This past summer, I had the greatest pleasure of traveling with my parents and cousin all the way to Asia. Although I adore traveling and love an adventure, traveling from America to Thailand was one of the longest journeys of my life, totaling at 31 hours of travel time. It was well worth the trip; I had so much fun learning about the culture and exploring the beautiful country.

Thailand is located at the center of Southeast Asia and can be considered the heart of it. Between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, this country has a population of about 68 million and is spread over 198,000 square miles. Most of the population resides in the central plains of the capital, Bangkok. Thailand experiences a monsoon season from late May to early October, creating extremely fertile land between India and China, making it the jewel of Southeast Asia. Here are five reasons I love Thailand.

1. It has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches

If you’ve ever wanted to see what it feels like to be in a movie, you should visit James Bond island Phang Nga Bay northeast of Phuket. Thailand is known for its breathtaking islands and beaches, capturing the hearts of millions and drawing in thousands of tourists every day. One of the most notorious is the Andaman Coast; it has an undeniable natural beauty that is noticed all over the world. This coast draws in merchants, natives and tourists who come to enjoy its beauty, lush rain forests, and soft sand beaches.

Posing on a swing on a beach in Phuket, Thailand. | Victoria Summerville

2. The food is truly an amazing experience

I have had Thai food before, but nothing compares to the real thing. If you love spice, peppers, and chilis, then you’ll love authentic Thai. Most Asian cuisine consists a lot of rice, noodles, and other carbohydrates. According to Thai chef, Mom Luang Sirichalerm Svasti, this is what characterizes Thai food: 

“Intricacy; attention to detail; texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor, as well as care given to the food’s appearance, smell and context.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

3. The spas

There are thousands of spas scattered across Thailand, ranging from the luxury resort spa to the massage huts on the beach. You can’t take two steps without coming across a spa. Thailand has an ideal setting for relaxing with themes of tranquility, zen décor, lush gardens and soft serene music that will ease all your stress away. Massage therapy is an art practiced in Thailand for over 2,500 years, and can range from a simple back rub to a more elaborate spa treatment.

4. The elephants have contributed to Thailand’s culture for many years

The Thai elephant happens to be the national animal of Thai as well. They are naturally gentle creatures and love to interact with people. I had a great time feeding, bathing, and getting to know some of the elephants of Thailand a little bit better. Most of the elephants reside in the tropical forests of Thailand. In Thai culture, elephants have contributed to things such as labor, war, tourism, and even royal iconography, making them very remarkable animals.

Riding a Thai elephant | Victoria Summerville

5. The wonderful hospitality

One of the best things I can recall from trip was the amazing hospitality that I received throughout my stay. The outstanding service was not limited just to the resort. Anywhere that I went, I was greeted with a smile and treated like royalty. Tourism plays a big role in the main economic activity for Thailand, so it is no surprise they make sure to provide the best of the best service to all their guests. After my trip, the wonderful service and kind smiles are things I will not soon forget.

There are so many more wonderful reasons to love and explore Thailand. These highlights of my trip are what persuades me to revisit Thailand again in the future. Thailand is full of beautiful beaches, royal palaces, and ancient temples, filled with its wonderful culture and history.  From the soft sands of the beach to the bustling streets, Thailand is a stunning country full of life as well as admirable culture. My experience there is something I’ll never forget, and I hope everyone has the opportunity to experience the wonder that is Thailand.