Getting there and getting around
Be it regular return flights, one-way tickets or student tickets that you’re after, check out some of our recommended operators and airlines to grab the best deal.
Once there, flexible hop-on hop-off bus passes are a great way to see Thailand on a budget plus you’ll meet loads of like-minded travellers en route. Check out STA’s guided or independent passes with lots of local experiences and homestays to immerse yourself in the real Thailand as you travel around this amazing country.
Thailand’s capital is a mesmerising clash of old and new, from its ancient temples, street markets and canals to stylish bars and restaurants, shopping malls and Skytrain. The city pulsates with energy. Discover all the best bits and ensure you make the most of your visit here.
The unofficial capital of the north is another vibrant city located on the banks of the Ping River in the foothills of some of the highest mountains in Thailand. There’s plenty to see and do in this enchanting city and the area surrounding it, from trekking to sightseeing. Find out more here.
With literally hundreds of islands to explore, it’s a tough choice picking the ones that will suit you best – check out our pick of where to go link to Island hopping blog – to come once live. If it’s parties you’re looking for, don’t miss Ko Pha Ngan for its Full Moon parties, or if you want to escape the crowds, hop on over to Ko Yao Yai.
Star Clippers operates three of the largest full-rigged sailing ships in the world. Its round-trip cruise from Phuket visits Penang, Malaysia, before heading to some of Thailand’s most beautiful islands. Stroll along the pristine beaches of Ko Rok Nok, admire the spectacular limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay and visit the idyllic Similan archipelago, considered one of the best diving locations in the world.
Hike through the stunning Doi Inthanon National Park, climb to the summit of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain, or discover beautiful waterfalls, jungles, elephants in their natural environment and hilltop tribes on one of this amazing countries many hiking trails. Discover more about the best routes and the best prices with Elephant Hills, Intrepid Travels and STA.
Thailand is a brilliant dive destination for beginners and Ko Tao or Ko Phi Phi have plenty of easy-to-access dive sites and numerous diving schools. If you’re more adventurous and experienced, The Similan Islands are home to some of Thailand’s most famous and iconic dive sites and Ko Lanta has some of Thailand’s deepest dive sites, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. We can recommend Dive Worldwide, which offers liveaboard holidays in Thailand, covering all of the best dive sites when you’re ready to take the plunge.
Work while you’re there
If you’ve got a little more time on your hands, there are some great volunteering opportunities in Thailand too, including working with elephants and teaching. STA offers its customers a huge range of volunteering projects to get involved with, from working with elephants in Chiang Mai and Surin to teaching in Surin or taking part in a conservation project to help preserve the marine environment with the Thailand Coastal Conservation Expedition. It also offers Voluntours, which are a mix of touring and volunteering, offering the opportunity to travel around the destination to see some of the highlights and take part in some volunteering projects for a few days along the way such as working with elephants or helping communities in hill tribe villages.
Explore a bit further
For an ideal introduction to Asia, spanning two countries and with plenty of fun, adventure and sightseeing, the TruTravels: 16-Day Thai-Khmer Explorer tour starts in Bangkok and covers the best bits of Cambodia along with Thailand’s gems. TruTravels tours take all the hassle out of travelling to new places but at the same time create spontaneous group travel experiences and prepare travellers for their own solo journeys into the unknown.
When to go
Thailand is hot all year round but it does have a rainy season – between May and October, but don’t let this put you off. The downpours are usually short and sharp and it creates some pretty spectacular scenery during this time, with stunning waterfalls and lush green landscapes – plus you’ll bag yourself some great deals on accommodation and flights if you go during off-peak times.
Raring to go? Before you travel make a note of our top Thailand tips to make sure you know how to make the most of your holiday:
- Learn a few Thai phrases
- Cash is the preferred currency and ATMs are widespread – most allow you 20,000 baht at
a time – equivalent to around £360
- If there is no obvious price, bargaining is acceptable. Don’t start bargaining if you’re not
interested in buying though
- Tipping is not standard but it is common to offer change from a restaurant bill or taxi
- Never disrespect the royal family
- Wear clothing to cover your knees and elbows in temples and always remove your shoes
If you’re planning an adventure in Thailand or have already had one, we’d love to hear all about it, so don’t forget to share all your pictures and travel stories with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.