Most Popular Cities in Thailand

Thailand is a melting pot of culture, adventure, delicious food, beautiful landscapes, and everything else you may want in a country as diverse as it is exciting. The country is made up of many different provinces and cities, each offering their own unique taste of Thai culture.

Whether you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of a major city or maybe the more laid back lifestyle in one of the smaller hubs, all day and all night fun or a day spent at the beach, Thailand has a city for everyone.

Bangkok

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and the most popular city in the whole country. The huge population makes this a city that doesn’t sleep, but the adventures it has to offer are endless. Temples, markets, street food, clubs: there is something to do every minute of the day.

bangkok-thailand

Amongst the many beautiful temples and shrines located all across the city, Bangkok has many parks and green areas that are the perfect place to stop and take in your surroundings.

Bangkok is home to many street markets. These enormous markets have absolutely everything you heart desires. There are many food stalls, clothing shops, jewelry stores, and almost everything else you could think of, plus many surprises.

Bangkok is also home to the Grand Palace, and the world famous temple, Wat Pho. The Grand Palace is the home of Thai Royalty and a tour of the grounds and complex is a must. Wat Pho is a massive Buddhist complex that houses the incredible Reclining Buddha.

Bangkok is also the location to some Muay Thai stadiums. Thousands of locals and tourists flock to the stadium to cheer and watch this ancient and very culturally important martial art. Many foreign fighters also have their matches here.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is one of the main cities in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is home to over 300 Buddhist temples, as well as the most popular Thai New Year celebration, where people from across the country gather to ring in the new year.

chiang-mai-thailand

Chiang Mai is also full of culture. With 5 museums to explore, you can discover a lot of the history of the old city as well as the beginning of Chiang Mai and its place in Thai history and how it shaped the area and people around it.

Pattaya

Pattaya, located on the Gulf of Thailand, is about 160km south of the capital city, Bangkok. Known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, bustling nightlife, as well as the famous Walking Street Market.

pattaya-thailand

On the coast, there are two main beaches that are massive attractions for locals and tourists alike. Pattaya Beach runs parallel to the city center, crossing in front of many markets, restaurants, and bars.

Off the coast of Pattaya, there are near and far islands that you can travel to and around. The near islands are Ko Lan, Ko Sak, and Ko Krok, which are all within 7 kilometers of the beach.

The far islands, Ko Phai, Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hu Chang and Ko Klung Badan, are located further west of the near islands. Once again, these islesare accessible and should definitely be on your must-see list.

Other than the beautiful beaches, Pattaya is known for its nightlife. The Walking Street in Pattaya is one of the most infamous spots in Thailand, but still a must for travelers. The many bars, restaurants and stalls ensure a night of fun and exploration.

Ko Samui

Ko Samui is one of the main beach cities in Thailand. The island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, and is a buzzing metropolis all year round. The warm weather also makes every day a beach day on this tropical paradise.

ko-samui-thailand

In recent years, the tourism industry on Ko Samui has grown enormously, meaning the building of resorts, hotels and bungalows has seen a massive rise, meaning finding somewhere to stay is never hard.

There are many events and festivals that get held in around the city, namely the Buffalo Fighting Festival, which is an almost completely harmless duel between buffaloes, and the Ten Stars Samui Art Party, which brings art and artists from across the country in a massive cultural celebration.

Nakhon Ratchasima

Nakhon Ratchasima is located in central Thailand. It is home to a very large retail sector and is most definitely one of the main shopping hubs of Thailand, possibly even bigger than Bangkok.

nakhon-ratchasima-thailand

The city is also home to the 80th Birthday Stadium. This football stadium is home to Nakhon Ratchasima FC, a football team that plays in Thailand’s Premier Football league.

The city isn’t on every tourist’s list of sites to see when in Thailand, but the city and its surrounds are incredibly beautiful and should not be missed, even if you are just planning on driving through.

Summary

Thailand is one of the most vibrant and exciting countries in the world,with a long and deep history, many religious monuments and temples, beautiful beaches that stretch for as long as the eye can see, and day and night activities that are non-stop.

Thailand is particularly enjoyable for foreign travelers as the exchange rate is usually always in the favour of visitors, making Thailand an incredibly cheap place to have a holiday. Everything from the hotels to the novelty items are all very affordable.

Each city has a unique identity and their own festivals, traditions, food, and culture. In a perfect world, you would be able to spend time in each and every one of them discovering all the unique intricacies that make them special but visiting just a few on this guide will make for an amazing trip.

What Not To Do In Thailand

Thailand is a land of religion and tradition. Considering there is a very large population of Buddhists, and Monks, there are many do’s and don’ts that revolve around religion and Buddhism superstition.

Most of these actions may seem innocuous in Western society, but in Thailand, they are considered incredibly disrespectful. Therefore, it is important to familiarise yourself with these customs before entering the country to avoid any embarrassment.

Don’t Hug Monks

Thailand has many Buddhist Monks that have taken up very strong religious vows and ways of life. They are highly respected members of society, they are not allowed to touch or be touched by women, and it is forbidden for you to stand over a monk.

Therefore, even if you are a man, it is a sign of respect to not place your hands on a monk. Even if one was to do you a great favour and you want to give thanks, a simple bow will do.

Take Your Shoes Off

It is very common practice to take your shoes off when entering temples, somebody’s home, and even some restaurants. Some buildings will have clear signs or shoe lockers so you know when to take your shoes off.

If there aren’t clear signs and someone asks you to remove your shoes, it is important to respect this request and remove your shoes. There are shoe lockers almost everywhere and trust us when we say, no one will steal your shoes.

No PDA

Unlike in Western countries where public displays of affection are so common they go unnoticed, these displays are strongly frowned upon in Thailand and it is advised to keep those actions private.

Most Thai people won’t even hug each other in public, and touching tongues in public is forbidden. Therefore, if you are wanting to show affection to your significant other, wait until you are in the privacy of your hotel room.

Don’t Use Your Feet

The feet are seen as the dirtiest and lowest point of the body in Asian culture, while the head is seen as the highest. Being the dirtiest part of the body, it is considered incredibly disrespectful to use your feet to do anything but walk.

Do not use your feet to hold doors open or to move anything. Do not point your toes or the bottoms of your feet towards anyone as this is considered highly disrespectful. Also, do not point or angle your feet towards an image of Buddha or towards a monk.

Do Not Insult the Royal Family

The Thai Royal Family are some of the highest members of Thai society, therefore, it is obvious that disrespecting them in any way is seen as a huge insult. You will not hear any Thais disrespecting them, so neither can you.

And remember the small things, even stomping on a Thai coin that is rolling away can be regarded as disrespectful, as there is an image if the king on it and it is frowned upon to use your feet for anything.

Don’t Point With Your Fingers

Much like pointing with your feet, it is equally as disrespectful and rude to point up with your fingers. When hailing a taxi or tuk-tuk, or trying to get a waiters attention, keep your palm down and your fingers are straight, and use an up and down movement.

When trying to get somebody’s attention, never clap, snap your fingers, or whistle. This is an incredibly rude practice and most Thais see that as a way to treat a dog, and not a way you would treat a human.

Do Not Touch a Thai’s Head

Like mentioned above, the head is viewed as the highest point of the body, as it is the highest point, it is considered very rude to touch a Thai person head. Parents will sometimes touch their children’s heads, but as a Westerner, it is advised to avoid the practice altogether.

Keep Your Cool

Thai’s practice keeping their cool and not losing their temper, even when faced with angering circumstances, so it is frowned upon for you to raise your voice, get angry, or make a display of anger in public.

This does not mean that you won’t come across an angry person on your holiday, but the Thai people are generally very friendly and very hospitable, and sharing a smile with someone will take you a long way.

Do Not Use a Fork

When eating in Thailand, there are a few points to take into consideration. Eating is one of the most social activities in Thailand, and the food is incredibly important and respected throughout.

When eating, you will use a spoon and a fork, but the fork must never touch your mouth. The fork is for putting the small cuts of food onto the spoon. Chopsticks are only used when eating Chinese food, as they are not a Thai eating implement.

No Whistling After Dark

Thais are incredibly superstitious, and one thing is strongly frowned upon and discouraged, is whistling at night. Thais believe whistling summons evil spirits, and therefore it doesn’t matter if you’re whistling a tune or getting someone’s attention, don’t whistle.

Avoid “Gem Shops”

One of the biggest scams in Thailand is when a tuk-tuk driver will tell you that they want to make a stop that is near your destination, and they end up taking you to a gem shop. These shops can be dangerous for tourists.

You will be constantly harassed, tricked into parting with your money, or even drugged and robbed. if a tuk-tuk driver mentions a gem shop, politely decline, pay what you owe and hop off to find another taxi.

Say No To Drugs

It is no secret that Thailand has some of the best nightlife in the world. From the many clubs in Bangkok to the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, there are drugs everywhere, at dirt cheap prices.

Our only advice is to avoid them all together. Most of the drugs are processed with highly toxic substances and can easily poison you. The drug laws in Thailand are some of the strictest in the world too, with the death penalty being a drug-related punishment.

Now that you know what not to do in the glorious country of Thailand, we hope these points have cleared up any confusion you may have had and you can now enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

Largest Cities in Thailand

With a popular 55 times that of the next biggest city, Bangkok tends to steals the thunder when it comes to Thai metropolises. That’s not the whole story, though. Living in Bangkok’s shadow can’t be easy but cool Nonthaburi seems to prove otherwise. Serene Chiang Mai gazes down on the rest of the country from its lofty peak up north.

In the south Hat Yai rules unopposed with a triangle of great Buddha statues in the city. Meanwhile, Nakhon Ratchasima guards the country’s ancient past, while still getting on with modern life. The largest cities in Thailand all have their distinctive charisma and, as visitors will attest, it’s worth being drawn in.

Bangkok

With almost 15 million people resident, Bangkok is Thailand’s greatest city and the most popular in the world. The Thai capital is a chaotic hub that’s also rich in history and, increasingly, in art and fashion.

Location

Bangkok’s on the mainland, sitting neatly in central-southern Thailand. Most flights arrive in Bangkok but there are also buses to other locations in Thailand. To Chiang Mai, it’s about 11 hours by bus and 12 hours to Phuket.

Attractions

There’s no shortage of things to do in this bustling city. Top of the list is a visit to the Grand Palace. The jewel tones of the spectacular buildings are offset by the dazzling white of the walls: it’s a visual marvel. Inside, head to Wat Phra Kaew, home to a remarkable Emerald Buddha, cut from a single block of jade back in the 14th century. The two throne rooms and the Amarinda Hall are also highlights.

No visit to Bangkok would be complete without some time at a floating market. Bangkok’s a canal city. Vendors come on longboats piled high with fresh produce to sell and to cook into yummy meals. There are many of these floating markets so it doesn’t matter which you experience. Damnouen Saduak is the most famous, while Khlong Lat Mayom is more authentic with unusual fruits you may never have seen before.

Nonthaburi

Nonthaburi’s a more chilled version of Bangkok. With about 270 000 people living there, it’s Thailand’s second city.

Location

Nonthaburi’s slightly to the north-west of Bangkok but the cities are so close, Nonthaburi’s sometimes considered a suburb of Bangkok! It’s a 30 to 50-minute ride from Bangkok.

Attractions

Although it’s just beside Bangkok, the city can hold its own with tourist attractions. For temples, Nonthaburi’s got Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat, built in a beautiful riverside garden, and Wat Sangkhathan which receives tourist from around the world who come to meditate.

Koh Kret is an island that’s home to very industrious Thais who produce stunning handcrafts, especially pottery. It’s also a good place just to stroll around as it’s covered in lush greenery.

The Day and Night Markets are great places to experience a relaxed atmosphere and authentic Thai cuisine.

Nakhon Ratchasima

Also known as Korat to Thais, Nakhon Ratchasima is both province and city. The population is 174 332 and it’s a rapidly expanding hub for retail in the country.

Location

Nakhon Ratchasima is situated north of Bangkok in the central-east of the country. It’s a 3 to 4-hour drive from Bangkok by car, though there are also regular public buses departing to the city.

Attractions

Most of the area’s best sights lie outside of the city. The showstopper is undoubtedly Phimai Historical Park. A collection of ancient buildings, some as old as the 11th century, Phimai is a testament to the country’s rich heritage. It’s one of the best sites in Thailand to view Khymer architecture. Cross the Naga Bridge, designed to take you from the world of humans to the world of the gods, and gaze up at the intricate prangs.

Inside the city, one woman’s name dominates the monuments: Thao Suranaree, the strong, powerful consort who led the city to victory on the battlefield in her husband’s absence. Her monument is near the city gate and is a great photo opportunity. She and her husband also built nearby Wat Sala Noi, Nakhon Ratchasima’s premier temple.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is as idyllic as it gets. With 175 000 residents, however, it is Thailand’s fourth largest city.

Location

Chiang Mai’s way up in the north of Thailand but there’s no challenge in terms of transport. Buses drive up from Bangkok, taking about 11 hours, while the train is slower at between 12 to 15 hours.

Attractions

The first place to visit in Chiang Mai is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a temple up the mountainside. The 306 stairs lead to an elegant example of northern Thai architecture. The temple is home to a shard of Buddha’s bone. The grounds are a collection of rock gardens, verdant trees and pretty monuments: a peaceful place to pause from the hustle and bustle. There’s also a proud monument to Chiang Mai’s union with Thailand on site. Try a meditation session at Doi Suthep Vipassana Meditation Centre.

Outside of the city, the Doi Inthanon National Park is a lovely day trip to make. There are waterfalls and hikes in the lush park which is also the location of two glittering stupas dedicated to the deceased king and his queen.

Back in Chiang Mai, San Kamphaeng Road is where you’ll find the trendiest cafes and shops. It’s sometimes called Handicraft Highway and that’s a true reflection of what you’ll see here: master craftsmen creating iconic silverware, pottery and wood ornaments.

Hat Yai

Hat Yai’s population sits at approximately 157 000. It’s an urban hub of the South that’s both western and Cantonese with gigantic malls and street markets.

Location

Far south, Hat Yai’s almost at the Malaysian border. The bus to Bangkok takes around 12 hours and there are also trains running across the country.

Attractions

Hat Yai has a new cable car that takes visitors up the hills from the park, providing superb views of the Thai city.

There’s also an amazing couple of temples in Hat Yai. Wat Hat Yai Nai hosts a massive 35m long Reclining Buddha that’s considered the third largest of its type in the world. In gold and ivory shades, the Buddha smiles mischievously down at visitors.

The second Buddha you must see is the Standing Buddha. Standing almost 20 m high, the statue is cloaked is gold leaf and rises above the city majestically.

Another remarkable icon is the Laughing Buddha which depicts the religious leader as an older, plumper figure, happily giggling away. The complex is entered via the mouth of a large lion, something that’s best experienced in person.

To tend to your mortal needs, head over to Kim Yong Market. This where you can browse a traditional Thai market and discover fresh fruit salads, hot chestnuts and eyebrow-raising magic potions.

Thailand’s not often considered a country of great cities and not many are heard of besides Chiang Mai and Bangkok. But look closer: with majestic Buddhas and exotic markets, these urban jungles are more than just the largest cities in Thailand.

Coolest Things to do in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most exciting countries to visit. No matter what time of year you visit, or for how long, there is an infinite number of unforgettable and unique things to do in this magical country.

Elephants in Chiang Mai

Visiting the elephants in Thailand is definitely a must, but do some research first to ensure you are going to an ethical sanctuary. The Elephant Rescue Sanctuary in Chiang Mai takes in abused and mistreated elephants and retires them in comfort.

Riding elephants at the sanctuary are completely forbidden, but you can feed them, go into the river and bathe with them, as well as go on walks with your new big-eared friends. Start your tour at the poo park, where you will learn about how the dung is recycled. Trust us, it’s the start of an amazing adventure.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

While you are still in Chiang Mai, the one thing you need to do is get up really early one morning, before the sunrise. Once you are awake, you should definitely take a hot air balloon ride to watch the sunrise over the city.

Watching the sunrise in Thailand is one of the most beautiful things you will see anyway, but watching it while up high in the air makes it even more unforgettable. Enquire at your hotel about the trips and make it one of the first things you book.

Snorkelling

Thailand is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters in the world. A holiday here isn’t complete without a trip to the beach, and once you get there, snorkelling is a must.

Koh Tao is the go-to location for snorkelling, and there are many tours available to let you explore everything hidden underneath the water. The tours are very budget friendly, and equipment is incredibly cheap to buy or rent.

Temple Tours

As a strongly Buddhist country, there are thousands of temples and shrines spread across the country, with hundreds of them found in the main cities. There are many of them that are incredibly unique and if you aren’t sure where they all are, you are going to miss some.

A temple tour is the best way to see and explore some of the best temples in the country. Whether you are in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or any of the other major cities, you can book a temple tour and have a guide walk you through some of these magnificent structures.

Lotus Lake

In the Northeast of Thailand, there is a spectacular surprise that you may miss if you didn’t know it existed. The north of the country is known for its wide expanses of rice fields, but hidden away amongst the tall elephant grass, is the Lotus Lake.

Lake Nong Han looks like it comes out of a fairy tale. Covered with thousands of lotus blossoms, this lake is a favourite for visitors during Valentine’s Day, but this unique lake is an absolute must-see for any visitor to the country.

Wat Rong Khun

Wat Rong Khun is one of many temples found in Thailand, but it is also one of the most unique temples. It is all white, designed to represent the purity of Buddha. Designed by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, there are some unusual murals to be found inside.

There are glass and mirrors on the outside of the temple, that reflect light in the most beautiful way. But, the best time to see the temple is at night, when the moonlight makes the temple look almost otherworldly and ethereal.

Eat Insects

As a country with the best street food in the world, there is never a shortage of something to delicious to find and eat. You can find everything from unusual fruits, noodles, meat skewers, and of course, insects.

Deep-fried locusts or scorpions can be found in almost every market and on every street corner. Considering they are incredibly tasty, don’t be put off by the legs or stingers. They may not all taste like chicken, but Thailand is the best place to explore food.

Join a Muay Thai Camp

Many people may not think working out is the most fun thing to do while you are trying to relax on holiday, but since Thailand is home to Muay Thai, you do have the chance to join a training camp.

Thailand has produced some of the best Muay Thai fighters to ever live, and have also perfected the training methods, so joining the camp will give you a very tailored and unique experience. Plus, many of the fighters stay at the camp, giving you the chance to see how local Thai’s live.

Full Moon Party

The Full Moon Party, on Koh Phangan, is a party not to be missed. Celebrated every full moon, tourists and locals alike gather to dance and party the night away. Be prepared for a ton of people, great music, and an unforgettable experience.

Usually a party for the younger generations, it is open to anybody and everybody. There are many boats that Travel to Koh Phangan for the party, as well as the island itself has many hotels and places to stay if you want to enjoy the island after the party.

Yi Peng Lantern Festival

If you are in Thailand during November, the one thing you cannot miss is the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. The festival usually takes place in mid-November in Chiang Mai and happens before the Festival of Lights.

Releasing the thousands of lanterns symbolises letting go of misfortune and bad luck from the previous year, and Buddhists believe making a wish when you release your lantern, will make your wish come true in the new year.

Thailand is the home to spectacular scenery, incredible people, and some of the most unique experiences you will ever discover. Whether you are in the city, at the beach, or in the vast countryside, you will find something special to do.

Traveling to Thailand, what do I need?

Thailand is a popular tourist destination because of the locals, food, beaches and more. Visiting Thailand should be on everyone’s bucket list because of its lush forested mountains, cultural diversity, enigmatic locals, colourful cities and tropical beaches of islands.

Travelling to Thailand, what do I need?

Knowing what to pack and what to leave when going on holiday can be quite daunting, but we have compiled a list of things that are a must!

10 things you need before going to Thailand:

Consider this your survival guide on what you need when travelling to Thailand.

1. Sturdy Backpack

Invest in a durable backpack that will be able to hold all your things, without breaking your back in the process. A great backpack will have a harness to support the weight you’re carrying, but it’s important to remember to pack light.

The bulk of the weight should be supported on your hips, rather than your shoulders.

A hip belt helps to make sure the weight of the backpack is supported on your hips; shoulder straps keep the bag in position, without you having to fidget with it; a number of pockets or compartments that provide space for extra storage.

Shop around before deciding on a backpack because you want one that has a long lifespan.

2. Travel cubes

Packing luggage when going on holiday can be quite frustrating because you don’t want to leave things out of fear of needing them, or packing too many things. Travel cubes are perfect because they force you to organize your luggage into things that you really need: less is more!

The cubes also make it easier for you to pack and unpack things, especially when you are looking for something. You can mix sets up, colour coordinates them, etc.

3. Travel wallet

Carry all your important travel documents- passport, boarding cards, hotel reservations, credit cards, etc. in a travel wallet. There are a variety of different travel wallets: ones that you can hang around your neck, ones you can carry in your pocket. Make sure your invaluable documents are in a safe place.

Take pictures of all your important documents and save them to your cloud, send them to yourself and a friend via email, so that you have a record of everything in case you lose your travel wallet.

Rummaging through all your luggage, as you try to find your passport will stress you out. Having a travel wallet will help you know where exactly to find your important documents when you need it most.

4. Footwear

Walking around the city is a great way to meet locals and find out about the hidden gems that tourists often overlook, so investing in high quality and comfortable shoes is a must.

Getting shoes that are easy to remove should also be taken into consideration because you have to take your shoes off before entering into sacred temples, some businesses and people’s houses. You should also practise good foot hygiene, especially if you’re taking your shoes off.

Thailand is known for its scorching temperatures, so get shoes that are ventilated but are comfortable to prevent blisters, heat rash and other issues. It’s not advised to wear chunky hiking boots in the majority of Thailand because of how hot it gets. Sneakers with great sole will do the trick.

5. Water carrier

Water will become your best friend because of how blisteringly hot it gets in Thailand. Having a water carrier is a convenient wave to carry your water around with you, especially when you are going to be active. There are places where you can find safe-to-drink bottled water, but it’s just good to keep this bottle handy when walking around the city.

6. Medication

Having a health kit is essential because you never know when you might need them. Getting onto a plane doesn’t excite everyone, thankfully there is motion sickness medication or sleeping pills to help make the flight more bearable.

You have to give your body time to get acclimatized to the new time zone, but if you’re pressed for time there are pills for jet lag that will let you hit the ground running! Replenish your electrolytes to avoid feeling woozy, lightheaded and to avoid other diseases.

Allergy tablets can also prove helpful. Also keep something handy, if you experience any digestive problems.

7. Underwear

Sweat is something you’ll have to get familiar with when in Thailand. Find underwear that will bear the heat and your body’s sweat, by buying lots of cotton underwear; cotton is a great material because it’s breathable, while materials like nylon trap moisture.

Thailand is an incredibly humid country and having breathable clothing that wicks away moisture will prevent overheating.

You’ll also need a few extra pairs if you succumb to number 6.

8. Toilet paper

Yip, toilet paper made the list. In Thailand bidets, water hoses, or bum guns (as they’re commonly called) are used more often than toilet paper. The gently pressured water jet is used to clean up after going to the bathroom.

Not only is this more hygienic, it’s great for the environment and the sewage systems, but you will still need toilet paper when using public restrooms that are not always hygienic or that doesn’t have toilet paper.

Buy a small compact bag that will hold your toilet paper, hand sanitizer and moisturiser.

9. Sunscreen/ mosquito repellent

Thailand can feel like a furnace, and a sure-fire way to not get burnt is to apply lots and lots of sunscreen every day and the mosquito repellent.

You will have to reapply repellent during mosquito peak hours (around 17h00), to avoid spending the rest of your trip scratching yourself. Wear clothes that cover your body and protect you from the sun to fight off sunburn and mosquito bites.

Image – mosquito repellent spray

Mosquito bite and sunburn relief provide that extra relief when the sunscreen and mosquito repellent didn’t quite do the trick.

10. Camera

There’s something about wielding a camera that makes you feel like a photographer, and with the rise of smartphones, there’s also something nostalgic about it.

You should take lots of pictures while on holiday in Thailand, so be sure to pack lots of memory cards. And always, always back up your images immediately. You will never forgive yourself for losing all those priceless memories, especially if it could have been avoided.

If buying a camera is out of the budget, then you can use a smartphone. A camera with a high resolution will definitely help to make your pictures look better, but a phone with an Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) technology will compensate for shaky hands.

Attachable camera lenses give your pictures a professional quality but at a fraction of the price. A portable charger will make sure no moment goes uncaptured. For the best angles, a kickstand, selfie stick or tripod will do the trick. Lastly, waterproof cases that make an ordinary phone waterproof – imagine all those underwater moments waiting to be photographed.

Buying small attachments keep your luggage lighter and more compact.

Besides your travel essentials for Thailand, this list covers the things that can be easily overlooked when deciding what to pack for your next holiday destination. Now, that you have an idea of what to pack, it will give you more time to plan your travel itinerary. Your next trip to Thailand awaits you …

Thailand in November

As the Land of Smiles ushers in November, Thailand’s temperatures increase steadily and with that begins a season of festivities with tourists returning after the monsoon and locals celebrating the rice harvest. Beautiful beaches in the Andaman Sea beckon, as do hikes through the rice fields and mountains of the North.

In addition to the accessibility of these natural wonders, the country hosts fabulous festivals which the Thai people enthusiastically celebrate. Rest assured, there’s no shortage of places to go and things to see in Thailand in November.

Weather in Thailand

Thailand’s an outdoor destination for most travellers: beaches and jungles are top natural phenomena. As such, weather is an important factor in deciding when and where to visit.

The lowest average temperature during November is a reasonable 19°C; the maximum to be expected is 32°C, meaning the weather is hot enough for beach days but cool enough to keep you sane as you navigate crowded streets.

November Temperatures

Chiang Mai’s cool with temperatures ranging from 19 °C to 30°C, while Bangkok’s warmer with 23 °C to 32°C. Out on the islands, temperatures are warm. Phuket ranges from 23°C to 31 °C and Koh Samui’s at 24 °C to 30°C. But don’t be deceived by higher temperatures; rainfall is key when deciding where to go!

Rainfall

The rainy season is considered to be at a close in November but rainfall can still vary across the country. It’s highest in the islands, including popular Koh Samui (an average of 490mm), while mainland Bangkok largely escapes the downpour with 46mm.

Best Destinations to visit

The Islands in Thailand

The Andaman Sea Islands are where the best beaches in November are located. West of the mainland, they’re generally free of the storms that plague the lower gulf islands like Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Popular islands such as Koh Phi Phi and Phuket are in the midst of shoulder season, meaning they’re more affordable than in the height of the dry season.

In Phuket, late November’s improved weather means more bars open and the island remains uncrowded but not deserted. The diving season also begins. Catch a special full moon party at Paradise Beach Club in Phuket as the entire country celebrates Loy Krathong.

The North and North-East Thailand

The north is cool and bustling in the midst of rice harvest. Though still cold at night, the mountains around Chiang Mai are popular for hiking in November. An already spectacular landscape is transformed into the mystical as the mists descend over the mountain tops. Adding to this beauty are the blooming flowers dotting the landscape.

Rice is Thailand’s staple food. Most farmers do not use modern machinery, instead, harvesting their crops with traditional methods. November, harvest season, is a good time to visit the rice paddies.

Bangkok and the Central South of Thailand

November is a good time to visit Bangkok. You’ll avoid the claustrophobic heat of other months, meaning more comfort when zipping around town on a scooter or wandering the vast rooms of the Grand Palace. However, the tourist crowds are high (they always are) so there’s plenty of queueing. With the city’s popularity, prices for accommodation and meals are steep. This isn’t the time for spontaneity, either: book ahead.

Remember to factor in the locations of some of Thailand’s great festivals, listed below. These towns come alive during the celebrations and offer amazing glimpses into local life.

Events and festivals in November

In November Thailand celebrates the approach of the drier season and the country turns grateful, dedicating festivals to river spirits and monkeys, as well as celebrating its rich cultural and artisanal heritage.

These are just a few of the many festivities taking place in the month:

Loy Krathong

According to the Thai calendar, the 12th full moon of the year falls in early November. On this night, the moon lights up all of Thailand, the signal for the country’s Festival of Lights, Loy Krathong, to commence.

Locals decorate floats with banana leaves and spider fly plants before filling them with food, incense, candles and other tokens. The glowing lanterns are then placed on the rivers, creating a flickering spectacle in honour of the river spirits. In releasing the floats, people are symbolically letting go of old grudges and making wishes for the new year.

The festival is practised all over the country but for a special variation, head to Chiang Mai. There it takes on a different name, Yee Pheng, and locals release lanterns into the sky instead of onto the rivers.

Boat Race Festival in Phimai

Though the main drawcard of the festival is the boat races, the rich cultural and crafting displays are equally attractive. There’s a display of traditional techniques and products, art shows in the ancient archaeological park, contests and a large, bustling market.

Phimai is a part of north-east Thailand.

Silk Festival and Phuk Phoen Ceremony

Thailand’s one of the largest silk producers in the world. It’s an age-old trade in the ancient kingdom that’s celebrated in Khon Kaen in late November. There’s an exciting street parade, demonstrations of weaving techniques, folklore events and, yes, stalls full of silk!

Khon Kaen is located in the north-east of the country.

Monkey Banquet Festival

On the last Sunday of November, the people of Lopburi gather to pay their respects and express their gratitude to the monkeys of the town who attract many tourists, providing incomes for locals. There are hundreds of monkeys and sitting down to a banquet with the animals is a unique experience. Street parades and food markets (this time for humans) also take place during the festival.

Lopburi is situated in central Thailand.

November’s definitely an exciting time to visit Thailand. The country shows off its history, art and culture with unusual and tourist-friendly festivals. The natural beauty of Thailand also comes to the fore with breathtaking scenery in the lofty peaks of the north and the turquoise, clear waters of the southern islands. With so much on offer during the month, November is an ideal time to visit Thailand.