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Thailand - Best Tours & Trips 2019

532 trips to Thailand tours from 129 tour companies. 1,238 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

Thailand has long been Southeast Asia's most popular destination. From its capital, Bangkok, with a Royal Palace, numerous wats (temples), and a series of klongs (canals), to the southern beach resorts and islands that have long attracted those seeking respite, there is something in Thailand for everyone.

All Thailand tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

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Amazing Thailand

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 136 / day
$ 1,899
From : $ 4,877
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Buddhist Temples (Bangkok)
  • Floating Market (Bangkok)
  • Grand Palace (Bangkok)
  • Wat Mongkol Borpith Statue (Ayutthaya)
  • Elephant Camp (Chiang Mai)
  • Wat Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai)
Visits:
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Thailand
View Trip

Iconic Thailand

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 213 / day
$ 3,099
From : $ 3,935
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Discuss daily life with a resident monk
  • Explore the temples and palaces of ayutthaya
  • Cruise bangkok’s delightfully chaotic canals
  • Kayak and snorkel the crystalline waters of ko mat sum and ko tan islands
  • Explore krabi river aboard a longtail boat before hopping in a tricycle tuk-tuk
Visits:
Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Thailand
View Trip

Thailand – The Baby Elephant Experience

Discover Corps
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 280 / day
$ 2,795
From : $ 3,438
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Spend your days alongside the friendly village elephants and the local community
  • Engage with the cultural blend of traditional and modern and enjoy the slow pace of village life.
  • You’ll also venture into Thailand’s authentic street markets in Chiang Mai, zip-line through the jungle
  • Explore shimmering temples and raft down the Mae Taeng River
  • Experience travel into the mountains to a long-neck Karin village
  • Opportunity to learn about their ancient traditions, meet with village elders and discover a community lost in time.
Visits:
Chiang Mai, Thailand
View Trip

Thailand & Cambodia Heritage Explorer

Global Basecamps
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 274 / day
$ 3,829
From : $ 4,365
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Two week itinerary combining the classic and unique highlights of Thailand
  • Explore Cambodia's key destinations including: Siem Reap, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui
Visits:
Siem Reap, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Cambodia
View Trip

Classic Thailand

Topdeck
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 132 / day
$ 1,849
From : $ 2,496
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Street eats tuk-tuk tour in Bangkok
  • Guided trishaw tour in Chiang Mai
  • Visit Wat Rong Khun
  • Island stays on Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao
Visits:
Bangkok, Mount Everest, Chiang Mai, Thailand
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Islands of Thailand

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 155 / day
$ 1,299
From : $ 2,699
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Have a chance to explore the largest island in Thailand, Phuket
  • Enjoy the clear warm waters and white sandy beaches of stunning Koh Phi Phi Island
  • Explore the activities on offer in beautiful Krabi or sample some of the area’s famous nightlife
Visits:
Phuket, Thailand
View Trip

Amazing Thailand & Angkor Wat

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
17 days
$ 159 / day
$ 2,699
From : $ 2,899
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit Buddhist Temples (Bangkok)
  • See the Floating Market (Bangkok)
  • Explore Grand Palace (Bangkok)
  • Wat Mongkol Borpith Statue (Ayutthaya)
  • Visit Elephant Camp (Chiang Mai)
  • Wat Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai)
  • Temples of Angkor Wat
  • Tenle Sap Lake Boat Trip (Siem Reap)
Visits:
Angkor Wat, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Thailand
View Trip

Highlights of Thailand & Cambodia

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 229 / day
$ 3,120
From : $ 4,514
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Whip up a culinary storm and taste delicious local dishes in a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai
  • Travel like the locals do on an overnight sleeper train, the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at destinations
  • Immerse yourself in the wonders of an ancient tribal culture with a night in the Hmong Lodge, treated to a BBQ dinner and Hmong Cultural show
  • Make some new pachyderm pals at the unique Friends of the Asia Elephants Hospital and learn about the great work they do to protect these magnificent creatures
  • Uncover the ancient charms of Sukhothai as you leisurely cycle around the ruin-filled Historical Park, and feel your own cheerfulness increasing in the city named ‘Rising Happiness’
  • Pay your respect at the memorials by the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ – learn about its dark history and the construction of the death railway in Kanchanaburi during the war
  • Discover the contrasting sides to Cambodia’s history at Phnom Penh’s Tuoi Sieng Genocide Museum (S21) and Choeung Ek, and the city’s Royal palace and Silver Pagoda
  • Dine at the Friends restaurant to taste delicious local food and support an organisation that helps vulnerable local children
  • Uncover the incredible structures and history of Angkor Wat on a fully guided tour
Visits:
Angkor Wat, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Killing Fields, Phnom Penh , Siem Reap, Cambodia, Thailand
View Trip

Luxury Thailand Family Trip

13 days
$ 277 / day
$ 3,600
From : $ 4,104
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • The famous Grand Palace and revered reclining Buddha temple
  • An adventure by local boat to the lesser known temple in Bangkok, authentic local markets in Bangkok
  • Pattara Elephant Farm bareback riding, one of the best elephant experiences in Chiang Mai
  • A indulgence into the nature of Khao Sok National Park
Visits:
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Thailand
View Trip

Thailand Odyssey

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 212 / day
$ 999
From : $ 1,956
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Discover the amazing city of Bangkok and its temples
  • Marvel at a larger-than-life Buddha at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
  • See the legendary Bridge over the River Kwai 
  • Take an exciting boat ride down stream to Hellfire Pass Memorial
Visits:
Bangkok, Thailand
View Trip

Romantic Southeast Asia Honeymoon Getaway

Global Basecamps
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 403 / day
$ 6,042
From : $ 7,432
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Admire the ancient ruins of Angor Wat
  • Wind your way through the bustling streets of Bangkok
  • Relax on the heavenly beaches of Koh Samui
  • The perfect Honeymoon trip to kick off a lifetime of adventures together
Visits:
Bangkok, Cambodia, Thailand
View Trip

Explore Southern Thailand

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 219 / day
$ 1,799
From : $ 2,151
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Cross the scenic krabi river aboard a longtail boat
  • Take your seat on a motorized tricycle tuk-tuk to be whisked through krabi’s bustling villages
  • Kayak and snorkel around the secluded islands of ko mat sum and ko taen
  • Spot elusive wildlife in the pristine rainforest of khao sok national park
Visits:
Bangkok, Thailand
View Trip

Highlights of Thailand

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 155 / day
$ 1,601
From : $ 2,101
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Whip up a culinary storm and taste delicious local dishes in a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai
  • Travel like the locals do on an overnight sleeper train, the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at destinations
  • Immerse yourself in the wonders of an ancient tribal culture with a night in the Hmong Lodge, treated to a BBQ dinner and Hmong Cultural show
  • Make some new pachyderm pals at the unique Friends of the Asia Elephants Hospital and learn about the great work they do to protect these magnificent creatures
  • Uncover the ancient charms of Sukhothai as you leisurely cycle around the ruin-filled Historical Park, and feel your own cheerfulness increasing in the city named ‘Rising Happiness’
  • Pay your respect at the memorials by the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ – learn about its dark history and the construction of the death railway in Kanchanaburi during the war
Visits:
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Thailand
View Trip

Thailand Insight

11 days
$ 209 / day
$ 2,300
From : $ 2,829
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • An overview of the long lasting history of Thailand
  • Experience the floating resort surrounded by the lush green nature
  • Tranquility of the countryside area from the center to the north of Thailand
  • Local cuisine and very best temples of the Lanna culture
Visits:
Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Mekong River , Thailand
View Trip

Sailing Holidays Thailand

Project Expedition
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 201 / day
$ 1,608
From : $ 1,833
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • 7 Days Sailing Holidays
Visits:
Thailand
View Trip
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Top Thailand Experiences and Attractions

Top Thailand Experiences

Experiencing the infamous Bangkok nightlife 

Enjoying a relaxing Thailand retreat and getting away from it all

Learning the history of Chiang Mai

Snorkeling in famous blue waters along Thailand’s coastline of idyllic beaches

Tasting authentic Thai cuisine on a food tour and visiting bustling street food markets

Hiking among beautiful landscapes in Chiang Mai

view more

Thailand Trip Reviews

1,238 Thailand Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 1,009
Great 195
Average 20
Disappointing 10
Terrible 4
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Tour Reviews Write a Review

I HAVE USED THE SERVICES OF CARADONNA…

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I HAVE USED THE SERVICES OF CARADONNA ADVENTURES FOR OVER 40 YEARS AND HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM OR BAD BOOKING THAT THEY HAVE SET UP FOR ME AND THE NAVAL AIR STATION JACKSONVILLE SKIN AND SCUBA DIVING CLUB. IN NAVY TERMS "BRAVO ZULU' THANK YOU DAWN!

Read more
Operator Caradonna Adventures

Traveling with ACIS takes all the…

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Traveling with ACIS takes all the anxiety and pressure off of me and I can concentrate on enjoying the trip with my students and embracing the new adventure.

Read more
Operator ACIS

India Tour

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

The whole experience of our visit to India and Shimla was amazing highly organized, saw lots, experience incredible -don’t go expecting a relaxed holiday it’s busy but then what you see and experience is out of this world.rebecca our tour guide was so informative and helpful - my first time with Riveria and it won’t be my last the sighting of the tigers was the icing on the cake.

Read more
Operator Riviera Travel

Every guide was extremely knowledgeable

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I had never been to southeast Asia, so I searched for a reliable travel agent to help me. I found Odynovo through a google search, and was hesitant to work through my travel plans via email. But after checking some excellent online reviews, I decided to contact them for more information. Odynovo responded quickly, providing me with an extensive and detailed itinerary. The entire itinerary was well thought out, and executed with out a problem! We booked a private tour, and an English speaking guide was there to greet us at every stop. Every guide was extremely knowledgeable of the area and the history, and the expert drivers knew how to navigate the areas. Thank you, Nikki (Odynovo) for a wonderful vacation!

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Operator Indochina Odyssey Tours

Thailand

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0

My boyfriend & I used Gate1 for our trip to Bangkok, Thailand and it was the smartest thing we could have done. We did not choice a tour guide or tours with the company, but we did realize on our next trip we will. But even though we did everything on our own, it was so extremely easy knowing they had all of our travels and hotel accommodations taken care of- after all those are the top two things everyone worries about when traveling.
We planning on using gate1 again, actually he wants to do a whole trip through Europe with the help of GATE1 travel.

Read more
Operator Gate 1

Fantastic small tour

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Fantastic small tour with Max. The desing of the tour as well as the care for the participant is great and Max the guide did really go the extra mile for us. Really recommended!!!!

Read more
Operator SpiceRoads Cycling

Thailand Tours and Travel Guide

Thailand Attractions & Landmarks Guide

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.

Thailand Adventure Travel

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 and 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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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!

4. 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

Visas

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

Vaccinations

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.

Safety

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 serious 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.

Top Thailand Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

Thailand tour packages can run the gamut from historical and culturally immersive, to a young party barge around Phuket.

Many different global tour operators have trips to Thailand, often with different themes. Thailand is a great destination for wildlife lovers, active travelers, and of course beach goers.

Elephant Tours in Thailand

Elephants and their mahouts (or handlers) have long been a part of the Thai economy, and helped with the logging business. When this practice was outlawed by the government, the role of elephant trainers and their animals transitioned to become a part of the tourism industry.

In some ways, this has created new animal welfare problems. Elephants often undergo abuse in their training to become rideable attractions, and once in this career, they can be overworked and fed improperly. On the other hand, elephant trainers complain that they would not be able to afford to feed their elephants (which, not surprisingly, eat a lot) without pandering to tourist interests.

Luckily, there is a way to ethically interact with elephants. Elephant sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers (which help restore the health of retired elephants and transition them to a more natural way of life) are great options of getting up close and personal with these gentle giants. It’s also a great way to fully immerse yourself in a natural Thai landscape.

Choosing a Thailand Tour

There is a lot to consider when picking your tour to Thailand. Oftentimes, tours in Thailand are geared toward a younger crowd, seeking the party atmosphere Southeast Asia is so well known for. If this is not what you’re after, consider a nature tour, or searching by a higher accommodation rating.

The majority of Thailand tours are in the Value (3 star) range. For a bit more comfort, consider searching Premium or Luxury tours, as these terms have are relative to what tour accommodation is normally like in Thailand. Put another way, luxury accommodation in Thailand will mean nicer, but not overly extravagant.  

Food tours are very popular, and will feature a lot of street food, so be prepared. Traveling with a tour is one of the best ways to ensure you stay safe and eat safe. Your guide will know the best stalls and have advice on where to eat.

Active and adventure travel is another main theme when it comes to Thailand tours. This usually means visiting several national parks for hiking, zip lining, and waterfall rappelling. You’ll be sure to spend some time around Chiang Mai, Thailand’s adventure capital.

Cheap Thailand Tour Packages

Thailand is notorious for being a great destination for travelers on a budget. Although this is not as true as it once used to be, due to the flood of backpackers and tourists in the last 10 years, it’s still possible to experience Thailand on a budget.  Here are three tips to help guide you in traveling Thailand cheaply:

  1. Eat cheap. If you avoid international restaurants and classic tourist destinations, Thai food is still very affordable. More affordable meals can be found in cafeteria style dining halls, and from street vendors.

  2. If you’re eating street food, walk off the beaten path. A good way to reduce the price of even the street food in Thailand is to take a turn off major street, an a try a food cart on a smaller street. You’ll be surprised at the difference!

  3. Choose a budget tour. Group tours in Thailand can often offer different “styles” of traveling. Choosing a budget option will significantly reduce in price, and often refers to the quality of housing you will be staying in. If you don’t mind hostels, which are for the most part pretty clean and hospitable in Thailand, this is a great option for you.

Touring Thailand With Kids

If you’re traveling to Thailand with your family, the beaches beckon you. With snorkeling, soft sand, and many chances to relax in save secluded beaches, there are countless of activities to keep children busy and allow parents to relax.

There are also a number of national parks in Thailand, offering varying degrees of difficulty in hikes and activities. Kids will love the opportunity to see nature up close, play around waterfalls, and learn about the many different plants and animals.

Multi Country Thailand Tours

A large portion of Thailand tours also visit a combination of the nearby Southeast Asia countries. These include Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, and Laos.

This can be a great way to visit a lot of different countries and get a feel for Southeast Asian culture, both similarities and differences.

All Thailand tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Thailand trips.

532 trips from 129 tour companies with 1,238 reviews

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