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The Ultimate Guide To Thailand

Deep dive into Thailand as we uncover the country’s best beaches, cities and hidden gems with expert recommendations on what to do and where to stay. You may want to bookmark this one!

10 min
The Ultimate Guide To Thailand
Author: Jemima Forbes

Thailand is among the most diverse and exciting countries in Asia. Lush jungles and rugged mountain ranges open up to miles of breathtaking coastline, while the cities are packed with historic and cultural allures. You could return to Thailand many times over and still experience something new and exciting on every trip. Never had the pleasure of visiting the country earlier? Make 2022 the year you uncover this South East Asian nation’s numerous riches. 

Book Thailand travel in 2022 and count on us to create the perfect itinerary for you. Bustling markets, terrific Thai cooking classes and sensational spas are just some of the amazing activities that you can engage in. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, an adventure seeker or simply craving some R&R, we guarantee you’ll fall in love with this glorious country!

With so many incredible things to do in Thailand, you might be at a loss as to where to go first. Pristine beaches, verdant nature parks or culture-packed cities? The options are truly endless! To help you decide, we’ve revealed our top destinations in Thailand for every vacation type.

Best for: Beaches and Relaxation  

If your idea of the perfect vacation is to hop off the plane and head straight to the beach, you’re in luck! Thailand is blessed with miles of idyllic coastline where you can laze around on butter-soft sand while staying in a picture-perfect villa.

The Ultimate Guide To Thailand

Island escapes

If a dreamy island getaway is on your mind,  Phuket and Koh Samui are great options. The former is Thailand’s largest island and a popular pick for families and groups of friends seeking an escape from the daily grind. 

Stay in a luxury hotel located steps away from the azure Andaman Sea or choose to tuck yourself away in the jungle on a serene spa break. Phuket is well connected to numerous vibrant towns where you can shop to your heart’s content at open-air markets and tuck into delicious Thai food.

Koh Samui sits in the Gulf Of Thailand and is a lovely pick for more laidback getaways. It is blessed with plenty of private coves where you can swim and soak up some sunshine. For the ultimate level of comfort, base yourself at a spa hotel such as Melati Beach Resort or Bandara Resort and Spa.

Can’t decide between these two tranquil destinations? Discover the best of both on our Tropical Island Paradise tour. It gives you an excellent introduction to Thailand’s most enchanting coastal destinations, as well as offering a mix of exhilarating activities.

Captivating coastlines

On the country’s south coast, Krabi is close to picturesque towns with direct access to extraordinary marine parks. It’s a particularly good location for more adventurous visitors. Fill your itinerary with a range of fun activities from water sports to rock climbing trips up craggy limestone cliffs.

Elsewhere, Khao Lak gives you the best of both worlds with its soft sand beaches and wonderful wildlife parks. The seaside town sits just north of Phuket and right next door to the Khao Lak-Lam  Ru National Park where you can hike to secret waterfalls or even canoe down rumbling rapids. Stay a stone’s throw away from the park in blissful beach resorts such as Merlin Khao Lak or the effortlessly romantic Sarojin.

Best for: Offbeat Travel

Those seeking utter seclusion will likely want to steer clear of Thailand’s busier beach resorts and captivating yet crowded cities. Luckily, our itineraries like Thailand Off the Beaten Path provide you with a superb mix of hidden gems to explore.

The Ultimate Guide To Thailand

Cultural treasures

Combine culture with exciting animal interactions in Kui Buri. Elephant lovers are sure to enjoy being here as it is regarded as one of the top places in Thailand to spot wild elephants! What’s more, it’s home to the Kui Buri National Park where you can come face to face with diverse wildlife on a guided safari. You could also join a half-day excursion to a nearby village. Learn about the history, culture and daily lives of people who live close to the national park.  

The Ultimate Guide To Thailand
The Ultimate Guide To Thailand

Hidden histories

Thailand certainly has no shortage of brilliant beach resorts. This includes Hua Hin, a tranquil town tucked away on the Malay Peninsula. Its five-mile-long, golden-sand beach is just one of many reasons why this town ought to be on your radar. 

Hua Hin is one of the nation’s oldest seaside towns and has been a favorite vacation spot for the Thai Royal family since the 1920s. It still retains much of its traditional charm and even has a few handsome heritage sites to uncover, including the grand Klai Kangwon Palace. Hua Hin is additionally known for manicured golf courses, pretty park spaces and its excellent array of seafood restaurants. 

When it comes to accommodation, the divine Devasom Beach Resort is easily one of our top places to stay in Hua Hin. The hotel combines a prime beachside location with Siamese-inspired architecture and sumptuous Thai food at its ocean-view restaurant.

Tranquil temples

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai? Why not escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day of your vacation by journeying to nearby Lampang? Time seems to stand still at this tranquil town, and it’s perfect if you want to slow down. 

You can’t visit Lampang without discovering its magical mountain top temple. Wat Chalermprakiat sits just above the town and it’s one of the most striking Buddhist temples in Thailand. It’s also one of its newest, with the majority of its buildings only constructed in the early 2000s.

After touring Wat Chalermprakiat’s enchanting pagodas in the sky, head back into the town to dine at one of Lampang’s noodle houses. The specialty in this corner of Northern Thailand is khao soi, a dish featuring crunchy noodles, meat or vegetables cooked in a delectable curried broth. 

Best for: Food and Culture

From curries flavored with creamy coconut to delicious dishes packed with fragrant spices, your taste buds are in for a real treat in Thailand. The country’s cuisine is world-renowned, with every region boasting its own distinct dishes. 

Bangkok and Chiang Mai are both brilliant locations for sampling Thai food. You might also want to consider attending a Thai cookery class. Many of our most popular tours, including our Jewels of Thailand itinerary, mix sightseeing with tantalizing culinary activities that are bound to satiate your hunger and make you fall in love with Thai cuisine.

Bangkok Attractions: A Spiritual and Culinary Adventure Awaits


Buzzing Bangkok is an obvious choice for a culinary-themed escape! 

Street food markets that electrify all the senses are easily among Bangkok’s best attractions. Lively Khao San Road has long attracted visitors to the city with its rows of shops, bars and stalls selling everything from freshly-steamed dumplings to bowls of delicious noodles.

Don’t skip visiting one of the city’s floating markets, such as Amphawa or Damnoen Saduak, where friendly vendors sell fresh produce and homemade snacks right on the water. There’s also the option of venturing into Chinatown (also known as Yaowarat) where you’ll have the opportunity to drop by casual and more sophisticated dining venues serving exquisite Asian food.

If you can drag yourself away from the city’s culinary delights, there are plenty of other things to do here. Bangkok is home to a handful of peaceful temples. Plan a trip to Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya riverfront at dawn to witness the sun rising behind its monumental central spire. No trip to the city is complete without glimpsing the Grand Palace, either. Thailand’s primary royal residence dates back to the 18th century and is as opulent as they come.

Chiang Mai

For a culinary tour like no other, book Thailand travel in 2022 to Chiang Mai. It’s regarded as Northern Thailand’s cultural capital and this definitely extends to its fabulous food offering.

Night markets are a staple of Chiang Mai and the ideal spots to try regional delicacies such as khai soi, Pad Thai and crispy pork rinds. Have a sweet tooth? Seek out khanom krok (coconut rice pancakes) or mango sticky rice. 

Combine Chiang Mai’s culinary treasures with its beautiful buildings, exciting nightlife and thriving artisan markets and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular vacation spot. The area surrounding the city is also studded with tranquil temples where you can admire ancient architecture and get a lesson on mindful meditation. 

For a mix of cosmopolitan living and serene countryside, spend a few days in Chiang Mai before escaping to an exclusive resort or boutique hotel beyond the city. The sustainable Raya Heritage riverside retreat is the perfect place to relax and recharge in natural surroundings. 

Further north is the smaller city of Chiang Rai (another culinary gem) and, beyond that, the Golden Triangle. This intriguing destination forms the border between Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, making it a melting pot of culture. Staying at luxury hotels including the Four Seasons Golden Triangle or Anantara Golden Triangle make it easy and pleasurable to explore the surrounding area. 

Best for: Nature and Wildlife 

Have you lways wanted to see wild elephants crashing through the jungle? Or how does swimming with turtles in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea sound? All that – and much more – is possible thanks to Thailand’s verdant national parks and pristine marine reserves. 

The Ultimate Guide To Thailand

Sensational safaris

Asian elephants can be found all across the country, including on the aptly named Elephant Island. Also known as Ko Chang, it’s the nation’s third-largest island and gets its name from the fact that it looks like an elephant’s head when viewed from above. 

For other animal encounters, head to the Mu Ko Chang National Park where you can spot cheeky macaques and brightly-feathered birds perched on trees. Come nightfall, thousands of bats emerge from the forest and create quite the spectacle as they fill the sky above the park. 

Back on the mainland, both Pranburi Forest Park and Khao Sok National Park offer ample opportunities to view intriguing wildlife. Pranburi sits just a few hours from Bangkok and its vast mangrove forest is home to remarkable reptiles and several mammals including gibbons and tapirs. 

Khao Sok National Park is one of the few places on earth where you can glimpse Malayan sun bears, clouded leopards and elephants all in one place. A stay at the Elephant Hills Tented Camp comes highly recommended. The luxury campsite has two different accommodation options within the park, including one right on the shores of Cheow Larn Lake. 

Magical marine life

Heavenly Phuket is easily one of the best locations in Thailand for underwater adventures! The island is surrounded by reefs home to hundreds of rainbow-hued fish and magnificent marine species. Snorkel straight off beaches such as Kata Beach and Ao Sane Beach or head out to one of the serene archipelagos nearby. There are many great tours to locations such as the Simian Islands and the picturesque Koh Phi Phi islands. 

It’s possible to uncover the region’s beauty during a diving expedition, too. A popular site for this is the waters around tiny Koh Bon Island. The isle is one of the closest to Phuket and features sharks, rays and turtles living among its vibrant corals.

COVID-19 Travel Considerations

Feeling inspired to book a trip to Thailand? We’re ready to answer any questions you might have about booking travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation around the globe. Currently, there’s no need for quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers visiting Thailand. Nevertheless, Thailand’s entry requirements are subject to change at any time, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the country’s official government sources.

When planning personalized vacations for our guests, we always put safety first and ensure you’re 100% comfortable with the activities and excursions we plan. We’ll also be on hand to help you navigate any entry requirements. What’s more, our Carefree Guarantee allows you to rebook or refund your trip if you are unable to go ahead because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Ready to explore one of South East Asia’s most enchanting countries? Get in touch with us today to help plan your perfect Thailand trip in 2022.

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Posted In:  Asia Thailand Asia Bangkok chiang mai koh samui krabi phuket thailand travel 2022 Thailand vacations