Thanks for signing up!

Check your inbox each week for our inspirational newsletter and special offers.

Sign up to great deals. Easy peasy.

Please enter a valid email address
020 3944 2201

Asia

Thailand Holidays

Get Inspiration

Thailand? Tick.

Exotic yet thoroughly accessible, Thailand makes for a great introduction to Asia. Once the preserve of backpackers on their gap year, it’s long surpassed its wild-partying persona. Although there’s still exciting nightlife to be found, if that’s what you’re after, these days Thailand attracts a more diverse group of holidaymakers. It’s a surprisingly versatile country and, with raw natural beauty and captivating culture, Thailand holidays are equally suited to families and honeymooners as they are to solo travellers.

Thailand holidays often begin in Bangkok. A dynamic mix of old and new, it’s home to historic royal palaces, lively markets and sublime street food. Chiang Mai – Thailand’s second city – is somewhat calmer. The gateway to Northern Thailand, it retains an air of authenticity and feels more like a sleepy country town than a modern metropolis. Venture out into the surrounding countryside and you’ll happen upon ancient temples and hill-tribe villages.

Thailand’s cities, with their intoxicating energy, are not to be overlooked. But it’s castaway-style beach escapes that this country excels in. Head to Thailand’s famous islands and you’ll find stretches of soft white sand set against a backdrop of dramatic limestone karsts. Beach holidays in Thailand are so popular that the country’s garnered a devoted tribe of sun-worshippers who return time and again.

Those seeking an activity-based holiday in Thailand will be spoilt for choice. The diving and snorkelling are world-famous, but there are also opportunities for white-water rafting, rock climbing, wakeboarding, kitesurfing and jet-skiing. Thailand’s jungle-clad national parks are ripe for trekking – or, if you want to go more off the beaten path, visit the mountains and farmlands of Northern and Central Thailand.

With so much to see and do, Thailand’s a great destination for a multi-centre holiday. Why not pair buzzing Bangkok with a beach break in Phuket, or combine an urban adventure in Chiang Mai with some downtime in Khao Sok? Alternatively, explore more of Asia by adding on a few days in Cambodia or Vietnam.

Thai food

Beaches

Festivals

Best time to go

Essential info

Thai food

Thai food is incredibly aromatic and all dishes are built around four fundamental flavours: sweet, salty, spicy and sour. It relies heavily on fresh herbs and spices, with common ingredients including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, galangal, chilli, garlic and coconut milk. Palm sugar is used to sweeten, while lime and tamarind add sour notes.

Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the country’s culinary capitals, but you can find high-quality, low-cost food almost anywhere. If you want to sample a large range of Thai food all at once, check out the local night market. These open-air clusters of food stalls exist in nearly every town and city, and are a great place to enjoy cheap eats.

Show More
Show Less

Rice and noodles – be they fried or boiled in soup – are staples throughout the country. However, food in Thailand does vary from region to region. Cuisine in Northern Thailand is the least spicy of all Thai food. Sour is the dominant flavour, and coconut milk features in very few dishes. Northern Thailand borders Laos and Myanmar, and the food here is heavily influenced by those two countries. By contrast, southern Thai food is extremely spicy, and also heavy on salt. Seafood is also used a lot in Southern Thai cuisine.

If you’ve got something of a sweet tooth, mango sticky rice is the most popular dessert in Thailand. Another favourite is banana roti, and you’ll find an abundance of fresh fruit everywhere you go.

Show More
Show Less

Beaches in Thailand

With two glittering coastlines – one on the Andaman Sea and the other on the Gulf of Thailand – plus over 1,400 islands, Thailand has more than its fair share of beaches. There’s ongoing debate about exactly which are the best beaches in Thailand, but it all depends on what you’re looking for, really.

More tranquil options are Sunset Beach on Koh Lipe; the two-kilometre main beach on Koh Kradan; and pretty much any stretch of sand on the twin islands of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. For diving and snorkelling, the best beaches in Thailand are those on Koh Chang, Koh Tao and the Similan Islands. Just offshore you’ll find soft coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. Go at the right time and you might spot sharks, turtles and manta rays too.

Show More
Show Less

If you want somewhere where you can party until dawn, Patong Beach on Phuket, Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui, and Pattaya Beach on the mainland are all famed for their bars and clubs. Another option is Phi Phi Don – the larger of the two Phi Phi islands, made famous when Maya Bay was used as the title location in The Beach. But if you’re looking to join other revellers at Thailand’s largest beach party – the Full Moon Party – you’ll need to head to Haad Rin on Koh Phangan.

Show More
Show Less

Thai festivals

Festivals are an integral part of life in Thailand. If you want to gain a unique insight into the country’s culture, timing your Thailand holiday to coincide with one of these events is a great way to do so.

By far the biggest event in Thailand’s cultural calendar is Songkran. Celebrated on the 13th April every year, it marks the Thai New Year. It’s also known as the Water Festival, with water used as a means of purification to wash away any lingering negativity and bad luck from the previous year. Originally, this involved bathing Buddhist statues and pouring water over the hands of the elderly. Things escalated over time, though, and now Songkran sees people take to the streets with water pistols, and tourists and locals alike engage in giant water fights.

Show More
Show Less

Another prominent Thai festival is Loy Krathong – the Festival of Light. This national event takes place on the night of first full moon of the 12th lunar month, usually in early November. Widely considered the most beautiful of all Thai festivals, it sees small lotus-shaped rafts, fashioned from banana leaves and adorned with flowers and candles, set afloat on lakes and rivers across the country. Besides marking the end of the rainy season, it’s a chance for people to pay homage to the Goddess of Water and for Thai Buddhists to give thanks to the Buddha. In Chiang Mai, hundreds of brightly-lit lanterns are also released into the sky, creating a truly arresting spectacle.

Show More
Show Less

Best time

The best time to visit Thailand is November to March. Monsoon season’s over but the rain leaves vegetation looking lush and waterfalls in full flow. Temperatures throughout the country are comfortable at this time of year, and there’s little chance of rain. Humidity levels – while still high – are lower than at other times of year.

The downside to visiting Thailand during these months is that it’s peak season. So beaches will be busy and accommodation prices tend to soar. If you want to avoid the crowds, but still enjoy good weather, then the best time to visit Thailand is April to May. With average highs of 35 degrees in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, it’s not a great time of year for a Thailand city break, so the best thing to do is hit the beach.

 

Show More
Show Less

Worse time

Rainy season – roughly June to October – is the quietest time to go. Although storms can be intense, with heavy downpours on a daily basis, it rarely rains all day. Flooding’s not uncommon, though, and the sea can become too tumultuous for snorkelling and diving. But, if you’re prepared to brave it, there are great deals to be had at this time of year.

Show More
Show Less

Essential information for Thailand

  • Visa: 30-day exemption
  • Language: Thai
  • Currency: Thai baht (฿)
  • Time difference: GMT + 7hours
  • Flight duration from London: 11 and a half hours direct to Bangkok
  • Capital city: Bangkok
Show More
Show Less

Thai food

Thai food

Thai food is incredibly aromatic and all dishes are built around four fundamental flavours: sweet, salty, spicy and sour. It relies heavily on fresh herbs and spices, with common ingredients including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, galangal, chilli, garlic and coconut milk. Palm sugar is used to sweeten, while lime and tamarind add sour notes.

Chiang Mai and Bangkok are the country’s culinary capitals, but you can find high-quality, low-cost food almost anywhere. If you want to sample a large range of Thai food all at once, check out the local night market. These open-air clusters of food stalls exist in nearly every town and city, and are a great place to enjoy cheap eats.

Show More
Show Less

Rice and noodles – be they fried or boiled in soup – are staples throughout the country. However, food in Thailand does vary from region to region. Cuisine in Northern Thailand is the least spicy of all Thai food. Sour is the dominant flavour, and coconut milk features in very few dishes. Northern Thailand borders Laos and Myanmar, and the food here is heavily influenced by those two countries. By contrast, southern Thai food is extremely spicy, and also heavy on salt. Seafood is also used a lot in Southern Thai cuisine.

If you’ve got something of a sweet tooth, mango sticky rice is the most popular dessert in Thailand. Another favourite is banana roti, and you’ll find an abundance of fresh fruit everywhere you go.

Show More
Show Less

Beaches

Beaches in Thailand

With two glittering coastlines – one on the Andaman Sea and the other on the Gulf of Thailand – plus over 1,400 islands, Thailand has more than its fair share of beaches. There’s ongoing debate about exactly which are the best beaches in Thailand, but it all depends on what you’re looking for, really.

More tranquil options are Sunset Beach on Koh Lipe; the two-kilometre main beach on Koh Kradan; and pretty much any stretch of sand on the twin islands of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. For diving and snorkelling, the best beaches in Thailand are those on Koh Chang, Koh Tao and the Similan Islands. Just offshore you’ll find soft coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. Go at the right time and you might spot sharks, turtles and manta rays too.

Show More
Show Less

If you want somewhere where you can party until dawn, Patong Beach on Phuket, Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui, and Pattaya Beach on the mainland are all famed for their bars and clubs. Another option is Phi Phi Don – the larger of the two Phi Phi islands, made famous when Maya Bay was used as the title location in The Beach. But if you’re looking to join other revellers at Thailand’s largest beach party – the Full Moon Party – you’ll need to head to Haad Rin on Koh Phangan.

Show More
Show Less

Festivals

Thai festivals

Festivals are an integral part of life in Thailand. If you want to gain a unique insight into the country’s culture, timing your Thailand holiday to coincide with one of these events is a great way to do so.

By far the biggest event in Thailand’s cultural calendar is Songkran. Celebrated on the 13th April every year, it marks the Thai New Year. It’s also known as the Water Festival, with water used as a means of purification to wash away any lingering negativity and bad luck from the previous year. Originally, this involved bathing Buddhist statues and pouring water over the hands of the elderly. Things escalated over time, though, and now Songkran sees people take to the streets with water pistols, and tourists and locals alike engage in giant water fights.

Show More
Show Less

Another prominent Thai festival is Loy Krathong – the Festival of Light. This national event takes place on the night of first full moon of the 12th lunar month, usually in early November. Widely considered the most beautiful of all Thai festivals, it sees small lotus-shaped rafts, fashioned from banana leaves and adorned with flowers and candles, set afloat on lakes and rivers across the country. Besides marking the end of the rainy season, it’s a chance for people to pay homage to the Goddess of Water and for Thai Buddhists to give thanks to the Buddha. In Chiang Mai, hundreds of brightly-lit lanterns are also released into the sky, creating a truly arresting spectacle.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time

The best time to visit Thailand is November to March. Monsoon season’s over but the rain leaves vegetation looking lush and waterfalls in full flow. Temperatures throughout the country are comfortable at this time of year, and there’s little chance of rain. Humidity levels – while still high – are lower than at other times of year.

The downside to visiting Thailand during these months is that it’s peak season. So beaches will be busy and accommodation prices tend to soar. If you want to avoid the crowds, but still enjoy good weather, then the best time to visit Thailand is April to May. With average highs of 35 degrees in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, it’s not a great time of year for a Thailand city break, so the best thing to do is hit the beach.

 

Show More
Show Less

Worse time

Rainy season – roughly June to October – is the quietest time to go. Although storms can be intense, with heavy downpours on a daily basis, it rarely rains all day. Flooding’s not uncommon, though, and the sea can become too tumultuous for snorkelling and diving. But, if you’re prepared to brave it, there are great deals to be had at this time of year.

Show More
Show Less

Essential info

Essential information for Thailand

  • Visa: 30-day exemption
  • Language: Thai
  • Currency: Thai baht (฿)
  • Time difference: GMT + 7hours
  • Flight duration from London: 11 and a half hours direct to Bangkok
  • Capital city: Bangkok
Show More
Show Less

Chat With Our Asia Experts

With 40 years in travel and hundreds of experts ready to help you realise your dream holiday.

Follow us on

Popular places in Thailand

Choose where to go on your Thailand holiday

Still surfing for inspiration?

Sign-up today to get expertly curated holiday deals straight to your inbox.

Please enter a valid email address
Privacy notice

Follow us on:

You might also like...

Take a look at these popular destinations

Out There Made Easy

Everyday our experts help people realise their dream holidays, designing experiences to last a lifetime, out there made easy.

Knowledge

Between them, our travel advisors can boast almost 800 years of holiday expertise.

Ease

Our tailor made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

Knowledge

Between them, our travel advisors can boast almost 800 years of holiday expertise.

Ease

Our tailor made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

Cookies: We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our website, you are agreeing to use our site cookies.

See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

I Accept

Call our experts 020 3944 2201