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Thailand Travel Guide

Overview
Thailand has plenty of attractions from tropical islands, golden beaches, dense rainforests and pristine coral reefs to Buddhist monks, ancient monasteries, colorful hill tribes and ruined cities. Plus, there is Bangkok which is one of the most high-spirited capitals in Southeast Asia.

This country has the ability to attract all styles of travelers which range from the millionaires to backpackers with places to stay ranging from feature rich five-star hotels to the more basic hostels. Thailand travel packages are great for fun and adventure. It is blessed with beautiful beaches that are great for the watersport enthusiast, while the dense jungles are a natural setting for the wildlife spotter or trekker.

Other great attractions include the food served on the street stalls, night markets and fine restaurants. Many of the dishes are very spicy and rich in complexity and variety to even rival the cuisine in India and China.

Discover more about this splendid country by reading our Thailand travel guide.

Culture
Thai people are really appreciated for their great hospitality and open to tourists visiting their country. Visitors to this country must respect the local traditions and religions. For instance, it is bad manners to openly display affection between men and women, as well as to display acts of anger. Plus, it is a rude statement to either point your feet at someone of touch a person on the head. Temples or other religious buildings should be fully respected and shoes removed before entering. The dress code is generally informal for both men and women.

The majority religion in Thailand is Buddhism and follows the Theravada form, while religious minorities throughout the country include Hindu, Christian and Muslim.

thailand travel guide

Weather & climate
Thailand has a very hot climate with the hottest temperatures noticed between March and May. The weather for the monsoon season remains hot and humid, but is combined with torrential rains that can have a major impact on the ability to travel around the county. The monsoon season is between June and October. The rainfall is heaviest in the south of the country with about 2400 mm per year, while this is slightly less in northern regions with about 1400 mm.

The humid and tropical weather throughout the year means the preferred clothing is light cotton or similar with appropriate rainwear used during the seasons that rain is expected.

Best time to visit
The preferred time to experience Thailand travel is throughout the cool season that runs from November to February. However, if the travel plans include the southern islands the most favorable time to explore this region is June to September. The temperature range for the cool season is in the region of 18-32° C. in a major city like Bangkok, while the temperature in northern districts can fall to about 12° C. Try to avoid traveling to Thailand in April when the temperature can reach 40° C plus with humidity in the region of 75%

Geography
Thailand is bordered to the north and east by Laos, to the south and east by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and the west has the Indian Ocean and Myanmar. Most of the central region of the country has been taken over by the great size of the Chao Phraya River.

Thailand visa
A visa is not required for nationals entering from Australia, Britain, Canada, other EU and USA provided the planned Thailand travel does not exceed 30 days, and the arrival takes place at an international airport. All tourists must also have confirmed tickets to leave the country, enough funds to last the stay and a valid passport for the duration of the stay.

Other nationals from countries like Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria can apply for the visa on arriving in the country, with a stay limit of up to 15 days.

Other options include the ACMECS visa which is combined visa with Cambodia and makes it possible to stay in the two countries for a period of up to 90 days. This visa is available to nationals in the UK, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Greece and Canada.

Any other nations that have not been mentioned should get in touch with the embassy to check the latest visa rules and guidelines. The Thailand travel visa costs £25 for single entry or £125 for multiple entries.

thailand tour packages

Where to stay
The hotels in Thailand are varied and range from the budget end of the market to the high-end with fantastic options and luxury boutiques. The Banglamphu district in Bangkok is the best place for the tourist in search of low-cost rooms and boarding. The cost of hotels outside the capital city starts to get less expensive, but most are still quite comfortable and include the essential features.

The best place for the finest hotels is in Bangkok and other built up tourist areas. Many of the larger cities include the international chains with rooms that are well-equipped with air conditioning, as well as 24-hour room service and swimming pool on the grounds. It is possible to get some great special offers by checking the hotel's official website before arriving in the country.

Other places to stay include the guest houses and bungalows. For the beach travelers there are the popular beach huts that are found on many of the beaches and islands. Additionally, there is the option to go camping, but the sites are limited to a few national parks and private resorts that provide the necessary facilities, including renting a tent and relevant supplies.

Shopping and nightlife
The best destinations for travel gifts and souvenirs include Chiang Mai and Bangkok where it is possible to shop for a wide range of jewelry, ceramics, antique reproductions, handicrafts and textiles. All of the major cities have markets or relatively affordable shops with most items giving great value for money, although it is still worth checking the quality, especially in the outside markets.

Many of the airports like Chiang Mai and Had Yai, Phuket and Bangkok have a great selection of duty-free shops.

The nightlife in Thailand is quite vibrant with the option to visit cocktail lounges, pool halls, massage parlors, restaurants, cinemas, pubs and nightclubs. The best nightclub action can be found across the capital of the country at Soi Cowboy, Sukhumvit Road, Patpong and Banglamphu. Plus, this country has a very open sex industry that is easily noticed when walking around the city in the evening. Most of the clubs and bars are required to close their doors at 2AM. Even the dress code is very relaxed in most of the establishments, but there are a few that enforce a smart clothing policy.

For those travelers that would love to witness the traditional court and religious dances, there is the possibility to attend the Patravadi Theatre and Thailand Cultural Centre which are easily found in Bangkok.

thailand travel

Food and Drink
The Thai food has an amazing complexity which makes it quite comparable to the Indian and Chinese cuisine. A great favorite is the local Thai curries that are rich in ground-chilies, spices, roots and herbs. Overall, the dishes are created using a combination of the spice trade and tribal cooking traditions. The foundation for any of the Thai dishes is sticky glutinous rice or fragrant jasmine rice and served with the rich flavors of local stir-fries and curries. The majority of the meals prepared in this country are spicy. Some of the specialties to the local Thai people are Kaeng khiao wan, Gang pet, Pad Thai, Kaeng phanaeng, Tod man pla and Som tam.

Getting around
Thailand has plenty of airlines that fly domestic flights for complete ease in getting around the country. The most popular airlines include Thai, Bangkok Airways, Nok Air and Orient Thai Airlines. The cost of air travel is the most competitive throughout the off-peak season when it is possible to benefit from a variety of special deals and promotions. Also, Thai offers special air passes such as the Discover Thailand Fare that makes it possible to visit three of the major cities for a single, set price.

The road network in Thailand is mostly of a high standard with many multi-lane freeways in larger cities while the surrounding towns can have small lanes that are referred to as sois. The major routes are paved to give smooth and comfortable rides. It is easy to hire a car as part of the Thailand travel packages and available from local and international companies. The taxi service is relatively cheap in the larger cities like Bangkok, although the tuk tuk is the preferred type of transport when you move further out.

Even though it is possible to hire bikes to travel around the country, the roads are quite congested and driving is erratic, so a lot of caution is needed when navigating the high traffic roads. Other options include the bus or coach services that vary from the luxury to the extremely overcrowded. But, coach travel is quite slow because of the heavy traffic on the roads.

National Parks
Thailand has a variety of rich and diverse national parks including the Kaeng Krachan National Park, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park and Khao Sok National Park in the south and the Khao Yai National Park and the Pha Taem National Park in the northeast.

thailand tour packages

Khao Yai National Park
The Khao Yai National Park is the most popular natural reserve and the third largest in the entire country. The park has 55km of trails that are perfect for bicycle and hiking tours. Plus, it is great for watching the local wildlife with opportunities to watch the oriental pied hornbill, great hornbills, porcupines, gibbon, barking deer, sambar deer and pig-tailed macaque. Sighting of elephants on the roads is also common.

Kaeng Krachan National Park
The Kaeng Krachan National Park is the largest in Thailand and the best choice for the bird watchers as well as other diverse wildlife. This park has relatively low foot traffic from tourists which is one of its appealing aspects.

Doi Inthanon National Park
The Doi Inthanon National Park is a mountainous area and includes the highest mountain in the country, which is called Doi Inthanon. This park is great for its natural scenery that includes the local landscape and waterfalls. It is another park that is great for birding, and the high altitude means the temperature is relatively cool year-round.

Things to see and do

Explore the islands of Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay spans a total area of 400 sq km to offer fantastic natural and scenic wonders. The turquoise waters include 100s of limestone outcrops and islands. These formations are peppered with grottoes and caves and an established base for plenty of wildlife.

Visit the perfect Thai beaches
The beaches in Thailand are some of the finest in Asia. Some of the great choices include Ko Lipe (white-sand beaches), Ko Chang (popular with the backpacker) or Ko Samui (luxury resort). In fact, a visit to any of the Thai islands has the potential to offer a pristine beach to relax on.

Capture the temples of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is the capital city of northern Thailand and a perfect destination for those interested in visiting the local medieval city with a wide range of monasteries that are rich in golden carvings of sacred serpents and large soaring rooftops.

thailand travel packages

Travel Tips
Thailand has too many temples, beach-life, street-life, and architectural splendor to fit into a single trip. So, make sure to create a Thailand travel guide that puts the big-hitters first to increase the quality of the all-round experience.

Be cautious with street food and eat where it seems to be busy, which means a fast turnover and a higher change of fresh food. Also, try to wash the hands before and after, and avoid drinking the tap water.

Mosquitoes are a common issue when traveling around the country, so use a high-quality repellent and wear long-sleeve tops and pants to protect the exposed skin.

The street markets are great for all types of goods and the best prices, but there is the risk of counterfeit items. So be cautious of what you buy. Plus, it is very acceptable to haggle in an attempt to get the best prices.

 

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Thailand Export Permits
Thailand Export Permits

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Packing and Shipping from Thailand
Packing and Shipping from Thailand

The Central Post Office in Bangkok also specializes in packing goods...

VAT Refund
VAT Refund

Visitors entering the Kingdom on a tourist visa are entitled to a 7%...

Receipts and Return Policies
Receipts and Return Policies

It is always advantageous when returning an item if you have a receipt....

Money
Money

The currency in Thailand is the Thai baht, though any currency can be...

Credit Cards
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Major credit cards are accepted in most establishments and shopping...

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Shopping Hours
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Flowers and Plants

Thailand is well known for the immense variety of orchids that grow...

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Perhaps as well known as Thai food or beaches, Thai...

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Thai Electronics: Thailand is a major manufacturer of electronic...

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If you go shopping in Thailand, you should buy Thai art and craft...

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Antiques: While the term “antique” generally refers only to...

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Lamon Farm (Sukhumvit, Bangkok)

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Spacegal (Pratunam, Bangkok)
Spacegal (Pratunam, Bangkok)

Spacegal, the favorite lingerie brand fro gils who love cool design and...

Panasnikhom Antique (Silom, Bangkok)
Panasnikhom Antique (Silom, Bangkok)

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KB Orchids International Co., Ltd (Bangkok)

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MBK Food Center (Bangkok)

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Pierre Cardin Shop which's selling suitcase, uphoistery, belts,...

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