Everything You Need To Know For An Amazing Trip To Thailand!

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It isn’t easy to understand what Thailand is made up of. As soon as you fall for its beaches and forests, a skyscraper infested skyline diverts your awe. Just as you begin to stare a little longer at the architecture of ancient ruins at Ayyuthaya, Sukothai or Chiang Mai, you instantly recall the country’s modern edifices beginning from the structural magnificence of the Suvarnabhuni Airport.

As the country offers you a nightlife to revel in, it also offers you spiritual retreats to heal at. Thailand is a tale of two cities, that exist not just as parallels but in harmony with each other. The average backpacker is as enthralled with the country as the tourist who demands sheer luxury. There is no dearth of things to do in Thailand.

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Here underwater adventure meets spa retreats; floating markets meet boutique stores, laid back beaches meet all-night parties; ancient temples give way to modern wonders; and all this is simmered, tossed and boiled down to create the colourful, spicy flavours of the Thai cuisine – a taste no honest traveller has ever forgotten.

How To Reach Thailand

Thailand is well connected to every major country in the world. There are 11 international airports in Thailand. The most important ones being the Suvarnabhumi Airport and the Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, and the Phuket International Airport in Phuket. The other international airports are in Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Chiang Rai.

Visa Requirements For Thailand

Tourists from 16 countries can obtain a visa on arrival. You can see the rules for Visa On Arrival here. Visa on arrival by air is valid for 30 days, and visa on arrival by road is valid for 15 days. Citizens from 52 countries can enter Thailand through an international airport without a visa for a maximum stay of 30 days. Citizens not belonging to the countries in either category need to obtain a visa through the Thai embassy or consulate before arriving in Thailand. Indian citizens can learn how to apply for a visa here. The visa will cost Rs.2,000 and will be valid for 3 months. Check Thailand Embassy's website for more information.

Getting Around

Though Thailand has a road public transport system, the most effective way to get from one city to another is to book a domestic flight on Thai Airways or Nokair.com. There are daily and weekly flights available so plan your trip accordingly. Nok cars are also available at Rs.2000 a day. Ferry rides and cruises are also available to various islands.

Places to Visit in Thailand: Bangkok

The party destination of Thailand, one always finds their way to this hip capital. Bangkok is quite a smooth charmer with its eclectic lifestyle and stunning views. Nobody can forget their days in Bangkok.

Thailand’s capital is known for all the right (and wrong) reasons. It raises the bar for the luxury traveller and delivers to the point. The best way to experience Bangkok is to let it surprise you. Its street markets, a haven for food lovers, vibrant khlongs (canals) and shining Wats, a gift for culture enthusiasts, and its nightlife, every party person’s dream; are spoken of around the world. Bangkok is the oriental dream come true; enchanting, exotic and endearing.

Amazing Things To Do In Bangkok

Day 1

Gaze At The Magnificence Of The Grand Palace

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Get A Much Coveted Thai Massage

Banyan Tree Spa, Thaan Sanctuary and Ruen Nuad are a few places where you can enjoy a traditional Thai massage.

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Indulge In A Plush Dinner Cruise

Chao Phraya cruises, Loy Nava Dinner Cruises, and Manohra Cruises offer packages starting from Rs.3000.

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Best Rated Places To Stay In Bangkok

1) Private Décor Apartment: Rs. 8,500

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Best Rated Places To Eat In Bangkok

How about sipping a cocktail atop the highest roof bar in the world? Offering a view of the city lights and the sky lights, this is one of the best ways to end a great day in Bangkok. It is also one of the best ways to begin a good night in Bangkok. Dine at the award winning restaurant, Sirocco and then head to the bar for some fun. Don’t miss the special Hangovertini they created to spend the filming of Hangover II in the hotel. This is surely on all travellers' things to do in Thailand.

Serving a mix of Asian and International cuisine with the romantic view of the Chao Phraya river. Indian Tandoori ovens, sushi counters, and Lebanese mezze are juxtaposed together to create one of the most appetite-inducing food counters you could find. Its dessert station is the cherry on the top.

With the amount of options Bangkok gives you to eat, it’s easy to get confused. Don’t worry Rain Tree has you covered with its plethora of cuisines spread out in a nice buffet. Rain Tree is a delicious end to all your ‘where to eat’ conversations.

Day 2

Slowly moving from Thailand’s present (Bangkok) to its past, Chiang Mai was the cultural and religious center of ancient Thailand. Its ornate, historical structures still boast of the opulence that the Thai land inhabited and still inhabits. Luxury in Chiang Mai radiates from its spirituality, from its splendid fit-for-the-kings Wats. Travelling to Chiang Mai is like exploring the true soul of Thailand. It's surreal experiences like painting elephants and ornate temples are some of the most interesting things to do in Thailand.

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Awesome Things To Do In Chiang Mai

A true spiritual escapade in Thailand, Chiang Mai is a much needed breack after the crazy nights in Bangkok. Its flamboyant temples invite you into its culture and lead you to some good soul-searching that every journey needs.

Reach for the Spirit at the 700 year old Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

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Add some adventure to your trip through rock climbing on the boulders of Chiang Mai

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Day 3

Understand local culture at the Lanna Folklife Museum

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Embark on a one-of-a-kind Night Safari at Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo.

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Best Rated Places to Stay in Chiang Mai

1) Pink Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa: Rs.11000

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2) The Hut: Rs.8000

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Best Places To Eat In Chiang Mai

Situated in a cottage, its home-like ambience and the delicious flavours of French and European cuisine make it one of the best places to enjoy a Sunday Brunch or a lazy lunch. Prior reservation is recommended.

One of the best kept local secrets, it serves authentic traditional Thai cuisine. It’s vibrant, antique and homely environment makes it perfect for a hangout with friends as well as for a date with a loved one.

Imagined on the lines of a rain forest, the restaurant provides a unique experience of dining in the wild. With a lake, tress and a wooden table making for a perfect starter, the meal just keeps getting interesting with its Asian flavour infused menu.

Day 4

Ko Samui is where the Thai romance resides. In one way, it is the beating heart of Thailand which has been seeing an influx of tourists much before the Thai islands become prominent on the map. The island is a fresh breath away from the high energy cities of the inland. It’s like taking a boat ride to nowhere. A nowhere lined up with luxury beach resorts, dimly-lit bars and posh spas along with a palm-filled coastal line and a landscape covered in rain forests.

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Amazing Things To Do In Ko Samui

This lively island will fill up your need for sun and sand. Its laid-back beaches are great to get a holiday tan and its horizon is a view to die for! Ko Samui is the ultimate escapade with a loved one or a group of friends.

Dine over the romantic blue waters

Contact the Chaweng Regent Beach Resort for the most amazing meal of your life.

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Get a beachside massage

Find a list of the best spas here.

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Go zip-lining through the rainforests

Both Canopy Adventures and Treetop Tours promise a day of adventure and a never-seen-before view of the rainforests. Packages start from Rs.5500.

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Discover Beauty below Sea Level at Ang Thong National Marine Park

Day 5

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Visit the Golden Buddha (Wat Phra Yai)

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Best Rated Places To Stay In Ko Samui

1) Pavilion Samui Villas & Resorts: Rs.12,000

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Best Rated Places To Eat In Ko Samui

The restaurant serves some fresh seafood along with fusion of Asian and International cuisine in the romantic and enchanting setting of a tree house in the rainforests. Quite easily, the most delightful dinner of your trip.

Thai food is enjoyed best with the added view of the ocean. The restaurant lets you enjoy the salty sea breeze as you order from an elaborate fusion of Asian food.

Full moon offers an assortment of fine dining experiences. It’s most popular for its barbeque and grills and a romantic setting.

Day 6

Phuket is where fun and luxury maximize themselves. And so does beauty. It is not a surprise then, that many travel blogs and magazines compare it to a stylish celebrity or the supermodel of travel destinations. Phuket is pretty high-maintenance, from its nightlife to its beaches and everything in between. It is the ultimate luxury on a Thailand itinerary that pampers the common traveller to forget his normal existence and feel like a true king.

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Amazing Things To Do In Phuket

Of all the Thai experiences, Phuket is probably the one you either won't remember or won't forget. This is Thailand welcoming you with open arms into its culture, cuisine, entertainment and beauty. It's all of Thailand packed into one.

Watch a Cabaret Show in Simon Cabaret or the Aphrodite Cabaret

To pick Simon Cabaret or to pick Aphrodite Cabaret is an on-going debate here.

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Where’s the Rum Tour at the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

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Learn to cook some Authentic Thai

One of the essential things to do in Thailand is learning the secret to its food. You can bring home the mind-boggling Thai flavours by taking a few classes at Kata Thai Cooking Class and Phuket Thai Cooking School.

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Day 7

Take a trip to the James Bond Island

Hop on a speed boat tour of the Phang Nga Bay and visit the amazing location where The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) was filmed.

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Best Rated Places To Stay In Phuket

1) BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel and Serviced Apartments: Rs. 11,000

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Where To Eat In Phuket

One of the best food choices in Phuket, this steakhouse sets the standard for what grilled meats should taste like. It attracts a huge amount of locals and tourists. A must visit in Thailand.

This French haven in Patong is quite a luxurious dining experience. It serves some fine wines too with an amazing view of the ocean.

A perfect dinner and drinks place, it serves some amazing Asian dishes and grills with live music, a dimly lit atmosphere and a superb service. If nothing else its extensive wine list is bound to keep you impressed.

This one deserves an exclusive mention with its amazing setting- a floating wooden surface over water on the roof overlooking the ocean. Sitting on cozy pillows and sipping cocktails, this is the perfect place to chill.

All prices are approximate and as updated on 7th March 2016.

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