A captivating country of contrast
The capital of Bangkok needs no introduction. It's a hectic blur of bright lights where motorbikes whizz along twelve-lane motorways, skyscrapers rub shoulders with golden temples and thumping clubs stand amidst traditional architecture. It's a fascinating fusion of old and new that somehow just works. Whether you're marvelling at the city's famous 'ladyboy' shows, checking out the legendary nightlife, shopping 'till you drop at the markets' 15,000 stalls or snapping photos in front of the grand palace, you'll never be far from the scent of tasty Thai food that drifts from street vendors and swanky restaurants.
Head north from Bangkok and you'll feel a million miles from the capital's hustle and bustle. Here you'll find traditional fishing communities, rubber plantations and rice paddies – the foundation of Thailand's famous cuisine. Popular activities here are perfecting your green curry recipe at Thai cooking classes, jungle-trekking adventures and exploring ancient temples and hill tribes – Tomb Raider style. Former Thai Kingdom Chiang Mai is a huge open-air museum. Home to over 300 ancient temples it's a tremendous Thai feast for the eyes that's not to be missed.
Relax in the south
In the south of Thailand, life's a beach – literally. Phuket, off Thailand's southwest coast will leave you spoilt for choice where beach holidays are concerned, from the fast pace and neon lights of Patong to the isolated and almost deserted Ban Tao Beach. Cape Panwa on the southern-most tip is hoping you'll pass it by unnoticed whilst Mai Khao Beach stretches as far as the eye can see, and then some.
Karon and Kata Beach are lively affairs with plenty of facilities whilst Kamala, Nai Thon and Tri-Trang take you right back to basics with only the swaying palm trees to keep you company. Khao Lak could easily slip under the radar as even the hotels here blend in with the scenery. Great care has been taken to ensure the region remains unspoilt and the three national parks in the area are awash with mangroves and waterfalls making the inland area just as stunning as the beaches.
Krabi is easily recognisable by the rocky formations that line the coast and rise from the translucent sea. Fish dart around just below the surface making this a snorkeler's paradise and the tiny surrounding islands are just waiting to be explored. Phi Phi Island is perhaps the most well-known of all as it was used as the beach in the famous film imaginatively called 'The Beach' featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Twin Centre holidays: the best of both worlds
Can't decide whether you fancy a fortnight lounging on endless stretches of sand or exploring the bright lights of Thailand's cities? With a Twin Centre holiday, you don't need to. They're the perfect way to see more of this fascinating country, and the perfect balance of sightseeing and relaxation. Or for a double dose of fun in the sun, how about sipping coconut cocktails on two difference beaches?
These seven night trips are available with Thomson and offer you the chance to spend a few busy nights exploring northern Bangkok or the River Kwai, before heading down to recharge your batteries in beachy retreats such as Koh Samui, Phuket, Khao Lak or Krabi.
Thailand has been made even more accessible by Thomson now their long haul flights to Phuket are serviced by their brand new state-of-the-art Dreamliner aircraft. This Boeing 787 plane will operate direct flights to Phuket and you'll be able to get comfy in bigger seats, breathe in fresher air, chill out with mood lighting and enjoy a quieter flight, leaving you relaxed and refreshed ready to enjoy your holidays to Thailand.