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  9 reasons to visit Thailand (01/02/2019 13:33:40)
Friendly and fun-loving, cultured and historic, Thailand radiates a golden hue, from its glittering temples and tropical beaches through to the ever-comforting Thai smile. Here are 9 reasons to visit, not that you should ever need an excuse...

1. The street food

Some of Thailand's spiciest, tangiest tom yum soups can be eaten from roadside stalls. The hot and sour dish can be whipped up in a second by street vendors using fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal. Other street food treats to try include rice with spicy stir-fried crabmeat and fresh yellow chillies.

2. Fabulous luxury hotels

Whether it is upmarket island bliss (try the Six Senses on Koh Yao Noi), or sleek 70s curves (see Iniala Beach House in Phuket) or the ewok-inspired tree dwellings of Keemala, also in Phuket, that inspire you, there is a wealth of choice in Thailand.

3. The prettiest pink lakes

Pink water lilies in bloom are a sight to behold on lakes around the country. In Udon Thani, lilies on Red Lotus Lake burst into a riot of crimson blooms between November and February. The wide lake - 15km long and up to 5km is little-known by non-Thais but is a beautiful sight. Guides lead small boat tours around it.

4. Gibbons in the Khao Sok National Park

An array of exotic species live in Thailand's remarkably biodiverse park, including gibbons. With calls that can carry for up to two miles, gibbons are easier to hear than see but following their trail through nearly 460 square miles of pristine tropical evergreen forest is a great way to explore, perhaps catching glimpses of sun bears, leopards, tigers, tapirs, Asiatic wild dogs, gaurs, monkeys and deer along the way.

5. The many Buddhas

Seated, standing, lying down - Thailand is full of gleaming Buddha statues, some large and some tiny. Take your pick of temples to see them in and then work your way through the country's collection of Buddha relics if you've yet to reach your fill.

6. The most fun you can have with a water pistol

Songkran marks the end of the dry season – April is Thailand’s hottest month. The festivities revolve around soaking one another with water, with tourists among the most enthusiastic participants.

Tom Vater, Telegraph Travel's Bangkok expert, said: "Songkran, or Thai New Year, is a Buddhist festival and the kingdom’s most important public holiday. Nowadays, the throwing of water is the festival’s highlight. In fact, for three days virtually the entire country turns into a celebratory battle zone."

7. City shopping beyond compare

Bangkok is a shoppers’ paradise. Beyond the preponderance of shopping malls, the city also offers innumerable local markets offering all sorts of wares.
Though some, such as Khaosan Road’s, are almost exclusively aimed at tourists and have inflated prices to match, others cater to locals and are crammed with curios that can, with effective haggling, be picked up for a song. And more upmarket bargains are available too, with the city’s skilled tailors on hands to tailor-make beautiful suits, shirts and dresses for savvy shoppers who prefer things to be bespoke.

8. Afternoon tea in the treetops

A treetop treat in the jungle on the Thai island of Koh Kood that gives high tea a whole new meaning. Guests are suspended 15ft above the ground on Koh Kood island in a giant man-made replica of a bird’s nest.

"Treepod dining” is a simple idea," said our reviewer. "Strapped to a seat within a nest-like pod just bigger than the accompanying dining table (and on a very strong pulley system), I was hoisted up high into the trees of the island, to have an elevated eating experience – a picnic taking full advantage of the height dimension."

9. Unlimited opportunities for island hopping

The range of paradisical islands to choose from will please the pickiest of beach bums, whether it is a chic cabana and waiter service you're after or just somewhere to string a hammock.

And then there are the hundreds of islands that you can't even stay on, but which can be visited with the assistance of a local fisherman with a longtail boat and some time on his hands. Try Bamboo island, one of the Phi Phi Islands, home to one of the most favourite beaches in Thailand.

Source Telegraph

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