Where is Thailand?
Area: 513,120 km²
Population: 69 millions
Capital: Bangkok (Krungthep)
Average min/max temperature: 21-33 °C
- Buddhism: 95%
- Islam: 4%
- Christianity: 1%
Weather: hot and humid through the year
- hot: mid Feb - mid May
- wet: mid May - mid Oct ⓘ
- cool: mid Oct - mid Feb
- low: Apr/May - Oct/Nov
- high: Oct/Nov - Mar/Apr
- peak: late Dec - mid Jan
What does Thailand have to offer?
Thailand ranked No.10 in the most visited destinations by international tourist arrivals 2017 🔗
. In the last 10 years, the number of tourists has soared from 14 millions in 2007 to 35 millions in 2017 🔗
and expected to rise by 8-9% each year. What makes tourists keep coming back to this Land of Smiles is the reputation of stunning beaches, nature, culture, food and friendly welcoming people.
Islands and Beaches
Islands and beaches are located in the southern and eastern Thailand. There are 521 beaches in Thailand where 360 in gulf coast and 161 in Andaman coast. And total 936 islands, 374 in gulf coast and 562 in Andaman coast.
Beside islands and beaches, Thailand also has spectacular waterfalls, caves and mountain views in many regions throughout the country.
History and Culture
The ancient history of Thailand could date back to 13th century 🔗
. Thai culture can be categorized by regions (north, northeast, center and south). Each has its own unique traditional dressing style, food and dialect.
Thai food is world famous for its unique pleasant taste and flavor, and seems to captivate everyone that has tried. Like Thai culture, Thai food can be categorized by the regions. Thai people like hot and spicy food. Every region has hot and spicy dishes but not every Thai dish is hot and spicy.
When to visit Thailand?
If the criteria is to avoid rain
, the best time to visit Thailand is the end of low season toward high season (mid Oct-Nov) where you can avoid high crowds, costs and traffic all together. The weather is cooler, most national parks start to open, and waterfall are full of water. The downside is there can be some heavy rain during Oct, but this will quickly go away in Nov and Dec.
Or you could start your plan at the end of high season toward the beginning of low season (Feb-Apr), in which there should be less crowd after Christmas and New Year period. The rain is minimum and the most famous and biggest festival in Thailand (Songkran) is also in this period (13-15 Apr). Many national parks start to close at the beginning of May. Another downside is the weather is hotter and you would probably miss the spectacular waterfalls because of less amount of water.
How to get around?
The best way to get around Thailand is to get your own transportation either car or motorcycle, so you can stop by any places you like, save time, and keep you on going instead of hassle through transits. It also can be a temporary storage of you luggage when you do islands hopping you want to pack light and keep unnecessary items in you luggage. Car rental is available in most of the airports and major cities. Pick up and return at different locations is also available for major car rental companies. The cost starts around ฿1,200/day (with full coverage insurance). You should have years of driving experience and feel comfortable to drive in Thailand Ⓣ
. But if you do not plan to explore, public transportation is a good choice and convenient. You can go by bus, van, train or airplane.
- 🔗 Check train schedule
- Check bus schedule 🔗 link 1, 🔗 link 2 . For people that land at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and looking for a bus to your destination city. There are intercity buses from the airport which go to some cities. You may check 12go.asia 🔗 for schedules. If your connect flight is at Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), there's free shuttle between the airports.
- 🔗 Check furry schedule
In Bangkok, it's best and fastest way to get around by sky train and subway systems.
How to plan your trips?
- Select and locate places you want to go.
- Plot them on a map.
- Plan out transportation and time needed.
- If time is not allowed, cut out some places.
- Estimate expenses, and cut out more places to fit your budget.
- Detail and finalize your plan. Plan out where to stay, eat and how to get around.
Timing is important, since most places will not open 24/7. The idea of planning in detail is to give you options to choose and get the most of your vacation. There is no need to strictly follow the plan. Check out this 2 weeks detailed itinerary 🔗
Tips for driving car in Thailand
- Driving in Bangkok area may confuse you (plus the traffic). Better get around Bangkok area by taxi, subway or skytrain.
- Do not drive fast and try to stay on middle lanes. People do not strictly follow traffic rules, especially in rural areas.
- If there's no traffic light, you should slow down and watch for crossing traffic at any intersections either there's a stop sign or not.
- Always pass another vehicle on your right hand side. Many people died when they tried to pass on left hand side and struck a parked vehicle.
- If you're on a two-way traffic road and need to pass vehicles in front of you, be patient and make sure you can see traffic in front of you before passing.
- Try not to drive at night. In some rural area, there's no traffic lines and lights.