When we travel abroad we encounter some cultures where welcoming foreigners appears to be second nature.
Australians often mention the outstanding hospitality of Thai people, and a recent survey shows that the Thais themselves agree.
Booking.com surveyed 21,500 travellers from 29 countries to find the top five countries where locals consider hospitality to be in their DNA when comparing experiences of being a guest in their home country compared to being a guest aboard.
Thailand topped the list, with 85 per cent believing they are more hospitable than other countries, followed by Indonesia (83 per cent), Mexico (77 per cent), Taiwan (77 per cent) and India (75 per cent).
Across all of the 29 nationalities surveyed, it was respondents from Thailand who thought their country was more hospitable when compared to others. Most commonly known for its beautiful beaches and temples, it's the perfect destination for travellers seeking to experience a warm welcome and immerse themselves in the local culture. Thailand also offers many opportunities for travellers to enjoy cultural activities such as experiencing the vibrant hill tribe culture.
Where to stay: If the culture vulture in you is bursting to break free, consider Hongkhao Village, located outside the city center of Chiang Mai and a jungle paradise, offering an authentic Lanna culture style stay close to the Mae Ping River.
Indonesia, home to beautiful volcanic islands and Komodo dragons, will bring out the inner adventurer in everyone as you island hop across this beautiful and exotic destination. Visit the tropical island paradise of Nusa Penida and be mesmerised by the crystal clear waters and abundance of marine life. Hop on a traditional 'Jukung' boat to Medan, the hub for cultural diversity and spend a full day on a private adventure, exploring the remote jungles of Bukit Lawang, learning about the animals and plants and enjoy a jungle lunch with your tour guide.
Where to stay: Nestled on the beautiful island of Nusa Penida is theKabeh Jati Garden Villa & Restaurant. After a relaxing nights stay in your wooden bungalow, take in the impressive vistas of the emerald waters from your private terrace or balcony. A friendly host will be on hand to arrange car hire so travellers can explore nearby sites such as the Nusa Penida Harbor and the white sands of Atuh Beach.
Mexico falls into third place on the list of the countries where locals believe they are more hospitable than other countries. The capital Mexico City caters to the modern traveller as it features upscale shops, fabulous restaurants to tickle your taste buds and beautiful museums. Mexico is also home to various stunning beaches, majestic mountain ranges, jungles and deserts for the adventurous type.
Where to stay: For a host that exceeds expectations, look no further than the self-catering apartments of HomFor Napoles. Not only are guests provided with a fully equipped kitchen and a stunning terrace for those who want to enjoy their breakfast in the beautiful sunshine, but the host is also known for being friendly and helpful.
Venture to Taiwan and discover why 77 per cent of Taiwanese travellers rated their country as providing the best hospitality. Many travellers visit Taiwan for its bustling nightlife and famous landmarks such as the Taipei 101, the National Palace Museum and the Shilin night market. But why not swap the hustle and bustle for a breath of fresh air? Take a trip to the idyllic crescent shaped Chishingtan Beach, or a relaxing stroll along the bank of the picturesque Liyu Lake or an adventurous hike through the Taroko National Park.
Where to stay: Located in the city of Hualien,Hualien Wow Hostel provides affordable accommodation, with both private and dormitory rooms and friendly staff offering the best local tips. Booking.com travellers rated the friendly staff as one of the top things they loved during their stay here. Take advantage of the 24-hour front desk where staff can help organise various activities such as snorkeling, rafting, diving and cycling.
India is the home of cultural and historical hotspots such as the Taj Mahal, an iconic ivory-white marble mausoleum commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, Amber Palace, a palace constructed of red sandstone and marble and Hawa Mahal, another palace constructed of red and pink sandstone. With all of these interesting and beautiful attractions catering for travellers from around the globe, it's evident why 75 per cent of Indians believe their country to be more hospitable than most.
Where to stay: If convenience is key, a stay at The Oberoi Grand Kolkata is the place to be. Located in the heart of Kolkata's shopping and business district, the Oberoi Grand Kolkata offers guests an outdoor pool, gym and spa as a perfect retreat to relax in tranquility. Once you have soaked in the pool or spent hours in the shopping district, you can splurge in your room where guests are offered 24-hour room service or take a quick trip downstairs to indulge in four fantastic dining options.