With mouthwatering cuisine, irresistible beaches, and a captivating culture; Thailand is brimming with all the ingredients for a fantastic holiday. But before you jet off to The Land of Smiles, arm yourself with our top travel tips.
Learn some key phrases
Everyone who leaves Thailand can say ‘hello’ (Sawasdee Kha/Krup) and ‘thank you’ (Kop Khun Kha/Krub). Get one step ahead and learn some key phrases before you go.
Explore Bangkok by Skytrain
Traffic in Asian cities is notoriously hectic and Bangkok is no exception. Get a Rabbit card (it works like a London Oyster card) and race above the cars on Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain. It operates on two lines and will take you around the main shopping and tourist areas, stretching as far as the river. Our hotels are selected to be close to the Skytrain so you can access the city safely and cheaply.
Enjoy dinner in the sky
Get your bearings after you’ve landed in Bangkok with a rooftop dinner and cocktails at Centara Grand’s RedSky restaurant. Located on the 55th floor, this neon-lit skyscraper wows its diners with 360-degree views of the city.
Book a ‘multi-centre’ trip
If you want to visit hotspots like Phuket and Koh Samui, yet still want to ‘get away from it all’, visit some lesser-known islands such as Koh Yao Noi, Phi Phi, or Koh Lanta - a 1-2 hour boat ride from Phuket. Buri Rasa on Koh Phanghan’s north coast offers a luxurious getaway and is just 45 minutes from Koh Samui.
Upgrade to a Club Room
When you book your accommodation, hotels such as the Centara Grand Samui and Centara Grand Phuket will give you the option to book a Club Room for around £20. You’ll receive an upgraded room and extras such as exclusive Club Lounge access with breakfast, lunchtime snacks, free Wi-Fi, evening canapés and complimentary drinks included.
Get your washing done locally
It might sound strange but if you want to avoid the chore of post-holiday washing, consider using a launderette service while you’re in Thailand. You can usually have your clothes washed, dried, ironed and delivered back to you in 24 hours – all for just 50BHT (£1) per kilo.
Whether you are shopping for clothes or selfie sticks, everyone loves the Thai markets! Go in 30% cheaper to start with and barter all the way for a great deal.
Respect the culture
It goes without saying, but it’s important to read up on cultural differences before you travel to the Far East. “The head is considered sacred in Thailand,” says Dr Paul Johnson of A Luxury Travel Blog, “so never touch a Thai national on the head. Similarly, don't point your feet (especially the soles of your feet) at anyone or at anything sacred such as the Buddha. If all else fails, smile! Thai people love to smile."
Visit Elephant Hills
If you want to explore one of Thailand’s most beautiful rainforests, visit Elephant Hills, a luxurious camp in the Khao Sok National Park, just a couple of hours from Phuket. Its award-winning program teaches visitors about elephant welfare and conservation. You can enjoy unique jungle treks with these spectacular creatures while making holiday memories that will last forever.
Pick a quiet resort
Chaweng in Koh Samui, Patong in Phuket or Ao Nang in Krabi all offer great nightlife and shopping but if you want to escape the busy tourist areas, consider booking a hotel such as Indigo Pearl in Phuket. This beautiful resort is walking distance from a small local village and beachfront bars yet offers transfers for when you want to explore the more bustling areas. For even more seclusion, visit Khao Lak. The beaches and sunsets here are stunning.
Whether you’re jetting off on your family holiday, going away with friends, or taking a luxury romantic break; we hope these Thailand travel tips will help you get the most out of this fabulous destination.