Thailand presents such a dichotomy of experiences that a single visit would never do it justice. More than 15 million people arrive annually, yet culturally, customs and traditions have remained very much intact. Western influences have made deep marks yet a heritage filled with riches is strongly maintained. One of the best things about visiting is there is no “typical” vacation. Sure, sun-worshippers put Thailand high on their list, but the country has an incredibly diverse number of attractions to enjoy. From sun-soaked beaches to dense, jungle landscapes, there are endless discoveries to make.
13. Phang Nga
Due north of Phuket is Phang Nga, a stunning Thai province filled with flourishing backdrops, incredible islands and exceptional diving. Phang Nga Bay National Park is an earthly wonder laying claim to fascinating rock formations (limestone karsts) jutting skyward, picturesque islets, and recessed caverns. There are small and large boat excursions making the trip from the point of Phuket and from Krabi offering various day trips. The Muslim fishing village of Koh Panyee is an interesting stop and a way to support locals selling handmade souvenirs and fresh, delicious seafood. One of the best choices for exploring Phang Nga is to rent a canoe or kayak and cruise along the bay, checking out ancient paintings in island caverns, natural wildlife, and scenic wonders. The huge, stratified rocks of shallow Phang Nga Bay are really a sight to behold and perhaps the single most dramatic part of a visit.