Thailand has long been one of the most desirable places to visit on holiday, and in 2016, 32.59 million tourists visited the Kingdom. As those numbers are still increasing each year, certain areas have been detrimentally affected by holidaymakers and have caused some people to look to other places in Southeast Asia for their travels. Maya Beach was one of the top destinations for visitors, but it has recently closed due to environmental damage. There are many other reasons why the Land of Smiles is such a great place to visit, though. Thailand is lauded for its food, people, and culture in particular.
Thailand shot to worldwide fame as a popular tourist destination after Leonardo DiCaprio starred in Danny Boyle’s iconic 2000 picture, The Beach. In the movie, which was based on Alex Garland’s novel of the same name, most of the action took place on an idyllic island off the coast of the country. Some of the filming for this was done at Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh, which immediately became one of the top tourist spots in the region, seeing up to 5000 tourists per day. This was causing serious damage to the environment there, however, so in late 2018, the Tourist Authority of Thailand closed it off.
Aside from Maya Beach, there are plenty of other amazing spots to visit in Thailand. The bustling city of Bangkok is a place that needs to be seen to be believed, as the amalgamation of sights, smells, and sounds form a delirious concoction that can leave first-time travelers a little overwhelmed. This is juxtaposed by the stunning tranquility of places like Koh Samet and Koh Si Chang, which can be found an hour or two’s drive away from the capital. At these paradise islands, time stands still for a while and tourists can rest and recuperate. Then there’s the option for jungle adventure or kicking back by the river in Kanchanaburi, made famous by The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Railway man.
Thai culture and cuisine has already had a massive impact on the West. Games like the Thai Flower slot, available at Magical Vegas, incorporate the more spiritual side of the Buddhist country, and online casino players find it extremely relaxing. Films like Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior show the country’s passion for martial arts, with the film starring Tony Jaa being successful in the United States. Thai cuisine can also be found in almost any city in America and Europe nowadays. For anyone who likes these things, going to the source and experiencing them firsthand is an absolute must.
It is a shame that Maya Beach can’t be enjoyed the way it was depicted in the stunning Boyle movie. But there are plenty of other places in Thailand and numerous reasons to visit the country aside from that spot. Thailand is still one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, and it deserves to be.