If you’re planning to travel to Thailand, then make sure you read up all this information in our epic Thailand travel guide before you go!


Here’s the basic information about Thailand tourism and visits to know before you go, and to impress your friends at the next travel trivia night!

  • Capital: Bangkok
  • Other Main Cities: Chiang Mai, Phuket
  • Currency: Thai Baht
  • Language: Thai
  • Population: 68 million
  • Area: 514,000 sq. km
  • Electricity Voltage: 220 Volt at 50Hz. If you have 110 volt appliances, you need an voltage adaptor otherwise you’ll burn out the item you are using.
  • Electricity Sockets: Plug type A (two – prong round socket) or C (two-prong flat sockets)


There are a number of airlines that fly to Thailand from all over the world. Bangkok is a major transport hub and many countries offer direct flights, so there’s a good chance that if you’re planning on coming from Europe, Australia or Asia you won’t need to have a stopover.

The main international airports that you will likely fly into are Bangkok Suvamabhumi Airport (BKK) or Phuket International Airport (HKT). There is public transport from both of these airports into the cities, or you can catch a taxi or shuttle bus.

If you are coming from Europe, North or South America or Australia, check out airlines such as Thai Airways, Qantas, Virgin Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air New Zealand, Bangkok Airways, Air China, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways or Emirates.

With these airlines luggage and food is usually included in the price of your airfare.

You can sometimes get a great deal with a budget airline too. Luggage and food will not be included, and you will have to pay this on top of the fare. But if you are only travelling with carry-on and don’t mind bringing your own food, you can get some awesome prices.

Check out Jetstar, Scoot, Thai Lion Air, Malindo Air, Air Asia or Nok Air.

When you are looking for flight, make sure you search for flights in a incognito browser. This is because airlines can monitor what you are searching for on their site and the price will go up.

We look for our flights through Skyscanner and Google Flights. Sometimes we will find the flights on these search engines and check the airlines site itself. If it is the same or sometimes cheaper, we will book direct.

Thailand Travel TipsKoh Mul – one of the great places you can visit when you travel to Thailand.



People travelling to Thailand must obtain a visa unless they come from a visa-exempt country, or a country that can obtain a visa on arrival. There are 57 countries that are visa-free, and 21 countries that can obtain a visa on arrival. The rest need a visa and can obtain them from your local Thai embassy.

Visa-on-arrivals (VOA) are usually given for up to 30 days when arriving by air, or 15 days when entering by land. These can be extended once at an immigration office in Thailand.

Make sure you look up the visa requirements for your country. Airlines have the list of visas required for different countries and may refuse you to board if you don’t have the visa.

Check out whether you need a visa or not here.



Want to know some more facts about Thailand?

  • Thailand has never been colonised by a European country
  • The Thai flag colours represent the nation (red), the 3 forces of Buddhism (white) and the monarchy (blue).
  • Thailand was originally called ‘Siam’ but changed to Thailand which means ‘land of the Thai people’.
  • Some of the first temples built in Thailand were constructed in the 13th century by the Khmers.
  • Thai boxing was first documented some time during the 14th century. Muay Thai consists of knee hooks, high kicks and elbow strikes!


If you are travelling the whole country from south to north, we would recommend travelling between the months of December and February for beautiful clear blue skies and nice temperatures.

January to February sees much less rain in across the country, and temperatures remain constant throughout the year. The humidity is also very manageable.

If you’re in the north of the country at this time of year it may get a bit chilly at night so bring a sweater with you.

If you wanted to avoid the busy times, which are from November to March, consider travelling around from March to October when it is low season. There are way less tourists and hotels and flights are cheaper.

The one down side is that it does rain a lot in the afternoons and it can be very humid, but if you don’t mind getting a bit wet then this is brilliant time to travel to Thailand.

Avoid Chiang Mai around April, as this is the burning season. It is not a pleasant time to be there as the air quality is not very good and hard to breathe at times. If you have asthma, avoid this area completely during the burning season.



There is so much to see and do in Thailand, and you honestly could spend years here (lots of people to in fact).

Whether you love adventure, relaxation, health and wellness, luxury, food or culture, every type of travel is possible in Thailand!

Southern Thailand is more about beach life, luxury, partying and relaxing, whereas Northern Thailand is more about culture, food and adventure. Here are some 2-week itinerary suggestions that will help you plan your trip to Thailand.

Southern Thailand – Beach Life

Northern Thailand – Culture

  • Fly into Bangkok
  • 3 days in Bangkok – Check out our guide on the best things to do in Bangkok.
  • 2 days in Ayutthaya – Travel back in time and visit this historical park. Well preserved ruins and massive stupas.
  • Fly up to Chiang Mai
  • 3 days in Chiang Mai – There are so many things to do in Chiang Mai.
  • 3 days in Pai – Relax on the river bed or ride a motorbike and explore the surrounding area. Read our awesome Pai travel guide.
  • 2 days in Chiang Rai – Visit the White Temple.
  • Fly back to Bangkok and head out on the next adventure.

Best of Both Worlds – North and South

  • 2 days in Bangkok
  • Day trip to Ayuthaya
  • Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • 2 days in Chiang Mai
  • 2 days in Chiang Rai
  • Fly from Chiang Rai to Krabi
  • 2 nights in Ao Nang / Railay Beach
  • 2 nights in Koh Lanta
  • Fly back to Bangkok and fly out


Thailand is a very cheap country compared to most Western destinations, but it is on the high side compared to other countries in Southeast Asia.

A Thailand travel budget really comes down to your style and how much you’re willing to spend on things. It’s entirely possible to travel on $20 a day, and you could also live on $2000 a day if you want.

For the most part the north is around 30-50% cheaper than the south, so keep that in mind when you’re trying to figure out how much to spend and where you want to hang out the most.

The prices below are a general budget guide to travel in Thailand. All prices are in USD per day.


  • Single Traveller: $25-$50
  • Couple Travellers: $50-$80

Backpacking in Thailand is a wonderful experience for people of all ages, and in our opinion the most authentic and enjoyable way to explore the country.

If you are on a backpacker budget and planning on staying in dorm rooms, getting street food, and either not drinking or only having a few beers a week, then you can go as low as $25 a day, a bit more if you are in the south.

A single hostel bed can be $8-$15 per person. A budget basic private room is $15-$30. A street food meal can be $1-$2. A bottle of beer is about $1- $2 from 7/11.

You can rent scooters for as low as $5 a day if you’re renting long-term, and fuel is very cheap, making it an excellent way to explore towns.


  • Single Traveller: $60-$90
  • Couple Travellers: $80-$150

If you can afford to fit into a flashpacker budget, you’re going to have an incredibly epic time in Thailand. You’ll be spoilt with nice private rooms, great food, cocktails on the beach and quite a few awesome activities like scuba diving in Koh Tao.

You’ll get excellent private rooms for $20-30 in the north, $40-50 in the south. You can eat off the street when you want, and a lot of good, delicious meals can be found for $5-10.

Visit a few temples, do a cooking course, get a private guided tour, the world really is your oyster as a flashpacker in Thailand.


  • Single Traveller: $150-$300
  • Couple Travellers: $250-$500+

Thailand has some of the best luxury resorts in the world, and this is where the majority of your budget will go when you travel to Thailand as a luxury visitor.

The truth is even if you eat at very nice restaurants, you’ll still struggle to pay more than $20-$30 a meal (there are of course exceptions to this rule in award-winning restaurants), but you’ll probably find your budget will get blown out on alcohol.

Fancy cocktails in luxury resorts can cost up to $20 for one drink.



There are some of the best places to visit in Thailand. Being such a huge, diverse and interesting country means there’s of course a lot more than just 5 places you should check out, but this should give you an idea of the main attractions to check out.

  • Chiang Mai: Referred to as the ‘rose of the north’, Chiang Mai is famous for a moat surrounding its old town section, while historic sites become frequent on every corner you take.
  • Bangkok: No trip to Thailand (or Southeast Asia) is complete without spending some time in the most fascinating city in the country, Bangkok. From the historical attractions like the Grand Palace to the food hotspots in Chinatown, to the backpacker hotspot Khao San Road, you’ll never get bored here.
  • Phuket: Most likely on a lot of people’s bucket lists, Phuket is a tropical paradise on the Thai Peninsula shrouded in palm trees, golden beaches and cocktail bars.
  • The Mekong River Valley: The Mekong River flows along the border of Thailand and neighbouring Laos, and is a melting pot of culture. Although not very well visited by tourists, the opportunity to explore the old Thailand is a must with ancient temples, waterfalls and the ever-friendly Thai smile
  • Isaan Province: While most tourists stay on pretty much the same longitude when travelling around Thailand, those who are really interested in authentic experiences head to the Isaan province in the northeast of the country. Expect to find villages that haven’t changed in hundreds of years, stunning landscapes and the friendliest people in the country.



  • Scuba Diving – Ever thought about getting qualified in diving? Well Thailand is the place to do it. The courses are among some of the cheapest in the world and the trainers are highly qualified. If you are already certified, dives are cheap. We went with Crystal Dive Centre in Koh Tao and they were very professional.
  • Elephant Sanctuaries – NO RIDING! When we say an elephant sanctuary, we mean one that has rescued the elephants and treat them with high respect. They let them just be elephants, or help rehabilitating them after the trauma they have suffered. The elephants wander around on many acres with lots of greenery and watering holes. Be careful as there are still companies out there that say they are a rescue sanctuary, but unfortunately are still doing wrong by the elephants. Do your research! We highly recommend Elephant Nature Park out of Chiang Mai.
  • Meditation / Yoga Retreat – There are many places over Thailand that offer these types of retreats. It all depends what you want and what your budget is. Out of Chiang Mai, Alesha did a silent meditation course. It was not about the nice accommodation or nice food, it was about clearing your mind and releasing all the stress. We have done two yoga and wellness retreats out of Phuket and Koh Phangan as well. The Phuket retreat was about cleaning your body out and looking after it. The Koh Phangan retreat was about mediation, yoga, clean eating and spa treatments. All were amazing. Check out our article from Phuket, and our review of The Sanctuary in Koh Phangan.
  • Monk Chats – In Thailand you will see a lot of monks about, and if you are interested in learning more about Buddhism and their lifestyles head along to a Monk Chat. You can sit down with the monks and ask them any questions you might have.  There are great ones out of 4 different temples in Chiang Mai. Be sure to check the times and days the chats are on. Some of the temples, you can learn mediation for the day or have a meal for a small fee. You’ll see posters all around town.
  • Thai Cooking Class – Thai food is so delicious, so why not learn to cook it yourself? There are many cooking classes available throughout the country. Some companies will take you to the markets and get the ingredients to cook, while some classes have everything ready to go for you. Do your research and see which class suits you.


Getting around Thailand is super easy. Thailand has some wonderful public transport infrastructure in place, and you can get just about anywhere in the country without too much of an issue.

If you’re more inclined to stick to tourist-focused transport you’ll find no shortage of companies willing to get you to every main tourist destination. Caveats apply though, so read on…


You can get some great deals with the local airlines carriers within the country. Sometimes flying is cheaper than train or bus travel too. The airline carriers are usually budget and luggage may not be included in the price. Food and drinks will probably cost extra onboard.

If you don’t mind all that it then flying is a fast and cost-effective way to get from one end to the other of the country. Vietjet, Lion Air, Thai Smile, Nok Air, Bangkok Airways, Orient Thai, Thai Airways and Air Asia are all good carriers in Thailand.


Buses are the most common way to travel in Thailand, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single town that isn’t serviced by at least one bus company.

There are two types of bus travel available – typical government buses and tourist buses. Most tourist would mostly only have travelled on tourist buses between major destinations, but the public buses are cheaper and get to more off-the-beaten-path spots.

The tourists options are nice “VIP” buses that offer comfortable seating, a small meal and a (mostly) reliable bus. Of course being a tourist bus means they cost more, and unfortunately there are also some scams out there you need to watch out for, such as paying for a VIP bus and instead being booked on a regular bus.

In order to beat this make sure you book through a legit travel agent, through your hotel (if it’s a decent one) or go directly to the bus station yourself ahead of time.

Unless you are on a tight budget, we recommend booking on the VIP buses where possible.

Something to keep in mind is that just because you’re paying more for a tourist bus, doesn’t mean your valuables will be safe, and unfortunately there is a lot of theft common on these trips.

Don’t put any valuables in your check-in bags (it’s not unheard of to show up at your destination and find all the bags have been completely cleaned out), keep your money locked away in money belts or in zipper pockets, and sleep with your day backpack on your lap and padlock it.

One bus company that gets good reviews in Thailand is Green Bus.


Getting out to the famous Thai islands often means you’ll need to take a boat or a ferry. You can buy your ticket at legit travel agents, or at the boat company’s office at the pier.

The boats aren’t anything fancy, and range from small speed boats to large ferries with open decks and beds for sleeping on the overnight journeys.

You can sit inside or outside, but if you sit outside make sure you wear sunscreen and be prepared to get a bit wet if it’s a speedboat.

Your bags are often stored at the front of the boat, sometimes wrapped in a tarpaulin (but often just piled in the open), and the staff will direct you onto the boat and where to seat.

Lomprayah are a good ferry company, and deserve a mention in our Thailand travel guide.


If you are going a short distance (2-4 hours), there will usually be minivans between towns rather than the big buses. This is a much faster way to get from A to B, as the vans usually don’t have other stops to make along the way.

They are also much faster because the drivers don’t really like to drive slow, so if you suffer from motion sickness sit up the front.

Make sure all your valuables are with you in the van. If the luggage is stored on the roof, have a look to see if they are tied up properly and do not fall off on the trip.


Thailand has a few major cities that are connected via a decent train network, and this is an excellent way to travel around the country.

From Bangkok you can get to destinations like Chiang Mai and Chumphon on an overnight trip, or you can get a train to Ayutthaya which is 50km out of Bangkok.

Train travel is very spacious and the most comfortable way to get around Thailand. There is food sold on the train, but it can be over-priced and stale. Therefore we recommend bringing your own food and drinks on board.

The overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is an experience in itself, with bumpy old tracks and stunning scenery. If you are on a tight time frame, the train is not the best way to travel in Thailand, as they do run late a lot fo the time.

We recommend booking tickets in advance at Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok.


Just like anywhere else in the world, Thailand is full of taxis. And just like anywhere else in the world, these taxi drivers may try and scam you or rip you off. Only difference is it may be even worse in Thailand

If you grab a taxi on the street make sure they use the meter or negotiate a price beforehand. A lot of taxi drivers will claim that the meter isn’t working, and that’s a pretty good indicator that they may try to rip you off. Avoid these drivers unless you can negotiate a good price before you get in.

We use Grab in Thailand, which is like Uber. You know the price and you have the information of the driver and car if needed.

Our little tip with Grab is only pay cash. Do not put your card on file as some drivers are still taking advantage and taking tourist long ways, even the wrong way, and charging them an arm and leg for it.

Track your trip on your map, don’t be scared to speak up if they are taking you the incorrect way or long way, be firm not to pay any more and report them to the company. Most of them are fine, there is just the one or two that are dodgy.

Make sure you have all your belongings on you before exiting the taxi.


Songthaews are red pick-up trucks with benches on the back (songthaew literally means ‘two benches’ in Thai), which you will find all throughout Thailand.

They are shared transport for getting around towns or between villages. You simply flag down a Songthaew when you see one comes, tell the driver your destination, and if the driver is going that way jump on the back.

The cost ranges per distance and you pay when you arrive at your destination.

If the driver says they won’t take you, don’t be offended, as they are probably just not going that way. Just flag down another songthaew and ask them.

To hail a songthaew, stand on the side of the road and with the palm of your hand facing down, waving your arm calmly in an up-and-down motion.

Tuk Tuks

Tuk tuks are a great way to get around the cities, and no trip to Thailand would be complete without taking at least one tuk journey.

Tuk tuks are basically a little bubble trailer attached to the back of a scooter that a couple of people can sit in. These 3-wheeled vehicles go everywhere, and are incredibly popular for locals and tourists alike.

Just like taxis, they may try to rip you off when they can. Have an idea of what trips should be worth by asking a local in your hotel or in a restaurant and try to barter as close as possible to that price



Thailand is a curious nation when it comes to places to stay, because the options here cover just about everything you could ever dream of.

If you’re looking for world-class, high-end, award-winning luxury resorts, you’ll find them in spade around southern Thailand in places like Phuket.

On the flipside if you are travelling through some remote hill tribe villages in the north, don’t be surprised if you end up sleeping on a dirt floor with bugs. It might not be luxurious, but is definitely authentic! It all depends on where you go and your budget.

To book your accommodation in Thailand we recommend using Agoda, and you can use the coupon code “AGODANMD10” to get 10% off your hotels and hostels.



There’s a reason Thai food is one of the most popular foreign cuisines around the world – because it’s absolutely amazing!

Known for being delicious, healthy and cheap, Thai food is quite varied, and you’ll find unique dishes in all the major towns, and a distinct flavour difference from the south to the north.

It can also be quite spicy, so if you’re not into that make sure you learn to say “mai phet” (my pet), which means “no spice”.

Here are some dishes not to miss when you are in Thailand.

  • Som Tom (Spicy green papaya salad)
  • Pad Krapow Moo Saap (Fried basil and pork)
  • Gaeng Keow Wan Kai (Green chicken curry)
  • Kai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with cashew nuts)
  • Khao Soi (Creamy coconut curry noodle soup)
  • Pad Phuk Tong (Stir-fried pumpkin)
  • Pak Boong (Morning glory greens)
  • Panang (Thai curry)
  • Kao Niew Ma Muang (Mango and sticky rice)
  • Pad Thai (Classic fried noodle dish) 


Thailand in general is a very safe country for tourists, but just like everywhere else you need to be street smart.

The most common issues tourists will encounter in Thailand comes in the form of petty theft and robberies, usually in busy markets or out on the streets late at night.

You need to respect and obey the Thai law, including all of those that involve respecting the monarchy. Thailand has experiences with civil unrest and military coups in recent years. Use your head and stay clear of street demonstrations.

Violent crime is very rare in Thailand, but do exercise caution during parties such as full moon parties or dodgy areas in places. In general if you show respect to Thai people, they will show respect to you.

Driving on the roads in Thailand is crazy, so we can’t mention safety without reminding you to be wise on the roads. For bus and minivan transport try and go with tour companies and bus companies that are responsible.

If you rent a motorbike, check it over when you pick it up. Check the brakes, the lights, etc. Most importantly always wear a helmet, shoes, pants and a top.

Don’t be one of those backpackers that rides a scooter wearing their swimwear thinking you’re cool.


If you need to go to hospital in Thailand, don’t panic. The quality of care is very good, and in some hospitals could be even better than what you have back in your home country.

In most situations you’ll be required to pay up front for any care unless you can prove you have travel insurance. That’s one of our Thailand travel tips for you.

Private Hospitals In Thailand

There is a private hospital network that is privately owned, and their prices are a lot more expensive. The doctors and nurses will speak English and the care is very good, but your are paying an arm and a leg for their services.

They will ask for your passport on the way in before they see you. NEVER hand them your passport. If you are insured, call your insurance company and get clearance that they will pay, or you can pay a price upfront to get the services rolling.

If you hand them your passport, they will hold it ransom and start charging you for random services, refusing to return it to youuntil you pay the full amount.

When it comes to money, these private companies are very aggressive. And if they know an insurance company is paying they will give you tests that are not necessary.

This happened to Alesha when she had an intestine infection. We were communicating with our insurance company and told them these tests were not needed.

The insurance company agreed and the clinic got very aggressive and hostile. This was at Siam International Clinic in Koh Lanta.

While we were there we saw them rip off countless backpackers, charging them insane prices for things as basic as paracetamol. The service was great, the facility was spotless, but they were a business first and hospital second, only caring about extracting as much cash as possible.

This isn’t to scare you, and obviously if you’re sick or have an accident go to a hospital immediately. It’s just a warning. We highly recommend you always have travel insurance when travelling in Thailand.

Government Hospitals in Thailand

There are dozens of government-run hospitals all throughout Thailand, and these range from having very high standards to being basic, third-world facilities.

At these hospitals you will be waiting in long queues, and there may be no one that speaks English. If you can go with a local, that would be the best option for communication. You may also need to pay up front before a doctor or nurse will see you.

As a foreigner expect to be charged a higher fee than a Thai person, but these costs will be extremely cheap, especially when compared to the private hospitals. This is because locals pay social security and tax, so a lot of their medical care may be subsidised.

Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism is definitely a big thing for people travelling to Thailand. You can get procedures done for way cheaper than in most western countries, and a lot of these services are extremely high quality.


If you are looking to get cosmetic work done, meet with the clinic, ask all your questions and research the clinic online for reviews before committing to anything.

For dental care, Thailand is an excellent place to go as well. We went to a dental clinic in Chiang Mai called Dental 4 U and we had great experiences with them.

We did our research, talked to expats, and all arrows kept pointing at this dentist. It was a lot cheaper than Australia, very clean, our dentist spoke perfect English, had studied in the US, and explained every little detail to us.



Thailand is for the most part a warm and humid country (the mountains in the north being an exception), so you shouldn’t have any issues packing light.

If you forget to bring something with you to Thailand, don’t stress, because you can buy anything and everything you’d ever need in the country.


  • 4 x sleeved t–shirts
  • 2 x shorts
  • 1 x skirt
  • 1 x leggings
  • 1 x loose pants
  • 1 x cardigan
  • 1 x rain coat
  • 1 x pair slip on shoe
  • 1 x pair of flip flops
  • 1 x pair of sneakers
  • 1 x scarf
  • 1 x hat
  • 2 x bathers
  • 1 x quick dry towel
  • 1 x sarong
  • 1 x sunglasses
  • Underwear
  • Bras
  • Socks
  • Toiletries


  • 2 x t–shirts
  • 2 x singlets
  • 3 x shorts
  • 1 x pants
  • 1 x rain coat
  • 1 x jumper
  • 1 x swim shorts
  • 1 x quick dry towel
  • 1 x pair of flip flops
  • 1 x pair of sneakers
  • 1 x hat
  • 1 x sunglasses
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Toiletries

Miscellaneous Items

  • Roll toilet paper
  • Sunscreen (very expensive in Asian countries)
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Ear plugs
  • Travel electricity adaptor
  • Medication
  • Padlock


Here are some of our best tips to help you travel to Thailand.

  • Be respectful to the locals and other travellers. Respect the culture, whether you are in a temple or out on the streets.
  • Dress appropriately. Because you are in a warm country, doesn’t mean you can wear next to no clothing. Please dress respectfully, especially when you are going inside a temple.
  • Never raise your voice or start a commotion in public. In the Thai culture they do not do this and hate confrontation. Always keep your calm, even if someone is trying to take advantage of you.
  • Be prepared to take off your shoes a lot. Bring slip-ons or sandals. You will be taking your shoes off and on if you are entering a temple, home or some hotels and restaurants.
  • Book tours through respectable travel agents
  • There are two prices at attractions; Local price and foreigner (farang) price. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it. Don’t argue, it will not get you anywhere.
  • Have an idea of prices before you shop, buy a tour, buy a transport ticket or rent a room. Sometimes the prices fluctuate depending on how smart you are. Do your research so you don’t get ripped off.
  • Know the currency exchange rate. This is important when changing money. You want to know you are getting a good price.
  • Try new foods. Thai food is delicious
  • Use your insect repellent, as the sand flies and mosquitoes are terrible
  • Wear a helmet if you rent a scooter
  • Know the scams. Research scams in Thailand so you are prepared and know if someone tries it on you.
  • Do not drink the tap water. Take a metal water bottle and refill it out of big filtered water vendors or reverse osmosis machines.
  • Take advantage of the happy hours. You will see them at bars and cafes during the day. So take note and have a few drinks then.
  • Always look both ways when crossing the road. Sometimes a scooter may be going down the wrong way. Look both ways and be sure before crossing.
  • When renting a scooter, take photos of the bike from all angles and in front of the rental place too. Never leave your passport with them either. Bring a photocopy. There are dodgy companies out there.
  • The girls in the bars may not be ladies. There are many lady-boys in Thailand and you would never even know so just heads up if you are not into that.