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Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires… is it a... more
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Bangkok
Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires… is it a magical fairyland? Close. It’s Bangkok. Thailand's capital is split into 50 unique districts. Hit up Pratunam or Siam Square for premium shopping, then unwind in the European-style gardens of Dusit. Thon Buri is home to the awesome Wat Arun temple, and over in Phra Nakhon, you’ll find the Wat Pho temple of the Reclining Buddha. Savor mango sticky rice at a food stall before taking in the gilded splendor of the Grand Palace.
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You could spend your whole Chiang Mai vacation exploring the famous Night... more
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Chiang Mai
You could spend your whole Chiang Mai vacation exploring the famous Night Bazaar. Once you’ve exhausted the art of the cheerful haggle, however, there’s plenty more to explore. The National Museum and Botanic Garden are great places to soak up some local culture and to breathe in the delicate fragrance of Thai orchids. In the city’s center, the remains of ancient walls embrace over 30 temples. Limber travelers can climb 300 stairs to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, an ornate Buddhist temple in the hills.
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A visit to Pattaya is a wonderful way to explore the beaches along the Gulf of... more
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Pattaya
A visit to Pattaya is a wonderful way to explore the beaches along the Gulf of Thailand. Relaxed and family-friendly Jomtien Beach is a hot spot for watersports and seaside massages. The giant Buddha of Wat Khao Phra Bat keeps watch over the city, and the wooden Wang Boran Sanctuary of Truth pays homage to Buddhist and Hindu art and architecture. At night, tons of bars and strip clubs attract an adults-only crowd.
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Party-hoppers flock to the wide and whimsical sands of Patong Beach. Mere... more
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Patong
Party-hoppers flock to the wide and whimsical sands of Patong Beach. Mere minutes from the glittery chaos of Patong's many nightclubs, bars and discos, the golden beach is ideal for sunbathing, jet skiing, kayaking and parasailing. Lovers of leisure can spend the day relaxing on a sunbed under a colorful umbrella, lingering over treats from one of the vendors who stroll the sands.
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Just 80 kilometers north of Phuket, Khao Lak was essentially erased by the 2004... more
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Khao Lak
Just 80 kilometers north of Phuket, Khao Lak was essentially erased by the 2004 tsunami. But the town, and the tourist industry it relies on, has rebounded. It remains quieter than other coastal destinations, offering secluded beaches, tranquil nights and family-oriented activities. You want full moon parties and besotted nights? You’re out of luck. But if you’re looking for unparalleled scuba diving in the Similan Islands, you’ve hit the jackpot.
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Learn to dive, sunbathe on a sandy beach or indulge in inexpensive spa services... more
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Bophut
Learn to dive, sunbathe on a sandy beach or indulge in inexpensive spa services (including amazing Thai massages) in Bophut, a beach village that recently has become home to many new hotels and villas. Try the main street for trendy shops and restaurants, or visit the Fisherman’s Village for more traditional shops.
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The southern Thailand town of Krabi serves as base camp for exploring the... more
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Krabi Town
The southern Thailand town of Krabi serves as base camp for exploring the province of the same name, a lush region of jungles, limestone cliffs and idyllic isles floating just offshore in the Andaman Sea. Buddhist shrines still used by local monks are tucked into the chambers of the town's top attraction, Tiger Cave. The riverside pier links travelers with ferries and longboats to the best scuba diving, rock climbing and white sand beaches on the coast.
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Rawai is an off-the-beaten-path area of Phuket that attracts devotees of Muay... more
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Rawai
Rawai is an off-the-beaten-path area of Phuket that attracts devotees of Muay Thai martial arts. Training centers here teach all levels, from absolute beginner to world champion. On the opposite end of the vacation spectrum, there’s the Phuket Seashell Museum, an immense collection of delicate specimens from around the world. A visit to the Sea Gypsy Village on the eastern end of Rawai Beach is a transformative experience.
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A favorite getaway for Bangkok residents, Hua Hin is a pretty beachside town.... more
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Hua Hin
A favorite getaway for Bangkok residents, Hua Hin is a pretty beachside town. Family friendly and relaxed, it lacks the all-night partying and seedier aspects that make other nearby beach resorts a haven for unsavory characters. Once a small fishing village, it was transformed into a royal resort, and it’s these close links with Thai royalty that ensure Hua Hin won’t become overdeveloped or lose its small-town vibe.
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Paradise by day, party central by night, Chaweng is a favorite destination for... more
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Chaweng
Paradise by day, party central by night, Chaweng is a favorite destination for sun-seekers and night owls alike. Choose Central Chaweng if you love nightclubs, music and fireworks. Head toward North Chaweng and Chaweng Noi for a more peaceful stay.
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