Thailand Travel Guide

Continent: Asia
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Thailand Travel Essentials

Ideal Duration: 5 - 10 days

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Best Time: November - March Read More

Budget: Very cheap

Getting Around Thailand: Flights, Ferries, Buses Read More

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Thailand Tourism

Thailand is a Southeast Asian country and one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, with stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a backpacker-friendly atmosphere. Sharing borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia, it is one of the top countries for exploring this region. Thailand is full of immersive experiences, whether you're seeking vibrant city life in Bangkok, historical sites in Ayutthaya, trekking through the jungles of Chiang Mai or enjoying the repose of the Phi Phi Islands.

One of the top beach holiday destinations in the world, Thailand is home to destinations like Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi, and Koh Samui. These offer breathtaking beaches, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and water sports. Thailand also boasts an unforgettable nightlife, particularly in cities like Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. From trendy rooftop bars with panoramic city views to vibrant night markets and nightclubs pumping out music until the early hours, there is something for everyone.

Thailand is a country steeped in rich cultural heritage with a history spanning thousands of years. Visit its opulent temples, such as Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaew, to witness intricate architecture and ornate decorations along with experiencing traditional Buddhist practices. Thailand is also a popular backpacker-friendly destination due to its affordability, accessibility, and welcoming atmosphere. Places like Bangkok's Khao San Road and Chiang Mai's Nimman Road are well-known hubs for backpackers.

Thai cuisine is beloved globally for its bold flavors, aromatic spices, and diverse dishes. From savory favorites like pad Thai, green curry, and tom yum soup to sweet treats like sticky mango rice, Thailand's culinary offerings delight food lovers. Encompassing lush mountains, fertile plains, tropical rainforests, and pristine coastlines, Thailand has to be visited to be experienced.

Must Know Before You Travel to Thailand

  • Show Respect for the King & the Royal Family: Disrespecting or saying anything about the royal family is a criminal offense in Thailand.
  • Opening Hours: Most tourist attractions are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. In tourist cities like Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, opening hours are generally longer. Skytrain (BTS) and subway (MRT) operate daily from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Some attractions, like the Grand Palace in Bangkok, are closed on certain days for royal or religious events. 
  • Museums and Art Galleries: Most museums and galleries are closed on Monday. Some close once a week or every public holiday.
  • Public Transport: Taxis, tuk-tuks, and buses are widely available. Use metered taxis in cities to avoid overcharging. In cities like Bangkok, consider purchasing multi-day public transport passes for convenience and cost savings. In some cases, buying tickets at a kiosk or online can be cheaper than purchasing them directly on a bus.
  • Limited Ferries: In some remote islands, ferry schedules may be limited. Check the ferry timetables and book your tickets in advance, particularly during high season.
  • Restrictions: You can only carry 250 grams of cigars or smoking tobacco or 200 cigarettes and 1 liter of wine or liquor into Thailand. It is also illegal to carry a Buddha image or statue out of Thailand.
  • Full Moon Party: The Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan is a popular event. Plan your trip around it if you want to join in the festivities or avoid the island during this time for a quieter experience. Read more about Full Moon Party in Thailand.
  • VAT Refund for Tourists: Thailand has a VAT refund scheme on luxury goods for tourists. Purchase goods from stores with a "VAT REFUND FOR TOURISTS" sign and present the goods with original tax invoices at the customs counter at the airport while departing.
  • Network Connectivity: While Thailand generally has good network coverage, some remote areas and islands may have limited connectivity. Local operators like AIS and TrueMove are recommended for SIM cards. The local SIM cards can be purchased at airports and convenience stores across the country.
  • Tap Water: Tap water in Thailand is not potable. Always drink bottled water, and ensure that the ice in your drinks is made from purified water.
  • Respect Local Customs: Dress modestly when visiting temples and religious sites. Cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Common Scams: Be aware of common scams, such as gem scams, tuk-tuk scams, and overpriced goods. Read more about scams in Thailand.
  • Health and Safety: Thailand is a tropical country. Be aware of health risks like dengue fever and take necessary precautions. Read more about Safety in Thailand.

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Best time to visit Thailand

The best time to visit Thailand depends on the specific experiences you're seeking, as the country's climate varies from region to region. However, in general, the best time to visit Thailand is (Read More) during the cool, dry season, which is from November to early April. The weather is generally pleasant, with cooler temperatures ranging between 29 to 34 degrees Celcius and low humidity. It's an ideal time for outdoor activities, exploring cities, and enjoying the beaches. Many festivals and events, including Loy Krathong and Songkran, are celebrated during this period.

As the dry season progresses, temperatures start to rise. April in Thailand can be quite hot, especially in central regions and Bangkok. It's a good time for beach lovers, but some areas, particularly in the north ((Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai), can become quite hot. The rainy season in Thailand varies across regions. The west coast ((Phuket, Krabi) experiences heavy rainfall from May to October, while the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao) side is affected by the monsoon from September to November. Although it's not the ideal time for beach activities, this period can offer lush landscapes, and it's perfect for exploring the northern and central parts of the country. The shoulder seasons of May and October can be a good compromise, offering decent weather in many regions. Prices may also be lower during these months.

Bangkok and Central Thailand: November to February
Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai): November to February
Southern Thailand (Phuket, Krabi, and Andaman Coast): November to April (East Coast) and November to May (West Coast)
Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao): December to August
Isan Region (Northeastern Thailand): November to February
Eastern Thailand (Pattaya, Rayong): November to February
Andaman Sea Diving (Similan Islands, Phuket, Krabi): November to April

Holidify's opinion on Travel to Thailand

What's Great?

  • Pristine beaches
  • Great diving sites
  • Great nightlife
  • Deep cultural roots
  • Diverse Food
  • Budget-Friendly

What's Not So Great?

  • Many beaches and nightlife spots can be overcrowded
  • Not many food options for vegetarians
  • Expensive transport on islands

For Whom?

  • Beach lovers and diving enthusiasts
  • Budget travellers
  • Bachelors, bachelorettes and even couples

Read More on Thailand Travel

Exchanging Money in Thailand

ATMs are found in most major cities in Thailand and withdrawal is not a problem. If you are using a debit card, ATMs will provide a much better exchange rate than the money counters. There is a surcharge of 150 Bahts for using the foreign ATM cards in all banks. You can also carry traveller's cheques as many remote areas are devoid of an ATM.

Nightlife in Thailand

An attractive option for bachelor parties around the world, Thailand is the party destination in Asia. Thailand nightlife is affordable, it is ubiquitous, but most importantly, it can be totally wild!

Most places in Thailand offer their own brand of nightlife. If it's the unspeakable kind of fun you are looking for, head to the infamous Walking Street in Pattaya. Amass with a-go-go bars, cabarets and strip clubs, Pattaya is a must-visit for your bachelor trip. Phuket adds to this its beach parties, while Bangkok adds its rooftop bars on top of tall skyscrapers. The Full Moon Party, which is held on all full moon nights at the Haad Rin beach in Koh Pha Ngan, is another unique feature of the Thailand nightlife. Chiang Mai offers a relatively quieter time and can be quite charming with its pubs playing live music by the river.

Shopping in Thailand

Thailand is a shopper's paradise, and many people travel to this country specifically to shop. Thai speciality is the night markets which are found in every town. The biggest night markets are the ones in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. These markets normally have items which cannot be found in any mall or day markets. These markets also usually have a food court attached to it, which only adds to the fun of shopping.

Haggling is the norm in many of the local markets, and you will find many vendors trying to charge as much as they think you can afford. These vendors drop the prices drastically once they know you have an idea of what it costs. It is okay to bargain for prices but not as hard as you might do in some other countries.

Shopping can also be done from the duty-free shops located at Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Had Yai airports. Souvenirs such as handicrafts, ceramic, jewellery, textiles and antiques are available at these shops and are excellent value.

Festivals of Thailand

The culture of Thailand is an amalgamation of a variety of religions and has influences from the neighbouring countries of India and China. And so, doubtlessly, the Thai celebrate a large number of festivals throughout the year. The reasons behind these festivals are the usual - thanking the gods, warding off evil, welcoming good fortune. Reasons notwithstanding, these festivals can be fun, picturesque and totally bizarre, sometimes all three at once.

The most popular festival is the Songkran festival or the Water festival, celebrated during the Thai New Year. Other festivals which can be an interesting experience include the Lopburi Monkey Banquet, the Vegetarian festival and Yi Peng (the Lantern festival).

Hygiene in Thailand

Since Thailand is a tropical country, it has its share of tropical diseases. Malaria is generally not found in the country but is endemic to some of the rural areas. Like in most of the South-east Asian countries, dengue can be found just about anywhere, so one needs to be very careful. Cover your legs and arms after dusk and carry a mosquito repellent.                

Food hygiene level is very high in Thailand, and you can easily eat the street food being offered. However, it is preferable to use bottled water for drinking. Beware of dairy products made with unboiled milk. Go for freshly cooked meat over reheated one. Avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits.

Tips for visiting Thailand

  • The Thai Royal Family is greatly revered in Thailand so visitors should respect this. It is both, unacceptable and a criminal offence, to speak against the Royal family.
  • Refrain from making public displays of anger as it is frowned upon in the Thai culture. Locals consider it as disrespect to their culture.
  • Thai people are very religious so treat the Buddhist monuments with respect. It is considered disrespectful to place the Buddha images in an inferior position or as a backdrop for a photo.
  • Public display of affection is frowned upon by the local people.
  • Avoid wearing beachwear away from the beach areas. Sunbathing topless is not a part of Thai culture.
  • Smoking in public areas is banned, and it is illegal to smoke in public establishments, restaurants and markets. You can face a fine if caught smoking. 

Food of Thailand

Thailand offers an incredible culinary experience, with Bangkok and Chiang Mai dominating the food scene. The best of Thai cuisines can be found in these two areas. Thai curries flavoured with herbs, roots, spices and chillies represent the flavours of Southeast Asia. A Thai meal is mainly dominated by rice which cools the fiery flavours of the curry.

The best part about Thailand that is you never need to enter a restaurant to eat, since there are large numbers of hawkers selling street food at every corner. Most of these road side stalls are pretty hygienic and can safely be eaten at.

When in Thailand, do visit the local night markets which are gatherings of open-air night-time kitchens found everywhere in the country. They are not the cheapest option, costing around THB 150 for a person. However, they are worth experiencing. They typically operate from 18:00 - 6:00 in the morning and can be found in the central areas of the cities. 

Drinking the tap water is not recommended and it is advisable to buy packaged drinking water. When in Thailand do try the Thai iced tea. It is very strong and very sweet and served with a dash of condensed milk. Fruit juices and coconut water are also very popular in Thailand and sold on the streets.

The popular beers here are Singha and Chang, widely available throughout the country. Alcohol buckets, which are literally buckets filled with a few varieties of alcohol and mixers, stand out as offerings at pubs and bars. These are more often than not a rip-off, as the alcohol content is very low in these mixes. They are worth a try though.

Photos of Thailand


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Your rating

Yatrika Tours Pvt Ltd

5 years ago
Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful info specially the ultimate part I take care of such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information f (Read More)or a very long time. Thanks and good luck. "Link Hidden"

V Krishna Murty Peddinti

5 years ago
Average stay cost in Krabi is about Indian Rupees 3,000 per double bed room; Indian Rupees 5,000 in Kho Phi Phi; Indian Rupees 5,000 in Phuket. Local People are always on all smiles and very cooperat (Read More)ive

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Popular Questions And Answers on Thailand

Q. How to arrange a tour from Phuket to Phi-Phi Island ?

V Krishna Murty Peddinti

5 years ago
Speed motor boats are available from Rassadda Pier, journey will be about 2 hours from Rassada Pier to Kho Phi Phi and is about 45 Kilometers. It may cost about THB 2,500 for a family of four.
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