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The famous Buddha of Ko Samui The stunning beaches of Phuket The glistening temples of Bangkok

In Thailand, bustling cities offer both old and new cultural attractions, so you can explore an ancient Buddhist temple and visit a state-of-the-art Cineplex on the same day. The mouth-watering local cuisine meanwhile, is an attraction in itself.

Despite being one of the smallest of Thailand's 76 provinces, Bangkok is the country's capital, most populous city and key port of call on Thailand cruises. As a result, Bangkok can get pretty crowded, so if you're intending to explore a few of the city sites, the Skytrain is a quick and easy way to get around. The city's famous for its many Buddhist temples, each an architectural delight inside and out, but one of the most famous is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, which is home to Thailand's largest Buddha, at 150 feet in length. The Temple of Dawn is perhaps the city's most photographed landmark, and its glass and porcelain exterior is one of the city's most captivating sights, especially when illuminated at night. Bangkok is dubbed the Venice of the East for good reason and a Chao Phraya River cruise along its canals is a great way to take in the many sights of the city.

A number of Thailand cruises also call at the southern island province of Phuket, famous for its beautiful palm-lined beaches and bays. Naturally, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to water-based activities, as there are a large number of diving, snorkelling and sailing experiences to enjoy. In Phuket town itself, there are some great cultural experiences, such as Wat Chalong, an awe-inspiring Buddhist temple complex and Siam Niramit Phuket, which hosts one of the largest theatre shows in the world. A trek up to Khao Rang Hill View Point will reward you with a great view of the island. Take an excursion inland, and you'll be able to fully ppreciate the diverse nature of the Phuket and explore lush forests and an abundance of natural wonders.

Ko Samui is another of Thailand's beach escapes, a beautiful island resort of white sands and cool, blue inviting waters and indeed, Silver Beach and Lamai Beach are both enjoyable locations in which to relax. Popular excursions when visiting the island include a visit to the spectacular Na Muang waterfalls and the Big Buddha Temple, an opulent, golden, spiritual escape and the perfect place for some eastern enlightenment. Another popular local landmark is Kunaram Temple, home to the famous mummified monk, who died while sitting in meditation. Wat Plai Temple, meanwhile, is well known because of its colourful facade and statue of the 18-armed Goddess of Mercy. For something a little different, you can also visit the island's coconut plantation and discover for yourself how the nuts are harvested with the help of monkeys and their handlers.

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