You’ve heard amazing stories about Thailand, and now you want to go, but you don’t know where to start? From booking flights to choosing where to go, where to stay, and what to do, there’s so much to plan. Sure, you can just book a premade trip with a big company like LoveHolidays, but where’s the fun in that? Let me help you plan your dream trip

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where to go in Thailand

Travel Documents:

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. Also, check if you need a visa for your nationality and the duration of your stay.

Best time to visit: 

The best time to visit Thailand is during the cool and dry season, which typically spans from November to February. During this time, the weather is pleasant with lower humidity levels, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Book your flight 

Thailand is quite distant for many travellers, unless you’re journeying from places like Vietnam or Cambodia, where the travel time might be shorter. However, for most travellers, it entails at least a couple of hours of flight. Fortunately, Thailand is well-prepared for the influx of tourists each year, boasting airports and excellent connectivity. You’ll likely touch down in major hubs like Bangkok and Phuket, from where you can embark on further travels. For the best flight deals, consider checking out Kiwi, Expedia ( UK ) or Omio 


Even if you’re not gearing up for bike rentals or mountain hikes, unexpected mishaps like a surprise monkey bite or an unplanned stumble into a hidden hole can throw a wrench in your travels. It pays to be prepared, so do yourself a favour and secure travel insurance. Explore some great deals on insurance packages through Visitor Coverage. Your peace of mind is worth it!


Even though it’s not a must to get vaccinated before heading to Thailand, it’s wise to consider it for extra protection. Hepatitis A, Typhoid, or Tetanus vaccines could be your safety net against unexpected health risks. So, why not play it safe? Check with your doctor and ensure you’re all set for an incredible adventure in Thailand!

Stay Connected – Sim Card 

When it comes to staying connected in Thailand, relying on your home country’s data can lead to hefty charges. The good news is, Thailand offers affordable SIM cards, readily available at the airport or local convenience stores like 7-Eleven. However, for a hassle-free and instant solution, consider getting an e-SIM from Airlo before your trip. It’s my personal favourite method as it saves time and allows you to use data right upon landing.

Before you read the next part here a few useful links: 

Book a tour or tickets on GetYourGuide , Klook ,  Viator, Trip Advisor

Book your hotel at , Expedia or Hooper 

Rent a car or motorcycle at or BikesBooking

Book an airport taxi at Kiwi Taxi, Get Transfer or HolidayTaxi 

Book transport like Bus or Boat at 12Go Asia , Omio, Kiwi or BusBud 

Book an airport lounge pass at Priority Pass UK, Priority Pass USA 

Book a place to store your luggage at Radical Storage

Where to go

This guide is for those who are travelling to Thailand with a suitcase and limited time. There’s so much to see in Thailand, so if you have a backpack and a motorbike, feel free to read it, but I know it won’t be satisfying for you.

Thailand is divided into six geographical regions; however, I am going to divide it into three: North, Central/Central East , and South

North Thailand – mainland

Chiang Mai is an absolute must-visit for anyone who’s looking for authentic cultural experience. From beautiful temples to the vibrant markets, every corner of this city is bursting with charm and history. Plus, with its lush greenery and endless opportunities for adventure, Chiang Mai promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Thailand’s beauty and traditions

How to get to Chiang Mai 

You can travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by air ( 1h flight ) , train, bus, or car ( it takes about 10h ) 

What to do in Chiang Mai: 

Where to stay in Chiang Mai:

Chiang Rai: Home to the iconic White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and the serene Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten), Chiang Rai is a gem of northern Thailand. Don’t miss the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet.

How to get to Chiang Rai : 

You can fly to Chiang Rai directly from Bangkok ( 1h flight ) or you can take a 12h bus. You can also travel there from Chiang Mai ( 3:45h in a bus ) 

What to do in Chiang Rai: 

Where to stay in Chiang Rai : 

Chiang Dao is a haven for nature lovers. Hike up Doi Chiang Dao for breathtaking views and explore the mystical Chiang Dao Cave. With its peaceful vibe and charming hill tribe villages, Chiang Dao is a must-visit for anyone craving a serene escape into nature’s embrace.

How to get to Chiang Dao: 

You can fly to Chiang Mai and either take a taxi, bus or rent a car and drive. It’s only 2h away from Chiang Mai 

What to do in Chiang Dao:

Where to stay in Chiang Dao 

Pai: Nestled in a picturesque valley, Pai is a laid-back town renowned for its natural beauty, hot springs, and relaxed atmosphere. Explore waterfalls, visit the Pai Canyon, and soak in the bohemian vibe.

How to get to Pai: 

To get to Pai from Bangkok, you can take a bus or fly to Chiang Mai first, then catch a bus or drive to Pai. From Chiang Mai, buses depart regularly from the Arcade Bus Terminal or you can rent a car or motorbike for a scenic drive to Pai, approximately 3-4 hours away.

What to do in Pai: 

Where to stay in Pai 

Central and East Thailand – mainland plus islands 

Bangkok: The bustling capital city is a must-visit, known for its grand palaces, vibrant street markets, and vibrant nightlife. 

Read full review here

Pattaya is a lively coastal city known for its vibrant nightlife, bustling beaches, and diverse entertainment options. It might not have the best beaches in Thailand but if your time is limited you can visit this place. 

How to get to Pattaya: 

You can hire a private driver or take a bus. It’s about 2h drive from Bangkok 

What to do in Pattaya:  

Where to stay in Pattaya 

Hua Hin –  a well-known beach destination that attracts both locals and expatriates seeking a getaway. With its commercial development, the town offers a range of amenities and attractions, making it a favoured spot for those looking to enjoy the sun, sea, and relaxation away from the bustling capital city.

How to get to Hua Hin

You can get there by taxi, train or car. It’s about 3h from Bangkok 

What to do in Hua Hin:

Where to stay in Hua Hin:

Koh Samet, conveniently located within easy reach of Bangkok, is the perfect destination for travellers looking to experience island life without straying too far from the city. Koh Samet is part of a national park that protects local plants and animals. On the island, you will find beautiful beaches, dense forests, and restaurants serving delicious food.

How to get to Koh Samet:

You can take a 3-hour bus ride from Bangkok to Ban Phe port and then catch a ferry from there.

What to do in Koh Samet:

  • Relax on the Beaches
  • Explore the nearby islands on a boat tour.
  • Visit Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park
  • Enjoy Water Activities

Where to stay in Koh Samet:

Koh Chang is a beautiful island, covered in lush forests and surrounded by clear turquoise waters. You’ll find plenty of hotels and resorts with bungalows to stay in, and the island is great for snorkelling and diving with lots of colourful fish and reefs to explore.

How to get to Koh Chang

You can take a bus or minivan to Trat, then catch a ferry to the island, with the journey taking approximately 4-5 hours in total.

What to do in Koh Chang

Where to stay in Koh Chang

Koh Kood –  a peaceful island in Thailand’s east, perfect for relaxation and enjoying nature. With its green forests, beautiful beaches, and clear blue waters, it’s like a hidden paradise. You can explore quiet spots, swim in waterfalls, or just relax on the soft sand. Koh Kood is a special place where you can escape from busy life and enjoy the beauty of nature.

How to get to Koh Kood 

You can take a taxi, bus or minivan to Trat, followed by a ferry ride to the island, with the entire journey typically lasting around 5-6 hours.

What to do in Koh Kood 

Where to stay in Koh Kood 

South – islands

Phuket is an ideal place for those who like entertainment, good fun and energetic beaches. It’s also renowned as one of the top destinations for learning Thai boxing. In Phuket, you’ll find something exciting to do around every corner, making it a favourite destination for travellers seeking both adventure and relaxation.

How to get to Phuket 

Phuket has a large international airport where you can arrive from overseas, or alternatively, you can opt for a 1-hour flight from Bangkok. However, if you choose the more affordable option of taking a bus, the journey can last 15 hours

What to do in Phuket 

Where to stay in Phuket 

Phi Phi Islands – a paradise for beach lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking to unwind in a tropical oasis. The island is also home to lush jungles, towering limestone cliffs, and hidden caves waiting to be explored. Hiking trails wind their way through the island’s interior, offering panoramic views of the surrounding sea and islands.

How to get to Phi Phi Islands

To reach Phi Phi Islands, you can take a ferry from Phuket or Krabi, with the journey typically lasting around 1.5 to 2 hours.

What to do in Phi Phi Islands 

Where to stay in Phi Phi Islands

Krabi – known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs. From the iconic Railay Beach and bustling Ao Nang Beach to the tranquil shores of Noppharat Thara Beach, Krabi boasts a plethora of picturesque beaches with soft white sands and breathtaking landscapes.

How to get to Krabi 

To get to Krabi, you can either fly directly into Krabi International Airport from various domestic and international destinations, or you can take a bus or minivan from Bangkok, which takes approximately 9-12 hours.

What to do in Krabi 

Where to stay in Krabi

Koh Lanta – known for its exceptional diving conditions and expansive stretches of pristine white beaches. With a more tranquil and less commercial atmosphere, it offers a peaceful escape for those seeking serenity amidst nature’s beauty.

How to get to Koh Lanta 

The best way to get to Koh Lanta, you can take a ferry from Krabi or Phuket, with the journey typically lasting around 1.5 to 2 hours from Krabi and about 2 to 2.5 hours from Phuket.

What to do in Koh Lanta

Where to stay in Koh Lanta 

Koh Samui  – the second-largest island in Thailand, stands as one of the country’s most beloved destinations. Boasting a well-developed network of hotels ranging from family-friendly resorts to romantic cottages and boutique accommodations, caters to every traveller’s taste. Renowned for its luxurious resorts, pristine white beaches, and crystalline waters, it’s the epitome of tropical paradise.

How to get to Koh Samui 

To reach Koh Samui, you can fly directly into Samui Airport from various domestic and international destinations, or you can take a ferry from Surat Thani, which takes approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours and from there you can catch a bus or taxi 

What to do in Koh Samui 

Where to stay in Koh Samui 

Koh Phangan is Thailand’s main party island, famous for hosting some of the world’s most renowned full moon events. Beyond its vibrant nightlife scene, the island boasts pristine beaches, photogenic rock formations, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking viewpoints. Additionally, Koh Phangan is home to many acclaimed yoga centres and holiday camps, making it a haven for wellness enthusiasts seeking relaxation and rejuvenation amidst its natural beauty.

How to get to Koh Phangan 

You can take a ferry from Surat Thani ( 2:30h ) or Koh Samui ( 30 min ) 

What to do in Koh Phangan

  • Experience the legendary Full Moon Party
  • Visit Than Sadet Waterfall:
  • Immerse yourself in Yoga and Wellness Retreats

Where to stay in Koh Phangan 

Koh Tao, known as a mecca for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts, beckons with its abundant marine life and vibrant coral reefs. The waters surrounding the island teem with a kaleidoscope of underwater wonders, offering unparalleled opportunities for exploration and underwater adventures.

How to get to Koh Tao 

The only way to get to Koh Tao is by ferry from Surat Thani, Koh Samui, or Koh Phangan. 

What to do in Koh Tao 

Where to stay in Koh Tao 

Koh Lipe – hailed as one of the world’s most stunning islands, charms visitors with its breathtaking beauty and intimate atmosphere. Small enough to explore on foot or by bike, this paradise offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Its flour-white sands, kissed by all shades of turquoise waters, create a mesmerising spectacle that lures travellers seeking serenity and natural splendour. 

How to get to Koh Lipe 

To get to Koh Lipe, you can take a ferry from Pak Bara, Trang, or Langkawi (Malaysia), which usually takes about 1.5 to 3 hours. There are also speed boat services from nearby islands like Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, which take around 1 to 2 hours.

What to do in Koh Lipe 

Where to stay in Koh Lipe 

Still unsure which island to choose? Maybe that will help 

The best for party : Koh Phangan, Bangkok, Phuket,  Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phi Phi 

The best for family vacations :, Krabi, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Koh Lipe, Koh Chang

The best for honeymoon: Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Samet, Koh Lipe, Koh Chang

The best for snorkelling: Koh Tao, Koh Lipe, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Chang

The best for sightseeing: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai

The best for Adventure:  Chiang Mai, Pai, and Chiang Dao

Hope you enjoyed my guide and it helped you to choose your favourite place to visit in Thailand! Let me know in the comments where you decided to go! 

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