Guide to Thailand
Thailand is an enchanting country with a rich cultural tradition, where the people are warm and friendly and the scenery is often breathtaking. This is a land of ancient temples, tantalising cuisine, pristine beaches and tropical rainforests. From elephant camps to world class resorts, Thailand has something for everyone.
There are over 30 direct flights weekly from the UK to Thailand, including Thai Airways, EVA Air and Qantas Airways. There are also many indirect flights via Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore with airlines such as Emirates, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines. The flying time is generally around 12 hours.
Guide to the country
Almost all visitors will include a stop in Bangkok, at the start or end of their Thailand holiday, and for good reason. Bangkok is an exciting city of bustling streets and markets, historic sights such as the Grand Palace, chic bars and restaurants and boat trips on the Chao Phraya River. Five hundred miles to the north lies Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and the beautiful mountain scenery of Northern Thailand, linked with so much history. The sandy beaches of Pattaya and Hua Hin continue to increase in popularity, as road links with Bangkok improve making them easier to reach. The islands of Thailand have always been popular, with dramatic views and great beaches. Choose from a superb range of islands, from established ones such as Phuket and Koh Samui to some newly discovered paradises such as Koh Kradan. Krabi features the rocky outcrop scenery seen in so many films, and the quiet but tranquil Khao Lak, just north of Phuket continues to delight visitors.
When to go Most visitors arrive during Thailand’s dry season, from November through February. The weather during this period is pleasantly warm and sunny, though airline and hotel prices reflect this and are higher than at other times of the year. April and May are usually the hottest months (though Thailand is never cold at any time during the year) when temperatures will be in the low to mid 30°C. May to October is generally considered to be low season as rainfall is high, though there is always sunshine between the downpours. Bear in mind that Thailand’s two most popular resorts, Phuket and Koh Samui, have differing rainy seasons. The best time to go to Phuket (in the west) is from November to March, while Koh Samui (in the Gulf of Thailand), is at its best during June to September.
Important to note British passport holders don’t need a visa unless staying for more than 30 days and the passport has at least six months validity. Thailand is 7 hours ahead of GMT. The currency is Thai Baht. Vaccinations are only a requirement if you are travelling close to the border of Burma, or if you are exploring deep into the jungle. For full details of vaccination requirements contact your doctor.