🌎Currency: Baht (฿) (THB)
🌎Zone: GMT +7
🌎Phone Code: +66
🌎Best time to visit: December-February
🌎Must eat: Pad Thai, Papaya salad
🌎Must drink:.Ice tea, Singha/Chang Beer
🌎Don't miss: Traditional Thai Massage
Thailand 's main gateway is its capital Bangkok, where two main airports serve the city. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) serves major airlines and the most international traffic. Don Muang, (DMK) is closer to the city but serves most domestic and other Asian destinations, mostly by low cost carriers.
Also Phuket is the holiday resort most popular in Thailand and it's airport offers direct links to Asian and European capitals during the peak season. However recently it's possible to reach there now making only one transit stop thanks to airlines like Turkish Airlines, Emirates or Qatar Airways which shorten the distance in respect of opting to fly via Bangkok.
Thailand terrain and landmass makes it more popular to travel by air, however you can go by train to the main cities from Bangkok as well as by Bus. Journey times are very cheap but often long and in single lane roads which can make it more dangerous especially if traveling by night, as the absence of street lighting can make it more difficult to drive.
It's not recommended to rent a car in big cities, due to the high volume of traffic and the hot conditions can make it pretty hideous to drive.
In Thailand you drive on the left hand side, like in the UK. You will require an international driving license if you intent to rent a bike or a car. Driving in Thailand can be quite a challenge, specially in the big cities, so extra care is advised on the Thai roads. Also as a pedestrian have to be alert when crossing roads, since the traffic, doesn't respect the right of way for pedestrian.
Thailand's most famous transportation is the Tuk-Tuk, a redesigned bike, with a roof and space up to 4 passengers. Most vehicles are licensed and carry a number plate in the big cities but in smaller towns and in the countryside they can be driven by anyone including children! When visiting any region in Thailand it's hard not to be temped to ride one of them. They offer tours and taxi rides in the cities, moving around is easier and cheaper also by Tuk-tuk. Remember to always pre-arrange the price with the driver before you get on and don't let them take you to another destination other than what you asked for, as they tend to go to Taylor's or jewellery shops where they receive a commission by taking you there.
Thailand's climate can be described as tropical monsoon climate. It is characterised by strong monsoon influences, has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall, and high humidity that makes it sometimes feel quite uncomfortable if you visit during certain times of the year.
The annual average temperature ranges from 20°C to 35°C year-round. There are two distinguishable seasons in Thailand, a dry period in the winter and a humid rain period in the summer. However, it can still be hot year round with day temperatures reaching to 35°C and night time around 26°C.
The best time to go to Thailand, is during its dry and cool season, which is November to February, with more pleasant temperatures of 29 C during the day and at night they drop to around 22C.
At the same time, you should avoid the hot and humid season during April, May and June when it's extremely hot (33-38 C day time). If you go, make sure to have plenty of water with you, sun cream, insect repellent and avoid long exposures outside.
At the same time, Thailand's mountain region in the north offers a respite from the hot temperatures, places like Chaing Mai or Chiang Rai can offer temperatures around 17C in the cool season. Southern Thailand, on the opposite side, can be hotter inland but the coastal areas are smoothed by the ocean breeze. Still strong sun protection is advised even if it's cloudy.
Thailand is famous for its rich cuisine, traditional dishes are always served with a kick of spice and you will find plenty of dishes including meat,fish or vegetarian. Main dishes you can find are Pad Thai, ( Fried Noodles Thai style) Papaya Salad, Khao Pad (fried Rice) , Green or Red Curry, Yam Nua ( Spicy Beef salad). Soups are very popular and can you find many vegetable and fish soups.
Eating out in Thailand is always a pleasure, depending on what you are looking for, you can eat indoors in fully air conditioned restaurants or can enjoy a more outdoor type of dinning experience on the street where small businesses put out tables and chairs for locals and tourists alike to enjoy a taste of the real Thailand. Prices are much cheaper naturally and you can only pay in cash.
Drinking in Thailand, is not a major tradition for its locals but it's thanks to the foreigners that Thai beers have become really famous such a Singha Beer or Chan Beer. Luckily, due to the high temperatures, finding cold, refreshing drinks is very easy and you will find stands on every corner of the city centre offering fresh-squeezed juice, Coco-nuts, fruit smoothies, water and general cold drinks.
One Thai drink you can't miss is Thai ice-tea, made from strongly-brewed black tea, spiced with ingredients such as anise, crushed tamarind or cardamom. The brew is then sweetened with sugar and condensed milk, and served over ice.
Thailand is one of those countries you can't get tired of visiting, every time I go, there is something new to see or do. It's exotic landscape, tasty spicy cuisine and marvellous weather means Thailand is a top destination for so many travellers. It's popularity just keeps on growing not only for honeymoon couples but as friend getaways, family holidays and many even considering to live in it's paradise resorts, islands and new residential areas.
To explore the country and travel to its many destinations is cheap by plane, or bus. The north of Thailand offers beautiful unspoilt landscape, pristine forest, small towns and a very relaxed atmosphere in the cities where people take life slowly. The north also offers a cooler climate, ideal for nature lovers and outdoor activities. In contrast, when heading South, like to the resort of Phuket and Krabi, live here lights up much more with great paradise islands, sun kissed beaches and plenty of activities for tourists to keep them busy. The south offers ocean/water natural sights, snorkelling, swimming as well as a more party rhythm which doesn't seem to die down any day of the week!
The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is also a must go destination! It offers a great insight of Thai culture, way of life and how people get on with daily life in one of the most dynamic cities in Southeast Asia! Often referred to as the destination for shopping, it has hundreds of shops from market and streets stalls to luxury department stores where to find anything you desire. Bangkok, also has higher humidity, pollution rate and chaotic traffic levels that adds time when commuting by road. The best time to explore Bangkok, is by night, when the night markets come into life and shops stay open till late. Indulge yourself into a Thai massage, enjoy a cocktail drink from the many roof top terraces and hotels in the city or simply relax, socialise and disconnect.
Wherever you go in Thailand, one thing is for sure; The nature of Thailand's humble people, friendliness and good service stands out and you will realise it's a true paradise in so many forms!