Indulge your senses in Thailand

by Nick Hayes on 21 November 2013, 15:11PM

On arrival in Bangkok it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer size and chaotic feel of the city. However, you cannot help but fall in love with it once you have begun soaking up the atmosphere. Bangkok is a city that that everyone should experience at some stage of their travels. Nowhere else in Asia and the world can you find a city quite like Bangkok; with such an eclectic mix of culture it truly gives a true taste of the orient to the first-time visitor or the returning tourist.

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From the banks of the Chao Phraya River, to the gleaming temples and the frantic buzz of the night markets, Bangkok is an ideal starting point for any visit to Thailand. Culturally, Bangkok has it all from the Grand Palace on river banks (as featured in the classic movie: The King & I) to the gleaming temples with reclining statues of Buddha, there is plenty to take in. Another must-see attraction is the famous floating market, where you will see how locals sell their wares straight from their boats to the waiting shoppers

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For the serious bargain hunter, Bangkok is a true shopping Mecca. As well as the modern, air-conditioned shopping centres with designer boutiques and formal restaurants, there is a complete contrast at the local markets where prices may vary depending on how good your bartering is. Local food stalls prepare street food from the freshest ingredients. After the sun sets, the city really kicks into life. Famous for its nightlife, Bangkok can offer some of the finest bars, nightclubs and restaurants in South-East Asia. The rooftop bar at the Sofitel Sukhumvit is definitely worth a visit for fantastic views over the city, whilst enjoying a cocktail (or two). My particular favourite was the Tab-Tim punch.

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When it's time to recharge the batteries, Bangkok has an array of hotels offering incredible value for money. There are great hotels such as the Cha-Da Bangkok, where a stylish room starts from as little as £15 per person per night - leaving plenty of savings to spend in the local markets and shopping malls. For clients requiring the 5 star treatment, there is an array of luxurious hotels such as The Banyan Tree, where you can dine under the stars at their rooftop restaurant or indulge in a personalised spa treatment at the renowned Banyan Tree Spa.

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To summarise Bangkok in a few words would not do the city justice, it is somewhere that has to be experienced first-hand in order to appreciate the diversity and energy that await you in the capital city of the land of smiles.

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Located just a 90 minute drive south of Bangkok is the beach resort Pattaya is a great choice for the traveller who wants to get straight into their holiday without the need for a connecting flight. Pattaya has a reputation as a party town and with its famous walking street offering almost endless bars and nightclubs it is easy to see why.

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However, Pattaya also has an abundance of high quality hotels, long golden beaches with the sparkling Blue Ocean right on its doorstep. It has also plenty to offer for the more active holidaymaker with numerous watersports available for those who wish to windsurf, water ski and sail. Regular excursions to nearby islands are regularly organised.  Other activities include bungee jumping, cycling, skydiving, go-karting and Muay Thai (Thai boxing) lessons. For golfers, both novice and expert, there are a wide selection of golf courses around Pattaya. Some have stunning views over the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

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Accommodation in Pattaya is varied to suit every preference and budget - from the 5 star luxury of the Centara Grand Mirage - a perfect choice for families with its lazy river, waterfalls and water slides - to the conveniently located Centara Pattaya, there is accommodation to suit everyone. The hotels are positioned around the bay with either immediate beach access or a short walk to the public beaches.

For holidays to Thailand please visit www.travelbag.co.uk/holidays/asia/thailand

Nick Hayes is a sales consultant at Travelbag's Solihull branch. For help with booking your holiday to Thailand, he can be reached on +44(0)20 7001 4185.


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