Thailand’s climate differs between the north and the south. In northern and central Thailand, it’s hot from March to May, rainy from June to October and cool from November to February. In the south it rains intermittently all year long with temperatures around 27 C. It rains every day in the rainy season. The monsoon season lasts from July to November.
Getting around ThailandTrains
are comfortable, frequent, and punctual. Although slow, taking a train is a great way to see the country. Thailand’sbuses
are very fast, well serviced, and air conditioned. If you’re pressed for time, catch a flight. Thailand has regional airports, and convenient domesticflights
are easy to find.
Transportation in a city or resort is typically a taxi, tuk-tuk, rickshaw, pickup, or hired car and driver. Taxis are usually metered in a city; make sure the meter is turned on. Always negotiate the fare for a tuk-tuk or rickshaw before you set out.
The BTS Skytrain in Bangkok is safe, clean and comfortable. It doesn't go everywhere; taxis and tuk-tuks will make up the rest of your journey. Chiang Mai doesn’t have buses or taxis, but has lots of covered pickups (songtaos) and tuk-tuks. You can hail a songtao and their fares are reasonable. Many travellers rent motorcycles and bikes in Chiang Mai, but make sure to drive defensively.
Avoid driving in Thailand, both cars and motobikes. Thais drive on the left side of the road, usually at breakneck speeds even around blind corners, and aren’t fussy about driving laws.
Thailand insider information
- Thailand's capital mixes the old with the new while maintaining its position as a modern, international city. Bangkok is perfectly attuned with its modern skyscrapers, ancient palaces and temples, and infamous nightlife. A shopper’s paradise, there’s the famed Chatuchak Weekend Market and shops with everything from handcrafts to luxury items. The excellent cuisine is a result of Bangkok’s rich ethnic history.
- The cultures and ethnic groups in Chiang Mai reflect Thailand’s diversity: skyscrapers surrounding the Old City, monks chanting, hill tribes selling their wares, carved teak houses, modern markets, and condominiums. This is the place to shop for high-quality handcrafts, fine antiques, huge Buddhas, and even furniture. The nightlife is equally diverse, offering the Night Bazaar, discos, lounges, and small bars.
- Phuket (pronounced "Poo-ket") is Thailand's largest and most popular island. The topology alone is fascinating: rocky peninsulas, limestone cliffs, tropical forests, tranquil bays, and white-sand beaches. There’s a beach for every budget, from luxury resorts to bungalows, and Phuket is well-known for its fine seafood. The Patong nightlife is wild and has something for all tastes and inclinations.
- Ko Samui is an international resort with the attendant comforts, nightlife, and crowds. Most visitors come to have fun and the island offers plenty of it: basking on the beaches, trekking in the hills and forests, scuba diving, parasailing, Thai boxing, sightseeing, or watching working monkeys on coconut plantations. The nightlife reverberates with discos, open-air bars, and dance parties.
- Near Samui, Ko Pha-ngan is famous for its monthly full-moon beach party, a free party hosted by DJs. The morning after you can recuperate in a herbal sauna and relax on the beach. Popular with international travellers, Pha-ngan offers a full complement of activities from sightseeing to jungle trekking. For a more peaceful vacation, the island also has laid-back resorts.