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Why Thailand is the most popular destination in Asia

April 5, 2018 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Bangkok is the most visited city in Asia according to the Mastercard Asia Pacific Destinations Index 2017. In total there are three Thai cities in the top ten Asia Pacific destinations (ranked by international overnight arrivals): Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya.

Thailand, despite being heavily developed in certain areas, has not lost its unique charm and appeal. Idyllic islands, paradise beaches, delicious cuisine, welcoming people, and a vibrant party scene, continue to draw tourists by the million.

Although China draws more visitors a year than Thailand, there is no comparison per capita. Thailand draws almost half the visitors of China despite its population despite its population being around 20 times smaller. In addition, more travelers go purely for tourism rather than for visiting family or business reasons.

Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy and according to the World Tourism Organization, if you include the indirect effects of tourism, tourism accounts for around 20% of the country’s GDP. It is hardly surprising that the Thai government is looking to boost the industry further.

With the introduction on the Online Thailand Visa, which allows visitors to apply for a visa in a matter of minutes, the figures for 2018 could be even more impressive.

Why do people go to Thailand?

Traveling to Thailand is economical and full of opportunities for tourists.

Known as the ‘Land of Smiles’, Thailand is developed enough to provide comfort and wild enough to offer adventure.

People go to Thailand to enjoy a range of things including the hundreds of tropical islands, Buddhist temples, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the variety of wildlife.

Thailand has a rich culture and history. It is a colorful, ancient Buddhist nation with a contemporary edge. The contrast between old and new is most stark in the cities where golden Buddhas and temples stand near shopping modern complexes.

Many travelers head straight for the beaches. Thailand has two coastlines as well as the islands which people hop between. Some go searching for the best party-islands while others just want to get away from the crowds. As there are so many, there are still plenty of unspoilt ones.

Full moon parties originated on the island of Ko Pha Ngan. They are symbolic of Thailand’s unique nightlife and have now been imitated the world over. Thai food can also now be found globally but nothing comes close to the original cuisine.

Thailand is an incredible place to go trekking. There is challenging terrain, vibrant rainforests, jutting mountains, river crossings, and an infinite number of routes to explore. The north of Thailand, more untouched by tourism, is the most typical region for trekking.

Bangkok: the most visited city in Asia

Thailand’s capital is chaotic but also exhilarating. It is the country’s most populous city with a population of eight million. Economically, it dwarfs the nation’s other cities.

Its vibrant street life, network of canals, ornate shrines, and world-class food stalls, mean that there is never a dull moment. Some of the most famous monuments include the Wat Phra Kaew Temple, the Wat Pho Temple, and the Grand Palace.

In the north of the city there is the vast Chatuchak Weekend Market where you can find more or less anything. There are also numerous modern malls around the city containing a mixture between high-end fashion labels and locally-made clothing.

Although they are smaller, there are other fascinating cities to visit in Thailand. Chiang Mai is on of the most popular. It has hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples as well as medieval walls and moats within its historic old town. It was the capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom between the 13th and 16th centuries.

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