Land of Smiles
Written by Kevin Butters
Thailand, also named the Land of Smiles, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia, if not the world.
If you ask most people where there favorite holiday destinations have been, or even their personal wish-list of countries, visiting
Thailand is always either close
to the top, or at the very top of the list. After all,
14.5 million visitors entering the country each year can't have got it all wrong can they!
Within the Kingdom of Thailand there are five main tourist destinations: Bangkok,
Phuket, Chang Mai Thailand, Pattaya and Koh Samui along with
Krabi, Ko Chang Island and Koh Pha Ngan,
three smaller but increasingly popular destinations.
The reason so many people head south upon reaching Bangkok is the natural beauty, pristine white sands, and crystal clear waters
of the coastal resorts, and the natural draw of the exotic islands.
Besides the natural beauty of the south, the mountainous regions of the north, particularly around the city of
Chiang Mai, offer rich cultural experiences. This area is steeped in the highly colorful
history of Thailand.
Chiang Mai itself has over 300 temples stretched throughout the city and surrounding areas, it also boasts an ancient
moat and wall dating back some 750 years and also the place I call home!
Sitting high above the city on Doi Suthep "Doi" in Thai for mountain, is the Buddhist monastery of
Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, this is one of Thailand's
most revered Buddhist temples, and each year receives over 3 million Thai and overseas visitors, and is a "must see" for anyone visiting Chiang Mai.
I have lived here for 4 years now, and to be honest they have been four of the best years of my life. The natural beauty of the area,
the natural friendliness of the locals, and the slightly cooler winter nights make it like a heaven on earth to me.
Chiang Mai is a place which contains a combination of both modern city life and old village charm, it is also a great base
for exploring the area, whether you want to go trekking,
home stay up in the remote mountains with the Hill Tribe people,
visit the countless stunning temples or just chill around the city.
Beauty of Chiang Mai
The local Night Bazaar is the favorite shopping place for tourists visiting the city,
it's where you can get a very wide range of handmade
local items, tribal wears and also the very latest modern "junk" for good bargain prices.
Ask any visitor to Chiang Mai what they think of the city, and everyone will say that it is fantastic. It has a certain magic
about it that you can only understand after you have visited, and I for one want to stay under its spell forever.
The Land of Smiles has long had the reputation of being a country that is extremely hospitable for tourists.
Thais by nature are friendly people, always smiling and trying to help whenever they can.
So, whether you seek the beautiful beaches in the south, or mountains and rainforest to the North, there is something for everyone here in Thailand!
Author: Kevin Butters runs the website
and shares his real life experiences, and great insider tips of how to get
the very best from your visit to Chiang Mai & the surrounding areas.
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