If Thailand were a lady - or a lady-boy - women would want to be her, men would want be with her, and everybody would feel slightly sick with envy at the thought of her plentiful tourist assets. The backpacker trail here is as well-worn as a battered copy of 'The Beach', making it a little difficult to 'get off the beaten track', though more secluded areas can still be found in the rural North East. Established backpacker haunts are popular for good reasons, and cutting them out would mean missing some great experiences - like hedonistic fun at Koh Phangan's monthly Full Moon Party (or at smaller 'Half Moon' raves in the jungle), or meditation and mojitos in arty-crafty hippy retreat Pai. Elsewhere, backpacker clichés exist alongside a rich, varied culture - as in the fantastic northern city of Chiang Mai, where an enviable combination of quirky nightlife, a beautiful temple at Doi Suthep, and a phenomenal Sunday market make it one of Thailand's most rewarding places to visit.
For further reading, check out Guide Gecko's cheatsheets and Thailand travel guide.
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Thailand could have been made for multi centre holidays. Combine the bustle of Bangkok with the calm of rural Northern Thailand and the sophistication of world class resorts, stunning beaches and idyllic island escapes.
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