Elephants, jungles, beaches, giant gold Buddhas and Thai-riffic food? What’s not to love about Thailand?!
Seriously, Thailand is like heaven on earth. First, there are the beaches – you might recognise them from such Pinterest boards as ‘Best Beaches on Earth’, ‘Beach Please’, and ‘I Want to Go There’.
Then there’s the food – tom yam goong, coconut curry, sticky rice, mango everything and pad thai for days.
Then, there’s everything else – cocktails on the beach in Ao Nang, epic temples in Sukhothai, and an incredible elephant hospital in Chiang Mai that’ll give you a serious case of the warm and fuzzies.
What people say
These trips are for young adventurous and laid back people. If you are looking for 5 star accommodations, book a different kind of trip. My trip was awesome because we really got to be immersed in the Thai culture, our guide was amazing, and we had a blast.
Thailand travel highlights
Cocktails? Sunsets? Cocktails at sunset? Ao Nang knows how to bring the good things in life together.
See the work of the good folks at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital, an NGO dedicated to rehabilitating mistreated elephants
Sukhothai Historic Park
Sukhothai’ literally translates to ‘Rising of Happiness’, which is exactly what you’ll experience as you pedal around ancient temples and ruins at Sukhothai Historic Park.
Follow the scent of chilli and lemongrass to one of Bangkok’s many delicious food markets.
Chiang Mai should translate to mean city of temples. (Note: It does not). Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of Thailand’s most sacred, for an impressive view.
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Articles on Thailand
Thailand holiday information
Local culture of Thailand
Food and Drink in Thailand
Festivals in Thailand
Geography and Evnironment
Shopping guide to Thailand
Transport in Thailand
Why hail a plain old cab when you could ride a bike or jump onto a saamlaw? Half the fun of travel is experiencing a destination just like the locals – including how they get around. Wherever possible, Geckos Adventures uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport. This way we can reduce our environmental impact, support local operators and have a great time.
Get to know the locals as you share a ride in these converted pick-up trucks. Snagging a seat on the ‘two benches’ (the literal meaning of songthaew), is a popular way of getting around across Southeast Asia.
See Thailand from ground level on these three-wheeled pedicabs. Usually pedal-powered by a local, they’re a fun way to see the sights as you get from point A to point B. Also available are tuk tuks, the flashier, motorised cousin of the saamlaw.
Thailand travel FAQs
Australia: No – not required
Belgium: No – not required
Canada: No – not required
Germany: No – not required
Ireland: No – not required
Netherlands: No – not required
New Zealand: No – not required
South Africa: No – not required
Switzerland: No – not required
United Kingdom: No – not required
USA: No – not required
Visitors arriving by air can stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without obtaining a visa. Those arriving by land can stay for up to 15 days. If you are planning on staying longer than these amounts of time, visit an immigration office in Thailand to obtain a visa extension for THB 2,000 (USD 59). Alternatively, apply for a 60-day multiple entry visa at your local embassy or consulate before your trip.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after your arrival date in Thailand and should have a few blank pages left for a new stamp.
For the most up to date information about visa requirements, please get in touch with your local consulate.
Tipping isn’t customary in Thailand, but feel free to leave restaurants, driver or service workers a small tip if the service has been particularly good. It’s always appreciated.
Internet can be accessed at hotels and internet cafes in large cities and tourist areas but is limited in rural and remote areas.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Thailand’s urban areas, but may not be available on some of the islands and in more remote and areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.
Squat toilets are most common in Thailand, although western-style flushable toilets can be found in larger hotels and some tourist areas. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as they are not always provided.
Can of soft drink = USD 1
Bottle of local beer = USD 3
Market stall meal = USD 1 – USD 3
Sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant = USD 10 – USD 15
Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in Thailand. Avoid drinks with ice and make sure to peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Your leader or hotel can tell you where to find filtered water.
Credit cards are usually accepted by hotels, large retailers and tourist sites but are less commonly accepted by smaller vendors and family-run restaurants in rural areas. Market stalls and street vendors will not accept credit card. Always carry enough cash for smaller purchases in case credit cards are not an option.
ATMs are widely available in larger cities but are less common in small villages or rural areas. Make sure you have enough cash before leaving urban areas.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Geckos are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to Travel Insurance
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Feb 11: Makha Bucha Day
April 6: Chakri Day
April 12-15: Songkran (Thai New Year)
May 1: Labour Day
May 5: Coronation Day
May 10: Visakha Bucha Day
July 8: Asahna Bucha Day
Aug 12: Queen’s Birthday
Oct 23: Chulalongkorn Day
Dec 5: King’s Birthday
Dec 10: Constitution Day
Dec 31: New Year’s Eve
For a current list of public holidays in Thailand go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/asia/Thailand/public-holidays/
No vaccines are required in order to enter Thailand but some are recommended for protection against disease. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.
1. Hepatitis A (transmitted through contaminated water)
2. Typhoid (transmitted through contaminated water)
Malaria is a mosquito-transmitted disease found mostly in remote parts of Thailand. Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted disease common across all of Southeast Asia. You can protect yourself by wearing light coloured clothing when travelling in these parts and by using a good bug repellent. Malaria prevention tablets are also recommended for those travelling outside of usual tourist areas. Talk to your doctor or travel clinic for advice.
As a whole, Thailand is a hassle-free destination for LGBTQI-travellers. Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket all have fairly prominent gay scenes. Be aware that Thais typically do not engage in public displays of affection, regardless of sexual orientation.
Top Thailand travel deals
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