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Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires…you've never... more
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Bangkok
Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires…you've never seen a capital city quite like Bangkok, a Travelers' Choice Destination for 2015. Visit 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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Colorful Phuket is a mélange of lifestyles, a place where tranquil monks... more
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Phuket Town
Colorful Phuket is a mélange of lifestyles, a place where tranquil monks navigate the same streets as pumped up nightclubbers. The ornate temples and lively cafes of Old Town are prime spots for exploration. Check out the Shrine of the Serene Light and the aromatic Nguan Choon Tong herb shop. Browse and bargain for pretty trinkets at the nearby Thai Amulet Market. Don’t miss an opportunity to take in a performance at the epic Siam Niramit Phuket theater, a true cultural extravaganza.
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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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Rural Doi Saket provides a lovely respite from the more congested tourist spots... more
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Doi Saket
Rural Doi Saket provides a lovely respite from the more congested tourist spots in Thailand. A giant Buddha welcomes visitors to the ornate Phrathat Doi Saket Temple, which is adorned with unusually contemporary murals. Sophisticated nature lovers will appreciate the manicured topiaries of Tweehol Botanical Garden and the rainbow assortment of fragrant flowers at Doi Sakey Orchid Farm.
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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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Quiet Mae Nam is perfect for beach lovers who don’t want a boisterous vacation.... more
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Mae Nam
Quiet Mae Nam is perfect for beach lovers who don’t want a boisterous vacation. Here you can relax on peaceful clean sands while taking in views of Kho Phangan island. On Thursday nights you can buy freshwater pearl crafts and sample local snacks – fried grasshopper, anyone? – from the stalls along the Walking Street.
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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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Located about five hours from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is a community not to be... more
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Chiang Rai
Located about five hours from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is a community not to be missed. The area offers a variety of cooking classes, beautiful views, markets, resorts and restaurants. In addition, visitors can get a feel for true northern Thai culture during their visit.
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