Thailand is an idyllic paradise, 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 deep, cool shade of blue. 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 chilli you never thought possible. From the waterfalls of Erewan to a homestay with the hill tribes of the Golden Triangle, these adventures go beyond the tourist traps. Buckle up.

Top Thailand travel deals

Departing Days From ZAR
22 Dec 2018
Epic Cambodia to Vietnam
Ages 18 to 29
24 R20,995
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23 Dec 2018
Epic Bangkok to Singapore
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21 R25,570
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26 Dec 2018
Thailand Family Holiday for solo parents
12 R18,140
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29 Dec 2018
Cruising the Thai Islands from Phuket
8 R37,075
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30 Dec 2018
Real Bangkok to Singapore
Ages 18 to 29
14 R17,620
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4 Jan 2019
Highlights of Thailand
11 R25,725
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Highlights of Thailand & Cambodia
16 R44,175
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6 Jan 2019
Phuket Sailing Adventure
7 R19,320
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Beautiful Northern Thailand
15 R20,580
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Sail Phuket to Ko Phi Phi
4 R12,335
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Thailand tour reviews

Articles on Thailand

Thailand travel highlights

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:

A songthaew in Thailand, which is a converted pick-up truck


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 South East Asia.

Explore Northern Thailand

Thailand Beaches East Coast (May - Oct)

Beautiful Northern Thailand

Samlor drivers resting inbetween customers in Thailand


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:

Cycling in your homestay village in Thailand


Experience friendly Thai hospitality while staying with a local family living a traditional way of life. Make new friends, pick up some local lingo and leave smiling.

Thailand Family Holiday

Explore Northern Thailand

Beautiful Northern Thailand

Rafthouses in Thailand are a fantastic way to stay!


The ultimate room with a view - spend the night on a floating bamboo rafthouse. Enjoy the seclusion, soak up the serenity and leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Real Bangkok to Singapore

Tuk tuk on the street at night in Bangkok

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

Further reading

Thailand travel FAQs

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of the itinerary for more information. 

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.

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.

The 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.

A market fruit shake = 25 THB 
Bottle of local beer = 100 THB
Market stall meal = 40 – 100 THB 
Sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant = 350 – 1000 THB 

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 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
  • 19 Feb: Makha Bucha Day
  • 6 Apr: Chakri Day
  • 13-15 Apr: Songkran (Thai New Year)
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • 5 May: Coronation Day
  • 18 May: Visakha Bucha Day
  • 27 Jul: Asahna Bucha Day
  • 12 Aug: Queen’s Birthday
  • 23 Oct: Chulalongkorn Day
  • 5 Dec: King’s Birthday
  • 10 Dec: Constitution Day
  • 31 Dec: New Year’s Eve

For a current list of public holidays in Thailand go to:


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.

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.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or Smartraveller before you travel.

Responsible Travel

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.

Appropriate dress is important when visiting a temple

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:

Friends of the Asian Elephant

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: