People relax on Hat Mae Nam beach, Koh Samui, Surat Thani. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was made very happy by the Travel + Leisure website’s ranking of Bangkok at the top of the Best Cities in Southeast Asia list, and Phuket and Samui as first and second in the Best Islands in Southeast Asia list, government spokesman Thanakorn Boonkongwanchana said on Monday.

He said Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia‘s ranking’s were based on votes by world travellers.

In the category of Best Cities in Southeast Asia 2022, Bangkok was No.1, followed by Singapore, Danang (Vietnam), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Hanoi (Vietnam), Chiang Mai (Thailand), Hong Kong, Saigon (Vietnam), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Jakarta (Indonesia).

In the category of Best Islands in Southeast Asia 2022, Phuket and Samui fill the top spots, followed by Bali (Indonesia), Phu Quoc (Vietnam), Langkawi (Malaysia), Lombok (Indonesia), Palawan (the Philippines), Penang (Malaysia), Phi Phi (Thailand) and Con Dao (Vietnam).

Mr Thanakorn said Bangkok topped the category because of the warm smiles, delicious street food and  good impression gained from sightseeing tours by tuk tuk or motorcycle taxis. Bangkok was also a hub for travel to other parts of Southeast Asia.

The spokesman said Phuket offers beautiful beaches and facilities for travellers. It is ideal for group tours and family visits. Travellers were also fascinated by the old town area.

“The prime minister thanks the Thai people for being good hosts and offering Thai charm and identity. Phuket has played an important role in the reopening of the country via the Sandbox scheme,” the spokesman said.

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