Thailand

Travel guide

Next stop, the beach! Plunge into Thailand's crystal clear waters to discover rich marine life below the surface, kick back on one of the perfect islands, discover rich culture and amazing food in Bangkok, or get off the beaten track in the northern hills of Chiang Mai. No matter what it is that tops your travel bucket list, you're guaranteed to find your own slice of paradise in this dynamic country. And since it covers almost 200,000 square miles, there's enough to go around...
 

Thailand: fast facts

Languages spoken

The official language spoken in Thailand is Thai, otherwise known as Siamese, but you'll hear plenty of locals speaking fluent English.

Currency

Thai Baht (THB).

100 Thai Baht is approximately £2.30

Time zone

UTC +07:00, making Bangkok 7 hours ahead of London.

Thailand highlights

If we made a film about Thailand, we'd name it Beauty and the Beach, no doubt about it. Not only are Thailand's beaches incredible, but if you go beyond them you'll find a rich, traditional culture, where you can experience amazing wildlife encounters, trek to remote villages in Northern Thailand and so much more...
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Snorkel and Dive

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Chiang Mai

Hilltribe Treks

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Volunteer:

Elephant Conservation

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Phuket

Island Hopping

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Top Thailand Destinations

Say hello to Bangkok, one of the most fun and colourful cities in the world. Head north to Chiang Mai to trek to remote hill-tribe villages and bathe with elephants, before kicking back, partying and diving amidst some of the most beautiful islands in the world... Where will your quest to find paradise take you?
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Bangkok

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Chiang Mai

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Phuket

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Koh Phangan

Thailand Fast Facts

cost-of-beer-asia

Drinks

A bottle of local Thai beer from a café or shop can cost as little as 40THB (around £1). A Sangsom and soda bucket can cost between 124THB (about £3) to 300THB (about £7) depending on where you find it, and are so strong they're best shared!

cost-of-food-asia

Meals

Thai street food can cost as little as 50THB (just over £1) and can be every bit as delicious, if not better, than in some restaurants. For a sit-down meal somewhere midrange, expect to pay between 150THB (£3.50) to 300TBH (£7).

cost of accomodation in thailand

Hostels

A basic dorm bed in Bangkok can coast you as little as 125THB (about £3); expect to pay double on the Southern Islands such as Koh Phangan, especially if you're staying there over Full Moon.

thailand hotel cost

Hotels

For a mid-range room for two people in a hotel or guesthouse, you'll pay upwards of £10. Fancier hotels can cost around £25-40. Book in advance with STA Travel to bag the cheapest rates; we always have awesome Thailand accomodation on offer!

taxi cost thailand

Taxis

Taxis cost around 5TBH (15p) per kilometre, after the initial surcharge. A 10km ride should cost you under 150THB (£3.50), and from the airport to Khao San Road, expect to pay between 350-530THB (£8-12.50). Always ask for the meter to switched on; it's fun to haggle a price before you start the journey, and you'll get a better price.

transport cost thailand

Buses & boats

A 10 hour bus journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on a pretty comfy sleeper coach costs around 500-600THB (or anywhere between £10-15). A 12-15 hour bus journey from Bangkok to Phuket costs 1000THB (just over £20). Boat trips between islands cost around 500THB (£10).

When is the best time of year to visit Thailand?

Thailand's hot, dry season occurs between November and April, meaning the best time to visit Thailand is during our winter. April and May are the hottest months, whereas May to October is most of Southeast Asia's rainy season. Don't be put off by the sweeping monsoons during this period; it means the beaches are quieter and hotel rates are often cheaper, making it still a great time to travel.
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Thailand adventure tours

indochina tour
Indochina Discovery | 30 days
Discover the heart and soul of Indochina on this tour of four very diverse countries. Encounter history, both ancient and modern, and witness the unbelievable splendour of Angkor Wat. Push through hectic city lanes and tap into the pulsing nightlife. 
From £1,799
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Bangkok street food
Thailand on a Shoestring | 16 days
Hike through thick jungle and gleaming rice paddies in northern Thailand and learn about life in a hill-tribe village. You’ll also have time to lose yourself in the hedonism of Bangkok, chill out in Khao Sok National Park and laze on the beautiful island beaches of Koh Samui and Koh Tao.
 
From £859
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northern thailand
Northern Thailand Sampler | 12 days
Find a part of yourself you didn't know existed on this 12-day tour that begins in the hills around beloved Chiang Mai. Trek through the hills, making genuine connections with the region's hilltribes before heading on to Chiang Rai and further south. Explore golden temples and remote villages of Northern Thailand before ending up in bustling Bangkok. This is so much more than a trip; it's a spiritually transformative experience.
From £899 
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Stray asia bus passes
Thailand flexible bus passes
Travel through Thailand and beyond into the further reaches of magical Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia aboard a bus full of likeminded travellers. There's expert guides will be on hand to provide incredible insights, heaps of local culture to absorb and uniqe stop-offs far away from the beaten path... 
TruTravel's Northern Thailand & Beaches | 21 days
This incredible 21-day experience covers all the best bits of this amazing country. From rivers, waterfalls and ancient temples in Central Thailand, to the jungles and mountains in the North to the amazing lakes, islands and beaches of the South. A great choice to meet fellow travellers and discover the culture, beauty and parties of Thailand!
 

From £1,282

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thailand fitness retreat
Thailand Fitness Camp | 9 days
Everything you need for a lifechanging fitness transformation. Get the beach body you need before hitting the Thailand beaches in style! Join the Fitness Bootcamp to meet other like minded people, getting fit and healthy in a dedicated training facility. Stay in beautiful luxurious accommodation and explore the best Phuket has to offer.
From £617
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Go beyond the beaches with our active Thailand adventures

thailand hike and bike
Thailand Hike, Bike & Kayak | 14 days
Perfect for those who believe the best way to appreciate paradise is to jump right into it. This adventure will have you hiking through forests and rice paddies, experiencing Thailand's  combination of culture and the great outdoors. Kayak the turquoise waters of the Andaman and discover coral coves and white-sand beaches.
From £1,269 
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Northern Hilltribes & Villages | 8 days
From the luxury of Bangkok's malls and gleaming high-rises, head north to Thailand's hills. Eating and sleeping with the hilltribes will bring you face-to-face with these colourful cultures. Well leave plenty of time for fun in historic Chiang Mai with its night market and delicious cuisine too.
From £419
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Create your INDIvidual adventure

Want to explore Thailand but don't want a group tour? Whether you're into floating markets or full moon parties, with INDI tailor made you get exactly the transport, digs and day trips you want, tailor made into a trip to thai for!
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Do I need a visa to travel to Thailand?

As long as you’re in possession of a UK passport with at least six months validity left on it, you’ll be granted a free visa upon arrival in Thailand. You’re allowed up 30 days in the country; if you'd like to stay longer, you can speak to the Thai embassy in Bangkok, a reputable travel agent, or one of our travel experts. 

Another popular way for backpackers to see more of Thailand than 30 days would allow, is to see some of the country, then visit neighbouring Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam or Malaysia too, before looping back into Thailand for your flight home, seeing more on the way!

What should be on my Thailand packing list?

It's easy to get carried away with your packing list when you're taking a trip to such an exotic country, but if you're planning on travelling to multiple locations, pack light! Don't forget a 220-240 AC voltage, or a universal plug adaptor, mosquito repellent, earplugs, a waterproof and waterproof bag if you're visting during rainy season, and comfortable shoes for all the exploring you'll be doing. Don't, under any circumstances, forget to organise travel insurance before you go!

Which vaccinations do I need before I travel to Thailand?

Check with your doctor to see which of the following vaccinations you've already had in school, and which ones you might still need, out of Tetanus, Diptheria, Typhoid, and Hepatits B. You can book an appointment at one of our STA Travel Clinics to get these, six weeks before you depart. If you're off to a remote area that's far off of the beaten path, you might need malaria pills.

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