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Thailand travel guide

Thailand's diversity makes it one of our all-time favorite destinations

There's more to Thailand than beaches so beautiful they hurt your eyes. Like world-class diving, all night parties, hill tribe trekking, elephant encounters, bustling night markets, impressive temples and amazing food. After decades, this dynamic country still remains the top hotspot for travelers and a mecca for beach bums and culture vultures alike. Take a look at our Thailand travel guide to get to grips with why...

Thailand Information

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Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in Thailand is Thai, otherwise known as Siamese, but many people speak English.

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Currency

Thai Baht (THB).

100 Thai Baht is approximately $2.70 USD.

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Time Zone

UTC +07:00, making Bangkok 12 hours ahead of New York and 15 hours ahead of LA.

Top places to visit in Thailand

Say hello to Bangkok, one of the most fun and colorful cities in the world. Head north to Chiang Mai to trek to remote hill-tribe villages and bathe with elephants, before kicking back, partying and diving amidst some of the most beautiful islands in the world... Where will your quest to find paradise take you?
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Bangkok

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Chiang Mai

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Phuket

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Koh Phangan

Thailand costs

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Drinks

A bottle of local Thai beer from a café or shop can cost as little as 40THB (around $1.30). A Sangsom and soda bucket can cost between 124THB ($3.50) to 300THB ($8.50), and are best shared!

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Meals

Delicious Thai street food can cost as little as 50THB ($1.40). For a sit-down meal somewhere midrange, expect to pay between 150THB ($4.20) to 300TBH ($8).

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Hostels

A basic dorm bed in Bangkok can cost you as little as 125THB ($3.50); expect to pay double on the Southern Islands such as Koh Phi Phi.

Hotel Building

Hotels

For a mid-range room for two people in a hotel or guesthouse, you'll pay upwards of $12. Fancier 4* hotels cost around $30-40. Book in advance with STA Travel to bag the cheapest rates.

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Taxis

Taxis cost around 5TBH (14¢) per kilometre, after the initial surcharge. A 6 mile ride should cost you under 120THB, and from the airport to Khao San Road, expect to pay between 355-535THB($10-15). Always ask for the meter to switched on.

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Buses & boats

A 10 hour bus journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai costs around 500-600THB ($14-16). A 12-15 hour bus journey from Bangkok to Phuket costs 1000THB ($28). Boat trips between islands cost around $10.

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Things to do in Thailand

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Snorkel and dive

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NORTHERN THAILAND

Hill tribe trekking

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Thai elephant conservation

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Koh Phi Phi

Island hopping

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Thai island hopping adventures

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Thai Island Hopper East | 8 days
Kicking off in Bangkok, this tour takes you to eastern Thailand's three gems: Koh Tao, famous for its snorkelling and turtle spotting, chilled out Koh Samui and the party paradise of Koh Phangan. It includes all transportation, accomodation and some meals.
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Thai Island Hopper West | 8 days
Stretch your sea legs; this is one hell of a journey. Starting in Phuket and ending in Krabi, you'll spend nine days exploring the Andaman's best islands, including Koh Phi Phi, the setting of The Beach. It includes all transport, accomodation and some meals.

Do I need a visa to travel to Thailand?

As long as you’re in possession of a valid U.S. passport with at least six months validity left on it, and proof of an onward ticket out of the country, you’ll be granted a free visa upon arrival in Thailand. You’re allowed 30 days in the country, but you can extend this to 60 days for a fee. *Visa and entry requirements are subject to change at any time. Please always check the current status with your applicable embassy prior to travel.

How do I extend my Thai tourist visa?

We get that 30 days in Thailand is barely enough to scrape the surface; you could get stuck for weeks on any one of the gorgeous islands. To extend your visa for another 30 days, you need to visit the Thai Immigration Bureau office, headquartered in Bangkok, or find an agent to contact them for you for an added fee. The cost currently sits around 1,900THB ($53) per 30 days. The maximum stay is 90 days.

Working visa

Thailand doesn’t offer a working visa but there are still plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture – teach English for 6–12 months surrounded by miles of beautiful beaches, historic temples, tropical jungle and some of the most motivated and lively students in the world.

Can't get enough? Here's some more Thailand inspiration...

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