Thailand has the full package - in buzzing Bangkok, indulge in mouth-watering food, visit nightclubs and explore street markets; in the north, meet hilltribes, see elephants and explore ancient temples; and in the south, relax on beaches, discover underwater worlds and hangout in jungles.

Thailand Tours & Travel

Top holiday deals in Thailand

Departing Days Price USD
8 Aug 2015 Sail Ko Samui to Ko Tao 4 $686
8 Aug 2015 Ko Samui Sailing Adventure 7 $1344
9 Aug 2015 Thailand Beaches East Coast (May - Oct) 9 $1083
11 Aug 2015 Sail Ko Tao to Ko Samui 4 $686
16 Aug 2015 Thailand Beaches East Coast (May - Oct) 9 $1147

All our Thailand trips

Burma Sailing Adventure ex Phuket (Comfort)

9 days from
USD $2,275
CAD $2,660
AUD $2,795
EUR €1,975
GBP £1,450
NZD $3,005
ZAR R26,280
CHF FR2,020

Beginning in Phuket, sail around Burma's Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago in the Andaman Sea and discover an untouched...

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Burma to Thailand

14 days from
USD $2,330
CAD $2,395
AUD $2,355
EUR €1,620
GBP £1,360
NZD $2,625
ZAR R23,575
CHF FR1,960

Travel from Yangon to Bangkok. Visit Golden Rock, stroll through Mawlamyine market, take a boat to Shampoo island and...

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Cambodia Adventure

12 days from
USD $750
CAD $770
AUD $760
EUR €545
GBP £460
NZD $845
ZAR R7,955

Travel from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City on a journey of discovery. Uncover the Cambodian spirit, visit Phnom Penh,...

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Explore Northern Thailand

8 days from
USD $846
CAD $873
AUD $873
EUR €585
GBP £495
NZD $954
ZAR R8,559

Travel from Bangkok to Sukhothai, Lampang and Chiang Mai on this scenic tour through Northern Thailand. Discover...

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Angkor Trails

9 days from
USD $886
CAD $913
AUD $895
EUR €616
GBP £517
NZD $999
ZAR R8,964

Follow the Angkor trails on a trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Explore the temples of Angkor Wat, the...

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Sail Ko Samui to Ko Tao

4 days from
USD $647
CAD $675
AUD $672
EUR €451
GBP £381
NZD $731
ZAR R6,538

Take a Thailand sailing tour between Ko Samui and KoTao. Snorkel over a vibrant underwater world, relax on idyllic...

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Cambodian Traveller

9 days from
USD $837
CAD $862
AUD $845
EUR €582
GBP £488
NZD $943
ZAR R8,466

Travel through Cambodia from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Bangkok in Thailand on an Indochina adventure that...

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Sail Ko Tao to Ko Samui

4 days from
USD $647
CAD $675
AUD $672
EUR €451
GBP £381
NZD $731
ZAR R6,538

Embark on a Thailand sailing journey from Ko Tao to Ko Samui. Snorkel over vibrant underwater reefs, and bask on...

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Bangkok to Singapore

15 days from
USD $1,975
CAD $2,040
AUD $2,060
EUR €1,330
GBP £1,155
NZD $2,215
ZAR R20,020
CHF FR1,595

Take an adventure from Thailand to Singapore, via Malaysia. This tour of South East Asia captures some of the region...

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Thailand Discovery

8 days from
USD $815
CAD $840
AUD $825
EUR €545
GBP £475
NZD $920
ZAR R8,335

Travel to Thailand and visit Bangkok before heading to the remote countryside. Tour through Sangkhlaburi and...

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Highlights of Thailand

10 days from
USD $1,725
CAD $1,780
AUD $1,745
EUR €1,165
GBP £1,010
NZD $1,940
ZAR R17,475
CHF FR1,410

Thailand has been a traveller's favourite for decades, and there is little wonder why. Beautiful beaches, quaint hill...

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Thailand Family Holiday

12 days from
USD $1,359
CAD $1,399
AUD $1,372
EUR €927
GBP £792
NZD $1,539
ZAR R13,743
CHF FR1,120

Discover incredible sights, culture and history on a fantastic family holiday to Thailand. Visit Bangkok,...

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Thailand - Hike, Bike & Kayak

12 days from
USD $1,485
CAD $1,535
AUD $1,550
EUR €1,020
GBP £870
NZD $1,675
ZAR R15,065
CHF FR1,235

Jump aboard an active tour of Northern Thailand. Visit Bangkok, explore Chiang Mai, take a hilltribe trek and kayak...

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Burma Sailing Adventure ex Phuket

9 days from
USD $2,110
CAD $2,175
AUD $2,135
EUR €1,450
GBP £1,220
NZD $2,380
ZAR R21,390
CHF FR1,745

Beginning in Phuket, sail around Burma's Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago in the Andaman Sea and discover an untouched...

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Laos Discovery

15 days from
USD $1,453
CAD $1,494
AUD $1,467
EUR €927
GBP £846
NZD $1,633
ZAR R14,679
CHF FR1,120

Discover the beauty of Laos on an incredible journey from Hanoi in Vietnam's north, via Vientiane and Luang Prabang...

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Ko Samui Sailing Adventure

7 days from
USD $1,295
CAD $1,333
AUD $1,347
EUR €892
GBP £756
NZD $1,456
ZAR R13,097
CHF FR1,078

Tour the Thailand islands on a sailing trip that mixes the popular beaches with discreet hideouts and mysterious...

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Explore Vietnam

11 days from
USD $850
CAD $885
AUD $895
EUR €590
GBP £500
NZD $970
ZAR R8,695

Delve into Vietnamese culture on this 11-day journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Discover exotic Hoi An, visit...

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Singapore to Bangkok Adventure

13 days from
USD $1,173
CAD $1,207
AUD $1,185
EUR €790
GBP £675
NZD $1,321
ZAR R11,870

From Singapore to Malaysia and Thailand, this tour of South-East Asia captures some of the region's best places;...

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Thailand Beaches West Coast (Nov - Apr)

9 days from
USD $1,100
CAD $1,135
AUD $1,115
EUR €735
GBP £640
NZD $1,245
ZAR R11,180

Visit Thailand, a country with all the ingredients for a holiday in paradise. Pristine beaches, remote islands,...

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Active Chiang Mai

4 days from
USD $370
CAD $392
AUD $385
EUR €265
GBP £222
NZD $427
ZAR R3,852

Trekking in Chiang Mai, explore Thailand's lush jungle areas, go rafting on the Mae Taeng river - visit Thailand on...

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Real Food Adventure - Thailand

8 days from
USD $995
CAD $1,005
AUD $1,015
EUR €685
GBP £580
NZD $1,120
ZAR R10,060

This trip to Thailand is full of adventure, fun and flavour. Eat in popular Bangkok restaurants, explore bustling...

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Thailand & Laos Adventure

13 days from
USD $1,275
CAD $1,305
AUD $1,290
EUR €875
GBP £745
NZD $1,440
ZAR R12,940
CHF FR1,055

Travel from Bangkok to Vientiane on a tour through Thailand and Laos. Visit Thailand's charismatic Chiang Mai, cruise...

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Beautiful Thailand

15 days from
USD $1,385
CAD $1,430
AUD $1,395
EUR €1,060
GBP £895
NZD $1,560
ZAR R15,565
CHF FR1,285

Enjoy a comprehensive tour of Thailand that captures the true spirit of this enigmatic nation. Travel from Bangkok to...

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Cambodia Discovery

12 days from
USD $670
CAD $690
AUD $680
EUR €545
GBP £460
NZD $755
ZAR R7,955

Travel to Cambodia on an Intrepid adventure from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok. Explore Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh,...

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Thailand Family Sailing

7 days from
USD $1,775
CAD $1,835
AUD $1,795
EUR €1,165
GBP £1,040
NZD $2,005
ZAR R17,990
CHF FR1,420

Take the family on a Thai sailing adventure with Intrepid Travel. Snorkel over vibrant underwater worlds, relax on...

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Bangkok to Bali

28 days from
USD $3,890
CAD $4,010
AUD $4,050
EUR €2,665
GBP £2,270
NZD $4,380
ZAR R39,380
CHF FR3,230

Take an adventure from Thailand to Bali, via Malaysia. This tour of South-East Asia captures some of the region's...

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Thailand Beaches East Coast (May - Oct)

9 days from
USD $956
CAD $990
AUD $967
EUR €656
GBP £558
NZD $1,076
ZAR R9,686

Visit Thailand, a country with all the ingredients for a holiday in paradise. Pristine beaches, remote islands,...

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Sail Phuket to Ko Phi Phi

4 days from
USD $895
CAD $930
AUD $925
EUR €620
GBP £525
NZD $1,010
ZAR R9,070

Take a Thai sailing tour between Phuket and Ko Phi Phi. Snorkel over a vibrant underwater world, relax on idyllic...

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River Kwai & Ancient Thai Kingdoms

3 days from
USD $522
CAD $540
AUD $530
EUR €365
GBP £305
NZD $590
ZAR R5,320

Travel to Thailand and experience the bustling streets of Bangkok and the ancient ruins of Ayuthaya before heading to...

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Hilltribe Experience

5 days from
USD $387
CAD $432
AUD $425
EUR €292
GBP £245
NZD $472
ZAR R4,255

Travel to Chiang Mai and trek through northern Thailand to discover hilltribe culture, village life and local...

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Chiang Mai & Golden Triangle

3 days from
USD $545
CAD $602
AUD $590
EUR €405
GBP £340
NZD $657
ZAR R5,910

Travel to Thailand’s north on this tour to the famous Golden Triangle. Explore northern Thailand's Chiang Mai and the...

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Sail Ko Phi Phi to Phuket

4 days from
USD $895
CAD $930
AUD $925
EUR €620
GBP £530
NZD $1,015
ZAR R9,070

Set sail on Thai waters between Ko Phi Phi and Phuket. Swim in clear blue waters, kick back on warm sands and get a...

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Chiang Mai & Elephants

3 days from
USD $395
CAD $437
AUD $430
EUR €295
GBP £247
NZD $477
ZAR R4,305

Help feed and bathe Chiang Mai elephants at a rescue centre dedicated to helping Thailand's working elephants. See...

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Phuket Family Sailing

7 days from
USD $1,710
CAD $1,765
AUD $1,730
EUR €1,165
GBP £1,000
NZD $1,925
ZAR R17,305
CHF FR1,420

Tour the Thai islands on a sailing trip that mixes the popular beaches with discreet hideouts and mysterious natural...

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Bangkok Stopover

3 days from
USD $325
CAD $337
AUD $330
EUR €227
GBP £190
NZD $367
ZAR R3,302

From markets to monuments and pad thai to promenades, this short but sweet Bangkok city tour is jam-packed with...

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Cambodian Traveller German

9 days from
USD $995
CAD $1,025
AUD $1,035
EUR €685
GBP £580
NZD $1,120
ZAR R10,060

Travel through Cambodia from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Bangkok in Thailand on an Indochina adventure that...

View trip details

Thailand trip reviews

Our Thailand trips score an average of 4.74 out of 5 based on 438 reviews in the last year.

Thailand Beaches East Coast (May - Oct), June 2015

Real Food Adventure - Thailand, June 2015


Articles on Thailand

US chef Andy Ricker shares his favourite Thai-style herb salad

Posted on Wed, 1 Jul 2015

Everyone knows you don't make friends with salad. But everyone also knows rules were made to be broken.

Read more

Chef and author Andy Ricker gives us a crash course in Northern Thai cuisine

Posted on Wed, 1 Jul 2015

American chef Andy Ricker has built his reputation on dishes with names like laap pet issan, muu paa kham waan, khao soi. This is northern Thai food at its best.

Read more

Sandsational: our pick of the world’s 7 most beautiful beaches

Posted on Sat, 2 May 2015

Picking the world’s best beach is a bit like arguing why your favourite colour should dominate the rainbow.

Read more

Life’s a beach: why are we so drawn to the ocean?

Posted on Sat, 2 May 2015

The beach is the salty engine that drives global tourism. But why? What draws us to the ocean?

Read more


Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on, you may find yourself travelling by:


Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When travelling with us in Thailand you may find yourself staying in a:

About Thailand

At a glance

Capital city: Bangkok (population 5.8 million)
Population: 67 million
Language: Thai
Currency: THB
Time zone: (GMT+07:00) Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin)
Dialing code: +66

Best time to visit Thailand

Thailand's climate is generally hot, humid and at times (like other South-East Asian countries) monsoonal. The seasons differ from coast to coast, so depending on which areas you're visiting, the weather can vary.

Thailand's north, east and west are great to visit from November to February, when the weather is cooler and dryer. If heading south, it's best to travel from January to April as these months provide conditions optimal for diving and snorkelling. This is peak time however, so be aware that popular places like Chiang Mai, Ko Samui and Phuket can get particularly busy. It can also get quite busy from July to August as it's northern hemisphere school holidays.

The monsoon season is from July to November, so it can get quite wet and the weather may be uncomfortably hot and humid for those who aren't accustomed to it. Yet travelling during this time can provide a different picture of Thailand, and is generally a less crowded time of year. March to June is less wet but is the hottest time in terms of temperatures. If you don't mind the heat then this can be a good time to go on holiday to Thailand to avoid the crowds.

Bangkok weather chart

Culture and customs

Thai woman of akha in traditional headress
Most Thai people are Buddhist and live a conservative way of life. Monks are treated with great respect. Respect for the king is also paramount in Thailand, and as the world's longest serving monarch, this respect seems to grow with each year of his epic reign. Known for his efforts to improve the living standards of disadvantaged communities and preserving the Thai way of life, pictures of the King adorn many homes, restaurants and businesses in Thailand.

'Saving face' is also an important part of being Thai, and this involves remaining calm, not losing your temper and avoiding confrontation in general. As the younger generation of Thais become more westernised with the infiltration of western ideas via the internet and other forms of media, some of the traditional ways of life appear to be dying out, particularly in larger cities.

Eating and drinking

Array of Thai noodles for sale on the streets of Bangkok Barbecued street food in Bangkok, Thailand

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.

Thailand has some of the best cuisine in the world, with everything from spicy dishes packed with chilli to milder coconut-based curries. With street stalls and night markets all over the country, it's really easy to pick up a snack wherever you are in Thailand. On many Intrepid trips you'll be given the opportunity to dine with a local family - this offers a great chance to see how meals are prepared and learn more about the ingredients.

Things to try in Thailand

1. Pad Thai (Phat Thai)

A well-known dish but for good reason. This delicious plate of stir-fried rice noodles garnished with peanuts is full of flavour and can be served with fresh prawns, chicken, tofu or vegetables.

2. Tom Yum (Tom Yam)

Usually prepared with stock, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and chilli, this soup is widely available in Thailand and has been popularised around the world

3. Massaman Curry (Kaeng Matsaman)

A dish with Muslim origins, this filling curry traditionally features coconut milk, potatoes, beef, bay leaves and peanuts

4. Seafood

If staying on the coast or on one of the islands, be sure to make the most of the abundance of fresh seafood on offer. Seafood-based stir fries and fragrant curries, crab cakes, grilled fish and prawns are all great choices.

5. Spirits & Beer

Local spirits Mekhong (whisky) and Sang Som (rum) are popular, and an icy bottle of the local Singha beer is refreshing on a hot, humid day. Please note the legal drinking age in Thailand is 20.

6. Coconut Milk

For a super fresh thirst-quencher, try coconut milk straight from the husk

7. Tropical Fruit

Fruit shakes and fresh fruit juices are widely available from markets and restaurants - make the most of all the tropical fruits of Thailand.

Geography and environment

Longtail boat tied up on the shores of Thailand
Sharing borders with South-East Asian neighbours Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar (Burma), Thailand's natural environment varies greatly from region to region. From the steamy jungles and misty highlands in the north to the white sand beaches and picturesque islands of the south, Thailand's everchanging landscape has been fascinating and entertaining travellers for centuries.

The capital, Bangkok is a heaving, urban jungle with skyscrapers, street vendors, markets, cars, tuk tuks, bicycles and masses of people all competing for space. Despite this there are pockets of quiet beauty to be found with parks, temples and traditional shop fronts scattered throughout the city.

Rural areas in the north are typically quieter, with locals living a more traditional way of life; the frenetic pace of the city giving way to a more slow-paced, agricultural-based lifestyle. Houses are simple, there's more space and less of the modern conveniences. Jungles, rivers, bamboo huts and teak houses are more commonly seen here, and birds and other animal life are more abundant.

History and government

Robed Buddha statues of Ayutthaya stretching across temple in Thailand Rice fields of Thailand

Early History

Communities based on agriculture (such as rice growing) inhabited Siam (Thailand) as early as the 6th century. In the following centuries, Siam came under the influence of the Khmer, Dvaravati and Malay cultures, with some temples and monuments in modern-day Thailand showing evidence of this influence. In the 13th century, the city of Sukhothai in northern Thailand became an important capital. The ruins of the Sukhothai Historical Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) feature remnants of the royal palace, temples and other buildings, and highlight the artistic and architectural features of the era.

Ayutthaya rose to prominence as the new capital in the 14th century, and was considered a powerhouse of South-East Asia as one of the most important centres of trade in the world. Enduring many battles, invasions, overthrows and coups, Ayutthaya's far-reaching trade with other regions ensured a flourishing influence of art, weaponry, religion and cuisine. Much wealth was generated by this enormous empire, with grand palaces, ornate buildings and huge temples featured throughout the city. All this came to an end when the Burmese invaded in the 18th century, bringing the kingdom to ruin and resulting in the loss of many artistic and cultural treasures. Despite this, the ruins of the city are still standing, have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and are a great day trip from Bangkok.

Recent History

Thonburi was established as the capital of Siam by General Taksin in the late 18th century, yet this didn't last long with Taksim being deposed and executed not long after. Bangkok was then named capital by General Chakri, who became Rama I - the first king of the Rama Dynasty.

Over the years, Siam (Thailand) remained the only South-East Asian country to remain free from European colonisation. In 1932, the Siamese Revolution resulted in a constitutional monarchy being formed, and in 1941, Thailand invaded French Indochina, overpowered the French and claimed Laos.

In the last thirty years, Thailand has seen political power change hands many times, often due to coups, revolutions and protests. Despite this, Thailand’s economy continues to grow due to its strong tourist industry. Enduring all this, the much-loved King Rama IX has reigned as the Head of State since 1946 - claiming the title of the longest reigning monarch in the world and providing Thai people with a stable figure to rely upon.

Top Picks

Fresh local cuisine available on floating markets of Bangkok Landscape view of Ancient Ayutthaya Hilltribe women in traditional clothing, Thailand

Top 10 Iconic Thai Landscapes

1. Bangkok

Whether you're travelling by tuk-tuk through the crazy streets, cycling along backroads or taking a longtail through the khlongs, the journey in Bangkok is definitely half the fun. Drop in to the stunning Grand Palace, see the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and wind your way through floating markets.

2. Chiang Mai

This northern capital is overflowing with experiences. Temple-hop through some - or all - of its 300 temples, take a cooking class to learn the secrets of Thai cuisine and explore the Night Bazaar for delicious food, designer goods and a foot massage to die for.

3. Ko Tao

If you ever wondered what was below Thailand's turquoise waters, this is the place to look. Learn to dive or pull on snorkelling gear to discover the fish and reefs that call this coastline home. Shark Island is close by for adrenaline seekers.

4. Hilltribe Country

Thailand's north is home to many of the country's minority groups. A hike along buffalo tracks will take you through colourful H'mong, Karen and Lisu villages. Spend a night as their guest for a unique insight into their life.

5. Ayuthaya

Modern meets ancient in Ayuthaya. The current city intertwines itself with the remnants of what was once one of Asia's great capitals. Walk the streets in search of clues to its imperial past and hire a bike to ride through the countryside, exploring the area's ruins.

6. Sukhothai

This former capital is a history buff's heaven. Nicknamed the 'Dawn of Happiness', Sukhothai still recalls Siam's golden age with its superb statues, marvellous monuments and lotus flowers in full bloom. A trip to the night market is a real eye-opener. Try everything from fried rice to fried bugs.

7. Krabi

The waters surrounding Krabi are dotted with hundreds of limestone karst islands. Kayakers and rock-climbers will love exploring them, while others can travel to the nearby floating villages or just relax on one of the region's perfect beaches.

8. Golden Triangle

The area where the Thai, Laotian and Burmese borders meet has long been associated with colourful cultures and an illicit opium trade. The opium may have gone but the colour hasn't and the markets offer all sorts of amazing local handicrafts.

9. Khao Sok National Park

For a real jungle experience, spend a couple of days in Khao Sok National Park. Thick rainforest, limestone cliffs, waterfalls and mountains make a wild playground. Hike, swim, explore caves and sleep to the sounds of exotic birds and animals.

10. Kanchanaburi

This tranquil town is the jumping off point for visits to the infamous Hell Fire Pass and River Kwai. Be sure to take a ride along the tracks of the Death Railway and reflect on the atrocities of war at the Jeath War Museum.


thailand parasols market handmade market local product umbrella

Thailand offers great shopping - from lively street markets to huge shopping malls. Cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai have interesting night markets that are worth a visit. Bangkok's massive Chatuchak Market is an unforgettable metropolis filled with bizarre sights and smells. Selling everything from curious antiques and modern clothing to unique jewellery and colourful homewares, you'll need to dedicate a lot of time to navigate through this sometimes confusing market.

Most importantly, have fun and don’t forget to haggle for a good price. It's also a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Thailand

1. Vibrant fabric cushions, table cloths and hammocks
2. Silver jewellery
3. Handcrafted umbrellas or parasols
4. Thai silk scarves, ties, wraps and other clothing
5. Colourful Celadon ceramics
6. Tailor-made clothes are inexpensive and can be made quickly, usually within a couple of days

Festivals and Events in Thailand


Thai New Year is celebrated nationwide and is traditionally viewed as a time for cleansing and renewal. Locals make visits to Wats with offerings for Buddha and food for monks. More recently, emphasis has been placed on having fun and people being drenched with water are a common sight - from buckets, hoses and water pistols. Water is symbolically meant to purify and cleanse but with April being one of Thailand's hottest months, it also brings sweet relief from the heat.

Loi Krathong

Celebrated annually throughout Thailand, this 'Festival of Lights' sees thousands of biodegradable, homemade lanterns travel down the waterways of Thailand. Lakes, rivers and seas light up as the beautiful lanterns carry bad luck away and bring happiness and prosperity to the lantern bearer.

FAQs on Thailand

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

If entering by air you will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival.

If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (exceptions are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan who are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders). A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB or alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border.
If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60 day multiple entry visa from you embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country.
Tipping isn't mandatory or customary in Thailand, but a tip of spare change or another small amount would be appreciated by restaurants, drivers and other service workers, especially if the service has been particularly good.
Internet access is widely available in tourist areas like Bangkok and Phuket, which have many internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot-spots. Internet access is less frequent in rural and remote areas.
You'll be able to use your mobile phone in most urban areas of Thailand, although some of the islands or more remote areas may not have network coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your mobile while in Thailand.
You'll have to adjust to different standards of hygiene and sanitation while in Thailand. The standard toilet is of the squat variety and this may take some getting used to, although western-style toilets can be found in large hotels and some tourist areas.
Thailand is one of the world's favourite budget travel destinations. Here's what you can roughly expect to pay for a:

Bottle of beer = 80-100 TBH
Street food snack = 25 TBH
Short tuk tuk ride = 50 TBH
Metered taxi to city from Bangkok Airport = 300-400 TBH
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Thailand. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found; some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by large shops, hotels and restaurants in Thailand. However, they may not be accepted by smaller vendors such as small family restaurants, market stalls or in remote towns and rural areas. Make sure you carry enough cash for purchases, since credit cards aren't always an option everywhere in Thailand.
ATMs are found widely throughout Thailand, so withdrawing cash shouldn't be problematic in most areas. Some smaller villages and rural areas may not have ATM access, so prepare for this before venturing too far from a city or major town.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their 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 25 Magha Bucha Day
Apr 6 Chakri Day
Apr 13 Songkran (Thai New Year)
May 1 Labour Day
May 5 Coronation Day
May 25 Visakha Bucha
Jul 1 Mid Year Bank Holiday
Jul 22 Asarna Bucha Day
Aug 12 HM the Queen's Birthday
Oct 23 Chulalongkorn Day
Dec 5 HM the King's Birthday
Dec 10 Constitution Day
Dec 31 New Year's Eve

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays in Thailand go to:

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

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Responsible Travel

Thailand Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Thailand

1. Be considerate of Thailand's customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.

3. Ask permission, remove your shoes and cover your shoulders with a jacket or wrap before entering a place of worship.

4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

5. Choose to not support businesses that promote cruelty towards or exploitation of endangered species.

6. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

7. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

8. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

9. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

10. Be respectful of Buddhist monks, this includes refraining from taking photos of them. Women should also avoid touching or handing items directly to monks.

11. Thai people have a flexible approach to time and may not always be punctual. Accept this graciously and enjoy the ride.

12. Thai people adore their King and highly respect the Royal Family. Knowing this, try to avoid disrespecting or criticising the monarch.

The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.

In Thailand, The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:

Baan Unrak Children's Village

Baan Unrak (House of Happiness) is a grassroots organisation located in the Kanchanaburi province that provides shelter, food, clothing, education, employment, love and support for women and children in need.

Image supplied by Janine de Krester.

Friends of the Asian Elephant

This non-government organisation aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants - both domesticated and wild. Providing treatment and rehabilitation to injured and mistreated elephants as well as education programs to vets, mahouts and carers, this organisation is dedicated to the elephants cause in many ways.

Image supplied by Friends of the Asian Elephant.

To learn more or donate, go to:

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
One Fourteenth of an Elephant: A Memoir of Life and Death on the Thai-Burma Railway Ian Denys Peek
FieldworkMischa Berlinski
SightseeingRattawut Lapcharoensap
Siam Becomes Thailand: A Story of IntrigueJudith A Stowe
The BeachAlex Garland