Best travel time for Thailand
By far the best time to visit is between November and February when it’s not too hot and humid. This period is also Thailand’s most important season for national and regional festivals. Southern Thailand is best visited when the rest of Thailand is unbearably hot (March to May). The worst months in Bangkok are April (very hot) and October (very humid).
The main tourist season in Thailand is between November and the end of March, a second high point in July and August. This is also the best time for diving (good visibility and accessibility).
However, if you want to avoid crowds and don’t want to pay high season price for accommodation, you should travel in the quieter months (April to June, September and October). However, even in high season, it is not difficult to leave the crowds of tourists behind if you simply omit the most popular travel destinations in Thailand (for example Chiang Mai as well as all islands and beaches).
Currency: 1 baht equals 100 satang
Currency abbreviation: THB (ISO code), ฿, Bt – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
banknotes of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 baht (more common) and 10 baht (less common, not printed since 1990) are used. Coins are in circulation in amounts of 25 and 50 satang and 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht (often). The 2 baht coin introduced in 2007 is easily confused with the 1 baht coin. Apart from larger cities and tourist centers, there can be problems with change for 500 and 1,000 baht bills, so you should always have enough bills in smaller amounts with you.
Currency exchange: Banks and private exchange offices offer the best exchange rates. The most common foreign currency in Thailand is the US dollar (especially newer notes), then British pounds and euros. Counterfeit money keeps cropping up in Thailand. If money is exchanged in exchange offices, you should make sure that it is authorized. Hotels also exchange money, but the fees are high here.
Exchange rate Thai Baht:
Currency converter at OANDA
Credit cards: The most widespread are Visa, EuroCard, Mastercard and American Express. They are accepted in major cities and tourist hotels in the resorts. In smaller guesthouses you can usually not pay with credit cards.
ATMs are common in Thailand and the easiest way to get baht.
Traveler’s checks: should be in US dollars, British pounds or euros. Most banks charge a fee for cashing travelers checks. Larger hotels and shops accept travelers checks.
Foreign exchange regulations: Thai baht can be imported indefinitely and do not have to be declared. If more than $ 20,000 (or equivalent) is imported, the amount must be declared. For exports, amounts over 50,000 baht (except for trips to Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, where a declaration is only necessary from 500,000 baht) or over 20,000 US dollars must be declared.
Bank opening times: Mon – Fri between 8.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Exchange offices are usually open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Travel in the country
Domestic air traffic in Thailand is becoming increasingly affordable. Most flights take off or land in Bangkok, but it is also possible to fly to other Thai cities in Chiang Mai, Ko Samui and Phuket.
The national airline in Thailand is Thai Airways International (THAI), which offers many flights between Bangkok and the Thai provincial capitals. Bangkok Air also flies between Chiang Mai and southern cities. Air Asia, One-Two-Go and Nok Air are generally cheaper than the established airlines.
Inland navigation in Thailand is based on the fast long-tail boats, so-called because the propeller is at the end of a long motor drive shaft. These boats mainly travel on the rivers and canals in Bangkok and neighboring provinces.
Between the mainland and the islands in the Gulf of Thailand and in the Andaman Sea there are 8 to 10 m long wooden boats with a large inboard engine and a simple roof for passengers and cargo. Hovercraft sometimes sail in tourist areas. They are faster, but also more expensive.
The State Raiway of Thailand (SRT) is generally very well organized. The rail network comprises four lines – the north, south, east and northeast. The train is a convenient alternative to buses for the long journey north to Chiang Mai or south to Surat Thani. The train is also ideal for trips from Bangkok to Lopburi and Ayuthaya.
Although they are slower (trains in Thailand are usually not on time), they offer many advantages over buses. There is more space to move around, the landscape can be admired and even in the car it is more interesting due to flying traders selling drinks and food and colorfully dressed locals.
Main train stations
Almost all long-distance trains start at Bankok’s Hualamphong station. The Bangkok Noi Station in Thonburi serves commuters and the short routes to Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi / Nam Tok, Nakhon Pathom and Suphanburi. From Hualamphong there are also trains to Nakhon Pathom and Ratchaburi. There is a short connection from Thonburi’s Wong Wian Yai Station to Samut Songkhram.
The SRT offers three classes in passenger trains: 1st, 2nd and 3rd, whereby the classes differ in normal, fast and express trains.
Bangkok has the largest inner city bus system in Thailand. In other parts of the country, public transport is usually served by sǎwngthǎew, who travel on fixed routes. City buses also run in Udon Thani and some other provincial capitals. Public transport is stopped by hand signals in Thaland.
Cars can be rented in most major cities and airports. The international car rental companies have branches in most major cities, here you can also book online before you leave for Thailand. Local car rental companies can be found in the major tourist destinations. They are usually a little cheaper, but the cars are usually older and not as well cared for.
Motorcycles can be rented in larger cities. In many smaller tourist centers it is also possible to rent motorbikes in guest houses. Renting a motorcycle in Thailand is relatively easy and a great way to do independent tours in Northern Thailand and the southern beaches. When renting a motorcycle for a day, most companies require that the passport and a deposit be left. Before renting a motorcycle, you should check the general condition of the vehicle and request a helmet (which is required by law in some provinces).
Many tourists get injured while riding motorcycles in Thailand because they are not familiar with the vehicle, traffic rules and road conditions. You should have adequate health insurance and drive carefully. If you have never ridden a motorcycle, choose the smaller models with automatic shifting.
It is also possible to buy a new or used motorcycle and sell it again before departure.
In Thailand a minimum liability insurance is required for all registered vehicles. The better rental companies offer comprehensive insurance for their vehicles. Always make sure that the vehicle is insured against liability, also have the insurance documents shown.
taxi In many Thai cities, smaller motorbikes drive on short distances (mawtoesai rap jâang). They are not suitable for travelers with larger luggage, they are usually used for fast transportation over short distances. There is also no protection from the sun or rain. Most drivers are safe and drive at reasonable speeds, but this is unlikely to be the case in Bangkok.
Most cities have motorcycle taxis near crossroads. The tariffs are usually between 10B and 30B, depending on the distance. Some motorcycle taxis specialize in regular, short distances.
Sǎamláw and Tuk-Tuk
Saamláw means “three wheels, there are two types of saamláw – motorized and unmotorised.
Motorized saamláw can be found all over Thailand. They are small commercial vehicles powered by loud and smoking engines. Among tourists, motorized saamláw commonly known as tuk-tuk (this name describes the noise they make).
The unmotorized saamláw, the bicycle rickshaws or pedicabs, are similar to those that drive in other parts of Asia. There is no bicycle saamláw in Bangkok, but there is everywhere else in the country. The fare is determined through negotiations before departure.
A sawngthaew (literally translated “two rows”) is a small pick-up truck with two rows of benches on either side of the loading area. They sometimes drive like buses on fixed routes, but it is also possible to use them like a taxi. Sawngthaew are often color-coded depending on the destination.
Skytrain and subway
Bangkok is the only city in Thailand that has an above-ground and an underground railway. Known as Skytrain and Subway, both systems help alleviate Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams. In the past, there have always been plans to establish a subway in Chiang Mai, but in reality it has not yet happened.
Outside of Bangkok, bikes are an ideal form of transportation – inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and slow enough to get to know the country better. Most of the streets are wide enough to cycle safely. The road conditions in most of Thailand are good, with the exception of the north, especially in the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Nan. These are also the regions where off-road trips are possible, a mountain bike is a good alternative here. Popular routes are the road along the Mekong in the north and northeast. The terrain here is largely flat and the river landscape is worth seeing.
Bicycles can be transported cheaply on trains and buses (in simple buses on the roof, in more expensive buses in the hold).
Customs duties are levied on the import of bicycles, so it usually makes sense to buy a bicycle in Thailand instead.
Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and borders Myanmar in the west and north, Laos in the northeast, Cambodia in the east and Malaysia in the south. It is almost as far away from India as it is from China and on a European scale the country with an area of 510,000 km² and 66 million inhabitants resembles the size of France. It is one of the 50 largest countries in the world. The highest point in Thailand is Doi Inthanon with 2,576 meters, while the deepest place with 0 meters is in the Gulf of Thailand.
To the natural raw materials, the country includes, among others, tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, wood, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite and fluorite. While 34% of the country is cultivable, only 6% is used for growing crops and only 28% for pastures and woodlands.
The terrain of the whole country is dominated by mountainous areas. A third of Thailand is taken up by the dry Khorat plateau, a flat barren plateau that borders the Mekong river valley and is located in the northeastern region of the Isar. This region is located in the catchment area of the Mun and Chi rivers, both tributaries of the Mekong.
About a third of Thailand’s population lives in the northeast. In the north, the population centers are located in the narrow valleys along the Nan, Ping, Wang and Yom rivers, all of which meet in the country’s longest river, the Chao Phraya. The Chao Phraya flows through the central lowlands through the capital Bangkok and flows into the Gulf of Thailand. In addition to the fertile delta near Bangkok, the central lowland is the most productive agricultural area in Thailand and the most densely populated.
The southeast is dominated by the mountain landscapes between Bangkok and Cambodia and experiences the most precipitation. At the same time, the strongest deforestation takes place here, which has led to increased flooding in the entire region in recent years.
The climate is determined by tropical monsoons. On the one hand the rainy, warm and cloudy south-west monsoon between May and September and on the other hand the dry and cooler northeast monsoon from November to March.
Thailand is interesting for different tourist groups because it offers a wide range of activities as well as a large number of sights.
The Wat Phra Kaeo is definitely worth seeing. The Wat Phra Kaeo is the temple of the king in the palace in Bangkok. The famous chapel of the Emerald Buddha is also located here. Likewise, the royal pantheon, where the life-size statues of former rulers are exhibited. The mausoleum of the royal family is also located there.
Worth a visit is Wat Pho, the center of Bangkok’s old town. Here is the oldest and largest temple in the city with a length of 46 meters. The gilded statue of a reclining Buddha can be seen in the temple.
Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvaranam is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, which is also known to tourists as a marble temple. The temple is considered the main attraction of the city because it is the most beautiful temple in the country.
Also worth seeing is Wat Suwannarama, a Buddhist temple complex in Bangkok, as it has particularly beautiful murals.
The Phra Phathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom is also worth a visit. At one hundred and twenty-seven meters, the Buddhist structure is considered the highest sacred structure of the Buddhist faith.
So far, only a few religious buildings in Thailand have been mentioned. For the tourists of the country there are a lot of them to visit.
One of the most interesting technical buildings in the country is the Saphan Phut or Memorial Bridge. It was the very first bridge between the cities of Bangkok and Thornbury.
Despite the sad background, the River Kwai Bridge is one of the most important sights in the country. The bridge belongs to the railway line between Thailand and Burma. It was built during the Second World War. More than a hundred thousand Asian forced laborers and sixteen thousand prisoners of war were killed in the construction. Therefore, the train also has the epithet of death.
In Thailand, tourists are also offered some natural beauties. So you shouldn’t miss the King Rama IX Park. This is an eighty hectare park with an integrated botanical garden. It was opened on the occasion of the sixtieth birthday of the King of Thailand in 1987.
Other national parks in the country would be Khao Yai National Park, Khao Sok National Park, Ang Thon National Park, Phu Phan National Park and a few others.
The National Theater in Bangkok on the old Wang Na site is an absolute must. The current building was built between 1960 and 1965.
The National Museum in Bangkok is also worth seeing. There are various exhibits such as sculptures, pottery, furniture and musical instruments from Thailand to visit.
Also worth seeing is the Folklore Museum near Songkhlas. Various folk objects and religious artifacts are exhibited here.
Sure, Thailand has a particularly large number of different sights. Holidaymakers will definitely not get bored in Thailand, since various activities such as diving, snorkeling, golfing or surfing are also possible in the country.
Bangkok in Thailand
Bangkok is definitely worth a visit, as the city has many interesting sights to offer.
There are many canals in Bangkok, as the nickname “Venice of East Asia” or “City of Canals” shows. The canals were the city’s main transportation route for many centuries. As Bangkok expanded greatly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, some of the khlongs were spilled over to build the city. As a result, there are no canals to be seen in some parts of Bangkok, which has had the positive consequence that hygiene has been improved. However, there was also a disadvantage that the traffic load in the city has increased.
In the city, especially in the Thonburi district, there are still some klongs to be seen. There are still many potteries along the canals.
You should also have seen the Pak Nam. The port of Bangkok is also known as Khlong Toei. It covers an area of 3.6 square kilometers, making it one of the largest ports in all of Southeast Asia.
The Benjasiri Park is worth a visit. It was created on Sukhunivit Road in 1992. The reason for this was to honor the Queen on her sixtieth birthday. That is why the park is also called Queens Park. There are also some wonderful Thai sculptures to see here.
In any case, you should make a detour to Chatuchak Park. Freshly in love likes to come here. The park also has tennis courts and much more to offer.
Other interesting parks in Bangkok are the King Rama IX. Park, Lumpini Park, Romaneenart Park, Santichaiprakan Park and Saranrom Park.
Bangkok also has some exciting amusement parks to offer. There would be z. B. Dreamworld, the park is very similar to Disneyworld. There are also some replicas of well-known European buildings, including carousels, bumper cars and a roller coaster.
Don’t miss the Safari World amusement park. The park is located in the Muri district. Because it is very large, the amusement park has been divided into two areas. In the first you can watch big game animals in natural open-air enclosures and in the second you can see sea creatures. If you don’t feel like walking all the ways on foot, you can use the local train that leads through the area.
The city of Chiang Mai in the far north of Thailand is very popular with tourists and is also known as the “Rose of the North”. At the foot of Doi Pui Mountain – 1,685 m above sea level – Chiang Mai is romantically situated in a wind-protected river valley on the Ping. Chiang Mai was founded on April 12, 1296, with the name Nophaburi Sri Nakhorn Ping Chiang Mai.
70% of the country in the north is mountainous and was densely forested in the past. Overland communication was made difficult. In each valley there are slight differences in usage and language. Tuk Tuks
are everywhere in the city on the road, which is comparable to a rickshaw equipped with a motor. If you want to see the city, this is a good choice – so you have your personal travel guide with you and move quickly.
At the night bazaar you can eat something everywhere, dozens of small stalls offer their things for sale. It is particularly touristy in the front, but further back in the “halls” you can find some pretty stalls if you want to do some shopping or just browse.
Wat U-Mong Suan Putha-tham
The Wat U-Mong (tunnel temple) lies in a forest and is an active meditation temple. The monk Buddhadhasa Bhikkhu had a strong influence on this temple. He preferred the natural environment of the forest. As a result, the humble temple buildings are surrounded by trees.
A path leads from the main entrance past a Buddhist museum. There are tunnels to meditation cells and a revered Buddha statue. The bell-shaped chedi above is reached by a staircase. From Chedi, a path on the tunnels leads north to an ascetic style Buddha statue.
The temple property also includes an open zoo on the slope of the mountain. The front entrance is at the end of a short lane on the south side of the temple. Tame deer roam the park and the park is a good spot for bird watching.
There are 36 temples in Chiang Mai that are also used. Every temple has something unique to offer. Many have special signs that give a brief description of the history of the job. Here is a small selection:
Built in 1497 by King Muang Kaews
in which there is a well, the holy water for the anointing of the king provides
Wat Duang Di
An enchanting hidden temple stuccoed
Built around 1865
A temple with Burmese influence
Wat Pa Pao
Built in 1883
most striking feature of this temple, the lowered Hof
The City wall consists of a rectangular, 18 meter wide moat with side lengths of 1,800 and 2,000 meters. To soothe the spirits, ceremonies are still held at all cardinal points at the same time. At some point in the early 20th century, the ramparts and gates between the corners were dismantled to open up Chiang Mai. The bricks were used to pave streets.
The high school, founded in 1899, is one of Chiang Mai’s oldest schools. She has been here since 1922, and now has nearly three thousand students.
The Khuang Chang Phuak “White Elephant Terrace” is near the Chang Phuak bus station. Locals believe that they protect Chiang Mai from enemies and demons.
The Khuang Singh “Lion Terrace” stands in the middle of a pond. The lions symbolized the revived power of Chiang Mai.
The flowers are in full bloom in Cjoamg Mai shortly before the end of the cold season. The festival falls on the first Weekend in February. The main attraction of the festival is the parade, which is held on Saturday. The floats decorated with flowers illustrate the chosen theme. The beauty queens surrounded by flowers create a magical sight.
This festival marks the traditional Thai New Year, which was valid in Thailand until 1940. The festival is the most important festival for Thais and is traditionally held when the sun comes out of the constellation of fish. By habit, the first day falls on April 13th and is the last day of the old year.
This festival is the most colorful festival of the year. It takes place on three days of the full moon of the twelfth lunar month, which is usually November. The festival has evolved from Brahmanic rites that honor the dead and local rites that call for an end to the rainy season.
Interesting facts about Ko Samui
Ko Samui is an island that belongs to the Thai island group Mu Ko Samui. The island has an area of 233 square kilometers and is the third largest island in Thailand. The highest mountain Ko Samuis is the Khao Thai Kwai with a height of 635 meters. A total of 45,873 people live on the Thai island. The island’s capital is called Na Thon.
Ko Samui belongs to the Samui Archipelago, which includes about sixty other islands. Forty of the islands are included in the Ang Thong National Park. The heart of the island is a mountain landscape which is covered by a secondary forest. Except for a few areas, the former original jungle was completely cleared to create free areas for plantations. The island can only be reached by ferry.
Ko Samui’s climate
The water around the island hardly gets any cooler than 28 degrees Celsius all year round. The temperature on land is also high all year round at almost thirty degrees a day. However, the weather conditions on the island are wet and changeable.
Sights of the Thai island of
shipwrecks:On a holiday on Ko Samui you should definitely explore the fantastic underwater world of the island. Old shipwrecks from the seventeenth century were discovered off the coast. Interesting exhibits were found on some of them, which are exhibited in museums.
Big Buddha: The Big Buddha, the locals under the name Phra Ya is a twelve meter high statue that is gilded. The statue is in the Buddhist temple Wat Phra Yai. The Big Buddha was created in 1972 and was built on the small island of Ko Fan.
Chedi Laem like this: The ancient Buddhist temple stands on the southern cape of the island.
Wath Khunaram: The Buddhist temple stands near Ban Hua and represents the mummified body of the monk Luang Phor Payasilo. The holy man died at the age of 79 in 1973 during a meditation. The body is still in the same sitting position today as when it died. There are hardly any signs of decomposition.
Ko Samui is the ideal choice for a beach holiday, as there are many wonderful beaches to discover. The natural beauties of the island are also really impressive.
The world-famous seaside resort of Pattaya is located in the eastern part of central Thailand, southeast of Bangkok and on the Gulf of Thailand. This formerly quiet, small fishing village has been transformed into a pulsating metropolis almost on stage in the last 25 years. Pattaya has two faces: the Pattaya in the evening with a varied nightlife – and the bathing, diving and snorkeling paradise Pattaya. The central section of the beach ” Pattaya Beach ” is about 4 km long. Mainly boats moor here. The Jomtien beach invites you to sunbathe, laze around, play and swim in the 26 ° warm ocean one that is south of Pattay. While South Pattaya offers the visitor endless possibilities of entertainment. When looking for a hotel in Pattaya, you usually end up in the southern part of Pattaya. In contrast, North Pattaya is a bit quieter.
The proximity to the capital Bangkok, which can be reached in just under two hours, is pleasant.
Pattaya has very good transport links and has a bus and train station. You can even find an airport. Flights go to Bangkok, Ko Samui and Phuket several times a day.
Bottlenecks sometimes occur in the water supply, although it is secured by a nearby dam. The reason for this is the high consumption. A modern sewage treatment plant can also be found in Pattaya.
The nearby Phra Tamnak mountain has an excellent view of the bay and the area – especially at sunset. A small Buddhist temple rises on this mountain, which is a little away from Pattaya. If you are looking for calm from the general hustle and bustle of everyday life, you will find it here.
Entertainment in Pattaya
You can discover something new every day. If you walk further out of the city into nature, you will see snakes, giant spiders and all kinds of insects in the wild. Little geckos climb around the house walls nimbly and skillfully.
In the elephant village, which is located about 5 kilometers from Pattaya, it is demonstrated how elephants were hunted in the past and how pious lambs are kept.
The million year old Stone Park and the Pattaya Crocodile Farm are very close to Pattaya. In these wonderful landscapes of the Stone Park you will find wild rock gardens, fossils over a million years old, 200 year old bonsai trees and a collection of rare albino bears, horses and elephants. A visit to the Pattaya Crocodile Farm with more than 1,000 crocodiles is also highly recommended
The beautiful orchid farm “Siriporn Orchid” is a must for lovers of orchids. Visitors can cut and buy orchids and other flowers and plants themselves.
One of the main attractions for tourists who come to Pattaya not only for partying is the underwater world not far from the city center. With over 4,000 species of marine animals, including some rare species from other regions of the world, is the largest and most modern marine aquarium in Asia – which is certainly due to a 100 m long tunnel under the aquarium.
The Pattaya Park is located between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach and is great for entertainment. There are large water slides, wave pools and a large paddling pool for small children. The park also has a restaurant. Of course there are also changing rooms and lockers.
The Bungee Jump Park is a nice activity park in the south of Pattaya . Surrounded by wonderful nature, there are many opportunities to spend the day full of fun, starting with bungee jumping from a height of 65 m and a small blue lagoon to go-karting, buggy off-road driving and a beautiful paintball court. To relax you have the opportunity to take a seat in a small cozy bar in unspoiled nature.
Culture in Pattaya
The Khao Chi Chan Pattaya is the world’s largest Buddha image. It was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the throne of the Thai king. The outline of Buddha was lasered into a rock face of a mountain. The 130 m high and 70 m wide figure was then gilded. You can marvel at this impressive building southeast of Wat Yansangwararam.
The temple “The Sanctuary of Truth” (“Sanctuary of Truth”) is made entirely of teak. In the Sanctuary of Truth fabulous characters from different Asian cultures are shown.
Phuket is known as a beach paradise in Thailand. The approximately 570 km² island is located in the Andaman Sea in the south of Thailand and is best known for its beautiful bays and palm-fringed sandy beaches. Phuket is about 300 kilometers away from the port city of Ranong on the west coast. Phuket is connected to the mainland by the Sarasani Bridge.
Vacationers who want a relaxing holiday, but especially water sports enthusiasts will find the ideal conditions in Phuket. And especially on the west coast there are beaches with many hotels and holiday complexes that are lined up.
Phuket Town has a delightful center, Khao Rang is located north of the city center of Phuket, from this hill you have a very nice view of the whole area.
In Phuket, the marine biology research center has built a modern and large aquarium, which is located at the head of Cape Phanwa.
The idyllic Nai Yang Bay with its coral banks is located in the north. Bang Tao Beach is also beautiful and spacious, which also has a large lagoon. Windsurfers like to meet here, the conditions are ideal.
It is lively on Patong Beach, which joins the gently sloping Kamala beach. The south of the island can be the long Karon beach and Kata Noi, a small bathing bay with white and very fine coral sand.
An excursion to the pearl island “Naga Noi Island”, which lies off the north coast of Phuket, is interesting. A crossing takes about 20 minutes by boat. You can learn everything about pearls here and possibly also buy some.
Remains of the tropical rainforest at Thalang are worth seeing. Phang Nga Bay in the province of the same name should be known. Here is the “James Bond Rock”, which has achieved fame in the 007 agent film: “The man with the golden gun”. The landscape is also fascinating with the emerald green lake and limestone formations.
On the beach in Rawai in the village of Chao Lay Sea gypsies live in palm huts and those interested in cultural events should visit the Thai Village with its amphitheater, which is located about 2.5 kilometers north of Phuket.
You should definitely plan a day trip to two beautiful islands in the world, the Phi Phi Islands. The interesting cave drawings are also extremely worth seeing.
Most of the sights on and around Phuket can be easily reached by boat or rental car. Phuket is extremely diverse and every traveler is sure to find the right program there.