Anyone who’s watched The Beach has dreamed of the day they could flee to some idyllic Thai archipelago, where jungle-covered karsts plunge into aquamarine waters and the sand is sugar white.
But no matter how clichéd the fantasy, Thailand delivers in spades. The water around Krabi and Ko Tao really is that colour. Phi Phi’s limestone karsts really do look like some alien world. And the food? Let’s just say your local Pad Thai has nothing on Chiang Mai’s street stalls or the floating markets of Amphawa, where little old ladies do things with fish sauce and chili you never thought possible. From the waterfalls of Erewan to a homestay with the hill tribes of the Golden Triangle, these are Thailand tours beyond the tourist traps. Buckle up.
Top Thailand travel deals
|Departing||Trip name||Days||From USD|
|Sail Ko Phi Phi to Phuket||4||
|Cycle Southern Thailand||9||
|Phuket Sailing Adventure||7||
|Sail Phuket to Ko Phi Phi||4||
|Real Food Adventure - Thailand||8||
|Thailand Family Holiday||12||
|Family Active Thailand||9||
|Explore Northern Thailand||8||
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Thailand tour reviews
Our Thailand trips score an average of 4.76 out of 5 based on 334 reviews in the last year.
Highlights of Thailand, February 2017
I had a great time on the Highlights of Thailand trip. The thai cooking class, bike tour in Sukhothai, and the death railway/museums in Kanchanaburi were my favorite parts of the trip. Additionally, our tour leader had a cheerful personality and was a joy to be around.
Review submitted 22 Feb 2017
Highlights of Thailand, February 2017
Intrepid tours are well organised, and facilitate good atmospheres for your holiday. I've had one of the best trips of my life with them and made lifelong friends. My tour guide was enthusiastic, organised, and lovely, and really enhanced the whole trip making it very relaxing, exciting, and she taught us so much about the places we visited. I would recommend going on any tour that grabs your interest.
Review submitted 21 Feb 2017
Articles on Thailand
Thailand travel highlights
Dive into the warm waters of Phuket
Erawan National Park
Cool off in the waterfalls of Erawan National Park
Get up-close to elephants in Chiang Mai
Transport in Thailand
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 while in Thailand, you may find yourself travelling by:
See Thailand from the ground level on this three-wheeled wonder. Sometimes motorised but usually pedal-powered by a local, it’s a fun way to get from A to B or to see the sights of a new city.
Accommodation in Thailand
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:
Thailand holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Thailand
Culture and customs
Eating and drinking
Geography and environment
History and government
Top 10 Iconic Thai Landscapes
Festivals and Events in Thailand
Health and Safety
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
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
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 2 Jan New Year Holiday
- 11 Feb Magha Puja Day
- 13 Feb Magha Puja Holiday
- 6 Apr Chakri Memorial Day
- 13 Apr Songkran Festival
- 14 Apr Songkran Festival
- 15 Apr Songkran Festival
- 17 Apr Songkran Festival
- 1 May National Labour Day
- 5 May Coronation Day
- 10 May Visakha Bucha Day
- 11 Jul Khao Phansa Day
- 12 Aug Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday
- 14 Aug Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday Holiday
- 23 Oct Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
- 5 Dec His Majesty the King's Birthday
- 10 Dec Constitution Day
- 11 Dec Constitution Day (Observed)
- 31 Dec New Year's Eve
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Thailand go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/thailand/public-holidays
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
- Be considerate of Thailand's customs, traditions, religion and culture.
- Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
- Ask permission, remove your shoes and cover your shoulders with a jacket or wrap before entering a place of worship.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
- Choose to not support businesses that promote cruelty towards or exploitation of endangered species.
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
- When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
- When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
- For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
- Be respectful of Buddhist monks, this includes refraining from taking photos of them. Women should also avoid touching or handing items directly to monks.
- Thai people have a flexible approach to time and may not always be punctual. Accept this graciously and enjoy the ride.
- 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:
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: www.theintrepidfoundation.org