Thailand travel guide
Have you decided to visit Thailand for your next holiday but would like to know more information about this famous South East Asian country so you can fine-tune your planning and itinerary? Here’s our handy Thailand travel guide that details everything you need to know about the country in a hindsight.
Thailand is situated in south-east Asia and borders Burma, Laos, and Malaysia. The country is surrounded by the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. There are large mountain regions in the western part of the country, while the southern side is connected with Malaysia through a narrow strip of land. Through this Thailand travel guide, you can explore the exotic white sandy beaches, the street delicacies, ancient temples, and a tempting cultural heritage.
Thailand travel offers everything a tourist desires. Whether you have to learn about the history and culture of the country or spend time in the nightly parties at the seaside, Thailand comes at the top of the list. This travel guide highlights all the best things to do in Thailand.
A Short History of Thailand
The earliest inhabitants of Thailand were the Mons that came from central China between 10th and 13th century AD. They settled along the shores and rivers in Burma and Thailand. They developed cities and towns at a swift pace. Within a short time, other groups from the north started settling in the region, and the run for power began. The first kingdoms to appear were Davaravati, Srivijaya, Siam, and Ayuthaya. During the 14th century, Ayuthaya witnessed its golden age, and they defeated the Khmers, who had invaded the region from the west.
The next few centuries passed in conflicts with the Burmese from the west. In 1556 and 1559, the Burmese invaded Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya. The Thais managed to recapture both the cities soon after, but the hatred didn’t go away. The Burmese again captured Ayuthiya in 1776. After a vicious and brutal fight, Thais managed to throw them off, but the city was left in ruins. Another capital was constructed known as present-day Bangkok, and the reign of the Chakri Dynasty started in the country, which continues up till now.
Thailand never came under direct occupation of the European powers. The Kings of Thai had always remained concerned about their independence, and they did so in a very effective manner by playing the Europeans against each other remaining autonomous itself. In 1932, a constitutional monarchy was established in the country with the official name as Thailand declared in 1939. In WWII, Thais supported the Japanese Army, which made the super nations against them. Dictators ruled the country in the next few centuries. After various coups with the communist regimes and protests, Thailand has reformed itself and achieved a significant level of economic success.
Thailand is well-known for…
- The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is one of the most visited cities in the world and lies even ahead of London.
- Thai people are famous for their hospitality. Visitor reviews have shown that the locals are accommodating and friendly.
- Chiang Mai is one of the famous Digital Nomad hubs in Asia where start-ups and entrepreneurs live seasonally.
- Thai cuisine is world-famous for its authenticity and rich flavors.
- Thailand is home to some of the beautiful beaches in the world.
- The famous tuk-tuk is a popular mini-cab in the country, and everybody loves to travel in these.
- The floating markets in Thailand have caught the attention of the world. These markets have everything from flowers to groceries and set up in the morning and evening.
- Thai spas are one of the best. The professional staff and luxurious in-built spas will surely lure you to come again and again.
General Travel Information
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. You’ll likely land here if you’re planning to visit central Thailand. It is an interesting city if you like big cities but otherwise, there are loads of day trips from Bangkok that will take you to surrounding towns and villages!
Thai baht is the local currency of Thailand. You can easily withdraw money from ATM machines from everywhere but be aware that they charge 220baht or 7USD per transaction! For more info about using international bank cards in Thailand, read our post about it.
Thai is Thailand’s national language and you can hear variations of this language all over the country. It is advisable to learn a few useful phrases if you’re planning to visit smaller towns. English is widely spoken in larger cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Weather in Thailand
Thailand posses some of the best weather in Asia as it boasts its finest tropical climate all-year-round. That said, there are still significant weather changes in the country that can be put into three categories: summer/dry, rainy, and “winter” seasons. With all that said, despite some changes in weather, Thailand is still one of the countries in the world you can visit whenever you want as the weather will be pleasant regardless.
For more information about the best time to visit Thailand, we wrote a very detailed guide about when is the best time to visit, if you want to know more about it please refer to this post to know more about it.
Getting to Thailand
There are many ways to get to Thailand and many ports, airports, and borders you can land and cross so getting into the country is the least of your problem. However, depending on where you’re coming from and which part of Thailand you’re planning to visit then that’s how you should plan your trip.
Most people do start their journey from Bangkok and either head down south or north. Another popular route is landing in Chiang Mai and then plan your route heading to Bangkok and then eventually to the islands down south. There are many ways to do this so it is all up to your budget, time, and energy.
Here are some of the popular ways to get to Thailand:
- Landing by plane in major cities such as Bangkok, Phuket, or Chiang Mai.
- Coming by ferry from Malaysia or Indonesia.
- Land border crossing via Cambodia, Vietnam, or Myanmar.
If you want to look for cheap flights to Thailand, you can click here to find the cheapest flights from everywhere. We have written a really detailed post on how to plan your perfect trip to Thailand if you are planning a visit soon, you might find a lot of helpful guidelines you can apply to your trip – read our step-by-step guide in this post.
Transportation in Thailand
To get around Thailand is super easy as public transport is efficient (this surprises a lot of foreign visitors!). Between short distance cities, towns, and villages – there are usually a good amount of buses or minivans that can take you between destinations. If you’re planning on going long distances, there are domestic flights and trains you can take.
Each city is slightly different and can have its own mode of public transport but most of it has three things in common: Taxis, Grab Taxi, and Tuk-tuks.
You can also rent your own vehicle or scooter if you have the proper license and knowledge to ride. For more information about transportation in Thailand, read our detailed post about it.
Here’s our more detailed guide on transportation in Thailand – read it here.
Bus or minivan
Grab App (like Uber)
Tuk-tuk or Rickshaw
Where to go in Thailand?
For such a big country it is totally understandable if you’re wondering where would be the best places to go in Thailand. This, of course, will depend on your interest but we have some great articles that can help you finalize your decision.
If you’ve finally decided or had an interest in visiting some of the finest destinations in Thailand it is time to start planning your itinerary. Here are some of the itineraries we have that will give you some insight on what to do and for how long you should stay.
There are so many amazing hotels, hostels, guest houses, and luxury boutique hotels and resorts in Thailand that you’ll not run out of a place to stay. Here are some of our compilation regarding where to stay in Thailand and some of the best hotels you can check out!
Thailand Tips and Tricks
Wrapping up your trip planning here are some of the top tips and tricks up in our sleeves that will help keep your holiday in Thailand smooth. Make sure to read through them and some of the posts we’ve written are detailed guides that are always good to know before your visit!
Here are some of our best tips for Thailand:
- Things you should NOT do when in Thailand
- How to wai in Thailand for foreigners
- How to say Hello in Thai
- Temple etiquette in Thailand
- How does tipping work in Thailand
- Experiences in Thailand you should not miss
- Top attractions in Thailand you should check out