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Are you looking for a well balanced Thailand itinerary with a mix of beach, jungle, and city? With these Thailand travel tips, we bring you that and much more. Thailand is a beautiful country and has a lot to offer. Is a great place to see wildlife, vibrant city life and laid down on some unbelievable beaches.

Here we bring you the very best Thailand travel tips you need to make the most of your adventure in Thailand!

For more inspiration check our travel video to Thailand below, which will take you through all the places on this guide.

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When is the best time to visit Thailand?2019-08-27T13:18:05+02:00

The best time to go to Thailand is during the months of November to April. These are the coolest months and rain is less frequent, which is perfect for your Thailand itinerary. The temperature during these months is around 29º which is still hot.

Is it safe to travel in Thailand?2019-08-27T13:19:49+02:00

Thailand is generally a pretty safe country. There are some places in the very south which are not recommended to be visited.  In any case, check here for travel advice about the current safety in Thailand.

How much money do you need per day in Thailand?2019-08-27T14:39:48+02:00

If you stick to budget hotels and street food, you can easily live in Thailand for under $28 per day with all the expenses.

Alternatively, if you stay in hotels and spend more in restaurants expect to pay at least $40 per day.

Essential Thailand Travel Tips

  • Avoid peak seasons on popular spots

  • Get the required vaccinations.

  • Bring a water filtered bottle.

  • Research average price of transports to avoid being scammed.

  • Beware with monkeys! They do not only steal your stuff but can also transmit rabies.

  • Choose your food wisely. Nothing raw or uncooked.

  • Bring sunscreen. You will need it and is one of the few expensive things in Thailand.

  • Avoid mosquito bites with long sleeve clothes and repellents.

  • Download maps.me to know where you are even if you don’t have data.

  • Grab taxi and 12GoAsia might be your best friends to move around.

These Thailand travel tips, are just to give you a quick idea about what to expect and some recommendations. Everything in this list is explained in detail along with this post.

Thailand At a Glance

Weather: Hot and humid for the whole year. During the rainy season, the temperature gets higher and the rain is heavy and unpredictable.

Visa: The visa in Thailand is a visa on arrival, this means that you won't need to apply for the visa in advance. With the Visa on arrival, tourists get one month stay for free. If you are planning to stay longer, then you will need to apply for a visa extension from the Thai Embassy. That will cost 1900 THB and you'll need to provide a passport copy and the departure card that you receive when you enter the country. You can check here if you need a Visa.

Currency: THB

Language: Thai

Safety: Thailand is generally a pretty safe country. There are some places in the very south which are not recommended to be visited.  In any case, check here for travel advice about the current safety in Thailand.

In our case, we explored it over two months being in all around the country and never had an issue.

Also, for the best medical advice is worth to check Fit for Travel website. You should seek medical advice on vaccinations and any other advice a professional can provide you with. As it is a dengue area, we recommend you to have mosquito repellent with a high concentration of DEET.

One of the most important Thailand travel tips is that you should have good travel insurance to have all the travel essentials covered.

What to packThailand is in general quite hot so we recommend you to wear light and breathable clothes. Bear in mind that to enter the temples you must wear appropriate attire to show respect, that is: cover your arms, and your knees. In some of the temples, flip-flops are not allowed.

How to move aroundMoving around Thailand is easy and not expensive at all. 12GoAsia is by far the best platform/app to use when moving around Asia. They offer plenty of trains and buses at a cheap and reasonable price and are really comfy.

If you have the time, we recommend moving around Thailand using buses with 12GoAsia to check availability and prices. It might not be the fastest way to move, but the buses are comfortable and not expensive. What we liked about traveling by bus, apart from saving money, is that buses here are quite comfy. They all have toilets, blankets and they provide you with some snacks. They stop once at midnight at the bus station where there are lots of food to buy. To get to the islands you can also choose between a ferry or plane. One of our top Thailand travel tips is to always check 12GoAsia  before booking a bus or train so you can always check the original price to avoid the scams.
If you are visiting Thailand only for a few days, we recommend you to check the flights as they are faster. In order to get the best prices, it's best to book them in advance as there is high demand. Simply check in Skyscanner since you will be given a comparison through different airlines.

Thailand On a Budget

Thailand travel tips to stay on a budget

How much cost travel to Thailand?

We spent an average of 28$ per day in our Thailand itinerary, all included. We found easy to keep this budget and we could even have done it for less money saving in accommodation by sharing room in hostels, although we did a mix of budget hotels and hostels. If you want to save even more, keep reading some of our Thailand travel tips below which can save you more money.

How is the average price calculated?

It is the total of all our expenses in Thailand divided by 30 days, which is the time we spent there. That is taking into account:

  • What kind of accommodation? We mainly stayed at budget hotels and some hostels spending a minimum of 5$ per person and a maximum of 15 per person in a double room. As you will find out, the price in the islands is slightly higher without meaning more quality.
  • How did you move around? 95% of the time by bus, and a train. Buses in Thailand are great, good price and comfy. We also used tuk-tuk for shorter distances.
  • What kind of food did you eat?  Most of the time we went for local food. And that means mostly street food, which is cheaper and also delicious (most of the time)
  • What do you consider entertainment? Alcohol, tickets for attractions, renting scooters in some places...

Where to Go in Thailand

BANGKOK

he capital city of Thailand Bangkok has gained a well-deserved reputation for offering its visitors all they've ever wanted. Try the exquisite local gastronomy, visit its magnificent temples, don't miss out the opportunity of hanging out in some of the most picturesque places, get lost in the massive shopping malls, experience Bangkok's wild nightlife ... and much much more.

CHIANG MAI

Northern Thailand will surprise you with the greenery scenario surrounded by mountains, where you will be able to meet its vibrant hill tribes, and where you will find some unique temples with years of history and stories to tell. In terms of gastronomy, this place is also famous for its northern Thai recipes that shouldn't be missed out. Chiang Mai has everything you need to make this trip an unforgettable experience.

KHAO SOK

Discover one of the most amazing National Parks in Thailand. Get immersed in the lush nature, spot unique species cohabiting in the freedom of the jungle, live the adventure by taking part in amazing trekkings, kayaking down the river and much more! If you are into adventure, outdoors, and you want to live an unforgettable experience, Khao Sok National Park is the place.

KOH PHI PHI

One of the most developed islands in Thailand and one of the favorite destination for people looking for stunning white sand and turquoise beaches and feeling like letting their hair down at night. Famous for the endless tours going out from this island to hidden spots, and for its the vivid atmosphere all year round, Koh Phi Phi is without any doubt one of the places people visit when backpacking Thailand.

KOH TAO

Are you into diving or thinking about getting a diving qualification? If so, this is the place.  In Koh Tao, prices are generally low compared to any other place due to the high number of diving centers in the island. Thus, most of the people backpacking Thailand will end up here. People come over to see the whale shark and explore the underwater world due to the stunning reefs.

KRABI

Krabi, on southern Thailand’s west coast, is a province characterized by craggy, sheer limestone cliffs, dense mangrove forests, and more than a hundred offshore islands. Railay Beach is its most popular beach destination and is accessible only by boat

If what you are after is to chill at the beach, it is a great choice, although is becoming really popular

Thailand Itinerary

Choosing the right itinerary to travel through Thailand is not easy since there is lots of stuff to do an see in many different areas of the country.

Normally the easiest way to do it is by separating the 3 main areas: North, Central, and South. The time and visits will depend on what you are after:

  • North is great for nature, jungle, trekking, and wildlife
  • Central is great for culture, vibrant city life, history, and temples, having even some beautiful natural parks nearby
  • South is best for beaches. There are so many islands to choose with breathtaking beaches where to spend your day.

In the interest of time, we really recommend not to rush it. If you want to visit all of them you should plan at least a two weeks itinerary. Although we think it is not enough to cover the 3 main areas.

If you happen to have less time, we recommend you to follow our Thailand travel tips to plan your itinerary carefully and stay a minimum of two days at each place considering also the time you will have to spend traveling.

We spent more than a month in Thailand (in 2 different times), and we don’t think it was enough to visit all these places properly but we know vacations are limited!

If you have little time, one of our top Thailand travel tips would be to use the plane to cover long distances to save you extra time.

You can take a look in detail in this infographic with our suggested Thailand itinerary.

Thailand itinerary map

Things to do in Thailand

When it comes to options about things to do in Thailand the offer is massive!

Ayutthaya temple in Thailand

Go Temple Hopping: Temples not only represent a touristic attraction but also an important part of local people lives. There is not a complete Thailand itinerary if you miss the temples. The best time to visit them is early in the morning when the temperatures are still bearable. Dress properly when visiting the temples, covering your shoulders and your knee.s You might need to wear closed shoes as well, in some of them. Wat Arun also was known as the temple of Dawn as it offers a perfect picture at sunset from the other shore of the river. The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew was also known as Temple of Emerald Buddha Wat Pho and the Golden Temple are some of the must visit in the city.

Find out what nightlife at Khao San Road looks like. One of the most emblematic places in Bangkok for its vivid atmosphere. Khao San Road is famous for its wild nightlife. Every day of the week, when the sun is gone and the darkness embraces Bangkok, the music begins and the streets display colorful lights all around.  Khao San Road is a place full of life, pubs and loud music flows down the road...Even if you are not into nightlife, you can still enjoy cheap street food, try the insects (only tourists do it, but it’s okay) and feel the vibe.

Visit Chinatown. One of the most crowded and unchanged districts, where there is always something going on. It is not just a touristic attraction but also, the place where local people shop and find bargains in the Chinese market. There you will find all kind of shops, mostly Chinese, with all you can imagine. Food is also one of the main reasons people visit Chinatown.

Get lost at Chatuchak market. One of the biggest markets in Asia. Chatuchak is a great place to hang out during the weekends to do some shopping and mingle with friends. It is like a maze divided into sections, from handbags to the weird pet section. It also includes a huge food court with many different dishes.

Go for a walk at Lumpini Park. A green space in the middle of the city jungle, Lumpini Park is the perfect place to go for a run or simply walking around. You can also rent a swan-shaped pedal board in the lake or suddenly bump into a curious lizard. There is a gym area where people go to exercise.

Day trip to Ayutthaya. Take a day trip to visit the temples of the ancient capital of Siam. Ayutthaya is only 80km north from Bangkok so you visit it on the same day and then go back to Bangkok. Remember the dress code is the same as for the rest of the temples, cover your shoulders and your knees. The best way to visit the different temples is by renting a bike or hiring a tuk-tuk for the day.

Delight yourself with some street food.  One of the highlights of this country is without any doubt, its mouth-watering gastronomy. You can find a delicious bite in almost every corner in Bangkok. Try the most traditional dishes cooked at the moment. The best way to see what they offer if you are not sure is by checking all the ingredients and how they cook it, as the names are normally in Thai. To be honest, even if you don't know what you are eating exactly, it will be delicious anyway.

Explore the canals. Bangkok has been named after the Venice of the East. Back in the years, there used to be more canals than now, but there are still some of them. Get on a boat and find out some of the traditional houses and remains of the old Bangkok. Moving around by boat will give a different sight of a most authentic Bangkok. It depends on how you do it, if you take the boat for a short ride then it is around 11 TBH.

Shopping at Terminal 21: If you are looking for a different shopping mall this is the place. Each floor is decorated as one emblematic city, from Tokyo to Istanbul, to Rome, to Paris, to San Francisco. Walk around the most famous streets in London. Shop the most original clothes designs in the streets of Tokyo... Get a bite in San Franciso. This shopping mall is not particularly cheap, and might not be on the mind of a backpacker, but there are sales during the year. Apart from the different shopping options, there is a big food court where you can eat for around 30 THB for each dish, and also you can go to the cinema.

Get to the hights of this city by visiting a rooftop. Get a view of the city Skyline from one of the most emblematic rooftops in Bangkok.

Watch Muay Thai combat. The national sport of Thailand brings visitors from all around the world. One of the best places to enjoy some combats is at GMM Grammy Studio. It takes place every Friday at around 9 pm. The entrance is Free.

Wander around the Night market: One of our favorite night markets is Ratchada Rot Fai Night Market. Try to put this one in your Thailand itinerary. This train market offers a wide range of food possibilities, being seafood one of the highlights but not what we liked the most. There is also an area with the trendiest pubs where people hang out after dinner to grab a drink. It has easy access by MRT, only 7 min walking from the Thai Cultural Centre Station, just behind the Parade mall.

Take a cooking class. One of the most unique experiences is to learn how to cook Thai food. We learned some traditional Thai recipes using all fresh ingredients cooked in a traditional way. It was delicious.

Live an unforgettable experience at the Elephant Sanctuary. We had the chance to meet one rescued elephant. We cooked for him, we fed him and then we washed him. It was an unforgettable experience, being with such an awesome animal.

Enjoy an Overnight at Cheow Lan Lake. Stay overnight at one of the most stunning places in Thailand. You will be sleeping in huts in the middle of the lake, swimming, and kayaking and also you will be taken on a night safari to watch some local species. This was one of the highlights in our Thailand itinerary

Book a Night Safari. At night you will be taken to taken to the jungle to discover some wild species that live there. You will be provided with torches and an expert guide. We really liked it and we got to see many different animals.

Trekk in the immense jungle. If you go with a local guide (the ones hired by the National Park) it won’t be just a jungle trek, it will become much more interesting. There you can spot lizards, snakes, monkeys, spiders, sloths... Keep your eyes wide open if you want to see these amazing creatures in their habitat.

Tube down the river. We had so much fun doing this one, we were a group of 4. We were supposed to only try the tubes around the accommodation but we got overexcited and kept going down for hours. We went through small waterfalls, spotted some monkeys on the way and found ourselves in the peace of nature.

Take a kayak. We went to a different part of the park and got a kayak for 2 people and one local person paddling. It was so relaxing and beautiful at the same time, going down the river, through the immense lush, spotting lots of birds, snakes, lizards...

Chill out at the stunning beaches. Lay down on the beach, sunbathe, walk along the sea, snorkel in the turquoise waters to spot some rare fish species... our recommendation is to find your spot at Long Beach, for us one of the most beautiful parts of Koh Phi Phi.

Take a tour to amazing spots. You might not know this but nearby Koh Phi Phi you can find some hidden gems that have been served as scenarios in some Hollywood films. Have the opportunity to find yourself in the middle of this paradises by booking one of these tours. They normally take you to 6 different locations, however, if you want something more personalized you can also book a taxi boat and create your own route. Many people create their special Thailand itinerary by booking some of this private tours. If you do have the money, it can be pretty awesome

Swim with black tip shark. This is a unique experience to live on the island, swimming with these amazing animals. It is worth to mention that you won't have 100% chance to see them as it depends on the time on the day also. Bear in mind that these are wild animals and you are just a stranger for them. Don't chase them, don't try to touch them, don't make noise and be sensible and respectful if you don't want to have a really bad experience.

Get your PADI certification. Koh Tao is commonly famous for offering visitors endless diving and snorkelling opportunities. There are many diving centers where you can take courses from beginner level to more advanced qualifications. Koh Tao is one of the diving hot spots due to the fauna and flora living underwater where some rare sea species can be spotted and also. Also is one of the cheapest places in the world where to do it!

Rent a scooter and explore the island. This island has way too many little corners which really worth your time. Yes, Sairee is a nice beach and is great to spend the day. But with a scooter, you can really go to even more stunning places and all by yourself

Do trekking through the jungle. Not many people know about this, but trekking in Koh Tao is really rewarding. The reason is that they are not really tough, the jungle is still amazing, and most likely you will have a beach really close to cool down straight after. DO NOT FORGET MOSQUITO REPELLENT IF YOU ARE DOING THIS THOUGH!

Take a cooking class. One of the most unique experiences is to learn how to cook Thai food. We learned some traditional Thai recipes using all fresh ingredients cooked in a traditional way. It was delicious.

Live an unforgettable experience at the Elephant Sanctuary. We had the chance to meet one rescued elephant. We cooked for him, we fed him and then we washed him. It was an unforgettable experience, being with such an awesome animal.

Overnight at Cheow Lan Lake. Stay overnight at one of the most stunning places in Thailand. You will be sleeping in huts in the middle of the lake, swimming, and kayaking and also you will be taken on a night safari to watch some local species. This was one of the highlights in our Thailand itinerary

Book a Night Safari. At night you will be taken to taken to the jungle to discover some wild species that live there. You will be provided with torches and an expert guide. We really liked it and we got to see many different animals.

Trekk in the immense jungle. If you go with a local guide (the ones hired by the National Park) it won’t be just a jungle trek, it will become much more interesting. There you can spot lizards, snakes, monkeys, spiders, sloths… Keep your eyes wide open if you want to see these amazing creatures in their habitat.

Tube down the river. We had so much fun doing this one, we were a group of 4. We were supposed to only try the tubes around the accommodation but we got overexcited and kept going down for hours. We went through small waterfalls, spotted some monkeys on the way and found ourselves in the peace of nature.

Take a kayak. We went to a different part of the park and got a kayak for 2 people and one local person paddling. It was so relaxing and beautiful at the same time, going down the river, through the immense lush, spotting lots of birds, snakes, lizards…

Explore and chill in Railay Beaches & Caves. Although this area can get crowded, the beauty of Railay it well worth a visit!

Rent a Kayak. One of the best option to escape crowds and find good spots for a snorkel is just to rent your own kayak to explore the area.

Visit Wat Tham Sua temple. If you like views and you are up for a bit of hiking, this temple is different and it offers really stunning views!

Wander around Krabi Night Market. This place is awesome. Is a big market where you can find any kind of local food you can think about at a good price, plus it is really lively

You might want to check:

If you are planning on going on high season, you should definitively check Get Your Guide for a complete list with top things to do in every stop of your Thailand itinerary. The advantage of doing it is that you can book any tour in advance. If you have limited time, it might be a good idea to take a look, at least to have an idea of the options.

Where to Stay in Thailand

Room in Khao Sok National Park

Thailand has a wide offer of accommodation,  depending on your budget.

From our experience, the average budget accommodation works great in terms of comfort and price. However, and it happens everywhere, the price in the islands is always higher than in the mainland, but you can still find amazing deals if you know where to look.

We have been in places for around 5$ each in a private room(10$ in total for both of us). And the highest price we paid was 28$ per night in a private room.

Where to stay in Bangkok

There are lots of accommodation in Bangkok from budget to luxury. Here you will find the Top 9 Places to stay in Bangkok. We recommend Chen Hotel for its value for money.  The location is great, only 15 minutes walk to Khao San Road, and the rooms are big and clean.  The staff is really welcoming, with good command of English and plenty of recommendations on what to do in Bangkok. You can also order breakfast in the morning.

Where to stay in Chiang Mai

Where to stay in Chiang Mai:  We stayed at Punhug Hostel, in a double room for 800 THB. We would recommend this place as the double room was big, clean and very comfortable. Location wise is not in the center but you can rent a motorbike at the hostel to move around as you'll probably need it anyway.

Where to stay in Khao Sok National Park

We stayed at both Riverside Cottages and Riverfront. They both have beautiful spacious cottages in the middle of nature and incredible food. They also organize activities, for instance, Night Safari, Cooking Class, Visit the Elephant Sanctuary,  Jungle Trekking, Kayaking down the river and more.

Where to stay in Koh Phi Phi

Where to stay in Koh Phi Phi: We stayed at Tee Guesthouse.  Quite a basic place, breakfast was not available but it was the cheapest by the time we booked it. We personally wouldn't go back to this one, unfortunately.