Thailand Travel Guide
Whatever you write about Thailand, it has already been written a thousand times; maybe a hundred thousand and one. But we will write it again: we love Thailand – and hope you will love it, too! Having travelled quite a lot around Southeast Asia, we are absolutely confident that Thailand is arguably the most interesting, convenient and safe destination to visit, offering 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.
So why should you visit Thailand?
Travelling around Thailand by land or air is easy, cost effective and comfortable
There is a variety of regional and national budget airlines which offer a wide network of routes countrywide 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 THB1000 (less than USD30) and THB1500 (less than USD50) one-way almost to any destinations; even cheaper during promotion periods when Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air or Nok Air throw in the market dirt-cheap tickets.
Travelling by bus in Thailand is the top choice for many locals and tourists alike. The roads are kept in great condition and 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: buses call to the smallest villages! With local, express, VIP and VIP24 buses, all ranging in comfort and ticket price you have a wide choice.
If buses do not reach where you need to go or if you prefer a quicker transfer, there are minivans and tourist buses which serve the most popular routes.
Rail travel in Thailand is not so popular as in some Western countries, but with the brand-new trains which have recently started plying the route between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani it reaches a completely new level, though even the older sleepers, either 2 class or 1 class, are a quintessentially Thai experience. If you have 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.
Thailand is a year-round destination
While there are cold, hot and rainy seasons in Thailand, there is always good weather somewhere in the country – whether you need your dose of the sunrays close to the sea or feel enthusiastic about trekking in the mountains or jungle.
Though the best time to visit is generally from November through February, April splashes with wild water celebrations, May through July are filled with blossoming trees and season fruits, and waterfalls are at their best during the rain season. If you want to go to Thailand – just go, no matter what time of the year it is!
Travelling in Thailand is affordable
Yes, you can splash here, too. There are luxury villas which cost from USD2000+ per night – and they do cost it! – but you hardly find the better value for your money as far as accommodation is concerned anywhere in the region – well, probably with some exception of the most popular island destinations, to be frank.
While there are hostels in Thailand and you can pay for a bed in a dorm, very often adding just another THB100 (USD2,5) buys you a private room in a tidy simple guesthouses, in most cases – with an en-suite bathroom.
The best value accommodation which we have met so far is found in New Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Mukdahan and probably Kanchanaburi. That said, you can score a great deal starting from THB500 even in the most tourist-heavy areas like Phuket or Koh Samui.
Thai food is the top
We are seriously addicted to Thai food! While in Thailand, do not limit yourself to ordinary khao pat or pat thai about which you have learned back home. Thai cuisine is diverse, and besides a huge 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 favourite) to the southern sweet Muslim roti pancakes with banana, egg or spicy curry f to more specific flavours 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 THB60, THB30-40 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 huge supermarkets.