Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, was formerly known as Siam. It is a Southeast-Asian country and one of the most visited countries by tourists. If you’re planning for your first foreign trip, Thailand must be on your list.
Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea. The Thai culture is heavily influenced by Theravada Buddhism like most of its neighbours. Thai temples, known as Wat can be uniquely distinguished with its multi-coloured roofs and golden patterns.
Bangkok, Thailand’s bustling capital offers many cultural activities and is a perfect destination for luxury and street shopping. You can spend the entire day just by shopping and walking on the busy streets and footpaths. Whenever you feel hungry try the various street foods. This city is a hub for backpackers travelling in Southeast Asia and offers a host of budget-friendly hostels.
Although the climate varies throughout Thailand, tourists visit almost round the year. It has three main seasons, hot, rainy and cool, although temperatures are fairly hot year-round.
The best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between November and early April.
Tourists flock to Thailand mostly between October and February, considering weather and holidays. However, if you want to avoid the peak season rush and save on flight tickets, consider travelling in March when the weather is still bearable. Many tourists also visit during Songkran, the Thai New Year’s festival that falls on 13th April every year.
Thailand provides Visa-on-Arrival facilities to many countries including India. During peak season (October to February) it is advised to apply for Visa in your own country before you travel to save time. You would still end up spending not less than 45 mins. at the immigration.
You can also apply online for a Thai Visa with all the valid documents. VisaHQ offers online Visa services where you just need to select the right Visa type, read the instructions carefully and apply online. They’ll take care of the rest and will assist you throughout your Visa process.
Bangkok is well served by two international airports, the main and busiest is the Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). The other is Don Mueang Airport (DMK) that primarily caters to domestic traffic and low-cost regional carriers.
It’s a tricky decision to choose where to stay in Bangkok. While every area has its own pros and cons, we always prefer the Old City or Khao San area that has a host of options in budget accommodations, nearby to the sightseeing places and gives you a feel of the authentic Bangkok life. It is perfect for backpackers, solo and budget travelers.
We’ve handpicked these best places to stay in Bangkok based on budget, location and amenities.
Other popular areas to stay in Bangkok are Sukhumvit, Siam, Silom and Pratunam. They are in the heart of the city and ideal for shopping, fine dining and nightlife. While the Riverside has stunning views and ideal for romantic gateways, budget options are limited.
While it’s comparatively easier to decide where to stay in Pattaya, it’s important that you stay in the right area as choosing a wrong location might ruin up your travel plans. Most tourists prefer to stay near the southern end of the city, along with the Pattaya Beach famous for clubs, bar and nightlife – Walking Street. North Pattaya is relatively family-friendly and has many luxury options, unlike South Pattaya that has more budget options.
Check out one of these best places to stay in Pattaya that will wrap up your budget trip in Thailand.
Here are the top things to do in Bangkok that you must not miss –
Check the list of things to do in Pattaya –
DAY 1 – Arrive in Thailand and Pattaya Local Sightseeing
5:00 AM – Reach Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok early in the morning and complete immigration facilities. Buy a 4G Sim and proceed to Gate No. 8 at Level 1 for the bus to Pattaya.
If you arrive at Don Muang airport in an Air Asia flight, avail for the free shuttle service to Suvarnabhumi and then catch the bus or cab to Pattaya.
AC Bus services are available every 30 mins. from Suvarnabhumi airport and the cheapest ones would cost around 270 Baht. You can also book a private transfer from here.
Try the local street food and do shopping in the evening.
DAY 2 – Pattaya Beach and Nightlife
DAY 3 – Bangkok Temple Tour and Flower Market
8:30 AM – Reach Grand Palace. Start early to avoid the crowd. Tuk-tuk should take 70-80 Baht from your hotel (Feung Nakorn). Ticket price – 500 Baht
11:30 AM – Visit Wat Pho, the temple of Reclining Buddha. It’s at a walking distance from Grand Palace. Ticket price – 100 Baht.
2:00 PM – Have your lunch in one of the local shops, you’ll get to taste authentic Thai curries. Prices approx. 120 Baht (max. per person)
3:00 PM – Take a boat to cross the river and visit Wat Arun. The boat will take 3 Baht per person to cross one side. Entry to Wat Arun is 100 Baht.
5:00 PM – Cross the river again, you should get some beautiful clicks of the illuminated Wat Arun now with sunset at the back.
– Try local street food. Check the detailed street food guide for more. You must try the coconut ice-cream.
7:00 PM – Visit the Flower Market (locally known as Pak Khlong Market), you should be able to navigate using Google Map. Entry is free. Read the Flower Market Tour for more.
While you can book a guided temple tour online, we suggest exploring the places on your own.
DAY 4 – Ayutthaya Historical City Tour/Floating Market Tour
7:00 PM – End your day with street shopping. Bangkok is a paradise for street shoppers and luxury shopping.
DAY 5 – Leave Bangkok
Reach at least 3 hours early at Suvarnabhumi or Don Muang Airport depending on your flight. You could book an Uber or hire a metered taxi. To save last minute hassles, book a day prior at the hotel reception, they might charge you 300 Baht extra.
Suvarnabhumi Airport being one of the busiest airports in the region has plenty of options to do some last minute shopping. Visit one of the duty-free shops and buy local snacks or your favorite wine at a cheaper price. Many credit cards don’t charge the exchange fees when purchased is made in a duty-free shop, check with your bank to know more.
Total Expenses per head (approx.) –
Flights (two-way) – INR 7000
Airport transfers – INR 2600/1800 Baht (includes max. 4 people, per head expenses will be shared accordingly)
City Transfers – INR 1200/ 600 Baht (to be shared by no. of persons)
Tour tickets – INR 4000/2000 Baht
Accommodation – INR 4500/2250 Baht (per head including single beds or twin sharing)
Food – INR 3000/1500 Baht (2 times for 5 days, many hotels have complimentary breakfasts)
Total – INR 18000/9000 Baht
1. Respect Buddha and the Thai Royal Family. Thais held their King in high regards.
2. Thailand is famous worldwide for its street foods, but avoid trying out the food from places where you don’t see any tourists.
3. You must bargain with the tuk-tuk drivers.
4. Avoid tuk-tuk or taxi drivers offering you to take to ping-pong or similar shows.
5. Try using cash and avoid credit cards to save on foreign exchange rates when you return.
6. If you want to avoid tuk-tuks or the metered pink (private) or green/yellow cabs, go for Uber.
7. Take a print out in Thai of the directions to your hotels, it helps you a lot to communicate with the drivers.