Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. It's known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins, and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canalside communities and the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and the Emerald Buddha Temple. Nearby beach resorts include bustling Pattaya and fashionable Hua Hin.
Offshore islands include Ko Samui and Phuket, with palm-fringed beaches and scuba diving, while Ko Pha Ngan is famed for raucous full-moon parties. The Phang Nga Bay features craggy limestone karsts rising from its waters. In the mountainous north, the city of Chiang Mai is known for its historic Old Town and hill-tribe handicrafts. Archaeological sites at Ayutthaya and Sukhothai preserve the ruins of historical temples and palaces, while national parks Khao Yai and Khao Sok offer rainforest trekking and wildlife viewing. Aromatic regional cuisines offer a complex blend of flavors, often with fiery spice.