Despite its propensity for military coups, Thailand is a delightful country in which to travel. The Thais are consistently charming, the food is unfailingly delicious, and orchids grow like weeds. Above all, you are constantly aware of being surrounded by an utterly different culture. Thailand is a devoutly Buddhist country, and everywhere you see the spires of temples and lines of saffron-robed monks with their alms bowls. Few cities contain finer hotels than Bangkok. And to the south, the white-sand beaches of Phuket remain as alluring as ever.

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