Thailand Travel Guide
- Everything you need to know for your trip to Thailand -
Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is the most visited country in the southeast of Asia.
Thailand is the Land of Smiles and you can see people smiling at each other around the country. A smile conveys interpersonal messages among locals.
When it comes to Thailand, the first things that come to the mind are fantastic beaches, amazing wildlife, and beautiful jungles as well as delicious foods. The country allows visitors to have a great trip according to their budget and preferences.
Why Visiting Thailand?
There are some of the best beaches in the world in which, you can see warm and clear water and stunning vistas along with experiencing swimming, snorkel, or scuba. Freedom Beach in Phuket and Sunset Beach on the island of Koh Kradan are among the best beaches in Thailand with world-wide fame.
If you like exploring under the sea, Thailand can be a great destination for you. There are over 15,000 miles of coasts in Thailand and some of them are perfect for diving. Koh Tao, the Surin Islands, Koh Chang, and Chumphoh are some of the best diving destinations in Thailand.
Thai food is something you should try at least once in your life in Thailand, not your home! Thai dishes are very diverse depending on the region. Street foods in Thailand are amazing as well. You can find the cheapest meals in outdoor stalls which fantastic taste. No matter what time of the day you go for having your meal, you can always find something in Thailand. Besides the local foods, there are countless western, Indian, and other international foods. Also, if you are looking for halal foods, find them in Sukhumvit area of Bangkok and other cities of the country.
Nightlife in Thailand is like nowhere! The country can offer any nightlife that visitors can imagine. Wherever and whenever in Thailand, bars and night clubs are waiting for tourists. Also, you might have heard about red-light districts in Thailand. You can find these districts around the country, especially Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. Also, the nightlife in Thailand is LGBTQ friendly.
Culture and Hospitality
Locals in eastern countries are known for their hospitality and kindness; however, you will find something amazing in Thai culture. The Wai, special Thai greeting, has become popular worldwide recently. You might be invited to have a great meal with a local family. If so, you can consider yourself a very lucky visitor. One of Thailand’s national mottos is Mai pen rai, translated as don’t worry can be a sign that you will encounter with very kind people. Also, Thailand is known as the Land of Smile, so be prepared to see people who are hospitable and kind with beautiful smiles.
Thailand is the home of fantastic festivals, which are usually held in temples. These festivals are based on the lunar calendar, so their time can be different each year. Songkran and The Light Festival are among the best examples of Thai festivals.
Markets in Thailand are unique with special character depending on the districts they are located in. Some of the markets are dedicated to the food and you can try the famous street food of Thailand here while in others, antiques secondhand items are in the sale.
Thailand is a great destination for travelers with any budget. You can find great and luxury accommodation with a fraction cost of a commercial hotel in the U.S. or Europe. High-quality accommodation in Thailand ranges from $ 60 for a 3-star hotel to about US$ 300 for a 5-star hotel. Also, different methods of transportation are available at incredible prices. Nok Air and AirAsia are cheap airlines with direct flights to many domestic and international destinations.
There are over 40,000 Buddhist temples around Thailand and each of them is representing the religious and culture of a specific dynasty with beautiful structures and architecture. You find at least one of these temples in any city in Thailand.
You can visit Thailand at all times of the year and experience the Year-round sunshine. No matter you travel in winter or summer, you can expect warm weather in Thailand. You will never see snow and you will rarely experience the jacket in this country. The peak seasons for Thailand are dry seasons in which, the weather is less humid.
Thailand Top Destinations
Click on each Thailand’s destination to read the full travel guide of the city.
Best Time to Visit Thailand
Unlike the usual seasons in the other countries, in Thailand, there are three main seasons, which are hot, cool, and wet. All around the year, you can enjoy visiting Thailand; however, getting familiar with the features of each season helps you to find the best time, which suits you.
Hot (March – June)
- Temperature: Up to 40 °C (104 °F)
- Humidity: 75%
Features & Recommendation
If you choose the hot season to visit Thailand, be prepared to experience extreme sweating! In April and May, the heat can be annoying as the temperature can reach 100 Fahrenheit and humidity is 75% on average. Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Samui are always crowded; however, Koh Chang, in the Gulf of Thailand can be a good choice for escaping from heat and crowd.
What to wear?
Clothes with lightweight natural fabrics, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts to avoid mosquitoes from feasting on you
Rainy (mid June - October)
- Temperature: Around 29 C (84 F)
- Humidity: Just under 90%
Features & Recommendation
The weather during the rainy season is really unpredictable. During this time, you will face huge monsoon and heavy rain. From mid-October, the weather can be less rainy in the north; however, in the south, rainy weather continues up to December. It’s not recommended to visit Thailand during this time and even if there were some sunny days, the attractions and beaches would be highly crowded. In the rainy season, the hotels and domestic flights are at their least price.
What to wear?
lightweight raincoat, light shoes (which dry quickly), travel umbrella, swimsuit
Cool (November - February)
- Temperature: 30 – 35 °C (86 – 95°F) on average
- Humidity: 50% – 60%
Features & Recommendation
The best season to visit Thailand is the cool season. The weather is usually dry and cool. The weather is cool in this season; however, the weather in higher altitudes in the north of Thailand can be even freezing at night. These features makes the cool season the peak time to visit Thailand in which, the prices can increase drastically. From northern cities like Pattaya to Phuket in the south, the attractions are highly crowded. King’s birthday on December 5 can be amazing for you as you will see the greatest festival in Thailand.
What to wear?
Swimsuit, Shorts, Skirts, light shirts, and T-shirts
Best Thailand Tours
Things to Do in Thailand
If you are planning a trip to Thailand, there are a lot of things to do and many places to visit. There are so many options that you can enjoy but since you may have a limited amount of time, we are going to provide you with a top list of our recommendations. There are so many ways to draw up your bucket list, which is why we are going to consider the different aspects of this beautiful country to help you better decide what you want to get on your trip. Whether going on your own or with a tour, our list can help you get the best experience while in this part of Asia:
1. Visit Bangkok
You cannot say you have been to Thailand without visiting Bangkok. The city has a wide variety of options for spending some quality time. There are many great restaurants, clubs, and bars where you can sit and enjoy yourself as you see the modernity of the country. Besides the fun and excitement, you can explore the city and see how people live. There are many places and things in Bangkok to discover. While in the city:
Have a ride with Tuk Tuk Taxies
You should try the Tuk Tuk taxies as a means of transportation. They are fun to ride, and the price is negotiable, which is why you need to ask the price before you hop in!
Try Muay Thai Fight
If you are looking for some excitement, you should catch the famous Muay Thai Fights of Thailand. Besides, it is one of the best cities to visit some of the heritage sites. This city has almost everything that you may need to have a nice traveling experience.
Some of our recommended places that you must visit are:
- Royal Grand Palace
- The Emerald Buddha
- Wat Phra Kaew
- Wat Po Temple
- Wat Arun Temple
- Yaowarat Road Night market
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
2. Enjoy Thai Cuisine
One of the things that a visitor must do when visiting a new country is trying the local cuisine. This tasty experience can always tell you a lot about people and their way of life. In any case, you can try some great seafood and try the famous cuisines of Thailand and try some of their rice. Elements such as beautiful appearance, nutritious, and rich with all kinds of flavors, can make you addicted to Thai food! Here are our recommended dishes, among the many types of food that you must try:
- Pad Thai
- Tom Yum Goong
- Som Tam
- Guay Teow
Try Some Bug Snacks!
Not everyone may like to try new things but, on your journey, if you see fried scorpions or other snacks in the streets, be sure to try them. They may look a little odd at first, but they are worth a try.
3. Visit Temples and Palaces
If you are on a tour, you will most definitely visit the heritage sites. If you are traveling on your own or with friends, make sure to visit the Temples and the Royal Palaces of Thailand. You can find them near and inside the major cities. There are some temples near the hill tribes as well, so keep a lookout.
4. Participate in Cooking Classes!
Having tired the amazing Thai cuisine, you might want to take one of the numerous cooking classes found all around Thailand. You can learn all of your favorite dishes and make them at home, and even offer some to your friends.
You can probably find the ingredients back home and take this unique experience with you. One of the most recommended places to have the cooking classes in Chiang Mai, which is also very famous. If you enjoyed the food, be sure to learn them and share the experience.
5. Try Thai Massage
Do you want to get the best massage of your life? Do you want to have it for the most reasonable prices you have seen? Then make sure to get the famous Thai massages while you are in Thailand! For lower prices, you can get the best and most relaxing massages in all of Asia. Finding a good place for such a massage is not that hard either. You can look for spas in any of the major cities, or even some of the top hotels, and get refreshed for continuing your adventure!
While looking for a massage near beaches or in the city, you may also want to look for the following.
6. Thai Tattoos
While on the subject of caring for your body and skin, you may also want to try some of the famous Thai tattoos as well. They are done by metal rods and not tattoo guns. Other than that, they are made by the monks and have significance and meaning to the Thai people.
7. Learn About Hill Tribes of Thailand
One aspect of Thailand that most people find to their liking is the way of life of local hill tribes. There are a total of seven famous and very friendly hill tribes. If you want to spend some time away from all the noise of the major cities, be sure to look up the Akha, Lahu, Karen, Hmong/Miao, Mien/Yao, Lisu, and Palaung hill tribes. Visiting these places, you can also see the locals living in harmony with nature. They live in the forests, which means this aspect of the trip is an exciting adventure in its own terms.
8. Explore Nature & Wildlife
Speaking of nature and the environment, you can visit the dense forests and witness the wildlife of Northern Thailand. Thailand is very rich with its tropical forests and beautiful animals. To see some of these animals, you can visit the Elephant Nature Park of Chiang Mai to get a closer look at these magnificent creatures. Exploring into the woods is always a fun idea, just be sure to have a guide so you do not get lost. There are always places that preserve the wild-life of Thailand such as the vast National Parks that are rich with all the elements of the environment.
9. Enjoy The Landscape of National Parks
There are many National Parks in Thailand offering a good number of natural elements for you to visit. You can see beautiful waterfalls, cliffs, mountains, and even take a close look at all the animals of Thailand including the famous elephants of the country. There are also some pagodas along with forests and birds in the national parks of Thailand considered as some of the top destinations for travelers. Some of them even offer fun activities as well. Several of these top National Parks are as follows:
- Doi Inthanon National Park
- Kaeng Krachan National Park
- Khao Sok National Park
- Khao Yai National Park
- Erawan National Park
10. Sunbath on Beaches in Thailand
One of the best things to do in Thailand is visiting one of the beaches to relax. There are many activities on the long and many beaches in the country. You can participate in all kinds of sports and water-sports as well as beach parties. You can also catch some of the mentioned massages near the beaches, enjoy the local cuisine or go boating. You may even go to the famous Maya Bay Beach, which became a top destination thanks to the movie “The Beach” featuring Leonardo Di Caprio. Some of the best beaches in Thailand are:
- Railay Beach (must-see among the beaches)
- Ao Nang Beach
- Maenam Beach
- Phra Nang Cave Beach
- Long Beach
- Lamai Beach
11. Islands of Thailand
There are hundreds of islands you can visit. There are so many options to pick from the most luxurious ones to the most primitive ones. You can go climbing the rocks and cliffs or simply take a boat and have a relaxing experience in the calm waters. Since there are so many of them, you can even find places that have a lower number of tourists to enjoy more. Explore around on your own, or join others and discover all the best and most peaceful places among the islands of Thailand. Some of these islands you can add to your bucket list are:
- Koh Samui
- Koh Lanta Yai
- Koh Lipe
- Similan Islands
- Koh Tao
- Koh Phi Phi Don
- Koh Samet
- Koh Chang
12. Explore the Under Sea by Diving in Thailand
If you love watersports and above all, diving, you have to try it in Thailand. One of the best places in the world for scuba diving is the Ko Tao. This island is world-famous since it is one of the best places for this sport, which also provides diving lessons for beginners. You can also get the necessary equipment in Ko Tao and most other islands.
We recommend diving in Thailand as a separate activity because it is not just possible near the beaches and islands. Just pick a spot according to your skill level and visit the underwater world. Besides Ko Tao which is a must-try for divers, here are some more recommendations for diving in Thailand:
- Similan Islands
- Richelieu Rock dive site
- Koh Lanta
- Koh Phi Phi
- Phuket Islands
13. Visit the Floating Markets
You can find floating markets near almost all the major cities. It is fun to do, and the ride on a boat as you go shopping is something exciting.
Transportation in Thailand
Tuk Tuk is a kind of 3-wheel vehicle and you should experience it at least once in your travel. It’s one of the things you cannot find back home. Interestingly, Tik Tuk is an expensive means of transportation because of its popularity for tourists ranging from 80 to 150 Bahts.
Taxi in Thailand, especially Bangkok, has a very reasonable price because the price of the taxi is calculated through the meter in Thailand. The taxi fee starts from 2 Baht for the first 2 km and then 2 Baht per km after that.
As you may face some traffic in large cities, especially Bangkok, a motorcycle taxi can be a good choice if you are in hurry or you prefer not to get stuck in traffic. Also, this method is very cheap; however, if you have a lot of luggage, it won’t be a good choice for you. The price can be between 20 to 100 Baht depending on your destination and the distance. The riders are reliable.
The MRT Subway, aka the Blue Line, is the first metro line in Bangkok with 18 stops and different rout comparing to the Skytrain. You need to be familiar with the destinations to take the best vehicle.
A songthaew is small pick-up trucks containing 2 rows of seats at the back end of the vehicle for people to stand and hold on. The drivers drive fine and you can rely on them. If it’s not a big problem for you to wait 10-15 minutes, Songthaew can be the best choice for you as the fee is great. You need to pay 10 Baht to reach your destination. There are buzzers on the roof of the vehicle and you can press to inform the driver you want to get off.
Thailand, and especially in Bangkok, have a developed bus network system, which provides long distances such as towns, cities, and popular tourist destinations. The cheapest bus you can find costs only 7 Baht; however, other prices are not much different. Long-distance buses provide destinations such as towns, cities, and popular tourist destinations.
Air travel is the best and quickest way of getting around in Thailand. You can explore the country with the help of domestic flights no matter how your budget is; you can always find the best flight depending on your budget.
In recent years, city planners in Bangkok have provided both overground and underground trains. These overground trains provide different tourist attractions and they are developed like remarkable western cities.
Flight Deals to Thailand
Thailand Travel Costs
In guesthouses, prices start at :
- 300 THB (9 USD) for guesthouses per night in cities
- 200 THB (6 USD) for guesthouses per night in the countryside
- 400 THB (12 USD) in large cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok
- 600 THB (18 USD) for islands or rooms with air conditioner
- Start at 1,350 THB (41 USD) per night
Large resorts on the islands
- Start at 1,700 THB (15 USD)
- Ranges from 100-150 THB per night.
- A shared room starts from 350 THB (11 USD) per night
- It starts around 700 THB (21 USD) per night.
Skytrain (BTS) in Bangkok
One way ticket will be 20-60 Baht. Also, a whole day ticket is available costing 120 Baht. Monthly tickets are great for long time travelers costing 300-1,000 Baht, depending on the number of stops. The best way to pay the price of using BTS is using BTS Smart Card or Rabbit Card.
- Red line: 8 Baht
- White and blue line: 8 Baht
- Orange line: 2-22 Baht
- Express Line: 8.50 Baht
There are two types of boats for transportation across Thailand; express boats and small ferries. You can take small ferries with only 3 Baht.
One drive will be 20 Baht and if you go a little further destination, then it will cost more.
Taxi (per km)
- First kilometer = 1,1 US (35 THB)
- 2-12 km = 0,16 USD (5 THB)
- 12- 20 km: 0,18 USD (5.5 THB)
- 20 – 40 km: 0,19 USD (6 THB)
- Day tours cost: 500-1,200 THB (15-36 USD)
- Jungle hiking: 1,000-1,685 THB (30-50 USD).
- Parks and National museums: 50-100 THB (1.50-3 USD)
- A PADI dive certification course: 10,000 THB (300 USD)
How much money is needed to bring in Thailand?
Costs: 825–1150 BHT ($25–35 USD) per day
Features: your own room with and a shared bathroom or a dorm room on the lower end – food from the street stalls – a couple of drinks per day – a few tours – local transportation. (If you like to experience more times on islands, you will need to pay more up to $40 per day.
Costs: 1,650 baht ($50 USD) per day
Features: fly between some destinations – eat more delicious seafood dinners and international meals – take more tours and activities – sleep in air-conditioned rooms – drink more.
Costs: 3,300–5,000 baht ($100–150 USD) per day
Features: Western hotels or expensive resorts – eat mostly Western food or try dishes in tourist areas – drink a lot – do a lot of tours – fly a lot
Best Hotels in Thailand
Find the best hotels in Thailand using our best price search engine, or go with one of our All-inclusive tours with 4 Star hotels included. You can book our guaranteed hotels for your extra accommodation; before or after your tour days.
Thailand Travel Tips
- Tourist Police: 1155
- Police (General Emergency Call): 191
- Ambulance and Rescue: 1554
- Fire: 199
- National Disaster Warning Centre: 1860
- Crime: 1195
- Medical Emergency Call: 1669
- Air Ambulance (Siam Air Care): 02 586 7654
In some places of Thailand such as temples, major museums, and similar places, you should dress properly. Clothes covering your shoulders and reach to at least your knees are recommended in these places. A a sarong or scarf can be a good option for covering your shoulders. Besides, these moral attitudes exist in rural places as well. Also, don’t forget that beachwear is only for beaches.
Except the restaurants, luxury malls, and high-class hotels, you need to have cash with yourself as Thailand is a very cash based society. Other places in Thailand expect customers to have cash. ATMs are widly available in the country except remote and very small towns. Also, having smaller notes depending on your needs is recommended as many smaller stores and taxi drivers don’t have much change.
In Thailand, there are many places in which, you should take off your shoes like some temples, shops, museums, establishments, etc. Therefore, try to wear convenient shoes to slip on and off. Also, for hiking, the best offer can be sturdy boots or trainers. Flip flops are not recommended as you may have hiking in jungles, mountains, etc.
Tropical climate of Thailand can make you using sunscreen. The importance of using sunscreen becomes more crucial if you choose March until June to travel as this time is considered hot season in Thailand.
Although You can find English speaking locals widely in tourist cities of Thailand, especially Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, etc., you will have some language barriers in your trip; therefore, it’s better to whether learn the basic Thai or have translation tools with yourself
Health & Safety Tips
Don’t drink tap water
Don’t drink tap water in Thailand and try to drink bottled water or boiled water. However, you don’t need to worry about the ice as there are many ice factories in Thailand and they use purified water.
Be careful about the location you choose for swimming
For the same reason for not drinking tap water, you should try swimming in famous and popular swimming destinations in Thailand as you may suffer from bacterial infections such as Leptospirosis.
Eat fresh foods
Street foods and generally, Thai cuisine is very famous among travelers. However, it’s recommended to stick to fresh food and if the vendor didn’t offer you the fresh food, go to another vendor. Crowded stalls are good choices for you as the locals have definitely tested the freshness and the quality of food they offer.
Do research before having a black henna tattoo
Black henna tattoo can contain many kinds of nastiness; therefore, before having one, do your research and find a reliable expert for it. Also, ask which kind of pigment is used for it. Severe skin allergic reaction can be a terrible life-long result of unreliable henna tattoo.
Bring insect repellent
Mosquito bites in Thailand are dangerous. Also, other insects such as ticks and even some flies can spread the diseases. Thailand suffers from a huge number of cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever, which have not any specific treatment. Therefore, bringing repellent is crucial. Also, it’s recommended to have long-sleeved shirts if possible.
Tropical weather is extreme in Thailand. Also, overexposure to the sun can cause sun burning. You can find and buy sunscreen at good price in Thailand.
Be Prepared for Vaccination
Vaccination is highly recommended before visiting Thailand. Hepatitis A and typhoid and in some rare cases, it’s recommended to take some special medication and vaccines for contracting hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, rabies, and yellow fever by CDC.
Have a safe sex!
Prostitution and sex tourism have been common in Thailand since the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351-1767). It used to be legal and taxed but it became illegal in 1960; however, the government instituted a system of controlling sex in order to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The 1960 rule replaced by the Revention and Suppression of Prostitution Act, B.E. 2539 in 1996. In this rule, prostitution is not illegal like the past; however, whorehouses, pimping, and causing a public nuisance is illegal.
Nowadays, there are many red-light districts in Bangkok and other cities of Thailand. Make sure to have safe sex in this country as there is a high risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as genital herpes, Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Currency & Money Tips
Baht (THB, ฿, บาท) is the currency of Thailand and you can find the coins and the banknotes of this currency. Each Baht is divided into 100 satangs (สตางค์). You can find coins in 1, 2, 5, and 10 Baht and banknotes in 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 Baht.
There are two different versions of banknotes, which are both legal. In both, you can see the Thai King on the back of the note; however, one shows him in military uniform and another shows him in a traditional gown. The money should be treated respectfully because of the king’s image. If you had any problem in identifying the original notes or coins, you can see the image of them in the Bank of Thailand website.
Exchanging currency in Thailand
Zero Commission Offers
Exchange your money in Thailand; however, you should be careful about zero commission offers Exchange rates in Thailand are better that your home; however, be aware of exchange services, which offer zero commission and make sure to see the exchange rate they offer. Services that claim they have zero commission, offer poor exchanges to increase their profit.
Mid-market exchange rate helps you to compare and find a fair deal
Choosing a currency exchange service is not difficult as long as you find the mid-market exchange rates. You can use an online currency converter to find the deal.
Exchanging money in airports and hotels is not recommended
There are some currency exchange services in airports and hotels and although they can offer easy services, their rate is usually poor. If it’s necessary to exchange your money by these services, try to exchange a small amount of money. ATMs are the best choices for withdrawing Baht.
Make sure to bring undamaged cash
Many exchanging services refuse to exchange banknotes, which are damaged or defaced; therefore, be aware of the cash you bring in Thailand.
American Travel Check can be exchanged in the banks and currency services with a fixed fee per check; therefore, it’s better to bring larger travel checks to minimize the fee.
Using credit cards
Popular credit cards or debit cards are acceptable in businesses, hotels, and major restaurants in Thailand; however, bringing some cash is still recommended as smaller stores or cafes don’t accept such cards.
Having cash is the best method of payment in Thailand and the best way to have cash is through ATMs. You can find Visa, MasterCard, and Amex ATMs in Thailand.
The banking system in Thailand is fine. For instance, Bangkok bank, which is the largest bank in Thailand covers the whole of Southeast Asia and it has offices in London and New York. Krung Thai Bank and the Siam Commercial Bank are also some of the most famous banks in Thailand for exchanging your money. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, HSBC Thailand, Deutsche Bank Thailand, and SMBC are international banks operating in Thailand.
Food & Drink (Thai Food)
Taking a closer look at Thailand Cuisine will quickly give you an idea about how important some ingredients are, such as rice. Most of the dishes in Thailand are related to farming and the close relation of the people to the land. Besides those ingredients, there is a wide variety of red meat and seafood, which are healthy and rich flavored. Besides your tasty food, you should try some of the finest Thai drinks as well.
Last but not least, there are also snacks and desserts in Thailand that taste and look just as amazing as the main courses. They are also very healthy mostly made of fresh fruits. In some places, certain fresh fruit plates are used as desserts just after having a meal.
The list of Thai cuisine is very long with numerous options for every tastes. Many of the dishes may even have regional differences, which means you can try them in more than one place. It is also worth mentioning that in Thailand, most of the dishes have a spoon and fork or chopsticks next to them instead of fork and knives. In any case, here is our list of top 15 of Thailand cuisines that you must try:
1. Pad Thai (Fried Noodles)
Pad Thai, known as one of the national dishes of Thailand, is a simple dish of Fried Noodles. This dish can be found almost everywhere in restaurants or even in the streets. It is not just simple but also very cheap and at the same time tasty. Pad Thai is mostly served with shrimps and chicken, but you can always ask for the vegetarian version, which is also very famous.
2. Pad See Eiw (Wide Noodles)
Pad See Eiw, which is similar to the Pad Thai, is another Thai Noodle Dish that comes with meat and Soy Sause. There are also vegetables in this food, such as Chines Broccoli. Unlike most of the spicy Thai dishes, this choice of food is more tolerable for most people. It is rich with flavors and can be served with only vegetables for vegetarian visitors.
3. Tom Yum Goong (Shrimp Soup)
If you love spicy food, make sure to try one of the spiciest and rich flavored dishes of Tom Yum Goong. It has several strong ingredients as well as plenty of fish sauce. All the ingredients are fresh, and some of them are even optional. You can ask for certain seafood along with this dish, depending on the place you go.
4. Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
Rice is an important part of the culture of Thailand, which makes Khao Pad a must-try. This dish has fried rice which comes along with eggs and vegetables. Some people try slices of cucumber or even meat along with this Thai Cuisine. This meal is one of the simple choices that can have various types in different regions. It also can be found everywhere you go in Thailand.
5. Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)
Som Tam is very healthy and comes in a lot of variety. This salad has green papaya, green beans, dried shrimp, tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, lime juice, garlic, chilies, and palm sugar. It can also be served with more ingredients and is a very popular choice in Northern Thailand.
6. Panang (Thai Curry)
Panang or Thai Curry is one of the less-spicy and safe choices for most people. This type of food is usually served with shrimps but also has a vegetarian version. The Panang or Thai Curry is known to be less spicy and flavor-rich, but you can always ask the chef to make it a bit spicier if that is more to your liking!
7. Khao Soi (Curry Noodle & Coconut Milk Soup)
Whenever you are in the northern areas and especially in Isan, be sure to try this dish, which is a soup that comes with meat or vegetables for vegetarians. It usually has meat, boiled egg noodles, fried eggs noodles with various ingredients on a curry and coconut milk base.
8. Laab (Spicy Salad)
Laab is a mix of meat and vegetables that is not very spicy that has minced meat (chicken or pork) along with fresh herbs, mushrooms, onion, fish sauce, lime juice, and sometimes roasted rice powder. This dish is one of the simple national dishes of Thailand that has various types. It is best to make your first try of this dish in northern Thailand.
9. Phat Kaphrao (fried Meat with Basil & Chilli)
One of the traditional dishes that is now mostly seen in the streets is the Phat Kaphrao. It has fried meat (chicken, beef or pork) fried egg, holy basil (Thai Basil), and a lot of chili and garlic. It is a simple traditional food that you must try if you see it.
10. Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (Green Curry with Chicken)
One of the famous Thai Curry dishes is the Gaeng Keow Wan Gai. It is one of the oldest foods of Thailand; therefore, you can find it in most of Thai restaurants. It is a simple dish that is rich with flavors and it’s not too spicy. The main ingredients are coconut milk, green curry paste, and chicken. Most of the other ingredients change in different regions. You can also ask for beef or pork instead of chicken.
11. Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup)
Similar to Tom Yum, Tom Kha Gai is a sweet soup with a lot of creamy coconut milk. If you do not like spicy food, you can simply try this tasty dish that also has a vegetarian version.
12. Yam Pla Dook Foo (Fried Catfish & Green Mango Salad)
Yam Pla Dook Foo is a crispy and tasty dish that can also be considered as a snack. This fish and vegetable salad is very healthy, but it may not be enough for most people. It is one of the foods that you must try since it is a rather simple but tasty dish.
13. Yam Talay (Seafood Salad)
Speaking of salads, Yam Talay is a mix of seafood and salad that is very spicy and quite delicious. It comes with many forms depending on the region you try it. It is a unique dish, but since it has a strong flavor, it is not for all tastes, but at the same time a must-try. The various versions used different types of fresh seafood and vegetables, along with other ingredients. Therefore, if you liked it in the first try, be sure to try it in other regions as well.
14. Kai Jeow (Thai Omelet)
Perhaps the simplest of the Thai cuisines is the Kai Jeow or Thai Omelet. It is rich with protein and it can be prepared quickly. You can add different meats or vegetables and have a luxurious Kai Jeow for breakfast or try a simpler type as a quick and simple snack. It may not be enough as lunch or dinner, but it can be served as an excellent breakfast or something besides your meal.
15. Guay Teow (Noodle Soup)
A very popular, and tasty food, or perhaps a late-night snack is Guay Teow. It can be a little spicy, and since it has a lot of meat, we decided to introduce it lower on our list. It is very tasty and can be made with chicken, pork, or beef along with noodles and various optional vegetables and other types of ingredients.
If you are looking for a refreshment or something to drink with your meal, or simply sit and relax, you can try some of our recommendations. Many of the options are mostly regional and many kinds of fruit juices, therefore our list only includes the most popular ones that are mostly easy to find and also must-try stuff of Thailand.
Mekhong, also known as The Spirit of Thailand, is a regional drink and famous in the country. This drink is a specialty of Thailand; therefore, you simply should try it.
2. Sam Song
It is a local version of rum only found in Thailand that is also very popular in the country.
A cold Singha (Thai beer) is a very good choice to have with your spicy meals. It is a famous beer in Asia that is a must-try, especially in the capital city.
Another type of Thai beer is the famous Chang. It is cheaper than Singha and it’s very popular in Thailand. Just make sure not to drink too much!
5. Thai Iced Coffee
Thailand coffee is famous, and for good reason, one unique drink that you must have on your trip to Thailand is the Thai Iced Coffee. Perhaps their most famous drink is the Thai Iced Coffee, which is so good that will make all coffee lovers addicted!
6. Cha Yen
Cha Yen is a local Thai tea plus milk and sugar. This type of iced tea is just what you need when you are trying to relax after a long day.
7. Coconut Milk
Very simple, healthy, and yet delicious. Coconut Milk is easy to find and can bring you back on your feet after walking too much.
Most Asian countries do not usually serve desserts after a meal but have a wide variety of tasty snacks. These snacks can sometimes serve as appetizers or something delightful after a meal. No matter when and how you want to try them, they are always a must-try on your trip.
1. Thai Rolled Ice Cream
Known to most people as stir-fried ice cream, the Thai Rolled Ice Cream is a Thailand originates snack that is made right before your eyes. Ice cream is always a good idea before or after a meal, especially if you are traveling during summer.
2. Thai Pancakes
The original recipe belongs to India, but ever since it entered Thailand, the Thai Pancakes changed and became a popular snack. Something sweet and very delightful for after meals or during the afternoon.
Mobile & Internet
SIM Card in Thailand
Having prepaid SIM cards in Thailand is crucial for visitors to stay connected as it’s an inexpensive process. The good point is that the amount of data you are allowed to use is generous and it covers almost any district in the country. Three famous cell networks are operating in Thailand including dtac, AIS, and TrueMove.
SIM card service providers
AIS has the best coverage among others as well as great Wi-Fi hotspots. If you buy packages with hotspot service, you can access the internet from almost every city or towns. The good point is that the prices are reasonable it’s worth buying.
Also, it should be mentioned that TrueMove and dtac’s Happy prepaid SIM cards also have good coverage and fine Wi-Fi hotspot service. If you buy them, you will not face any major problem.
How to buy a prepaid SIM card?
Finding the SIM cards is not a difficult process. If you have a flight to Bangkok, you can find the booths of the three major SIM card providers in both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports. The booths in Suvarnabhumi airport are usually busy with long lines but the staffs are efficient and you will get the process done esasily. AIS has also a smaller and less crowded in the international baggage reclaim area at Suvarnabhumi.
Dtac has a self-service machine in the airport beside the booth and you can buy the SIM card from this machine with cards or Baht notes. There is not any long line for using the machine, so using this method can avoid wasting time.
You can buy prepaid SIM cards in Chiang Mai and Phuket international airport.
Documents needed for buying the SIM card
- You should have your photo taken
Picking a Number
You should pick a number from the brochure provided for you in the booth, choose the call/text/data package from the brochure, and pay the money. The activation of the SIM card will be accomplished by the staff.
Buying from street vendor
Buying these SIM cards from street vendors is not recommended as they can shut down any time.
Most users in Thailand still use dial-up internet connection and if you have little jobs with the internet, you can buy the packages of Dial-up in mobile phone shops or convenience stores like 7-11.
Broadband ADSL Connection
ADSL is available in most cities of Thailand; however, it cannot be found easily in rural areas. In order to connect Broadland, you need to contact one of the providers with one of these documents
- Valid visa
- A copy of work permit (if applicable)
Wireless internet can be easily found in most hotels and restaurants. The price depends on your location; however, you can connect for free in many places. In another word, the more modern and luxury bar or restaurant, the more probability to have free Wi-Fi service. They probably ask you to buy a drink or food for using Wi-Fi service. Be careful when using free Wi-Fi as it can leave your device vulnerable to hackers.
Internet cafes can be found in many locations in Thailand in which, you can have cheap access to internet as well as having snacks, drinks, and coffee. The price would be 0.5 to 3 Baht per minute. Internet Cafes are the best choices for tourists to do their essential internet jobs such as checking email, browse the web, etc.
Holidays & Festivals
Some of Thailand’s holidays are based on lunar months; therefore, their times might changes every year.
|Holiday||Date in 2020||Date in 2021||Date in 2022|
|New Year’s Day||1 Jan||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Chinese New Year *||25 Jan||12 Feb||1 Feb|
|Makha Bucha Holiday||10 Feb||26 Feb||16 Feb|
|Chakri Day||6 Apr||6 Apr||6 Apr|
|Songkran Festival||13 Apr to 16 Apr||13 Apr to 16 Apr||13 Apr to 16 Apr|
|Labour Holiday||3 May||3 May||3 May|
|Coronation of King Vajiralongkorn||4 May||4 May||4 May|
|Visakha Bucha Day||6 May||26 May||15 May|
|Royal Ploughing Ceremony *||11 May||11 May||13 May|
|End of Ramadan *||24 May||13 May||2 May|
|Queen Suthida’s Birthday||3 Jun||3 Jun||3 Jun|
|Asahna Bucha Holiday||6 Jul||24 Jul||13 Jul|
|Khao Phansa Holiday||6 Jul||26 Jul||14 Jul|
|King Vajiralongkorn’s Birthday||28 Jul||28 Jul||28 Jul|
|Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s Birthday||12 Aug||12 Aug||12 Aug|
|Passing of His Majesty the Late King||13 Oct||13 Oct||13 Oct|
|Chulalongkorn Memorial Day Holiday||25 Oct||25 Oct||25 Oct|
|His Majesty the Late King’s Birthday||5 Dec||5 Dec||5 Dec|
|Constitution Day||12 Dec||12 Dec||12 Dec|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec||25 Dec|
Shopping in Thailand
What to buy in Thailand?
The original Thai silk is unique and perfect and its products in Thailand are handmade usually. The clothes made of silk in this country have fine quality and they are really beautiful.
Spa and aroma products
Your travel to Thailand will be incomplete if you don’t buy famous and popular aroma and spa products from Thailand.
If you have impressed by decorations in Thailand, you can make the same sense in your home with Thai handicrafts, which can be found anywhere in Thailand especially in Phuket.
Elephant souvenirs in Thailand are famous because of their beautiful design. These items are great for decoration in your home.
Coconut oil products
Coconut oil and its products are very popular in Thailand because of their effect on beauty as well as making soap and hair products.
Shopping Streets & Malls
Chatuchak Weekend Market
It’s one of the largest markets in the world with thousands of stalls, which is open from Wednesday to Saturday and located in Bangkok. You can explore and enjoy Thai culture in this market and try the most delicious street food in Thailand. Ceramics, handicrafts, and souvenirs are the best products you can find here. The prices can differ among the stalls in this market
- Wednesdays and Thursdays: 7:0 – 18:00
- Fridays: 6:00 – 00:00
- Saturdays and Sundays: 9:00 – 18:00
Talad Rot Fai Srinakarin Night Market
Talad Rot Fai Srinakarin Night Market is a popular market in Bangkok offering a wide range of vintage and antique items. Genuine artifacts are something you can buy here.
- Thursdays to Sundays: 17:00 – 1:00
Pattaya Floating Market
Pattaya Floating Market is a fantastic sight to see in Thailand in which, you can buy traditional products in boats! Souvenirs, fresh fruits, and flowers can be found here with high quality.
Chinatown in Bangkok is the largest Chinatown in the world with traditional and antique products. Clothes, jewelry, and food are among the best products you can find here.
Central World in Bangkok
Central World is the largest shopping mall in Thailand offering a wide range of stores, cafes, and restaurants with a seven-story complex. Here, you can find the most famous international brands.
- Every Day: 10:00 – 22:00
MBK Center in Bangkok
MBK Center is the main hub in Thailand in which, you can buy gadgets and fashion items. Here, authentic as well as imitation goods are sold; therefore, you can buy famous brands at lower prices.
- Every Day: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
The Central Embassy Shopping Mall
Michael Kors, Prada, Givenchy, Gucci, and Versace are among the famous brands you can find in the luxury and shopping mall in Bangkok called The Central Embassy Shopping Mall. Also, it’s a good place to eat great food from luxury restaurants to street-styled food stores.
- Every Day: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM