Thailand Travel Guide 2024
Discover exciting Thailand places and things to do in our ultimate Thailand Travel Guide. In this article, we'll break down everything you need to know about your next trip to Thailand. Whether you're planning a solo trip, a family vacation, or a romantic getaway, 12Go is here to help preparing for your journey.
Why You Should Visit Thailand
You have probably heard about Thailand a thousand times, but we will do it one more time. We love Thailand – and we hope you will too!
Having traveled quite a lot around Southeast Asia, we are absolutely confident that Thailand is the most interesting, convenient, and safe destination to visit, offering a diversity of activities, sights, and experiences. From lazy beach holidays on paradise-like islands to the less discovered rugged parts of the country where wild jungle adventures beckon you.
Best Time to Visit Thailand
The best time to visit Thailand for each person will be different. But, the cool and dry season from November to April is considered the best time to visit Thailand. During this time, temperatures range from 28°С to 36°С, making it pleasant for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
If you prefer to avoid crowds and save money, you may consider visiting Thailand during the low season, with the rainy weather starting from May to October.
While there are cold, hot, and rainy seasons in Thailand, there is always good weather somewhere in the country – whether you need to go to sea or trekking in the mountains. If you want to visit Thailand – no matter what time it is, just go!
Thailand in January is one of the busiest tourist months. Temperatures in most regions range between the low 20s °C and the low 30s °C. Most January days are bright and dry, making any journey comfortable.
Thailand in February is a peak month for travelers. The weather is excellent, there is almost no rain in any part of the central and northern regions. It's time to visit Flower Festival in Chiang Mai. During this colorful festival, the streets of Chiang Mai are filled with flower sellers displaying their beautiful plants and orchids.
Visiting Thailand in March is a fantastic option simply because it is a peak period, yet less busy than winter.
Thailand in April is often the hottest month of the year, with high humidity and temperatures of up to 40°C are expected during this time. April is the month of Songkran, the Thai New Year, which is celebrated with a nationwide water festival.
Thailand's rainy season begins in May. Even this time of the year is the low season, you can still find cool local festivals such as the Elephant Buffet and Jumbo Queen Contest.
Thailand is rainy in June, with heavy rain and high humidity. It's the best time to visit local festivals like Loei's Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival and Hua Hin's Jazz Festival. By the way, Bangkok is one of the driest places in the country at this time of year.
Thailand in July is ideal for nature lovers to explore North or Central Thailand. If you visit Thailand during this time, consider famous local festivals, such as the Phuket Yachting Race Week and the Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival.
Thailand in August is still wet season. This month, people celebrate the birthday of Queen Sirikit, which is known as Mother's Day.
Thailand in September has a comfortable temperature range between 25 °C to 29 °C. Accommodation prices and some tour packages are more affordable during this time.
Thailand in October offers a budget-friendly and less crowded experience. The Vegetarian Festival takes place in late September or early October and commemorates nine-day abstinence from meat in honor of the Nine Emperor Gods of Taoism.
Thailand in November is the beginning of the peak season. It can be an excellent time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds. Because of that, November can be considered the best month to visit Thailand. In November, one of the most beautiful festivals in Thailand takes place - Loy Krathong. The exact date varies each year depending on the lunar calendar, but usually falls in November. Loy Krathong is celebrated across the country with the release of small illuminated floats known as "krathongs" into the country's waterways.
Thailand in December is the beginning of the peak season, so it can be pretty crowded, especially around Christmas and New Year's. It's one of the popular times for tourists to visit Thailand.
Thailand Tourist Destinations
As soon as you start researching, you find out that there is much more about Thailand than well-known tourist destinations, from Phuket to Pattaya and from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui.
And even in the best-explored destinations, you will always find off-the-beaten-path corners, which will reward all your efforts.
Among the best places to visit in Thailand are …
The dynamic capital of Thailand, with a population of over 10 million, never stops surprising its visitors. Some of the best places to visit in Bangkok include the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Backpackers will feel at home in Khao San Road and the glittering malls of Siam with swish rooftop bars offering the best city view. One of the must things to do in Bangkok is a tuk-tuk ride that embodies the local way of life.
The National Museum Bangkok is another popular spot and one of Southeast Asia’s largest and most comprehensive museums. It features Thai art and history exhibits.
If you love art, you should visit MOCA Bangkok, which is situated in Chatuchak District. It showcases contemporary art, both local and global. Its permanent collection highlights Thai modern art and temporary exhibitions, including paintings, sculptures, and installations.
Bangkok is famous for its night markets, which offer various street food, shopping, and entertainment options. Don’t miss these popular night markets: Asiatique the Riverfront, Talad Rot Fai Ratchada (Train Night Market Ratchada), and Patpong Night Market.
Shopping in Bangkok is excellent in the Sukhumvit area. Sukhumvit is a dynamic hub with shopping malls, restaurants, and nightlife. Here, you can find Nana Plaza, a multi-story building complex featuring a concentration of go-go bars, beer bars, and nightclubs.
Where to go from Bangkok :
Pattaya, a famous beach resort city located on the Gulf of Thailand, offers a mix of stunning beaches, nightlife, and outdoor adventures. Pattaya is located around a 2-hour drive from Bangkok.
Come here after your trip to Bangkok, and visit Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, where you can admire beautiful gardens and watch cultural shows.
What are the other things to do in Pattaya? When exploring this city you will find the Big Buddha Temple, which offers city panoramas and houses a grand golden Buddha. The Sanctuary Of Truth is a must-see in Pattaya.
Dive into local culture at Pattaya Floating Market, where you can shop for handicrafts and relish street food.
For shopping, dining, and entertainment, head to Central Festival Pattaya Beach.
Where to go from Pattaya :
Chiang Mai, often called the "Rose of the North", is a charming city in northern Thailand known for its rich cultural heritage, ancient temples, vibrant markets, and stunning natural landscapes.
The city with a cultural scene yielding only to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, has an infinite charm. Elaborate Lanna temples, misty chilled mornings up Doi Inthanon, and various activities will keep you busy for days, weeks, and months, if necessary.
Include The Night Bazaar on your journey, this dynamic hub that can offer you a mix of many souvenirs and fascinating local flavors.
Elephant Nature Park is a great place to visit with family. Here, your interaction with these majestic creatures is rooted in ethical engagement, offering a chance to forge a connection while ensuring their well-being. Include Wat Phra That Doi Suthep on your list for breathtaking views.
Another notable historical landmark is Wiang Kum Kam, which emerges as an ancient city full of stories from the Lanna Kingdom.
If you love pandas, go to the Chiang Mai Zoo. You will find these amazing creatures only here and nowhere else in Thailand.
Krabi is a fantastic place where nature's marvels cross with cultural treasures. One of them is Tiger Cave Temple, which offers panoramic views, reached by ascending 1256 steps.
Find natural beings in Railay Beach, a paradise for beach lovers and adventurers who seek its soaring cliffs.
Thung Teao Forest Natural Park cradles the Emerald Pool — a tranquil oasis within a lush jungle, a hidden gem in Krabi.
Krabi serves as a gateway to numerous stunning islands in the Andaman Sea. From Phi Phi Islands to Hong Islands, you can try island-hopping tours and explore different beaches, hidden lagoons, and vibrant underwater ecosystems.
Krabi has an international airport, making it relatively easy to reach from various parts of the world. The most popular routes to reach Krabi are :
Hua Hin is a coastal gem of Thailand. If you want to escape Bangkok for a few days, choose Hua Hin. This place is located around 3-5 hours from Bangkok and will be an excellent option for those who can not travel to Thailand islands.
Hua Hin's must-visit is Cicada Market, which is becoming a canvas of culture, a vibrant blend of art, music, crafts, and flavors, and Khao Takiab's "Monkey Mountain," which reveals coastal vistas and a temple's spiritual vibe.
Hua Hin offers many different experiences, such as kiteboarding, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. Black Mountain Water Park delights families with slides and lazy river laughter.
Nature's call resonates in Sam Roi Yot National Park — limestone peaks, hidden caves, and wild wonders.
How to get to Hua Hin?
Ayutthaya is an ancient capital and modern city 85 km north of Bangkok. It is home to many historical sites and temples, including the Ayutthaya Historical Park, Wat Mahathat, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Wat Ratchaburana, and Wat Chaiwatthanaram.
You can take a train from Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station to Ayutthaya. The journey takes around 2 hours and offers a scenic countryside view.The city is located along the Chao Phraya River, making magnificent boat cruises and riverfront exploration accessible.
The most important thing to see in Ayutthaya is Wat Mahathat. Among the ruins of Ayutthaya, the Buddha head entwined in the roots of a Bodhi tree is a poignant and iconic image that reflects the passage of time and nature's resilience.
How to travel to Ayutthaya? Find the best routes :
With hundreds of islands both in the Gulf and off the shores of the Andaman Coast, Thailand does offer a wide choice. As a first-time visitor, you can try the most popular beach destinations like Phuket in the Andaman Sea – the largest island in the country with long wide beaches and plenty of nightlife or Koh Samui in the Gulf – for a more paradise-like island experience.
Phuket is a tropical island destination in southern Thailand, the most oversized island in Thailand. It is surrounded by many magnificent beaches, such as Rawai, Patong, Karon, Kamala, Kata Yai, Kata Noi, and Mai Khao. For a more relaxed atmosphere, consider visiting quieter and less developed Phuket beaches like Nai Harn Beach, Ao Sane Beach, or Banana Beach
Among the popular things to do in Phuket is visiting the Phuket Old Town. This area is known for its charming Sino-Portuguese architecture, colorful buildings, and lively markets.
Visit the iconic Big Buddha Phuket statue that stands on Nakkerd Hill. Wat Chalong is one of Phuket's most important Buddhist temples.
Another popular attraction is Phuket Fantasea, a cultural theme park in Kamala Beach. It offers a blend of Thai cultural performances, a grand show featuring dance and storytelling, dining, shopping, and a theme park atmosphere.
Bangla Road is the vibrant heart of Patong Beach in Phuket. It comes alive after dark when it's lined with neon lights, bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.
How to reach Phuket from different parts of Thailand?
Koh Samui is a tropical island located in the Gulf of Thailand. It is known for its stunning beaches, beautiful landscapes, and vibrant nightlife. It's one of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations.
Consider visiting Chaweng Beach. This place is known for its white sands and lively atmosphere. Or Lamai Beach, that offers a more relaxed vibe.
For a more unique experience, choose Bophut Beach, with its charming Fisherman's Village area. The island features beautiful waterfalls like Namuang Waterfall and Hin Lad Waterfall, surrounded by jungle. These are great places for hiking and swimming.
Things to do in Koh Samui include jet skiing, parasailing, paddleboarding along the glistening coast, trekking to Namuang Waterfall, and visiting Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks.
Koh Samui also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Samui Regatta, Loy Krathong - lantern festival, and Songkran - Thai New Year.
The most popular routes to reach Koh Samui are :
Phi Phi Island
The picturesque archipelago of Phi Phi Islands in Thailand's Andaman Sea calls with its magnificent beauty and energetic vibe.
Many day tours are available with all the top sights in the Koh Phi Phi islands, including Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon, and Monkey Bay.
Things to do in Koh Phi Phi include activities and attractions, like boat trips to the smaller islands, snorkeling, diving, and exploring the beaches and viewpoints. It is a fantastic starting point for island-hopping adventures. Nearby islands like Phi Phi Leh, Bamboo Island, and Mosquito Island offer diverse experiences, from serene beaches to incredible snorkeling spots.
Koh Phi Phi has become backpackers' mecca after the cult 'Beach' movie with Leo had been screened. Too crowded and overdeveloped now, Phi Phi still retains its movie-scene charm.
Ko Phi Phi is conveniently located, making it accessible from popular nearby destinations like Phuket and Krabi. This makes it a great addition to your Thailand itinerary.
How to get to Koh Phi Phi?
Apart from heavyweights like Phuket, Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, Thailand has many more tropical paradise spots, often less known and less crowded.
In the Gulf, Koh Samet has been an easy weekend escape for partying Bangkokias for years. Its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters teaming with marine life attract backpackers on a budget and luxury holiday-makers alike.
Jungle-covered Koh Chang caters for nature lovers and is yet not so overdeveloped. The neighbouring Koh Kood and Koh Mak are both ultimate tropical paradise with little else than bungalows, beautiful beaches and turquoise seas. Koh Wai will definitely appeal to romantic souls. Between Koh Samet and Koh Chang you can also enjoy a wonderful day on a beautiful yacht at a very reasonable price.The Andaman Sea is home to more stunning islands. Koh Lanta is a perfect holiday retreat for couples and families. With its long and never-too-crowded beaches, amazing Old Town, and mouth-watering fresh seafood, it is the place to be.
The Trang and Satun islands are easily the best-kept of all the Andaman secrets. Go to Koh Libong to meet endangered dugongs, pamper yourself in world-class spas on Koh Ngai or let the sublime splendour of Koh Kradan win your heart. Koh Phayam and Koh Chang Noi, up the coast towards Ranong, are both a great destination for those looking for quieter spots.
If you have extra time great option will be to explore James Bond Island, nestled in Thailand's Phang Nga Bay. Discover its renowned rock formation, featured in "The Man with the Golden Gun". We recommend cruises through stunning landscapes—limestone cliffs, hidden lagoons, and mangrove forests—creating picture-perfect moments at every turn.
Things to do in Thailand
Dive into diverse wonders, from iconic Thailand temples to Thailand Beaches. Connect with elephants responsibly at sanctuaries and savor Thai cuisine in floating markets. Immerse in local culture with lantern festivals and learn Muay Thai traditions. Explore nature's beauty, trek through lush hills, and experience the allure of Khao Sok National Park.
Need more? Consider these must things to do in Thailand:
These markets offer a lot of goods, from fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, and spices to handmade crafts, textiles, and souvenirs.
Some of the most famous floating markets in Thailand include Damnoen Saduak Floating Market near Bangkok, Amphawa Floating Market also near Bangkok, and the less touristy but equally charming Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market.
The atmosphere around floating markets in Thailand makes it a unique experience. These markets have historically been an integral part of local communities, serving as hubs for trade, social interaction, and the exchange of goods.
It's better to visit floating markets during cold and dry seasons. Most floating markets are only open on the weekends, to cut the line, visit the floating in the morning since it is the ideal time to browse, eat, and meander through canals.
Tuk Tuk Thailand
Tuk-tuks are three-wheeled vehicles that have come to symbolize Thailand's busy streets. They provide a unique and exciting means of transportation that is popular with visitors and locals.
Tuk-tuks are a fun way to explore Thai cities, especially for short distances. Tuk-tuks may be found in major cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.
Tuk-tuks are widely accessible in Bangkok, particularly around popular tourist destinations such as Khao San Road, the Siam Paragon Mall, and most tourist attractions.
Best Temples in Thailand
Thailand is home to over 40,000 temples, each with its unique story and architecture.
Ayutthaya is a first place that comes to mind when thinking about temples. It offers contemporary temples with occasional ancient stupas in their courtyards!
Not many foreign visitors call on to Phetchaburi, and it’s a real pity as it is absolute treasure for those who enjoy Buddhist temples. With a couple of Royal monasteries in the city and abundance of other wats which do differ greatly from each other in style and decoration you can easily spend two or three days just visiting the temples there.
One more heavily templed city is Ubon Ratchathani in Isan. Ubon’s temples are just spectacular! The local authorities set up a free tram for tourists to visit the most prominent wats, so you can see them all in a day.
Among plenty of Thailand temples, the most known and must to visit are :
White Temple in Chiang Rai. This is one of the most famous temples in Thailand, known for its unique white color and intricate design.
Wat Benchamabophit in Bangkok. This temple's exterior is crafted entirely from white Carrara marble, making it a visual masterpiece.
Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew, also known as the Temple of a Million Bottles, is a Buddhist temple located in the Khun Han district of Sisaket province, Thailand. The temple is made of over 1.5 million empty Heineken and Chang beer bottles, which were collected from the local community to promote recycling and cleaning the landscape.
Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat in Lampang. The Wat pagodas are made of concrete and decorated with colorful tiles and mosaics. Each pagoda was carried up piece by piece to the mountaintop.
Thailand Ancient Ruins
Ayutthaya, easily reached from Bangkok, is obviously the most popular destination for archaeological buffs. A wonderful mix of ancient ruins integrated into the modern city is Ayutthaya’s winning formula.
Sukhothai can satisfy even the most discerning connoisseurs of ancient temples. It has a lot of them and some more! The best way to explore the area is by bicycle – and do not miss out their famous kuay tiaw sukhothai! If Sukhothai looks too glamorous for you, check its neighbours – Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai instead.
If you are dreaming about handsome Khmer prangs of Angkor, there’s no need to head for Cambodia immediately: Thailand has its own set of Khmer ruins which are not so large-scale but impressive just the same. Number 1 in the list is Phanom Rung historical park in Buriram which has a couple of smaller beautiful satellite temples.
Phimai in Nakhon Ratchasima is not as large as Phanom Rung, but it features a lot of beautifully carved lintels and a one-tree-forest is one step away.
Prasat Mueang Sinh in Kanchanaburi enjoys a peaceful setting on the banks of the river, and you can combine the trip there with the visit to some other attractions in the area like a walkable stretch of the Death Railway.
Hill Tribe Trekking in Thailand
Well, if you want to trek in Thailand, go North! All of the star destinations of the north such as Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai provide plenty of opportunities for hiking and trekking in the mountainous regions with visits to hill tribe villages, waterfalls, and hot springs featured in many programs.
Head to Pai to experience the slow living attitude and the old-school hippie vibe in the background of a mind-blowingly beautiful valley. Move on west to Soppong, number 1 destination for off the beaten path caving in Thailand, and finally reach Mae Hong Song, an increasingly popular but still underrated destination offering a lot of routes for trekking, as well as mud spa, hot springs, and more.
Mae Salong with its spectacular tea plantations calls for tea amateurs and enthusiastic walkers alike while Mae Sariang has probably the least visited hill tribe villages in the region.
Our personal favorite though is Phu Kradueng in Loei with an abundance of challenging paths for hiking and amazing sun dawns from up the mesa.
James Bond Island
When you traveling in the South Thailand, you should check James Bond Island, also known as Khao Phing Kan, located in the bay of Phang Nga in Thailand. It gained worldwide fame after being featured in the 1974 James Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun".
James Bond Island has become a popular tourist attraction, and many tour operators offer boat tours to the island from Phuket and other nearby areas.This island can become your favorite place in Thailand.
Where to See Animals in Thailand?
Thailand is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and there are many places where visitors can see them in their natural habitats or ethical sanctuaries.
The most popular animal spots in Thailand are :
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is an ethical elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai. This place allows visitors to interact with elephants in a natural environment and learn about rescue and rehabilitation.
The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, located in Phuket, is dedicated to rehabilitating gibbons and releasing them back into the wild.
Bangkok Snake Farm. Here, visitors can learn about snakes and their importance in Thai culture.
Safari World Bangkok is an open zoo with over 100 animals spread across a huge area, offers visitors the opportunity to see various animals, including tigers, lions, and giraffes.
Crocodile farm in Samut Prakarn. You will find crocodiles and other reptiles at this farm near Bangkok. The place is known for its extensive collection of crocodiles, with over 100,000 on-site.
Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches, with over 2,500 km of coastline and more than 1,400 islands. Thailand’s beaches are set in a tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round.
Many beaches in Thailand are known for their crystal-clear turquoise waters. They are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The top-rated beaches in Thailand are :
Karon beach, located in Phuket, is a perfect place to start your beach trip. It is the 2nd largest beach in Phuket, with a 3 km coastline. There are many activities on Karon Beach, including jet skiing, water sports, and parachute.
Karon Beach is the only place in Phuket where beach volleyball nets are set up daily for public use. You can find the best seafood near this beach, the food overall is impressive.
Karon Beach is about 20 kilometers south of Phuket Town and just south of the more famous Patong Beach. The beach offers lovely, quiet, accessible areas with breathtaking ocean views. It is 9 kilometers south of the famous Patong beach and 1 kilometer north of the popular Kata beach.
There are other notable beaches in the Phuket area, for example, Rawai Beach, Banana Beach, Khao Lak Beach, and more. Visit at least 3 of these beaches for different experiences.
Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang Beach is a long area of white sand surrounded by many bars, restaurants, and stores. It is easily accessible, and that’s why it is one of Thailand's most popular beaches. It's easy to get to Ao Nang from the Krabi airport, and there are plenty of places to stay, whether you're with your family or friends.
In Ao Nang, you can explore additional stunning islands and beaches. Take a boat tour to nearby islands like East Rai Le, West Rai Le, and Phra Nang Cave Beach.
Another great place in Ao Nang is Railay Beach. The limestone cliffs surrounding Railay Beach attract rock climbers from all over the world.
Phra Nang Beach, in particular, is known for its striking beauty and the famous Phra Nang Cave, which houses offerings to a local spirit. Some travelers come via a day tour, but many also stay for a vacation at Railay Beach.
Due to its striking stone formations and scenic beauty, it has become one of the most famous beaches in Thailand.
Hua Hin Beach
If you don't have sufficient time to explore Phuket or Krabi, this is the place to go. Hua Hin is an excellent choice for those staying in Bangkok.
Hua Hin Beach has beautiful sand and clear water and is ideal for swimming. This beach runs for over 7 kilometers and is a popular coastal resort for a Thai vacation.
Volleyball, horseback riding, and sunbathing are among the beach activities available at Hua Hin Beach. Hua Hin is not just about the beach; there are also exciting things to see. You can visit places like the old Hua Hin Railway Station or the Royal Palace, where the Thai royal family sometimes stays.
Nai Harn Beach, Phuket
Nai Harn Beach is a lovely place, and it's close to some other interesting spots like Promthep Cape and Kata Noi Beach. It is located near other attractions such as Promthep Cape and Kata Noi Beach.
Beyond the beach, the surrounding hills offer trails for hiking and exploration. A hike to the nearby Nai Harn Viewpoint rewards you with panoramic views of the beach and its surroundings.
Mai Khao Beach, Phuket
From various regions of Phuket, Mai Khao Beach is easily accessible. It is part of the Sirinat National Park, which contributes to preserving its natural beauty. Since it is still undeveloped, it can be a peaceful destination.
The beach is part of the sea turtle nesting program. So, visitors are often encouraged to be mindful and follow guidelines to ensure the safety of these vulnerable animals.
This Thailand beach is also fabulous for two distinct plane-spotting seasons in Phuket. First - high season, from December to April. During these months, planes will pass over the beach to land at Phuket Airport, as planes are required to face the wind when taking off and landing.
Monkey Beach Thailand
One of the most exciting places to visit on Phi Phi Island. Book a tour boat to this beautiful island paradise or try kayaking from Loh Dalum Bay.
Monkey Beach is an excellent spot for snorkeling, with clear water and various marine life. While interacting with the monkeys can be a memorable experience, treating them with respect and avoiding feeding them is essential.
How to Get Around Thailand?
Traveling around Thailand by land or air is easy, cost-effective, and comfortable. Various regional and national budget airlines offer a huge network of routes, bringing you from Bangkok to the south, west, north, northeast, or east in an hour’s time. Almost any time of the year, you can grab a deal between 1000 THB (less than 30 USD) and 1500 THB (less than 50 USD) one-way to almost any destination; even cheaper during promotion periods when Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, or Nok Air throw in the market dirt-cheap tickets.
Bus Travel in Thailand
Bus is the top choice for many locals and tourists alike. A large fleet of buses of different classes operated by numerous companies can bring you literally to every corner of the country. Very often, you won’t even need connection rides. Thailand buses call to the smallest villages! You have a wide choice of local, express, VIP, and VIP24 buses, all ranging in comfort and ticket price. If buses do not reach where you need to go or if you prefer a quicker transfer, there are minivans and tourist buses that serve the most popular routes.
Train travel in Thailand
Train travel is less popular than in some Western countries. Still, with the brand-new trains which have recently started plying the route between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani it reaches an entirely new level, though even the older sleepers, either 2 class or 1 class, are a quintessentially Thai experience. If you have a few baht in your pocket – travel by train in Thailand! Third-class carriages are painfully slow, but they are cheap. We mean cheap.
Long tail boats, speedboats, local ferries, and high-speed catamarans are at your disposal when you need to make a hop to the Thai islands, either in the Gulf of Thailand, including Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, or in the Andaman Sea – from sleepy beauty of Koh Lanta to the world-famous Koh Phi Phi.
Natural Sights in Thailand
With almost 150 national parks, including marine parks, and 120 forest parks. Thailand has everything for those who want to get closer to nature.
The first national park in Thailand and the third largest as far as the size is concerned, Khao Yai National park in Nakhon Ratchasima is an entire jungle planet roamed by wild elephants, Sambar deer, Indian muntjac, and many other animals.
The stunning beauty of Khao Sok National park in Surat Thani province with its amazing 165 sq.km Cheow Lan Lake never fails to impress.
The seven-tiered Erawan Waterfalls in the namesake National park attract hordes of tourists and are at their best during the rainy season. For a more authentic experience, plan to stay overnight in the park – there is a camping area and bungalows.
Other national parks worth visiting in the first turn include:
- Kui Buri National park for wild elephants.
- Kaeng Krachan National park for wildlife, hiking and misty panoramas.
- Ao Phang Nga National park for dramatic scenery with its 40+ astonishing karst islands, water caves and pristine beaches.
Best Thai Food
We are seriously addicted to Thai food! While in Thailand, do not limit yourself to ordinary *Khao Pat (thai fried rice) or Pad Thai (thai noodle stir fry).
Thai cuisine is diverse, and besides a vast variety of seafood on offer – which you are unlikely to find dirt cheap, by the way – there is a whole wealth of local specialties, from Isan treasures of Som Tam (green papaya salad) and spicy Meaty Larb (our perennial favorite) to the southern sweet Muslim roti pancakes with banana, egg or spicy curry to more specific flavors like the northern mouthwatering Khao Soi Curry with coconut milk and egg noodles.
Your everyday bowl of noodles or rice with curry should not cost you more than THB 60, THB 30-40 being the more reasonable price – and you can easily survive on a couple of those per day plus fresh fruit and vegetables, which are abundant and affordable – both from street markets or giant supermarkets.
Streetfood in Thailand
Thai street food is known for its spices, such as lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, which give the dishes their unique and aromatic flavors. These spices and chili peppers, garlic, and coriander define Thai cuisine’s particular flavor.
Street food in Bangkok is frequently recognized as one of the best places for street food. Bangkok has many street food spots, selling everything from savory noodle meals like Pad Thai and boat noodles to delicious grilled pork and seafood skewers.
Popular Dishes in Thailand
Popular Thai dishes are a sensory adventure, with an interplay of sweet, spicy, sour, and salty flavors, from the comforting familiarity of Pad Thai's stir-fried noodles to the refreshing zing of Tom Yum's hot and sour broth.
The aromatic mix of herbs and spices in Green Curry, the crunch of fresh vegetables in Som Tum, and the soothing Mango Sticky Rice and so on.
Green Carry Thai
Green Curry, or Gaeng Keow Wan in Thai, a vibrant green hue from fresh herbs and chilies. The paste blends green chilies, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallots, and spices.
Combined with coconut milk, it features chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu, plus veggies like Thai eggplant and bamboo shoots. Thai basil leaves add aromatic delight to this fragrant, creamy, and slightly spicy dish, perfectly paired with steamed jasmine rice. Green Curry offers a milder, herb-infused flavor using green chilies and fresh herbs.
Mango Sticky Rice
It is a famous Thai dessert that highlights the contrast between the slightly chewy texture of the sticky rice and the sweetness of the perfectly ripe mango.
In Thai it's called Khao Neow Mamuang which means glutinous sticky rice with mango. The dish is often drizzled with coconut milk to add a creamy richness that complements the flavors and textures.
Tom Kha Gai
Tom Kha Gai, also known as Thai Chicken Coconut Soup, is a delightful and aromatic Thai dish. Tom Kha Gai is made with chicken, coconut milk, and a blend of flavorful herbs and spices.
Key ingredients include galangal (a ginger-like root), lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms, and Thai chilies. The soup is often seasoned with fish sauce and lime juice for a balanced combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.
Tom Yum, a cherished Thai hot and sour soup, captivates with its intricate flavors. Tom Yum embraces diverse variations, from shrimp to chicken, all anchored by lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai chilies.
"Tom Yum" translates to "boiling mixed," embodying its spicy and sour fusion.
Its essence lies in the interplay of tangy lime, aromatic lemongrass, galangal, and the kick of Thai chilies. Traditional or creamy, Tom Yum adapts, accommodating varied proteins and vegetables.
If you're passionate about diving deeper into the rich and diverse world of Thai food culture, we highly recommend checking out the local website https://www.wongnai.com/.
One of the standout features of Wongnai is its extensive database of restaurant reviews and recommendations. You can contribute your own reviews, share photos of your favorite dishes, and even connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for food.
- When is monsoon season in Thailand?
The monsoon season typically occurs between June and October. During this period you will notice heavy rainfall and high humidity, particularly in the central, northern, and northeastern regions of the country.
- Where to stay in Thailand?
Thailand's accommodations cater to all preferences and budgets, from the best hotels in Thailand to comfort hostels. Homestays can immerse you in local culture, while Airbnb and floating bungalows provide diverse choices. Eco-lodges focus on sustainability, and luxury resorts offer opulent escapes.
- How much does a Visa to Thailand cost?
Under normal circumstances, eligible travelers can visit Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa. But if you want to stay up to 60 days, The Thailand visa price is 2000 THB, around $65. You must pay it at the service counter at the immigration checkpoint.
You can also get an electronic visa for Thailand. Simply visit this website: https://thaievisa.go.th/
- How much does Thailand trip cost?
Budget Traveler: $50 - $70 daily (food, travel, sightseeing)
Mid-Range: $120 - $280 daily (better stays, dining, experiences)
Luxury: $400 - $1500+ daily (upscale indulgence)
Round-trip flights: $500 - $1000.
For a 10-night getaway, expect around $2,450 - $2,850 USD.
- What are the Thailand entry requirements?
To enter Thailand you will need a tourist visa, valid passport with at least six months' validity and travel insurance that covers your entire trip to Thailand, including medical expenses and trip cancellation or interruption.
- Things to buy from Thailand
Thailand's shopping scene offers diverse treasures like thai silk, wood carvings, ceramics, masks, sarongs, Buddha statues, Thai traditional and contemporary paintings and so on.
Thailand grants visa exemption to Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists from 25 September 2023
The Thai government has approved a visa-free travel scheme for tourists from China and Kazakhstan, valid until February 29, 2024. Previously, travelers had to obtain an entry visa before visiting Thailand for tourism. Tourists from these countries will have the opportunity to enjoy a visa-free stay in Thailand for up to 30 days. After the temporary scheme is completed, the government will assess whether it should be continued. Read here