Thailand regions are normally split into five segments.
Northern Thailand, this includes the cities of Chaing Mai and Chaing Rai. North-eastern Thailand otherwise known as E-Sarn, central Thailand with the cities of Bangkok and Pattaya. And southern Thailand with popular island destinations such as Phuket and Krabi.
North Thailand is a mountainous area with steep river valleys and upland areas that border the central plain.
North Thailand makes up part of the area that is known as the Golden Triangle, which in the past was best known for its opium cultivation. Although these days the opium fields have been transformed into tea plantations, giving a sustainable income to Thailand’s mountain people.
During the winter months the mountainous regions of northern Thailand are cool and pleasant. During this season strawberries and lychees are grown in this area.
The two main provinces of northern Thailand are Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
Chiang Mai is very beautiful and is surrounded by an ancient city wall, this town has becoming increasingly popular with both tourists and the ex-pats, and it’s quite a lively and busy place.
For wheelchair users If you wish to go to Northern Thailand we would recommend that you go to Chiang Mai as there will be more accessible facilities here than in Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai is also a beautiful place with stunning views and it is certainly a lot quieter than Chiang Mai but all of the attractions in Chiang Rai are far apart, and to be able to see anything you will have to travel a long way, because the area is so large.Therefore it is recommended renting a car or going on a specially organised tour.
For wheelchair users, the town of Chaing Rai is not particularly accessible or exciting, and not too many people speak English. Therefore we advise you not to travel alone and to rent a vehicle so that you can see everything.
The North east of Thailand, or Issan as it is known consists mainly of the dry Khorat plateau and a few low but rocky hills. In the monsoon season there are heavy rains and this brings a lot of flooding to the river valleys, the north east also has a long dry season.
Because of the harsh weather, this is a very poor economic region within Thailand, and for a lot of people there only option is to work on the land with farming being the main income of this region and because of this, it is a very rural area.
For wheelchair users this area may be very difficult as there is not much in the way of facilities or support with few English speakers.
Central Thailand is known as the rice bowl of Asia, the land is well developed for wet rice agriculture, this has sustained Thailand’s economic growth.
The landscape here is rather flat and because of this is very prone to flooding during the rainy season, the whole region is dominated by the Chao Phraya River, which sustains the many paddy fields. The temperature here is warm, mixed with cooler climates in the winter months.
This is also the area of Thailand’s capital city Bangkok, which is the focal point for trade, transport, industrial activity and technical development. Bangkok is a place that many Thai people come to seek employment and because of this, it is a very diverse city.
Because it is so busy and crowded, wheelchair users may find it tough going. There are some facilities for disabled people and the availability of disabled facilities on public transport is growing.
Bangkok is a very cosmopolitan place and so it is easy to find somebody who speaks English or other European languages.
Eastern Thailand lies between the border of the north-eastern plateau and the Gulf of Thailand, the geography of the region has short mountain ranges with small rivers that drain into the Gulf of Thailand.
Tourism plays a massive part to the economy in this area, because of the regions coastal location. The most famous town here is called Pattaya and is very popular with tourists and ex-pats, because of its very relaxed and laid back attitude towards night life and entertainment, and the good beach location make this a popular destination for families too.
For wheelchair users this is a good place in Thailand to come, as there are many restaurants, bars and entertainment venues within close proximity. There are also many hotels and some other services catering for disabled people.
Southern Thailand is part of a narrow peninsula distinctive in having a warm even climate, with rolling hills and mountainous terrain with tropical forest,
this area also enjoys access to the warm Andaman Sea.
Its economy is based on rice cultivation, rubber production, coconut plantations and tin mining with the most lucrative economic activity being tourism, as southern Thailand include the popular tourist destinations of Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui with other small popular tourist islands in the area.
For wheelchair users one of the best areas in southern Thailand is Phuket as there is lots of facilities and support, and the popular tourist destination of Patong is relatively flat with good access to facilities and services, although in rainy season this town tends to flood.
To learn more about Thailand regions look here