Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple. Nearby is Wat Pho Temple with an enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun Temple with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.
Khao Yai National Park covers more than 2,000 square kilometers of forest and grassland in central Thailand. More than 50 km of hiking and biking trails wind through the long-standing nature preserve, and its many waterfalls include 150m-tall Haew Narok and 20m-tall Haew Suwat, immortalized in the Danny Boyle film 'The Beach.' The park also shelters diverse wildlife such as bears, gibbons, elephants and hornbills.
Hua Hin is a seaside resort on the Gulf of Thailand, in the southern Thai province of Prachuap Khiri Khan. Once a quiet fishing village, it grew into a fashionable escape for residents of Bangkok after the 1920s, when the Thai royal family built summer palaces here. Hua Hin Beach, popular for kitesurfing and other water sports, is the main stretch of sand, lined with high-end hotels and seafood shacks.
Pattaya is a city on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast known for its beaches. A quiet fishing village as recently as the 1960s, it’s now lined with resort hotels, high-rise condos, shopping malls, cabaret bars and 24-hour clubs. Nearby, hillside Wat Phra Yai Temple features an 18m-tall golden Buddha. The area also features several designer golf courses, some with views of Pattaya Bay.