Land of Smiles

Written by Kevin Butters

thailand land of smiles beaches

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 thailand
Beauty of Chiang Mai
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.

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 Visit Chiang Mai Online
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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