Thailand travel buddy

Thailand offers something for you, your Thailand travel buddy, and everyone else. It has everything from beaches, mountains, and wildlife-rich national parks, to bustling cities and quiet villages. Here are some suggestions for travelling in the Land of a Thousand Smiles that you and your Thailand travel buddy can try:

Top 10 Things to do in Thailand

***Updated on 3rd of May 2022

Visit Bangkok

In the bustling capital city where you would start your journey, bike around and get a feel for the country. Discover the charm of the city on long-tailed canal boat rides to get a different view. Enjoy the city where tradition meets modernity in all the chaos and color you can imagine!

Koh Lipe- Thailand’s Paradise Island

Koh Lipe is one of the less crowded islands in the far south, which is all about the gorgeous beaches. Here you can expect to bike around or snorkel without the overwhelming number of tourists getting in your way. 

Eat like a local

When in Rome, do like the Romans do! Be sure to grab a bite on the street and experiment at different local and authentic food joints to get a taste of traditional Thai food, famous for the use of fresh herbs and spices with all of its aroma and zing!

Be awe-inspired by Thai temples

The major religion in Thailand is Buddhism. Be sure to visit the Sanctuary of Truth, the Temple of Reclining Buddha, and the Tiger Cave Temple. Have these names caught your interest? 

Scuba Diving

Thailand boasts calm and clear waters, ideal for diving. If you have never tried it before, what better place than Thailand to learn and experience scuba diving at a relatively inexpensive cost!

Thai Massage

After a long haul flight or a busy day of exploring the country, the renowned Thai massages could be the perfect way to unwind. Although, beware that they are slightly intense with stretching and cracking involved.

Join the Full Moon Party

It is just what it sounds like! There truly could be no party to compete with this one! It is like a large festival, a celebration in which the beach is lined with people doing fire shows, each bar with their own sound system, and plenty of alcohol and dancing.

Shop at the floating markets

Thailand has several famous markets. The most unique one is probably the floating markets found throughout the country. Here you can find boats piled with flowers, foods to eat, and other merchandise. It is touristy for a reason and it’s great for pictures!

Up close and personal with elephants

You can volunteer at the Elephant Nature park near Chiang Mai. Here you can have interactions with elephants in an ethical way, learn why you should never ride them, and get a chance to give back to the community.

Meditation Retreat 

A great way to learn something new and rejuvenate yourself on your trip to Thailand. Take the opportunity to meditate alongside monks amidst the beautiful mountains in Northern Thailand. This experience might just change your life!

The best Instagram Spots in Thailand

Maya bay

Maya Bay is tucked away on the island of Phi Phi Lei and has gorgeous white sand beaches, arguably one of the best in Thailand.

Khao Sok National park

This is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand, though it is not a beach. There is an endless list of activities to do here, including trekking in the jungles and canoeing. It’s worth a visit for the adventure, which can surely be Instagrammed as well.

Chiang Mai Sky Lantern Festival

This could be a photographer’s dream come true. The numerous lights and sky lanterns that are released offer the perfect moment for stunning pictures.

Mae Hong Son- Terraced Rice Fields

This place in Thailand, high up in the mountains of Northern Thailand, is comparable to Bali for a scenic picture amidst vast rice fields.

The Best Travel Itinerary - 8 Days in Thailand

If you're planning on traveling to Thailand, it's best to have at least one week to visit, but more time is highly recommended as there are plenty of places to explore. 

How to get to Bangkok: Most international airlines fly to Bangkok regularly as it is one of the first destinations to gain popularity as an international tropical holiday destination. The main Bangkok city is about 30 minutes from the airport, but traffic could be unpredictable, especially in the evenings. You would need to spend at least three days in Bangkok to explore the city, get over jet lag, and recuperate before exploring other islands. 

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok 

Most likely, you will first arrive in Bangkok. We recommend spending at least three days there, as the city is huge and there is a lot to see.

We suggest getting a bike to explore the city so that you can easily visit the charming nooks and corners and get a true feel for the city. This way you can spend less time in traffic and go around the different street markets, the small alleyways, and Chinatown.

 

Day 2: Bangkok

On your second day, we recommend visiting the traditional and historical parts of Bangkok:

  • Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
  • Grand Palace 
  • Wat Pho
  • Wat Arun 
  • Chao Phraya River

Day 3: Bangkok

On the last day in Bangkok, once you have become acquainted with the ways of the city, you can make time to party or relax.

Even if you are not up for a party, you could still enjoy cocktails and a panoramic city view from the likes of Vertigo and Moon Bar.

 

Day 4: Phuket

Phuket is an island located in the south of Thailand. Here, you can explore the historic old town, with its interesting architecture and numerous cafes and boutiques. Then, spend time at Karon beach to escape the city and Bangla Road to enjoy the nightlife scene. 

 

Day 5: Phi Phi Islands

On the Phi Phi Islands, located 50 km from Phuket, you can take a speed boat (or a ferry if you want a slower experience) and marvel at the incredible limestone tower structures, which are a magnificent display over the water. 

On the Phi Phi Islands you can go island-hopping; pick one that you fancy and take some time to go snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming.

 

Day 6: Phi Phi

On this day, explore the beautiful coastal cities and islands on your own terms. Some of the popular options are Kata Beach and Nai Harn Beach. You could also go island-hopping and hit James Bond Beach. If you want to see elephants that are treated ethically in their natural habitat, visit Green Elephant Sanctuary Park. You can also check out the famous Maya Bay seen in Leonardo DiCaprio's movie ‘The Beach’.

Day 7: Chiang Mai

From Phi Phi, you can take a flight to Chiang Mai, located in the northern region of Thailand. Getting around this bustling city is a breeze with ample Tuk Tuks and the local Songthaews, or ‘Red Trucks’. Riding in these converted pick-up trucks with seats in the back is a fun and super low-cost mode of transport (around 30baht per person). 

Now that you’ve figured out how to get around, it’s time to explore. We recommend visiting the many Buddhist Temples. The most famous of these is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which offers a great view across the area. Be warned that the steps to the top are long but worth it for the magnificent view! Wat Chiang Man is another temple worth a visit.

Day 8: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a great place to do a traditional Thai Cooking Class. Visit a market to pick up your ingredients, then you get to create those iconic Thai flavors and enjoy becoming the next Wok expert!

End your day with a stroll around the Chiang Mai Night Market full of local crafts, souvenirs, and of course delicious street food. 

For longer stays

If you have time to stay longer in Thailand, you can take a day trip to Pai to see waterfalls, hot springs, and plenty of greenery. Another ‘must-visit’ in Chiang Rai to check out the Wat Rong Khun ‘White Temple’.

Best time to visit Thailand

It’s very important to consider the different seasons when planning your next trip to Thailand. Like many countries in this part of the world, it's best to avoid traveling during monsoon or ‘rainy season’. Due to the monsoon, Thailand officially has three seasons: hot, cool, and rainy. 

Hot Season (March-May)

The temperatures during the hot season range from 30 to 35 degrees celsius. 

If you travel during these months, head to the beach to enjoy the sun and surf.

Cool Season (November-February)

The cold season tends to range from 24-30 degrees celsius. Some would argue that this isn’t particularly cold, but compared to the hot months this is a nice change. 

Rainy Season (May-October)

During the wet season, Thailand is prone to experience torrential rain. Sometimes this is just for a few hours, but it is not uncommon to last for most of the day. It is, therefore, best to avoid Thailand during these months so that you can spend your travels under the sun rather than under an umbrella.

When to visit?

The best time to visit Thailand is during the hot or cool season to reduce any chance of running into bad weather on your trip.

Hidden gems in Thailand

National Parks

Thailand is renowned for its nature and its stunning landscapes. Eradwan, Sai Tong, Mu Ko Lanta- just to name a few that should be on your list. You will find jungles, waterfalls, beaches, and plenty of serenity. 

Lopburi Monkey Banquet Festival

This is one of the most unique travel experiences you can find during your time in Thailand. Lopburi hosts this festival on the last Sunday of November each year. Across the ruins of Phra Prang Sam Yot temple, a feast of fruits and flowers are displayed for the monkeys to thank them for boosting tourism in the local area.  

Long Neck Women

The Kayan Tribe are women, originally from Myanmar, who fled from the Myanmar military regime to Northern Thailand. These women are fittingly named for their cultural technique of elongating their necks with brass coils, starting from the age of five. As these women grow older, more coils are added. 

Getting Around Thailand 

Bus

If you are planning a low-budget trip, taking the night buses might be your best option. One of the major benefits of taking the bus during the night is making the most of your precious time. Buses are also more connected than planes as they can take you directly to remote places that may not have a nearby airport. Prepare yourself with plenty of water and snacks… ear plugs and an eye mask might be your saving grace on these long journeys. 

Airplane

Taking a plane during your Thailand travels is often necessary, especially if you are wanting to visit the islands in the south or fit in multiple destinations during a short period of time. Domestic flights are frequent, cheap and a great option to get you anywhere you need to go. 

Train

Trains in Thailand can be more expensive and take longer if you are doing long journeys. However this is a great way to combine comfort and still get to appreciate the view from the window. 

What does it cost to travel to Thailand? 

How expensive is it to visit Thailand? How much money will I need per day? Your answers to these questions have been categorized according to three different budgets: budget-friendly, mid-range budget, and high budget. This list should set you up well for your trip budgeting session. Please keep in mind that the costs below are for a single individual. 

Daily costs, on average, to consider when planning your holiday in Thailand:

a) Budget-friendly: 730 Baht (20€)

b) Mid-range budget: 1,400 Baht (40€)

c) High budget: 4,000 Baht (112€)

Your daily costs depend on how fast you are traveling around, visiting a new place every day will cost you more money. Also, take into account any special activities that you want to do there.

 

A.   Accommodation:

You will have plenty of options when it comes to choosing accommodation in Thailand. From a hostel dorm bed to a five-star hotel or resort. Below outlines some of these expected costs. 

Budget-friendly:

· For somewhere like Phuket hostels cost around 180 Baht (5€) per night for a single bed in a shared room and about 400 Baht (11€) per night for a private room

·  A low-budget hotel room could cost you around 560 Baht (16€) per night.

 Mid-range budget:

·  3-star hotel in a central location: around 800 Baht per night (22€)

 High budget:

· 5-star hotel or resort may cost around 2,550 Baht per night (70€)

B. Food:

The daily average cost for food in Thailand can be relatively cheap if you are seeking out street food. However, you will easily find restaurants that have low-cost menu options.

 Budget-friendly:

· Street food will always be the cheapest when it comes to Thai food. Luckily, it can also be the most delicious.  Pad Thai from a street vendor can cost you around 50 Baht (1.4€)

Mid-range budget:

·  Having a sit-down meal in a restaurant is going to be a well-priced option. For an average meal, you can expect to pay 100 Baht (3€)

 High budget:

·  Upper restaurants: about 700 Baht per meal (19€)

C. Transportation:

Transportation prices differ depending on the distance you are planning to travel and which mode of transportation you book.

Budget-friendly:

·  Bus: the cheapest way of transportation will cost you around 400 Baht (11€).

Mid-range:

· Plane: The fastest way to travel long distances is to fly. You can find flights from Bangkok to Phuket for around 650 Baht (18€).  

High budget:

·  The most expensive transportation option is to hire a car. You can get a car for around 5,500 Baht (150€) for 8 days. Plus the cost of fuel on top, depending on how far you drive.  You may also find yourself sitting in traffic for longer than you would like.

Must-Try Foods in Thailand 

Pad Thai

This dish could be one of Thailand's most popular… and for a good reason. Packed with big flavors it's one you should not miss.

Green Papaya Salad

This salad will send your taste buds to Thai cuisine heaven. Make sure this one is on your list to try.

Yam Nua

Yam Nua or more commonly known as Thai Beef Salad is a favorite of locals and travelers alike. 

Massaman Curry

We can’t talk about Thai cuisine without mentioning curry. Massaman is one of many different delicious curries variations.

Some recommendations on where to eat in Thailand

A quick way to find the best local spot to eat is to go on a Food Walking Tour. You will be shown the nearest markets, street food stalls, and restaurants that are well-liked by your local guide. 

Don’t be fooled by the exterior or furniture set up at the local Thai eateries- more often than not the ones with the small plastic chairs cramped onto the sidewalk are the best option.

 

Travel Tips for Thailand

Currency

The currency in Thailand is the baht. The exchange rate is not too difficult to get used to:

100 Baht = 2.98€

It is quite common to pay with cash, but card machines are found in most establishments. You will be able to find ATMs mostly everywhere.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for Thailand are ever-changing as the world slowly opens up again. Keep in mind the rules can change within a short amount of time. Make sure to check your entry requirements on your own country's embassy website online and inform yourself about the visa requirements as well. 

Tipping in Thailand

In general, tipping in Thailand is not mandatory, however as a gesture of goodwill a tip for good service will be greatly appreciated.

Smoking in Thailand

You may encounter locals smoking on the street as it is legal in Thailand. Around 20% of the population are regular smokers. However, smoking inside is illegal and now at some of its main beaches to mitigate the littering of cigarette butts. 

Public toilets

Using Thailand's squat toilet may come as a challenge to some. Unfortunately, these are common across most parts of the country and are often not the cleanest. Don’t let this be a deterrent for your travels as these will become part of your overall authentic experience. You may pay around 3baht to use these public toilets however, there's a chance you can find some that are free of charge. 

As featured in