Thailand / Kingdom of Thailand


Land of Smiles / Thailand has the distinction of being one of the leading tourism destinations in the world, renowned for its vibrant cultural heritage and natural beauty.

In 2019, Bangkok ranked 1st surpassing Paris and London in Mastercard’s list of “Global Destination Cities Index 2019” with 22.78 million visitors.

Despite the heavy flow of tourism, Thailand retains its quintessential identity, with a culture and history all its own and a carefree people famed for their smiles and their fun-seeking sanuk lifestyle. Many travellers come to Thailand and extend their stay well beyond their original plans and others never find a reason to leave.

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The food alone is really reason enough for a trip to Thailand. Curries, fruit shakes, stir fries, fresh fish made a zillion ways – and that’s just the beginning.

Thailand’s beaches and islands attract millions of visitors each year from all over the globe. *Hua Hin (map) is Thailand’s oldest beach resort, made famous by King Rama VII in the 1920s as an ideal getaway from Bangkok. *Pattaya (map), *Phuket (map), and *Ko Samui (map) only came to prominence in the 1970s, and these are now by far the most developed beach resorts.

*Krabi Province has some beautiful spots, including *Ao Nang, Rai Leh and the long golden beaches of *Ko Lanta (map). *Ko Phi Phi (map), renowned as a true island paradise, has been undergoing massive development since the release of the film The Beach in 2000. *Ko Pha Ngan (map) offers the best of both worlds, with both well-developed beaches and empty ones a short ride away.

Ko Chang (map) is a bit like Ko Samui used to be. If you’re looking for unspoiled beaches, *Ko Kut (map) is very thinly populated.

Most of Thailand has three seasons: The cool dry season from late-November to February. The hot dry season from March to May can see daytime temperatures in the mid- to high-30s. The rainy season from May to October has daytime temperatures in the low-30s with nighttime temperatures in the mid= to high-20s.

*Khao Yai National Park (map), the first national park of Thailand, is the closest to Bangkok. Wild tigers and elephants are increasingly rare, but you can’t miss the macaques, gibbons, deer, and species of birds. The stretch of jungle at *Khao Sok National Park (map) is probably even more impressive, and you can spend the night in the middle of the jungle.

Do not make any negative remarks or any remarks which might be perceived as disrespectful about the King, any members of the Royal Family, or anything related to them (such as their pets or appearance). This will usually land you in prison and your embassy/consulate will be of little help in getting you out.

Thailand has accommodation in every price bracket. Always take a look at the room (or better still several rooms, sometimes owners offer not the best/cheaper rooms first) before agreeing a price. In smaller establishments also do ask for the agreed price in writing to avoid problems during check out.

The number one cause of death for visitors to Thailand is motorbike accidents.

Thai phrasebook (wikivoyage). Thai Language – Reference documents, interactive lessons, dictionary, and forums for learning Thai.

Regions & Cities

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Bangkok Metropolitan Area comprises Bangkok and the five provinces surrounding.

Bangkok is at the start of many visitors’ itineraries, and while a modern city, it has a rich cultural heritage. Most visitors at least take in the Grand Palace (map), a collection of highly decorated buildings and monuments. It is home to Wat Phra Kaew (map), the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand that houses the *Emerald Buddha.

Other cultural attractions include *Wat Pho (map), *Wat Arun (map) and *Jim Thompson’s House, but these are just a fraction of possible sights you could visit.

The former capitals of Siam, *Ayutthaya (map) and *Sukhothai (map), make excellent stops for those interested in Thai history. The latter could be combined with a visit to *Si Satchanalai Historical Park (map) and *Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park (map), all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Khmer architecture is mostly found in *Isaan (Northeast Thailand), with the historical remains of Phimai (map) and *Phanom Rung (map) being the most significant.

In the northern provinces live unique hill-tribe peoples, often visited as part of a trek. *Chiang Mai (map) makes a good base for arranging these treks, and has some cultural sights of its own.

Public transport

+ – Whether you travel by air, rail, land or sea, you can find all the information to plan your journey through Asia here.

 BUS >   Green Bus CorporationNakhonchaiair Co., Ltd.PhetprasertSombat Tour Co., Ltd. (*List of bus routes in Bangkok)

 RAIL >   State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has a 4,000-km network covering most of the country, from Chiang Mai in the north all the way to (and beyond) the Malaysian border in the south. Compared to buses, most trains are relatively slow and prone to delays, but safer. Tickets may be purchased on-line from (*Rail transport in Thailand)

 AIRPORTS >   Airports of Thailand. Bangkok has two major airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport which is the main airport and serves most full-service carriers, and the smaller Don Mueang International Airport which primarily serves low-cost carriers.