Thailand Travel Guide
How to get to Thailand from Singapore
- Fly – Check out Malaysia's budget airline, Air
Asia, with flights from Johor Bahru (just across the border in Malaysia
and easy to get to from Singapore) to Bangkok starting from around S$50
plus tax per person one way. From 16 February 2004, Air Asia will also
start flying from Singapore's Changi Airport to Bangkok from S$60 (plus
taxes) one way. For other airlines, flying from Singapore, have a look
at Jetstar Asia
or online travel agents such as ZUJI
- Train – This is definitely the preferred mode
of travel for me, but it takes time. You can go from Singapore all the
way to Bangkok and on to Chiang Mai by train; to get to southern Thailand,
take the train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and from Kuala Lumpur to
Hat Yai with Keretapi
Tanah Melayu, the Malaysian railway operator. From Hat Yai, you can
continue on to Bangkok with the State
Railway of Thailand (SRT). Alternatively, take a train from Singapore
to Butterworth (mainland stop for Penang Island in Malaysia) via Kuala
Lumpur (you will need to change trains in KL) and then take the SRT train
from Butterworth to Bangkok. Also check out Seat61.com
for train information
- Bus – Companies like Grassland Express (Hat
Yai), Phya Travel (Hat Yai & Bangkok), Kwang Chow Travel (Hat Yai
& Bangkok) and Gunung Raya Travel (Hat Yai), offer bus services to
Thailand. All these bus operators are located in the Golden Mile Complex
on Beach Road.
Beaches & Islands
- Ko Chang – A group of
47 islands near the border with Cambodia; these islands have been highly
recommended by some of our guests
- Ko Samet – Great beaches!
Pha-Ngan – THE party place in Thailand, famous for its full
moon parties! Except for the party capital Hat Rin, the rest of the island
is still fairly underdeveloped. Bangkok
Airways flies direct to Samui where Pha-Ngan is just a ferry ride
- Ko Phi Phi (Leh and Don) – Although typically described as a
stunning, but very touristy and over-developed, we have been receiving
positive recommendations for the Ko Phi Phi islands
- Ko Tao – When travelling
through Asia in 2002, I visited Ko Tao and stayed for about a week. This
island is one of my favourite islands in Thailand, because it is (was
at the time...things move quickly in Thailand) not too developed, even
the budget hotels are right on the beach and there is some great nightlife
(great small bars and cafes right on the beach).
- Krabi (Ao Nang) – Krabi province is not as developed as some
parts of Thailand. There are stunning beaches, some of which are quite
developed, but also quiet beaches and beautiful forests and mountain ranges.
The peak season is December to March.
- Phuket – Very touristy, but it is still possible to get away
from the crowds and the go-go bars. There are some view points with stunning
views along the coast and from where you can see all the bays one after
another. I rented a moped to get around; not too expensive and a great
way to see the island, but it is scary driving down highways on one of
these things and cars don't seem to notice or care about you.
- Bangkok – You either love it or you hate it! I loved it for about
10 days, then it started to get to me and I needed to get out to get fresh
air and get away from the traffic! There is a lot to do in Bangkok; whether
you like nightlife (in whatever shape or form), shopping, or culture,
Bangkok has plenty! Khao San Road is backpacker central, with lots of
places to stay, eat, drink and shop. It is definitely worth spending some
time in Bangkok!
- Chiang Mai & Hill Tribes – Intersting city (and surrounding
area), nice climate with lots of cultural attractions and arts and crafts
shopping. From Chiang Mai you can go trekking in the surrounding mountains
to visit the hill tribes, such as the Hmong, Karen and Lahu.
National Parks – have a look at the Thai
Forest Booking website for more information
- Doi Inthanon National Park (year-round, best November – February)
- Kaeng Krachan National Park (November – April)
- Khao Sok National Park (December
- Khao Yai National Park (October
- Thaleh Ban National Park (December – March)
Kiteboarding – this looks like fun!
- Hua Hin
- Ko Pha Ngan
- Ko Samui
The website of Asian
Diver magazine has useful reviews and information about the various
dive sites in Thailand and other destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.
In order to get the best price for your day trips, liveaboard trips or
dive courses, it is best to shop around once you get to the islands; there
are many operators with special promotions or last-minute prices. Do check
if the operator is reliable; it is definitely worth paying a bit extra to
be assured that you dive with professionals , who know the sites and have
- Phuket & Krabi Area, including Similan and Surin Islands –
Similan Islands are a very famous dive destination with great visibility,
especially from December until May. The Richelieu Rock is a dive site
near the Similan Islands, which is famous for, amongst other things, Whale
Sharks; they regularly visit this rock from February until April
- Ko Tao – I came to Ko Tao to take an Advanced Open Water scuba
diving course and prices are reasonable (cheaper than Phuket) and the
diving is great. If you visit these islands around March and April, you
have a good chance of seeing Whale Sharks as well! Some of the dive sites
around Ko Tao can also be reached from Ko Samui, but you will waste some
time going to and coming back from the dive sites
Sea Kayaking & Canoeing
- Phuket – Sea kayaking is a great way of exploring the islands
and caves around Phuket
When to go
The best time to visit Thailand is between November and March; during these
months it is not so hot and does not rain so much.
The hotest months are from April to June; during these months, most of
Thailand is very hot, humid an wet! The only exception would be the south,
which does not have the extreme temperatures and rain fall.
Northern Thailand is best visited from November until December and February.
Bangkok is extremely hot (and therefore very uncomfortable) in April and
it is extemely wet in October.
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