Since I lived, traveled, partied, visited, explored and adventured in Thailand more than 20 times, trust me this is the most comprehensive Thailand travel tips guide that you will find on the internet. Let me help you getting started for your trip to Thailand with info about: things to do and not do, cultural guidelines, places to visit, standard travel tips, how to get around and everything else you need to know when visiting Thailand.
In this Thailand travel blog you will find many handy links to more detailed articles like: buying a prepaid tourist sim card for Thailand in 2024 packing list for Thailand, a guide to the best Thai Street Food, loads of hotel recommendations, Ultimate Thailand itineraries, island hopping in Thailand, finding domestic flights in Thailand, renting a motorbike in Thailand and many more.
What do you need to travel to Thailand? A passport that is valid for at least another 6 months upon entry into Thailand. Most Western countries get a stamp in their passports upon arrival that permits them to stay up to 30 days. If you arrive over land, until December 2016 would only get a 15-day visa, but luckily things changed. Nowadays you also get a 30-day visa if you enter Thailand over land.
Be aware that you can only do two over land crossings per year!
Overstaying your visa is not recommended, but if it is only a couple days you have to pay a 500 THB ($16) fine per day. It happened to me a couple times and it takes 15 minutes extra at the airport. After you pay you get a lot of stamps in your passport and you are good to go. Be careful with this practice though, Im am not recommending you to do so.
Visa runs are pretty common and extending your visa is common too. You pay about $50 at one of the many immigration offices and it will be fixes in just 15 minutes. Bring 2 passport size photos. There are immigration offices in: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Phuket, Chiang Mai.
On Wikipedia you can find all the exact info for the Thai Visa Policy, as well as the below map to make it easier for you.
If you want to stay longer you can apply for a 2-month tourist visa at any embassy around the world. I have done that a couple times as well so you have enough time to check out all the cool places to visit in Thailand. There is now also the e-visa for Thailand.
Most travelers stay 2 weeks in Thailand and therefore I created 4 different itineraries to see the best tourist spots in the country. Check the link. Curious how I always find the cheapest domestic flights in Thailand? In this blog post, I show you all the 8 Thailand low-cost airlines and how to find the best tickets for traveling around Thailand.
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2. Best time to visit Thailand
It is always a good idea to travel to Thailand, but what is the best time and when is the rainy season? The official rainy season is from July till end of October. It does not mean these months are a no-go. I have been in Thailand in almost every month and yes there are some heavy rain showers in the rainy season, but they are not too long. If you want the best Instagram pictures of Thailand then it is advisable to come between December and April.
3. Weather in Thailand
IIn most popular tourist destinations in Thailand it does not get extremely hot. Max temperature will hardly exceed 35 degrees (95 F) On the islands temperatures are generally much milder and temperatures hardly reach above 32 degrees (90 F). On top there is always a breeze or the ocean to cool you off. But hey who does not love a tropical climate?
The weather is for most people actually one of the main reasons to travel to Thailand and even when it rains there are a lot of cool things to do. Rain can come unexpectedly even in the dry season, therefore just always carry light rain jackets in your backpack. But more about what to pack for Thailand later.
For more details about the average temperatures and rainfall per month in Thailand I recommend you having a look at this Climate Data website, they have all the exact details.
4. Currency in Thailand
In Thailand they use the Thai Baht and 1 US dollar is about 35 Thai Baht. Obviously the currency exchange changes over time, but in general the Thai Baht is pretty stable. In 2009 I got 48 Baht for my Euro but the last years it is pretty stable around 38-40 THB. Can you use the US dollar in Thailand? It is recommended not to use US dollars when you travel to Thailand, always have local currency on you. There are ATMs everywhere and basically everywhere you can change your dollars into Thai Baht.
ATMs in Thailand charge 220 THB for withdrawing money, it is a standard fee all around Thailand at every ATM. Only Aeon Banks charge a smaller fee of 150 THB.
If you are planning to go to backpacking in Thailand you basically don’t need much. Definitely put sunscreen, flipflops, beach wear and bug spray on your Thailand packing list. Click on the link to see all the 40 items I recommend you to bring. Later I will also talk about shopping and then you will find out that everything you forget you can buy in Thailand. Shopping is a reason to travel to Thailand for many people.
6. Travel adapter for Thailand
Thailand was one of the first countries where I found the all-you-can-eat electric sockets. All upscale places have sockets where you can plug almost all electric devices from Australia, Europe, UK and US. Just in case I always travel with a travel adapter.
7. Vaccinations for Thailand
Of course the Covid-19 pandemic changed a lot, but luckily it was all temporary and as of 2024 tourists visiting Thailand do NOT need to show any kind of vaccination against Covid-19.
When it comes down to all the optional shots you are asking the wrong guy. In all my trips to Thailand I have never taken any special vaccinations or malaria pills or whatsoever.
But when you go on a Thailand vacation make sure you have vaccinations for the standard childhood diseases like Tetanus, Diphtheria and Measles. I also got shots against Hepatitis A+B, but not specially for Thailand.
Afraid for Malaria in Thailand? There is no need to as the risk of getting malaria in Thailand is very low and even off the beaten track in Thailand there is hardly any risk. The exact same thing counts for yellow fever, no special need for that either.
8. Is it safe to travel to Thailand
Thailand is very safe for tourists! Every country has its problems and many people don’t even know that the army officially is in power, but as a tourist there are hardly any dangers. With millions of people a year traveling to Thailand the country knows that safety is an important issue and they are doing there utmost best to maintain this safe environment for tourists.
No need to hide the ugly truth either about the Koh Tao Murders that happened only a couple hundred meters away from where I was celebrating my birthday that night. But genuinely in all my 17 times I have been on a trip to Thailand I did not have a single problem. Read my full article about how safe it is to travel to Thailand and let me explain the risks, dangers and scams and how to avoid them.
Be a guest in their country, respect their values and don’t act like an ignorant tourist!
9. Medical marijuana is legalized in Thailand
Don't get too excited guys, we are talking about medical marijuana. Possession of recreational marijuana is officially still punished with 5 years jail time plus a fine up to $3000. However, that is what the law says. In reality things are VERY different!
On my recent trip to Thailand I was shocked how easily you can buy marijuana everywhere in Bangkok and Phuket. There are cannabis stores and signs everywhere in the tourist hotspots. Legit stores with bongs, cookies, quality legalized marijuana, everything! As if you are in Amsterdam!
Thailand was very progressive for a Southeast Asian country legalizing medical marijuana and since 2021 already the leaves and the plant are taken off the drug list. That led to the first Cannabis Cafe opening in Bangkok at the Prachin Buri Hospital: Taste of Ganja!
Now in 2024 it is very easy to buy cannabis in Thailand and there is not need to be worried about smoking a joint in the streets.
However, it is still adviced NOT to travel with cannabis in your possession! Be mindful, buy it, use it but don't posses large quantities because you can still get into a lot of trouble!
RELATED: 68 Funny Facts about Thailand!
10. Country of Smiles
What to know about the culture when you visit Thailand?
On top of all these amazing things to see and do, the Thai culture should also be one of the reasons you want to travel to Thailand. The combination of the Thai lifestyle, the food, the Buddhism, the people, the magical islands and the inspiring temples make it why they call this the country of Smiles. The capital is a melt pot of cultures, which makes it that there are some amazing places to see in Bangkok.
Thailand’s nickname says enough! This country is all about its smiles and it is one of the pillars of The Thailand tourism industry. On the banana pancake trail, the most popular island hopping route in Thailand, you will find some fierce Thai people dealing with annoying tourists every day and yes they are grumpy. But this does not mean you can generalize a whole country. Thailand is among the friendliest nations around the world and they are always willing to help out a stranger.
11. Late King is God
The King of Thailand was the longest reigning king in the world, but unfortunately died in October 2016. The Thai King was and still is like a God for Thai people, so never mention anything negative about him. After he died the country mourned for 1 year!
12. Don’t touch people’s head
Another thing that is sacred in Thai culture is the head. I am not sure why you are willing to touch someones head anyway, but don’t poke a Thai guys head on your Thailand vacation. ;)
13. Temple heaven
A Thailand holiday is not complete when you haven’t crossed off a whole list of temples. Thailand is not only the land of smiles but also the one and only place to go from temple to temple. Only in Bangkok there are so many temples that you might be templed-out already after a couple days. Visiting the Grand Palace is a must do in Bangkok though. And don’t forget the white temple in Chiang Rai or the ones at Ayutthaya.
How to get around Thailand
Worth of mouth brought me to the transportation search engine website of 12Go Asia and it was a blessing for traveling around Thailand. Their search engine shows you all the available options on any given route.
So if you want to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai you simply type it into the search engine and they give you all the options available, so bus tickets, train tickets and even domestic flights. You will find timetables, prices, trip duration, different companies and everything else you need to know. Try it below!
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One of the best things about booking your bus, boat and train tickets online is that it saves you the hassle of dealing with street vendors and paper tickets. Simply search it, book it and show up. Easy and reliable I used it million times and never had a problem.
14. Take off your shoes
A vital travel tip for Thailand is to take off your shoes when being asked. It is a rule of etiquette to leave your shoes outside a local home, small shops or authentic restaurants. Now you know why you see all these shoes in front of places on your Thailand trip.
What shoes to bring to Thailand?
Please leave your hiking boots at home when traveling to Thailand! This is not Nepal. Hiking shoes are the most overrated travel item for Thailand. Yes, there is some cool hiking in Thailand, but the trails are very easy. Why would you bring hiking shoes for a 2-week trip to Thailand when you wear them may be one time? It is useless! Just bring comfortable travel shoes like: runners or sneakers.
15. Buddha statues
The main religion in this country is Buddhism and on your Thailand trip I am sure you are probably going to visit multiple Buddha statues. There are many different ones: sitting, golden, white, laying, standing, wooden, etc. The most famous is Wat Pho in Bangkok, the white one in Phuket and the sitting one in Koh Samui. A secret Thailand travel tip is Wat Muang, the 92 meter tall Buddha just 150km north of Bangkok.
Be aware that export any kind of Buddha images and statues is forbidden by law. Check for more info about things to avoid when visiting Thailand my article about Thailand safety issues.
16. Muay Thai
Of course Thai Boxing is the number one sport. This martial art is like kickboxing but includes elbows and knees. Attending a Muay Thai show is one of those unique things to do in Thailand on your vacation. In all tourists spots in Thailand you will find a show nearby.
If you fancy getting into Muay Thai training then have a look at TIger Muay Thai, I once inquired about following one of their weekly training programs, but due to Corona Pandemic it all got cancelled. They are located in Phuket and well known around Thailand.
Looking for a long list of amazing things to do in Thailand? Then be inspired by all these Thailand tour packages around the country. Click on the link to find: quad biking, zip lining, mountain biking, rock climbing, jet ski, canopy, bungy jumping, abseiling, caving, hot air ballooning and much more.
17. Local markets
Wherever your Thailand trip takes you, local markets are always around. If you like shopping go to the ones where they sell fake sunglasses, fake branded underwear and clothes. But if you want a real experience go to the ones where they sell vegetables, fruits, animals and fish. These places are the ultimate occasions to mingle with locals and see how the Thai people live.
18. Thai Food
This will pop up in every Thailand travel blog and honestly, who does not love Thai food? It is one of the reasons that make traveling to Thailand so excited for me. Thai food is renowned all around the world, but definitely tastes the best in Thailand itself. Be careful with ordering spicy food if you are not used to it. (no spicy = mai phet)
19. Thai Street food
There is no better street food scene than in the land of smiles. Asia is heaven for street food, but Thailand is the best when it comes down to finding delicious food on every street corner. You will never have to walk far to stumble upon a street vendor. The food is delicious, it will be prepared per order and very important it can be trusted!
Can you trust the street food in Thailand? HELL YES you can! Don’t let all those Thailand travel guides tell you to be careful with street food. I probably ate on the streets about a thousand times and I NEVER got sick.
RELATED: check out my article about the 25 Best Street Food Dishes in Thailand.
I you go backpacking in Thailand street food is a cheap way to feed you on a daily basis, but be aware that there is a lot of MSG in Thai street food. Order it without MSG by saying ‘Mai Sai Phong Churot’.
Cool Festivals to attend on your trip to Thailand! One of the best Thailand tips is to plan your trip around this incredible festival between 13 and 15 April. During Songkran, Thai New Year, everyone throws water at each other, which is a symbol for washing away sins and bad luck. Streets are closed for traffic and Bangkok becomes one big playground. Buy some goggles and a water pistol and feel like a kid again. Trust me Songkran is a reason to visit Thailand!
21. Yi Peng - Lantern festival in Chiang Mai
For some reason I completely missed the opportunity of going to the famous Latern Festival in Chiang Mai. One of my biggest travel mistakes. This incredible event has been on my bucketlist for a long time now and is the main reason for some tourists to plan a trip to Thailand. Thousands of lanterns are going up in the air to release bad vibes and have a fresh start. The festival is held around mid November, but varies every year.
Unfortunately I have never been myself, but click on the link to get to know everything about the Yee Peng festival.
Costs of traveling around Thailand
Are you curious how much it cost to travel around Thailand by boat, bus and train? Check the transportation search engine of 12Go Asia. Even domestic flight can be found here.
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Here are some examples:
- Bus from Bangkok to Phuket: 12 hours - $20
- Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai: 11 hours - $27
- Boat from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi: 2 hours - $25
22. Loi Krathong - Lantern Festival Bangkok
On the exact same date Loi Krathong is celebrated in Bangkok. I have been experienced it and the streets are packed with people bringing floating offers to the river. They do this to let go of all their sins and start from scratch. The streets are packed, it is one beautiful chaos and you won't regret being out and about. Get lost in the city that night, it is magical.
23. Full moon party
While looking for Thailand travel tips I am sure you found out about the famous Full Moon party in Koh Phangan. This monthly returning festival is an incredibly popular beach party and listed in every travel guide for Thailand. Dance on the beach during full moon all the way till sunrise with up to 40,000 people. If you decide to go to Koh Phangan also consider the Half Moon or the Jungle Party, read more about that later or click on the link to read about my experiences partying in Koh Phangan.
I have been 4 times now and yes it is good fun, but there are also downsides. Read about it in the link above so that you don't have too high expectations.
24. Nightlife in Thailand
There are also a lot of things to know about nightlife in Thailand. For a lot of youngsters the nightlife is one of the reasons to visit Thailand and that is completely understandable. Bangkok is always a good idea for a night out and one of the most popular places to go are obviously Koa San Road or Soi 11 in Sukhumvit.
Where there is a beach in Thailand there is a party. Some islands have beach parties every evening, check out which islands have the best nightlife in my island hopping Thailand guide. The nightlife in Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi is among my favorites.
25. Beach parties
Famous or infamous I like them! I have been to many beach parties in Thailand and I admit they are far from classy but still massive fun. If you are with a group of friends you will talk about it for years, memories for a lifetime. A trip to Thailand is not complete without a beach party in either Koh Phangan or Koh Phi Phi.
Looking for a Thailand itinerary including parties? Click on the link to read my Thailand travel blog about it. Get your funny festival outfits for those crazy nights in Thailand!
26. Jungle Parties
For the best jungle parties in Thailand you have to be in Koh Phangan. One of the best Thailand tips I ever got was when I heard about the Half Moon Party in Koh Phangan. This amazing party is held in the most amazing jungle setting. You won’t find any better outdoor party. If you are backpacking through Thailand put this on your list of things to do.
27. Pool Parties in Bangkok
What would Bangkok be without a good pool party? There are two kinds of pool parties in this city; the high-energy type that is packed with models and the city’s most beautiful people and those that are basically a lot of fun and laid back. Whatever mood you’re in, every weekend there is a pool party in Bangkok. This is a must do when you like to party and travel to Bangkok.
Planning you trip to Thailand? Then make sure you are in Bangkok on a Saturday, because that is when the famous Bangkok pool parties take place. Where?
- 1st Saturday of the month: W Bangkok and Ambar Pool Party
- 2nd Saturday of the month: Blast Pool Party + Epic Pool Party
- 3rd Saturday of the month: Westin Pool Party at Westin Sukhumvit
- Last Saturday of the month: So Pool Party at the So Sofitel
28. Ladyboy show
There is no country like Thailand when it comes to ladyboys! I am pretty sure for most of us that is not a reason to travel to Thailand, but attending a ladyboy show is surely worth the entertainment. Attending a ladyboy show in Koh Tao was great fun with a group of friends.
29. Pingpong show
Another infamous reason, but so high on many travelers list of things to do in Thailand! Loads of people will not admit it, but almost everyone sooner or later ends up at a pingpong show. Its name basically comes from ladies shooting pingpong balls in the audience in a very special way and there is a list of many more tricks these ladies are able to preform with their magic box! :)
30. Naked Sushi for dinner
Everything is possible on your trip to Thailand and Naked Sushi is one of the weird things to do in Bangkok (click on the link to see my complete list of unusual things to do in Bangkok). Basically, sushi is placed upon the naked body of a girl lying down on the middle of the table. And then you eat it off of her.
The girl will be completely naked except for a few strategically placed banana leaves. Of course you can’t use chopsticks so you have to use your mouth. Check out the link for a full review. Never seen in any other Thailand travel blog. :)
We are not even half-way through all my tips for Thailand! Following now are some general tips to make the most of your trip!
When you think about a trip to Thailand, you think about the funny tricycles called Tuktuks. Some of them have an interior better than some modern discos. What to do in Thailand when you are drunk and want to go home? Jump in a Tuktuk. Drivers are funny and always up for a laugh, but mind you that prices for a ride are up to 5 times more than what they should cost with Uber. But at least it is a cool experience!
32. Uber in Thailand is Grab Taxi
If you don’t have Grab Taxi yet, start downloading it for your Thailand vacation. Grab is the way to go around. Taxi’s will most of the times try to screw you over, so skip all the hassle and order a Grab Taxi straight from the app. For a long time there Uber in Thailand, but lately Grab Taxi took over Uber. This is my favorite way of how to get around Thailand.
33. Renting a motorbike in Thailand
Thailand is not the country of motorbikes that is Vietnam, but even in Thailand driving a motorbike across the country is a fantastic experience, especially in the north. Even for short day trips renting a motorbike in Thailand is so much more fun than booking a tour. A motorbike does not cost more than $5 a day, but be aware not to get scammed. Read more info about it in the link.
34. Easy to travel in Thailand
Because this is the most popular country to travel for youngsters there are uncountable businesses that try to make money of the tourism industry. Therefore you can find a travel agency or tour desk on every street corner. Even when you go for ice cream they will also sell you a boat tickets. There is no need to make a detailed plan if you travel to Thailand. If you want some ideas I created 4 different itineraries with things to do in Thailand (beaches, temples, parties and culture), click on the link.
35. Making friends
One of the highlights about a trip to Thailand is that you are going to make friends for life. There are so many travelers around that meeting likeminded people is kind of guaranteed and there is no reason to be afraid to end up lonely in Thailand. Fellow travelers you randomly meet will tell you where to go in Thailand, they give you island hopping tips, they tell you about the best places to stay and with some you might end up traveling around the country or fall in love! :) Looking for friends? Travel to Thailand!
36. Backpacking Thailand is heaven for solo travelers
If you are looking for the best country for solo travelers then stop searching. Thailand is the number one backpacking country in the world simply because all of these reasons I am summing up to travel to Thailand. It has all the ingredients for a perfect holiday plus traveling is made easy because of the well-organized transportation network. There are a ton of hostels in Thailand where it is easy to connect with fellow travelers.
37. Banana Pancake Trail
For many travelers Thailand is the starting and ending point on a trip through South East Asia, also called the Banana Pancake Trail. Bangkok is the perfect hub to visit the surrounding countries Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Malaysia. In my Thailand itineraries blog I also created a perfect island hopping itinerary from Thailand to Malaysia.
38. Travel to Thailand on a budget
Thailand is budget friendly and that is of course why a lot of young people travel to Thailand after their studies. With a small budget you can get really far and even luxury is affordable. So how much does a trip to Thailand cost? That totally depends on what you want to spend. There are bars where a cocktail costs $2 USD but you can also find rooftop bars where cocktails cost $25 USD.
Click on the link for a breakdown of prices in Thailand for traveling, food, restaurants, transportation, accommodation, drinks, etc.
Looking for the best prices for bus, train and boat tickets? Check online via 12Go Asia, a reliable source for your Thailand transportation. Try it below!
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You will see all the options for traveling Thailand on a budget, including domestic flights in Thailand, which are often even cheaper than long bus rides.
39. Affordable Luxury
Like I just said even if you are a luxury traveler a trip to Thailand will suit you. Thailand tourism is doing really well because the value for money is amazing in this country. There are a ton of 5 star hotels in Thailand and one is even more fantastic than the other. Some locations are over the top expensive like Koh Samui and Phuket but in the rest of Thailand you can easily find 5 star hotels for around $100 per room per night. No hidden fees, simply affordable luxury. A luxury Thailand holiday does not have to be expensive!
Find amazing 5 star hotels for just $100 per night in Bangkok. Who does not want to travel in style and not pay a fortune?
Make your trip to Thailand much more convenient by staying connected. There are amazing e-sim cards for Thailand. Check out my guide with everything you need to know about using e-sim cards when traveling to Thailand.
40. Thai Massages
A Thailand vacation is not complete without a Thai massage. Honestly I am not a fan of a Thai massage and I always opt for an oil massage, mostly called Swedish massage in Thailand. The great thing about Thai massages is that an hour massage will cost you around $8 USD only in the cheaper places. That means you can get one every day if you want to.
Don’t be scared you are going to be touched at places you don’t want to! Places with happy end massages simply look different, so choose your spot carefully.
41. Stay away from crazy monkeys
Another important thing to know when you travel to Thailand is about the monkeys. They may look cute but they aren’t the most humble ones in the world. They are so used to tourists that they became rude. There is no need to be afraid for them, but please approach with care. They are guaranteed for funny scenes though as they will climb up to people and steal sunglasses, hats, cameras, backpacks, etc. You are warned! Don’t let a monkey ruin your Thailand holiday!
42. Visit the Thai Islands
Now let me give you some ideas where to go and what to see in Thailand.
Talking about island hopping in Thailand, the gorgeous islands made Thailand tourism one of the most popular backpacking destinations in the world. Pictures of the pristine beaches, the karst mountains and the traditional longtail boats have gone viral all over the internet. Island hopping is one of the best things to do in Thailand, click on the link for all my tips.
43. Visit the BEAUTIFUL Thai Beaches
Needless to say that the picture perfect white sand beaches are one of the main reasons people want to go island hopping in Thailand. Be careful though! Not all beaches are like what you see in pictures. Instagram is a bitch! ;) A down side, of traveling to Thailand being so popular, is its mass tourism. Make sure you know where to go in Thailand and do some research before your trip to find those unspoiled beaches. Find out which are the best islands to visit in Thailand in this link.
44. Bangkok is unique
Crazy Bangkok! There is of course a reason the Hangover 2 was shot in Bangkok. Nights out here can get crazy. Bangkok never sleeps and during the day there are many things to do in Bangkok, but at nighttime the city really comes alive. During the day you should explore the temples, the canals, Chinatown, the backpackers area, the river, the markets and its shopping malls.
When the sun starts to go down grab a cocktail on a rooftop and end up partying till the sun comes up. This city is unique in its kind. I have lived on and off in Thailand between 2013 and 2016 and Bangkok was my base. I miss this city! Check out my top 10 things to do in Bangkok or 13 unusual things to do in Bangkok.
45. Visit Khao Sok National Park
One of the coolest things to do in Thailand when you are looking for an adventure is to head to Khao Sok National Park. Stay overnight in this amazing green oasis and enjoy the peaceful nights watching stars from the balcony over your bungalow on the water. Go kayaking, hiking or even camping in the jungle.
46. National Park Ang Thong
In total 42 little green rock islands surrounded by shallow sea is what National Park Ang Thong is made of. One of the most amazing things to do in Thailand is to hike up to the viewpoint for an exceptional view over this natural beauty. Luckily it is a protected area and there are no hotels. Staying overnight in Ang Thong is possible if you are backpacking Thailand. This secret travel tip is for the die-hard traveler as there is no hot water and almost no electricity, but there are some tents for rent at the park headquarters in Koh Wua Talab.
Click on the link to find day trips to Ang Thong National Park from Koh Samui.
47. Khao San Road - Most Famous Backpack Street in the World
A lot of countries have a famous street, which somehow turned into a tourist attraction. In Thailand that is Khao San Road, probably the most famous backpacking street in the world. Two Mc Donald’s, two Starbuck’s and two Burger Kings in a 500 meter long street does not sound like a reason to travel to Thailand, but this street is a unique experience. The uncountable street vendors, market stalls, restaurants, massage salons, bars, clubs and souvenirs shops make this one of the most bustling streets in the world. It is the heart of Thailand tourism.
48. Maeklong Railway Market
This is a small authentic market set on the railway tracks. One minute there is a bustling market under umbrellas with stalls scattered everywhere. The next minute a train passes right through the middle of it all, only to turn back into a market a few minutes later. The train market is open 7 days a week from 6.20 am to 5.40 pm. That is matching the schedule of first train departing to the last train arriving at Maeklong Station. Truly something amazing to experience! Put it on the list of places to visit in Thailand.
49. Jungle trekking
Need some ideas on what to do when you travel to Thailand?
It is not all about beaches in Thailand. The hilly countryside of Chiang Mai is perfect to go for trekking. There are 3 jungle trekking tours / hiking tours in Chiang Mai I recommend in particular: the Kew Mae Pan Nature trail, hiking in the Chaeson National Park, hiking in Doi Inthanon National Park.
There are much more things to do in Chiang Mai than only jungle trekking tours. What about rafting on the Mae Taeng, mountain biking in Doi Suthep National Park, wakeboarding or even a quad biking tour at Huey Tung Tao Lake or in Mae Taeng.
50. Get your Open Water (PADI)
Learning how to scuba dive is one of the best things to do in Thailand. The dive community on the islands is huge and you will find dive schools everywhere. The conditions are perfect for first time divers and on top of that it is among the cheapest places in the world to get certified, especially on my favorite island in Thailand: Koh Tao. Click on the link to read everything about this little gem. Learn how to scuba dive is a popular activity for those backpacking Thailand.
51. Scuba diving
Even if you are an experienced scuba diver a Thailand trip is worth it for its underwater world. With so many islands it is obvious that there are many cool places to go scuba diving in Thailand. For experienced divers I would recommend dive sites like Sail Rock and Chumporn Pinnacle close to Koh Tao, the Similan Islands, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang.
The best place to visit in Thailand for scuba diving is Koh Tao. Read here my complete island guide: Best Things To Do in Koh Tao.
Check out this blog post with a Thai domestic flight search guide. Tips on how to find cheap flight deals for traveling around Thailand.
Not everyone is a fan of scuba diving and don’t worry Thailand has also plenty of snorkeling options all around the islands. Just rent a snorkel set and head out by yourself or hop on of the many snorkeling day trips that are offered on every island. Need help making an island hopping Thailand itinerary? Click on the link! I created 4 different 1-week itineraries, which you can all combine if you want to island hop for a month.
53. Swim with Whale Sharks
Tempted to swim with the biggest fish in the ocean? Don't worry, this 8-12 meter long shark is harmless. It only eats plankton and move gently through the ocean. If you are lucky you can see them when diving in Koh Tao. I have seen several and it is an unbelievable experience. Best dive sites in Thailand to see whale sharks are: Sail Rock between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, Chumporn Pinnacle in Koh Tao and Southwest Pinnacle also in Koh Tao.
54. Tab Kak Hang Nak Hike - Best Hike in Thailand
If you are looking for some adventure on your Thailand trip and want to see one of the coolest places to visit in Thailand then definitely put this on your list. To me this is one of the best things to do as I love adventure. I am sure the photo says it all.
The hike through the forest is not easy and it even includes some climbing, but the views from the top are rewarding. Don’t underestimate this tourist attraction. Many Thailand travel blogs will tell you how amazing it is, but they forget to tell you that climbing to the top is very hard!
With so many markets there is no need to tell you that Thailand is a shopping heaven. If you are a shopaholic I am sure your Thailand holiday will be a success. You will surely love getting lost in Siam and Sukhumvit where one shopping mall is lined up next to the other.
But not only in the capital, everywhere you go in the country souvenirs and other stuff will be thrown at you. The best places to visit in Thailand for shopping are in Bangkok: Chinatown, Asiatique, Siam Square, Patpong Night Market, floating markets, Happy Land Junction.
56. Sunset cocktails
No matter if you are in Bangkok in Chiang Mai or on one of the islands, sunsets in Thailand are spectacular! Sipping a happy hour cocktail on the rooftop watching the sun go down over the bustling city is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.
With your feet in the sand watching the sun go down in the ocean is not bad either, right? The colors of Thai sunsets vary to such amazing extremes that through the course of this daily phenomenon, it can seem like a completely different sunset just a couple minutes later.
57. Swim with elephants
I have still never done it myself but I have seen so many incredible photos of people having the time of their life bathing with elephants. Please note that not all of these elephant sanctuaries are what they say they are and please do some research where to go in Thailand before signing up to visit one of these elephant sanctuaries. Another secret Thailand travel tip is to spend the night in an elephant rescue home and get to spend lots of time with the animals. Check out: Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary. I have not been here myself, but it is high on my list of places to visit in Thailand.
Thailand tours? I can recommend you the tour packages of Adrenaline Hunter for your activities in Thailand. They have some special things to do in Thailand like: hot air ballooning, paragliding, microlight flying, sailing, survival training and more.
58. Don’t ride elephants
Also read this carefully: What not to do when you travel to Thailand!
Most people traveling to Thailand are already aware that riding elephants is not done, but still many tour agencies offer these trips. In most probably any Thailand travel blog you will be discouraged not to do so and by writing this I hope I make you realize that riding an elephant in Thailand is not cool! Stop animal cruelty and refuse to take pictures with elephants, but instead do some research and visit a reputable sanctuary.
59. Don’t take selfies with tigers
Another thing not to do when you travel to Thailand is to take selfies with tigers. Why do you think they are so calm and stare into your camera? Ever realized that these animals are drugged? Do you like to be drugged? Yes some people may like drugs! :p
But obviously this is animal cruelty and please refrain from taking selfies with tigers in Thailand! If you are still not convinced then I hope this article about 40 dead Tiger cubs in a freezer will make you realize taking a selfie with a tiger is NOT COOL!
Don't forget to get your Thailand travel insurance, try below to get a free quotation.
60. Eat sweet mangos - the best!
Eat as many sweet mangoes as you can when you travel to Thailand! This fruit can get any better than in Thailand, I am kind of addicted to them. You can buy them pretty much anywhere on the streets or on markets.
61. Chang or Singha beer
Singha is the oldest and most well-known beer in Thailand and together with Chang they rule the beer market in Thailand. Chang is mostly a couple cents cheaper. I like both, or basically I don’t really care what I drink. :)
62. Starbucks, 7Eleven and fast food chains are everywhere
If you are a fan of fast food you are going to be spoiled for choice. On your trip to Thailand you will see more Mc Donalds, KFC, Burger King than you have ever seen anywhere else. The same for Starbucks and 7Eleven.
63. Buffet breakfast
I already told you that luxury is affordable but when you book an upscale hotel in Thailand make sure it has one of those buffet hotel breakfasts to die for. Trust me you will find anything you crave at these breakfast. It is worth getting up early for!
64. Better to buy bottled water
Tap water in Thailand can officially be consumed, I have done it many times and never got sick. Bottled water though does hardly cost anything so it is wise to not take the risk to get sick on your Thailand holiday and spend a couple cents to buy bottled water. However it is not the best solution for the environment. Check if your hotels/hostel has safe drinking water dispensers and bring a reusable water bottle.
I understand that it doesn't feel right to drink the tap water in Thailand, however the tap water in Thailand is safe for showering and brushing your teeth.
65. Best sim card in Thailand for tourists
All bars, restaurants, shops and hotels have free wifi and mobile data and WiFi internet is fast in Thailand. But if you want to stay online during your Thailand holiday I recommend you buying a prepaid sim card for Thailand or read my complete guide with everything you need to know about buying an e-sim card for Thailand in 2024.
I hope all these tips, recommendations and advices make you realize how amazingly easy it is to travel to Thailand. It is not for nothing that I always say that you can hardly go wrong by booking a trip to Thailand. Over the years I have sent many people to the land of smiles and I had never anyone who did not like their vacation or backpacking holiday.
Find the best transportation in Thailand
The transportation search engine from 12Go Asia compares bus, boat, train and flight tickets all in one overview. They give you all the options available, including time schedules, seat availability and you can directly book your ticket online. Get the ticket instantly in your email with a guaranteed and confirmed seat!
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Avoid the hassle of buying bus tickets from street vendors, 12Go Asia is a reliable agency and Traveltomtom has used it uncountable times to get around Thailand and booked his boat, bus, train and even domestic flights via them.
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If you have any further questions about traveling to Thailand please reach out to me on my Instagram account @traveltomtom. I am happy to help you out to get the most out of your trip to Thailand. I have many Thailand travel content so be aware that this could create some serious wanderlust.
In total I have now been on the road continuously since 2012 and these are some of my best travel adventures from around the world. Interested how to earn money from a travel blog or how I became a professional travel blogger then click on these links to read my story and may be inspire you to create a lifestyle around travel too.
Things you might like to read as well:
- Activities in Koh Tao besides diving
- Is it safe to travel to Thailand now
- Thailand itineraries for 2 weeks
If there are any more questions you have about traveling to Thailand and leave me a comment below or reach out to me on social media.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Thailand!