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Top Trip Memories
  • Experiencing Bangkok’s infamous nightlife
  • Relaxing on a Krabi beach complete with endless waves and shells
  • Getting off the beaten path in Isaan (eastern Thailand) and going where few tourists have gone before
  • Crossing the river border from northern Thailand into Laos
  • Seeing monkeys up close and personal – and having one of them try to steal my camera
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Tour Tips
  • Credit cards are accepted in larger stores, but smaller vendors may not accept them because of the fees. The largest bill is 1,000 baht (about $30), which is difficult to break in most smaller stores. The 20 baht and 100 baht bills are the most common.
  • Remember to haggle! Anytime a price isn’t displayed there’s a very good chance it’s negotiable.
  • Where possible, try to work with operators that employ locals. This helps to keep money in the local communities you visit.
  • Many take Thailand trips eager to see elephants and tigers. Be cautious about the tours you book - some mistreat these animals in the name of tourism. Avoid tours that offer posing with wild animals and riding.
  • Tap water is not safe to drink. Going on a tour will help ensure you always have plenty of bottled water.
  • At 8am and 6pm, the Thai national anthem and another patriotic song are played over every speaker, and everyone will come to a halt. Stand respectfully for the couple minutes it’s played.
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Thailand Travel Reviews & Ratings
4.8 out of 5



7,782 Reviews

Excellent 6,034 Great 1,689 Average 12 Disappointing 3 Terrible 2

Rating Details

4.8 Guide
4.8 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
4.8 Meals
Tour Reviews

Fascinating trip

Thai Indochina Explorer

4.0 July 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes A fast paced trip with a wide range of experiences and locations
Cambodia was the highlight of the tour. Our guide there was excellent and
even invited us to the blessing of her new home and to meet her family.

We had one for each country we visited. They were all very friendly,
knowledgeable and interesting. Channa in Cambodia was particularly good, she
was so proud of her country and so pleased we'd come to visit. Nothing was
too much bother for her. Noung in Vietnam was great fun and Rapd in Thailand
was good though she kept us moving quickly and those unable to keep up missed
out on the information being given

Take plenty of mosquito repellent and your own toilet paper, outside loos
Don't always have it.

It was a fascinating trip, but with early starts and the heat it was quite
exhausting. There was also a lot of time spent travelling on the bus. All in
all though I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

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When I was researching potential tours of Southeast Asia, I was looking for Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai specifically) and Cambodia (Siem Reap/Angkor Wat specifically)

Discover Southeast Asia

5.0 April 2017 G Adventures Recommend: Yes When I was researching potential tours of Southeast Asia, I was looking for Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai specifically) and Cambodia (Siem Reap/Angkor Wat specifically). The other destinations on this tour were just added bonuses. I am so happy that I chose this tour; it took me to places that I have never gone to -- like Luang Prabang which I had never heard of -- even though I consider myself to be a savvy traveler. I am happy that I went to Vietnam to learn about that country's perspective on history and to marvel at the beauty of Halong Bay. This particular tour offered the right mix of culture, history, escorted adventure, and individual discovery. It seemed to appeal to everyone in our group of ten travelers who ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s. Read more

I would say it was the best experience of my life

Indochina Discovery

5.0 April 2017 G Adventures Recommend: Yes I would say it was the best experience of my life. I was worried about the trip as i thought perhaps there may have been alot of younger people who were not like minded on it. This trip allowed me to meet many amazing people from all over the world and see and experience things i could never imagine being possible. The thing that made the trip so amazing for me was mainly our guide Chenda. If it wasn't for his knowledge and wisdom throughout the trip and giving us an incite into his life in Cambodia it would not have been the trip it was. I particularly enjoyed when Chenda took us to local home stays and to local places to eat. These experiences I will never forget. I felt at all times due to Chendas professionalism and caring nature i always felt very safe and at ease with where i was and what was doing. I felt the trip was so well organised and was so diverse every day. I struggled with how sad i f Read more

As a busy, young professional, I have little vacation time but a huge desire to travel to different parts of the world and experience new cultures

Northern Hilltribes & Villages

4.0 March 2017 G Adventures Recommend: Yes As a busy, young professional, I have little vacation time but a huge desire to travel to different parts of the world and experience new cultures. G adventures offers a bespoke travel package that enables people such as myself to have an authentic experience of a new country in a short space of time. The itinerary is carefully selected so that the traveller gets a taste of all that a country has to offer-you can opt to participate in as much or as little as you like. For solo travellers, G Adventures is the ideal solution-you can spend time with other like-minded people as and when you like. The CEO takes all the stress out of travelling as they do all the organising and negotiating. This leaves you free to indulge in all the sights, sounds and tastes the the place has to offer without any stress! Read more

Cycling In Laos

Cycling in Laos

5.0 February 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes PtkkrBoth countries were great value.Laos is a country at the crossroads of the direction it follows.The influence of China is self evident and sad.Im grateful to see Laos as it is and not what it may become.
I think the Mekong River it was an incredible day finished by going to a huge local wedding that night Also one of the group who overcame difficulties that many people would not or could not.Always happy always supportive Made me accept the need to succeed and work at finishing each day

They were what one would expect and did the job to a good level in both countries Both guides were attentive and caring Thank you

Ride at your own pace and leave a little in reserve.If u like to descend at a frantic pace allow a little caution potholes are a curse as are some of the chinese trucks and cars not to mention odd domestic animals or small children.Otherwise great fun

Be understanding that in some places facilities are basic and food as well.This can vary greatly from day to day Laos is a great place accept it is only opening up to our world slowly and it will be a great experience if one enjoys the moment

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Classic Itineraries

Highlights of Thailand in 1 Week

If you have one week in Thailand, be sure to hit Bangkok (in the south), Sukhothai (central), and Chiang Mai (in the north).

Day 1-3, Chiang Mai: See Mae sa waterfall, shop at a night market, stroll or bike through rice paddies, and explore the Temples of Wiang Kum Kum.

Day 4-5, Sukhothai: Visit the ruins of Old Sukhothai (ancient capital of Siam), tour Sukhothai Historical Park, home to 21 different historical sites.

Day 6-7, Bangkok: Join a night tour of the glitzy and glamourous city, visit the Emerald Buddha and the temples of Wat Arun and Wat Pho.

See All One Week Thailand Itineraries

Highlights of Thailand: Bangkok & Beaches

If the idea of quiet palm fringed beaches and natural surroundings sounds inviting to you, then consider the following:

Day 1-2, Bangkok: Start off in the bustling city, travel by Tuk Tuk, see the Grand Palace, and the temples of Wat Arun or Wat Pho.

For Days 3-10 you have a few options depending on what you’d like to see and do:

Koh Sok National Park: This is the oldest and most bio-diverse national park in Southeast Asia. Canoe down one of the tributaries, and keep an eye out for monkeys, kingfishers, colourful hornbills, and a plethora of exotic plants.

An Thong National Marine Park: Explore an archipelago once renowned for being a haven for pirates, and today is famous for its pristine beaches and rainforest.

Kwai Noi River: Travel by car to Kanchanaburi Province in Western Thailand to float on a long tail boat down Kwai Noi River, surrounded by tropical forests and scenic mountain ranges.

Koh Samui/ Koh Phi Phi/ Koh Hai/ Koh Pha Ngan: These are all beautiful islands where you can relax on the beach, hike and explore the local surroundings, or snorkel.

Day 11-12: Return to Bangkok

See All Thailand trips focused on nature, wildlife, and beaches

Thailand Exploration in 2 Weeks

For the full Thailand experience, make your way through the famous Koh Samui in the Gulf, bustling Bangkok in the central region, and serene Chiang Mai in the north.

Day 1-3, Bangkok: Visit the Grand Palace, temples of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Po, and Phra Pathom Chedi, the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia.

Day 4-7, Chiang Mai: From Bangkok, fly over to Chiang Mai. See Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, one of the most sacred temples in Thailand. Visit Meo Pu, one of the oldest surviving tribes in Northern Thailand, and take a stroll through the many food markets.

Day 8-9, Khao Sok (optional): Visit one of the oldest evergreen rainforests on earth surrounded by limestone Karst cliffs.

Daly 10-12, Koh Samui: Enjoy the white sand, palm-fringed beaches of Koh Samui. Relax on the beach, snorkel, or seek out the Namuang Waterfall on a hike.

Day 13-14: Return to Bangkok and have a free day to wander and explore at your leisure. Ride in a Tuk Tuk and experience the nightlife and cultural shows that come to life at sunset.

See All Two Week Thailand Itineraries

Thailand Trips & Tour Advice

Thailand has long been Southeast Asia's most popular destination. Its capital, Bangkok, is home to a glittering Royal Palace, numerous wats (temples), and a series of klongs (canals) that can be explored by longboats. Chiang Mai, gateway to the northern mountains, offers a more traditional view of Thai life.

Thailand's southern beach resorts and islands have long attracted backpackers and those seeking respite from the frenzy of Bangkok. And, of course, the food -- even at modest noodle stands -- is world class. It all makes Thailand a must-stop in Southeast Asia.

Bangkok: The City Famous For It's Long Name

The Thai name for Bangkok is a mouthful to say the least. But it’s something every local learns in elementary school: "Krung Thep Mahanakhon amon Rattanakosin mahintara ayuthaya mahadilok phoP noppharat Ratchathani Burirom udomratchaniwet mahasathan amon piman awatan Sathit sakkathattiya witsanukam Prast." Thankfully there is a short version: Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (or Krungthep on some maps), which means means "City of Angels" in English.

Bangkok is Thailand’s capital, located in the southern part of the country, on the Gulf of Thailand. It’s gained a reputation for being one of the world’s busiest most vibrant cities, full of character - known especially for the nightlife and food scene. There’s a reason it remained as Travel and Leisure’s “World’s Best City” for 4 consecutive years.

In every part of the city, something different is happening, from a street full of Middle Eastern restaurants to upscale shopping. Crowded walking streets, among market stalls, street food, and various knick knacks for sale as motorcycles whizz by you, adding to the heartbeat of the city. Part of the city’s charm is in it’s insane crowding, haphazard centers, and city layout that makes it an adventure anytime you try to find a specific address. Urban development and growth occurred too quickly and with very little planning, causing the confusing and wild streets.

That aside, Bangkok provides a great introduction to Thai culture. Regional art museums, theater, history, and a local food scene make this the perfect start to a Thailand vacation. And once you’ve had your fill of culture, you can enjoy a meal of street food before taking in the city's infamous nightlife.

There is plenty to see and do in Bangkok even if you’re not interested in the bar scene. Hidden markets and shops down entrancing allies, food choices like you wouldn't believe, and tons of historical and cultural sights. Head to Rattanakosin Island in Phra Nakhon District to escape the crowds and explore the Grand Palace as well as multiple other historical landmarks, including several Buddhist temples.

Chiang Mai and Thailand Adventure Travel

An hour north of Bangkok by airplane, Chiang Mai’s slower pace and centuries-old sights will feature prominently in your memories. Enjoy a Thai massage by locally-trained masseuses, or go biking along the Old Town’s square moat that still exists today. Dozens of Buddhist temples are here too, the perfect sightseeing opportunity. And when you’re exhausted from all that sightseeing, visit one of the bars along Nimmanhaemin, northwest of the Old Town.

Of the world’s “Adventure capitals” Thailand might not spring to mind immediately, but it is certainly a place to travel for adventure. And Chiang Mai is Thailand’s Queenstown (NZ). The lush tropical atmosphere, from sea to waterfall to jungle, beckons outdoor enthusiasts for jungle trekking, surfing in turquoise waters, ziplining through bright green canopy, sea kayaking, river rafting and so much more.

Some can’t-miss experiences for adventure travelers in Thailand include:

Doi inthanon: This gorgeous national park is not just attractive to those wanting a pleasant walk through beautiful nature. Hard core adrenaline seekers flock here for the relatively new adventure sport of “waterfall abseiling”. For rock climbers, this is a classic way to apply your skills to a completely new and more challenging environment. Feel the spray and mist as your adrenaline kicks in leaning over beautiful Doi inthanon waterfall and as you rappel down the 35 ft to the pool at the bottom.

Jungle Trekking in Chiang Mai: Feel like a true explorer as you venture into the jungle on an unforgettable trek, getting up close and personal with the natural animal and plant life of Thailand. The humidity, lush canopy, and constant buzzing sounds of the rainforest add to the experience.

Zipline: Chiang Mai’s jungles are not just for trekking. While you walk on the forest floor, you may hear another sound, not traditionally of the jungle: that of thrill seekers above you soaring through the canopy on zip lines. This popular activity is not only exciting, it’s a way to get a completely unique view of the jungle; eye level with what the monkeys and birds see.

Elephant Sanctuary, Chiang Mai: Many travel to Thailand for the country’s diverse wildlife, namely elephants. There are many opinions surrounding the ethics of wildlife tourist experiences. Read more about traveling responsibly. Thailand has been in the hotseat, namely concerning tigers and elephants.

There are ways to see elephants in Thailand, while remaining responsible, and in some cases, helping to rehabilitate abused animals.

The most well known of these is Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary. Guests who visit do so as volunteers to help with the animals. You can arrange to visit here as an individual, or there are many guided trips through Thailand that make this a stop.

Visiting Thailand's Best Beaches

Thailand travel is known for the incredible beach scene with tepid bright blue waters, soft white sand, and inviting atmosphere. The best Thailand tours will feature a beach visit or two to spend a day relaxing, snorkeling, and exploring hidden bays via longboat.

Phuket (pronounced ‘poo-ket’) is Thailand’s largest island, and boasts over 30 beaches, plus several fantastic bars, and restaurants. As the most popular island for tourists, it does get quite crowded, and not the most authentic Thai beach experience if you’re looking for more local fare. The majority of food options on the island are not Thai, and the main beaches along the west coast are a dotted shoreline of resorts, hotels, and restaurants. Not to say it’s impossible to find a lovely beach experience on Phuket - there’s a reason it’s so well known. But if you’re visiting Phuket solely for the the beach, you might be disappointed by the crowds and hotels.

However beyond the beaches, there’s much more to explore! Phuket is home to some beautiful historical sights. Take a walk through Old Town, to see some beautiful architecture, cultural sights, shops and cafes. This is a great place to relax and learn a bit about Phuket’s history. There’s also the Phuket Rum Distillery, where you can take a tour to learn about the rum making process and of course taste some delicious samples.

The best beaches in Thailand are found on the smaller islands. Easily accessible just simply not as well known as Phuket. Here are some of the top:

Ko Lanta Island - Ko Lanta is a great place to visit, but it’s quite large - technically a district containing two main islands - so if you want to take advantage of everything it has to offer, plan a few days there. Take some time to explore the national park, with the lush rainforest atmosphere and wildlife, take a classic motorbike tour around the island, and spend time lounging on the many and widely dispersed beaches. Long Beach is one of the best for escaping crowds.

Ko-Kraden Island - This small paradise takes up to 3 hours to kayak around the entire island, and is the perfect tropical beach getaway. There is only one resort, but beach is public, and offers spectacular views to the mainland and an ocean dotted with other islands and rock formations. It’s a great destination for snorkeling in the shallow waters. The island’s small size and safe shallow waters make it the perfect day excursion for families.

Railway Beach, Krabi Island - Railway beach is compact, but usually not too crowded. Limestone rock formations burst out of the sea making for an otherworldly view while you sunbathe on the idyllic soft sand. Bring a pair of binoculars and keep an eye out for rock climbers in the distance!

Koh Kood Island - The least populated island off the eastern coast of Thailand is perfect for nature lovers looking for a quiet getaway. It’s not a place for nightlife, so you’ll be there for the ocean and the beach. Kayaking is one of the most popular activities, or take a short walk inland to the Klong Chao waterfall with it’s beautiful calm pools, perfect for swimming.

Food in Thailand

The street food scene in Thailand is second to none - and it’s a classic experience not to be missed. Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner. Bangkok is the epicenter for Thai street food. Let’s set the scene:

Crowded, busy, narrow streets where some semblance of organized chaos reigns. It’s an assault on the senses, not necessarily positive or negative, simply a lot. Rapid speaking in multiple dialects reaching your ears as locals and tourists haggle, take samples, and attempt to discern the best item from various stalls. The sounds of sizzling of fryers, dough slapped down on hot surfaces, and sharp chopping cleavers, mingle among the noise of the street.

Smells converge from both sides - sweet dumplings, tropical fruits, savory broths, seafood, grilling meat, amid a torrent of unidentifiable (to foreign noses) but nevertheless mouthwatering exotic aromas.

Watching the food be prepared is like watching a finely rehearsed dance. Hands move deftly and quickly as they respond to orders, and questions, never stopping the movement of ladling, dicing, and stirring. And of course there’s the delicate rolling out of thin pancakes, followed by the folding into a perfect meal - each one after the other impossibly identical. Everything is done with a fantastic combination of precision and abandon.

If you don’t think you’re a street food kind of person - Thailand is the place to change your mind. Concerns about sanitation and hygiene are understandable. Though Thailand is one of the safest non western countries for street food, you still want to be cautious about where you choose to partake.

Best practice tips include 1) go where the lines are. This is usually a good sign of not only deliciousness, but repeat visitors and locals - so the odds of getting ill are minimal. 2) Look for items made to order 3) do a quick scan of the stall for indications of general cleanliness - follow your instincts. Take a look through the Thailand Food Tours on Stride.

Travel to Thailand: Practicalities and Logistics

Before you go


For US citizens, UK citizens, and Canadian citizens, if you’re planning to be in Thailand for less than 30 days, you are not required to obtain a tourist visa. However, you must ensure that your passport is valid 6 months after your date of entry into Thailand. Though you may not be required to present it, it will be a good idea to have proof of the length of your stay available. See all Thailand tours for 2017


If you’re entering Thailand from a country with yellow fever present, have your proof of vaccination ready to show. Hep A and Typhoid vaccines are recommended as the risk of getting ill from contaminated food and water is heightened, especially if you partake in the street food scene (recommended! But be discerning about where you go. Always ask your guide or fellow travelers for their recommendations).

CDC travel information for Thailand

Show your doctor where you’ll be traveling to determine if you should take anti malarial precautions.


Zika has been reported in some areas of Thailand, but it is endemic as opposed to epidemic. You are not in as high a risk from Zika than if you were traveling in some areas of South America. Nevertheless, if you are pregnant or traveling with young children, you may want to consider another travel destination.

In the cities, be very alert and cautious to your surroundings. Pickpocketing is common as are more heinous crimes such as kidnapping, especially for young single women traveling alone.

When crossing the street, know that pedestrians do not have the right of way in Thailand! Crossing the street can be very dangerous with the high numbers of tuk-tuks, motorcycles, and cars all competing for the right of way.

Be wary when choosing adventure activities! Safety standards may not be what you’re used to as a western traveler. This is another very good reason to go through a reputable tour company who is familiar with local operators and outfits.

Additional Resources

Useful Links

Visa Information

  Visa Needed? Link
US  N (< 30 days)  Visas to Thailand for United States Citizens
UK  N (< 30 days)  Visas to Thailand for United Kingdom Citizens
CA  N (< 30 days)  Visas to Thailand for Canadian Citizens
AU  N (< 30 days)  Visas to Thailand for Australian Citizens
NZ  N (< 30 days)  Visas to Thailand for New Zealand Citizens
IN  Y  Visas to Thailand for Indian Citizens

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