Thailand holidays have long been a favourite for well-heeled nomads and the first port of call for curious hedonists. A tropical patchwork of pearly beaches, tangled jungles, peaceful temples and sincere locals, a holiday to Thailand from South Africa is a rite of passage for all travellers.
Positioned along the Indochinese Peninsula and dotted with castaway islands, Thailand is where minds unfold and bodies unwind. Honeymooners, bargain hunters and adventurers love Thailand for its postcard-perfect beaches, labyrinthine markets, exotic nightlife and aromatic cuisine.
If it’s your first time travelling to Thailand, we’ve got you covered. More than half of all Pentravel agents have experienced the “Land of Smiles.” From savouring street food in Bangkok to exploring the ruins of Ayutthaya; from elephant trekking in the northern hills to soaking up the idyll of cerulean waters, here’s your guide to Thailand.
When to go:
While the climate varies throughout Thailand, the best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between November and February. For keen shoppers, the Thailand Amazing Grand Sale takes place annually during the low season. This is usually from June to August with shops offering fantastic discounts.
What to see and do:
- Big Buddha: Marvel at the artistry and magnitude of this mammoth statue.
- Bangla Road Nightlife: Dance until the sun comes up along famous Bangla Road.
- Old Phuket Town: Ornate shops, temples and colonial mansions take you back in time.
- Koh Phi Phi: Explore a small archipelago of six tropical islands in Thailand.
- Koh Nang Yuan: Go diving and snorkeling at Koh Nang Yuan.
- Railay: Explore overhanging caves and crevices, home to curious monkeys.
- Phuket: Discover Thailand’s most popular island.
- Koh Samui: Take an underwater scooter and cruise the coral at your leisure.
- Amphawa: Explore the floating markets of the “Venice of the East.”
- Koh Phangan: Dance beneath the full moon on famous Hadarin Beach.
- Chiang Mai: Explore elaborate temples in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s cultural heart.
- Phra Nakhon Khiri National Park: Discover the “Holy City Hill” in a historical park in Thailand.
- Pre-book your main activities and excursions if you plan to go on holiday to Thailand during the peak season.
- Day tours and weather-dependent activities can be booked once you’re there.
- All-inclusive Thailand holiday packages are cost-effective and convenient for groups of friends or travelling families.
- Give yourself options to eat out and enjoy the local cuisine of Pad Thai, colourful curries, and rice dishes.
- Getting around is easy with Thailand’s taxis and tuk-tuks, but use the Skytrain in Bangkok to avoid traffic.
- Grab a map, hire a scooter and explore Phuket’s secret beaches: Ao Sane Beach, Banana Beach and Nui Beach are three lesser-known gems.
- Patong will feed your need for retail therapy and late-night parties in Phuket.
- Take cash to Thailand’s local markets and don’t be shy to haggle for a better price.
- Taking photos of Buddha is frowned upon.
- Wearing bikinis in the street is considered disrespectful.
- Pack light clothing and comfortable shoes, and don’t forget hats, sunblock and bug spray.