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Thailand has spectacular ruins and modern cities. It has an historical monarchy with a much-respected ruler and a democratic constitution written in 1997. There are ancient hill tribes and integrated circuit sales teams. The longer you visit, the greater the contrasts.

Bangkok, one of the most exciting cities in Asia, is the economic, cultural, and political center of the country. Visit some of the city's 400 Buddhist temples (wats) for a break from the busy city streets or from bargaining in the market. A little calmer is Chiang Mai, 10-12 hours north by bus, where you can plan a trek into the surrounding mountains and visit traditional hill tribes.

Destination Guides

Without doubt, you'll want to head south to the beaches and islands of the Malay Peninsula. Phuket, the Pearl of the Andaman Sea, gets most of the tourist business, Krabi is the provincial capital, and Koh Phi Phi is rated one of the three best islands in the world. The Adaman Sea on the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east supply some of the most beautiful and relaxing stretches of tropical sand on earth and the best scuba diving and snorkeling anywhere. Elephant trekking, mountain climbing, and first rate hotels and resorts. You can't beat it, and it all comes with Thai food!

For Thailand travel highlights, see our Vacation and Destination Guides.

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