Thailand is a nation of South-East Asia, with parallel worlds; from modern and expansive cities with word-class infrastructure and facilities to far more traditional, rural and coastal (or lakeside) fishing village communities that have hardly changed in centuries. Thai friendliness is world-renowned, especially the further away one goes from the busy, larger cities.
Despite extensive deforestation in the lowlands for palm and rubber plantations, significant tracts of remnant rainforests have survived, providing habitat for numerous rare, threatened and endangered species, including the critically endangered Indo-chinese Tiger, wild Asian elephant, the illusive clouded leopard and a multitude of primates, rich bird life and even the incredibly rare river dolphins.
About 95% of it’s population are Buddhists, with the second largest religion being Islam, closely followed by Christianity. A majority of the Muslims reside in the deep south, especially the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, Songkhla and Satun.
The Thais are a particularly proud people who love their culture, their religion and their monarchy. The country was the only one in the region that was not directly colonized by Europeans. As a consequence of its independence, the county was not looted of its historic treasures to the same extent as neighboring countries like Burma and China. Today ,Thailand boasts some of Asia’s most outstanding archaeological sites, museums and internationally acclaimed World Heritage Areas.
The Northern part of the Kingdom is mainly covered with Mountains that extend to Burma. Well known for its fertile lands, its many hill tribe people and rich culture. The Northern Plateau is also considered one of the 10 best places in the world for motorcycle touring, due to its temperate climate, and excellent winding roads. You will be chasing the dragon’s tail on hilly roads covered with evergreen forest, tea rose and fruit plantations, while enjoying stunning views.
Climate / Weather
March and May: is the hottest period. Winter stretches between mid October to the end of January and offers comfortable temperature between 18 and 23 degrees with chilly nights, at some places the temperature can drop down to 0 degrees at night. It’s also the only place in Thailand where you will see Thais riding motorbikes with winter jackets and gloves. Warm clothes will be needed if you are planning to ride in the north at this time of the year. The rainy season is from the end of May to October.
Largely unknown to most travelers, North Eastern Thailand (locally known as Isaan) is considered the home of the Kingdom’s secret gardens. The north eastern plateau, land of spicy food and sticky rice consists of 20 provinces located between Cambodia and Laos and bordered by the mighty Mekong river. It’s a predominantly agricultural region, and truly is a hidden gem for adventurers looking for authenticity. This colourful region has been largely overlooked by the tourism industry.
Isaan boasts Khmer stone castles similar to Angkor Wat that date back to the 11th century; gigantic lakes covered with countless pink water lilies; Buddhist monasteries; and the pristine jungle and waterfalls of the remote Khao Yai National Park. This under-explored region, also known as the heart of the Thai Silk industry, has much to offer adventurous motorcycle enthusiasts looking for an authentic cultural experience.
Climate / Weather
North East Thailand is the driest part of the kingdom. Just like in the central plains, the rainy season stretches from June to October, and literally brings the region back to life, as everything becomes green and lush again. The coolest season takes place between November and February, with some very chilly days, so pack a sweater and a light scarf with you just in case. The warmest season takes place between March and May, temperatures can get very high this time of the year.
With Ayutthaya, the former kingdom’s capital, has now literally become an open air museum dating back to the 13th century; a period known as the country’s golden age. The misty jungle of Kanchanaburi through which the Khwae river flows, provides the backdrop for breathtaking Khmer ruins, giant stone Buddhas, pristine waterfalls, and the monkey town of Lopburi; where long tailed macaques are living in harmony with people. The central plains have a lot to offer.
Climate / Weather
The rainy season takes place between June and October, with mainly small showers, those months are still suitable for motorcycle touring. The cooler season takes place between October and January and even offer some chilly days with temperatures comparable to spring time in Europe. The warm season stretches from November to May.
Southern Thailand is well known for its pristine rainforests, wetlands, wildlife and stunning beaches. Despite its popularity with tourists, this region still contains many lesser-known wonders such as; the Taley Noi lake – home to more than 180 migratory and local birds, the Khao Sok National Park with its dramatic towering limestone karsts covered with pristine jungle, natural habitat of the Asian black panther and clouded leopard; and numerous stunning tropical islands around the Ranong peninsula which offer an amazing array of underwater habitats and marine life. The southern part of the Kingdom is a melting pot of different cultural influences and is certainly the best part of the country when it comes to wildlife.
Climate / Weather
The rainy season usually starts at the end of April and ends early October, the intense showers on the Andaman coast can last hours and the air humidity levels are often above 80%.
The dry season occurs from mid-October to April, with March, April and June being the warmest months.