Located in southern Thailand, this semi-off the map island is one of my favorite places in the world. Here on Ko Lipe , the super friendly locals bring in the daily catch for amazing seafood. The beaches are beautiful, the water warm, and the island cheap. I came for three days and then lived here for a month. Thailand is full of markets. Perhaps the most whimsical of these are the floating markets, which can be found throughout the country.
This is also where you will find the Bridge on the River Kwai, built using POW labor and the subject of a both a film and a book. Around the Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai areas, there are lots of great routes.
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Many people rent bikes and tour the scenery. You can take a day trip, or you can take a couple of days — whatever suits your schedule.
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Pai has grown as a tourist destination in more recent years, but it is still a great place to escape some of the craziness of your larger cities. It is a true backpackers town, located in Northern Thailand. It is nestled in rolling green mountains and surrounded by waterfalls and incredible hiking trails. Be sure to take a day trip to the Tham Lot Caves, where you can take a stop off to swim in waterfalls and hot springs on your way there. Stay on the outskirts town in a lovely little bungalow, rent a bike, traverse the hills, and bathe in the cool waterfalls.
This island is the biggest destination for tourism in Thailand. Phuket draws a lot of tourists, and if you really want to enjoy the area, get out of the main spots. Be sure to visit our specific destination travel guides for more detailed information about what to see and do in each place:. Accommodation — Thailand is very cheap, though the north is far cheaper than Bangkok and the southern islands. Basic bungalows cost the same. Dorm rooms, which are increasingly widespread throughout the country, range from THB per night.
Airbnb is also growing in Thailand and a good amount of cities have a nice selection.
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Food — Food is really cheap in Thailand. Street food costs as little as 20 THB 0. Most western dishes burgers, pizza, pasta, etc cost between THB USD , though they can be higher in the fancier western establishments. Visit each city guide for specific food recommendations in each place! Knowing that their target customers are primarily tourists, Western food venues can be pricey compared to Thai food.
Also, some of the ingredients need to be imported, which contributes to the higher costs. Keep in mind, you have more bargaining power if you go with a group. Most parks and national museums cost between THB 1. Always book your tours and activities when you arrive. Booking tours online is always more expensive. This range will get you your own room fan only with a shared bathroom or a dorm room on the lower end , food from the street stalls, a couple of drinks per day, a few tours here and there, and local transportation.
On a budget of around 1, THB 50 USD per day, you would be able to fly between some destinations, eat more delicious seafood dinners and international meals, take more tours and activities you wanted, sleep in air-conditioned rooms, and drink more. After that, the sky is the limit. Luxury transit and attraction options might include car rentals and private tours, while mid-range might include a scooter rental and organized tours. Thailand is an inexpensive country and it is hard to overspend.
However, there are a few things that will blow your budget such as alcohol, tours, and trips to the islands. Looking for accommodation in Thailand?
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Here are some of my favorite places to stay in Thailand. For more suggestions, check out the specific city guides we have. Like everything in Thailand, transportation is also cheap. Local buses cost as little as 8 THB 0. Tuk-tuks are un-metered and generally more expensive, costing THB Motorbike taxis in orange vests are available all over the country with short trips costing about 35 THB 1.
Trains in Thailand tend to be a slow but scenic option to get around. Taking the train is a genuine Thai experience, making the journey as much a part of your trip as the destination.
While they may not be as quick, the trains are relatively comfortable and cheap, and safer than traveling by road. There is a new Bangkok—Vientiane train that will get you to Laos with ease.
Taking the train is also a convenient way to travel between Bangkok, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. Train service around the country is cheap — day trains cost as little as 50 THB 1. Coach buses are a great way to get around the country. When it comes to tuk-tuks, be sure to agree on a price before you take off. I generally try to avoid tuk-tuks, but for very short distances they can be fun. Taxis that put the meter on will almost always be cheaper in the end. Flights around the country generally cost between THB USD one way when you book at least two months in advance.
Flights to the islands tend to be higher in price than flying between large cities like Bangkok and Thailand. Buses in Thailand are incredibly cheap. The fare for city buses start at around 7 THB 0. If you plan on being in the north during this time, temperatures can drop quickly in the evenings. Bring warm clothing!
Temperatures can be unbearable for those who are not use to them. Monsoon hits the northern area at the end of May. The low season is the rainy season, from July to October. Rainfall can be dramatic — ranging from light showers to major flooding. June and August have the heaviest rains, but things wind down during October. You might still get some afternoon showers, but October is also generally a good time to visit. Violent attacks are uncommon. Petty theft including bag snatching is the most common type of crime here.
There are some common scams around like unmetered taxis but for the most part, this is a safe place to travel. The people who do tend to be involved with drinking or drugs or sex tourism. For tips on specific scams, read this article on the 14 major travel scams to avoid. Remember to always trust your gut instinct. If a taxi driver seems shady, stop the cab and get out. If your hotel is seedier than you thought, get out of there. You have every right to remove yourself from the situation. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance.
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I use World Nomads when I travel.