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Thailand tailor-made holidays

Glittering temples and the remains of ancient kingdoms, exotic islands fringed by white-sand coves, gently swaying palms and towering limestone cliffs have all made a holiday in Thailand something of a traveller's dream.

A well-trodden trail highlights the main attractions: frenetic, intoxicating Bangkok; hill tribes and elephant treks in the mountainous north; the old Siamese capitals of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai; put togther a tailor-made trip to Thailand to experience the best of what the country has to offer.

All this, and islands like Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Samui that continue to fulfil a fantasy of places to unwind and savour the pleasures of beach life, make Thailand holidays perennially popular.


Wexas Travel brochure for Thailand tailor-made holidays

China, Japan & South East Asia

Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.


When to go

Inland Thailand has a tropical, humid climate for most of the year. The area north of Bangkok has three seasons whilst the southern peninsular region has only two.

In the north the weather is mostly dry between November and May, though from March to May sees a sharp rise in temperatures as the cooling breezes of the northeast monsoon subside. May to November is dominated by the southwest monsoon, when rainfall is heaviest.

The south is more definitively split between wet and dry seasons. On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and heavy storms from April to October, while on the east coast the heaviest rains fall from September to December. The south gets by far the most rain at around 2,400 mm every year, compared with 1,400 mm in the central and northern regions.

Generally the best time to visit Thailand is the cool season from November to February when temperature ranges from 18°C to 32°C in Bangkok, while in the north and northeast daytime temperatures can be as low as 8°C to 12°C and nights can be chilly, sometimes dropping below freezing at high altitudes.

In the hot and dry summer season from March to June temperatures in Bangkok average around 34°C, but can often reach 40°C with oppressive humidity levels of 75%. April is the hottest month throughout the country. In the monsoon season from July to October there is extensive flooding. Humidity hovers around 90%, and temperatures average around 29°C in a wet and rainy Bangkok.

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
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Essential Experiences

We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.


Practical Information

Capital - Bangkok

Size - 513,115 sq km

Language - Thai

Population - 69.9 million (2012)

Religion - 95% Buddhist; 4% Islamic; minority Christian, Hindu and other

Currency - 1 baht = 100 satangs

Time zone - GMT+ 7 hours

Flight time - London to Bangkok 11 hours

Festivals

Thailand's major national festivals are intertwined with Theravada Buddhist rituals celebrating the ebb and flow of life. The main festivals are:

Full moon, 3rd Thai lunar month - Magha Puja. Commemorating the Buddha's teaching of Ovada Patimokkha to a spontaneous gathering of 1,250 enlightened monks.

13 to 15 April - Songkran Festival (Thai new year). The prime holiday of the year, when many people return home for family reunions.

May (moveable) - Royal Ploughing Ceremony and Farmers' Day. Ceremony of blessing for Thailand's farmers. The date is astrologically determined and announced by the Royal Household.

Full moon, 6th Thai lunar month - Vesak. Commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha.

Full moon, 8th Thai lunar month - Asalha Puja. Commemorating the Buddha's first discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma).

First waning moon, 8th Thai lunar month - Beginning of Vassa (Buddhist Lent). Three-month retreat observed by monks during the rainy season characterised by meditation and prayer.

Other annual cultural attractions include:

June to August - Dok Krachiao Blooming Festival (Chaiyaphum)

October - Nakhon Phanom IIIuminated Boat Procession

October - Phuket Vegetarian Festival

November - Surin Elephant Round-up and Elephant Show

Sporting events attracting international participants and visitors include:

July - Pattaya Marathon (Chon Buri)

July - Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek regatta (Phuket)

August - Bhumibol Dam Invitation International Mountain Bike Championship (Tak)

August - Songkhla International Glorify Marathon (Songkhla)

September - Adidas King of the Road running championships (Bangkok)

October - FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour (Chon Buri)

October - Amari Watergate & BMW Thailand Charity Midnight Run (Bangkok)

November - Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon

November - Laguna Phuket Triathlon

December - PTT Jet Ski King's Cup World Cup Championship (Chon Buri)

Visas

Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.

Passport requirements

Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry. Entry is normally refused if your passport is damaged or has pages missing.

Money

Currency

Banknotes are issued in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 baht. Commemorative banknotes of unusual values are also in circulation, including an 80 baht note issued in honour of Queen Sirikit's 80th birthday in 2012, and a 60 baht note marking the 60th anniversary in 2006 of King Bhumibol's accession to the throne.

Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht and 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 satang. At July 2013 exchange rates, £1 = 47 baht (so the largest 1,000 baht note is worth about £21).

ATMs

ATMs can be found in all cities and large towns, and international withdrawals are straightforward. ATMs typically provide a much better exchange rate than a money exchange counter, but usually add a 180 baht surcharge. The yellow Kungrsi (Bank of Ayudhya) ATMs tend to offer a poorer exchange rate.

Cash and EFTPOS

Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and shops catering to tourists. Fraud is fairly common, so use them sparingly. It's also a good idea to tell your bank in advance of your travel plans, so your card doesn't get locked. Many businesses add a surcharge of 2-3% for credit card transactions, so it's often cheaper to pay in cash.

Guideline prices

Thailand remains generally inexpensive for Western visitors. Bangkok has become the second most expensive city in Southeast Asia after Singapore, but food stalls, markets and other retail outlets still offer competitive prices. Haggling is the norm at market stalls, and vendors will try and charge whatever they think you can afford to pay, so check out government-run craft stores and hotel souvenir shops to get a feel for local prices before jumping in. A meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can be had for around 500 baht, compared with less then 50 baht for a local dish at a food stall. Expect to pay around 60-80 baht for a beer, 50 baht for a coffee, 15-20 baht for a soft drink and 10 baht for a small bottle of water. Taxi fares around Bangkok are generally less than 100 baht per trip.

Itinerary ideas [19]

The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Thailand tailor-made holidays. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.

Hong Kong & Thailand

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Beach City History & culture

This classic city and beach holiday takes in the chaotic, colourful streets of Hong Kong and the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand.

Eastern & Oriental Express Asia Classic

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Luxury travel Rail journey Short break

Experience the uniqueness of South East Asia in the utmost comfort and luxury, on board the elegant and timeless Eastern & Oriental Express.

Bangkok, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan

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Beach City History & culture

The Gulf of Thailand offers fine beaches, superb snorkelling and world-class diving in clear, warm seas. Two of its most popular holiday destinations, Koh Samui …

Secrets Of The Golden Triangle

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Activity adventure History & culture Natural world

Depart Bangkok on a morning flight and embark on a 5 day tour of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Visit the Golden Triangle area, where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos …

Thailand Top to Toe

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Activity adventure Beach History & culture

When people think of Thailand, the first picture that springs to mind for many is one of gorgeous white-sand beaches, swaying palms and a sparkling turquoise …

Empire of the Khmers

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Escorted tour History & culture Natural world

Discover the ancient temples and historical parks of Thailand's north east on this three-day tour departing from Bangkok.

Bangkok, Phuket & Singapore

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Beach History & culture Honeymoon

Spend 3 nights in Bangkok, 4 nights in Phuket and 3 nights in Singapore.

Three days in Mae Hong Son

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History & culture Short break

Accessed by a 30-minute flight from Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, near the Burmese border in north west Thailand, is home to dramatic landscapes, magnificent …

Bangkok, Singapore & Bali

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Beach City History & culture

Visit the best of South East Asia in this amazing 15-day holiday. See the beautiful ornate temples and palaces in Bangkok, a city where anything is possible. …

Tailor-made holiday Thailand & Malaysia

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Beach City History & culture

A typical tailor-made Thailand package tour sees bustling Bangkok coupled with a stay on an established resort island. But why stop there? Our experts and …

Hill tribes of northern Thailand

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Escorted tour History & culture Natural world

The northern reaches of Thailand are home to some of the country’s most fascinating hill tribes, who live amidst stunning scenery and impressive rivers. Take …

Hilltribes And Lisu Lodge

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Activity adventure History & culture Natural world

A 4 day tour departing from Chiang Mai. Visit famous landmarks and experience traditional Thai culture.

Best of Bangkok

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History & culture Short break

Few cities are as vibrant or exhilarating as Bangkok. Thailand’s capital is hot and energetic, with a constant sense of energy. Tuk tuks weave between traffic …

Hidden treasures of Thailand

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Activity adventure Beach History & culture

A crowd-pleasing concoction of culture, city and beach, has made Thailand one of the most popular destinations for travellers the world over. Wonderful food, …

Places to stay [44]

The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Thailand tailor-made holidays. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Thailand tailor-made holidays, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.

Pimalai Resort & Spa

£££££
Beach Diving Honeymoon

The luxury boutique Pimalai Resort & Spa is built in natural surroundings close to Lanta marine national park on Koh Lanta island.

Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa

Beach Honeymoon

The stunning Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa is hidden beautifully amongst 64 acres of tropical parkland looking out to the picture perfect, turquoise Andaman …

Tamarind Village, Chiang Mai, Thailand

History & culture Luxury travel

Within the heart of historic Chiang Mai lies a boutique resort aptly designed and decorated with the tribal heritage of northern Thailand in mind, called the …

Banyan Tree Koh Samui

Beach

Escape the bustle of Thailand by escaping to this tranquil haven. Combining the best elements of a tropical hideaway, Banyan Tree Koh Samui is an exceptional, …

Tubkaak Beach Resort, Krabi

£££££
Beach Relaxation

The award-winning boutique resort blends distinctive southern Thai architecture with the incredible natural beauty of Krabi's landscape. Enjoy villa style …

Boathouse Resort on the Beach

£££££
Beach

Formerly called Mom Tri's Boathouse, Boathouse Resort on the Beach is a boutique hotel with 38 rooms and suites just steps away from the beautiful Kata Beach …

The Vijitt Resort Phuket

The 5-star Vijitt Resort enjoys a secluded beachfront location with stunning views across Chalong Bay to Lon, the Coral Islands and Cape Panwa. Accommodation …

Le Meridien, Koh Samui

Located on Lamai beach, Koh Samui’s quieter, more exclusive resort area, Le Meridien at Lamai Beach offers 77 stunning suites and villas, many with private …

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

£££££
Luxury travel

The Shangri-La hotel, Bangkok is a centrally located 5-star luxury hotel in the Silom business district of Bangkok, close to the shopping and entertainment …

Centara Grand at CentralWorld, Bangkok

As its name suggests, Centara Grand at CentralWorld is located in the heart of Bangkok, offering easy access to the city's many attractions while providing …

Aleenta Hua Hin, Pranburi, Thailand

Beach Luxury travel

High-end resorts along the Gulf of Thailand south of Bangkok, surrounding Hua Hin include the award-winning Aleenta Hua Hin - Pranburi luxury boutique resort …

The Surin, Phuket

£££££

With a collection of 108 stunning thatched cottages and magical location on a hillside overlooking the gorgeous white sand of Pansea Beach, The Surin is, …

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

£££££
Beach Eco-tourism Relaxation

Just a 20-minute speedboat ride from Phuket, the Santhiya Koh Yao Yai is a brand new five-star resort and spa surrounded by 38 acres of tropical forest, …

Four Seasons Resort - Chang Mai

Set in the beautiful Mae Rim Valley, the Four Seasons Resort pays tribute to Chiang Mai’s artistic and cultural heritage. Clusters of Lanna-style pavilions …

Aleenta Resort & Spa Phuket, Phang Nga

Beach Luxury travel Spa

Aleenta proves that, despite its increased popularity, Phuket can still deliver paradise. Set on a pristine beach, the suites of this spa resort have …

Dusit Island Resort

The 4-star Dusit Island Resort sits on an island in the Mae Kok River, the river that flows through central Chiang Rai. It is an ideal base from which to …

Indigo Pearl Resort Phuket

Luxury travel

The Indigo Pearl is a mix of industrial chic and raw sensuality, built around expanses of lush greenery, punctuated by modern objects d’art.

The Akyra Koh Samui, Thailand

£££££
Luxury travel

An exotic haven fringed by whispering palms and flour-like sand, The Akyra in idyllic Koh Samui, is the new little sister to the Aleenta properties.

Thanyamundra organic resort, Thailand

Wildlife

Thanyamundra is a sustainable 5-star organic resort located next to the Khao Sok national park in Suratthani, Thailand.

Evason Hideaway & Six Senses Spa

Evason Hideaway at Hua Hin is an oasis of indulgent privacy, space and elegance overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Central to its ethos is the Six Senses Spa …

Layana Resort & Spa Thailand

Beach Luxury travel

The luxury boutique Layana Resort & Spa is nestled on Koh Lanta island in Mu Koh Lanta National Park, Thailand.

Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand

Natural world Spa

One of WEXAS spa collection’s favourite holistic resorts, Kamalaya Koh Samui offers immersive detox, fitness and relaxation programmes in a serene hilltop …

Pakasai Resort Krabi

Beach

Pakasai Resort, overlooking the azure waters of the Andaman Sea on Krabi in South Thailand, is an escapist gem. This exclusive resort has been built into a …

Centara Grand Beach Resort Krabi

Beach

Sitting majestically within its own private bay(Pai Plong Bay), Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas are perfectly located with direct beachfront access, over …

Six Senses Samui, Koh Samui, Thailand

£££££
Beach Luxury travel

Six Senses Samui is an award-winning luxury beach resort overlooking the Gulf of Siam on the exclusive northern tip of the island of Koh Samui.

Centara Grand Beach Resort Koh Samui

Beach

Superbly located directly on Chaweng beach, Koh Samui’s finest beach. Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui offers first class Thai hospitality. Enjoy the …

The Chedi Chiang Mai, Thailand

History & culture

Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand provides something different to the beach destinations and cityscapes of Thailand, including elegant resorts …

Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

Beach

The 5-star Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is located on a secluded section of beach at the northern end of Phuket’s well known Karon Beach. Architecturally …

The Sarann Koh Samui

Beach Luxury travel Spa

Perfectly perched on the tip of Chaweng Noi beach, The Sarann is a beautiful, boutique oceanfront resort offering guests an inviting oasis of relaxation and …

Rayavadee, Krabi, Thailand

£££££££
Luxury travel

The Rayavadee resort is an enchanting getaway set on the stunning Phranang Peninsula, amid coconut groves and lime stone cliffs, jutting out from the cerulean …

Anantara Golden Triangle, Thailand

£££££
History & culture Luxury travel

Experience the wild side of Thailand at the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort and Spa in Chiang Rai where the sights and sounds of the jungle reach every room.

The Sukhothai, Bangkok, Thailand

Luxury travel

The Sukothai hotel, Bangkok is a sanctuary in the buzzing heart of downtown Bangkok.

The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui, Thailand

Beach Luxury travel

With a beautiful setting on a private beach in north eastern Koh Samui and excellent service with a personal touch, the owner-managed Tongsai Bay is the perfect …

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Thailand

Luxury travel

The legendary Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, is situated in a stunning setting on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, …

Centara Pariya Resort Koh Pha Ngan

Centara Pariya Resort is the first boutique resort to be located on Koh Pha Ngan’s Yuan Beach, a stretch of secluded white sand beach accessible only by sea.

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi,Thailand

History & culture Luxury travel

Spread over 60 acres of natural landscape with peaceful views of the paddy fields, the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi is Chiang Mai’s only luxury resort.

Napasai, Koh Samui, Thailand

£££££
Beach Honeymoon Relaxation

The Napasai resort is a stunning secluded hideaway set within the natural surroundings of tropical gardens and cashew trees, located in Koh Samui.

Four Seasons Tented Camp Thailand

All-inclusive Luxury travel Wildlife

The four seasons luxury tented camp is located in the Golden Triangle where the three countries of Thailand, Laos and Burma converge.

The Sarojin, Khao Lak, Thailand

£££££
Beach Honeymoon Luxury travel

The Sarojin is a stunning beachfront boutique resort north of Phuket looking out over the crystalline waters of the Andaman sea.

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