For many people, Thailand is the first country they visit in Southeast Asia and it was also the very first country we traveled to in Southeast Asia. Thailand is becoming more and more popular as a vacation spot and is gradually losing its reputation as a cheap backpacker’s paradise.

Thailand – Popular Vacation Spot in Southeast Asia

Thailand is incredibly diverse and offers countless amazing islands and splendid beaches for every taste and budget. You can still go on a relatively cheap vacation in Thailand, but now it’s also possible to experience an unforgettable luxury vacation there. The number of beautiful, high-class resorts is growing, but simple bamboo huts right on the beach can still be found, as well.

We are big beach and island fans ourselves and love to discover new amazing beaches. The first time we experienced Thailand’s incredible islands was in 2012 on Koh Samui and we were very impressed. Since then we have visited many more wonderful islands and there are still some on our bucket list.

But we are not only fascinated by Thailand’s beautiful islands, but also by the country’s impressive culture and the countless Buddhist temples. No matter where we travel in Thailand, we almost always visit one of the mesmerizing temples. You too should let yourself be enraptured by the culture of Thailand.

When it comes to beautiful nature, Thailand can offer you even more. The north of Thailand has a completely different climate than the tropical south and so there are beautiful mountain views to discover. Even though our home base is in the south of Thailand, we always love to travel to north to Chiang Mai and other beautiful places in the north.

Short and Sweet: 5 Facts about Thailand

  • Capital: Bangkok
  • Population: approx. 69.4 million
  • Religion: Buddhism (94%), Islam (5%), Christianity (0,6%) and Hinduism (0,1%)
  • Currency: Thai Baht (100 Satang = 1 Baht)
  • Main airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok (BKK), Don Mueang Airport Bangkok (DMK), Chiang Mai (CNX), Phuket (HKT), Krabi (KBV)

Thailand Map

Thailand map with islands and vacation areas (outline/silhouette)

Thailand FAQ

Many travelers ask themselves, when is the best time to travel to Thailand? Basically, you can travel to Thailand at any time of the year and the best time to travel to Thailand depends on where you want to go.

The ideal time to go on a beach vacation to the southern west coast (Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak etc.) is roughly from November to April. During this time it rains the least and the weather is quite pleasant. At the same time, December to March is the peak tourist season and the busiest. Heavy monsoon showers can fall in the months from May to October and these months are considered the low season in this area of Thailand. However, if you can handle daily rain showers, this time is especially well suited if you like things to be a little quieter. The hotels are cheaper and the beaches are emptier. And sunny days can also be found occasionally.

On the other hand, you can travel to the Gulf of Thailand almost all year round. Only the months of December and January could be very rainy (with bad luck it can rain here even several days at a time). However, this does not have to be the case and we think that you can still have a good vacation on Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao even in December. You should be prepared for colder temperatures compared to the rest of the year (average around 26°C), but at the same time more frequent gray skies or rain. In between, however, there are often sunny days with a risk of getting sunburned. A good time to travel are the summer months from about July to September and if you want it especially hot and sunny, from March to June.

While Bangkok can be visited all year round, there are sometimes weeks and months that are a bit rainier. That’s the case from June to September. Even in these months it is well possible to visit Bangkok. Only with very bad luck everything is flooded. Mostly it is over after a short, heavy shower…

The North of Thailand with Chiang Mai is ideal to visit from November to February. During this time it is very dry and not too hot. Especially in the evening and at night you can notice the relatively mild temperatures around 20°C, which is a nice change.

Further and more detailed information about the best time to travel in Thailand can be found here in our article (coming soon in English).

If you don’t want to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, you don’t need a visa. You will receive a stamp upon entry that is valid for 30 days (applies to most countries). This is often mistakenly called a visa on arrival, but it is not a visa. A one-time extension for another 30 days, if you spontaneously decide to stay longer in Thailand, is possible to get at any immigration office in Thailand.

If you plan to stay in Thailand for a longer period of time, you need a so-called tourist visa. This is available in two variants and for most people the so-called single entry tourist visa is a good option. It is valid for 60 days and can be used for one entry. You can apply for it before your vacation at the Thai consulate of your country. For even longer stays or multiple entries we recommend the multiple entry tourist visa, which is valid for 6 months and allows you multiple entries of a maximum of 60 days. It is ideal if you are planning a round trip through Southeast Asia and want/need to enter Thailand several times.

The duration of a trip to Thailand depends entirely on what ideas and plans you have. Do you want to spend a relaxing vacation in the tropics, maybe with a little city trip? (e.g. Bangkok or Chiang Mai) combined? Then you can plan for a trip of 2-3 weeks. This should give you plenty of time to experience some of the country’s culture and relax at one of Thailand’s gorgeous beaches.

If you want to travel Thailand more intensively and explore more than the typical vacation resorts, you should plan to go for 4 weeks (or more). The Land of Smiles is so diverse that you will not get bored, even if you spend 4 weeks there. From historic temple ruins to the mountains of Thailand in the north to the beautiful beaches in the south, there is a lot to explore.

Here you’ll find a suggestion of how to explore Thailand in 4 weeks, to get an idea of what there is to see and do.

Where you should travel in Thailand is, of course, highly dependent on what your preferences are. The good news is: Thailand is incredible diverse and whether you love beaches, culture or food. Thailand has plenty to offer.

In any case, you should definitely visit the capital, Bangkok. 3 Days are enough to get to know the most important sights of Bangkok. Most international flights land in Bangkok, so you’re already there anyway and can explore the city before continuing on. The flair of Bangkok is incomparable to any other city in the world and you’ll definitely experience a big city adventure.

Where you go after that is up to you and of course depends on the duration of your trip. We would recommend in any case, before going to the beautiful islands in the south, a stay in the north, in Chiang Mai.

After that it’s time for a vacation at the beach! Thailand offers an incredible number of gorgeous islands and most of them are located in the south. There are both very touristic areas like Phuket or Koh Samui and relatively unknown gems (e.g. Koh Phayam or the Trang Islands), where you can still experience a quiet vacation at the beach. For more information about the different places, just have a look at our Thailand category in the menu above. There you will find a lot of inspiration.

Tip: If you want to visit a part of the “real Thailand” far away from mass tourism and you have enough time left, we can recommend Isan. Isaan is in the northeast of Thailand and borders Laos. The culture is very strongly connected with Laos and offers many highlights. Even if there are no beaches and islands there, a trip is still worthwhile.

The question of the most beautiful islands in Thailand is certainly a matter of taste, because each visitor has other expectations. Some like peace and seclusion, others a distinct nightlife and various activities, again some vacationers just want a turquoise gorgeous sea and a white sandy beach to be satisfied.

We would like to focus on the beauty of nature and therefore the following islands are out top islands in Thailand. First, of course, we would like to mention Koh Phangan. The island in the southern Gulf of Thailand has been our home base for years. Many visitors, unfortunately, visit only during the Full Moon Party, but during the rest of the year, you can discover the beautiful side of the island: secluded beaches, white sand, turquoise sea, mountains for hiking, and green jungle. From outdoor activities to wonderful tranquility, the island offers everything.

For us, the islands in Trang, in the southern Andaman Sea like Koh Mook or Koh Kradan belong to the most beautiful islands in Thailand, as well. There is absolutely no mass tourism but fantastic beaches, snorkeling opportunities, a cave that you can only reach if you swim through a kind of tunnel, and above all there is a lot of seclusion and opportunities for relaxation. Just the right choice for those seeking peace and tranquility.

Koh Lipe is an equally gorgeous island, but one that often sees too many tourists in high season. Therefore, we recommend a visit in off-season to enjoy the beauty of the Maldives of Thailand, as Koh Lipe is sometimes called. The island is especially known for its marine life, be it snorkeling or scuba diving. But you can also visit secluded islands in the area.

Of course we could name many more islands of Thailand like Koh Tao, Koh Yao Yai, Koh Kood, Koh Chang and many more. In the end, however, you have to find out for yourself which is really the most beautiful island in Thailand. Another small hint that we would like to share with you about the most beautiful islands, is our article on 10 Islands Not to Miss in Thailand. Here you will find many more impressions and suggestions.

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