Top Tips for Travel in Thailand! All backpacked up and no place to go? Thailand in less than a nutshell.

The North

Misty mountains clad in jungle and ancient ruins, ruined and beautifully intact temples, palaces, hill tribe culture. Sukhotai and Sri Satchanalai Historical Parks Trekking and history.
Capital: Chiang Mai. Wander through the city alongside the canals and river past glorious temples and cosmopolitan life, take a songthaew to Doi Suthep to see the city from a temple on a mountain peak or bathe in the Hot Springs and waterfalls, then chill out in the city's throbbing bar and club centre.

The North-East

Isaan food, handicrafts, silk and music. National parks up in the hills. Phanom Rung Historical Park.

The Central

Plains The inimitable and indefinable Capital, Bangkok. Caves; waterfalls; the Ancient City of Ayuthaya, ruined by old wars with Burma; the scars of modern violence at Kanchanaburi's Bridge Over the River Kwai.

The South

Crystal seas, diamond beaches on Phuket, Samui, Phangan and Tao islands. Emerald forests and waters split by shafts of golden beach in Krabi and on Phi Phi Island (momentarily bulldozed for The Beach). Magnet for Bond movies. Mosques and Malay-influenced textiles further south in Had Yai and beyond. Rainforest on Phuket; rare marine life around the National Park Similan Islands. Excellent snorkelling and diving.

The East

National Parks in Rayong and Trat provinces. National Marine parks Chang and Samet islands. White sand beaches and wilder than the South. The best pineapples in Thailand! Swingers' capital Pattaya.

Wherever you go, remember…………

• Sun Block, Sun Hat, Sunglasses, Shade.
• Carry toilet roll.
• When using your Thai phrasebook, make sure you add "Khap" (if you're male) or "Kha" (if you're female) to the end of every sentence; people will be much more receptive as it politens everything you say.
• Try to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and come down to your knees as this is considered proper dress in the city and resembles traditional Thai attire everywhere and will act as a mark of respect to the people living here.
• Don't eat anything that hasn't been boiled or fried, or looks like it hasn't!
• Buy sealed, bottled water and make sure ice looks like it has been bought from the ice factory, ie that it is in cubes or some other definite shape.


Thailand is a key spot for buying exquisite fabrics, pearls and unique handicrafts. The best fabrics are found in the North and North-East. The South, particularly Phuket, is the place for pearl buying. The majority of traditional Thai-style handicrafts are purchased in the North, as well as Hilltribe handmade crafts. The North-East and Laos/ Cambodia borders are the best places for buying Hilltribe wares. Aside from the beautiful textiles, jewellery and handicrafts traditional Thailand has to offer, parts of Bangkok are almost smothered with Department Stores and markets selling original clothes, shoes and accessories particular to the fashion requirements of the 'New Generation', also known as the 'Siam Square Generation', as well as genuine designer gear that's a real bargain if translated to Western currency, or a number of convincing or not-in-the-least deceiving fakes.