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ABOUT US

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Welcome traveler!

We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

Learn more about us!

Thank you for visiting and we hope you find value in our destination pages! ​We thoroughly research and curate all content ourselves and everything you find on this site is put together by only the two of us.

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THAILAND TRAVEL GUIDE

Welcome to Thailand, a vibrant tapestry of lush landscapes, ancient temples, and bustling markets. Known as the 'Land of Smiles,' Thailand offers a rich cultural experience, from the grandeur of its royal palaces to the sacred spaces of its numerous Buddhist temples. Though parts of the country are a bit more touristy than other countries in Southeast Asia, Thailand is the perfect place to begin your Southeast Asian travels, and to return to again and again. 


In 2008 we did a 4-week backpack trip for our honeymoon (yes, we're those people) and also got our scuba certification in Koh Tao. Since then we've been back to Thailand again and again and loved every visit! Thailand is just one of those countries that has something for everyone and can be an easy introduction to South East Asia for family travellers.

⬇️ REGIONAL GUIDES ⬇️

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⬇️ COUNTRY GUIDE ⬇️

  • Currency: Thai Baht (THB). Current conversion rate here.

  • Electricity: 220V AC electricity. Power outlets are usually two-prong round or flat sockets. Be sure to carry a universal travel adaptor so you can still use all your electronic devices. If you are from a country with 110V as a standard be aware that you will need a voltage converter.

  • Visa: Generally speaking visitors from most countries are given a free 30-day visa when you enter Thailand by air and 15 days if you enter overland. If you would like to stay in Thailand for longer than the provided visa-free option, you can look at applying for a tourist visa in any Thai embassy beforehand (this gives you 60 days). Sadly the days of arriving with a one-way ticket and a backpack are over and Thailand, as most countries in Southeast Asia, now will require proof of onward flights before allowing you to enter the country.

  • Safety: Thailand is generally a safe travel destination. Yes, there are a few scams here and there but as long as you take the time to read about them beforehand, you’re good. The Thai islands have been gaining notoriety for accidents induced by alcohol so just be a little bit cautious. If you plan on renting a scooter make sure to read our guide here first. The most common accident in Thailand has to be scooter related. What most people don’t realize is that even if you have travel insurance, if you don’t have a valid motorcycle license, most policies won’t cover you so make sure you look into this before your trip. It's probably best to also get an International Driver’s license (IDP) beforehand. Whatever you do, don’t travel without travel insurance!We would suggest checking out World Nomads or SafetyWing, for travel insurance as they have the best coverage for active travellers.

  • Language: Around the islands, English is a lot more common as a lot of people are in the tourism industry. In Northern Thailand and in more rural areas, there is however a good chance that you will encounter people who don’t speak English. It helps to know some basic phrases - you will find our useful guide here!

  • Interesting Facts: The Thai monarchy is deeply revered, and it's illegal to disrespect the monarch or the currency, which bears the king's image. Thailand is also famous for its strict laws against drug trafficking, with severe penalties for those caught. 

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SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

FEBRUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
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WET

MARCH

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
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WET

APRIL

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

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WET

MAY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

JUNE

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

JULY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

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WET

AUGUST

HOT

COLD

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WET

SEPTEMBER

HOT

COLD

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WET

OCTOBER

HOT

COLD

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WET

NOVEMBER

HOT

COLD

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WET

DECEMBER

HOT

COLD

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WET

Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT THAILAND

Best time to visit

The climate of Thailand can be a somewhat complicated matter due to its stretched geography and exposure to both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. However, broadly speaking Thailand is governed by three seasons:


  • Rainy Season (approximately from May through October), caused by the southwest monsoon;

  • Cool Season (approximately from November through February;

  • Hot Season (approximately from March through May).


The rainy season can be the least predictable but you although you should consider your timing when planning your visit the length and intensity of the rainy season can dramatically vary from year to year. It's hardly a case of the heavens opening in May with never-ending showers until October. You're more likely to find rain on most days, but often it will only be for a few hours during the afternoon or overnight. The rains usually pick up in intensity from June and the rainy season peaks around September / October.


Weather in Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai)

Weather in Central Thailand (Bangkok, Ayutthaya)

Weather in the Andaman Coast (Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi Islands)

Weather in the Gulf Coast (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao)

Weather in Northeastern Thailand (Isaan)


In summary, the best time to visit most regions in Thailand is during the cool season (November to February), but specific coastal areas on the Gulf Coast are also favorable during their extended dry periods from December to August. Each region offers unique experiences depending on the season.

BEST TIME FOR:

Thailand offers a diverse range of hiking and cycling opportunities, catering to various fitness levels and preferences. For cycling enthusiasts, the country's landscapes offer everything from tropical islands and jungle mountains to rushing rivers, with routes that are well-suited for both beginners and experienced cyclists. 


Hikers can explore misty peaks, ancient temples, and dense jungles teeming with wildlife, with trails ranging from easy strolls in Bangkok to challenging treks in national parks. 


NOTEWORTHY HIKES IN THAILAND

The Doi Suthep Monk Trail is renowned for being the best day hike, offering a mix of cultural and natural experiences. For those seeking beauty, Doi Luang Chiang Dao is considered the most beautiful hike in Thailand, providing breathtaking views. If you're up for a multi-day adventure, Phu Kradueng is known as the best option for an extended trek. The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail is a must-visit for its stunning scenery. Lastly, for urban dwellers, the Bangkok Phrapradaeng Loop offers a convenient and enjoyable urban hike.


The best time to engage in these outdoor activities will depend on where in the country you are: North, South, Coastal or Inland. Most parks open for hiking from October to May with the driest time usually from November to February or April.

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THAILAND TRAVEL COSTS

Thailand is affordable, particularly for budget and mid-range travelers. You can enjoy a high quality of life, with great food, comfortable accommodations, and numerous activities, without spending a lot. 


However, luxury travelers will find plenty of high-end options that can significantly increase their costs. Overall, Thailand offers excellent value for money, making it an attractive destination for various types of travelers.


If you’re happy sleeping in a hostel and eating street food, you can easily get by on $25-35 a day. As in most Asian countries, you can travel around for as cheap or as expensive as you want. If you want to get an idea of how much we spend while travelling see our Budget Report section.


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TRAVEL TIPS FOR THAILAND

  • Respect Local Customs and Culture: Learn about Thai customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes before entering temples and covering your shoulders and knees when visiting religious sites. Show respect for the monarchy and avoid speaking critically about it, as this is considered offensive and can lead to legal consequences.

  • Stay Hydrated: Thailand's climate can be hot and humid, so drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially if you're spending time outdoors or exploring during the day.

  • Dress Appropriately: Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples or rural areas. Avoid wearing revealing clothing, and opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics to stay comfortable in the heat.


  • Be Mindful of Scams: Stay vigilant and be cautious of common scams targeting tourists, such as overpriced tuk-tuk rides, gem scams, and fake tour operators. Always negotiate prices beforehand and verify information with reliable sources.

  • Bargain Wisely: Bargaining is common in markets and when dealing with street vendors but do so respectfully and with a smile. Aim for a fair price and remember that haggling is part of the local culture.

  • Try Local Street Food: Thai street food is delicious, diverse, and affordable. Don't hesitate to try different dishes from street stalls and local markets, but make sure they're freshly prepared and cooked.

  • Stay Safe on the Roads: Be cautious when navigating Thailand's busy streets, especially when crossing roads and using motorbikes or bicycles. Follow traffic rules, wear helmets when riding motorbikes, and consider using reputable transportation services.

  • Stay Connected: Get a local SIM card or activate international roaming to stay connected during your trip. This will be helpful for navigating, communicating with locals, and accessing emergency services if needed.

  • Explore Beyond Tourist Hotspots: While popular destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai are must-visits, consider exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations to experience authentic Thai culture and natural beauty.

  • Embrace the Thai Smile: Thais are known for their friendliness and hospitality, so reciprocate with a smile and a respectful "wai" (a slight bow with your palms pressed together) when greeting locals.

  • Respect the Environment: Help preserve Thailand's natural beauty by avoiding single-use plastics, participating in beach cleanups, and following responsible tourism practices, such as not disturbing wildlife or damaging coral reefs while snorkeling or diving.

  • Be Prepared for Monsoon Season: If visiting during the rainy season (June to October), pack waterproof clothing, umbrellas, and insect repellent. Keep an eye on weather forecasts, as heavy rains can cause flooding and disrupt travel plans.



GETTING AROUND THAILAND

Thailand offers a variety of options for local transport, catering to different preferences, budgets, and destinations. Here are some of the most common modes of transportation you can use to get around the country:


Tuk-Tuks: Iconic three-wheeled vehicles, especially popular in cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

  • Negotiate fares beforehand as they don’t have meters.

  • Ideal for short distances and quick trips around town.


Taxis: Available in major cities and tourist areas.

  • Metered taxis are common, but always ensure the meter is turned on.

  • Taxis can be hailed on the street or booked through ride-hailing apps like Grab.


BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway: Bangkok's rapid transit systems, offering fast and efficient transportation around the city.

  • Affordable fares and air-conditioned trains.

  • Ideal for avoiding traffic congestion during peak hours.


Songthaews: Shared or private pickup trucks with benches in the back.

  • Found in both urban and rural areas, serving as a local form of transportation.

  • They follow set routes but can also be hired for private trips.



Motorbike Taxis: Motorcycles with drivers who offer rides for short distances.

  • Recognizable by their colored vests or numbered bibs.

  • Often faster than cars in heavy traffic but may not be suitable for all travelers.


Public Buses: Extensive network of public buses connecting cities, towns, and rural areas.


Trains: Thailand has an extensive railway network connecting major cities and regions.

  • Options include ordinary, rapid, and express trains with different levels of comfort and speed.

  • Sleeper trains are available for long-distance journeys, offering overnight travel options.


Ferries and Boats: Essential for reaching Thailand's islands and coastal destinations.

  • Various ferry services operate between mainland ports and islands like Phuket, Koh Samui, and Koh Phi Phi.

  • Speedboats and long-tail boats are also common for shorter island-hopping trips.


Rental Cars and Motorbikes: An option for tourists who want more independence and flexibility.

  • Renting a car or motorbike is common in tourist areas, but driving conditions can be challenging, especially in cities.

  • International driving permits are required for driving in Thailand.


Domestic Flights: Ideal for long-distance travel between major cities or reaching remote destinations quickly.


Tips for Using Local Transport:

  • Always negotiate prices with tuk-tuk and motorbike taxi drivers before starting your journey.

  • Check for official meters in taxis and ensure they are used.

  • Be cautious when renting motorbikes, and always wear a helmet.

  • Download local transportation apps like Grab or NaviGo for convenience and to avoid communication issues.

Travel Tips Section

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF THAILAND

Thailand is a diverse country with a rich tapestry of landscapes, cultures, and attractions spread across different regions. Here are some of the main regions worth visiting and their highlights:


Bangkok and Central Thailand

  • Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew: Magnificent royal complex with the Emerald Buddha.

  • Wat Arun: Iconic riverside temple known for its stunning architecture.

  • Chatuchak Weekend Market: One of the world's largest markets offering everything from clothing to antiques.

  • Ayutthaya: Ancient capital with UNESCO-listed ruins and historical sites.

  • Floating Markets: Explore markets like Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa by boat.

  • Khao Yai National Park: Thailand's oldest national park with diverse wildlife and waterfalls.


Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai)

  • Chiang Mai Old City: Explore ancient temples, markets, and traditional Lanna architecture.

  • Doi Suthep: Sacred Mountain with a stunning temple overlooking Chiang Mai.

  • Chiang Rai White Temple (Wat Rong Khun): Unique contemporary temple with intricate white design.

  • Elephant Nature Park: Ethical elephant sanctuary where you can observe and interact with rescued elephants.

  • Golden Triangle: Area where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet, known for its scenic landscapes and historical significance.

  • Hill Tribes: Visit traditional hill tribe villages like the Karen, Akha, and Hmong.