Thailand has remained the top travel destination within South East Asia for years for many reasons. From bustling cities filled with authentic religious attractions and original culinary culture, top-notch islands, floating markets, picturesque countryside areas full of lush jungles and friendly people – Thailand has it all!
It is also a great place for expats to settle, as it’s foreigner-friendly and open towards a dynamic mixture of working and partying lifestyles diversity. If you are seeking the top Thailand travel tips before arriving at this top-rated travel hub in Asia, read on to figure out how to travel Thailand best.
When to visit Thailand?
Thailand’s tropical weather remains hot and humid most of the time during the year. However, the seasons between the North and South slightly differ.
The best time to travel to Thailand would be between November and February as the weather is cool and dry. The hot and dry summer season is between March and June. April – the hottest time of the year is to avoid.
Nevertheless, a festival fan in South East Asia simply must not miss out on Songkran festival (a.k.a Water Festival or New Year’s Eve) in Thailand during early April, or Full Moon Party taking place every month.
Top cities and attractions
A top Thailand travel advice for beginners would be, first of all, to stick to the main cities including Bangkok and Chiang Mai. These sound like touristic places but once you know your way around, it’s not hard to experience something more local here. Couples of top religious attractions in Bangkok to visit are the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho. Keep in mind to dress up properly before entering the temples, otherwise, the staff won’t let you in.
Wat Arun in Bangkok
Between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, you can find the three ancient capitals of Thailand including Sukhothai, Lopburi, and Ayutthaya. Take the day train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai to enjoy the authentic countryside view of Thailand, or the night train to save your budget for accommodation.
Ayutthaya temple is one of the must-visit places in Thailand
The most stunning beaches and islands
Some of the best tropical islands among over a million in Thailand to relax are Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, Krabi, Ko Samui, Ko Samet, Ko Tarutao, Ko Lanta, Ko Chang, Ko Tao, Ko Jum, Ko Lipe, the Similan Islands Go around as wise tourists as the Thai people to preserve the environment with extra care and details on their islands.
Tons of food choices everywhere
Some of the most popular must-try Thai food are Tom Yum (Spicy Soup), Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad), Tom Kha Khai (Chicken Coconut Soup), Red Curry, Green Curry, Pad Thai (Thai Style Fried Noodles), Khao Pad (Fried Rice), and the list goes on. It’s safe to stick to street-food if you want to keep the budget down.
Thai food could be way too hot and intensely flavored even for Asian people. Most Europeans who cannot take spicy food must remind the waiter/waitress to keep the spice down. Chilly food can do harm to your stomach and travel journey in general. The locals and tourists dine in different places, so do remember to always ask the Thai where and what they eat daily.
Don’t miss out on the floating market
One authentic experience that you must not miss in Thailand is visiting floating markets, which are spread throughout the country. Some of the most well-known and colorful floating markets are Damnoen Saduak, in Ratchaburi, and the Taling Chan. Book a tour if you are uncertain about bargaining the price for taxi and renting a boat on spot, and especially in case you travelling alone and could not find any fellow traveller to share these costs with.
Shopping paradise in big cities
Bangkok has some of the finest shopping malls in South East Asia, including MBK Center, CentralWorld, Siem Paragon, etc. Famous shopping areas are Siam Square, Sukhumvit, Silom, and China Town. Most backpackers tend to spend more on shopping on Khaosan Road as this party street’s stands are filled with youth-orientated, fun and useful things.
River Side Shopping is also an important part of the shopping lifestyle in Thailand, with the Chao Phraya River remaining one of the most popular. Plus, well-known floating markets are not just for visiting but also spending your bahts on.
How to book cheap flights and buses to Thailand
Most travellers going on their first adventurous South East Asia trip start from Thailand, mainly due to cheap flight connections. From here, you can also easily fly to other countries in Asia with cheap flight tickets from Air Asia (highly recommended) or Easy Jet. There are plenty of domestic and international flights to Thailand.
Moving within a city/town/island in Thailand is fairly cheap and easy with the taxi (always ask for meter!), tuk-tuk or motor-taxi (negotiate before you go), local buses, metro and sky train. Train service in Thailand is cheap. Hopping on coach buses is also a great way to explore the country.
Most buses and trains in South East Asia cannot be booked online without knowing the local language or charged relatively high if you book through an agency. Baolau provides a win-win solution for our leading platform to book flights, trains, buses and ferries in South East Asia without hassle.