Thailand Travel Guide: Attractions, Food, Stay With Travel Tips
Thailand, the ‘Land of Smiles’ has all the ingredients for a well rounded and pleasing vacation. The country will woo you with its fantastic climate, incredible food, amazing shopping and a vibrant lifestyle. Excited? Let’s get to know more about this crazy country through our Thailand travel guide.
Thailand Travel Guide
Best Time To Visit Thailand
Thailand is an all year round destination. But the best time to visit Thailand is between November and February when the weather is generally at its very best throughout the country. That being said, let’s have a detailed look at the different seasons the country observes.
The winter season starts in the month of November and extends till February. Thailand weather during this time is cool and dry with plenty of sunshine. This is the best time to travel to Thailand and a lot of tourists flock to the country from all over the world. It is a great time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Tourists can explore places like Phuket, Khao Lak and Krabi. Conversely, Koh Samui should be avoided as it sees high levels of rainfall at this time. There are celebrations everywhere with festivals like Loi Krathong, Christmas, New Year, Chiang Mai Flower Festival and Chinese New Year.
Thailand Travel Guide Tip: Since it is a high season, be sure to book your flights and accommodations in advance.
Summers hit the country in March and last till May. The weather is extremely hot and dry. Although it is hot and humid, the coastal regions may receive bouts of cool breeze. The northern part of Thailand and the Gulf Coast are the places to be visited around this time. Tourists can enjoy festivals like Songkran and Thai Water Festival.
Thailand Travel Guide Tip: Be sure to carry light cotton clothes and lots of sunscreen.
The monsoon season starts in the month of June and extends till October. The weather is hot and humid. This is the time when one can experience lots of rain and plenty of sunshine. Although rain comes in short bursts but it can be quite severe at times resulting in flood and storms which in turn leads to shutting of many islands and boating services. However, this is a good time to enjoy the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket which is held in October.
Thailand Travel Guide Tip: This is a low season so if you do not wish to spend much on your flights and accommodations, consider visiting Thailand in this season.
Now you know the best time to go to Thailand. So, when are you planning your Thailand trip?
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Travel Documents For Your Thailand Trip
Travellers require the following documents for their Thailand tour:
- Passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your entry into Thailand with at least one blank page.
- Indian nationals travelling to Thailand for less than 15 days can avail the Visa on arrival service from 32 designated channels of Immigration checkpoints.
- Return air ticket is a must.
- Proof of mean of living expenses in the country which is 10,000 Bhat per person and 20,000 per family.
- Travel insurance for a safe travel is a must.
Where To Stay In Thailand
The first question that comes in mind when travelling is normally, where to stay. But, when you arrive in Thailand, not even once would you think, where to stay in Thailand because the country offers an array of accommodation options to all its visitors. If you are looking for something truly luxurious and spectacular in the country, plush Thailand hotels and resorts such as Four Seasons Resorts (Koh Samui), Amanpuri (Phuket), Como Point Yamu (Phuket), The Dhara Dhevi (Chiang Mai) and Mandarin Oriental Bangkok will spoil you with their amazing services. If you want luxury in budget consider staying in boutique hotels like Shanghai Mansion (Bangkok), Aleenta Phuket and COMO Metropolitan Bangkok. Travellers on a budget can go for budget hotels like Bangkok Dream Apartments, The Alcove Thonglar 5 (Bangkok), Dynasty Inn (Pattaya) and B2 Phuket Hotel. If you plan to stay in Thailand for more than a week service apartments are the best option. Most of these apartments are furnished and have a well equipped kitchen which allows you to cook your own meals. Adventure seekers can also go for camping.
Thailand Travel Guide Tip: While deciding on accommodations, in addition to room condition and price, do keep the location factor in mind as some hotels may be very far from the city.
Travelling Within Thailand
Getting around Thailand is extremely easy with a massive range of transportation options. You can be absolutely flexible and hop a tuk-tuk or take a subway, taxi, bus train, ferry or plane to reach your desired destination as there is a lot to explore and travel around.
Well, definitely not the cheapest but flights are always the fastest and the most comfortable way to get around Thailand. Bangkok is a brilliant South-East Asian centre served by more than 70 different airlines in cooperation with a large number of budget operators. It is best to book your flight tickets in advance to bag a great discount.
Travelling by train is not only comfortable but allows you to have an enjoyable experience especially on short scenic journeys. The country has a large network of trains with nearly 2500 miles of rail lines that take tourists from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or Surat Thani or even to Lao, Cambodian and Malay borders. Trains in Thailand are clean and in good condition.
Bangkok has an underground and an overground train network through the city. The BTS Skytrain is an overground railway system comprising the Sukhumvit Line and the Silom Line. The Skytrain is the best and the most efficient way to avoid the terrible city traffic.
The MTR Subway is an underground railway system comprising of 18 stops. It follows a different route to the BTS Skytrain which makes commuting very easy for the travellers.
The bus network in the country is quite efficient and very dependable. There are a variety of buses ranging from basic and non-air-conditioned buses to luxury and VIP buses. The VIP level buses have reclining seats, toilet, bottled water and monitors for watching movies. Pattaya, Hua Hin, Ayutthaya, Trat and Kanchanaburi are the popular destinations that can be easily reached by bus. Tickets can be purchased at bus stations.
Taxis in Thailand are metered and often prove to be much cheaper than tuk-tuks. But before getting into a taxi ensure that the meter is being used. Taxis are ample and you can easily hail a taxi o the road.
App taxis such as Uber and Grab Taxi also prove to be very convenient.
Thailand Travel Guide Tip: Always carry the card from your lodging that has a map, address and phone in Thai.
Riding a tuk-tuk will be a memorable experience and you should take at least one it. Tuk-tuks are motorized three wheeler trishaws that move around the city. They are definitely faster than a taxi but you will have to experience heat and pollution. Be sure to bargain and fix the fare before the ride.
Driving and exploring is always fun. But getting behind the wheels in congested cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai can be a little taxing. However, exploring other areas by renting a car can be really interesting. You can hire a car from car rental companies like Sixt, Avis, Hertz and Budget.
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Places To Visit In Thailand
Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand is a dynamic city with wonderful places, ancient temples, glistening nightclubs, bustling markets and tantalizing food. Always buzzing with energy, Bangkok moves in its own pace and hums its own tune. The city is a perfect mix of modern commercialism and traditional culture. Do visit the Grand Palace, which has been the residence of the royals for generations. It is home to one of the holiest Buddhist temples, Wat Phra Kaew which contains the Emerald Buddha. Khao San Road is a popular street famous for cheap shopping, dining and nightlife. Shopaholics should certainly check out the floating markets and Chatuchak weekend market. Lumpini Park is a great place to connect with nature and relax and rejuvenate. Other must visit places include Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Jim Thompson House and Chinatown. Bangkok is unlike any other place and surely one of the best places to visit in Thailand.
White sandy beaches, pure air, raw beauty, lots of adventure and genuine hospitality defines Phuket. Considered as one of the best Thailand tourist places, Phuket has an impressive coastline and is a treasure trove of nature. The city is blessed with more than 30 incredible beaches such as the Patong Beach, Kamala Beach, Kata beach and Karon Beach. It is packed with a number of tourist attractions and has something for everyone. Take a speed boat trip to Phi Phi Island or enjoy a peaceful cruise around the magical Phang Nga Bay. Do not miss visiting the famous Bangla Road to get a glimpse of the night-time fun in Phuket. For adventure enthusiasts there are a lot of thrilling water sports and forest excursions. Other interesting places include the Big Buddha, Similan Islands and Wat Chalong. Phuket is a paradise for travellers and is known as one of the finest Thailand destinations.
Nestled at the eastern coast of Thailand, Pattaya is admired for its stunning beaches, spiritual temples, immense natural beauty and electrifying nightlife. You will fall in love with this exotic island as it offers an assortment of tourist attractions ranging from botanical gardens, zoos, temples, markets, theme parks and exhilarating water sports. From sunrise to sunset, the island’s beaches are relentlessly brimming with life. Do experience the sights and sounds of the Walking Street and see the street come alive with neon lights, thumping music and street performances. Catch the spectacular Tiffany’s Cabaret Show and get a chance to see an hour long riot of sound, dance, skit, colour and light. Nature lovers should not miss visiting the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden to admire some of the most beautiful flowers of Thailand. Other attention-grabbing places include Wat Phra Khao Yai, Khao Chi Chan and Sanctuary of Truth. Pattaya tops among the Thailand tourist attractions and is always switched on and fun!
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Things To Do In Thailand
1. Visit The Grand Palace
Hands down the Grand Palace is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bangkok. The palace houses a number of halls, pavilions, courtyards and lush green gardens. The key attraction here is the temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Thailand Travel Guide Tip: Men and women need to cover their knees and shoulders.
2. Try Sky Diving
Keen to have some extra dose of fun and adventure in Thailand? Well, get ready to boast one of life’s most memorable experiences- Sky Diving. In this you attach yourself to an experienced instructor using a dual harness and jump off the plane to enjoy a free fall and the adrenaline rush. It is undoubtedly one if the most exhilarating things to do in Thailand.
3. Pamper Yourself With A Thai Massage Treatment
Thai massages are famous all over the world for their unique style as it stretches and relaxes the body by working on the pressure points. It is a therapy that not only helps you to loosen up but also helps to hydrate your body and rejuvenate it. It is one of the most relaxing Thailand activities as the whole experience leaves you energised and invigorated.
4. Explore The Safari World
Safari World, Thailand’s greatest open zoo and leisure park offers an assortment of entertainment options for each and everyone. It is divided into two zones; a drive through Safari Park and a Marine Park. It is one of the most popular things to do in Bangkok among tourists who are on a family holiday. The park offers an electrifying safari drive, a close encounter with the friendly dolphins and a plethora of other amusing activities. Be sure to add this place to your itinerary for some real fun.
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What To Eat In Thailand – Thai Food
Thai food needs no introduction at all, as it is very popular all over the world for its fresh flavours and fragrance. There are so many incredible things and places in Thailand but it’s always the scrumptious Thai food that attracts most of the people. And it’s pretty obvious as not every day one gets to try delicacies with innumerable flavours that are so delicious and only one of its kind. Here is a list of some of the best Thai dishes that will definitely make you extend your stay!
- Start your gastronomic journey with the zesty Tom Yum Goong, which is a spicy shrimp soup with bold flavours of lemongrass, galangal, chillies, kaffier lime leaves along with fish sauce.
- Do try Som Tam, a healthy papaya salad which has a perfect blend of flavours and is very addictive. Shredded papaya is mixed with green beans, tomatoes, chillies, garlic and topped with peanuts. It is a great dish to cleanse your palate.
- Do not leave Thailand without trying Pad Thai or thick stir fried noodles topped with an assortment of chicken, shrimp, eggs, tofu and seasoned with sugar, fish sauce, tamarind and chillies.
- Gaeng Keow Wan or the Thai Green Curry is a must try. It is a spicy coconut curry full of fresh flavours mixed with chicken, seafood or even vegetables. It is often served with Jasmine Rice.
- Other mouth watering delicacies include Khao Pad, Pad Krapow Moo Saap, Laap, Kai Yang, Spring Rolls, Massaman Curry, Khao Soi and Mango sticky rice.
Hungry already? Well, Thai food is blissful and can make anyone hungry. Visit Thailand as soon as possible and get to taste all the heavenly delicacies.
Nightlife In Thailand
Thailand nightlife is exciting, crazy, adventurous and everything you have ever imagined it to be! The country will never let you down when it comes to clubbing, partying and having a gala time at night or even till the wee hours for that matter.
- Experience the dazzling Pattaya Walking Street, an absolute heaven for party animals with beer bars, massage parlours, go-go bars, nightclubs and restaurants. The street shuts its motorable traffic in the evening and shines with colourful neon lights. This place is home to some of the hottest party places in Pattaya with cute looking girls standing by the doors alluring bachelors.
Thailand Travel Guide tip: This place is not suitable for kids and families.
- Get a chance to be a part of the epic foam party at the HardRock Cafe in Pattaya. The swimming pools are filled with foam and people can enjoy all night with amazing music, games and cabana dancers.
- Enjoy Phuket FantaSea with your friends and family. It is a show that depicts the culture, traditions and heritage of Thailand. The complex also includes a carnival village, handicrafts, games and restaurants. This cultural park is certainly a treat for the eyes.
- Feel the magic of Full Moon parties at Koh Phangan. On every full moon night, Haad Rin Beach shines with party people, pumping music, hard core dancing and lots of booze.
- Get lost in the amazing sunset bars and beach clubs of Phuket. The beaches of Phuket adorn itself with a different hue once the sun sets. Beach clubs that promise an unforgettable night are Dream Beach Club, Iguana Beach Club, La Versace and Cafe Del Mar.
- Spend an evening with your loved one cruising on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. An evening amidst the night scenery, temples, monasteries, soothing music and good food. What else can you ask for?
- Make the most of your time in Bangkok with classy and cool jazz bars featuring extremely talented local and international artists. Saxophone Pub and Bamboo Bar are the most well known places.
Party mood on already? Well, in that case, put on your party shoes and start planning your Thailand vacation.
Communications And Connectivity In Thailand
In case you are planning to get your own mobile phone, the best way is to set your phone with a basic international calling data plan and modify it according to your needs. Alternatively, getting a prepaid local SIM card is also a good option. SIM cards are widely available in Seven Eleven stores. You just need to make sure that your mobile phone is unlocked.
Money In Thailand
The official currency of Thailand is Thai Bhatt. Notes come in the denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. All major credit cards and debit cards such as American Express, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. ATMs are widespread and are found throughout Thailand. Currencies can be easily exchanged in banks, hotels, shopping malls and at bureaux de change.
Thailand Travel Guide Tip: Do not buy Thai currency unless and until you arrive in Thailand. The rates offered in Thailand are always better.
Thailand Travel Guide – Tips For Your Thailand Tour
- Be sure to carry your original passports with you at all times.
- Medicines for personal use is allowed as long as the amount does not exceed a 30 day supply.
- Smoking is prohibited in public places.
- Littering and spitting in public places is not allowed.
- Thais drive on the left hand side of the road with the driver sitting on the right side of the car.
- Carry a scarf or a sarong to cover your shoulders and head while visiting temples and other places of worship.
- Electricity in Thailand is 220 volts AC.
- Although tap water can be officially consumed, it is advisable to drink bottled water.
- In case of an emergency, dial 191 (Ambulance, Fire) or 1155 (Tourist Police).
Fallen in love with Thailand? Well, in that case get set to go on the most amazing holiday of your life and do not forget to keep our Thailand travel guide handy.
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