Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world with over 10 million tourists visiting every year. If you would like to visit Thailand and do more than just sunbathing our authentic holidays and travel packages will appeal to you. Expect beautiful beaches, spectacular islands, diverse cities, spectacular mountains, tasty food and friendly locals. We have some fantastic travel opportunities and eco holidays available to book all year round.
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The name Thailand means Land of the Free and not many countries in the world compare. Thailand was known as Siam until 1939, it's land borders are with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. Thailand really does have everything - brilliant city nightlife in Bangkok, stunning national parks for hiking, beautiful beaches, ornately decorated Buddhist temples and of the course the opportunity to get up and close with elephants. Our authentic holidays are from the leading international travel operators which are the perfect balance of sightseeing, culture and adventure with immersion and engrossing activities.
Thailand is one of the worlds most popular travel destinations there really so many things you could do when visiting so be sure to research all destinations before joining. As a whole, Thailand activity holidays are the complete package. From the crazy nightlife of Bangkok to the stunning jungle locations of some treks, this destination really do have it all. The best bit being - you get to decide where you visit. You could experience a city like Bangkok, join a hill tribe trek in the North, visit the stunning ancient temples, explore a city like Chiang Mai, see elephants, visit the tallest Buddhist monument in the world in the town of Nakhon Pathom or or go island hopping - the choice is yours.
Please do not support the illegal wildlife trade in Thailand, this means not buying any ivory / ornaments or souvenirs from exotic animals, reporting any restaurants which sell exotic wildlife on their menus (e.g. tigers) and also having your pictures taken with elephants and other animals like snakes and reptiles on the streets of cities like Bangkok. We also do not support the use of elephants for tourist purposes, please try to avoid riding elephants there are plenty of places you can see these magnificent creatures in a natural habitat. Please also avoid visiting the Tiger Temple especially if you care about animals and wildlife conservation, this is a controversial place where tigers are raised by humans and reportedly drugged to make them passive to human contact. There are lots of really amazing wildlife holidays in Thailand which genuinely have the interests of the animals at heart, not profit to be made from tourists.
Thailand enjoys a warm tropical climate nearly all year round with temperatures averaging around 30°C / 90°F, the North is relatively cooler than the South, especially at night when even during summer you might want to pack some warm clothes. We recommend visiting Thailand at any time of the year due to the weather being warm most months. Generally the cold season runs from October to March, the hot season from March to July, whilst rainy season usually runs from July to October. This is also monsoon season in the land of smiles and also when most of the rain falls. A popular choice is to travel to Thailand towards the end of the year, from November to February, when there is usually a cool breeze which is great to give a rest from the intense heat. Spending Christmas and New Year in Thailand is a great experience. If you are seeking sun and heat then aim to arrive in Thailand around April, May or June when the temperature is usually well over 32°C. We recommend escaping Bangkok during this period and head to the coast when you can swim in the ocean or find a pool to bathe and relax from the humidity. The weather can sometimes be unpredictable even during summer, in rainy season of July to October you can get a lot of sunshine and top up your tan.
You can gain a 15 day visa on arrival and when entering the country you are meant to have proof of an outbound ticket but this is very rarely checked. If you overstay your tourist visa in Thailand will be fined or in the worst case put in jail. Ideas to extend your Thai visa period including doing a 'visa run' to a nearby country like Malaysia, Cambodia or Laos where you can then re-enter Thailand. This destination doesn't have a working holiday visa program as such, but if you are looking to work or teach English in Thailand you can apply for a longer visa in advance.
Citizens from most countries like the UK, USA and Canada can enter Thailand and be granted a visa on arrival. This is a very easy process you just need to turn up at an airport and this will be issued when you arrive. If you arrive by land you will be given a 15 day visa. Nationalities Which Are Eligible For The Thai Tourist Visa Include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea*, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, USA and Vietnam.
There are no specific vaccinations needed to enter Thailand but please check with your local GP to see what they recommend a couple of months before departing. Malaria is only a problem in really rural areas around the Cambodia and Laos borders in the North, please ask locals and fellow travellers for advice on this. The chances of catching malaria in Thailand are slim but if you want to be on the safe side get tablets before departing. Drink lots of water during summer, Thailand gets hot and its important to stay hydrated also be careful when drinking alcoholic buckets on the islands and beaches, usually these are really strong! Try the local food which is very tasty and usually includes fresh ingredients. Try to avoid eating fast food everyday as it might make you feel lethargic and tired. Avoid having sex without a condom, problems with HIV and Aids are a big problem in Thailand and there is a very active sex tourism market.
Thailand is a very touristy destination but it is still essential you follow the local laws and research the destination before departing. The FCO advises against all but essential travel to areas on the Thai - Malaysia borders and some on the Thai-Cambodian borders, in the city of Bangkok itself the rules perhaps aren’t as clear cut. The first rule in Bangkok is if there’s no set price get ready to haggle your way to a good price - but adopting a confrontational attitude won’t help. It’s best to stick to tactics such as, “help me out on a good price here my friend” as a general rule. Remember Thais don’t like to ‘lose face’ so be gracious in your proceedings. Another good thing to remember is that at all times you need to carry your passport. It’s actually illegal to be without it so when deciding whether it’s safer to have it on you or in the hotel safe, the answer in Thailand is always securely on you! One last tip, don’t make defamatory comments about the King or the Royal Family for that matter, it’s another way you could find yourself in a prison rather than with a bucket down Khao San Road!
Travellers need to be aware of the high regard royalty is held in when visiting Thailand and be sure not to do anything that could be construed as official to the Thai royal family. Also, your clothing should be considered when in more rural parts of Thailand. Generally speaking, travellers should cover their shoulders and at least down to the knees when visiting rural villages.
The cost of traveling in Thailand has risen in recent years but you can still get great value if you seek out the best deals. Depending on what level of luxury you require you can budget for around £3 for food, £2 for drinks, £5 for accommodation and then £5 for other things like activities or tourist sights. We think you can live cheaply in Thailand for less than £15 ($25) per day if you are careful with spending. Remember alcohol can be more expensive than food and can stretch your budget if you drink a lot every day.
A cheaper option is to go to a supermarket or a local cafe / pub. Also don't be afraid to barter for prices, for examples taxis, street food and buying goods in shops and market stalls. You might think the prices are already cheap but they will probably lower the price with some persuasion. For internal transport in Thailand always shop around for the best prices, in Bangkok around the Koh San Road there are lots of agencies and the prices vary dramatically. Here we give you an idea of what you are roughly likely to pay for certain things in Thailand, this is only an estimate it really depends where you are and if you eat in local or touristy designated places.
A lot of people in Thailand speak English so booking tranport is fairly easy, there are bus and trains which connect towns and cities throughout the country. These are very safe as is public transport, locals are very used to see tourists and people are generally very friendly. Always watch belongings on bus journeys, lots of people either misplace or have things stolen because they are careless. Over night buses are highly recommended, these can be arranged with most travel agents but shop around as prices can vary differently. There are bus journeys for all budgets, if you want luxury you'll find amazing train carriages or premium bus services. Renting a car and riding on Thai roads is not really recommended unless you are really experienced. Hiring a moped is very easily done and a lot of fun especially on islands like Koh Chang but please always be safety conscious and wear a helmet. So many tourists get injured riding mopeds either going to quick or driving dangerously, if you have never riden one before go slow.