PLEASE NOTE: The information here is updated regularly but with the COVID-19 situation as it is please ensure that you check attractions, activities, etc before you go as things do change.
With Travel restrictions being lifted for Thailand as of the first of July MASTER TRAVEL AND EVENTS have created this "Guide To Thailand"
You can books package deals and hotels by contacting us here or book any Thailand activities include private guides, car hire and tours here
It is common knowledge that Thailand is the travel hub of Southeast Asia. It is by far the most visited country in the entire region, with very good reason! Most travellers fly into Bangkok and which is a great base for visiting the sites and landmarks of Thailand. Bangkok is very popular with travellers who intend backpack around Southeast Asia.
With its luscious jungles, world famous beaches, diving opportunities, tempting food, and cheap prices, it wont shock you that Thailand is one of our favourite countries in the world.
It’s an easy country in which to travel, and because of the backpacker populations, you are sure to make a lot of new friends out there!
Thailand has a lot to offer, no matter what your budget is or interests are . You can backpack on a limited budget or you can live a luxurious life in resorts on the beach. Or simply travel on a modest budget and get a lot of bang for your buck; the country has something for everyone.
Travelling around Thailand is convenient and easy. However, there are still many off the beaten path destinations away from the crowds and the higher prices they bring too.
This Thailand travel guide will help you navigate this beautiful country like a pro. Teach you what to do avoid, how much things cost, the best things to see, and so much more!
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THAILAND
Visit Bangkok - This is a chaotic, must - see city. Explore temples, palaces, amazing markets and shops. It also has one of the most fun (and outrageous) nightlife scenes in the world. it also goes without saying the Thai food is amazing!!
2. Adventure around Chang Mai - This is an old city filled with temples, markets, food stalls and a very chilled atmosphere. Its a great place to base yourself for Jungle treks and visiting the elephant sanctuary. One of the better ones in Thailand.
3. Hike in Khao Yai National Park - Located about 2.5 hours north of Bangkok, is one of Thailand's most beautiful National Parks. Truly stunning scenery, away from the tourists, filled with stunning wild flowers and nature, it even has a few wild elephants.
4. Throw Water During Songkran - Every April the Thai people celebrate their New Year by holding an enormous 3 day water fight. Songkran is meant to wash away the old and begin the year new. Be prepared to get wet everywhere you go.
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5. Visit Ko Lanta - Even though it has become more developed in recent years, its still a paradise compared to its more developed neighbours. Wide, white sandy beaches, cheap tasty food, beautiful sunsets, caves, snorkelling and diving, make this one of the best places to visit in the country.
THINGS TO DO IN THAILAND
Thailand’s royal palace, built at the end of the 18th century by King Rama I, is the official residence of the current monarch (he doesn’t live there anymore and it’s just used for ceremonies). It’s an awe inspiring place filled with numerous temples, including Wat Pra Kaeo, which houses the 15th-century Emerald Buddha. Nearby Wat Pho is famous for two things: a 46 meter (150 foot) reclining Buddha statue and a very relaxing massage school. It costs 500 THB to enter the Grand Palace and 200 THB to enter Wat Pho.
2. Hike in Khao Sok National Park Located in the south of Thailand, Khao Sok National Park is constantly rated as one of the best national parks in the country, offering incredible trekking, camping, limestone karsts, cooling rivers, and a glistening lake. It is a secluded pocket of southern Thailand that contains one of the oldest rainforests on the planet. The area is characterized by rugged limestone formations, dense greenery, and turquoise waters. The park also harbours a variety of wildlife, such as sambar deer, sun bears, Malayan tapirs, and 200 species of birds.
3. Hop around the ancient capitals Thailand’s three ancient capitals — Sukhothai, Lopburi, and Ayutthaya — lie between Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Visiting them on your way north is a unique way to head from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. You’ll get to learn about ancient Thailand and see rural life at its best. Be sure to see Ayutthaya, which is located about 1.5 hours from Bangkok by train. It was the capital of Siam from 1350-1767 (it was razed in 1767 by the Burmese during the Burmese-Siamese War).
4. Chill out on the tropical islands Thailand has tons of beautiful tropical islands. Some are overdeveloped, while others only have a single bungalow on them.
5. Partake in the Full Moon Party
There’s no better party in the world than the famous Full Moon Party. The Full Moon Party is a giant festival-like party with a lot of drinking, dancing, and drugs. Each bar has its own sound system, so you’ll hear different music loudly blasting onto the beach every few feet. The beach itself is lined with people selling alcohol, fire dancers putting on shows, and little booths selling glow-in-the-dark face paint. Sure, it is super touristy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of fun.
You can book the full moon party here
6. Go jungle trekking
There are some great multi-day jungle trekking opportunities in northern Thailand. For longer treks, the biggest departure points are Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. You can book these sorts of outings through the hostel or hotel you’re staying in. If you book online ahead of time, you will pay more. But skip the shorter hikes that include meeting “authentic” hill tribes — they are exploitative and the visits feel unethical.
7. Scuba dive in the Similan Islands Scuba diving is a popular activity here because of the crystal-clear waters and majestic sea life. The cheapest place to learn is on the island of Koh Tao which caters specifically to divers. While you can dive all over the country, the Similan Islands offer the best diving. If you dive here, be sure to see Elephant Head Rock, as the reef there is home to plenty of fish, snappers, rays, and turtles. Check out activities on the Similian Islands here
8. Learn to cook Thai food is delicious and fairly easy to cook — if you know what you’re doing. There are cooking schools all over the country, but the best are in Chiang Mai and Bangkok and Phuket Even if you don’t plan to cook back home, it’s a fun experience as you’ll get to spend a day making and eating scrumptious food. Class prices range from 1,000-1,300 THB.
9. Explore the Khmer temples in Isaan There are many temples built throughout the Isaan region, all along the ancient roads connecting Angkor (the capital of the Khmer Empire) to the other villages. The largest of these is Phimai, located at the end of the ancient highway. It dates to the 11th century and is one of the largest Hindu Khmer temples in Thailand. Two other magnificent Khmer temples (Phanom Rung and Muang Tum) can be found in the Buriram province, only a few kilometers apart. Phanom Rung is built on top of a hill, and Muang Tum is at the base of the hill.
10. Visit Elephant Nature Park While you can visit Thailand and ride an elephant, once you know how they suffer from abuse in order to provide these rides, you might think twice about this unethical activity. An even better way to get up-close-and-personal to the animals is to volunteer at or visit the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai. It’s a phenomenal place, allowing you to give back to the community and letting you help these magnificent animals all at once. After coming here, you will know why you should NEVER ride an elephant. A one-day visit costs 2,500 THB for adults.
11. Visit the Golden Triangle The point where the Mekong River meets the Ruak River is known as the Golden Triangle. It’s also the meeting point of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar, and was once known for its opium production. You can take a boat along the river and visit the Golden Triangle Park, check out some of the many Buddha statues, scenic viewpoints, and markets. It’s just 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) north of Chiang Saen.
12. Party on Koh Phi Phi (Phi Phi Island) Koh Phi Phi is of the most popular tourist islands in Thailand. From the infamous of Maya Bay (made famous in the 2000 film, The Beach, with Leonardo DiCaprio) to the monkeys on the aptly named Monkey Beach, to the diving and nightlife, there are reasons people flock here. Destroyed by the tsunami in 2004, the island has been rebuilt and developed to an even greater extent than before. From the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, the jungle-shrouded limestone cliffs of Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands rise majestically, giving way to white-sand beaches and lush green jungles further inland. Longtail boats putter between the islands, collectively known as Koh Phi Phi or Ko Phi Phi, surrounded by turquoise waters and colourful marine life.
13. Shop at the floating markets Thailand is full of markets. Perhaps the most whimsical of these are the floating markets, which can be found throughout the country. Some of the best are Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi and the Taling Chan Weekend Floating Market in Bangkok. At floating markets, rickety boats are piled high with colourful goods and eats, perfect for plenty of great photos! While touristy, they’re still a fun thing to see up close.
14. Go to Phuket Phuket is the biggest destination for tourism in Thailand. There are great beaches and amazing activities on this island, and if you stay away from Patong Beach, you can avoid most of the over-development and crowds. Phuket draws a lot of tourists, and if you really want to enjoy the area, get out of the main spots. Check out our Guide to Phuket here
Thailand Travel Costst
Accommodation – Thailand is very cheap, though the north and bigger cities are far cheaper than the islands. Hostels, which are increasingly widespread throughout the country, range from 270-450 THB per night in a 4-6-bed dorm. Larger dorm rooms with 10 or more beds can be found for 170-250 THB.
You can find cheap guesthouses for as little 400 THB per night in cities and 300 THB per night in the countryside, though in the big cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok, rooms cost about 400-700 THB per night.
On the islands or for a nicer room with an air-conditioner, expect to pay 600-850 THB per night. Basic bungalows cost about the same.
Hotels start at around 1,350 THB per night and go up from there. Big resorts on the islands start at 2,100 THB per night for a bungalow on the beach
Food – Thailand’s neighbouring countries all influence the country’s aromatic, spicy, and flavourful cuisine, which uses many ingredients to create layers of flavour. Typical spices and fresh herbs include garlic, basil, galangal, cilantro, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and fish sauce. No matter what region you’re in, you can expect to find a variety of curries, salads, soups, and stir-fries. Rice and noodles are central to Thai food, while the meat is usually pork, chicken, fish, or seafood, which is everywhere on the islands and coastal areas.
Popular dishes throughout the country include pat tai (a fried noodle dish, more commonly known to Westerners as pad thai), tom yum goong (hot and sour soup with shrimp), massaman curry, som tam (spicy papaya salad), kao phad (fried rice), khao man gai (rice with boiled chicken), and satay (grilled meat on skewers, served with a peanut dipping sauce).
Food is really cheap in Thailand, especially in the bigger cities. Street food can cost as little as 20 THB, though on average you’ll spend about 45-80 THB per meal if you want something really filling. If you stick to the local street food, you can eat for around 180-275 THB a day.
Sit-down Thai restaurants begin at 65 THB for a dish like pad thai or curry. In bigger cities, the malls have huge (and popular) food courts where you can get a filling meal for around 60-100 THB. Knowing that their target customers are primarily tourists, Western food venues can be pricey compared to Thai food. Most western dishes (burgers, pizza, pasta, etc.) cost between 170-340 THB, though they can be higher in fancier establishments. Most Western food also pales in comparison to its original so it’s best to skip it altogether. I mean, you didn’t come all this way to have a crappy burger or pizza, right?
When it comes to drinking, going to bars can become pricey. The cheapest beers cost about 60-85 THB each, a glass of wine costs 120 THB, and cocktails cost around 290-400 THB. You can save money by buying beers from 7-Eleven for half that price.
And since food is so cheap, there’s no point in grocery shopping unless you’re looking to get some pre-made salads or fruits.
Activities – Jungle trekking costs 2,000-2,685 THB per day, cooking classes are 1,000-1,300 THB, and seeing a Muay Thai fight is around 1,500 THB. Most parks and national museums cost between 50-200 THB to get into (as a non-Thai, you’ll always pay a higher rate). A PADI dive certification course (very popular in Thailand) costs around 10,000 THB but often includes accommodation. A two-dive boat trip costs around 2,500 THB.
Backpacking Thailand Suggested Budgets If you’re backpacking Thailand, budget between 800-1,125 THB per day. On this budget, you’ll be staying in a dorm room, eating food from the street stalls, enjoying a couple of drinks per day, using public transportation to get around, and doing mostly free or cheap activities like swimming, hiking, and relaxing on the beach.
On a mid-range budget of 1,750-2,700 THB per day, you can stay in a private hostel room or guesthouse with air-conditioning, eat a few meals at Western or sit-down restaurants, rent a motorbike or scooter, travel between cities by train or cheap flight, and do more paid activities like jungle treks and diving.
On a “luxury” budget of around 3,725–5,450 THB per day or more, you can stay in a hotel, eat out anywhere you want, drink more, island-hop as much as you want, and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!