1. Hua Hin is Thailand’s oldest beach town and is a perfect getaway for the HiSo crowd from Bangkok. Situated on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand it became popular with the Thai Royal Family in the 1920’s and there still remains a Royal Palace there. A sleepy and refined town, Hua Hin boasts a magnificent sandy beach and great dining for the weekend visitor. There are specialist seafood restaurants that reach out like tentacles into the sea and are a must when visiting.
2. Ayutthaya & Historical Park is steeped in history and was the capital of Siam, founded around 1350. Four hundred years later it was one of the largest cities in the world with 1 million people. The city was destroyed by the Burmese resulting in the collapse of the Kingdom, fortunately renovations started in earnest in the 1960’s bringing back much of its former glory, with moats, canals and roads. The Historical Park is located on an island surrounded by three rivers where the old capital used to be. If you really want to immerse yourself into the deep history of Siam then Ayutthaya is the perfect place.
3. Kanchanaburi & Thai-Burma Railway features some of the most beautiful nature in central Thailand. It is home to several waterfalls, mountains, caves, national parks and last, but not least, the River Kwai. The scenic train journey along the notorious Thailand-Burma Death Railway from Kanchanaburi, via the Bridge over the River Kwai, to Nam Tok is one of Thailand’s most spectacular and popular train rides.
4. Rayong. For some Rayong is just a staging point to take the ferry across to Koh Samet, but Rayong has far more to offer than just that. It has some fine sandy beaches that you will find are a lot quieter than those of its neighbour Pattaya. There are some great historical places to visit with many Wats and Temples dotted about. The old market on Jinda Road is definitely worth a visit and there are many good seafood restaurants in the town.
5. Trat Province nestles along the border with Cambodia with the impressive Khao Banthat mountain range forming the border. Trat is synonymous with Koh Chang and there are 52 assorted offshore islands offering unspoiled long, white sandy beaches and exciting coral reefs. Trat is definitely somewhere you go to for a peaceful break, the small, sleepy province offers delightful scenery and tranquil hideouts for the lovers of nature. The city of Trat is home to a plethora of markets due to the near proximity of Cambodia.