Thailand Travel Guide
Welcome to the Thailand Travel Hub, a travel guide to the amazing Kingdom of Thailand. Here you can explore Thailand's best cities and islands, places to go, things to do tours and activities. You will also find top traveling tips, travel advice, travel resources and booking information to help you plan ahead for your Thailand trip and aid you in travel planning and getting around while traveling in Thailand.
Bangkok Travel Guide
Places To Go | Things To Do | Hotels & Resorts | Tours | Getting There & Around | See & Do | Day Trips & Excursions | Where To Stay | Typical Costs | Money Saving Tips | Safety Tips | Recommended Resources | Transport | Travel Blog
Welcome to Thailand Travel Hub’s complete guide to Bangkok, Thailand’s capital and one of the most exciting and fascinating cities on the planet. Bangkok is a frenetic, buzzing mix of east and west where you will see enormous, modern skyscrapers just a stone’s throw from old Chinese shophouses, and upmarket celebrity chef restaurants next to traditional noodle soup vendors. You will see millions of Thais going about their day-to-day business, and the sights, the sounds and the smells combined with the intense heat and the welcoming locals will leave you with an experience that you will never forget.
Thailand Travel Information
LocationThailand, formally known as Siam is located in the Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar and Laos to the north, Cambodia and Laos to the East, Malaysia to the south and Andaman Sea to the west. Thailand can be reached in just over 11 hrs from the UK, 19.25 hrs from New York and 9.20 hrs from Sydney. 38 million tourists are traveling to Thailand every year.
Capital CityBangkok, known to Thai's as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon is the nations capital city. This vibrant, modern and rapidly changing metropolis is located in central Thailand and surrounds the Mekong Delta River. It is home to 8 Million people, with a further 14 million people in the greater Bangkok Metropolitan Region.
LanguageThai, also know as Siamese is the official language spoken in Thailand, it is a member of the Tai group of the Kra-Dai Family and the majority of the language has been derived from Pali, Sanskrit, Mon and Old Khmer. There are various dialects spoken in different regions of Thailand. Try to Learn the basics, will go a long way and can be fun.
CurrencyThe official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht, currency sign: ฿; currency code: THB. It has a sub-unit called Satang of which 1 baht is divisible into 100 Satang. It is advisable to wait to you get to Thailand to exchange money, to receive a better exchange rate than at home and there are plenty of ATM's at the Airport.
ElectricityThe standard electricity in Thailand is 220V AC and frequency is 50 Hz. Power sockets are usually 2 prong round or 2 prong flat sockets, however some newer sockets will have 3rd prong for earthing. So to power your devices and appliances be sure to take a universal power adapter with you while traveling in Thailand.
AirportThailand's main Airport is Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), also referred to a Bangkok Airport. Suvarnabhumi serves most international flights as well as some internal flights. Bangkok's old Airport called Don Mueang (DMK) now handles the majority of domestic flights.
VisasCitizens from 55 countries including the UK, US, AU and EU are issued a free 30 Day visa on arrival. Airlines may provide you with an Immigration Card to fill in before you land, or you can get one when you arrive. Passports need to be valid for 6 months, if you overstay you'll be fined 500 baht per day.
VaccinationsIt is recommended that people traveling to Thailand have jabs for both tetanus and hepatitis A. However the only mandatory vaccine is the yellow fever which applies to people over nine months old and have been to any countries in a yellow-fever zone, even if you have been in transit (12+ hrs) in the airport.
Weather & When to Go to Thailand
Although the weather in Thailand varies throughout the year, it is absolutely fine to visit all year round. The best time to go to Thailand however is to visit during the cool and dry months between November and February.
High Season (cool/dry) in Thailand starts in November and continues through to the middle of March when temperatures begin to rise.
Hot Season (hot/dry) in Thailand begins in April through to June, with April and May being the hottest months of the year. Temperatures can get as high as 38°C during this time so be sure to take your sunscreen with you.
Low Season (wet/rainy) in Thailand is from the middle of May through to the middle of October. Rain can often continue in southern Thailand throughout November and into early December, so you may want to consider this is you are planning to visit Koh Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Koh Tao, Krabi and Phuket during this time.
Getting to Thailand & How to Get Around
Thailand sits at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia and shares a number of borders with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar. International flights arrive from every corner of the world to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, while international train connections are available from many South East Asian countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia – some of which combine ferry and rail travel.
Once you have arrived in Thailand, there are plenty of public transport options available to you, from local buses, taxis and tuk tuk's, trains and flights. Public transport is still very cheap in Thailand, non-air conditioned buses start from 8 baht, a journey on the BTS Skytrain starts at 16 baht, up to 59 baht per journey and an MRT (Metro/Subway) trip costs 16 baht plus 2-3 baht for each stop after the first stop. If you are going into the city from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport a metered taxi to Khao San Road costs roughly 400 baht. There are always long queues at the meter taxi rank, so to skip the queue pre-book a private transfer to meet and greet you and take you to your hotel with minimum hassle.
Traveling by Taxi or Tuk Tuk
When taking a taxi try to get a metered one, or it's possible you could get over charged. A typical taxi journey in Bangkok of 3km will cost 45 baht, 5km will cost 55 baht and a 10km journey will cost 80 baht. These prices do not include surcharges such as express-way tolls, Airport surcharges and being stationary in traffic. If you can't find a metered taxi, be sure to agree a price before you go. Cruising across the city in a tuk tuk can be great fun, again just remember when taking a tuk tuk to always agree a price before you set off.
Traveling by Bus
The bus network in Thailand is awesome, you can pretty much get a bus to any town, city or island with ease. There are many different grades of comfort for every budget, from cheap government run buses to privately run VIP buses and minibuses. We recommend 12go Asia to search and book bus tickets, they cover all the major routes and have an easy-to-use booking system, as well as offer travel insurance for the journey. Checkout our 12go Asia review to find out more about this awesome transport booking service.
Traveling by Train
When taking a longer journey, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai for example you may want to opt for taking the train. Trains can be slow but are often much more relaxing and allow you to take in the scenery and see a different side to Thailand. If your traveling around Thailand for the first time or if you've never taken the train before this really is a true Thailand experience in itself. A 2nd Class AC seat journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai cost 891 Baht and for a 2nd Class Sleeper AC journey, where you get a bed will cost around 1,011 baht.
Traveling by Plane
Thailand's main international airport is called Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, this caters for most international flights as well as some domestic flights. Don Mueang Airport (Thailand's old main Airport) now serves most domestic flights to the many other Airports in Thailand including Chiang Mai Airport, Koh Samui Airport, Phuket Airport, Krabi Airport plus many more. Flights are also very cheap, a typical flight from Bangkok to Phuket costs as little as 700 baht if your flexible with times and dates.
Best Things to See & What to Do in Thailand
Experience bustling Bangkok
More than likely you’ll arrive in Bangkok, which can be daunting for people traveling to Thailand for the first time, but think of it as a baptism by fire and jump straight into the culture.
Hail a tuk tuk and swoon at the sight of the Golden Temple and the enchanting Wat Phra Kaew, stroll through China Town and grab lunch at a street food stand and then make your way to towering skyscrapers and malls in modern central Siam.
To really get to grips with the city – jump on the Skytrain, take a Chao Phraya Cruise along the river, and eat at every food stall that you walk past.
Wine and dine at the top of skyscrapers and observe panoramic views of the Bangkok skyline one night and then switch to the buzzing bars and clubs of Sukhumvit or Khao San Road the next. Indulge and explore.
Explore Thailand's beautiful and diverse marine life
Thailand is known as one of the best places to dive in the world, and for good reason too. Thailand's wide array of dive sites offer some of the most diverse marine life and scuba diving experiences in the world, boasting some amazing undersea features including caves, tunnels, pinnacles, swim-throughs and shelves as well as beautiful coral reefs.
You can expect to see a wide range of amazing marine life, from a plethora of beautiful macro life, scorpion fish, yellowtail barracudas, manta rays and sea turtles, blacktip reef sharks, whale sharks and so much more.
Thailand is also one of the best places to learn how to scuba dive and get your PADI qualification. It is also one of the cheapest places to learn.
If you are an experienced diver, checkout some of the best dive sites Thailand has to offer or consider a longer liveaboard diving trip for that unforgettable diving experience of a lifetime.
Explore Thailand's beautiful Temples
Thailand is a temple explorer’s heaven on earth and you can pretty much pick a point on the map and be able to rest assured that you’ll find something to see. Start though in the gorgeous city of Ayuttaya, exploring Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Lokkasuthawas and Wat Chaiwatthanaram – before taking a stroll on the banks of the Chao Phraya River bank to look at the Bang Pa-In Palace reflected in its waters.
Travel north to the province of Sukhothai and explore the magical Sukhothai Historical Park, home to the Royal Palace and no less than twenty six temples. Head further north to explore the temples of idyllic Chiang Mai, trek into the jungles close to Chiang Rai and Myanmar and see rice paddies, hill tribes and stunning, almost entirely unspoiled nature – filled with waterfalls, elephants and lush forestry. Spend a few days in Chiang Rai eating delicious Northern Thai cuisine and getting to know the monks at a local Wat.
Visit the beautiful Islands & Beaches
Beach lovers should head instead to the southern island of Phuket to explore its divine white sand beaches and luxury beach resorts. Get deeper into nature in the enchanting Phang Nga Bay, which is a veritable jewellery box filled with the most beguiling of emerald islands.
Choose Koh Samui if you want to practice your water sports, Ko Phangan for the parties, or Koh Chang, Koh Mak & Koh Kood if you don’t want to venture too far from Bangkok.
To see "The Beach", go to the now ridiculously busy Hat Maya on Phi Phi Leh Island, or for something more authentic try the sandy beaches of Ko Phayam, which while rising in popularity every day, still retains much of the charm of a few years past. There's no doubt Thailand is home to some of the best beaches in the world, to find out more take a look at our 15 best beaches in Thailand.
Explore Thailand's Culture & Heritage
Thai people do many things very well. For example, they smile as we all know, but they also throw great parties and festivals, such as the famous Thai New Year ‘Songkran’ festival which runs from 13th-15th April, where it’s entirely normal to watch (and be victim of) drive by soakings and thousand-people strong water fights on the streets through the whole of Thailand.
Another annual festival, celebrated throughout Thailand and across South East Asia is the enchanting Loi Krathong Festival, when people float candlelit lotus flowers on the river, and let hundreds of lanterns off into the night sky.
Loi Krathong does not take place on the same date each year, instead it is begins on the evening of the full moon during the 12th month of Thailand's lunar calendar, usually in November. The name Loi Krathong literally means 'to float a basket'.
To find out more about Thai culture checkout A Travelers Guide To Thai Culture: Do's & Dont's.
Experience the best Thai Food & Learn to Cook
Thai's cook probably better than any other country in the region and Thai cuisine, much like Thai culture is a phenomenal mix of fiery, sweet, sour, light, heavy, delicious, confusing and inspiring dishes. Expect sour soups, spicy curries, marinated meats, bugs, lemongrass sausages, fried noodles, papaya salads, seafood, fragrant Thai basil, dried chillies, tamarind, so many different bananas, dragon fruit, durian, pancakes, coconut broths, fried rice, and so very much more.
Be sure to try the delightful Tom Yum Soup, Pad Krapow Gai, Kai Jeow Moo Sab, Som Tum and Kao Niew Ma Muang just to get you started. Checkout our article on what to eat in Thailand to see some of the dishes your guaranteed to love and need to try.
A fantastic way taste and learn about Thai cuisine is to take a cooking class or tour. There are many excellent cooking schools throughout Thailand and can be a lot of fun, a chance to meet like minded people and very rewarding.
City & Island Travel Guides
Checkout our travel guides to some of Thailand's top destinations. Explore the best places to go, things to do and some of the top accommodation options that Thailand has to offer as well as top travel advice, travel tips, resources and booking information.
Explore Bangkok CityBangkok Travel Guide
Explore Chiang RaiChiang Rai Travel Guide
Explore Chiang MaiChiang Mai Travel guide
Explore KanchanaburiKanchanaburi Travel Guide
Explore Hua HinHua Hin Travel Guide
Explore Koh SamuiKoh Samui Travel Guide
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