Thailand is one hundred vacation destinations in one package and that package is definitely something to treasure. Visiting Thailand gives you beaches, mountains, oceans, and cities and one trip is never the same as another. What exactly does Thailand offer the traveler? What are some of the highlights of a Thai vacation? And are there any issues or problems you need to watch out for when you travel to Thailand?
Take the sandy route
Thailand’s beaches are deservedly famous. Think about a picture of a perfect beach and you’ll probably come up with an image from Thailand. The white sand curves into azure sea, the palm trees make shady arches over the beach, and the sun sets crimson and gold into the water. Thai beaches are mythical places and offer the opportunity of complete relaxation if you need it. You can also take part in more active pursuits, such as water sports, diving and snorkeling, and enjoying a candlelit dinner close to the ocean. Thailand is also home to world-famous Full Moon parties – dance the night away under the full moon with the assistance of a few tropical cocktails.
The south of Thailand is dotted with paradisiacal islands, some of which are uninhabited and a long boat ride from the mainland. Others are set up for tourism with resorts and boutique hotels.
Thailand: all about choice
Whether you want a spa break at a luxurious resort, a honeymoon suite by the water or a cheap wooden hut on the sand, Thailand offers something for all budgets, in both accommodation and facilities. A recent boom in construction of top-end resorts and spas means you won’t be short of options for a special vacation. And, of course, Thailand has long been known for its backpacker-friendly budget accommodation and food.
Enduring popularity of Thailand
If all this talk of sandy beaches and luxury spas has got you booking your plane ticket then you’re not the only one. The ITIJ reports that numbers of international tourist arrivals are soaring in 2013. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in Thailand says the first quarter 2013 figures are up just over 19 percent on last year. Almost 9 million trips were made in January and February 2013, compared with 4.4 million in 2012. The Songkran Festival was cited as a major draw for foreign tourists. And where do these tourists come from? Surprisingly, Eastern Europe, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Denmark supplied the most visitors. This is different to the usual expectation that UK tourists make up the majority of Thai visitors.
Be a responsible tourist
Many 21st-century travelers try to leave as small a footprint as possible when they travel overseas, and want to consider how their visit affects the local population. This applies to the country of Thailand which, as a developing nation, deals with complex issues surrounding sustainable tourism. It’s a shame that more people don’t look at travel insurance from the point of view of the host country, instead of wondering how they can save money by traveling without insurance. The Thai Public Health Ministry, as reported in the Bangkok Post and in an ITIJ article, is considering making it essential for foreign tourists to have travel insurance before they can visit Thailand. Overseas health insurance for visitors would ease the burden on small local clinics and hospitals that treat tourists but often find it difficult to later recover the costs from foreigners.
With Thailand’s numerous attractions, variety of accommodation and gorgeous climate, the number of visitors will continue to rise. And Thailand’s hospitals will need to deal with increasing numbers of foreign visitors who do not, or cannot, pay for their medical treatment. Visitors to paradise could consider the effect their presence has on the local economy and population, and give a little back by making sure they are properly covered by medical insurance.