Thailand

Thailand, the land of smiles, is a country full of surprises and beauty. From stunning Krabi to bustling Bangkok it's one of Asia's most popular destinations.

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Thailand Travel Guide

When To Go & Weather

The weather in Thailand varies greatly depending on the time of year and location. The most popular time to visit northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai), central Thailand (Bangkok) and the west Coast (Phuket, Krabi), is between November to February when the weather is drier and warm.

The most popular time to visit Thailand’s east coast (Koh Samui) is between April to October, during its dry season.

Hotels and flights to Phuket are typically discounted significantly between April to October, when the temperature, humidity and rainfall is at its highest.

Money

The Thai Baht is the official currency of Thailand. When exchanging money in Thailand, go to banks, exchange counters at the airport and accredited operators.

ATMs are widely available across the whole country. Make sure to check with your bank about any foreign ATM withdrawal fees.

Credit cards are widely accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops.

Language

Thai is the official language. However, English is widely spoken in the capital, Bangkok, as well as most major tourist destinations. As a tourist, you should have no problem getting around speaking English.

Etiquette

Here are some etiquette rules to remember when in Thailand:

■ Thailand’s monarchy is deeply revered by the Thai people. Speak respectfully of the Royal family.

■ Feet are considered dirty in Thai culture. Always remove shoes before entering a temple or home.

■ The head is considered the most sacred part of the body in Thai culture. Do not touch the head of a Thai person or statue.

■ There is a time and place for bikinis, beers and singlets! Respect the local culture when visiting religious events and destinations such as temples. Travellers are to cover up their legs and shoulders.

Passports & Visas

Australians can visit Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa. Travellers intending to stay for longer than 30 days can apply for a visa from an Embassy or Consulate of Thailand, or on arrival.

When visiting Thailand, you are required to hold a current passport with at least six months of validity.

For more details, please refer to the Australian Government's Smart Traveller Website.

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Top Locations

Phuket

Phuket

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and a favourite of Australian travellers. The island boasts white sand beaches, vibrant nightlife and makes for an ideal base for those looking to travel to world-famous places like Phang Nga Bay and the Phi Phi Islands.

Bangkok

Bangkok

Bangkok is Thailand’s capital. It is a large, bustling city with vibrant street life, world-class shopping malls and elaborate royal palaces.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Located in the mountainous North, Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand. Despite being much more relaxed and laid-back than Bangkok, there are still plenty of things to do. Expand your horizons with a Thai cooking class, explore ancient Buddhist temples, feed rescued elephants and so much more!

Krabi

Krabi

Krabi is located on the west coast of southern Thailand and boasts a myriad of inland and at sea attractions, including bays and coves, caves, limestone cliffs, hot springs, coral reefs and more. It’s still relatively untouched and is home to the famous Ao Nang resort town and Phi Phi Islands.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui

With white sand beaches and accommodation options ranging from simple beachside bungalows to luxurious 5-star resorts - Koh Samui attracts travellers from all walks of life. On the island, you’ll be able to enjoy a wide variety of activities and attractions, including waterfalls, jungle safaris, diving, ziplining, temples and some of the best nightlife in Thailand.

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Top Experiences

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Originally built in 1782 as the home of the Thai King, the spectacular Grand Palace is Bangkok’s most famous landmark.

Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi Islands

The Phi Phi Islands are a short boat ride from either Phuket or Krabi and contain an array of stunning beaches, limestone cliffs and coral gardens. Snorkel in crystal clear water, see ancient paintings in Viking Cave, swim with sharks, rock climb up 200m tall limestone cliffs and much more!

Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay is located a short car trip north of Phuket and is famous for its breath-taking limestone cliffs which rise above the emerald-green water. Two of the most famous attractions include James Bond Island, which starred in the 1974 Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun’’, and Koh Panyee which is home to an entire village built on the water!

Floating Markets

Floating Markets

Thailand contains several famous floating markets, including Damnoen Saduak, Amphawa and Taling Chan. There you can sample all sorts of fresh food and produce, and experience the Thailand of days gone by.

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai is Thailand’s first national park and covers an area of 2,168 km². As the home to one of Asia’s largest remaining monsoon forests, you’ll be able to see the majestic waterfalls and an impressive array of wildlife including Asian elephants, bears, macaque, deers, hornbills and more.

Full Moon Party

Full Moon Party

Every month, thousands of people head to Thailand’s famous Full Moon Party on the island of Ko Pha-Ngan. The beach party starts in the evening and the bars and music carry on until the sun rises the next day.

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

The historic city of Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom and prospered until the 18th century, where it was burned to the ground by the Burmese army. Today, you can walk through its ancient ruins and marvel at this lost kingdom.

Elephant Sanctuary

Elephant Sanctuary

There are a variety of elephant sanctuaries in Northern Thailand. These sanctuaries rescue and rehabilitate elephants who have been forced to work in the logging or entertainment industry. They give you a chance to not only get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures, but support ethical and sustainable eco-tourism in Thailand.

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The markets open every night at sunset and continue until late at night. There are countless stalls covering several blocks and you’ll find vendors selling everything from clothes, handicrafts, souvenirs, jewellery, and even samurai swords!

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