Five things to do in... Thailand
In association with the Tropical Medical Bureau, the folk at drinkaware.ie are giving away flights to Thailand at the moment. If you get lucky here are five things to take in when you're there...
Ko Phi Phi islands
Leonardo DiCaprio's The Beach may have left cinemagoers and critics alike quite cold but it nonetheless left a legacy in the breathtaking shots of its Ko Phi Phi island setting.
Ko Phi Phi (pictured above) itself is a small archipelago in the southern part of the country and features five named islands, with Kho Phi Phi Don the only one which is populated. Though Ko Phi Phi was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, redevelopment was swift so don't worry about inflated expectations.
In fact, our best comparison to use would be that a trip to Ko Phi Phi is like walking around in someone's incredible desktop tropical screensaver.
Phuket's Big Buddha
No trip to Phuket is complete without visiting the incredible "Big Buddha" landmark. Revered by the island, the giant site sits atop the Nakkerd Hills and you too will be knackered by the time you make it up there.
However, with 360-degree sweeping vistas of Phuket offered, it's certainly worth the trek.
Standing 45 metres high and 400m above sea level, the marble structure is quite simply breathtaking and a fitting testament to let's face it - easily the world's cheeriest deity.
The Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
Wat Saket, popularly known as the Golden Mount, is perhaps the most famous Buddhist temple in Thailand and a symbol of the capital of Bangkok. While many visitors to the city prefer to indulge in a spot of hedonism, we recommend a peaceful visit to the stunning temple
To truly appreciate the gleaming attraction, however, it's best to visit from late October to Mid-November for the Loy Kratong festival, which hosts theatrical performances, freak shows and animal circuses.
Master Divers Day Course, Koh Tao
A popular destination for backpackers, Master Divers provide an essential day out for anyone looking to literally dive into Thailand.
Offering dive trips for small groups and private guiding and tuition too, it's the best way to appreciate the stunning natural beauty of Koh Tao. Best of all, the staff are multi-lingual and non-judgemental, especially if you're having difficulty fitting into your snug wetsuit.
Elephant Nature Park - Chiang Mai
The highlight of a Thailand trip for many, the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai allows visitors to experience Thailand's gentle creatures in their element, while also allowing you to get up close and feed the big-eared lunks.
Some may disappointed that you're not actually allowed ride the elephants but come on, this an animal rescue we're talking about here.
If you really want to appreciate the work of the nature park, however, you can watch the optional video at the park which shows the incredibly cruel training methods often practiced towards elephants that are quite common in the country. Don't worry, you can pet an elephants afterwards to cheer yourself up.