Exotic. Gracious. Accessible.
The residence of the Kings of Siam from 1782 to 1925, the jewel in this sumptuous complex of buildings is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. As the name suggests, its centerpiece is a stunning statue of the Buddha carved from a single piece of green jade.
Chinatown houses the ultimate bazaar. Browse the labyrinthine alleyways for delicate orchids, spices, Buddhist amulets, exotic fruit or fresh fish. Duck into a fascinating neighborhood temple for a respite from the crowds.
Just a few hours outside of the capital is Thailand’s oldest national park. Full of exotic birds and beasts, Khao Yai has miles of trails to explore in search of rare orchids and hidden waterfalls.
Keeping watch over the city from atop 5,500-foot-high Doi Suthep Mountain, this expansive temple complex, centered around the gold-plated main chedi, can be accessed by climbing the 300-step staircase or taking the cable-car. The cool air and spectacular sunset views make the trip worth the effort.
This verdant, small city is best known for the unusual Wat Rong Khun (“White Temple”), a masterpiece of contemporary Buddhist architecture, and as a gateway to the idyllic hilltribe villages to the north.
The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is a place only nature could create, with forests of towering coconut palms, miles of pure white beach and a sparkling sea rich with underwater activity.
Home to quiet bays surrounded by towering, jungle-covered karst formations and gorgeous accommodations, Krabi is the place for sea canoeing, rainforest walks, snorkeling, visiting rubber plantations and trekking to cave monasteries.
This tropical island of coconut palms, coffee plantations and strange rock formations is easily explored by 4WD vehicle, mountain bike or on foot. The coastline features broad, sandy beaches dotted with huge boulders.
The favorite seaside getaway of Thai royalty, this historic resort town has a unique ambiance owing to its long-term status as a local tourist destination and a working fishing port. Fabulous snorkeling opportunities abound.
Siam’s “Golden Age” is revealed in the 13th-century ruins of this glorious ancient capital. Beautifully carved Buddha statues, crumbling pillars, lotus ponds, temples and pagodas intermingle within this UNESCO World Heritage site, making for wondrous explorations.