Thailand in Brief
A Quick Guide to Thailand
Thailand has been Asia’s leading tourist destination for over 60 years. The fiercely modern, fast paced city of Bangkok is a shopper’s paradise. The Old Town of Chiang Mai slows the pace right down and puts you front and centre with local people. When you’re all done and dusted in the towns and cities the white sandy beaches of Krabi will leave you feeling perfectly relaxed.
With so much to see, eat and do, planning a holiday to Thailand can be tough. That’s why we made the In Brief series. This series of mini guides gives you a flavour of each of Thailand’s major destinations. We tell you all about the weather, food, accommodation, activities and feel of each place so you can easily map out a quick itinerary.
What to do and see in Thailand
Shop till you drop in Bangkok
Shopaholics can’t help but squeal at the sheer size and scale of Bangkok’s infamous mega malls. There are dozens in the downtown Sukhumvit area selling everything from local handicrafts to Jimmy Choo shoes. Once you’ve worn your feet out shopping you can enjoy their art installations, aquariums, cinemas, play parks, food courts, fitness centres and family friendly activities. Make sure you check out the ice skating rink and huge food court in CentralWorld and the uber luxury goods in the Siam Paragon.
Feast on World Class Cuisine
Thailand’s spicy hot curries and fragrant hot pots are infamous around the world. But there is so much more to Thailand’s cuisine. Street Food stalls sell fresh and spicy Pad Thai noodles, 5 star Asian Fusion restaurants give unforgettable dining experiences and the Western fare isn’t just good for Asia, it’s some of the best in the world. Whatever your budget, whatever your tastes, you’ll find something here that will blow your mind.
Discover local life on a 3 day River Cruise
Bangkok isn’t all about the big city vibe. On its outskirts are dozens of craft villages, stunning temple vistas and world class cycling routes. If you want to get out of the hubbub and see local life up close book yourself onto a 3 day river cruise. You’ll float down the Chao Prya River in comfortable accommodation stopping off at craft villages and temples along the way. You’ll get to cycle around the streets and canals, seeing local life up close and personal.
Indulge in a legendary Thai Massage
Thai Massages combine acupressure and ‘assisted yoga’ techniques to click you back into shape. They are available everywhere in Thailand. For a few dollars you can have a quick massage on a bamboo mat in a park or pagoda or you can splash out a few dozen dollars for an all-inclusive spa experience complete with aromatherapy, skin treatment, saunas, Jacuzzis and herbal baths.
Go Island Hopping in Krabi
The crystal clear waters and white sands of Krabi have been drawing in tourists for decades. It’s a fantastic little location where you can go island hopping on your own junk boat. Your driver will take you out to deserted islands where you can take in the sun or strap on a snorkel and go for a dive.
Where should I go in Thailand?
Epic, modern, exhilarating and totally unforgettable. Bangkok is a city that has something for everyone. Backpackers and budget travellers flock to the Khao San Road for parties and cheap eats. Luxury travellers can stay in downtown Sukhumvit with its cool rooftop bars, exclusive clubs and 5 star dining. The world class entertainment at the mega malls draw in families and history buffs are spoilt for choice with Bangkok’s incredible museums, art galleries and Old Town. Check out our Quick Guide to Bangkok right here.
Krabi is a resort area in the South of Thailand. Surrounded by the sea and limestone formations it’s a perfect place for a relaxing holiday. And when you get tired of sun and sand, you have lots of options to explore the area and nearby islands. Check out our Quick Guide to Krabi right here.
Chiang Mai is the place to go if you want to escape from crowded and buzzing Bangkok. In the North the speed of life is noticeably slower than in Central Thailand. It is one of the few towns in Thailand that have kept traditional city planning almost intact. Old town is still surrounded by a moat, ancient city gates are still marking major roads of Lanna Kingdom, and roofs of more than 400 temples glitter in the sun. Locals spend their afternoons in numerous coffee shops drinking locally grown tea and coffee. Chiang Mai is the cultural capital of Thailand with many art galleries and workshops opened for the public. Check out our Quick Guide to Chiang Mai right here.
Manage your expectations before you come. Thailand is much better developed and tourist savvy than most other countries in South East Asia. If you are looking for a holiday filled with that ‘Old Asia’ feel, you won’t get it here. There are a few untouched spots left in Thailand but Myanmar and Vietnam are much better suited to the traveller looking for off the beaten track experiences and a taste of authenticity.
The best time to go to Thailand
Thailand is a year round destination. Most of the year the weather is relatively hot and quite humid. In the North and Central Region there are three seasons including a cool season, hot season and rainy season. In the cool season it rarely drops below 25c during the day but can be a chilly 15c at night. The hot season is known to have a few scorching days above 35 c but on the whole it’s normally a pleasant 30c. The rainy season can bring incredibly heavy rains for days at a time. If you’re into your shopping though you’ll barely notice as you hop from mall to mall via the Sky Train. In Southern Thailand there are two distinct seasons. Wet (or Rainy) season can bring days of torrential rain. It runs from May – November. Dry season is stunning with blue skys and sunshine for most of the year. The temperature is stable in the south with average highs around 30-35 degrees c and lows between 20-25 degrees c.
Northern + Central Thailand
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