We love Thailand. It was our first real travel adventure and has a special place in our hearts. It was our first travel that lasted over a month and it was the first time that we really experienced another culture. “The Land of Smiles” encompasses it all. Great beaches, stunning temples, contrasting landscapes and plenty of adventure. These Thailand travel tips will help you plan your next vacation.
Being the major hub in South East Asia it not only offers a great jumping off point but it also is a place you do not want to miss.
Thailand Travel Tips: Fast Facts:
- Thailand power voltage is: 220 V; Plugs A & C
- Currency is the Thai Baht and is around 30 baht to 1 USD
- ATMs can be found everywhere but take out larges sums at a time as Thailand banks charge a 150 baht ($5 USD) fee above and beyond your banks service charges.
- SIM Cards are easy to buy at the MBK Centre in Bangkok for your unlocked smart phones. Data is cheap and fast.
- If you are traveling for a short time: Pre-order a KnowRoaming SIM Card to use on your travels. PlanetD readers receive 30% off using our code DDSave30: Details here. When we were last in Thailand, we used KnowRoaming for unlimited data at $7.99 per day.
When to Travel To Thailand
Thailand mainly has two seasons, wet and dry.
Thailand’s high season is November to February. This is when it is the driest but this is also when you'll be swarmed with the most tourists.
Southern Thailand is hot all year long, but has a very wet rainy season: The West Coast of Southern Thailand is wet between April to October. The East Coast is wet from September to December.
June to October is the rainy season and temperatures soar with high humidity.
Northern Thailand's dry season stretches from November to May.
Temperatures are less hot between October and January and can actually be a little cool in the North especially in the evening and early morning.
Top Packing Tips
We have been back numerous times and have come up with these Thailand travel tips to help you pack right. That being said, you don't have to pack a lot to travel to Thailand, it is always hot! And whatever you don't have, you can buy there, but here are our top suggestions for things to have while traveling in Thailand. You can basically live in a bathing suit and flip flops, although the cities are getting quite chic so it's nice to dress up too.
Pack lightweight breathable clothing. Thailand is hot and humid. You won't need a lot of heavy clothing.
A bathing suit, shorts, t-shirts.
Hiking boots or shoes are good for jungle and mountain treks
Sarongs – these can be used for anything. From covering up when visiting temples, being used as a towel or keeping cool on a hot night while using it as a light sheet. Check out our Many Uses of the Simple Sarong for more suggestions.
Ladies, make sure to pack a light long sleeved blouse for entering temples.
A skirt is a good idea for the same reason, although I often just tie a sarong around my shorts.
Flip Flops – Flip Flops, Thongs, Jandals…whatever you call them in your part of the world, flip flops are a must for Thailand. They are easy to slip on and off when entering temples. Since the weather is so warm, you don't need a lot of footwear unless you are going for hikes. If you are planning on hikes, pack some lightweight hiking boots.
Backpacks – We prefer a backpack to a suitcase for Thailand as you'll be on boats, tuk tuks, motorcycles and trains. Backpacks are easier to carry and you don't have to roll them through the sand of Thailand's amazing beaches.
We buy a lot of our clothing in Thailand. The fabric is lightweight and perfect for the weather.
Also check out our Ultimate Travel Packing List to help you get started.
Thailand Travel Tips: Top things to do
- Climb in Railay – We went Rock Climbing in Railay for the first time in 2000 and each time we go back to Thailand we climb, King Klimbers and Hot Rocks are our go to shops.
- Drive a Motorcycle to Myanmar from Chiang Rai
- Go Sea Kayaking – through the Hongs of Phuket
- Go Scuba Diving in Kho Tao – I think everyone has taken a dive course in Kho Tao but us. We've heard great things though from
- Volunteer or visit an Elephant Sanctuary
- Take Part in Songkran – It's the world's largest water fight. Actually it's the Thai New Year and they ring it in in style with a lot of water.
- Take a Muay Thai Kickboxing Course – Sign up for a month and really delve into the culture.
- Get a Thai Massage – Massages in Thailand are cheap and amazing. You'll be bent like a pretzel but feel fantastic.
- Take a Cooking Class – Thai food is a favourite around the world and cooking courses are popular around the country. Sign up for a multi day course to really get to know the cuisine.
- The Chao Praya River in Bangkok – See the Grand Palace, Floating Markets, Temple of the Dawn, Reclining Buddha and so much more!
- Beaches – Thailand has the most beautiful beaches in the world. Places like Phuket and Kho Samui are popular with the tourists but there are many other beaches like Railay and Ao Nang in Krabi, Kho Lanta and Kho Lipe near the Malaysian Border.
Tip: avoid Pattaya Beach it's overrun and just downright depressing.
- Bridge on the River Kwai – Made famous by the movie it was a strategic location during WWII. There is a war memorial here for soldiers who were kept as POWs in unbearable conditions.
A Bit About Thailand
Tour Company Suggestions:
Notable Holidays and Festivals
Songkran – April 13-15
Ye Ping – November: In Chiang Mai Only
Loy Krathong – November
National Elephant Day – March 13
See the Thaizer for all your Thailand Travel Tips
Read more about Thailand Travel Tips in the posts below: