Thailand Explored!

Buddhist temples, exotic tropical beaches and lush, animal-laded rainforests: you can see all this and more in one country: Thailand.

Thailand is divided into five main regions. Northern Thailand centres around Chiang Mai. It is mainly jungle but it is also where you will find Thailand’s highest mountains. There are hilltop temples 2000 metres up, never ending forests, rugged mountains and indigenous animals.

Central Thailand is home to Bangkok and the country’s other major metropolitan centres. It is a great place for architectural photographers. Ancient temples jostle for space amidst new ultra-modern glass high-rises. The cities, particularly Bangkok, are carved up by concrete arteries that carry smog- belching traffic and underneath the giant motorway lie shanties, of varying levels of decay and poverty. The Chao Phraya River is the city’s heart and washing, fishing and sanitation are all done here.

Isaan is the undeveloped northeast region. Here is where you can take pictures of ‘real’ Thailand, which is unaffected by tourism. You may have communication difficulties as few people speak English, but that doesn’t matter, hand signs and gestures work just as well. This area is probably how Thailand got its name for being the land of a thousand smiles. Despite the poverty, everyone seems much happier than they do in the UK.

If tropical beaches, palms, coral sand and crystal clear water is more your style then southern and eastern Thailand are for you. Despite a huge amount of tourism, most of the beaches, particularly in the south, are still pristine. However, if you want an untouched beach without a hundred tourists ruining your image you will have to travel outside of ‘cool’ season, and deal with the often oppressing heat of the summer months. But it is more than worth it.

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