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Cities in Thailand to Savour

The tourist in Thailand can probably trip a carillion of famous Thai cities off their tongues although their claims to fame may well be more notorious than famous and remembered for reasons that may well be better forgotten. Clearly Bangkok, being the capital city, holds its own claim to fame. Chang Mai, being the ancient Siam capital, also holds a claim to fame. Thailand's peninsula offers names to travellers to Thailand that many know by heart, whether they have visited Thailand or not: Phuket, Pattaya, and Koh Samui.

Udon Thani, to the north-east of Thailand, amidst the Isaan countryside, is really only a town but it has a couple of claims that ought to bring it to the attention of the traveller to Thailand. Hua Hin, Krabi, Khon Khan and Surat Thani are all cities in Thailand and known to a greater or lesser extent. Other famous cities in Thailand include Koh Phangan, Koh Phi Phi, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Ratchasima although these are lesser known to the international world outside of Thailand.

City of Angels and Rose of the North
The city of Bangkok, is the capital city of modern Thailand, colloquially known as the City of Angels. Meanwhile, Ayutthaya and Chang Mai each share historical claims to being capital cities from ancient Siam. Rose of the North is the title given to the ancient city of Chiang Mai. As with any capital city Bangkok reveals a cosmopolitan diversity, five star hotels rubbing shoulders with dilapidated roadside food-stalls.
This diversity is further exhibited in Bangkok's wide range of excellent hotels and restaurants offering a truly international range of cuisine. Shopping offers the tourist a truly absorbing pastime, especially as Bangkok lays claim to some of the biggest shopping malls in Asia. If shopping malls seem rather tame, you can always visit Chatuchak, a particularly large outdoor market held at weekends, or other outdoor markets with similar characteristics.

The famous Thai city of Chiang Mai lies along the Ping River. It has long spread its suburbs out from around its original 700 year old limits. Apart from being the old capital city of Thailand, Chiang Mai is particularly noted for its innumerable Buddhist temples, each one surpassing the previous one in exquisite decor. The oldest of Thailand's temples, Wat Chiang Man, is located here. Another 'must-see' for any visitor to Chiang Mai is the lake, Huay Tung Tao, nestling amongst a mountain-bound terrain. There is also a zoo which cares for the welfare of more than 7,000 animals.

Pearl of the Andaman Sea and other Coastal Cities
Phuket has the honour to be known as the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. Other coastal cities include Hua Hin, Krabi, Pattaya Beach, Patong Beach, Rayong, Chumphon: in fact, with Thailand having 3,219km of coastline there are far more cities than could possibly be included here. Much of Thailand's coastline could be designated as areas of outstanding beauty, especially Hua Hin and Krabi. Many beaches cater for the family; there are some areas where young people party all night and sleep all day, however.


Different Cities Reflect Diversity of Provinces
Thailand has many different provinces, each one different from the next. Some of this difference can be due to a range in temperatures, some due to specific handicrafts being traditional to that village or province: there are silk villages where silk material is produced and woven and other villages where this silk is tailored into beautiful garments. The temperature in Chiang Mai is vastly different to the temperatures experienced in the beach resorts to the south of Thailand so naturally this would be reflected in how different the cities in the north are to those in the south.

Nevertheless, regardless where tourists to Thailand go, they cannot fail to be moved by the beauty and history each of Thailand's famous cities evokes. Busy these cities might be, but the evocative aura experienced as travellers visit each city is something that will always remain in their memories: these cities will provide the traveller to Thailand with a lifetime of never-to-be-forgotten reminiscences to savour in the future.

 by Soophott Lert

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