Things to do in Thailand

  • Feb 21, 2024
  • Jyoti Karki

Exploring Thailand offers an unparalleled journey through a land of breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand beckons travellers with its diverse attractions, ranging from pristine beaches and lush jungles to bustling cities and serene temples. Whether you're indulging in the world-renowned Thai street food, embarking on an island-hopping adventure across the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea, or soaking in the cultural heritage through its majestic temples and festivals, Thailand has something for every traveller. Adventure seekers can dive into some of the planet's most beautiful underwater ecosystems, while those looking for relaxation can unwind with an authentic Thai massage. With floating markets, night bazaars, and elephant sanctuaries, the country offers unique experiences that blend tradition with modernity. This guide by Relax Getaways aims to be your comprehensive resource for planning your Thai adventure, ensuring you capture the essence of Thailand's beauty, excitement, and tranquilly. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned traveller, Thailand's warm welcome and endless possibilities promise an unforgettable journey.

At Relax Getaways, we pride ourselves on being the premier choice for travelers seeking the ultimate Thai adventure. Our deep understanding and love for Thailand, combined with years of experience, have equipped us to curate unforgettable experiences that showcase the very best this vibrant country has to offer. From the mesmerizing beaches of Phuket and the iconic street food scenes of Bangkok to the serene beauty of Chiang Mai's temples and the exhilarating island-hopping tours through Phang Nga Bay, our expertly crafted itineraries ensure you immerse fully in the rich culture, stunning landscapes, and unique traditions of Thailand. Our commitment to excellence, personalized service, and sustainable tourism practices sets us apart, making Relax Getaways the best company for discovering the diverse and enchanting activities in Thailand. We are passionate about creating memorable, bespoke travel experiences that go beyond the ordinary, ensuring every guest leaves with stories to cherish for a lifetime. With Relax Getaways, embark on a journey where every detail is taken care of, allowing you to relax, explore, and fall in love with Thailand's incredible beauty and charm.

Table of Contents

Thai Massage

Thai massage, a practice deeply ingrained in the traditional medical system of Thailand, offers a unique therapeutic experience that combines various techniques to rejuvenate both the body and mind. This ancient art form, often referred to as "Thai yoga massage," involves dynamic methods that stretch, compress, and manipulate the body to improve overall health and well-being. Unlike Western-style massages that primarily focus on muscle relaxation through direct tissue manipulation, Thai massage operates on the belief that life energy circulates through the body along predefined pathways. The goal is to enhance the flow of this energy, thereby promoting balance and healing.

  • Origins and Philosophy: The roots of Thai massage trace back over 2,500 years, with influences from Indian, Chinese, and Southeast Asian cultural spheres. It is said to have been founded by Shivago Komarpaj, who is believed to have been the Buddha's physician. The practice is built around the concept of energy lines running through the body, known as "sen" lines. By applying pressure along these lines, Thai massage aims to clear blockages and stimulate the flow of energy, or "lom," which is essential for health.

  • What to Expect: A typical Thai massage session is conducted on a firm mat on the floor, allowing the practitioner to use body leverage to perform the stretches and manipulations. Clients remain fully clothed in loose, comfortable attire to accommodate the active movements. The massage does not use oils or lotions, distinguishing it from many other forms of bodywork.

The practitioner uses their hands, thumbs, elbows, knees, and feet to apply a combination of stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques to relieve tension, enhance flexibility, and promote relaxation. The experience is often described as both relaxing and energising, with effects that are felt long after the session has ended.

Health Benefits

  • Improved Circulation: The techniques used can enhance blood circulation, which in turn aids in the better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues.

  • Enhanced Flexibility: Gentle stretching and manipulation of the body can improve overall flexibility and range of motion.

  • Stress Reduction: By promoting relaxation of the mind and body, Thai massage can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.

  • Pain Relief: It can be particularly effective in relieving back pain, shoulder tension, and headaches, among other discomforts.

  • Energy Balance: Thai massage is believed to facilitate the flow of energy within the body, leading to improved vitality and well-being.

  • Where to Experience: Thai massage can be experienced worldwide, but for an authentic experience, it is best sought in Thailand—from the renowned Wat Pho temple in Bangkok, which is also a leading massage school, to countless spas and wellness centres across the country. Whether you're looking to address specific health issues or simply wish to relax and unwind, Thai massage offers a profound experience that is both healing and revitalising.

Relax Getaways highly recommends adding a Thai massage session to your itinerary as part of your journey through Thailand. It's not just a massage; it's an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Thailand while benefiting your physical and mental health.

Diving in Thailand

Diving in Thailand is an extraordinary adventure, offering some of the most spectacular underwater experiences in the world. With its warm, clear waters, abundant marine life, and stunning coral reefs, Thailand has become a mecca for divers of all levels. From the vibrant Andaman Sea to the tranquil Gulf of Thailand, the country boasts an array of dive sites that cater to every interest, whether you're a beginner taking your first breath underwater or an experienced diver looking to explore new depths.

  • The Similan Islands: Located in the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands are renowned for their crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life. The islands offer over 20 dive sites, featuring coral gardens, deep drop-offs, and underwater boulders, home to manta rays, whale sharks, and a myriad of fish species.

  • Koh Tao: Often referred to as the turtle island, Koh Tao is situated in the Gulf of Thailand and is considered one of the best places for beginners to get certified due to its calm waters and affordable diving courses. The island is surrounded by more than 25 dive sites, where divers can encounter turtles, reef sharks, and colorful coral formations.

  • Phuket: As Thailand's largest island, Phuket serves as a gateway to many exceptional dive sites, including Shark Point, Anemone Reef, and the King Cruiser wreck. The surrounding waters are teeming with life, offering divers the chance to see leopard sharks, sea horses, and schools of tropical fish.

  • Hin Daeng and Hin Muang: These two remote dive sites are located in the deep waters south of Koh Lanta and are famous for their red and purple coral-covered pinnacles. They are among the best places in Thailand to spot large pelagics, including manta rays and whale sharks.

  • What to Expect Diving in Thailand offers a wide range of experiences depending on the season and location. The best time to dive in the Andaman Sea is from November to April, when the waters are at their clearest. The Gulf of Thailand is best visited from May to September. Visibility can exceed 30 meters in some areas, providing pristine conditions for underwater photography and exploration.

  • Why Choose Relax Getaways for Your Diving Adventure: Relax Getaways specialises in crafting personalised diving experiences in Thailand, catering to your skill level and interests. Our expert team ensures that you dive at the best spots while prioritising safety and environmental conservation. We partner with certified dive centres and offer a range of options, from PADI certification courses to guided dives at exclusive sites.

With Relax Getaways, you'll not only explore the underwater wonders of Thailand but also contribute to the preservation of its marine ecosystems. Our commitment to providing unforgettable experiences makes us the ideal partner for your Thai diving adventure. Whether you're looking to encounter majestic whale sharks in the Similan Islands or explore the vibrant coral reefs of Koh Tao, Relax Getaways is here to make your diving dreams a reality.

Try Local Thai Cuisine

Experiencing local Thai cuisine is an essential part of any visit to Thailand, offering a rich tapestry of flavors that reflect the country's cultural diversity and culinary ingenuity. Thai food is renowned worldwide for its vibrant tastes, balancing the five fundamental flavors: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, and salty. With a wide range of dishes that vary from region to region, diving into the local food scene allows travelers to embark on a delicious journey of discovery.

  • Street Food: The streets of Thailand are lined with vendors and stalls serving up some of the most authentic and delicious dishes you'll find anywhere in the country. Bangkok, in particular, is a street food paradise, where you can sample everything from Pad Thai and Som Tam (papaya salad) to more adventurous offerings like grilled insects. Chiang Mai, with its famous night markets, offers northern specialties such as Khao Soi, a creamy coconut curry noodle soup that is a must-try.

  • Local Markets: Visiting a local market in Thailand is not only a culinary adventure but also a vibrant cultural experience. Markets like Or Tor Kor in Bangkok or the Sunday Walking Street market in Chiang Mai provide an opportunity to taste a wide variety of Thai dishes, from sticky rice and mango to freshly made spring rolls and satay. These markets also offer the chance to buy fresh, local ingredients if you're interested in trying your hand at Thai cooking.

  • Regional Specialties: Thailand's regions each boast their own unique flavours and specialties. The north is known for its Lanna cuisine, with dishes like Larb (a spicy meat salad) and Sai Oua (a flavorful northern Thai sausage). The northeast (Isan) offers spicy salads, grilled meats, and sticky rice, while the south features seafood and curries with a notable Malay influence. Don't miss the opportunity to explore these regional dishes for a comprehensive taste of Thailand's culinary diversity.

  • Thai Cooking Classes: For those interested in diving deeper into the art of Thai cooking, participating in a cooking class is a fantastic way to learn. Many classes include a market visit to teach about the ingredients before guiding you through the preparation of several dishes. It's not only a fun activity but also a skill you can take home with you.

  • Relax Getaways Recommends: At Relax Getaways, we understand that food is an integral part of the travel experience. That's why we offer curated food tours and cooking class experiences as part of our travel packages. Our local guides will take you to the best, off-the-beaten-path spots to ensure you're getting the most authentic and delicious experiences possible. From bustling street food stalls to serene beachside seafood restaurants, we'll help you navigate the vast culinary landscape of Thailand, ensuring your journey is as flavorful as it is unforgettable.

Embarking on a culinary adventure in Thailand with Relax Getaways means more than just tasting the food; it's about experiencing the Thai way of life, understanding the culture behind the cuisine, and making memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're a foodie seeking the ultimate taste sensations or a curious traveler eager to explore Thai culture, local cuisine is a journey not to be missed.

Floating Market Shopping

Floating markets in Thailand offer a unique and vibrant shopping experience, combining the allure of traditional Thai culture with the opportunity to indulge in local cuisine, crafts, and daily life from a perspective unlike any other. These markets, often set in the scenic waterways of the country, provide a glimpse into a traditional way of life that has remained relatively unchanged over the years. Relax Getaways invites you to explore the enchanting world of Thailand’s floating markets, where the rhythm of the river meets the buzz of commerce and culture.

  • The Charm of Floating Markets: Floating markets are exactly as they sound—markets that take place on water, with vendors selling their goods from small boats. Initially, these markets catered to the communities living along Thailand’s extensive river system, serving as vital trading hubs. Today, they attract both locals and tourists, offering everything from fresh produce and cooking ingredients to ready-to-eat snacks, traditional Thai dishes, and handcrafted souvenirs.

  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market: Located in Ratchaburi, just a short drive from Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak is perhaps the most famous floating market in Thailand. It's bustling with activity and offers a colourful spectacle of boats laden with fruits, vegetables, and vibrant souvenirs. Early morning visits provide the most lively experience and the best light for photography.

  • Amphawa Floating Market: Situated near Samut Songkhram, Amphawa is a favourite among locals and offers a more authentic experience compared to Damnoen Saduak. This evening market is known for its seafood, served straight from boat to plate, and its charming wooden houses lining the waterways.

  • Taling Chan Floating Market: Located within Bangkok, Taling Chan offers a convenient option for those unable to travel to the larger markets outside the city. It provides a delightful mix of food, souvenirs, and a glimpse into the local way of life, all without the large crowds.

Experiencing Floating Markets with Relaxed Getaways

  • Early Access: Beat the crowds with early access to the markets, ensuring you see them at their most vibrant.

  • Cultural Insights: Our knowledgeable guides provide insights into the history and culture of the markets, enhancing your understanding and appreciation.

  • Local Flavours: Enjoy tastings of local specialties, from fresh tropical fruits to iconic Thai dishes, prepared right on the boats.

  • Souvenir Shopping: Discover unique local crafts and souvenirs with recommendations from your guide on the best stalls and items.

  • A Sustainable Approach: At Relax Getaways, we are committed to sustainable tourism practices. We ensure our tours respect the local communities and environments. We encourage visitors to support local artisans and food vendors, contributing to the local economy and helping preserve the unique cultural heritage of Thailand’s floating markets.

Floating market shopping is more than just a transaction; it's an immersive experience that offers a window into the heart of Thai culture. With Relax Getaways, embark on a journey through the bustling waterways, where each turn brings new tastes, sights, and sounds. It's an adventure that promises to be one of the highlights of your Thai getaway, filled with moments of joy, discovery, and connection.

Explore a night Market

Exploring a night market in Thailand is an adventure that encapsulates the vibrant essence of Thai culture, offering an immersive experience into the country's lively nocturnal activities. Night markets are not just about shopping; they are bustling hubs where food, entertainment, and shopping converge under the stars, providing a sensory journey through the sights, sounds, and tastes of Thailand. Relax Getaways invites you to delve into this quintessential Thai experience, where every visit reveals something new and exciting.

  • The Allure of Thai Night Markets: Thai night markets are famed for their eclectic mix of offerings. From mouth-watering street food and live music performances to an array of stalls selling everything from handmade crafts to trendy fashion, these markets are a treasure trove for those looking to experience local life, find unique souvenirs, or simply enjoy the atmospheric buzz of Thailand after dark.

  • Chiang Mai Night Bazaar: Located in the heart of Chiang Mai, this sprawling market stretches along several city blocks and is a must-visit for anyone in the region. It's a perfect place to pick up handicrafts, artwork, and clothing, with plenty of food stalls to keep your energy up as you shop.

  • Asiatique The Riverfront: This large open-air mall in Bangkok combines shopping with entertainment, offering a more upscale market experience by the Chao Phraya River. Asiatique features over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants, along with shows and attractions, making it an excellent evening outing for families, couples, and solo travellers alike.

  • Rod Fai Market (Train Market): Known for its vintage vibes and retro treasures, the Rod Fai Market in Bangkok is a haven for collectors and anyone interested in antiques, vintage clothes, and unique memorabilia. The market also features an impressive array of street food vendors and bars.

Tips for Exploring Night Markets

  • Arrive hungry: Thai night markets are a paradise for food lovers. From classic pad Thai and satay to more adventurous options like fried insects, there's no better place to indulge in authentic Thai street food.

  • Haggle Respectfully: Bargaining is part of the shopping experience, but always do so with a smile and respect. It's an art form that can result in better prices for souvenirs and goods.

  • Embrace the Crowds: Night markets can get crowded, but that's part of the charm. Keep personal belongings secure and embrace the bustling atmosphere.

  • Be adventurous: Use the opportunity to try something new, whether it's a food item you've never heard of or a local drink. Night markets are all about discovery.

Relax Getaways Enhances Your Experience

  • Insider Knowledge: Our local guides know exactly where to find the best stalls and hidden gems, from the tastiest street food to the most unique souvenirs.
  • Cultural Insights: Learn about the history and significance of the items you see, the food you taste, and the traditions that make up the vibrant night market scene.
  • Convenience and Safety: Navigate the bustling markets with ease, knowing you're in the capable hands of our experienced team.

Exploring a night market in Thailand with Relax Getaways is not just shopping; it's an experience that captures the heart and soul of Thai nightlife. It's an unforgettable part of any trip to Thailand, offering a lively blend of culture, cuisine, and commerce that will leave you with lasting memories. Join us to discover the magic of Thai night markets, where every sense is awakened, and every moment is a new adventure.

Visit the Train Market

The Maeklong Railway Market, often referred to as the "Train Market," is one of Thailand's most extraordinary and unique attractions, embodying the seamless blend of daily life with the unusual setting of a fully operational railway track. This market is not only a testament to the adaptability and ingenuity of the local vendors but also offers a vivid glimpse into the traditional market culture of Thailand. Relax Getaways is excited to guide you through this unique experience, where the routine of shopping is thrillingly punctuated by the passage of a train.

  • The Phenomenon of the Train Market:Located in Samut Songkhram, just an hour's drive southwest of Bangkok, the Maeklong Railway Market is set upon the railway tracks of the Maeklong Railway Line. What makes this market stand out is how vendors and their stalls are tightly squeezed along the railway, with awnings and shop fronts retracting with each train's approach, only to promptly set up again once it has passed. This spectacle occurs eight times a day, as trains run to and from Bangkok, making it a must-see for visitors looking for an authentic and dynamic Thai market experience.

  • What to Expect: Visitors to the train market can expect to find a bustling atmosphere filled with the scents, sounds, and sights typical of Thai markets. The market sells a wide range of goods, from fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood to traditional Thai sweets, spices, and clothing. The real allure, however, is the unique experience of watching the market transform rapidly as a train approaches. Vendors swiftly pull back their goods and umbrellas, allowing the train to pass through with mere inches to spare, before everything is set back in place as if nothing happened.

Tips for Visiting

  • Timing is key. Check the train schedule ahead of your visit to ensure you can witness this remarkable event. The market is most vibrant in the morning, but visiting during different times can offer varied perspectives on daily life here.

  • Stay Safe: While capturing this unique moment is an incredible experience, safety is paramount. Always stay behind the designated safety lines and be mindful of your surroundings.

  • Explore Beyond the Tracks: Take the time to explore the market beyond the train tracks. Engaging with local vendors and trying out local delicacies offer a more immersive experience of the market's vibrant culture.

Experience with Relax Getaways

  • Guided Tours: Our knowledgeable guides offer insightful commentary on the history of the market and its significance to the local community, enhancing your understanding and appreciation.

  • Hassle-Free Transportation: We offer convenient transportation options from Bangkok, making your visit to the Train Market seamless and enjoyable.

  • Cultural Immersion: Beyond witnessing the spectacle of the train passing through, we encourage visitors to delve deeper into the local culture, from tasting traditional Thai foods to learning about the daily lives of the market vendors.

Visiting the Train Market with Relax Getaways promises not just a viewing of this incredible event but a deep dive into the heart of Thai culture, offering memories that will last a lifetime. It's an unmissable experience for those looking to capture the essence of Thailand's vibrant way of life.

Island Hopping in Phang Nga Bay

Island-hopping in Phang Nga Bay is an unforgettable journey through one of Thailand's most picturesque landscapes, where emerald waters meet towering limestone cliffs and hidden lagoons. This area, located in the Andaman Sea between the island of Phuket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, including the famous James Bond Island, and offers a serene escape into nature's wonders. Relax Getaways is delighted to guide you through this magical experience, ensuring you discover the best of Phang Nga Bay's islands with ease and comfort.

  • Discovering Phang Nga Bay: Phang Nga Bay's unique geography is characterised by its numerous limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the emerald-green water. The bay is home to around 40 small islands, caves, and beaches, making it an ideal location for exploration by boat. The area is not only a feast for the eyes but also offers opportunities for kayaking, snorkelling, and visiting quaint fishing villages.

Highlights of Island Hopping in Phang Nga Bay

  • James Bond Island (Koh Tapu): Made famous by the 1974 James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun," this iconic needle-shaped limestone rock is a must-visit for fans and nature lovers alike.

  • Koh Panyee is a remarkable floating Muslim village built on stilts, known for its seafood restaurants, souvenir shops, and floating football pitch.

  • Hong Islands: These islands are famous for their hidden lagoons. Entering these secluded pools of water through narrow passageways by kayak is an experience like no other.

  • Panak Island offers stunning caves and internal lagoons accessible by kayak, providing a closer look at the bay's unique geological formations.

Tips for Island Hopping

  • Choose the Right Tour: Relax Getaways offers a variety of tours catering to different interests and schedules. Whether you're looking for a leisurely day trip or an adventurous kayaking expedition, we have something for everyone.

  • Bring Sun Protection: The sun can be intense on the water. Sunscreen, hats, and long-sleeve shirts can help protect you from sunburn.

  • Stay Hydrated: Keep plenty of water on hand to stay hydrated throughout your adventure.

  • Respect the Environment: Phang Nga Bay is a natural wonder that we all have a responsibility to protect. Follow guidelines for responsible tourism to help preserve its beauty for future generations.

  • Why Choose Relax Getaways for Your Adventure: Relax Getaways specialises in creating personalised and immersive experiences for our guests. Our island-hopping tours in Phang Nga Bay are designed to showcase the best of the region's natural beauty while ensuring the comfort and safety of our travellers. With experienced guides, comfortable transportation, and a commitment to sustainable tourism practices, we ensure your adventure in Phang Nga Bay is not only enjoyable but also respectful to the environment.

Embarking on an island-hopping tour in Phang Nga Bay with Relax Getaways means experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of Thailand's Andaman Sea in the best possible way. From the mesmerising limestone cliffs to the serene waters and hidden lagoons, every moment promises to be a highlight of your Thailand adventure.

Bonus things to do in Thailand (attend Thai special events):

Thailand is a country rich in culture and traditions, with a calendar brimming with festivals and special events that offer travellers unique experiences and insights into the local way of life. Attending these events is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Thai culture, and Relax Getaways is here to guide you through some of the most captivating and memorable special events you can participate in during your visit.

Songkran Festival

When: April 13–15

Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year festival, celebrated with a country-wide water fight. It's a time of renewal and purification, where water is used to wash away bad luck. The festival includes parades, traditional performances, and the splashing of water on friends, family, and passersby. It’s a fun and refreshing way to engage with Thai culture and welcome the new year.

Loy Krathong

When: November, on the full moon of the 12th Thai month

Loy Krathong is one of Thailand's most picturesque festivals, where people gather around lakes, rivers, and canals to release "krathongs" - small, decorated floats made from banana leaves, containing a candle, incense, and sometimes a small offering. The sight of thousands of these floats, carrying away misfortunes and honoring the water spirits, creates a magical atmosphere.

Yi Peng (Lantern Festival)

When: November, coinciding with Loy Krathong

Yi Peng, the lantern festival, is particularly celebrated in Chiang Mai. It involves releasing thousands of paper lanterns into the night sky, creating a breathtaking spectacle of floating lights. The event symbolises letting go of ills and misfortunes. It's accompanied by parades, fireworks, and cultural performances.

Thai Pongal

When: January

Thai Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by the Tamil community in Thailand, particularly in areas with significant populations of Indian origin. It involves cooking the first rice of the season and is a time for giving thanks for the bountiful harvest, marked by colorful rituals and traditional activities.

Vegetarian Festival

When: October

The Vegetarian Festival, or "Tet Trung Thu," is celebrated most famously in Phuket, though it has spread to other parts of Thailand. It features street processions, ceremonies, and, as the name suggests, a focus on vegetarian cuisine. Participants observe a vegetarian diet to cleanse the body and make merit.

Makha Bucha Day

When: February or March, on the full moon of the 3rd Thai lunar month

Makha Bucha Day is a Buddhist holiday that commemorates the Buddha's teaching to a gathering of 1,250 disciples. It's observed with visits to temples, making merit, and participating in candlelit processions. It's a day of reverence, reflection, and renewal.

Relax Getaways Special Event Tours: Relax Getaways offers specialised tours around these events, ensuring you have a memorable and authentic experience. Our tours are designed to provide not just access but also insight into the significance of these festivals and events. From securing the best spots for viewing the lantern releases at Yi Peng to participating in local Songkran festivities under the guidance of our experienced team, we ensure your experience is both enjoyable and respectful of local traditions.

Attending Thai special events is an enriching way to experience the country's vibrant culture and traditions firsthand. With Relax Getaways, you're not just a spectator; you're an active participant in the festivities, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Join us to celebrate the beauty, spirit, and communal joy of Thailand's most beloved festivals.

Thailand Visa Requirements

Navigating the visa requirements for Thailand is crucial for ensuring a smooth and hassle-free entry into the country. Thailand offers several visa options depending on the length and purpose of your stay, including visa exemptions for tourists from many countries, visa on arrival (VOA), and tourist visas obtained before arrival. Relax Getaways is here to provide you with a general overview of Thailand visa requirements, helping you prepare for your upcoming adventure.

  • Visa Exemptions: Many nationalities are exempt from visa requirements for short visits. If you're a tourist from a visa-exempt country, you can enter Thailand without a visa for a stay of up to 30 days when arriving by air and up to 15 days when arriving by land or sea, subject to change based on bilateral agreements. Always check the most current information as policies can change.

  • Visa on Arrival (VOA): Citizens of certain countries can obtain a Visa on Arrival at international airports and designated land border crossings. The VOA allows for a stay of up to 15 days and requires a completed application form, a photo, a return ticket within 15 days, and proof of funds. There is also a fee associated with the VOA, which is subject to change.

  • Tourist Visa: For longer stays, or if you're not eligible for visa exemption or VOA, you'll need to apply for a tourist visa at a Thai embassy or consulate before your trip. Tourist visas typically allow a stay of up to 60 days, which can be extended for another 30 days once in Thailand.

Requirements for Tourist Visa

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your entry into Thailand

  • Completed visa application form

  • Recent passport-sized photograph

  • Proof of onward travel within 60 days of arrival

  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay

  • Visa application fee

  • Special Tourist Visa (STV): In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand introduced the Special Tourist Visa (STV), which allows for longer stays. The STV is aimed at long-term tourists who can stay for up to 90 days, extendable twice, for a total of 270 days. The availability and requirements for the STV can vary, so it's important to check the latest updates from Thai immigration or a Thai embassy/consulate.

  • Health and Travel Insurance: Given the global health situation, Thailand has implemented additional entry requirements, including mandatory health and travel insurance for certain visitors. Ensure that your insurance covers COVID-19 treatment and meets the minimum coverage required by the Thai government.

  • Planning your trip with Relax Getaways: Navigating visa requirements and ensuring you have all the necessary documentation can be daunting. Relax Getaways offers assistance and advice to our clients to ensure that you're fully prepared for your trip to Thailand. From advising on the correct type of visa based on your travel plans to providing the latest information on health and entry requirements, we're here to help make your journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Always consult the official Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or contact a Thai embassy or consulate for the most current visa information and travel advisories. Planning and understanding the visa requirements is the first step towards a memorable and hassle-free Thai adventure with Relax Getaways.

Tips for Things to do in Thailand

Thailand offers an incredible array of experiences that cater to every interest, from the bustling streets of Bangkok to the serene beaches of the islands. To help you make the most of your visit, Relax Getaways has compiled a list of tips for exploring the Land of Smiles:

  • Embrace Local Transportation: Try the local modes of transport, such as tuk-tuks, songthaews, and long-tail boats, for a genuine Thai experience. Not only are they efficient and cost-effective, but they also offer a closer look at daily life in Thailand.

  • Indulge in Street Food: Thai street food is renowned worldwide for its flavours and variety. Don’t miss out on local dishes like Pad Thai, Som Tam (papaya salad), and mango sticky rice. Street food is a delicious and affordable way to experience Thai cuisine.

  • Respect the Culture: Thailand is a country with deep cultural traditions. Always show respect towards the monarchy, dress modestly when visiting temples, and be mindful of local customs to ensure a respectful and enriching experience.

  • Explore Beyond the Tourist Spots: While famous landmarks are a must-see, Thailand's true charm often lies off the beaten path. Venture into lesser-known areas, visit local markets, and engage with the community for a more authentic experience.

  • Learn a Few Thai Phrases: Knowing basic Thai phrases can greatly enhance your interaction with locals. Simple greetings like "Sawasdee" (hello) and "Khob Khun" (thank you) can go a long way in showing respect and appreciation for the local culture.

  • Stay Hydrated and Protect Yourself from the Sun: Thailand’s tropical climate means it can get quite hot and humid, especially during the day. Drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and don a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

  • Be Adventurous with Activities: Whether it’s snorkelling in the clear waters of the Andaman Sea, taking a Thai cooking class, or experiencing a traditional Thai massage, try to step out of your comfort zone and try new activities.

  • Keep Cash Handy: While credit cards are widely accepted in cities and tourist areas, cash is still king in many places, especially in smaller towns and for street vendors. Always have some Thai baht on hand for small purchases.

  • Pack Appropriately: Light, breathable clothing is ideal for Thailand’s climate. However, remember to pack a sturdy pair of shoes for trekking and appropriate attire for visiting temples (shoulders and knees should be covered).

  • Plan According to the Season: Thailand’s seasons vary from region to region. Plan your activities around the weather, keeping in mind that the cool season (November to February) is ideal for visiting most places, while the rainy season offers lush landscapes and fewer tourists.

  • Consider Eco-Friendly Practices: Be mindful of your environmental impact. Choose eco-friendly tours, avoid single-use plastics, and respect wildlife and natural habitats to help preserve Thailand’s beauty for future generations.

  • Stay Flexible: Sometimes, the best experiences come from unplanned adventures. Be open to changing your itinerary based on recommendations from locals or fellow travellers.

With these tips from Relax Getaways, you’re set to have a memorable and enjoyable trip to Thailand. Embrace the adventure, savour every moment, and immerse yourself in the rich culture and stunning landscapes of this beautiful country.

Travel Insurance for Things to do in Thailand

When planning a trip to Thailand, securing travel insurance is a crucial step that shouldn't be overlooked. The Land of Smiles offers a wealth of experiences, from adventurous activities like scuba diving and jungle trekking to more leisurely pursuits such as exploring ancient temples and indulging in street food. Given the variety of activities and the unexpected nature of travel, having comprehensive travel insurance ensures peace of mind throughout your journey. Relax Getaways highly recommends all travellers to Thailand consider the following aspects when choosing a travel insurance policy:

  • Medical Coverage: Ensure your policy includes substantial medical coverage. Medical treatment for foreigners can be expensive in Thailand, especially in cases of accidents or emergencies. Look for policies that offer direct payments to hospitals rather than reimbursement models.

  • Adventure Activities: If your trip includes adventure activities like scuba diving, rock climbing, or motor biking, check that your insurance covers these. Some policies require additional coverage for activities considered to be high risk.

  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Coverage for trip cancellations and interruptions can save you from financial losses if your trip is cancelled or cut short due to unforeseen circumstances like illness, natural disasters, or political unrest.

  • Personal Belongings and Baggage: Loss, theft, or damage to personal belongings and baggage is not uncommon. Choose a policy that provides adequate coverage for your valuables, including electronics, jewellery, and important travel documents.

  • 24/7 Assistance: Access to 24/7 assistance is invaluable in emergencies. This service can help you find local medical providers, assist in emergency evacuations, and offer guidance in case of lost passports or legal troubles.

  • Repatriation and Emergency Evacuation: Coverage for repatriation and emergency evacuation ensures that you can be transported to your home country or to a suitable medical facility if needed. This is particularly important for serious health issues or injuries.

  • Liability Coverage: Liability coverage protects you if you’re found to be responsible for causing injury to another person or damaging property. While it is not always top of mind, it can be crucial in certain situations.

  • Planning with Relax Getaways: As part of our commitment to ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience, Relax Getaways encourages all our clients to secure travel insurance that fits their trip profile. Our team can provide general advice on what to look for in a policy based on the activities you plan to undertake in Thailand. However, it's important to read the fine print and understand the limits and exclusions of your chosen policy.

Travel insurance is not just a safety net; it's an essential part of travel planning that allows you to explore Thailand's wonders with confidence and tranquility. Whether you're marvelling at the grandeur of the Grand Palace, trekking through the lush jungles of Chiang Mai, or diving into the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea, knowing you're covered means you can fully immerse yourself in the adventure.

Best Time for Things to do in Thailand

Thailand's diverse landscapes and attractions make it a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on various factors, including weather, tourist crowds, and specific events or activities you're interested in. Here's a guide from Relax Getaways to help you decide the best time for your adventure in the Land of Smiles.

November to February: Cool and Dry Season

  • Weather: This is the cool season in Thailand, offering pleasant weather with minimal rain and temperatures ranging from 18°C to 32°C (64°F to 90°F). It's the ideal time for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and exploring the cities and ruins.

  • Activities: Enjoy the bustling streets of Bangkok, visit ancient temples in Ayutthaya, or partake in outdoor adventures in Chiang Mai. It's also the perfect time for island hopping in the Andaman Sea or the Gulf of Thailand.

  • Events: Don't miss the Loi Krathong Festival in November, where thousands of lanterns light up the night sky, and the Chiang Mai Flower Festival in February.

March to May: Hot Season

  • Weather: The hot season sees temperatures soaring above 30°C (86°F), often reaching up to 40°C (104°F) in April. The humidity is also higher, making it feel even hotter.

  • Activities: This is a great time to explore Thailand's stunning beaches and islands, where you can cool off in the sea. Water parks and indoor attractions like shopping malls and museums offer respite from the heat.

  • Events: Experience the Thai New Year (Songkran) in mid-April, a nationwide water festival that provides a fun and refreshing break from the heat.

June to October: Rainy Season

  • Weather: The rainy season brings frequent but usually short-lived showers, with September being the wettest month. Despite the rain, temperatures remain warm, typically around 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F).

  • Activities: The lush landscapes of Northern Thailand are at their most vibrant, making it a great time for photography and eco-tourism. Plus, the rain brings fewer tourists, offering a more laid-back experience at popular spots.

  • Events: The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket (October) is a unique experience, with colourful processions and a focus on vegetarian cuisine.

Year-Round Activities

  • Cultural Experiences: Temples, culinary tours, and cultural sites like the Grand Palace in Bangkok can be enjoyed year-round.

  • Island Life: Thailand's islands are beautiful throughout the year, with each season offering a different experience. The Gulf of Thailand islands (like Koh Samui) are best visited during the rainy season, as they receive less rainfall than the Andaman Sea islands.

Tips from Relax Getaways

  • Plan Around Events: If you're interested in specific festivals or events, plan your trip to coincide with these for a unique cultural experience.

  • Regional Variations: Thailand's weather can vary significantly from region to region. Northern Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand have different weather patterns compared to Bangkok and the Andaman Sea coast.

  • Book in Advance: The cool season is the peak tourist period, so book your flights, accommodations, and experiences well in advance to secure the best spots and deals.

Understanding the seasonal variations and planning accordingly will enhance your travel experience, allowing you to enjoy the best of Thailand's natural beauty, culture, and festivities. Relax Getaways is here to help you plan your perfect Thai adventure, ensuring you visit at the best time for the experiences you cherish most.

Thailand is a vibrant mosaic of experiences, offering everything from the spiritual serenity of its temples to the exhilarating adventure of its islands and beaches. Whether you're tantalized by the flavors of Thai cuisine, thrilled by the beauty of Phang Nga Bay, or enchanted by the cultural depth of its festivals, Thailand has something to offer for every traveler. Relax Getaways is dedicated to ensuring your Thai journey is filled with unforgettable moments, tailored to your interests and desires. With a climate that accommodates year-round exploration and activities designed to immerse you in the heart of Thai culture, your trip will be more than just a vacation—it'll be a deep dive into a rich, vibrant world. Let us guide you through the Land of Smiles, where every experience is an opportunity for discovery and connection. Thailand isn't just a destination; it's an experience waiting to unfold.

FAQs for Things to do in Thailand

Q. What are the must-visit places in Thailand?

A. Must-visit places in Thailand include the bustling city of Bangkok, the ancient city of Ayutthaya, the cultural hub of Chiang Mai, the beautiful beaches of Phuket and Krabi, and the idyllic islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi.

Q. Is Thailand good for adventure seekers?

A. Absolutely! Thailand offers a plethora of adventure activities, including scuba diving in the Similan Islands, rock climbing in Krabi, jungle trekking in Chiang Mai, and zip-lining through the rainforests.

Q. What Thai food should I try?

A. Do not miss trying Pad Thai, Som Tam (papaya salad), Tom Yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup), Massaman Curry, and Mango Sticky Rice, among other delights.

Q. How can I experience authentic Thai culture?

A. Experiencing authentic Thai culture can be done through temple visits, attending traditional festivals like Songkran and Loy Krathong, participating in a Thai cooking class, and exploring local markets.

Q. Are there any tips for first-time visitors to Thailand?

A. Yes, dress respectfully when visiting temples, always carry cash as not everywhere accepts cards, be cautious when enjoying street food, respect local customs and traditions, and be prepared for the heat with sunscreen and plenty of water.

Q. What is the best way to get around in Thailand?

The best way to get around depends on the region; however, options include BTS and MRT in Bangkok, tuk-tuks and taxis for short distances, buses and trains for longer journeys, and internal flights to connect different parts of the country efficiently.

Q. Can I visit Thailand's islands year-round?

A. Yes, but the best time to visit depends on the island. The Andaman Sea islands are best from November to April, while the Gulf of Thailand islands are ideal from May to October.

Q. What should I know about visiting Thai temples?

A. When visiting Thai temples, dress modestly (cover shoulders and knees), remove shoes before entering temple buildings, and avoid pointing your feet at Buddha images or monks.

Q. Is Thailand suitable for family travel?

A. Thailand is very family-friendly, offering attractions like elephant sanctuaries, cultural shows, water parks, and beaches that are perfect for travelers of all ages.

Q. What are the visa requirements for Thailand?

A. Visa requirements vary by nationality. Many countries benefit from visa exemption for stays up to 30 days, while others might need to apply for a visa on arrival or obtain one in advance from a Thai embassy or consulate. Always check the latest visa information before traveling.

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Jyoti Karki

Jyoti Karki

Jyoti Karki is an expert travel blogger. She has been writing blogs for a long time. Along with writing about diverse locations. She personally travels to many different places, went hiking and trekking in Nepal, and has also visited several areas of India and enjoys writing on her blogs about them.