The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need


Where to remain | Weather Seasons | Accommodation | Pre-Holiday To-Do List | Summary

Planning a visit to Thailand could make your head spin.

Where must you go to, what must you pack, do you want a Visa?

The questions may be infinite.

I’ve helped quite a few individuals over time plan their journeys to Thailand; each shut family and friends, and pals of labor associates who’ve contacted me for recommendation.

In this publish, I’ll reveal the identical suggestions I give them, and provide help to plan the vacation of a lifetime.

This publish may even provide help to in the event you’re planning a household journey to Thailand, a transfer to Thailand, both for a job, educating, or simply an prolonged keep.


Koh Samui

Where to Stay in Thailand

If you are visiting Thailand for 2 or three weeks, then you definately’re in all probability torn over which components of the nation to go to.

There are so many islands to think about, and so many areas of the nation that boast lovely surroundings and attention-grabbing tradition.

The secret is to strike a steadiness between not staying in a single place too lengthy and never visiting locations too rapidly – in any other case you aren’t getting to actually discover and admire them.

My common recommendation  for a vacation can be to go to three areas of the nation:


Some would possibly say you must keep away from Bangkok as a result of it is actually busy, scorching, and would not have a seashore.

In my opinion, if you are going to go to Thailand, then you must expertise Bangkok.

It’s really a very good place to reach and spend a couple of days.

Because in the event you’ve had an extended haul flight, then you’ll most definitely be touchdown in Bangkok, so you’ll be able to catch a taxi to your resort and get some relaxation, quite than ready round for a connecting flight.

Moreover, in the event you’re flying throughout a few time zones, then you can be jet-lagged.

I’d quite recover from my jet lag in Bangkok and be absolutely refreshed for visiting the seashores and islands, than sleeping half the day away at a good looking seashore location.

So two or three nights in Bangkok is good.


Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok.

If you arrive within the afternoon on the primary day, then you’ll be able to hang around on the resort, perhaps go to a market and seize one thing to eat, after which get some sleep.

You’re in all probability going to sleep in late, or get up early the subsequent day after which need to sleep once more within the afternoon to recover from your jet lag.

You’ll then have another full day the place you are feeling extra energetic and might go to the Grand Palace, perhaps a floating market, and do a little bit of buying.

Another possibility is to spend a few days in Bangkok whenever you arrive, after which come again to Bangkok for a day earlier than you allow.

The reasoning behind that is that you just would possibly need to do some buying earlier than you go house, however you may not need to try this buying whenever you arrive as a result of you would need to carry the stuff round with you for the remainder of your vacation.

This actually depends upon how a lot buying you intend on taking house.

If you’ve got extra time in your palms in Bangkok, take a look at my listing of issues to do within the Big Mango.


At the Grand Palace, Bangkok

Staying on Thailand’s Islands

It goes with out saying that the Southern islands have the perfect seashores.

There are some good seashores that you could get to in a few hours from Bangkok, corresponding to on Koh Larn and Koh Samet.

However,  in the event you select to go to Phuket or Koh Samui, from that base it is possible for you to to go to numerous different islands too.

You even have a wide variety of seashores on these islands.


The Phi Phi Islands are an island group in Thailand, between the massive island of Phuket and the Straits of Malacca coast of Thailand.

Yes, these are the extra business islands, and whereas there are extra intimate and fewer touristy islands, just about the entire finest seashore areas have plenty of customer site visitors in excessive season.

Furthermore, the extra distant islands aren’t all the time that sensible for households, and a few lack good lodging and issues to do, notably for teenagers.

If you come for a second or third vacation, then you definately would possibly need to discover a number of the much less in style however extra lovely islands.

But if that is your first and probably your solely journey, then I like to recommend going to Phuket or Koh Samui, and from these islands taking boat journeys to see different lovely islands and seashores.


Located a brief drive from Choeng Mon Beach in Koh Samui, Samujana boast luxurious villas.

The North (Chiang Mai)

You would possibly select to easily keep down south and benefit from the seashores, and I would not blame you. I’d fortunately sit on a deckchair for your entire vacation, to’ing and fro’ing from the therapeutic massage spot, gymnasium, and bar.

But if you need a deeper perception to the nation and to see one other aspect to Thailand, then the North is an efficient place to go to.

Chang Mai particularly could be very in style, Westerner-friendly metropolis – surrounded by lovely nature.

You can base your self in Chang Mai for a couple of days and go off for journeys to Doi Intanon National Park, Doi Suthep Temple, the Elephant Nature Park,  and benefit from the good meals and evening markets of the North.

Again, like Bangkok, a couple of nights right here shall be ample.


Doi Inthanon, in Chiang Mai, is the very best mountain in Thailand.

Got an Extra Few Days?

If you end up again in Bangkok and you have got an additional few days to spare, then you definately would possibly go to Koh Samet for a few nights,  which is three hours from Bangkok and a 30-minute ferry.

Samet just isn’t removed from the aptly named Sin City of Pattaya. Indeed, if you’re a single man or with a bunch of pals, you would possibly wish to see the intense lights of Pattaya,  which is a seashore resort too, and solely a few hours drive from Bangkok.

Probably not the neatest concept to take your spouse or girlfriend there. Unless they don’t seem to be bothered by go-go bars and hookers.

Visiting, in Summary

Those who’ve lived in Thailand for some time, or visited on vacation numerous instances, could poo-poo my ideas and provide you with suggestions of locations to go which can be off the overwhelmed observe.

But that is as a result of the extra time you spend in Thailand the extra you need to get away from the touristy areas and discover extra remoted locations.

But typically, for a primary vacation, you need to be within the thick of it and see the primary sights of the issues different individuals have seen.

You need quick access and loads of choices. Trust me, I’ve been there, finished it, and worn the t-shirt.

That being stated, if you’re touring for 3 months or extra and spending a month in Thailand, then you’ll be able to go to these in style hotspots after which go off and go to some extra distant locations like these. 


Khao Sok is located on the mainland between Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui.

When to Visit Thailand – Weather

The climate in Thailand does fluctuate by area at totally different instances of the 12 months.

Generally talking, you’ll be able to comply with this information:

  • Dry Season: March-May
  • Rainy Season: May-October
  • Cool Season: November-February

For a spot by place breakdown, take a look at my intensive climate information. 

Accommodation for Different Budgets

Depending on whether or not you are a solo backpacker or a household of Four on the vacation of a lifetime, lodging necessities fluctuate for various kinds of traveler.

Luckily, Thailand typically has one thing for everybody in all corners of the nation.

From bundle holidays to hostels and mid-range lodges, take a look at my reserving suggestions right here.

Also contemplate that in the event you aren’t too fussed about plush lodging, you’ll be able to rock up and guide in at what’s out there.

During excessive season you will not have the ability to be too choosy, because the nicer rooms and bungalows get booked up prematurely.

But let me simply say that I’ve by no means not been in a position to get a room someplace in any of Asia.

And you are planning on catching a prepare or a bus, take a look at 12GO right here.

Pre-Holiday To-Do List

1. Visa

The giant majority of nations are topic to a visa exemption. This signifies that when their residents enter Thailand they get a stamp that allows a keep of 30 days.

If you’re coming in direction of the tip of your journey and also you assume you would possibly need to keep longer, you’ll be able to go to an immigration workplace and lengthen this keep by one other 30 days for 1,900 Baht.

However,  within the curiosity of excellent planning, in the event you assume that extending your keep is an efficient risk, you must contemplate getting a single entry vacationer visa, which provides you a 60-day keep within the nation.

A a number of entry vacationer visa  is a six month visa, however you’ll be able to solely keep for 60 days at a time. You then have to go away the nation and are available again into activate an additional 60 days.

Again, the a number of entry possibility may be prolonged for 30 days by going to immigration and paying the aforementioned charge.

Generally talking, these coming for a two or three week vacation will not want to fret a few visa.

2. Travel Insurance

It goes with out saying that you will want journey insurance coverage.

Not solely does journey insurance coverage protects you towards hospital payments in the event you fall sick or have an accident, however some insurance policies may even cowl you towards cancellation of your flights or misplaced baggage and stolen items.

Travel insurance coverage is a type of issues that many individuals neglect to do within the midst of all the thrill of planning.

So I counsel that is one thing that you just do early on in your journey planning course of to just remember to are coated from the second you allow your own home.

I do not need to make you concern happening vacation, however on the finish of the day it offers you peace of thoughts.

See my journey insurance coverage suggestions right here.

3. Suitable Backpack/Holdall

Another factor that folks usually do not contemplate till the final minute, primarily as a result of they’ve an outdated suitcase or holdall within the attic that  they all the time use, is appropriate baggage.

Consider what kind of vacation you’re taking:

  • Are you going to be touring on trains and buses?
  • Are you going to be trekking or diving?
  • Or are you going to be staying in luxurious lodges and taking  non-public automobiles in every single place and having somebody to carry your again?

You will not desire a large clunky suitcase if you’re  taking an in a single day prepare from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

And if you’re going trekking , then you might want to think about a second bag along with your most important backpack; one that’s removable and may be taken along with your necessities on the trek.

In truth, a second, smaller backpack is advisable for everybody visiting Thailand.

You will want one thing sensible to hold round with you in the course of the daytime.

Although, when out buying and in crowds you must put on backpacks in your entrance so that you could’t be pick-pocketed, notably in Bangkok.

I’m not making an attempt to scare you right here, the identical goes for any main metropolis you’re visiting, together with my hometown, London.

4. Mosquito Spray

You can discover mosquito spray in Thailand at just about each comfort retailer, and is more likely to be cheaper than in your house nation.

However, when you have delicate pores and skin, you might need to search for a better high quality model in your house nation earlier than you allow.

Your mosquito spray ought to include DEET.

Note that the upper proportion of DEET doesn’t characterize how efficient it’s however how lengthy it lasts:

Products containing decrease concentrations of DEET are as efficient as these with increased concentrations, however for shorter durations of time. On common, merchandise containing 100% DEET shall be efficient for 9.5 hours, 30% DEET for six.5 hours, 15% DEET for five hours, 10% DEET for Three hours and 5% DEET for two hours (supply)

5. Vaccinations

There perhaps some vaccinations so that you can contemplate earlier than you go to Thailand.

These can often be finished by your common Doctor, and even at some pharmacies. There’s a full listing right here.

6. Changing Money

People usually change up plenty of cash earlier than they go on vacation, pondering that they may run out rapidly, however this isn’t a clever factor to do.

It is not a good suggestion to journey with a great deal of cash on you, simply in case you lose it.

Moreover, I often get a greater change price once I arrive in Bangkok than I do again house, anyway.  You will discover numerous exhange locations in central Bangkok.

If you need to do it on the airport, do not do it on the change sales space contained in the arrivals space, do it whenever you come out into the primary lobby, as you are inclined to get higher price there.

You would possibly select to vary as much as $300 earlier than you allow, relying on how many individuals are touring.

That being stated, it’s costly to withdraw cash in Thailand- since you get charged for the native withdrawal and charged by your financial institution again house for the worldwide withdrawal.

This may find yourself costing you $5-6 {dollars} per withdrawal.

That stated, this is not actually an enormous deal in the event you solely make three withdrawals throughout the entire vacation.

Note that money machines are typically restricted to a withdrawal quantity of 20,000 Baht per time.

If you do need to keep away from charges, then contemplate discovering a credit score or debit card supplier that does not cost for worldwide transactions,  and/or has low charges on withdrawals.

You may also need to contemplate one thing just like the Revolut Card.

This is a multi-currency pay as you go card, which lets you pre-load cash and spend overseas.

One I might  suggest is making a plan earlier than you allow, detailing how a lot cash you intend to soak up money, each cash became Thai Baht and cash in your native foreign money to vary up in Thailand.

And then contemplate an economical technique for withdrawing cash and spending cash in your playing cards.

7. Health Insurance

If you’ve got journey insurance coverage then you definately aren’t more likely to want this, however for these with particular situations, or who need particular further cowl – maybe for an prolonged interval, medical health insurance could also be a requirement.

Cigna is a good and dependable well being insurer for these dwelling and touring in Thailand.

You can get a quote utilizing their 2-minute quote web page by clicking right here. 

Streaming & Secure Internet Browsing

If you need to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney + on vacation, you’ll need to bypass GEO restrictions to look at a number of the content material.

You can do that with a VPN. A VPN can be a good suggestion when utilizing WIFI in airports and cafes, notably if you will be logging onto private banking or accessing different delicate data out of your laptop computer, cellphone or pill.

I’ve a publish with extra particulars on this. Read the VPN publish right here. 

Planning Your Trip, In Summary

Bookmark this information, or print it out and make planning your journey to Thailand straightforward.

If you comply with alongside section-by-section and tick issues off as you go, you will have all of the vital bases coated.

Here’s an outline of what we have coated on this information:

  • Decide the place to remain: Bangkok, Islands, Chiang Mai (North) and locations to go to
  • Check the climate earlier than deciding in your journey dates
  • Research lodging, primarily based in your price range
  • Do you want a visa?
  • Get journey insurance coverage
  • Get an acceptable backpack/holdall
  • Get mosquito spray
  • Get vaccinations
  • Change cash
  • Consider medical health insurance
  • Get a VPN to bypass GEO restrictions on Netflix, and protected looking

Proper planning makes for a profitable end result, or not less than so my mom stated.

Have a fantastic journey!

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