Conde Nast Traveler names Thailand Best Country for People

Thailand’s prowess as a travel paradise is as strong as ever as readers of Conde Nast Traveller named the Kingdom its ‘Best Country for People’ in its 2018 Best Country Awards last week, with Thailand also finishing third in the overall Best Country category.

Thailand has long been known as “the Land of Smiles” because of the warmth, friendliness and charming hospitality the Thai people routinely show visitors and guests as is their custom. The earliest accounts by Western explorers and adventurers who found their way to the Kingdom centuries ago almost always painted a portrait of Thais as welcoming, open and caring towards foreign visitors.

Today’s travelers often come away with similar impressions of their Thai hosts. “Thai people are famous for their hospitality and smiles. There’s a reason that people come back time and time again,” Monocle magazine wrote not long ago.

“That readers of Conde Nast Traveller, one of the world’s leading and most highly respected travel publications, have again this year seen fit to recognize Thailand for multiple best of the world awards, is extremely pleasing,’’ said Yuthasak Supason, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

In addition, the southern resort island of Samui came in at 9th place in the magazine’s Best Islands category. Koh Samui was “the juiciest beach-side address” out of several contenders in the Kingdom, the magazine wrote. The island boasts the best views, the most delicious coffee, and the most exuberant nightlife, Traveller wrote.

Aside from the national-level destination awards, two hotels in Thailand also garnered honors. The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and the Six Senses Yao Noi resort and spa in southern Phang Nga province placed 4th and 5th respectively in the Best Asia & the Indian Subcontinent Hotel category.

In the days before mass tourism led to a global explosion in the number of hotels, the Oriental frequently was named the world’s best hotel in many surveys. Built in 1876, it has hosted luminaries such as Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, John le Carre, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and many more.

For more than a century it was a leading symbol of the exotic luxury of the Far East. The fact that it still ranks in the top-10 is a testament to its enduring legacy and commitment to service.