Why we like Thailand
The Thai people have a strong sense of identity and an open and engaging nature. Meeting local people is one of the joys of travelling here. This is closely followed by the food, whether it be steaming bowls of rice on a street, eating freshly cooked fish on the beach or pungent snippets of zingy flavours, spicy chillies and fresh fruit from the markets, Thailand will stimulate the taste buds.
What to expect on your Thailand holiday
Be prepared for the crowds in Bangkok and pack broad shoulders for walking the city. There is an excellent monorail system, allowing you to experience the city as a local, avoiding Bangkok's notorious rush hour. There are parts of the country which have been spoilt by mass tourism but a well-chosen itinerary visiting less developed areas can still provide you with that heavenly experience for which Thailand is renowned.
Each day in Thailand has an associated colour, the most revered of those being yellow for Monday as this is the day the King was born and yellow is often seen adorning buildings and flags. With that in mind it is worth mentioning that any insult to the Royal Family would cause great offence and in extreme cases a spell behind bars!
Despite its reputation for scantily dressed visitors (and some locals), Thailand is actually a pretty conservative country and dressing modestly is appreciated and will win you friends and respect. Buddism is integral to the lives of Thai people and with that comes the belief that the head is the most sacred part of the body and never to be touched (especially that of a child) and the feet being the lowest. In Thai homes shoes are always removed before entering, it is thought that evil spirits can be bought into the home on the sole of a shoe.
Finally avoid showing any sign of anger. The Thais have a wonderful expression – ‘jai yen’ - which translates as ‘cool heart’ and shouting shows a loss of face. A calm nature and a quick ‘mai pen rai’ (meaning no problem) will get you far in the 'Land of Smiles'.
Some ideas for a Thailand holiday
- A few days exploring Bangkok, the capital, is essential with its temples, palaces and floating markets.
- Visit the hill tribes in the Golden Triangle of the north where Thailand borders Burma and Laos.
- Spend three days at a luxury tented camp with daily excursions on the Mekong or watching elephants being trained.
- Thailand’s beaches are great for a family holiday with exclusive properties taking pride of place or up and coming ‘hot spots’ such as northern Phuket and Ko Pha Ngan.
- End your holiday at a private, fully staffed villa. There are plenty to choose from. Enquire with our experts.
Beyond the ordinary
- Travel out to Mae Hong Son province and trek into your camp by elephant and spend the night under the stars
- Cruise by converted rice barge to the former Thai capital of Sukhothai
- Take the local overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai or treat yourself to Eastern & Oriental’s Epic Thailand eight day journey
- Visit and stay with the Moken Sea Gypsies of Koh Surin, near Koh Lak, north of Phuket. A real insight into traditional Thai life
OUR THAI EXPERTISE
Paul has been to Thailand more times than he can remember, and Clare has just returned from her second visit with plenty of new ideas and hotel suggestions. They will tell you which are the best markets, where to have a stylish dinner or where to find the best street food.