Great food, tropical climate, fascinating culture, majestic mountains and beautiful beaches, Thailand is a magnet for traveller around the globe. Located in the Southwest Asia, you will find almost everything here: thick green jungle where getting lost, crystal blue waters, food that will send your tastebuds to ecstasy and lots of history to discover. With luxury resorts and backpackers accommodations, everybody can shape his holiday according to his own wishes.
Are you planning your own Thailand trip but you don’t know where to start? Read on this guide and you will realise that it will be easier than you think!
1. Budget and general info
Although a Thailand trip sounds exotic and expensive, it could actually be really cheap. Flights from Europe are, indeed, not expensive at all. According to your budget, you can choose among 5 stars hotels and resorts at 200£ per night and hostels and bungalows on the beach for just 10 quid per night, or even less. Once you get there, the exchange rate and lower cost of drinking and eating will be a pleasant discover.
You don’t need a visa if your visit is no longer than 30 days. Beside this, it’s recommendable having a valid medical insurance throughout your holiday. You can simply obtain it online choosing among infinite companies with a couple of clicks or check with your bank. Plus, bear in mind that most places in Thailand deal only with cash.
2. Set an itinerary
According how much time you have available, you should design you Thailand trip itinerary. Generally, your journey will start in Bangkok. Stay there just a couple of days, you will return there for your flight back anyway. If you want to have a fully discover of the country, you should opt from there to go in the North, perhaps the most authentic part. Here, Chiang Mai and Pai are the best city which absolutely worth a visit. If your time is strict, taking a plane for the south: it’s time to go to the beaches! Here, you can choose among beautiful islands and amazing coast cities, like Krabi. If you are not interested on beaches, you can opt to go to the discover of the Northeast culture, Thailand’s agricultural heartland.
In order to plan at the best your Thailand trip, research what you can’t miss, in particular among less touristic spots. However, leave your itinerary open for having the chance to get lost among temples, elephants and monkeys and for following advices from locals.
3. Plan your activities
With oceans and islands to explore, jungles and mountains where getting lost and a rich and diversified culture to embrace, Thailand will overwhelm you with lots of activities. Adventures seekers can opt for a diving lesson, taking a trekking routes among waterfalls and dense jungle on the Northern Thailand or climbing over the sea on Krabi. If you are a boxing enthusiast, there are lots of moo-ay tai (or muay thai) training camp packages. Alternatives, you will have the chance to chill out on spiritual retreats and massage course. On top of that, if your passion is food, take a Thai food lesson and discover all their secrets.
With so many activities to choose from, you should plan in advance for leaving some time for your favourites. Let’s boost your holiday up!
4. Eat and drink as a local
Among Buddhist temples, wonderful beaches and rooftop bars in Bangkok, Thai food will make you fall in love at the first bite! Incendiary curries, heap of noodles, fresh seafood and tropical fruit: everything you have always been dreaming about is here! Lots of regional varieties and influences from Muslims and Chinese minorities that create a lively and excellent culinary heritage to discover. Generally speaking, Thai food is characterised to a favourable balance of four clear and vibrant flavours: sweet, sour, salty and spicy.
Get lost among its amazing food markets, where you will find the best of locality. And, most important, don’t be scared to try different stuff!
5. Choose your favorite beaches
A terrible dilemma: so, so many wonderful beaches to choose from! If your first Thailand trip, unfortunately, won’t last months, you should definitely take a decision. So, if you are looking for a crazy nightlife and party scene, you should definitely check out Ko Pha-Ngan, Phuket and Ko Phi-Phi. While, if you are looking for diving and snorkeling paradise, the Andaman Coast and Ko Tao in the Lower Gulf have the best undersea views of the country. Plus, there are plenty of islands outside from a massive tourism where you will taste an authentic South Thai culture, like Ko Si Chang or Ko Sukuron.
I know, it will be really difficult taking a choice!