Thailand has something for everyone, with pristine beaches, ancient temples, tantalising cuisine, tropical rain forests and vibrant street life.
Thailand’s peak season is from November to February when the weather is generally warm and sunny. The hottest months are April and May. Low season is considered to be May to October when rainfall is common, although there is sunshine between showers.
Phuket and Koh Samui are the two most popular resorts, and they have different rainy seasons, when one is wet, the other is dry. The best time to visit Phuket in the West of Thailand is from November to March. Where as the best time to visit Koh Samui in the East of Thailand is from June to September.
Thailand has a tropical climate, the average annual temperature is 28°C and high humidity. It’s never cold in Thailand, the daily average temperatures range from 20-30°C throughout the year. The hot season is from March to May, the rainy season from June to October and the cooler / dry season from November to February.
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and claims to welcome more visitors than any other in the world. Their floating markets, Chinatown, luxury shopping malls, street food and famous nightlife offer an amazing mix of experiences to be found during a stop over or city break.
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s old capital and is situated in the hills, rather than on a beach. Ideal for visitors wanting to experience beautiful scenery, adventure activities, northern Thai cuisine, golf and local culture. The Old City area of Chiang Mai is popular with bargain hunters shopping at the Night Bazaar, the locals are friendly and lacking in the pushy sales tactics found in some resorts.
Hua Hin changed from a quiet fishing village to a relaxed seaside resort, when the Thai royal family built their summer palaces there. September to February is the best time to visit, when the sky is clear and it’s less humid. Popular for kitesurfing.
Khao Lak is a beautiful location in the Phang Nga Province with white sand beaches, wildlife, waterfalls, lagoons and rain forest. November to February is the best time to visit. The Similan and Surin Islands marine parks and one of the world’s best dive sites is less than 1 hour away by boat.
Khao Sok is a jungle location in Southern Thailand with adventure activities and wildlife encounters. Khao Sok National Park is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, with limestone mountaints reaching 960m and includes the beautiful Cheow Larn Lake. This location has rain from both the East and West monsoons, so there’s no dry season in the rainforest.
Koh Phangan is accessed by speedboat from Koh Samui and famous for their monthly Full Moon Parties. Each month 10,000 – 30,000 revellers flock to Haad Rin to party through the night. Apart from this monthly deluge of visitors, the island can offer a relaxed holiday, the main beaches include Sunrise Beach, Hat Khuat and Hat Thian.
Koh Samui is the second largest island and about half the size of Phuket. Chaweng Beach is the busiest area with a lively nightlife. Quieter locations with smaller beaches and villages include Lamai and Bhoput. This island is ideal for visitors who want a similar experience to Phuket but with a more relaxed pace.
Krabi is stunning, this province of Thailand has magnificent limestone rock formations, mangrove forests and several national parks. Krabi Province includes more than 80 small islands including Phi Phi. Ko Lanta National Park is popular for scuba diving and the rock faces at Railay Beach attract climbers to this destination. October – April is the best time to visit. Ao Nang beach is the most popular place to stay, Krabi Town offers cheaper accommodation but not as scenic and Tubkaak for a quiet location.
Pattaya is the nearest Beach resort to Bangkok and renown for it’s adult themed nightlife. The main attraction is Walking Street which is littered with clubs and gogo bars. The beaches in Pattaya are not of the same standard as the top two resorts, but it offers a beach holiday destination with outrageous nightlife opportunities. There’s a good choice of international restaurants and Thai cuisine for foodies.
Phuket is the largest island and the most famous of Thailand’s beach resorts. Patong is the most popular area to stay in Phuket, it has a huge beach and lots of nightlife. For those wanting a quieter location and less crowds Kamala, Karon and Kata have good beaches and some evening entertainment. Phuket is also a popular golfing destination with 6 golf courses. Phuket diving season is from November to April.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) is the airport in Bangkok, other international airports in Thailand include:
Chiang Mai International Aiport (CNX)
Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
Hat Yai International Airport (HDY)
Krabi International Airport (KBV)
Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI)
Phuket International Airport (HKT)
Samui International Airport (USM)
Utapao-Rayong-Pataya International Airport (UTP)
The Thai Baht is the currency of Thailand.
Thai is the official language of Thailand.
Thailand Standard Time UTC+07:00
The number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand rose nearly 9 percent to 32.6 million in 2016, which is up nearly 13 percent from 2015, according to data released by the Tourism Ministry. Almost a third of their total international arrivals in 2016 came from China, with 8.87 million Chinese visitors.
British passport holders can visit Thailand for 30 days without a visa. If using the 30 day visa exemption you can only enter Thailand through a land border twice per calendar year, this doesn’t apply to entry by air. If you need to extend your stay, a one off 30 day extension can be applied for. Your passport should be valid for a minim of 6 months from date of entry into Thailand. Entry is normally refused for any damaged passpor
Care should be taken to avoid being bitten by mosquitos when visiting Thailand, travellers are at risk of contracting Dengue Fever, there is also a risk of the Zika virus.
Visitors with asthma or susceptible to bronchial issues should take care during the months of March & April when the North & North East of Thailand can suffer with poor air quality.