Thailand Travel Guide
Written by Joeri Van Overloop
Why Visit Thailand?
Are you looking for a travel destination that offers stunning beaches, exotic cuisine, vibrant culture and an unforgettable experience? If yes, then look no further than Thailand! This beautiful Southeast Asian country is blessed with a multitude of attractions and activities – from high-end beach resorts to ancient temples – making it an ideal choice for all kinds of travelers. With this Thailand travel guide, you'll get the essential information needed to plan your trip and make the most out of your vacation.
Here's a few reasons to go on holiday in Thailand:
Thailand has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can witness it through its ancient temples, palaces, and monuments that tell the story of its monarchy, religion and local traditions.
Thailand is famous for its picturesque beaches, and visitors can spend hours sunbathing, swimming and indulging in water sports like snorkelling, diving and kayaking.
Thai food is world-renowned and is a must-try for any visitor. From street food to high-end restaurants, the country offers a wide range of delicious dishes that cater to every taste bud.
Thailand's nightlife is legendary, and visitors can enjoy a range of entertainment options, from outdoor clubs to rooftop bars and live music performances.
The country is a shopper's paradise, with local markets, street stalls, and shopping malls offering a wide range of products at competitive prices.
The Thai people are known for their hospitality, and visitors can experience their warmth and kindness during their stay in the country.
Thailand boasts of diverse landscapes ranging from rugged mountains, dense jungles, and pristine beaches. Tourists can explore the natural beauty through scenic hikes, kayaking trips and wildlife safaris.
Thailand is an affordable travel destination, and travelers can enjoy a comfortable holiday without breaking the bank. From accommodation to food and entertainment, the country offers excellent value for money.
In conclusion, Thailand offers an unforgettable travel experience for visitors seeking a mix of culture, adventure, relaxation, and affordability. With its rich heritage, stunning beaches, delectable cuisine, vibrant nightlife, shopping opportunities, friendly people, natural beauty, and affordable prices, Thailand is a holiday destination that has something for everyone. Whether you are a solo traveler, couple, or family, you are sure to have an amazing time in this Southeast Asian gem.
Frequently Asked Questions When Travelling To Thailand
What Is A Good Budget For A Trip To Thailand?
The budget for a trip to Thailand depends on various factors such as the duration of the trip, the type of accommodation, transportation, food, and activities planned. However, on an average, a budget of around 50-70 USD per day is considered good for a comfortable and memorable trip to Thailand. This budget can cover the cost of basic accommodation, transportation, food, and some activities.
If you are looking for a more luxurious trip, the budget can go up accordingly. Conversely, if you are on a tight budget, it is possible to travel to Thailand on as little as 20-30 USD per day by staying in budget accommodations, eating street food, and being mindful of what you spend your money on.
Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in Thailand varies greatly depending on several factors such as the location, type of accommodation, time of year, and level of luxury you want. On the lower end of the spectrum, a budget traveler can find basic hostel dorm rooms starting from as low as 6-10 USD per night, while mid-range hotels or guesthouses can cost around 25-60 USD per night. For those looking for luxury, high-end hotels and resorts can range anywhere from 100 USD to several hundreds of dollars per night.
It's worth noting that prices can be higher during peak tourist season (December to February), so booking in advance is recommended to secure the best deals. In addition, more remote or less touristy locations often have lower accommodation costs compared to popular tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.
Food and drink: The cost of eating out in Thailand is relatively low compared to other popular tourist destinations, and visitors can enjoy a delicious meal for a reasonable price. Street food stalls and local restaurants offer an array of dishes starting from as low as 1-3 USD per meal, while sit-down restaurants serving Thai or international cuisine can range from 5-20 USD per meal.
For those seeking a more upscale dining experience, high-end restaurants and hotel dining options can cost anywhere from 20-50 USD or more per meal, depending on the type of food and location. In addition, the cost of drinks such as beer, soft drinks, and smoothies can range from 1-5 USD per drink.
Transportation: Public transportation in Thailand is abundant and affordable, making it a convenient and cost-effective way to get around the country. The cost of different types of public transportation options varies depending on the mode of transportation and the distance traveled. Here's a general overview of the cost of different types of public transportation options in Thailand:
- Tuk-tuk: Tuk-tuks are a popular mode of transportation for short trips within cities or towns. The cost of a tuk-tuk ride can range from 1-5 USD, depending on how far you want to go and the negotiating skills of the traveler.
- Songthaew: Songthaews are pickup trucks with bench seats that serve as a local bus in rural areas or as a taxi in cities. The cost of a songthaew ride can range from 1-3 USD, depending on the distance traveled.
- Taxi: Taxis are widely available in cities and tourist destinations, and the cost of a taxi ride can range from 2-10 USD, depending on where they need to take you and the time of day.
- Local buses: Local buses are an affordable and convenient way to travel between cities and towns, with fares ranging from 0.5-3 USD per journey.
- Train: Thailand's train system is a great way to travel between cities and offers a scenic journey. The cost of a train ticket can range from 5-20 USD, depending on the class of service and the distance traveled.
- Flights: Domestic flights are available for longer distances, and the cost of a ticket can range from 20-100 USD, depending on the airline, route, and time of booking.
Overall, the cost of public transportation in Thailand is relatively affordable, and there is quite a few options to suit your budget and travel plans.
Activities and Excursions: Thailand offers a diverse range of activities and excursions for visitors, ranging from cultural experiences to adventure sports to relaxation and wellness. The cost of different activities and excursions in Thailand can vary greatly depending on the type of activity, location, and level of luxury desired. Here's a general overview of the cost of different types of activities and excursions in Thailand:
- Cultural experiences: Visiting temples, palaces, and museums is a popular way to learn about Thai culture, with admission fees ranging from 1-10 USD.
- Adventure sports: Activities such as scuba diving, rock climbing, and ziplining can range from 20-100 USD or more, depending on the type of activity, location, and provider.
- Relaxation and wellness: Spa and massage treatments, yoga classes, and hot springs can range from 10-50 USD, depending on the type of treatment.
- Wildlife experiences: Visiting national parks, elephant sanctuaries, and marine reserves to see the local wildlife can range from 10-50 USD or more, depending on the type of experience you are after.
- Water activities: Beaches and islands offer a range of water-based activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and island hopping, with costs ranging from 10-50 USD or more, depending on the type of activity.
- Food and cooking experiences: Thai cooking classes and food tours can range from 20-50 USD or more, depending on the type of provider.
- Nightlife experiences: Enjoying Thailand's famous nightlife, including clubs, bars, and street food markets, can range from 10-50 USD or more, depending on the type of experience and location.
Overall, the cost of activities and excursions in Thailand can vary greatly depending on individual preferences and budgets, but you can always find options to suit your interests and budget.
How Many Days In Thailand Is Enough?
The ideal number of days for traveling in Thailand depends on several factors, including individual interests, budget, and travel style. However, most visitors find that a trip of 7-14 days is enough time to get a good taste of what Thailand has to offer.
A 7-day trip to Thailand can include visits to popular destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, and allow for a mix of cultural experiences, relaxation, and adventure activities. With 14 days or more, you can explore additional destinations such as the northern mountains, the southern beaches, or the northeastern regions and delve deeper into local culture and history.
However, it's worth noting that Thailand is a large and diverse country, and you may want to consider extending your trip to fully experience all that it has to offer. For those with limited time, focusing on one or two regions and taking day trips to nearby attractions can be a good way to maximize your time and experience.
Ultimately, the amount of time needed for a trip to Thailand depends on individual preferences and priorities, but most visitors find that 7-14 days is enough to get a good feel for the country and its rich culture and history.
What Is The Best Way To Tour Thailand?
Thailand offers a diverse range of experiences and attractions, and the best way to tour the country depends on individual interests, budget, and travel style. However, here are some popular ways to tour Thailand:
- Independent travel is a popular choice for those who prefer to travel at their own pace and make their own itinerary. Renting a scooter or hiring a taxi are popular options for getting around, and there are plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options available.
- Guided tours are a convenient option for those who want a more structured and organized travel experience. Guided tours can range from day trips to multi-day packages and cover popular destinations, cultural experiences, and adventure activities.
- Package tours are a popular alternative for those who want a hassle-free travel experience. Package tours typically include flights, accommodations, transportation, and activities, and can range from budget-friendly to luxury options.
- Backpacking is another popular way to explore Thailand, especially for budget-conscious travelers. With a large network of budget-friendly hostels, guesthouses, and transportation options, backpacking offers a flexible and affordable way to explore the country.
- Road trips are a great way to explore the more remote regions of Thailand, especially for those who enjoy driving and experiencing the local culture. Renting a car or motorbike is a popular option for road trips, and visitors can create their own itinerary and take their time exploring the country.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Thailand?
Thailand is a tropical country with a warm climate year-round, but the best time to visit depends on individual interests and travel goals. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best time to visit:
Weather: The most popular time to visit Thailand is between November and February when the weather is dry and cool, making it ideal for outdoor activities and beach vacations. From March to June, temperatures can be hot and humid, and from July to October, the monsoon season brings heavy rains and strong winds to some regions.
Festivals and events: Thailand is known for its vibrant festivals and events, and the best time to visit depends on what you want to experience. For example, the famous Water Festival (Songkran) is held in April, the Full Moon Party is held on Koh Phangan Island in August, and the Loy Krathong Festival is held in November.
Crowds and prices: High season in Thailand runs from November to February and is the busiest time of year, with higher prices and larger crowds. The low season runs from June to October, and although there may be some disruptions due to monsoon weather, prices are generally lower, and crowds are smaller.
Wildlife and nature: For those interested in wildlife and nature, the best time to visit is between November and April, when conditions are dry and animals are more visible. For bird-watching, the best time is between November and February, when migratory birds can be seen in the country's national parks and wildlife reserves.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Thailand depends on individual interests and travel goals, but the period between November and February is the most popular and offers the best weather conditions for most activities.
What Are The Dos And Don’ts In Thailand?
Thailand is a welcoming and hospitable country, and visitors are expected to respect local customs and traditions. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind while traveling in Thailand:
- Dress modestly: When visiting temples, it's important to dress modestly, covering the arms and legs, and removing shoes before entering.
- Respect the monarchy: The monarchy is highly revered in Thailand, and visitors are expected to show respect by not making negative comments about the royal family and avoiding physical gestures like touching or pointing at images of the king or queen.
- Use your right hand: In Thailand, the left hand is considered unclean, so it's customary to use your right hand for eating, gesturing, and giving or receiving objects.
- Take your shoes off: When entering homes, temples, and some shops and restaurants, it's customary to remove shoes.
- Learn some basic phrases: A few basic phrases in Thai will go a long way in showing respect and making a connection with local people.
- Don't touch people's heads: The head is considered the most sacred part of the body in Thailand, and it's considered impolite to touch or pat someone on the head.
- Don't point your feet: The feet are considered the least sacred part of the body in Thailand, and pointing your feet or pointing at someone with your feet is considered impolite.
- Don't raise your voice: Thais are known for their calm and polite demeanor, and raising your voice or showing anger in public is considered disrespectful.
- Don't litter: Littering is a serious issue in Thailand, and visitors are expected to dispose of trash properly and minimize their impact on the environment.
- Don't take Buddhist artifacts: Taking Buddhist artifacts, such as Buddha images, from Thailand is illegal and disrespectful.
By following these basic dos and don'ts, you can show respect to local customs and traditions and have a more enjoyable and authentic travel experience in Thailand.
What Are The Visa Requirements For Thailand?
Thailand has a variety of visa options available for travelers, and the requirements vary depending on the purpose of the visit and the length of stay. Here are some of the most common visa categories and their requirements:
- Tourist visa: For stays up to 60 days, a tourist visa is typically issued on arrival for citizens of most countries. Requirements include a valid passport, proof of onward travel, and proof of financial means.
- Non-immigrant visa: For stays longer than 60 days, a non-immigrant visa may be required. Requirements vary depending on the purpose of the visit, but typically include a valid passport, proof of financial means, and a letter of invitation or supporting documents from a Thai company or organization.
- Retirement visa: For those who are looking to retire in Thailand, a retirement visa is available for stays of up to one year. Requirements include proof of financial means, a medical certificate, and a police clearance certificate.
- Business visa: For those traveling to Thailand for business purposes, a business visa is available for stays of up to one year. Requirements vary depending on the type of business, but typically include a valid passport, proof of financial means, and a letter of invitation or supporting documents from a Thai company or organization.
- Student visa: For those traveling to Thailand to study, a student visa is available for stays of up to one year. Requirements include proof of acceptance at a Thai educational institution, proof of financial means, and a medical certificate.
It is important to note that visa requirements are subject to change, and travelers are encouraged to check the most up-to-date information with the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home country before departing for Thailand. Additionally, overstaying a visa can result in fines and possible legal consequences, so it is important to understand and comply with the terms of your visa.
Do I need Travel Insurance To Visit Thailand?
Here are some reasons why travel insurance is not legally required but still important for a trip to Thailand:
Medical coverage: Thailand has modern medical facilities, but the cost of medical treatment can be expensive, especially for travelers without insurance. Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and emergency medical evacuation.
Trip cancellations: Travel plans can change due to unexpected events, such as natural disasters, family emergencies, or travel disruptions. Travel insurance can provide coverage for trip cancellations and trip interruption, including reimbursements for non-refundable expenses such as flights and hotels.
Lost or stolen belongings: Losing valuable items, such as passports, cameras, or jewelry, can be a frustrating and costly experience. Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen belongings, including reimbursement for replacement costs.
Travel disruptions: Travel disruptions, such as flight cancellations or delays, can result in unexpected expenses and inconvenience. Travel insurance can provide coverage for travel disruptions, including reimbursements for additional expenses such as meals and accommodation.
How To Stay Safe In Thailand?
Thailand is generally considered to be a safe country for tourists. However, as with any destination, travelers should exercise caution and be aware of potential risks. Here are some things to keep in mind when traveling to Thailand:
Crime rates in Thailand are low compared to other countries, but travelers should still take precautions to protect themselves and their belongings. This includes avoiding carrying large amounts of cash and valuables, and being cautious in crowded areas, such as tourist markets and busy streets.
Thailand is known for its heavy traffic and chaotic roads, and traffic accidents are a common occurrence. Visitors should exercise caution when crossing roads, using public transportation, and riding motorcycles or scooters.
The country is located in a region prone to natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes. Visitors should be aware of current weather conditions and follow the advice of local authorities in case of a natural disaster.
Thailand has a complex political landscape, and political rallies and demonstrations can occur from time to time. Visitors should avoid large gatherings and monitor local news and travel advisories for updates on the situation.
Thailand is also a tropical country, and visitors should be aware of health risks such as mosquito-borne illnesses, food and water-borne illnesses, and heat exhaustion. Visitors should take precautions to protect themselves from these risks, such as using insect repellent, drinking bottled water, and avoiding exposure to the sun during peak hours.
Overall, with a little caution and common sense, Thailand can be a safe and enjoyable destination for travelers.
Where To Stay In Thailand?
The Best Booking Resources For Thailand
These are the companies I use predominantly when I travel. They offer great customer service and the best value, consistently outperform their competitors, as they always have excellent deals. I rely on them the most, and they are the starting point in my search for travel deals.
Booking.com - This is the best travel partner when it comes to planning your vacation in Thailand. With over 28 million listings in more than 200 countries and territories, you'll have no problem choosing from the world's most comprehensive selection of accommodations - from exotic villas to cozy apartments! Booking.com offers a secure and convenient way to book your next holiday, with unbeatable deals that will make sure you get the best value for your money when travelling to Thailand.
Skyscanner - This is the perfect tool for finding the best flights at the best prices to Thailand. With a comprehensive selection of airlines to choose from, you can compare prices and routes in seconds - saving you time, stress and money. Skyscanner's intuitive search engine makes it easy to find great deals on domestic and international flights. Plus, you can easily customize your search preferences so you get results that fit your budget and destination needs.
Get Your Guide - Are you looking for ways to make your travel experiences more memorable? With GetYourGuide, you can book amazing activities, tours and attractions all over Thailand. Whether it’s a tour of an iconic city landmark or unique experience that’s off the beaten path, GetYourGuide offers something spectacular for any traveler. With thousands of things to do and see in different cities around Thailand, this platform simplifies the search process with user-friendly filters.
More Thailand Travel Resources