Explore otherworldly temples, jungle-clad national parks and beautiful islands scattered across a glistening emerald sea on our hand-picked Thailand holidays
Whizz between gleaming golden temples in a tuk-tuk; devour combinations of salty, sweet and spicy street food at a night market; and watch elephants wander through an ancient national park – Thailand is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences. As you return smiles from just about everyone you meet, you’ll discover why Thailand has long been a favourite with travellers. There’s a warm welcome wherever you go; the only thing you need to do is decide what you’d like to see – whether it’s a glittering royal residence in a hectic city centre or a tranquil island with rich marine life just offshore. Thailand is one of the few places in the world where you can see a city, rainforest and beach in one trip, too. Give us a call or pop into your local store for a chat and we’ll help craft your perfect tailor-made Thailand holiday.
Thailand’s peak season is between November and February when the climate is drier and slightly cooler, while the hottest period is April to May. May to October tends to have higher rainfall but there should still be plenty of sunshine and this is the time to benefit from the greatest value and less crowded beaches. There are seasonal variations between beach resorts – for example, the east coast beach resorts of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan generally have more sun and less rain from May through until June. Northern Thailand is generally cooler than Bangkok in the winter and hotter in the summer. See our month-by-month weather guide to find out the best time to visit Thailand.
Thailand holiday highlights
One of the most diverse destinations in Asia, Thailand is a vibrant tapestry of culture, wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes. Walk through temples home to larger-than-life Buddha statues, and then drink in the views of Bangkok’s clamorous streets from a slick rooftop bar, or people-watch from a lively spot on vibrant Khao San Road. As you venture up north it’s a different realm altogether, where the cuisine takes on a more earthy flavour and lush mountainous vistas replace sea and skyscrapers. In the northern capital, Chiang Mai, you can immerse yourself in the hum of its night market or learn about the lives of local hill tribes. Combining a mainland stay with Thailand’s beautiful beaches is easy with regular domestic flights – and even the more remote islands are worth the journey as you transfer to your hotel via traditional long-tail boat. On Thailand’s gold and white-sand beaches, you can take it easy with a cocktail in hand or a massage in a beachfront sala, or head out into the emerald waters for day trips that wash you ashore idyllic islands or to protected marine parks for snorkelling and diving. And then there’s the food. Cheap and delicious bites from street vendors, aromatic spices freshly ground with a pestle and mortar in a city cooking class or exquisite morsels at a fine dining restaurant; dining is a treat for all foodies.
Where is Thailand?
Between the Indian and Pacific oceans, Thailand’s mainland is nestled in-between Myanmar (Burma) and Laos in the north as well as bordering Cambodia and Malaysia in the south. It’s home to over 1400 islands which are found around its coast in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
Taxis are the most convenient mode of transport for most journeys, and local metered taxis are often much cheaper than hotel taxis – just make sure the meter is running or to agree on a price beforehand. Thailand’s famous tuk-tuks are a thrilling and unmissable way to get around most cities and resorts. For multi-centre holidays, domestic flights are the easiest and best value way to combine the Northern, Southern and Central Thailand, with some larger islands reachable by air too. For more remote islands, a traditional long-tail boat is a serene way to transfer to your hotel while speedboats are often available too.
A Thai market is an essential experience in Thailand; you can buy beautiful silks, teak-carved handicrafts and flower-carved soaps among the plentiful display of souvenir-worthy trinkets. With the exception of department stores where prices are usually fixed, almost everything is haggled for in Thailand, and many stalls will sell the same items so it can be worth looking around before you buy.
Diving & snorkelling
Thailand has some excellent snorkelling and diving spots. Sea temperatures are warm year-round and visibility can reach over 30 metres during peak season between November and April. Divers can hope to see manta rays, whale sharks, leopard sharks, hawksbill turtles and plenty of tropical fish. The Surin and Similan Islands are some of Thailand’s best dive and snorkelling sites. Both are found off the south-west coast and can be reached by around 1½-hour’s land and speedboat transfer from Khao Lak. Both parks are open between 15 October and 15 May. There’s also snorkelling and diving on the eastern coast in the Gulf of Thailand, where Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi are popular options.
Food & drink
The Thai philosophy is 'eat when you’re hungry', and it’s a great excuse when you’re in a country with world-famous cuisine. Familiar favourites definitely worth a try from its home include pad Thai (fried rice noodles), fragrant and spicy tom yum soup and of course, Thailand’s multiple variations of curry like massaman and penang. And it’s a rite of passage to taste one of the cheap and cheerful morsels from Thailand’s street stalls. Thai food can be very spicy, but instead of gulping down water, eat a few mouthfuls of plain boiled rice to ease the heat. Hotel and resort restaurants will usually cater to western palates; it might be worth asking how spicy a dish is beforehand or specifying how spicy you like it. As well as chilli, typical Thai ingredients include lemongrass, coconut milk, garlic, ginger and mint. A caramel-coloured fish sauce called nam pla is used in many dishes, and the notorious durian fruit is a definite marmite food. Encased in a spiked outer shell, the creamy yellow fruit can be instantly recognised by its pungent aroma; it’s so strong-smelling that many hotels won’t allow guests to bring it inside. Other exotic fruit includes longan, lychee, rambutan and mango, which is famously eaten which sticky rice and coconut cream as a sweet dessert. Cuisine noticeably varies by region, and travellers can expect more seafood and curries in the south while Northern Thailand serves up less spicy food with sticky rice. A kantok dinner, based on traditional Lanna banquets, is where you'll try authentic dishes served on a low table and accompanied by classic dance performances. As a rule, it’s safest to stick with bottled water.
The Complete Dubai Tour Planned by Experts
- Vibrant Bangkok’s endless shopping and intriguing nightlife
- Awe-inspiring sunsets and rock-climbing amid towering limestone cliffs in Krabi
- Humbling temples, elephant sanctuaries, national parks and the captivating Golden Triangle in northern Thailand
- Snorkelling and diving off small islands such as Koh Samui, Koh Lanta and the Koh Yao islands
- World-famous cuisine – whether you fancy speedy street food, three-course fine dining, or your own creation in a hands-on cooking class.
Resorts & hotels in Thailand
Boutique beach hideaways on Koh Samui and modern luxury resorts steps away from Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain – Thailand’s hotels are as unique as its destinations. Choose between secluded or central, palatial or intimate; sleek rooms or spacious villas; whichever is your idea of heaven, there’s a signature level of service and classic interior touches that make the accommodation feel undoubtedly Thai. We’ve hand-picked a selection of the best Thailand hotels to help you choose, whether your must-have is an impressive ocean view, an ultra-romantic location for a wedding and honeymoon or a stand-out spa for a rejuvenating wellness escape.
Discover Thailand multi-centresThe classic combination ‘Bangkok & Beach’ offers the perfect fusion of excitement in the city along with the tropical tranquillity of a Thai beach resort and is the ideal recipe for an unforgettable Thailand holiday. For added spice, you could also throw in the delights of Northern Thailand with its temples, elephant sanctuaries and unique hill tribes. Should one beach not be enough, you can even make combinations that include two or more of Thailand’s many beautiful beaches. We have collected a selection of our favourite combinations of Thailand destinations. So whether your pleasure is City & Beach, Beach & City, Culture & Beach or even Beach & Beach, the combinations are endless and the choice, as always, is yours! Choose any of our featured hotels as part of your holiday – many of which also have special offers for Kuoni customers. Call us on 02085708283 or visit us in store to speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts and tailor make your own holiday with https://skytraktravel.com.
Located in the heart of Bangkok this is considered as Bangkok most tourist attraction place. For 150 years the palace was the official residence to the King, his court, and his government. It offers to explore so much, you will love visiting here. And the most important thing to remember while visiting here is a strict dress code. So make sure to dress in proper clothing or entry will be refused.
The Golden Triangle
The edge where the Mekong River encounters the Ruak River is known in the neighbourhood as Sop Ruak, however to the rest of the world it's the Golden Triangle: the edge where Burma/Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet. Positioning on the Thailand river bank, and you can gaze across to Burma/Myanmar and Laos, or you can choose a rental boat for a closer look. You'll discover market shops, Buddha and elephant statues, and sufficient signage to make sure that, yes, this is the Golden Triangle.
Shopping in the floating markets of Bangkok is a fun experience that you cannot afford to miss. These traditionally set up floating markets in charming boats allow you to shop local fruits and souvenirs and feast upon authentic Thai cuisine in one of the floating restaurants in the market. Khlong Lat Mayom and Taling Chan are two of the floating markets within Bangkok city limits. But remember, once you sit on the boat that possibly means you can’t step out without buying something.
An Elephant Experience
The elephant is a national symbol and a revered animal of Thailand, and there are numerous ways to encounter animals all over the country. To combine your elephant experience with luxury lodging, you must go for the award-winning Elephant Hills; a relaxed tented camp, with opportunities to meet the animals.
Thai. English is widely spoken at beach resorts.
• You need a full EU 10-year passport. We recommend that the expiry date is at least six months after your arrival back in the UK.
• You only need a visa if you’re staying longer than 30 days (29 nights), and you can get one from the Thai Embassy.
220 volts AC, 50Hz and two-pin plugs are standard.
• April: Songkran traditional New Year celebrations, countrywide.
• June, September to October: International Festival of Dance & Music, Bangkok.
• December: His Majesty the Late King's Birthday
Tuk tuks are the most convenient way of getting around most cities and resorts in Thailand.
Theravada Buddhism. Minority religions include Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism.
• Thais revere their royal family, so never express disregard for it.
• Outward expressions of anger are regarded as crude and boorish.
• Each Buddha image - large or small, ruined or not - is considered sacred. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything that might show lack of respect.
• Public displays of affection between couples are frowned upon. Westernised Thai couples may hold hands but that’s as far as it goes in polite society.
• It is considered rude to point your foot at a person or object.
• Never pat a Thai on the head – they see it as the highest part of the body, both literally and figuratively.
Tip porters and hotel staff if you’re happy with their service. If a service charge isn’t added to your restaurant bill, tip 10-15%.