Please note Thailand has tentatively closed borders for International Tourism till December 2020. If you are planning to visit before December, you are requested to please reconsider your travel date or choose an alternate destination like Dubai, Maldives & Sri Lanka.
A Thailand tour could be a great way to get a sense of South-East Asia and its glorious beaches.
The legendary Thai hospitality only seems to add to the sunshine of its tropical beaches and the golden colouring of its gabled temples. With a menu that revolves around the maxim of infusing sweet and sour with the spicy and sweet and dishing out some plump seafood seared with chillies with the striking pungency of lemongrass and a whole explosion of fresh local ingredients, your trip down its eating out districts whether you are in its capital Bangkok or downtown Phuket, is going to appease your soul. A capital as fast paced and edgy as Bangkok will be the perfect precursor to your journey into Thailand. From an invigorating Thai massage, to shopping for curios at a night market and experiencing a breathtaking nightlife with some innovative concoctions and live music, Bangkok can leave you dizzy with its eclectic offerings. Whether it is kayaking or diving you wish to pursue in the emerald waters of Krabi or simply watch the traditional boats harboured on the white sands of the Phi Phi Islands, expect a vacation that is utterly engrossing without burning a hole in your pocket.
When you scout for Thailand tour packages, make sure your itinerary comprises some of its highlights.
The Thai street life
Heavy on food, there is no leaving Bangkok without slurping down the Bangkok street-style noddles around the corner on a busy street with the traffic whirring past on one side and glass skyscrapers looming overhead on the other. It is not just the traditional Thai cuisine, you have every possible international cuisine here rendered to perfection using the local produce across its restaurants, cafes, bistros and patio bars. Whether you are ordering food, at a currency exchange or trying to strike up a bargain with a souvenir seller, don’t let the language barrier come in the way. A bit of attentiveness, some humour and a dash of smile can go a long way in getting you around the Thai capital as well as winning favour and friends. Stroll down the narrow lanes of Chinatown and tuck into a bowl of prawn wanton soup or chance upon a rendition of the Chinese opera. Pick up some fascinating artifacts from the Amphawa Floating Market that has come up on a canal by the same name on the Mae Klong river. For a unique perspective, you can do boat or bike ride through it. The boat noodles is a popular must-have in Amphawa. Bangkok’s Sukhumvit area is perfect to let your hair down and sip some cocktails at a tony bar from the top of a high-rise and watch the world go by. Despite the contradictions Bangkok offers with its hypermarkets and mega malls on one hand and traditional River huts on the other, it is a city that is as dynamic and cosmopolitan as it gets.
The Thai beaches
The high-point of a Thailand holiday package is the beaches. Whether you are a backpacker, a couple, a large group, a family travelling with a child, or a luxury seeker, it is easy to get some powdery white sands between your toes in Thailand. A pristine coastline, secret coves, limestone karts jutting out of an azure sea make it a veritable paradise to pursue some swimming, snorkelling, diving, sea cave exploration and a resort-life that centers around its sandy beaches. Krabi’s sea cliffs with their tropical vegetation are extremely popular with cliff climbers, just as surfing enthusiasts make a beeline for Koh Lipe, kite-boarders for Hua Hin, and divers choose the depths of Koh Tao to spot whale sharks among other exotic marine species. For beach bums, the party scene of Phi Phi Islands is unprecedented, but if it is holistic healing you are looking at while being privy to some stunning coastal scenery, Koh Samui is your retreat. Your days made spectacular by some memorable sunsets and an endless serving of succulent and crunchy deep sea delights.
The Thai culinary scene
Thailand holidays are primarily about gorging on sumptuous seafood. Thai cuisine owing to its bountiful ingredients is climbing up the popularity charts the world over. It is today one of the most sought-after cuisine known for its subtle flavours, cooking technique and light-to-digest quality. The Thai love their chillies which often finds a searing in the food or are served separately as a coarse and fiery chilli dip. The flavours are robust and perfectly balanced and gives you the umami whether you are having a Bangkok-style noodles at a shack in Bangkok, gorging on grilled lobsters or fried scallops at a seafood avenue in Phuket, dining at a steakhouse or tucking into a succulent seafood pasta at one of the open-air Greek and Mediterranean restaurants in Pattaya. From Burmese market stalls, cheap street-side Chinese, to a quick meal of sticky rice with a lemongrass-kissed Thai chicken curry, you are all set to send your tastebud on a roller-coaster of flavours and aromas. But an even better way to master some of the tenets of Thai cooking is to enroll yourself for a cookery class conducted by a local, often at a local home. Typically such an activity commences with a visit to the local vegetable and fruit market and concludes with the rustling up of something delectable using those ingredients.
The Thai reverence for its temples
A Thailand trip is incomplete without rounding up its ornate temples. A Buddhist country, Thailand is home to some gorgeous temples that are both colourful and unique in their architecture. The Thai love of the golden hue is evident in its temples and the frame of the deity – the Buddha – that presides in it. It is truly fascinating how the depiction of Buddha varies across its temples giving you a glimpse into the colourful rituals and customs the locals practice. There is a unique Thai tradition where a holy cloth is wrapped around an ancient banyan tree as a gratitude to the resident spirits. From underground cave shrine in Phetchaburi and Kanchanburi, a string of meditation retreats in Chaing Mai, northern Thailand’s colourful hilltop temples, to Bangkok’s landmark temples such as Wat Arun, Wat Saket, Wat Phra Kaew with their elaborate gold leaf Chedi or the bell-shaped tower, the deeper you travel into Thailand, the more you will discover its unique traditions and folklore drawing their inspiration for its religion.
The Thai rural landscape
Thailand is a mind-boggling melange of urban and rural landscapes. Move away from the chaos of the glass and mortar Bangkok and you will enter a rural heartland punctuated by rice terraces, a tired countryside, tropical jungles, jagged blue peaks and an occasional spouting of waterfalls. And not to mention, its limestone karsts protruding from a flat emerald sea. The further northwards you travel, the more you will encounter its greens and a bucolic rural setting where cultivation is still the mainstay of its local folk. The north of Phuket, for instance, is home to a couple of national parks and a few wildlife sanctuaries. You can even head up into the hills behind Kata to Big Buddha and get a feel of its lush landscape that is the same jade colour as the waves on its beaches. Whether it is the fisherman villages to the northeast of the island or the mangrove vegetation around Koh Samui, Thailand’s greenery will dazzle you around every turn.
Best time to visit Thailand
While Thailand has a year-round appeal, you are, however, advised a visit in its cool and dry season. The days between November and April are deemed the best to visit Thailand. Water activities such as diving and snorkelling around in Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Phi Phi among other southern islands pick up in this season. Even beach bums prefer the moderate temperature of this dry season when a cool breeze is always wafting from the seas, the days are warm and balmy and the nights pleasant to cool. The humidity levels are in check in this definite peak season in Thailand. The daytime temperature of Bangkok is around 31 degree Celsius, Koh Samui is around 29 degree Celsius, Krabi is at 30 degree Celsius and Phuket at about 31 degree Celsius. Avoid Koh Samui in peak December as it receives high levels of rainfall. In general the rains peak around July and August in the whole of Thailand, a time you need to stay away from the traffic snarls and chaos of Bangkok. While May to June are the typical summer months in Thailand and not preferred by tourists, you can bag a great hotel deal at this time of the year and explore the cultural attractions at your pace.