VOL: 50 MARCH - APRIL 2018



The Central Plains region is home to temple ruins, towering Buddha statues, large expanses of rice paddies and orchards and even sandy beaches and majestic waterfalls. Many provinces and towns in this region, like Ayutthaya, Lopburi and Hua Hin, are short drives from Bangkok – itself part of the Central Plains – making them popular day-trip destinations.

Right to the west of Bangkok is Samut Songram. Situated on the coast, the province has plenty of restaurants serving affordable, fresh seafood. It is also known for its floating markets and traditional communities that have become touristic destinations, such as Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa. The latter is a favourite among city-dwellers seeking respite from the hustle-bustle of Bangkok. Corporations and organisations often come to Amphawa for eco-friendly activities and CSR events, like mangrove-tree planting.

For landscapes of rice fields, orchards and crumbling fortresses and temples, head north to Ayutthaya, easily accessible from Bangkok by road, rail and river. Further north is the province of Lopburi that blossoms in the winter months with endless stretches of sunflowers. To move further back in time, Sukhothai province, like Ayutthaya, boasts some of the oldest and most important heritage sites in Thailand. Both provinces house UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Another province steeped in history is Kanchanaburi, where stands the famous Bridge on the River Kwai. The province has some of the most beautiful tiered waterfalls in the country, while floating wooden homes, hotels and restaurants dot its rivers. Many adventurous group activities can easily be organised here, from cycling and hiking to elephant riding and white water rafting.

Beaches and seaside towns in this region are among the most popular and experienced MICE destinations in Thailand. The long-time weekend getaways of Bangkokians – Hua Hin, Cha-am and Pranburi – have grown from sleepy towns into touristic destinations that have managed to retain their quiet charms but come complete with five-star accommodations, boutique hotels, themed shopping venues, vibrant markets, quality restaurants and well-managed historical sites. Apart from excursions to waterfalls, caves and nearby islands, there are numerous facilities for team-building exercises, like banana boats, bike rental shops, go-kart tracks, golf courses and paintball parks.

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