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How to Plan Your Trip to Thailand

There is a reason why everyone has been talking about Thailand. The news about this up and coming tourist destination is out, and now more and more people are visiting. Even though for most people a trip to Thailand sounds complicated and expensive, it is actually a lot easier than most people think.

In this article, we will explain the ins and outs of planning a trip to Thailand, including why you should go, what to know before planning, where to go, where to stay, safety, and much more.

Why should you visit Thailand

With all the incredible options for travel destinations, it can feel impossible to choose the best one for your upcoming journey. However, in our experience, Thailand has that "it" factor that keeps travelers wanting to come back. Many people who visit Thailand describe their trip as relaxing, enjoyable, and meaningful.

In our experience, there are four main factors that create an incredible experience when visiting Thailand, and these include the vibrant culture, their ancient religion, the beautiful natural surroundings, and a multitude of volunteer opportunities.

Thai Culture

Thailand is also called the "Land of Smiles" due to the incredibly welcoming culture of the country. There's no better place to be than Thailand if you want to experience a rich and positive culture, where the people love to smile and chat.

While you get to know Thai culture, you can also gorge yourself on some of that world-famous Thai cuisine. Thailand offers a wide range of flavorful food, from traditional to fusion to western. There are plenty of options for everyone, and all of it is excellent.

When people think of Thai food, some dread the spiciness and others can't wait to eat the hottest food they can find. If you don't like spicy food, don't worry. Most Thai restaurants will make the food less spicy for foreigners or even allow you to add your own spice.

Religion

Thailand is a Buddhist country, and religion is a very important part of their culture. While in Thailand, travelers can visit stunning temples, watch people worship and give alms, or even have conversations with monks.

Don't expect all the monks to be like the western depictions, because just like us, they were born in the modern age. Some even have smartphones and nice cars!

Nature

Who could say no to trekking through the jungle, relaxing on a perfect beach, or spending the whole day interacting with elephants? One of Thailand's main draws is the incredible opportunities the country offers for travelers to interact with and take in this country's animals, scenery, and jungles.

Ease of Travel

You don't have to learn Thai to visit Thailand, as most of the local people know at least a little English and are more than willing to help people who visit their country. If you can learn Thai, it's a great way to connect with the locals but you don't have to.

Another reason to visit Thailand is the ease of transportation. As tourism in the country grows, transportation options become more and more convenient and cheap.

Learn more about it on Top Reasons to Visit Thailand.

Best time to visit Thailand

The peak tourism season in Thailand is typically from September to March because these are the driest months for the majority of the country. During this time, the weather is beautiful and brings out the best in the national parks and forests. Peak season is also a great time to visit some of the country's famous beaches.

From April to September, Thailand dives into hotter and wetter weather. This can make a cheaper trip, but if you want to travel at this time it is best to make your trip longer, so that a few days of rain won't ruin any special destinations.

Typhoons normally hit Thailand from July to October and sometimes make the beaches such as Phuket unenjoyable. Find more details on Best Time to Visit Thailand.

How much it costs for a typical Thailand trip

The airfare is typically the largest cost for Thailand's visitors. Many large cities, such as Los Angeles or New York, have direct flights to Bangkok for decent prices. It sometimes is a lot cheaper to book your flight to Thailand from a major city and book your domestic travel through a different budget airline.

The cost of traveling in Thailand entirely depends on the traveler. If you are ready to travel cheap, eat cheap, and live in hostels, then you can have a trip that costs around the same as an inexpensive trip to California or Hawaii.

There are also plenty of hotels, restaurants, and transportation methods for people who want a more luxurious stay. Beach hotel prices range from USD 20 a night at a hostel to USD 300 in a luxury hotel. The choice is yours! We suggest trying somewhere in between the two extremes.

How long for and where to go 

For first-timers, 11 to 13 days is good enough for tasting Thailand’s essence.Take the modern capital Bangkok as the starting and end-point of your trip, spend 4 or 5 days in northern Thailand, to get closer to the elephants in Chiang Mai and walk around historical Chiang Rai. Save at least 4 days to unwind on the southern beaches.

For travelers planning to stay longer, side trips from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya are worthwhile. Or take a chance to visit Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos while you are in Thailand.

Bangkok

A sprawling and international city, Bangkok is not only the capital of the country but also the perfect place to start exploring. With great sites to visit like the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the many busy markets, the historic Chao Phraya River, and the bustling streets full of food, there is plenty to do and see in this city.

Khao Yi National Park

Located just outside of Bangkok, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the largest national parks in Thailand. Khao Yi Park is famous for its biodiversity, and visitors get the chance to see elephants, bears, leopards, and hundreds of migratory birds.

Overnight treks through the park are also available.

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is home to some of the most picturesque and famous temples in Thailand. Visitors to Chiang Rai will be blown away by the Wat Phra Temple and the King Mengrai Monument.

If temples aren’t your thing, there are still plenty of reasons to go to Chiang Rai, including the authentic local markets and getting a look at the Golden Triangle which is where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos all meet.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a tourist-centric town with a lot the offer. It is much smaller than Bangkok and easy to explore. You can see some of the famous markets, including the Wararot Market and Ton Lam Yai Flower Market. It’s also the perfect city to get cheap massages or to volunteer at an ethical elephant sanctuary.

Phuket

One of the most well-known islands in Thailand, Phuket, is full of picturesque beaches and surrounded by clear waters. It has a pretty well-developed tourism industry, so traveling is easy and there are plenty of accommodation options, from backpacker’s hostels to luxury resorts.

If you are looking to relax on the beach or get a tan, then Phuket is a great place to go.

Getting in and out from Bangkok

Bangkok is the best city to fly to in Thailand because it has many direct flights to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. If you are flying from the U.S., Canada, or South America, then you may have a layover in other Asian cities like Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore.

Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore airports are very international with many options for food and English-speaking staff.

Continue to read on How to Get to Bangkok.

Will you need a visa for Thailand

All nationalities can receive a visa-on-arrival, with the cost ranging from USD$ 30 to USD$ 50, for a single entry, staying up to 30 days. For more details, check this out: How to Apply for a Thai Visa.

Where to stay

We recommend international hotel chains and luxury hotels in Thailand as the best and safest options for our travelers. These hotels offer comfort, quality service, good advice, and security to all international visitors.

Staying there, you can be sure that your rooms are clean and that the food won't make you ill.

Safety and Health

Thailand is a very safe country, and visitors typically don't have to worry about anything worse than petty crime or paying too much for souvenirs. Tourism is a very important industry in Thailand, and most Thai people will be very welcoming and going out of their way to help out.

That being said, here are a few things for you to be aware about Safety and Health in Thailand.

Vaccines

There are no vaccinations that are required for people visiting Thailand, but it is recommended that you get the general vaccinations for everyone visiting Southeast Asia.

If you can, get Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and tetanus before you arrive. You can also ask your doctor about their opinion on the vaccinations and medications you may need.

Unless you will be spending an extended period of time in the jungles, there is a relatively low risk of getting malaria in Thailand. However, it is possible to get dengue fever, so you should try to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. It is a good idea to bring your own bug spray.

The Zika virus is not a threat in Thailand.

Traffic

Like many Southeast Asian countries, traffic patterns in Thailand are very different from many countries in the West. It is a good idea to be very careful when crossing the street and always to watch out for small motorcycles weaving through traffic.

You're in Good Hands with Asia Highlights

At Asia Highlights we have lots of experience with creating the perfect trip for any traveler. We understand what makes traveling special and are dedicated to providing a unique and special experience. To find out more, please send us a message.

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