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Thailand

THAILAND
DESTINATION GUIDE

The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

Thailand, a name which has now become synonymous to white sandy beaches, crystal clean water, limestone cliffs, dense forests, and fabulous night parties has many things in store for its tourists. From secluded paradise islands to busy street markets of Bangkok, Thailand is definitely the ultimate holiday destination for the Indian tourists. The unique Thai culture and the spicy Thai food with lots of cocktails will offer you the time of time as you can find open-air nightclubs located just beside some enchanting waterfalls. The place is where people stay in harmony with nature and yet have a lot of fun.

Attractions in Thailand

From historic towns to fabulous beach resort destinations, the attractions in Thailand are bound to give you a thrilling time.

Chiang Mai

Apparently a normal Thai street, Chiang Mai, gets a new life every Sunday night when food hawkers and vendors line the streets with their swanky stalls selling all kinds of Thai delicacies and mouthwatering treats that you can imagine. The Sunday Night Walking Street of Chiang Mai attracts a decent enough crowd, both locals and the tourists, and it is indeed a spectacle for you to savor. Starting from the famous pad Thai to crab cakes, from delicious chicken recipes to Indian snacks like samosas, you will get all kinds of comfort foods that you can imagine. The place enters a festive mode each Sunday as the decorations of the stalls comprise of Chinese lanterns, oil paintings, and various tribal designs.

Sukhothai Old City

The ancient capital of Thailand is a peace heaven for photographers and nature enthusiasts. Quite different from the vibrant lifestyle of Bangkok this old quaint town is ready to give you off-beat Thai experience. Considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site this place has many ancient relics and architectures that links back to the past of Thailand. Considering the number of historical artifacts and the monuments this place has, it can easily be regarded as the most important historic site of Thailand. The place consists of a long list of temples and architectures which connects back to Thailand's origin of Buddhist devotion and each of these structures narrates a story of its own.

Jomtien Beach

Stretching for about six kilometers this Thai beach offers a welcome relief to the tourists from the hustles and bustles of the city life. This bright golden shores of Pattaya allows you to enjoy a relaxing sunbathing experience as you can also savor the lush coconut plantation lining the entire beach. It is definitely not a dumb and boring beach where you are forced to just sit and grab a cold beer but if you are daring enough you can also go for many water-sporting adventures. Tourists from all across the world gather here to jet-ski, para-sail, kite-surf and enjoy many kinds of water-based frivolities. There are a plenty of nice cafes and shacks all around the beach from where you can grab a nice seafood lunch.

Ao Nang

Formally known as the Princess Bay this beach in Krabi is something for everyone. The enchanting stretch of land is now covered in proper walking pavement thereby making it easier for the pedestrians to have a nice afternoon and an evening walk. The place also has a huge range of nice restaurants and with the beautiful Andaman beachfront you can enjoy a really nice view of the crystal clear water. In case you are not willing to take a stroll down the pavement you can walk down to the beach and enjoy the view. You can take some boat trips to the surrounding islands like the Ko Hong, the beautiful Ko Poda and also the Chicken Island which is locally known as the Ko Gai.

Floating Markets

The floating markets of Thailand are certainly an authentic thing which will allow you to savor the flavors of this mystical oriental land. Long wooden boats carrying fruits, vegetables, spices, and tasty delicacies float around the bays of several harbors of Thailand selling their items to interested buyers. It is an spectacle to enjoy as you can see how the boats hustle against each other drawing the attention of the potential buyers and how they maneuver their way through the narrow canals connecting the bay with the sea. The floating markets are scattered across different parts of Thailand and the biggest one is located in Bangkok.

When To Reach

The best part of Thailand is that you can visit the country any time of the year. Though it is true that the climate varies a lot you can enjoy a trip almost any time you want. Rainfall is the main hindrance as far as Thailand is concerned with November being the driest and the coolest month. That is why autumn and winter are the ideal time for visiting Thailand. The west coast of Thailand is an ideal location to visit during the winter months as the cool breeze from the sea will set the perfect atmosphere for you to enjoy.

Seasonality

High Season: The winter and the autumn months are the ideal time for visiting Thailand as the temperature remains soothing and the rainfall is minimum.


Low Season: The months of July to the middle of October are presumably the worst time for visiting Thailand, mostly because of the rainfall. However, many tourists visit Thailand during that time.


Shoulder Season: The month between March and October are the shoulder season for traveling to Thailand as the weather remains soothing as always but the rainfall is a little bit less.

How To Reach

You will not be short of options if you are looking for direct flights to Thailand. Starting from Emirates to Singapore Airlines, from Air Asia to Eithiad Airways there are plenty of flights which will take you to Thailand in a jiffy. Cathay Pacific also operates regular flights which allows the Indian tourists to reach Thailand. There is of course the Thai Airways, and the All Nippon Airways having regular flights to the beautiful beaches of Thailand. China Southern, Air China, Malaysian Airlines, Korean Airlines, Shandong Airlines, and many other airlines operate on a regular basis connecting India and Thailand.

Why should you go?

Thailand is one of the most touristy places in the world. With pleasant weather and beautiful beaches, Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries of the world. Thailand has many theme parks for families and kids to enjoy. Thailand also has its fair share of historic relics and sites as the country offers you to have some of the most unique experiences like witnessing a night bazaar or a floating market. There are some fun rituals and customs as far as Thailand is concerned and the people in Thailand are very welcoming and friendly. The food scene is really tempting as you can enjoy some of the most exotic foods in the world.
10 Reasons to visit Thailand -
  • Thailand is one of the most convenient foreign destination for the Indians and it is one of the most appealing one for the Indians to explore.
  • Thailand is also much more affordable when compared to other exotic locations in entire South East Asia.
  • Thailand has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and these beaches offer the perfect spot for sunbathing and water-based sports.
  • The Thai seas are crystal clean and blue and they are perfect for under-water activities like snorkeling.
  • The city life of Thailand is quite fun as you can have a wild night in the pubs, casinos, and the clubs of Bangkok.
  • Thailand is also known for its historic relics and Buddhist monuments and they are also quite a site to explore.
  • Thailand is also known for its fabulous beach parties and people from all over the world gather here to have some wild nights by the ocean.
  • The food scene of Thailand is simply mind-blowing and starting from sea-side shacks to swanky restaurants, you are bound to get good food everywhere.
  • Thailand offers one of the most beautiful island hopping experience for the tourists as there are many wee islands scattered all around the country.
  • The country has a rich natural resource and the thick forests and the coral reefs provide you an enchanting scene to enjoy.

Getting Around

The public transportation in Thailand is filled with many options. From train, buses, to tuk-tuks, from trains to skytrains, there are many options for you to commute in Thailand. The modes of commutes are cheap and also convenient and you will have no trouble finding an alternative if you by chance miss any of them. The tuk tuks are fun ride to avail, something you will not find at home. The skytrains are also a fun ride and you will enjoy a nice view of the countryside.

Train

The train network is quite extensive as it will take you to many directions of the country. The Eastern line will let you reach as far as the Cambodian border whilst the Northern line will take you to Nam Tok. The Southern line of the train allows you to reach Malaysia.

Buses

The buses are also good for long distance traveling and the air-conditioned bus rides are really quite comfortable. They allow you to enjoy the scenery outside, whilst traveling from one part of the country to the other.

Tuk Tuk

Tuk tuks are fun and convenient mode of commute within the city. Carrying 2-3 passengers, in one ride, this mode of transportation will give you an authentic fun of traveling in Thailand.

Skytrain

The intra-city mode of mass transit railway is another affordable and convenient mode of commute. Plenty of locals travel via this network on a daily basis. As a tourist you can also avail this mode of commute if you need to reach somewhere in short time.

Weather

Thailand experiences a tropical climate with high to moderate rainfall. Thailand has three distinct seasons like the summer, the monsoon, and a dry and short winter. Being close to the sea Thailand never experiences extreme climatic condition and the temperature remains in the zone of 25 to 30 degree Celsius, throughout the year. The months of April and May are the hottest in terms of temperature rise whilst June welcomes a heavy monsoon which lasts till the beginning of October. The winter in Thailand is dry but not very cold. The temperature remains in the range of 20 degree Celsius with the odd sea breeze giving you the odd chill. It is the only time of the year that Thailand does not experience any rainfall and hence the humidity is also very low. However, even though Thailand is humid throughout the year the areas near the beaches experiences cool breeze.

What to take in your suitcase?

  • Take casual t-shirt, Hawaiian shirts, tops, and loose shirts for your trip to Thailand. It is because of the fact that Thailand is normally warm and humid.
  • Take a jeans or a trouser but mostly focus more on your shorts. Carry a plenty of shorts and sleeveless t-shirts as you would be in the beach.
  • Take hats and sunglasses because the sun is quite bright throughout the year and you can also carry a sunscreen cream if you are planning on sunbathing.
  • Do not carry too many heavy boots (one would be enough) as light shoes and flip-flops are what you need.
  • Always carry an umbrella with you because if might start to rain anytime in Thailand. In that way carrying a raincoat is also handy, especially for the kids.
In the Spotlight

You will never be short of choices of restaurants and pubs when it comes to Thailand. The ultimate food destination will allow you to explore many kinds of cuisines in the cities and also in the beaches and islands. From Chinese to Indian, Thai to Italian, all sorts of delicacies will be served to you in the restaurants of Thailand. The fabulous seafood paradise will get you a chance to delve into some serious culinary delight. From the spicy to sweet, from tangy to salty, you are bound to get a fabulous time eating at a restaurant in Thailand.

Eat Me : This multi-cuisine restaurant of Bangkok specializes in Thai, Pacific, and Middle-Eastern delicacies. The ultra-modern restaurant run by international chef Tim Butler offers the guests with his experimental specialties.
The decor of the place is absolutely stunning as this eatery, hidden behind some greenery tempts you to have a fabulous time. The minimalist decor of the place appeals to all kinds of crowd as there are art exhibitions and music performances hosted at the place. The fusion kitchen makes way for innovative recipes like the rabbit ragu, black truffle, and risotto. Overall you are bound to have a fascinating time once you step inside this restaurant.
Blue Elephant : This 1980's global restaurant chain is not only a perfect lunch venue but also at the same time it offers a specialized cooking class.
The restaurant focuses mostly on traditional cooking methods and that its why it has an authentic appeal to its decor. The presentation and the setting is simply marvelous and the cuisine is also scrumptious. From satay to spring rolls, from dumplings to soup, everything is simply awesome and you should not miss out on the spicy Thai duck curry. If you are planning to taste something completely Thai then pad Thai is a must along with the delicious pork ribs and pork belly.
Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant : Now if you are a vegetarian and a Thai duck curry is a strict no-no for you then you will definitely love a visit in this fabulous vegetarian restaurant promoting an organic lifestyle.
Starting from pastas made from potatoes this restaurant supports a completely vegan lifestyle and encourages people to embrace it. The menu of this place comprise of 100% vegetarian Thai ingredients and they are green and savory to say the least. The entire range of items is very suitable to the Indian palate and you are bound to have a nice time round here. The restaurant also serves homemade egg-less cakes at the end of your course.
Suay Restaurant : If you are in a mindset of exploring authentic Thai cooking this restaurant is the right place for you. Apart from the popular Thai dishes this eatery also offers traditional dishes from the Isan region,
located in the northeastern border of the country. The crab cakes and the sweet chili aoili are quite special and you can also taste the tangy mango chutney which is quite popular in this place. Then you can also try out the famous roasted duck served with Thai curry and pineapple as the white-washed simplistic decor of the place evokes a welcoming essence. It is definitely one of the few genuine Asian restaurants in entire Thailand.
Bo.Lan: Opened in the year 2009 this place has a very trendy and chic appeal. The entire black interior adds to the overall charm of the place as the kitchen serves some of the most delicious Thai recipes.
The chef of this place has a tremendous inclination towards Thai cuisine as they makes innovative recipes possible. The interior decor of the place is mind-blowing as you can feel the rustic appeal of the place. Whilst many shacks in every odd beach of Thailand will sell you some Thai snacks but this place actually respects the heritage of Thai food and they deliver it accordingly. The chefs here put some real care in the selection of ingrediants and they make sure that you can taste some real Thai, in Thailand.

Thai cuisine, like the Chinese, has gained tremendous popularity throughout the world and the tangy and sweet flavors of the Thai dishes are now known to us. But we also often wondered that what will Thai taste like in actual Thailand and a trip to this place. From the roasted duck with red curry to the grilled pork recipes, from the various Thai dumplings to the soups, Thai cuisine served in Thailand has won many hearts. The use of spices and seafood are simply sublime as you will not get anything like this anywhere else in the world. From the smallest shacks to the biggest restaurants, Thai food is all set to win your heart.

Pad Thai: Pad Thai is a very popular cuisine in Thailand which is prepared from thick and thin noodles tossed-up with shrimps, garlic, and onion.

Tom Yum Goong: It is a spicy Thai shrimp soup which is a very popular item in any Thai menu. With lemongrass and spices it is indeed a delicious treat.

Red Curry: The Thai red curry is known throughout the world and it is pieces of meat cooked in coconut milk and spicy Thai sauce.

Khao Pad:The simple and yet delicious onion and garlic fried rice is a popular lunch menu in Thailand.

Pad Krapow Moo Saap: It is crispy fried pork and basil served with sticky rice. A very hearty meal enjoyed by the Thai people.

Beside being a top notch beach destination Thailand is also quite well-known for its awesome night markets. The night markets of Thailand give the tourists plenty of scope to explore the various nightly activities enjoyed by the Thai people along with an opportunity to buy many cool stuff that you will not find back at home. Nigh markets in here will give you some unforgettable experience as you will have a chance to many swanky items from these lively markets.

Roi Fai Market: Held beside the Seacon Square Shopping Mall, in Bangkok this night market of Thailand hosts around 2000 colorful small stalls. There are three separate sections of this market.
the Market zone, the Warehouse Zone, and the Rod's Antiques. Whilst the Market Zone is full of home products and food item it is the Warehouse Market and the Rod's Antique where you will get all the interesting stuff. The ultimate paradise for a hobbyist, these sections of the market sells Coca Cola collectibles, toys, bikes, some Japanese anime toys and also kitsch furniture. There are also tacky items like old celebrity mannequins and if you are lucky enough you can find Elvis there. The overall vibe of the place is fun and chirpy and you are bound to encounter some hip and young crowd.
JJ Green Night Market : It is partly a flea market and partly a drinking hub for young intellectual local Thais. This lively and vibrant marketplace comes to life every evening from Thursday to Sunday.
The entire area is a party scene with hundreds of temporary stalls scattered throughout the area. With the halogen lights blazing from all corners of the place this market sells many vintage products and items which you can take home as a souvenirs. Apart from the temporary structures there are also many permanent shops and bars where you can visit any time of the day. What is more interesting is that there are many car-boot stalls as well. The temporary stalls set on the open car-boots gives it a funky appeal. The crowd is young and there is always music in the air and it is the perfect place to grab a bite and a drink.
Fisherman's Village Walking Street: This glittering lane at Koh Samui is a home to one of the liveliest market of the fisherman's village. Many foreigners gather here from around the world as this place is never short of life.
Located in the oldest part of the Bophut region this market provides the most colorful backdrop you can imagine. Apart from the various stalls selling many items there are also live music performances happening in various corners as there are other artists painting and making handicrafts in front of the visitors. In fact this market is known for its beautiful craftworks and whether you buy anything or not, you are bound to have an excellent time.
Chiang Rai Night Bazaar : This perfect night market in Chiang Rai allows the tourists to have a sneak peek into the tribal art and crafts scene of Thailand.
The authentic works of the hill tribes of the country is very well displayed in this market of Thailand. The knitted-scarves and other embroideries are very popular in this market as people from all across the country come here on a regular basis to buy some of the exotic hand-woven products. Apart from the various craft work like wallets, jewelry, the place also has plenty of food stalls along with some swanky t-shirt collection. Some of the stalls also sell electronic gadgets and it is fun to browse around.
Krabi Town Walking Street: Hosted behind the Vogue Department Store in downtown Krabi this marketplace has a festive appeal adhered to it. Frequented both by the locals and the tourists the place evokes a frivolous spirit.
The place has as many 50 stalls spread well across the 2000 square meter area and starting from food to clothes you will find many kinds of items being sold in this place. From good quality handmade leather bags to decent t-shirts and elephant pants you will find many authentic local products in the stalls of this bazaar. St on many car boots there are also many temporary stalls selling gardening tools and items.

The currency of Thailand is Thai Baht and there are many FOREX offices where you can exchange your Indian currency. You can carry as much as 10000 Thai Baht in cash from India to Thailand and it is vital that you carry much as possible because Thailand is mostly a cash dependent economy. The markets, shops, and the small eateries all accept cash payment and in order to have a true Thai experience you need to carry as much Baht you can. Some of the hotels and pubs also accept dollars and Euros but it is always safe to use the local currencies because the vendors will pay you by Baht.

Special Tips

  • The Thai authorities allow you to carry 10,000 Baht per person, however, if you are traveling with your family you can extend that up to 20,000 Baht per family.
  • Thailand is mostly a cash dependent economy and in order to get most of the Thai experience you need keep some Baht handy.
  • Whilst the big shopping malls will accept VISA or MasterCard, but if you are visiting the various night markets and the floating markets you need to keep some cash handy.
  • The seaside shacks from where you will grab some beer and food will only accept cash and along with the Tuk Tuk drivers of Bangkok you are ready to give you a fun ride.
  • Any place you visit you need to pay for food and experience in cash and that is why it is important that you fill your purse fully before the start of your holiday.

Thailand allows Indians to obtain Visa on Arrival. The Visa on Arrival allows you to stay in Thailand for 14 days at a stretch and you will be handed an immigration form from the Immigration Checkpoints in the airports, which you need to fill diligently. After landing you need to reach the Visa on Arrival counter where you need to fill the visa application form. You also need to carry your airlines boarding pass in order to get the visa.

Special Tips

In order to get your Visa on Arrival smoothly you need to provide all your documents including your passport, photographs, and also the plane tickets. You need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months before you apply for a Visa on Arrival for Thailand. Take at least 4-5 photographs of specified measurement before you land Thailand because the immigration officers might need some more for the processing. You need to provide your hotel booking details because as per the Visa of Arrival norm you can stay at Thailand for at most 14 days.

Thailand is generally considered to be safe for tourists and if you follow the normal norms of traveling and restrain yourself from doing anything extravagant there are no apparent danger. However, Thailand is a bit infamous for petty thefts like purse snatching and pick-pocketing. Make sure that you keep your valuables close to yourself and do not carry all your cash all the time during your travels. If you are traveling to any night bazaar or a night party at the beach make sure that you travel in a group. This will make sure that you are not attacked by any notorious criminal.

  • Police and General Emergency: 191
  • Medical Emergency: 1669
  • Fire: 199
  • Tourist Police: 1155

Entertainment & Event

The land of bizarre festivals and colorful traditions also have the most beautiful flower gardens in the world.

  • Flora and Fauna

    The hardwood forestland of Thailand is home to many plants and animals. The highland forestation include plants like timber, teak, pine, and bamboos. There are also quite a thick vegetation observed in the souther banks and it includes the likes of palm, coconut, and even mangroves in some occasions. The constant rainfall in various parts of the country makes sure of the constant growth of the forestland, whilst the government takes special effort to maintain the greenery in some of the secluded islands of Thailand in order to maintain the tourism. Apart from the big trees Thailand also has 2700 different species of flowering plants making it easier for the people to decorate their gardens.

    Whilst the farms of Thailand are known for their huge collections of ducks, poultry, goats, sheep, cows, and oxen there are also many animals out there in the wild. There are a huge number of monkey and gibbons all across the country and as a tourist you are bound to encounter them. You will also encounter the likes of Indian elephants in many national parks of the country. Apart from these there are other animals like in the form of rhinoceroses, tapir, different kinds of deer, wild hogs and snakes. Reptiles like monitor lizards, turtles, and crocodiles are also observed in the coastal areas.

  • Festivals

    For a country which loves nightclubs and parties it is obvious that their calendar will be full of different festivals. The fun loving Thai people indulge in many kinds of customs and rituals and hence from traditional dancing to villagers taking vodka shots together, you are bound to feel the excitement wherever you go. Like for instance the Water Festival, which is locally known as Songkran is a wild occasion accompanied by music, drinking, and celebrations. Then there is the Ghost Festival or the Phi Ta Khon, which is a three day festival celebrating the mask making handicrafts of Thailand. It is a perfect blend of Buddhist and animist rituals and it is represented with gaudy colors and and bizarre clothes.

    Then there is of course the lantern festival where people put up sky lantern in the November night. The gentle autumn breeze floats the lanterns and it is the perfect opportunity to take the most breathtaking photos. The Rocket Festival or the Boon Bang Fai is another fun festival of Thailand where you will find many locals bursting crackers and skyrockets. Thai people are well-connected with the nature and the Monkey Buffet Festival is another good example of it.

  • Culture

    The Thai people are known for their hospitality and warmth and their love for color and food. You will feel more than welcome wherever you go in Thailand and they will embrace you with all the welcoming gesture that you can imagine. Thai people love exploring with their food and despite having a monarchy the people are very open to foreigners and they love treating them well. Culturally the Thai people are influenced by the other East Asian countries like Burma, Vietnam, and even India and you will not feel much away from home when you reach Thailand.

    The people of Thailand knows how to party. The beach parties of Thailand are world known and people from all over the globe come here every year to have a fabulous time together. The music and food are swanky and live and you will feel every beat of the rhythm. The food scene is also quite vibrant here in Thailand and along with the spicy Thai cuisine you will also get a great variety of Chinese, Indian, and European foods here in Thailand.