Planning a Trip To Thailand

Planning a trip to Thailand is an exciting adventure, but having the right information at your fingertips can make all the difference between a good trip and an unforgettable one. Our website is basically a comprehensive planning guide designed to help you navigate every aspect of your journey, from the best times to visit to the must-have essentials for your suitcase.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or embarking on your first international adventure, this guide will ensure you’re well-prepared to explore the Land of Smiles.

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The Best Time to Visit Thailand

Thailand’s tropical climate means it’s generally warm year-round, but the best time to visit largely depends on what you want to do. There are three seasons:

  • The cool season – November to February is the most popular time to visit, with pleasant temperatures and minimal rainfall. This is the perfect time for outdoor activities and beach visits.
  • The hot season – March to May sees higher temperatures, ideal for those who love the heat.
  • The rainy season – from June to October brings monsoon rains, but the rainy season is also a wonderful time to enjoy lush landscapes and fewer tourists.


Each season offers unique experiences, so choose based on your availability, you can have fun year round. Check our monthly guides for more detailed advice.

Visa and Entry Requirements

Your Thailand visa options will depend on your nationality and how long you hope to stay. If you are visiting with an Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, USA or UK passport for example, you can enter Thailand visa-free for up to 30 or soon 60 days. You can also renew for a further 30 days at a visa office in Thailand after you arrive. Please check the official Thai Government website for current advice.

An automatic visa exemption for 30 day tourist visas is issued to passengers entering Thailand from 64 countries, including the Australia, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore.

It’s essential to check the latest entry requirements, as these can change frequently. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from your date of entry.

If you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you may need to apply for a tourist visa before your trip to a Thai embassy or consulate. Alternatively, you can extend your visa on arrival. Visa applications will take at least a week and possibly much longer, so don’t leave it to the last minute. It’s also worth checking the list of Thai public holidays as their overseas offices also close on these days.

Getting Around Thailand

Thailand offers a variety of transportation options to suit different needs and budgets. Buses and trains are the most economical way to travel between cities, while domestic flights are great for saving time on longer distances. In cities, tuk-tuks and taxis are convenient for quick trips, but always negotiate the fare beforehand. Renting a scooter is a popular option for exploring smaller towns and islands, but ensure you have an international driving permit and wear a helmet at all times for safety.

Currency and budgeting

The official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB). One baht (฿) is divided into 100 satangs. Notes in use are ฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1000. Each denomination is a different colour ฿20, (green), ฿50 (blue), ฿100 (red), ฿500, (purple), ฿1000 (brown).

Currency exchange is straightforward, with many exchange booths available. We personally use the SuperRich chain, we have no official relationship with them; they are just the one we have found has the best rates. You can check their current rates here. It’s advisable to bring clean crisp notes for the best results.

If you need some Thai Baht when you arrive, there are a few currency exchange offices on the lower ground floor of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport not far from the Airport Rail Link station. Avoid any of the offerings on the main floors and make your way down here.

Head down the travelators to level B to find the best exchange rates.

First-time visitors to Thailand often worry about how they will withdraw money from ATMs in Thailand accept Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and Cirrus cards. However, using an ATM in Thailand for the first time can be a big of a shock. There is a government imposed fee on all ATM withdrawals so each time you use them you.

Regardless of the bank you use, there is a standard charge of approx 220฿ fee when you use an ATM to withdraw cash for your credit, debit, or travel card.

There used to be ATMs offering cheaper or even no fees (HSBC) however, these have all disappeared. The best way to beat the high fees is to reduce the number of times you withdraw money. However, there are maximum withdrawals per day. In our experience, Citibank has the highest limits (50,000฿) and CIMB Bank (30,000฿). I am sure there are a few others, but these are the ones we use.

Another money saving tip is to always choose THB when given the option of your own currency or the local currency. If you do not, you can be changed up to 5% as a currency conversion fee and you are stuck with whatever rate the bank decides. This applies whenever you use your card, even in shops. Always choose THB.

You will find you can use your cards in many places in Bangkok, including the MRT to tap on and off (but not the BTS) Using a mix of cash and cards is recommended for convenience. You may notice many small markets and food stalls have a QR code payment system. This is only available for Thai banks, so sadly not an option for most of us.

TIPPING IN Thailand

Tipping in Thailand is not required, but it is much appreciated. A small tip for good service can make a big difference to the low incomes some local service workers earn.

Tip between 5-10% for restaurants and bars and for taxis round up the bill. For tuk tuks and private drivers agree on a price first – no tip is required.

Tips are often given for massages and beauty services (฿50-100), housekeeping, and room service (฿10-50). For tour guides, tip ฿10-50 for a half-day, and ฿100 for a full day.

Health and Safety

Staying healthy and safe in Thailand is relatively straightforward, with some basic precautions. You might want to check you’re up to date on routine vaccinations. You may wish to consider additional vaccines for hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies, depending on your travel plans and general health.

Be mindful of food hygiene, especially when eating street food, and always drink bottled or filtered water. It’s worth noting that many early cases of Respect local customs and laws to avoid any misunderstandings.

The phone number for the Tourist Police in Thailand is 1155.

ARE VACCINATIONS REQUIRED TO VISIT Thailand?

You do not need any specific vaccinations to visit Thailand. However, speak to your doctor about what might be best for your health.

We think being up to date with your tetanus booster is a good idea. Many people also opt for Hepatitis A and B vaccines. If you do not have a current Covid vaccination certificate, you will need to provide a negative PCR test.

CAN YOU DRINK TAP WATER IN Thailand?

It is not safe to drink tap water in Thailand. You will find most accommodation, even budget hotels include at least 2 free bottles of water in your room. Water from stalls and shops costs about 10 baht.

Accommodation Options

Thailand’s accommodation options cater to all types of travellers. Budget travellers can find excellent hostels and guesthouses for a fraction of the price of hotels. Mid-range options include boutique hotels and charming bed-and-breakfasts, while luxury travellers can enjoy high-end resorts and villas with all the amenities.

It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak season, to secure the best rates and availability. Websites like Booking.com, which we use most of the time and Agoda, which is very popular in Asia, offer extensive listings and user reviews to help you choose the perfect place to stay.

Must-Have Travel Essentials

Packing for Thailand requires a bit of planning to ensure you have everything you need. Lightweight, breathable clothing is essential for the hot and humid climate. Don’t forget two swimwear if you are heading for the beaches and islands. A comfortable pair of walking shoes is crucial for exploring cities and temples.

DO YOU NEED A TRAVEL ADAPTOR FOR Thailand?

Thailand operates on standard 230 voltage and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Depending on where you are travelling from, you may need to purchase a travel adapter.

Travellers from the USA, Canada, and Japan should check their devices to check which voltage they work on. Australians and travellers from the Eu and the UK will not need a voltage converter for their electronics. If you’re from somewhere else, check this list to be sure.

Types of AC power sockets

Thailand accepts multiple electrical sockets, including:

  • 2 vertical pins (Type A)
  • 2 round pins (Type C & F)
  • 2 vertical pins with an earth pin (Type B)

Don’t worry too much about bringing extra toiletries as these are readily available and cheaper than home except for sunscreen, which is very expensive here. You may also like to bring tampons if you use these, as they can be hard (but not impossible) to find.

Another thing not to bother packing is insect repellent, the local versions are cheap and seem to work better than anything you bring from home.

Sim Cards and public wifi

Staying connected while travelling in Thailand is easy. Free public wifi is available all over the county in cafes, restaurants, and bars. Buying a local sim card is also easy and very affordable.

SIM cards

Of the brands available in Thailand, AIS is the largest and has the biggest network. They offer both a physical sim and an e-sim which you can buy online. Their 30-day traveller e-sim offers 500GB of data and 2 weeks of unlimited use of most social networks, including WhatsApp.

Buying a prepaid sim card on arrival in Thailand is easy. You’ll see telcos shops in the major airports and also in 7-Eleven and Family Mart stores. It’s also possible to pre-purchase a SIM or even an e-SIM.

For our latest trip, we used Airalo which worked perfectly but was not the cheapest option for heavy users. However, if you are visiting several parts of Asia or staying for a long time they offer a regional e-sim that covers 14 countries and is valid for 30, 60 or 90 days. These regional cards make taking your sim card cross borders hassle free and offer excellent value.

Cultural Tips and Etiquette

Thai culture is rich and diverse, with deep-rooted traditions and customs. Showing respect is paramount, so always greet with a wai (a slight bow with hands pressed together). Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples, and remove shoes before entering homes and sacred sites.

It’s considered impolite to touch someone’s head or point your feet at people or religious objects. Learning a few basic phrases in Thai, like “hello” (sawasdee) and “thank you” (khop khun), can go a long way in showing respect and making connections with locals.

Itineraries and Suggested Routes

Whether you have a few days or a few weeks, planning your route in Thailand is essential to make the most of your time. For a quick trip, focus on key destinations like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. These places are easy to reach, with international airports and countless domestic flights too.

A longer trip allows you to explore off-the-beaten-path locations like Pai or Lampang in Northern Thailand, Koh Lanta or Koh Chang in the south and the much less visited Isaan region. Consider including a mix of cultural sites, natural attractions, and urban experiences to get a feel for the real Thailand.

Pre-planned itineraries can be a great starting point, but don’t be afraid to adjust your plans based on local recommendations and personal interests. Our site is packed with helpful information to get you started, but you can also join our Thailand Obsessed Facebook Group or reach out to us for a personalised itinerary.