Thailand has been organised by using the regions in the colour-coded map above.
Bangkok is the country’s capital, a congested city of over 10 million people with great opportunities for shopping and a strong taste of Thai culture and cuisine. Central Thailand includes the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, national parks near Kanchanaburi and beach escapes at Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan. East Thailand has some great offshore islands such as Ko Samet, Ko Chang and Ko Kood, which get progressively quieter the further you go from Bangkok.
North & Northeast
The mountains of the north are the place to go for hiking and adventure sports, as well as the welcoming towns of Sukhothai (another former capital of Siam), Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The little-visited Northeast, also known as Isaan, features well preserved Khmer ruins at Phimai and Phanom Rung as well as the lively cities of Khon Kaen, Nong Khai and Nakhon Ratchasima.
Finally, South Thailand is home to the country’s best known beach resorts, Phuket and Ko Samui, though there are plenty of less frequented islands like Ko Lanta and the Tarutao Archipelago, where you can give other tourists the slip.