Thailand

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A country of contrasts

Thailand was first in line when they were dishing out blissful beach scenes. But only talking about its jaw-dropping shorelines won’t do justice to everything else it has to offer. Gawping at gold-clad monasteries, taking a dip at the foot of a waterfall and scoffing street food will all make your ‘I’ll remember this forever’ list.

Phuket

Phuket – just off Thailand’s southwest coast – serves up beaches of every kind and has world-class diving conditions. Whether you like your stretches of sand palm-fringed and people-free, or packed with partygoers, you can take your pick here.

Koh Samui

If there was a contest to crown Thailand’s top holiday spot, Koh Samui would definitely be a front-runner. Straight-off-a-postcard beaches and fantastic scenery have been tempting holidaymakers to its palm-edged shores for decades.

Khao Lak

Giant national parks and tropical forests nuzzle the shoreline here, so the opportunities for hiking, elephant trekking, canoeing and wildlife-spotting come by the bucket-load. The diving conditions are first-rate, too.

Bangkok

Thailand’s fast-paced capital city is well worth a visit during your stay in the country – it’s an insane mix of holy shrines and crazy nightlife, with shopping and street food crammed in between.

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Phuket

Just off Thailand’s southwest coast, Phuket is heaving with 40 kilometres of beaches that bear the country’s trademark white sands and hammock-strung palms. But that’s about the only thing these sandy stretches have in common – in terms of their vibe, they couldn’t be more different.

Khao Lak

Thailand’s southwest coastline isn’t short of knock-out beach scenes. But deserted sands and a ban on over-development set Khao Lak apart. Three world-class national parks and 20 kilometres of powdery white beaches are the main draw here, but the lack of crowds is a close second. If it’s Thailand’s serene side you’re after, this is where to find it.

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