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7 Tips For Travelling In Thailand

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Travelling in Thailand: everything you need to know

7 Thailand travel tips for the boldest of adventurers

There are few countries more deliciously diverse than Thailand. 

How many places on earth can you experience luscious forests, mountainous horizons and the most pristine white sandy beaches? And that’s before we’ve even got started on the street food…Nomnomnom.

Drooling aside, there’s a heck of a lot to see and do in Thailand. So we’ve pulled together an array of info you need to know about this fantastic country of culture and adventure, including the best time to go, the best things to do and how to actually get there. 

Let’s dive right in with our top tips for travelling in Thailand. 

#1 – Currency, cash and scams in Thailand

Thailand remains a very cash-heavy country, trading in Thai Baht. You’ll usually be able to spend on card in the posher hotels, restaurants and most shopping centres – but if you’re anything like us you’ll be galivanting around local markets and stuffing as much authentic Thai street food in your pie hole as possible. 

As you can imagine, you’ll need plenty of cash to spend with the street hawkers – and don’t be fooled into thinking you’re better off eating elsewhere, some of the best food we’ve ever tasted has been on the streets of Bangkok. 

Keep an eye out for scams while you’re in Thailand – annoyingly they’re pretty rife and it’s pretty easy to get caught out wherever you are in the country. They change all the time too, so make sure you have a good Google of the current hoaxes before you go, and keep your eyes peeled!

Thailand travel tips

#2 – The language in Thailand

There’s an obvious answer to the question “which language is spoken in Thailand?”. Thai. 

But before you head out to an awkward evening class to brush up on your best Thai, rest assured that most people speak English, particularly in the more touristy areas. 

You’ll find there are fewer English speakers in the more rural areas in northern Thailand (like the traditional hill people you’ll meet on our Thai tour), but polite gestures and sincere attempts to communicate will still go down well. 

If you’re travelling in Thailand with a guided group, you’ll always have someone who’s able to translate too, so you should get by perfectly well. 

#3 – When should you go to Thailand?

There’s always something to do in Thailand, no matter what time of year you’re there.

That being said, some months are definitely less wet than others. So if you’d rather not get soaked and you’re keen to seek a bit of sun, make sure you go between December and May. 

You can find out a LOT more about Thai weather and the best time to travel to Thailand in our blog HERE. Temperatures, rainfalls and climates across the country – it’s all in there. 

#4 – The food in Thailand

Most people have heard of Pad Thai which is arguably the most staple (and delectable) dish of Thailand. You’ll find SO many diverse and delicious dishes at the myriad street food stalls across the country – and often for as little as $2 per dish!

If you want to eat something that tastes amazing AND which is more likely to be safe to consume, you’re best-off sticking to the busiest stalls. Thai people eat out a LOT so the busy stalls are the ones where you know the food will be seriously tasty. 

Most food in Thailand tends to be light, fragrant and really rather heavenly. It’s rarely as hot as you might think, we’ve never had an upset tummy there, and the prices are so low that you really do need to give it a go. 

Avoid salads and ice cream and you should be fine!

Thailand Food

#5 The best things to do in Thailand

With such a diverse topography and ancient culture to drink in, there’s tonnes you can do in Thailand. Traditional 13-century temples, elephant sanctuary visits, rice paddies, beach vibes, diving, jungle trekking and mountain climbing to name just a few… Find out more about packing ALL this into one amazing 16-day trip with flights included HERE. 

Here are our favourite picks for the best things to do in Thailand right now:

Bangkok

It’s crazy, but in a good way – and no trip to Thailand would be complete without a bit of Bangkok. It’s not all partying and bright lights, there’s plenty to Bangkok that every intrepid traveller should seek out. Temples, The Grand Palace, street food, massages and amazing markets (some floating!) – they all await you in Bangkok.

Bangkok

Islands
Thailand is arguably most well-known for its plethora of paradisial islands, and there’s a reason for that. They’re STUNNING, all of them. The east and west coasts of southern Thailand are dotted with the most spectacular group of islands you might ever set foot on. So make sure you do! They’re the perfect place to chill out, eat great food and get some R&R. 

Diving

In case you didn’t already know, Thailand is THE place to get scuba certified. Cheap courses, highly qualified and experienced instructors AND beautifully blue waters filled with a kaleidoscope of colourful fins make this country one of the best in the world for divers. 

Temples

Buddhism’s a big deal in Thailand and a super important part of Thai life. You’ll notice intricate temples dotted all over the country, and there are often monks present too. Usuall, they’ll be very happy to talk to you about their traditions and practices – and at some temples you can take a meditation class for a small donation!

Tuktuks

Tuktuks are the cheapest and easiest way to get around the bustling (and sometimes frighteningly busy!) streets in most cities. They’re a lot of fun too! Recently Bangkok have launched Electric Tuk Tuks. They work on an Uber type scheme and they currently have to be pre-booked. You need to download the app MuvMi.

Sunsets
Let the sun transfix you as it sets over the crystal waters surrounding whichever island you’ve hopped to most recently. With the white sands in front of you and orange rays beaming off the blue waters, you’ll want to stay exactly where you are, probably forever. Aww. 

Elephants

There’s something magical about elephants, isn’t there? If you’re hoping to get to know some long-trunked amigos while you’re in Thailand, make sure you do it ethically. Thankfully, genuine sanctuaries exist where you can lend a hand caring for these beautiful creatures and extending their welfare.

Happy Elephant Chaing Mai

Jungles

In the north, close to Chiang Mai, you’ll find mysterious and majestic jungle where you can meet traditional hill people, see all sorts of wildlife and even float gently down rivers on rafts (so long as you book the right trip!).

Khao Sok National Park

Home to breathtaking limestone mountains, babbling brooks, stunning lakes and more dense rainforest, Khao Sok has SO much to offer and definitely needs to go onto your Thailand Bucket List. 

Our top-to-tail tour of Thailand takes in ALL of this, so if you’d like to tick Thailand off your Bucket List in the best way possible, make sure you check out the ‘Best of Thailand’ itinerary.  

#6 – How to travel to Thailand: visas and passports

Anyone with a British passport can visit Thailand for 30 days without a visa, but you’ll need at least 6 months on your passport in order to do so. You can stay longer if you want, you just need to extend your stay for up to another 30 days, though they’ll only let you do that once. 

Altogether, you’re allowed to enter Thailand using a land border with the 30-day visa exemption twice a year and if you want to travel in and out more than that, you’ll need the appropriate visa. 

Outstaying your welcome will result in a 500 baht fine per day up to a maximum of 20,000 baht (just over £450). You’d also risk being deported, held in detention or permanently banned from the country so it’s worth your while getting these things right if you’re planning to be there more than 30 days. 

Always check on the Gov.uk website for the latest regulations before you go.  

#7 – How much does it cost to travel to Thailand? 

A strung out back-packing trip could cost you as little as $35 a day, though obviously that doesn’t include the cost of significant activities, flights or internal travel. 

Staying in more upmarket hotels and doing the most adventurous stuff Thailand has to offer will set you back a bit more, but it’ll be well worth your buck for the memories you make. 

It’s usually cheapest to fly to Thailand in September with March, April and May being the more expensive months for flights. You’ll find the best bargains for sites and attractions in the wet season, from June to October. 

…But you will get very wet. 

My best advice for travelling in Thailand

Like we’ve already said, there’s a LOT to do in Thailand and you could easily spend months and months heading up and down the country, perfectly well entertained every day. 

Patong Hotel Thailand

Not everyone has endless months to play with though, and our boss Keith gives some great advice on that front: 

“Slow down. It might be tempting to try and fit everything into one trip – but unless time’s on your side it’ll be impossible. Chill out, stop rushing and make the most of the few experiences you do choose to do this time. Leave yourself some room to come back again one day! There’s no way you’ll regret adventuring in Thailand if you take the time to really appreciate each thing you do.”

It’s top advice and the reason why we’ve created the inaugural Bucket List Company tour of Thailand. The trip takes in Keith’s favourite bits of this incredible country and will give you an adventure you’ll never, ever forget. 

If you’d like to find out more about getting up close and personal with elephants (strictly ethically), trekking through jungle, rafting down rivers, diving in azure waters and drinking in the historic culture that Thailand’s so well known for, think about joining us. 

Click HERE to find out more about your truly extraordinary experience in Thailand with The Bucket List Company.

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