What constitutes a well-rounded Thailand itinerary?

Those looking for a truly beautiful beach should include Railay on their Thailand itinerary ... photo by CC user kallerna in wikimedia

While everybody and their dog raves about the offerings that one can find in the Land of Smiles, there is a great deal of debate surrounding what constitutes a well-rounded Thailand itinerary. Below, the following recommended Thailand multi centre holidays will help you make the most of your time in the Land of Smiles…

CITY: Bangkok

While this is the starting point of many Thailand holidays, most trip over themselves as they get the heck out of the Big Mango on their way to the beaches down south. This paints BKK in a harsh light, as while it does experience its share of big city problems, there is much to love about this Asian megalopolis.

Being a favored place for many foreign businesspeople, diplomats, and digital nomads to hang their hats, the concentration of high end restaurants in Bangkok is nothing short of astounding. Serving Royal Thai and most major international cuisines, you will never lack for a good meal at an unbelievably low price in BKK.

Also, with a glitzy shopping mall opening up seemingly every other month, there are few better places in SE Asia to shop to your heart’s content. From the extravagant boutiques of Siam Paragon, to the endless market stalls of the Chatuchak weekend market, if you can’t find what you are looking for in Bangkok, it might not exist.

CULTURE: Chiang Mai

While there are notable cultural sights in Bangkok (don’t miss the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, or Wat Arun), there are many, many more Buddhist temples and associated cultural attractions in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city and the biggest in the north.

With over 300 temples in the area, culture junkies will be over the moon with all the exploring that they will be able to do. If you just want to see the highlights though, be sure to check out Wat Doi Suthep, as its position high on the mountain from which it takes its name will give you great views over the city below.

PARTY: Koh Phangan

If being in one of the most exotic places on Earth makes you want to take to the beach at night with 30,000 people under the light of the full moon to party, then make sure you include the gulf island of Koh Phangan in your travel plans.

The Full Moon Party, a monthly celebration of electro, house and dance music that makes place on Haad Rin beach from sundown to sunrise the next morning, has become an essential node on the travel party circuit for revelers. If you count yourself among them, you owe it to yourself to go at least once.

SUN: Railay Beach

If you just want to soak up the sun when you are in the south of Thailand, one of your best possible options is to head over to Railay Beach. Lorded over by massive limestone karsts and possessing the perfect white sand swimming beaches that is the universal calling card of most strips of sand in this part of Southeast Asia, many of the resorts located are the stuff of luxury holiday dreams.

While there are many great spots to base yourself in Southern Thailand, Railay Beach is one spot that you can’t miss if you won’t be able to come back anytime soon.