This complete trip guide to Thailand is easy to understand and designed to get you excited and feeling confident! Whether this country is a one-off vacay spot or another stop on a long-term adventure this guide will help you plan, so let’s get to exploring!
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Thailand is a wonder of the world like no other! It wasn’t colonized like the other Southeast Asian countries, and you can feel its authenticity oozing still today. Offering treks through the thick, tropical jungle, adreneline pumping tuk-tuk rides, beach parties of all kinds, a good transportation system, not to mention the beautiful dichotomy of buckets of alcohol and temples on nearly every block, this place is truely one of a kind.
Note, Thailand thrives on its booming tourism industry, so you won’t be the only foreigners in search of parties on the beach or secluded jungle stays, making it an easy country to make new, international friends! And don’t worry, there are plenty of off the beaten path places too, if you know where to look. 😉
Trip Guide to Thailand Overview:
Money: Thai Baht
Conversion rate: 1USD= 34 Baht (as of March 2023)
Tipping: Not customary nor required, but always appreciated.
Outlets: 230V plug types A, B & C. It’s best to bring a travel adapter.
Emergency #: 911 for emergencies, 1155 for tourist police.
People: Thai people are incredibly friendly and generally happy. Learn a few words in Thai and they will be excited to help.
Safety: I never felt unsafe in Thailand, but as with any developing country, it’s best to keep your valuables secure and keep your wits about you.
Water: Avoid drinking tap water unless otherwise stated (resorts might have filters). It’s safest to refill your filtered water bottle.
Seasons of Thailand
When you think Thailand, think hot! Although there are three seasons, and the climate varies throughout the country, you won’t regret packing clothes for warm weather, no matter the season. (Find a full packing list here.)
Hot/Dry Season: March-May
Wet Season: May-October
Cool Season: November-February
My recommended time to visit: I have been to Thailand in both the cool and hot/dry seasons. It’s amazing year round, but I recommend visiting around April/May. This is the tail end of the peak tourist season and Songkran falls during this time!
Things to do:
Eat local cusine! Okay, this one might sound a little silly, but Thai food made by a smiley old man with a noodle cart might be the best thing ever! You can book a food tour by tuk-tuk here.
See a temple. It would be difficult to miss one, as they seem to be popped up everywhere, but this is a fantastic way to learn about their religions and culture.
Visit a beach town. Some of my favorite beaches are in Thailand and there are so many to choose from, both popular and isolated!
Check out this guide to see which is the right beach town for you: Krabi vs. Phuket.
Take a jungle trek. This is such an amazing experience and its easy to find groups to go with. Both a beautiful way to experience the countryside AND a good way to move your body after those drink buckets.
Go to a party. Thailand has become known for it’s full moon parties and for good reason. If you aren’t there for the full moon (or half moon), don’t worry, there are still PLENTY of beach bars that will be blasting music & throwing fire all night.
The bucketlist of things to do in Thailand goes on and on! Island hopping, boat or canoe tours, renting a moped to get around, taking a cooking class, hiring bikes, going to a market, strolling Khao San Road, getting a massage…I could go on, but here are a few quick ways to book these activities:
Thailand is a very budget friendly country. This is a big part of the reason that tourists flock to it. A low cost on exploring beauty?! Who wouldn’t want to go?! I recommend saving enought money to afford the high end activities, then travel like you’re on a budget.
Food: Food carts and markets run just a few dollars per meal.
Accommodation: Hostels start around $8USD per night.
Transportation: Walking is free, renting bikes is just a few dollars and public transportation is a cheap option.
Activities: Beaches and exploring are free!
Food: Family restaurants serve dishes starting around $8-$12 each.
Accommodation: Airbnb can be affordable option, costing $200+ per week.
Transportation: Local busses and trains are typically very affordable; price depending on the length.
Activities: Boat rides, Temple entrances and Park fees can cost anywhere from $2-$25+ per person. Day tours run around $40-$100USD.
Food: High end dining and nice restaurants serve plates starting around $20 each.
Accommodation: Chain and big name hotels as well as high-end airbnbs can start from $150+USD per night.
Transportation: Renting a car and driver will allow for more ease, but comes at a high price point.
Activities: Group and multi-day tours can be found starting in the hundreds.
What to pack:
A few top items that I bring with me everytime I visit Asia:
Deuter backpack-Reliable and comfy!
Chacos (or other durable sandals)
A cute swimsuit (or two!)
Go Pro is a must for capturing all that beauty!
Keep in mind that clothes are very cheap in Thailand, so it’s best to NOT overpack. If you forget something, you can buy it while you’re there and call it a souviner!
Trip guide to Thailand insider tips:
1 Thailand is a very inexpensive country. I advise still saving for this trip as though it’s expensive then allowing yourself to say yes to every $5 foot massage or (more expensive) ocean adventure that Thailand is sure to put in front of you!
2 Because of its popularity, Thailand is a great place to meet other travelers. Instead of being annoyed that there are more than just locals around you, strike up a few conversations and make a new friend!
3 Remember to respect the land and culture you are on and always travel responsibly!
4 Learn a bit of the language. Locals love it if you atleast give it a try! Start with a few simple words like “hello”, “Thank you” and “water”.