Beyond Bangkok

thailand

Beyond Bangkok

Here are some of the must visit spots from the World’s Best Awards.
  For a taste of Thailand’s beaches, head to Hua Hin, a seaside resort town located about a 2.5 hour drive or a 4 hour train ride south of Bangkok. This onetime sleepy fishing village is now a fashionable escape for well heeled urbanites looking to swim, kitesurf, and savor fresh seafood. You’ll find high end hotels, golf courses, spas, and tennis courts, as well as natural gems like the nearby Pala ou Waterfall.
  Heading to the peninsula’s southern reaches, the Kra Isthmus is a thin strip of land situated between the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the Andaman Sea to the west. On the gulf side, Beyond Bangkok the country’s second largest island and has become a hub for ultra plush wellness resorts, palm lined beaches, and outdoor adventure. Relax in high style at sanctuaries designed for relaxation, pampering, and  general de stressing. For an easy day trip, pop over to Koh Phan, a small offshore island, and visit Wat Phra Yai, a Buddhist temple housing a nearly 40 foot high golden Buddha.
  On the southwest coast facing the sparkling Andaman Sea, Krabi is both a province and a town. It’s famous for its vibrant street food scene, sandy beaches, and undiscovered vibe. Island hop through the stunning Phi Phi Islands, or hide away in Koh Lanta, an under the radar island district home to a national park spanning several islands, snorkeling nooks, and a semi nomadic seafaring group known as the Chao Leh. Stay in a small luxury hotel tucked between mountains, one of Thailand’s best kept secrets.
  Midway between mainland Krabi and Phuket in in Phang Nga Bay, sister islands Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai are quiet escapes known for their secluded beaches and private island feel. In the early 2000s, Koh Yao Noi became a hot spot for its homestay programs offered by local residents. Today that hospitality extends to upscale resorts designed to blend into nature. Off the resort grounds, these islands are virtually untouched by tourism you’ll find water buffalo grazing on the roadside, home grown restaurants, and traditional houses.
  Just an hour by plane from Bangkok’s skyscrapers, Buriram is a great place to experience traditional festivals and events. Don’t miss Loy Krathong in November, where hundreds of small banana leaf boats filled with flowers, incense, and candles light up the sky. Also celebrated in November, the thrilling Buriram Long Boat Races feature a parade of colorful boats and an elephant swimming contest. And in  December’s Buriram Kite Festival, enjoy a procession of traditional “aek” kites and folk performances.
  Northern Thailand is an escape to hilltop temples, expansive resorts, and vibrant culture. The north’s largest city, Chiang Mai called the “Rose of the North” boasts more than 300 ornate “wats,” or temples, in the city and surrounding countryside. It’s also a foodie haven The Michelin Guide Thailand will include Chiang Mai in its 2020 edition,  showcasing the region’s distinct local cuisine.
   A few hours north of Chaing Mai, in the region known as the Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai is a place to reconnect with nature in remote hill tribe villages and in glamorous tented camps inspired by the misty landscape. With its mountain trails, bamboo jungles, and refuges for rescued elephants a symbol of Thai royalty emblazoned on everything from scarves to the sides of beer bottles this part of the country feels delightfully off the beaten path, but with all the amenities of a comfortable vacation.

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