Breakfast • Flights inc
From the wonder of its golden Buddhas and hilltop temples to the glamour of its sandy beaches and paradise coves, its bustling cities and mountain shrines, Thailand is a tropical paradise, cultural haven and hedonistic nocturnal temptress all rolled into one.
Fresh local ingredients are key to the mouthwatering flavours that emanate from their world famous cuisine and nothing could be more traditional than a Pad Thai served off a street cart in a busy market in the centre of Bangkok. Cooking classes can be found throughout and if you want to really push the bounds of the culinarily bizarre and you're feeling brave, head to an out of town local market to try deep fried spiders on sticks, flies in bags like raisins and a whole host of things that would ordinarily turn the stomach.
Local and street markets can be found just about everywhere and the art of bartering is an essential skill when you head off for some traditional retail therapy. Don't be afraid to haggle, its expected. The initial price they tell you will be inflated by 200-300% so it they say 500 baht, offer 50 and take it from there.
Between the bustling cities and towns and the paradise coastlines lie acres of tropical forests, rice paddies and quaint little villages bound by agricultural. Mountains scar the north, decorated with glittering waterfalls and local wildlife all interspersed with hidden temples and golden shrines.
When it comes to sun worship and relaxation, there's a wealth of choice from shark diving in Ko Tao to the cliffs of Krabi, full moon parties in Ko Pha Ngan to water-sports in Hua Hin or if you want to relax, revive and re-invigorate both mind and soul, try a health spa in Ko Samui. For the more traditional resorts, head south to Phuket where you'll find the usual hotels and a wider selection of family friendly options.
Thailand can be divided into three seasons, the rainy monsoon season (May to October) with August and September being the wettest period although dry spells commonly occur for 1 to 2 weeks from June to early July. Winter, from October until February where most of Thailand experiences dry weather and mild temperatures with the exception of the south where abundant rainfall, particularly from October to November is common. Summer runs from February until May and when warmer weather is the norm with average temperatures around 30°C.
There's so much to admire about this glorious country and so much to do and see it would be madness to have never visited so book your next trip now.
When to visit
If you're planning a holiday in Thailand, our top picks for the best time to travel would be January and December
Thailand's dry season coincides with slightly cooler temperatures, which result in perfect conditions. The seas are calmer, particularly on the Andaman-facing west coast.
Cooler and dry, Thailand can be a wonderful wintry sunshine escape at this time of year. Relax on Koh Samui's idyllic long white sandy beaches, or visit local tribes in Chiang Mai's scenic hills
Books inspired by Thailand
Our hand-picked selection of books to get you in the mood for your Thailand holiday
Baan means the home, the community, the place where you come from - and this book gives an essence of all that and more. A wonderful cookery book in its own right, it also delivers a bit of Thai soul and understanding along with its brilliantly simple recipes. The only Thai cookbook you'll need.
Crime reporter Jimm Juree is forced to follow her family from Chiang Mai to Southern Thailand when her mother sells the family business for an investment in a beach resort. But bodies start turning up and it's soon back to what she knows best. Hilariously readable first book in the series.
A visit to Bangkok for its affordable dentistry becomes an extended stay when the author realises he can live on just a few dollars a day. A humorous insight into the Thai capital, digging beneath the surface of its hidden depths and contradictions and revealing it in all its glorious quirkiness.
Elaine Russell; Patcharee Meesukhon
A great book for young travellers to learn all about Thailand. The reader explores everything about the country with a girl from the countryside and a boy from the city. Great for 8 to 11 year olds.
Thailand Blog posts
From the UK's most popular travel bloggers
1st April 2021 by PommieTravels10 things to do in Bangkok
With heavy traffic, huge high-rise buildings and oppressive humidity, it can take a while to adjust to life in Bangkok. Thailand’s capital is a big, chaotic city, but don’t let this put you off. As you explore further you’ll find opulent palaces, colourful markets and all kinds of nightlife. When I visited Thailand for the first time, my friend told me I shouldn’t spend any time in Bangkok on my way to Koh Samui. “There’s not really much to do there but shopping and it’s dirty”...
1st April 2021 by Budget TravellerThe last time I saw Thailand
Like Bourdain, I’ve been fortunate to have visited Thailand a few times. Three to be precise. The last time I saw Thailand was just after Xmas, 2018. We had just spent Christmas in the dreamy town of Luang Prabang in Laos. After the blissfully meditative humdrum life of Luang Prabang a return to Bangkok was a return to the comfort of chaos, of extremes that is the DNA of all my best backpacking memories in South East Asia. No one ever forgets that first intense zap of muggy humid heat that...
9th March 2021 by Two Monkey's TravelHow to travel by land from Thailand to Laos: A backpacker’s guide
Thailand and Laos are Southeast Asian neighbors that are separated by the Mekong River. To date, there are 9 land borders in which many nationals can get a Visa on Arrival. There are also daily flights from both of these countries. However, in this article, we will tell you how to travel by land from Thailand to Laos as it is common for backpackers....
24th February 2021 by TravelDaveWhy you should plan a workcation in Chiang Mai
Looking back at my past trips to Thailand, it’s always my first workcation to Chiang Mai that stands out amongst the rest. I will never forget that first buzz of excitement I felt whilst travelling to Chiang Mai, Thailand; it was a real adventure that I was craving for. For me, it was more than a trip, it was a chance to try something different after university, and I was ready for a new adventure and chapter in my life. I had heard about this remote working lifestyle and wanted to give a...
19th January 2021 by While I'm YoungWhy Thailand is the ultimate backpacking destination
After ten weeks of bussing all over New Zealand’s South Island and exploring the East coast of Australia, my travel pal and I touched down in Thailand. Our time in the first two countries had been replete with epic hikes, jaw-dropping natural landscapes and a whole lot of goon (Byron Bay oi oi!), but it was only on my first day in Thailand that I had my first real dose of culture shock....
12th February 2021 by AndyCheapest places to holiday in January
Forget the typical New Year’s Resolutions of dieting, exercising and saving money – and kick the New Year off with a holiday instead! After all, it’s cold and you’ve probably spent far too much time indoors, wondering where to put all your Christmas presents.In the tropics, you’ll find perfect weather and the southern hemisphere is in sun-filled party mode for the entire month. If you’re not aching for the sun, but can’t wait to hit the slopes instead, Europe’s best ski resorts...
12th February 2021 by AndyCheapest places to holiday in December
December kicks off the global festive season, so it’s the perfect time to pack up and go on an adventure. You get the best of weather extremes, with Christmas markets shimmering beneath first snow falls on one side of the world and the hot, summer sun hitting the beach on the other. Prices do rise for flights and accommodation, however, the team at Travelscoop is always on the lookout for fantastic deals, so your Christmas holidays won’t break the bank.Let’s take a look at some of our...