From the paradise beaches of the south to the frenetic cities of the north, Thailand offers plenty to entice visitors. Here’s our guide to everything you need to know.
Bask on beautiful beaches
Thailand is famed the world over for its paradise beaches – and seeing them with your own eyes certainly won’t leave you disappointed. If you’re looking for a taste of luxury, head south to Koh Samui or if world class diving is your thing, make your way to the island of Koh Tao. For undiscovered delights, the islands of Ko Khut and Ko Chang are ideal, whilst Koh Phangan is the life and soul of the party. If you haven’t got time to head down to the south, just a couple of hours outside of Bangkok you’ll be greeted with the beauty of Koh Samet.
Indulge in delicious food
From stylish restaurants to delicious street food, Thailand is famed for its mouthwatering cuisine. The country’s signature dishes are the spicy green curry and the sweet pad Thai – and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to indulge. If you fancy trying your hand at creating a dish, Thai cooking classes are very popular and you’ll find them everywhere you look. You’ll be a pro in no time!
Discover Thailand’s culture
Thailand is a country overflowing with cultural heritage, dating back through the centuries. Ancient Wat temples and Khmer ruins dot the country, and the Grand Palace shimmers with prestige in Bangkok. Hill tribes still live in the greenery of the golden triangle and 95% of the population identify themselves as Buddhist, meaning that spiritual wellbeing and meditation play a huge role in everyday life.
The currency of Thailand is the baht, which is subdivided into 100 satang. As of November 2015, $1 is worth around ฿25, and ฿10 is worth around $0.39.
Here’s a roundup of what you can expect to spend in Thailand, with prices in Australian dollars:
|Inexpensive meal for one – $2||Bottle of water – $0.40||0.5 litre beer – $2.15|
|Mid-range restaurant meal for one – $12||Cappuccino – $2.40||Local bus ticket – $0.80|
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Travelling around Thailand
Domestic flights are the simple solution to getting around Thailand, cutting out a whole day’s travel on a bus or train. The top airlines are Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways, and booking your flight in advance often means you’ll be able to secure prices of as little as ฿1000.
By bus and train
Buses and trains are both plentiful in Thailand, and offer you a cheap and simple way to get around – although the distances are often long! Buses come in four classes, ranging from the cheapest to air conditioned luxury, so it’s up to you which one you choose. It’s a similar story when it comes to trains, with sleeper trains available for long distances – check out thairailticket.com for more information.
There’s regular boat and ferry transport to take you in between the islands of Thailand, as well as connecting them with the mainland. Prices vary depending on the speed of the ferry you choose, for example the trip from Chumphon to Ko Tao costs between ฿200 for a six hour journey and ฿600 for less than two hours.
Most cities have an extensive bus network that will get you around super cheaply. Another popular mode of transport is the motorbike, whether you rent one yourself for around ฿200 a day or jump on the back of a mototaxi. Of course, the tuk-tuk is also an iconic way to get around the streets of Thailand, and you won’t have to try hard to hail one day.
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