Thailand Country Guide

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Scuba Diving & Snorkelling
Thailand's a big enough country that you can find a place to practice almost any outdoor sport. Ko Tao is one of Asia's great scuba diving spots, while the Ang Thong National Marine Park (near Koh Samui) and the Similan Islands also attracts enthusiasts. One of the newest diving hot spots is Ko Lipe, an unspoilt small island with fantastic reefs and stunning beaches. Snorkeling can be done at pretty much at every beach but coral reefs off the Similan Islands stand out as impressive.

 
 
 
 
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Scuba diving in the Gulf of Thailand by Busaranon

Surfing
While Thailand does not match surf paradises such as Bali, surfing does have its place in the country. The waves are generally small, therefore good for long-boarding and those learning to surf. Khao Lak and Phuket's west coast beaches are among the better surf spots but the best waves are at the relatively unknown Ko Kradang in the west coast of Trang Province. Other spots include Rayong and Koh Samui, but the waves of the Gulf Coast are less reliable.

Limestone Formations
Phang Nga Bay's gravity-defying limestone formations are usually seen with boat tours. If you go sea-canoeing, you can get into areas unexplored by the flocks of tourists. The limestone cliffs of Rai Leh are among the best in the world for rock climbing.

Golf
The popularity of golf in Thailand has escalated in the last two decades and played by Thais, expatriates and foreign tourists. An average of 400,000 foreign golfers come to Thailand annually, offering over two hundred courses with high standards. Internationally renowned courses are found in tourist-spots like Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. Membership and course fees are exceptionally low and with Thailand's low travelling cost, makes the country ideal for budget minded tourists. Furthermore, many of the courses in Thailand were designed by top names in golf including Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman.

Golf course in Koh Samui by Per Meistrup
Thai Massage
Traditional Thai massage has a history of more than 2,500 years. Practitioners of Thai massage operate on the belief that many invisible lines of energy run through the body. Masseurs use their hands, elbows, feet, heels and knees to exert pressure on these lines, releasing blockages and allowing a free flow of energy through the body. Many Thais believe that these massages are beneficial for ailing diseases and general well-being. You're supposed to feel both relaxed and energised after a session.


Spas
Although spas weren't introduced in Thailand until the early 1990s, the country has quickly become one of the world's popular spa destinations. There is a phenomenal variety of international treatments including aromatherapy and Swedish massage. There is usually an option for every budget varying from the extravagant wellness centres at the five-star hotels to the little massage shops found on many street corners.

 
Thailand
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