Thailand Travel Tips and Essentials

Many travelers enjoy visiting the 198,000 square miles that make up Thailand. The country is the twentieth most populated country in the world with almost 68 million visitors. Yet, most visitors find Thailand residents to be extremely friendly. Before you head to Thailand, you need to understand some Thailand travel essentials.

The country is divided into five regions and one is sure to suit your desires for a great vacation in Thailand. Regardless of where you roam, you will be warmly greeted by people who are truly glad you are there. You will find getting around the country very easy. Most of the country has very excellent roads and airports. There are many wonderful activities to do. In the north, visitors get a chance to play on the wild side, while in the Isaan region, visitors can learn all about the country’s history. Central Thailand is a modern area just begging to be explored. While east and southern Thailand offer outstanding beaches to play on. Thailand travel is wonderful regardless of region.

 

Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand is surrounded by the tallest mountains in Thailand helping to keep temperatures lower than in most in the country. Therefore, Thailand travel here is much more comfortable. The coldest month of the year is usually August with daytime highs reaching about 87 degrees. The warmest month of the year is usually April with daytime highs reaching about 98 degrees. August and September are the rainy season with about 12 inches of rain falling during September spread across 22 days.

It is easy to get to northern Thailand for Thailand travel. Many people choose to fly into the Chiang Mai Airport, the fourth busiest airport in Thailand. About 6,630,624 passengers passed through its gates in 2014. About 19 different airlines fly in and out of this airport. Tourists can get flights directly into this airport from southern China, Laos, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia along with various cities in Thailand including Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Pai, Hat Yai, Phitsanulok and Sukhothai.

Taking the train is another Thailand essential tip for Thailand travel. This is particularly a popular option for those traveling to Chiang Mai from Bangkok. These travelers use the overnight train with sleeper berths with air conditioning available. This option runs twice each night allowing visitors to wake up to a beautiful sunrise in Chiang Mai.

Thailand has an extensive bus system and visitors can easily use the bus to get around northern Thailand. Bangkok to Chiang Mai is one of the busiest bus routes for Thailand travel. From Chiang Mai, guests can take buses northwest to Mae Hong Son and Pai or even further north to Chiang Rai. Buses also operate from Phitsanulok to Mae Hong Son.

There are other transportation options to get around northern Thailand. A popular option for Thailand travel is minibuses that often run between cities. Others choose to take songthaew, which are pickup trucks with two benches built into the back of them. Still others choose to take tuk-tuks, which are three-wheel motorcycles similar to the American trike.

A few people choose to rent a car to get around northern Thailand travel. The steep mountain curves, however, makes it a scary adventure for many drivers. Often car rental services can arrange for local drivers to do the driving for tourists allowing them to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

After one arrives in northern Thailand, there are many activities to do. Northern Thailand is the birthplace of Thai

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang

culture. The largest city in northern Thailand, and a Thailand travel essential when visiting this region, is a stop at Wat Chedi Luang. Originally constructed during the fourteenth century, Wat Chedi Luang is an architecturally stunning Buddhist temple. Doi Inthanon National Park contains the highest point in Thailand. This park contains more bird species than any other place in Thailand. At Elephant Nature Park visitors can help take care of rescued and rehabilitated elephants. Trekking tours through the mountains are a popular activity in this part of Thailand.

Northern Thailand has its own cuisine when compared to the rest of the county. Make sure to stop at Waroros Market when doing Thailand travel, particularly at night, to taste the local cuisine. Additionally, make sure to check out the smorgasbord at Khum Khantoke.

Tamarind Village is a lovely hotel in this region, so consider staying there for Thailand travel. Under the shade of a 2,000 year old tree, guests can relax in this tranquil environment. This facility offers Thailand essential tours like offering alms to the nearby Buddhist monks and a tour of the historic areas located very nearby.

 

Isaan

Visitors need to be careful when doing Thailand travel in the Issan area. Along its border with Cambodia, violence breaks out frequently.

The Isaan region of Thailand typically has three seasons; hot, cold and rainy. The hottest temperatures of the year are normally found in April when daily temperatures often reach 90 and nighttime lows fall to about 75. The coldest part of the year is usually in late December and early January when daytime highs are usually around 80 degrees and lows often dipping to 63 at night. Therefore, make sure to plan accordingly for your Thailand travel.

Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani all have small airports that are accessible for Thailand travel. As with most of Thailand, the area is easily accessible by train and by bus. Buses, minibuses, songthaews, motorbikes, and bicycles are all popular ways to get around in the region.

Sala Kaew Ku, also called Wat Khaek is a must do if you are going to do Thailand travel in the Isaan region. Some of the fantastic concrete Buddhist and Hindu sculptures there reach 83 feet into the air. When there make sure to view the Wheel of Life that shows the karmic cycle of birth and death through a progression of tarot-like characters.  The Temple of a Million Bottles, Wat Lan Khuad, is a Buddhist Temple constructed totally out of beer bottles. At this temple, even the pictures on the walls are constructed of bottle caps. Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to over 2,000 different plant species. This park is also home to two different species of gibbons that are found nowhere else on earth.

People doing Thailand travel find the food in this region is very similar to Lao cuisine. Eating insects are considered a delicacy in this region including ant egg salads. If you just cannot bring yourself to eat a bug, then consider trying grilled pork neck, minced pork salad and papaya salad.

Bed and breakfasts are a popular option when staying in this area for Thailand travel. Many Americans would consider these small hotels. Some of the best of them are Baan Issara that is a very isolated location for guests who truly want to get away from it all. Another outstanding choice is Chez Piera. Its central location makes it close to most things in the area.

 

Central Thailand

Central Thailand is where many people doing Thailand travel choose to go, because the area contains large cities like Bangkok. April is the warmest month here with daytime averages often reaching about 87 degrees with December being the coldest month with daytime temperatures dropping to about 79 degrees.

Near Bangkok, visitors doing Thailand travel find the largest airport in Thailand, the Suvarnabhumi Airport. The one terminal building here services both international and national flights making it a very congested area. The airport is located about 19 miles from the center of Bangkok. The easiest way to get to Bangkok is to use the Airport

Tuk tuks in Thailand

Tuk tuks in Thailand

Rail Link, although many visitors also opt to use the private Airport Express buses. Metered taxis and limousines are also available.

Once in central Thailand, it is easy to get around. The city has many outstanding roads. Tuk-tuks are another popular way to get around the city. Trains are also hugely popular. If you plan on taking a train to another city or region for Thailand travel, then make your reservations early, as they often sell out.

There is so much to do in this region that everyone will find something that meets their interest when doing Thailand travel. The Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, contains magnificent ruins from the Khmer Empire of the 9th to the 15th centuries. Nakhon Pathom is the oldest city in Thailand. Phra Pathom Chedi there is the first place that Buddha was worshipped in Thailand.

When in central Thailand, try the pork stew, pad thai and wanton noodles. Street vendors selling food will be everywhere, but make sure to try the vendors located near the Thong Lo Sky Train Station. If you want an upscale meal while doing Thailand travel, then check out La Table de Tee for their five plate set menu.

One of the best hotels to stay in while doing Thaland travel in Bangkok is Shanghai Mansion which has been voted one of the best value for money hotels in the world. Old Bangkok Inn is run by the seventh-generation of King Chulongkorn’s family. The Metropolitan has a wonderful urban vibe and is decorated by local artists.

 

Southern and Eastern Thailand

Southern and Eastern Thailand are loved by locals and tourists alike because of its beaches making it one of beautiful Thailand holiday destinations.  Phuket, Krabi, Hat Yai and the island Ko Samui all have airports that offer international flights, although most people fly into Bangkok and then take a domestic flight. Regardless of how you get to southern Thailand, you will be amazed at the beauty in the area.

Island hopping is a favorite activity here for Thailand travel. Many use high speed catamaran and ferries leaving various points throughout the area. Patong Beach is the most popular beach and the largest in Thailand. If you are looking to castaway on a dessert island, then try Railey Beach. Rock climbing is a popular activity near this beach. If you are looking for a family-friendly beach, then make sure to check out Hua Hin Beach. White Sands Beach was once a favorite place for backpackers to stay, but has now become a favorite with many people.

Not surprisingly, the best food in eastern Thailand is seafood. Southern-style tamarind prawns and crispy fried fish smothered with a sweet-and-sour chilli sauce are favorites of many people. Shrimp and vegetables cooked in coconut milk is also a staple in this area. Thailand travel tourists find a variety of food across the country.

There is so much to do in Thailand that it is hard to choose just exactly what you want to do. A great way to decide which region to visit is to decide what activities you want doing your Thailand travel and then choose the region based on those activities.

If you love water and water based activities, then head to eastern and southern Thailand where you will find a variety of beaches that are sure to please. Alternatively, if you enjoy a metropolitan area, then head to central Thailand with all the people and activities found in Bangkok. Alternatively, if you enjoy history, then head to the Isaan region. Finally, if you enjoy interacting with nature and animals, then head to the north region. Regardless of where you choose to roam on your Thailand travel trips, you will find friendly people that will greet you very warmly.

Visit the Asia destinations category to learn more about other tourism opportunities available in Asia!