The magic of Thailand is hard to put into words. But you’ll feel it as soon as you land in this enchanting Kingdom. 

From the friendly locals and warm culture to its tropical beaches and MAJESTIC mountains; there is something about Thailand that keeps us backpackers coming back time and time again.

It’s a rite of passage for many travellers to sling a backpack over a shoulder and set off to Thailand for an adventure of a lifetime. The beaten path across Thailand has been well battered by us globe trotters. 

I was one of those backpacker slingers! It completely suckered me in and I’ve lived in Thailand for over nine months now. I have learned a hell of a lot about its people, culture, food, and places. 

So I have pleeenty of top Thailand travel tips and I’m excited to impart my wisdom over to you. Some of these tips come from lessons that I had to learn the hard way (so you don’t have to!). Others were picked up from other travellers and some cool locals. 

I wish I had known a few more of these before I arrived! 

So, grab a pen and paper (you’ll want to remember these). Let’s dive straight in.

danielle remote working from the jungle in thailand
It’s a place where dreams really come true.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

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    1. Brush up on a few Thai words

    If you want to know how to make the locals smile while travelling in Thailand, try speaking a few words to them in Thai. You’ll take them by surprise and often, completely knock their socks off.

    I’ve had times when they just laugh and pat me on the back for trying but after a few attempts. But they seem to know what I’m saying – which makes us both smile!

    Dani and Harvey with new thai friends in Thailand
    Thumbs up from these guys!
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    Most locals in the tourist hotspots speak English pretty well, but your Thai words can help you when you are in more remote areas. A little bit of effort to learn the local language really goes a long way.

    Here are a few of my go-to Thai phrases to make the locals smile:

    • Sawa dee – Hello
    • Kop kun – Thank you
    • Chai – Yes
    • Mai – No
    • Tao rai? How much?
    • Mai pet – Not spicy!
    • Aroi mak – Very delicious
    • Sabai dee ma – How are you?
    • Mai pen rai – No probelm
    • Peng mak – Very expensive

    At the end of each, you add kaa/kup (kaa for the ladies/kup for the guys). It’s added as a sign of respect and politeness. Give it a try!

    2. Carry cash

    Unless you’re visiting a high-end or highly touristy spot, most places you stay in Thailand require you to pay with cash. You won’t see many card machines around the local shops.

    If you stick to the usual backpacker route, you won’t be short of ATMs. Most 7/11s have one outside. However, it’s always important to do your research before you go.

    a girl buying fruit from a local fruit stand in phuket, thailand
    No cards accepted here, sorry mam!
    Photo: @amandaadraper

    I recently got caught out, I went to a beautiful island in the south of Thailand called Koh Jum and didn’t realise there were no ATMs! Let’s just say that I was on a very strict budget to make what cash I did take with me last.

    Another hot tip for travelling Thailand is to sort your travel banking out and let your bank know before you travel. I know many travellers who have had trouble with their cards because their banks think overseas transactions could be fraudulent.

    Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
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    3. Join a Muay Thai class

    I’m not going to fool you here: a Muay Thai class in Thailand is tough! They are often training in the heat, with no A/C, for around 90-120 minutes. But man, it is a bloody good workout.

    dani and friends at a muay thai class in Thailand
    Hot and dangerous…
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    In many places across Thailand, you’ll see kids as young as 5 doing Muay Thai. It’s a huge part of the Thai culture and people train their whole lives for it.

    Most tourist spots will have a few Muay Thai gyms around, so have a look around and check which looks best for you. If you’re in Bangkok, this Muay Thai boxing class for Beginners will get you sweaty and teach you some new skills to impress your friends back home with.

    If you’re not up for joining a class, you can also head to one of the fight nights (which are also very common). You can see local and international fights in stadiums across the country. It’s a pretty EPIC night out.

    4. Check your visa requirements

    Before you book your flights to the Kingdom of Thailand, you’ll want to check in on your visa requirements. Most passports will get you in for at least a 30-day free visa – but it’s always safer to double-check on the government website.

    Once you’re in on a 30-day extendable visa, it’s super easy to extend for another 30 days. You just have to head to any immigration office in Thailand. Most offices require that you’re at least 15 days into your trip before they’ll extend it for you.

    danielle and harvey extending visa in krabi, Thailand
    Happy travellers with another 30 days in paradise.
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    Take with you a photocopy of your passport (the page with your photo and the page with your visa stamp). You’ll also need proof of where you’re staying, a passport photo, and 1900 THB (around $53 USD) to pay the kind people. Then BAM, you’re in paradise for another 30 days.

    I wouldn’t recommend overstaying your visa, you’ll be charged 500 THB ($14 USD) a day and have an “overstay” stamp on your passport. Which is not going to be favourable for you when applying for future trips/visas. Just play by the rules peeps and all will be sweet.

    5. Pack for the heat… and the rain!

    In general, Thailand is going to be pretty hot. Especially if you’re heading South – swimmers, suncream, and shorts should be high on your Thailand packing list. But what has surprised me the most is the rain. It comes out of nowhere and when it comes in, it’s heavy – super heavy.

    guy with a rain jacket on in south east asia
    Harvey forgot to pack a rain jacket. Don’t be like Harvey.
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    So, without a doubt, you’ll need to pack a good travel jacket. My favourite is the Patagonia Torrentshell jacket. It saved my ass from getting saturated so many times.

    Another top tip is to check the seasons before you go, as the rainy seasons in Thailand can get… well, pretty rainy! Which may dampen your holiday (literally). The main two seasons to be aware of are:

    • The best time to visit Thailand (for minimal rain and maximum sunshine) is between November to April. You may still get a few downpours, but overall this is when Thailand is its most dazzling.
    • The worst time to stay in Chiang Mai is February to mid-April due to it being burning season. Along with farmers burning their fields and a few other factors, this is not to be taken lightly: the pollution during this time is BAD.

    6. Respect and embrace the Thai culture

    The people of Thailand are some of the warmest humans I’ve ever met. Their welcoming smiles and kind hearts are one of the main reasons I keep coming back to this magical land.

    Thailand is about 90% Buddhist and they have strong cultural beliefs which you will see throughout your travels. It’s important to remember that while travelling in Thailand, you’re in someone else’s home and respecting their culture is hugely important.

    Golden buddhas with an ornate golden temple in the background in Chiang Mai, Thailand
    Respect it and dive in head (not feet) first to find out more.
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

    A few key tips for respecting the Buddhist/Thailand culture are:

    • Don’t flaunt your feet. In Thailand, your feet are the most unclean part of you. Keep those puppies tucked away.
    • Dress respectfully. You’ll notice that the locals usually dress pretty modestly, particularly the women. It’s absolutely fine to wear a T-shirt and shorts (it can get bloody hot!). But keep your knees and shoulders covered when entering temples. And ladies, keep those bikinis for the beaches.
    • Respect the monks. It’s more than likely that you’ll come across many monks on your Thai travels. Dressed in orange cloth and a shaved head, these men are highly respected in Thai culture. Do not touch them (especially women), don’t sit next to them on transport and, don’t position yourself higher than them.
    • Smile! Thai people LOVE to smile. Getting angry and confrontational is not commonplace in Thailand, they seem to work out most of their problems with a smile…

    7. Wear slip-on and off shoes

    You know how I mentioned feet are seen as unclean? Shoes are even more so!

    You’ll more likely than not come across shops with a shit-load of shoes outside the front door. Take this as your cue to do the same. It’s respectful to remove your shoes when entering any Thai residence, palace, and (especially) temples.

    Hence, my travel tip for Thailand #7 is to wear slip-on and off shoes (as the locals do). It makes life a lot easier when you’re having to take your shoes on and off all the time.

    8. Hostels are the best way to meet other travellers

    long tail boat in the south of thailand
    Meet friends to go on a southern boat tour with!
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    Throwing a backpack over your shoulder and jumping on the long ol’ flight to solo travel around Thailand is a right of passage for many.

    You won’t be short of other travellers also on their journey of self-discovery to befriend. The best place to find these fellow intrepid travellers is in the many hostels around Thailand.

    Don’t you worry, I won’t deprive you of my hostel recommendations in Thailand. These are my top picks in the north and south:

    • If you’re in the north and love to party, you’ll want to head to The Islander Chiang Mai. It’s the best spot to meet other travellers and it buzzes all year round. If you want to let loose in Chiang Mai, The Islander is there to help!
    • Down south, my favourite hostel is Lub d Phuket Patong – Phuket. You’ll be spoiled with choices here – do you want a dorm or a private room? A swim in the pool or the sea? Do you want to hang out at the on-site bar or head out? You can have it all at Lub d Phuket!

    9. Go diving and get your PADI

    If you’re a lover of the underwater world (like me!), you’re going to LOVE the south of Thailand. Whether you’re a hardcore snorkeller/wannabe freediver (again, like me!), or a diving whizz – there is so much life to discover in the coast and corals of Thailand.

    free diving in south east asia
    Tank or no tank…
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    For those snorkellers wanting to take it to the next level, Thailand is one of the best and most affordable places in the world to get your PADI divers license.

    Koh Tao is the most famous in the south for their high-quality training and low prices. These will set you back between 9,000 – 12,00THB (250 – 335 USD) and take a few days to complete.

    Staying on Koh Tao is no hardship – I tell you that much. It’s just as gorgeous on the island as in its waters.

    However, if you want to stick to snorkelling, that is sick too! There are so many tours that can take you to the best snorkel spots. If you are looking to head out from Koh Tao this snorkelling day tour with lunch will rock your world (but hopefully not your boat!).

    10. Don’t drink the tap water

    If you want to keep your tummy happy and healthy, my top tip for travelling Thailand #10 is to avoid drinking tap water. In most places, you’ll be fine to brush your teeth with it but assess this situation. If it’s looking a bit brown, stay clear.

    The best thing to do is to get a water bottle that filters water for you like the Grayl Geopress – then you don’t have to worry about a thing.

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    11. Eat like the locals

    Good lord almighty, you are about to enter a food heaven. Thai people know how to whip up a dish, that’s for sure. From the Khao Soi in the North (my absolute fav) to the fresh seafood in the South – Thai food is so much more than just Pad Thai.

    Thailand, as we all know, is a tourist hotspot and there are loads of restaurants that are there purely to cater to us foreigners (or Farang as the Thais call us). It’s not to say the food is not delicious at these places, but it’s catered for a Western palate and is not an authentic Thai experience.

    My top tip for travelling Thailand #11 is to find the local hot spots. Look out for the restaurants that are packed with locals, these often have small coloured plastic chairs and spill out onto the streets. This is where you’ll find some of the best street food in the world.

    dani and harvey out for dinner in thailand with thai friends
    Sourcing the best-kept street food from our local friends.
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    Thai people often share meals so it’s not uncommon for plates to come out in a staggered manner and be placed in the middle to share. Note that they mostly eat with a spoon and sometimes a fork.

    Go crazy, try something new! Chat with locals and embrace the Thai way of sharing food.

    If you want to learn how to cook like the locals too, join a cooking class and take the knowledge home with you. If you’re heading to Chiang Mai – I can recommend this authentic Thai cooking class and farm visit.

    12. Respect the King

    I’m not going to lie, the King of Thailand’s face is etched into my mind. Why? Because he is everywhere!

    Thai people have the utmost respect for the monarchy, and the King in particular. You’ll find images of the royal family everywhere you go – from bank notes to framed images in restaurants and huge posters on the streets.

    It’s important to speak respectfully about the royal family of Thailand. Not just out of respect for the culture, but also for the law! It’s illegal in Thailand to defame, insult or threaten the monarchy.

    So, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. (That’s a top tip for life btw, not just regarding the King of Thailand.)

    13. Bargain respectfully

    You can’t come to Thailand and not try out your haggling skills! Put on a cheeky smile and see what magic you can do. It’s good fun for the customer and the vendor.

    But it’s also important to do it respectfully. When you’re shopping at the markets or after a tuk-tuk, especially those in tourist areas, the vendor will often begin with a pretty high price. So naturally, you’re going to say that’s “Peng Mak” (remember back to tip #1, Peng Mak means very expensive) and meet them at a lower price.

    A person standing on Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand next to some classic Thai tuk tuks of all colours.
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

    To bargain respectfully, these are my top tops:

    • Keep a smile on your face and don’t get aggressive. Assertive, yes. Aggressive, no.
    • Take your time. Ask around different vendors until you get the price you’re after.
    • Remember you’re often haggling over a couple of dollars.
    • If it’s a handmade, crafted product, support the local creator and pay the normal price. (Note, some will say it’s handmade, but it’s clearly not).

    14. Get off the beaten track

    We all know the likes of Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, and Bangkok, but do you know Koh Jum, Koh Kood, and Pai?

    The beaten track in Thailand is, well, pretty well beaten. As a traveller’s heaven, Thailand has created places for us to be “comfortable”.

    After a slice of pizza? Craving your oat milk flat white? Maybe some freshly baked bread? You can usually find everything you could dream of in these spots built for travellers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love a cheeky oatty flatty. But sometimes it’s nice to get away from the busy, tourist spots. You’ll get to see how locals really live, enjoy local food, and find beaches with no one on them. (I’m not kidding, just this morning I was at a beach all by myself!)

    empty beach at nui bay, koh lanta, thailand
    Empty beach but pack your snorkel – it’s busy under the sea!
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    My favourite off-the-beaten-track places I’ve been to so far:

    • Koh Jum
    • Koh Chang
    • Koh Kood
    • Koh Yao Yai
    • Koh Lanta (becoming less so, but still amazing)
    • Pai
    • Chiang Rai
    • Kanchanaburi

    Koh Jum was my most recent “off-track” escape and it was idyllic. You can explore the small island on two wheels, relax on the beach, snorkel, or hike up the lush mountain. I stayed in Cha Cha Bungalow and would 10/10 recommend it – right on the beach, you can’t beat it.

    15. The north is cheaper than the south

    The north is home to sublime mountainous, landscapes, and more temples than you can imagine. Whereas, the south is known for its amazing tropical islands and dazzling beaches.

    Overall, Thailand is a pretty inexpensive place to travel. But if you’re looking to save a few bucks, the North is the place for you.

    Khao soi dish, Chang Mai, Thailand
    This northern Khao Soi set me back 50THB (1.40 USD)
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    The main spots in Northern Thailand for travellers are backpacking Chiang Mai, Pai and Chiang Rai. With so few tourist hotspots, the north has yet to hike their prices like the South.

    In terms of food, a curry might set you back between 50-100 baht (1.40-2.80 USD) in the North, whereas in the South it’s more likely to be 100-150 (2.80-4.20 USD).

    The value for money you can get up north is WILD. This incredible room in The Sanctum in Chiang Mai if a great example. You can have a SUPER luxury stay for less than 90 USD per night (I paid more than that for two dorm beds in Europe last summer!)

    16. BYO suncream and beauty products

    Ok, this one surprised me! The first time I came to Thailand I was not prepared on this front whatsoever.

    A relatively small bottle of sun cream will set you back about 500 baht (14 USD). When you’re in the south and spending so much time in the sun, you go through it like a wildfire. It ain’t cheap that’s for sure.

    Another thing to be aware of is a lot of the beauty products in Thailand have “whitening” or “brightening” in them. This one I learned the hard way, when after a couple of weeks of using my new deodorant – my armpits were glowingly white!

    So my top tip for travelling Thailand #16 is to bring suncream and beauty products from home if possible. If you need to buy more while you’re out there, double-check if it contains whitening.

    17. Be safe on the roads

    Riding a scooter is a big part of life in many South East Asian countries and Thailand is no different. It’s a magical way to explore and discover places you may never find without the freedom of your own two wheels.

    It’s super easy to rent a motorbike in Thailand, and cheap! Every other person seems to be renting a bike and often, with no interest in checking if you’ve got a license or have ever ridden one before.

    Technically, in Thailand, you need an IDP (International Driver Permit) to drive a moped. In most countries, these are super easy to apply for and get delivered before you leave.

    I’m from New Zealand and mine was approx 15 USD and I just needed to apply online. Check the process for your country, it should be pretty simple. 

    dani on a scooter in thailand
    See, helmets are cool.
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    While no rental companies usually ask for your IDP, you may get stopped by traffic police and have to pay a fine if you don’t have one. This happened to me when staying in Pai a few years ago.

    More importantly, some travel insurance companies won’t cover accidents if the driver doesn’t have one! So, be sure to check your policy or apply for one before you head over. 

    The roads in Thailand can be incredible but also wild (to say the least). If you do decide to rent a motorbike, here are my top tips:

    • You’re not too cool to wear a helmet.
    • Drive slow and be patient.
    • Make sure you drive on the left side of the road.
    • Don’t drink or smoke weed and drive.
    • If it’s your first time, start somewhere quiet. It’s not one to add to your Bangkok itinerary.

    18. ALWAYS travel with insurance

    Thailand is a pretty safe place for tourists but that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. Even to the best of us backpackers.

    Unfortunately for us foreigners in Thailand, health care can be pretty damn expensive! From what I’ve experienced, there is a dual pricing system for locals and foreigners. Foreigner hospitals have many signs saying that they “accept travel insurance”, these spots can be PENG MAK (very expensive!).

    Hence, why I ALWAYS recommend getting travel insurance for Thailand. Pass those big ol’ bills onto your insurance company! But, as always check your policy – not all insurance companies cover scooter accidents for those without motorcycle licenses. Many do, but it’s always safe to check!

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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    19. Do NOT ride elephants. Ever.

    Elephants are magnificent and I can totally understand why people want to stand and marvel at these awe-inspiring creatures. But for the love of God, do not get on them.

    There is far too much unethical elephant tourism in Thailand; exploiting elephants for the entertainment of humans. And it sucks, so much. The problem lies with travellers who don’t know better, but if you’re reading this – you’ve now joined the crew of us who do know better.

    Although I personally steer away from anything elephant tourism in Thailand, if you want to ethically hang out with elephants, I’d recommend checking out elephant sanctuaries. These are homes for elephants who have retired from careers in tourism, performing, and other types of work (in other words, years of abuse).

    Chiang Mai elephant sanctury
    A nice elephant kiss.
    Photo: Sasha Savinov

    Elephant sanctuaries allow you to interact with elephants in a way that doesn’t harm them. But do your research around ethical animal tourism. If the “sanctuary” is offering pretty much anything other than walking and feeding the elephant – just look the other way and don’t get involved.

    It’s cool to love elephants. It’s NOT cool to ride them.

    20. 7/11 VS supporting local shops

    If you’ve ever been to Thailand, you’ll know what I mean. 7/11s are EVERYWHERE. I’m currently sitting in a cafe in Thailand and there are three 7/11s within a 5-minute drive away from me.

    They sell all the essentials: beers, SIM cards, suncream, ciggies, ice cream, coffees, and more. It is home to the best toasties you’ll ever eat (a weirdly perfect combination of sweet bread and gooey cheese).

    Plus, they are air-conditioned. I swear on a hot day, the shop is packed with travellers sticking their heads in the fridge and just trying to cool down.

    However, my top tip for travelling Thailand #20: don’t just shop at 7/11. Demote it from being your best friend to your second best friend.

    You can find most of what 7/11 sells at the local shops which are also on every corner. Though they may not be air-conditioned, the money you spend will go to locals rather than a big corp.

    You’ll find many of these shops are a family affair. I once walked into one and the entire family was sitting at the back enjoying a meal together! I greeted the grandparents, sisters, and cousins then bought my ice cream and walked out with a big ol’ smile on my face.

    Supporting locals is kind and your business will be appreciated.

    21. Smoke a little weed

    Hey, when I got to Thailand after they decriminalised it, I was star-struck. I’ve passed many places for drug tourism in my time. But with regards to legal liberation, Thailand has done the fastest 180° in modern history. 

    There are dispensaries, hang-outs, coffee shops, and jewellery shops galore growing and popping up every day since the legality change in 2022. In some places, they outnumber 7/11s considerably. The industry generates HUGE tourism opportunities – and I get some very lovely, chilled-out evenings. 

    Though, legal liberation doesn’t mean that it’s the best mind you. Regulations are loose and they’re looking to crack down on the “liberality” of their current laws regarding Mary Jane. Rightly so too!

    But for me, to arrive in Thailand and have a joint fall into my hand… Well, what can I say… Thailand, I love you. <3

    22. Transport to get around

    Thailand is no small country and getting around does take a bit of planning. You’ve got a few options depending on your budget and style – from short trips to long… let’s have a look…

    Overall, transport is pretty cheap in Thailand (as long as you don’t get ripped off by a travel company).

    • Jump in a taxi, just make sure they agree to run on the metre (rather than give you a crazy price when you arrive at your destination).
    • I’d recommend downloading Bolt and Grab too – these are the best Taxi apps. Bolt is often the cheaper of the two but it typically has fewer drivers. 
    • Tuk-tuks are a fun experience but don’t forget to use your haggling skills.
    • Join the locals on the buses, they are a cheap way to get around, especially travelling in Bangkok.
    • Booking a shuttle is often a good way to go. You share the van with other travellers heading to the same destination and split the cost.
    • Between the Thai islands, the ferry is your best bet. You can often buy a boat and bus/ shuttle combo to get picked up from your hotels and dropped off at the other end.
    • Trains can take you across the country or just a shorter distance. You can buy your tickets at the station or online. I’ve used Baolau multiple times and loved it as it sends you your official tickets straight to your email. Other online booking sites like 12go require you to physically grab them from a station.
    • Lastly, flying is the most expensive but fastest way to get around. Especially if you’re heading from north to south. Check the prices, it’s often not tooooo expensive.

    I like to check the price online to get a sense of what it should be. Then find a local tour operator and book through them (again, supporting locals where possible!)

    23. Watch your plastic intake

    Unfortunately, as with many Southeast Asian countries, you’ll find there is A LOT of rubbish around. On the streets, paddocks, beaches, etc. Most of it is (unsurprisingly) plastic.

    Being a conscious traveller is even more important in places like Thailand where it is too easy to look the other way. From my experience, everything seems to come in plastic. You even get given a little plastic bag to carry your coffee cups!

    beach clean up in thailand
    Keep an eye out for beach clean-ups to join!
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    Because you can’t drink the tap water here, many travellers buy a gazillion plastic bottles. Daily. As I mentioned earlier, the Grayl Geopress is a great way to get around this as the bottle filters the tap water ready for you to drink.

    If you’re a slow traveller (like me!), another top tip is to buy the BIG blue water carriers. You’ll find these in most of the local shops – remember, I mentioned these shops in Thailand travel tip #20. They are approx 100 THB (2.80 USD) to buy the first time, but then you can return your empty one and pick up a full one for 20 THB (0.50 USD) after that.

    You should aim to leave the place better than when you found it, not worse. So, why not pick up a few pieces on your morning beach stroll?

    24. Mostiquoes suck

    First of all, I hope you appreciated my pun. Second of all, they really do suck. They suck suck suck all of your body until you wake up with red spots all over you. It sucks.

    If you don’t want these nasty and itchy af bites – get some good insect repellent. I use the pink Soffel brand, but I know others use orange OFF too. Just find what works for you and lather it on, baby!

    One of the best discoveries I made in Thailand is the coils that you burn, kinda like incense but the smoke scares off the mozzies. They are amazing!

    Thailand does still suffer from dengue issues which is all the more reason to cover yourself in spray and light those coils up. If you do get bitten, try out tiger balm or head to the nearest pharmacy to get some anti-itch cream or tablets.

    25. Visit the national parks

    Thailand is home to some LUSH green spaces just begging to be explored. I know it can be hard to drag yourself away from the tropical beaches but I guarantee ya – it’s worth it. These are some of the most beautiful places in Thailand.

    limestone cliffs at Khao sok national park
    Khao Sok is epic if you’re near Krabi, Ao Nang or Surat Thani.
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    The national parks in Thailand are government-protected areas that are looked after because of their natural significance or beauty. So, if the Thai government has given it the tick of approval – they’ve gotta be good right?!

    The national parks that you choose to visit will depend on your Thailand travel itinerary. You’ll want to check which ones make sense along your current route.

    Below are my favourite National Parks in Thailand – they are WILD (literally):

    • Khao Yai National Park
    • Ao Phang Nga National Park
    • Namtok Phlio National Park
    • Pha Taem National Park
    • Erawan National Park
    • Kui Buri National Park
    • Khao Sok National Park
    • Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park

    There are a shit load of tour companies who would love to book you in for a tour of any of the above! I recently went on a tour of Khao Sok National Park and it honestly blew my mind – it was BEAUTIFUL.

    26. Embrace the bum washer & BYO toilet paper

    So, if you’ve been to Thailand you’ll notice pretty quickly, that the toilets often don’t have toilet paper. My Thailand tip #26 is to BYO. Keep a few tissues in your pocket… juuuust in case.

    I’ve noticed that some places also keep the toilet roll by the sinks, so you can grab it before you go in.

    You can also convert to doing things the Thai way (as I have). Introduce yourself to the silver hose behind the toilet… I refer to it as the bum washer. It will change your life forever.

    27. Visit the temples

    If there is something Thailand isn’t short of, it’s temples! With Buddhism as the main religion, it’s no wonder. While we travellers revel in the beauty and the photo ops, these temples are a big part of the everyday life of many Thai people.

    a girl in front of a temple in thailand
    Wat Rong Khun – the White Template, Chaing Mai
    Photo: @amandaadraper

    You’ll find that Bangkok and the north of Thailand, in particular, are brimming with temples to explore. From Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya to Wat Rong Khun in Chaing Mai (and the 100s in between).

    You could spend hours, days, or even weeks marvelling at the incredible structures and learning about their religious beliefs and rituals. These magnificent temples are some of the best places to visit in Thailand.

    If you want to learn more about each temple, you can jump in on a tour of the temples:

    28. Dabble in the nightlife

    Although it’s easy to rock up to Thailand and get lost in a florescent, full moon daze for weeks before you wake up one day and think “shit, I’ve just partied away my whole trip!”

    It would be remiss for me not to say that you can also have a pretty fucking epic night out in Thailand. One of the most popular backpacker parties in the WORLD is the full moon party in Koh Phangan. The music is pretty shit but grab yourself a bucket and join the other 20,000 attendees! Because, why not?

    The half-moon and Shiva Moon parties were more my style; fewer people and lower prices. There are lots of other options for an epic night out if you’re staying in Koh Phangan other than the full moon.

    If you’re not into any shape of moon party… never fear. Nearly every spot on the backpacker route will serve you up a pretty wild night out. From Chiang Mai and Bangkok to Ao Nang and Koh Phi Phi – ask around and thou shall be shown the way.

    If you’re after something a little different, there are some pretty cool festivals in Thailand to check out.

    28. Grab yourself a SIM card

    Having a SIM card in Thailand is a life-saving travel tip! You’ve got a couple of options:

    • You can grab an international eSIM ahead of time; it’s super easy and you’ll be sorted with data as soon as you land. It’s a bit more expensive but a great option.
    • You can pick up a local SIM card. I’ve used Truemove many times and they have served me well staying in Koh Lanta. However, I’ve heard that AIS has some of the best 5G cover for around 10 USD per month. If you’re going to do this, I’d recommend buying it from a franchise store (tip: don’t forget to take your passport with you).

    You’ll be adventuring on some pretty rugged paths that you may need the internet’s help to navigate. You don’t want Google to be “rerouting” with no connection!

    The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!
    mockup of a person holding a smartphone in white background with Holafly logo

    A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

    An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

    Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

    Grab an eSIM!

    Final Thoughts on Thailand Travel Tips

    From lush mountains and delicious Khao Soi in the north to the tropical islands and crystal clear waters in the south. There is so much more to this magical land than bucket cocktails and full-moon parties… although they can be pretty fun too.

    So, print out these Thailand Travel Tips and tuck them into your bag or at least jot down how to say hello.

    You’re about to head to one of the warmest countries I’ve ever been to (in terms of temperature and kindness lol) and I know you’re in good hands. The locals will welcome you with open arms and make sure you know your way around.

    So, pack those bags – don’t forget your rain jacket! – and prepare to join the club of us Southeast Asia backpackers who have fallen in love with Thailand. It’s bloody hard not to.

    More backpacker content to keep you ready, clued-in, and ballin’ on a budget!
    Thailand flag on a boat in the south
    Thailand awaits!
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

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