offers daily excursions, professional instruction and certification. At Amanpuri PADI-accredited dive programmes are available all-year-round and there are introductory one-day courses as well as itineraries for the more experienced.
Some would say a holiday to Thailand should include a visit to at least one of the country’s national parks, rich with tropical flora and fauna and resorts like the Four Seasons Koh Samui will arrange family excursions to Angthong National Marine Park whilst mangrove explorations, sailing and boat tours around the unique limestone karsts can be organised bySix Senses Yao Noi
A river cruise on the Chao Phraya is part and parcel of your spa experience at The Peninsula Bangkok in fact it’s the only way to reach the spa. There is no place in the world quite like Thailand for a spa treatment and places like Chiva Som , situated in the quiet seaside village of Hua Hin, has dedicated itself to the total wellbeing of its guests via an holistic approach. At Six Senses Samui therapists are fully trained to provide 'high touch', not 'high tech' treatments and will help guests select the most suitable treatments and packages which can be fine-tuned to suit their needs.
It goes without saying that you ought to visit one of the many, exquisitely crafted temples; guests of the Eastern & Oriental Express , South East Asia's most glamorous train ,taking the Epic Thailand route will enjoy visits to two Khmer temples - Prasat Sikhoraphum, a beautifully-restored 12th century Khmer temple, that is situated off the beaten track so rarely receives international visitors and Phanom Rung, another highly revered 12th century Khmer temple, nominated for World Heritage status. Other stops en route include Khao Yai National Park, Thailand’s oldest reserve and Chiang Mai, the ancient Lanna capital (now the handicraft centre of Thailand). At the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai you can take a hot-air balloon ride across the Ping River Valley, and there is also a shuttle service into the seven-hundred-year-old city itself.