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The “land of smiles”, Thailand is as friendly and fun-loving as it is cultured and historic. It is a country aglow with burnished temples, exotic markets, neon-lit cities and glittering beaches, and lush with vibrant rice paddies, sugar cane plantations and tropical forests, home to incredible wildlife. It is easy to see why Thailand is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

A feast for the senses, Thailand is an absorbing mix of sights, sounds and smells, perfectly demonstrated in its bustling capital Bangkok. Skyscrapers and neon-lit strips provide striking contrast to opulent royal residences and ornate Buddhist temples, which stand side-by-side streets lined with food carts and ancient village homes.

Outside the cities, the scenic beauty is just as awe-inspiring. Explore the Sukhothai Historical Park, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site; visit the Golden Triangle with its stunning views of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and the mighty Mekong River; discover villages inhabited by indigenous Hill Tribes; and head to the wonderful elephant camp on the outskirts of Chiang Mai.

Around 40 per cent of Thais earn their living from the land, with rice forming the basis of the country’s unique and sophisticated cuisine.