25 September 2023

Thailand basks in 2018 ‘Destination of the Year’ accolades

Start the conversation

By Rama Gaind.

Well-known landmark Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, seen on a cruise on the mighty Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Photo: Rama Gaind

It’s a coveted mantle worn by Thailand, basking in the glory of winning numerous prestigious travel awards including two ‘Destination of the Year‘ honours. It is not difficult to understand why the ‘Land of Smiles’ is a picturesque tropical getaway at any time of the year.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is not only proud of all the awards it’s received during 2018, but it will now build on its remarkable success in raking in the awards.

According to TAT deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, Mr Tanes Petsuwan, the impressive haul of awards confirms Thailand as a tourist destination of excellence, with a diversity of unique Thai local experiences that extends throughout the country.

“This is a result of the hard work by the entire industry and our staff, and TAT’s commitment to its ‘Amazing Thailand Open to the New Shades‘ marketing initiative,” he said.

After a record-breaking haul so far in 2018, these awards are a clear indication that TAT and the awarding-winning hospitality organisations are on the right track.

The reasons why Thailand is a such a popular spot among travellers are varied: rich history and culture, ancient temples, festivals, food, weather, wildlife, markets, beaches, islands, water sports and accommodation options.

Cruising in a long-tail boat on the Chao Phraya River looking at the Bangkok skyline in the distance. Photo: Rama Gaind

A mix of modernity and tradition, the kingdom is one of the most popular destinations of south-east Asia – and it has a lot to offer. From the stunning temples built all over the country to luxurious islands in the south, from national parks full of vibrant wildlife to amazing world-renowned food.

With a population of 69 million, Thailand is amazing in every which way. From white sandy beaches and terrific hotels to historic temples and mouth-watering food, there’s simply too much on offer in this temperate paradise for visitors. No wonder the figures are rising; the number went up to 35 million in 2017. Numbers look positive this year.

‘Live’ to travel

Visitors have no hesitation in returning because they agree with what Hans Christian Andersen said: “to travel is to live”.

Only if you visit and explore, do you broaden your horizons. Once again on my recent visit to the capital, I had the opportunity to learn and grow, to stretch my limits and challenge myself and foster an appreciation of the city’s charms. This ‘City of Angels’ is distinctive among its south-east Asian neighbours.

From the moment the Thai Airways International flight landed at Suvarnabhumi (meaning ‘Golden Land’) Airport, in Bangkok, arrival at customs was made easy, quick and hassle-free with assistance from representatives of Thailand Privilege Card. Friendly staff in courtesy vehicles picked us up, after we’d walked out of the plane, and whisked us through the terminal, safely taking us to the immigration express lane.

Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River amid 4.4 hectares of greenery.

When you arrive in the bustling capital, Bangkok continues to amaze. With a population of eight million, it’s clear that the city is embracing a modern lifestyle, high-rise buildings are endless, the flyovers are busy and the traffic is incessant.

Before taking up the itinerary to go exploring, hotel bookings are confirmed.

The first is waterfront luxury on Bangkok’s river of kings, Chao Phraya River. Located on the west bank amid 4.4 hectares of greenery, the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort offers urban serenity twined with authentic discoveries. On the agenda is some time to view iconic landmarks and dine on one of the many Manohra Cruises and uncover the real Bangkok with the Streetwise and Klong Gurus.

Tourist icons

There’s so much to see and do in Bangkok, mostly historical attractions and temples with elaborate architecture and art. Famous temples are Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Phu Khao Thong, Wat Ratchanadda, Wat Traimit, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Bowon, and Wat Sutat.

The swimming pool is not the only inviting attraction at Cham’s House Koh Kood Resort. Photo: Rama Gaind

There are also palaces, museums, parks, and a big array of shopping places, from luxury malls to flea and street markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market, Sampeng Market and Pahurat Textile Market.

Located in the heart, on the banks of Chao Phraya River, Bangkok’s glittering Grand Palace is a magnificent building and one of the most popular tourist attractions. Built in 1782, it has served as the royal court and administrative seat of Thailand for 150 years. The palace also impresses swathes of visitors with its intricate golden-spired architecture and cultural history.

The sprawling 21.8-hectare complex has several buildings, halls gardens and scourtyards that are a must-see when touring Bangkok. It also covers the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). This is the largest temple in Bangkok where the majestic statue of Buddha is 46 metres long.

One of the most famous landmarks of Bangkok, Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn, is a Buddhist temple (wat) located on the Thonburi west bank of Chao Phraya River. This magnificent structure is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand. Although the temple has existed since at least the 17th century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early 19th century during the reign of King Rama II.

Around the capital

One of the most popular attractions in the Thai capital is the glittering Grand Palace that was built in 1782.

Bangkok is also surrounded by many provinces of interest. The north of Bangkok borders Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani Provinces, with tourist attractions like Koh Kret and Lotus Museum.

The east of the city is next to Chachoengsao, a small province that is full of interesting places and activities. The south of the city borders Samut Prakan Province and the Gulf of Thailand.

The west of the city is next to Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom Provinces and tourist attractions include Don Kai Dee Benjarong Village, Phra Pathom Chedi, Sanam Chandra Palace and Don Wai Floating Market.

If you venture further afield to one of Thailand’s eastern-most islands of Koh Kood, you will be captivated by the undulating landscapes, beachside dining and the remarkable scenic views from the rooms and villas at Cham’s House Koh Kood Resort.

To paraphrase what former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said: “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure”. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder … when visiting ‘Amazing Thailand’!



Tourism Authority of Thailand

T: (02) 9247 7549

W: www.tourismthailand.org

Thai Airways International

T: 1300 651 960

W: www.thaiairways.com

Thai Airways International flies daily from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth to Thailand with onward domestic connections. Thai Airways recently claimed a Top 10 placing in the 2018 Skytrax Awards together with the World’s Best Economy Class and Best Economy Onboard Catering Awards.

Bangkok Airways

W: http://www.bangkokair.com

Stay & cruise

Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort

257, 1-3 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khwaeng Samre, Khet Thon Buri, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand

T: +66 2 476 0022

W: www.anantara.com/en/riverside-bangkok

Cham’s House Koh Kood Resort

Address: 5 Moo 5 Klong Hin Beach Tambon Koh Kood Amphur Koh Kood, Trat 23000, Thailand

T: +66 81 651 4744

W: www.chamshouse.com

Manohra Cruises

257 Charoennakorn Road,Samrae Thonburi Khwaeng Samre, Khet Thon Buri, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand

T: +66 2 477 0770

W: https://www.manohracruises.com

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.