Thailand Travel Guide For Beginners!

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This Thailand travel blog and guide has all of our best Thailand travel information, tips, stories and experiences to help you plan your trip, or to decide if Thailand is somewhere you’d like to go. We’ll also tell you where you should go in Thailand, and where not to go, how much you should spend, what are the best things to eat, and how to stay safe.

Thailand is the easiest country in Southeast Asia to visit, possibly the cheapest, and we think, the best.

Thailand travel blog
Thailand has beach destinations, of course, but there are many interesting places to visit and you should explore the north, in particular.

You’ll find travel ideas for couples and singles on this page too, not just families. While we are primarily a “family travel” blog, we have visited Thailand almost every year for decades, to add more tips, trips, essentials, destinations, budget ideas, and accommodation reviews to this guide.

Thailand Bangkok
The single best place to visit in Thailand must be Bangkok. It is a city full of incredible things to see. We’ll tell you what to see in Bangkok on this page, also check our related posts at the bottom of the post.

We last visited in 2023, to keep everything updated. We first visited as young solo travellers. We’re now visiting as over 50 travellers, so it’s all on this page.

Thailand food at floating market
Thailand has some of the best food in the world. You’ll find it on the streets, at markets and in restaurants, and it is not always “spicy”. Find out which floating markets you should visit, and where to take a cooking class on this page.

Thailand is a brilliant travel destination for long-term travel, what’s called backpacking, or short vacations which can be luxury or budget. It is an easy and affordable country to travel to, with plenty of good resorts, if that’s more your style.

Hotel in Thailand
A mid-range to cheap family room in a hotel in Thailand. We really liked this hotel in Sukhothai, find out why you should visit Sukhothai, below. It’s one of the ancient capitals of Thailand, along with Ayutthaya.

Thailand also has possibly the best food in the world and you will have plenty of opportunities to try it, or to learn to cook Thai food. We recommend you do!

Thailand lanterns
Lanterns like this are popular in Thailand. I took this photo at the annual “lantern festival” in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. Chiang Mai is incredibly popular with travellers, and rightly so. If you only visit the beaches you are quite likely to see lanterns like this and fire shows in spots popular with tourists, like Phuket, Ko Samui, or Ko Samet. All of these places have huge tourist industries, but there are quieter beaches and islands.

All information on this page represents our personal experience. Please check all facts, prices, availabilities, and timings for yourself, as things change fast. Also, check the latest travel restrictions and openings with the official tourism authority of Thailand and/or the Thai government websites.

Thailand Travel Blog and Guide

How to Travel in Thailand

Thailand travel blog flying with thai airways
Thai Airways is Thailand’s national carrier and it’s a great full-service carrier. We fly from London to Bangkok on Thai and always enjoy Thai flights and the food on board. Air Asia is the cheaper option, serving most of Thailand’s major and regional airports.

You can visit Thailand for a short vacation and stay in a hotel, or you can travel around Thailand easily and cheaply. You can do either on a tight budget, or spend more on luxury.

We have personally been to Thailand 20+ times, as singles, as a couple and now with kids. I know my children have been to Thailand at least 20 times, their first trip was at 4 and 6 years old. We have travelled around the country independently as long-term backpackers, taken shorter up-market holidays and I have visited on a small group adventure holiday. Every style of travel is possible in Thailand, and they are all a good idea!

road and vehicles in Thailand (travel blog)
It’s very easy for tourists to get around Thailand by tuk-tuk or taxi. There are also trains, including sleeper trains, and buses or coaches, you can even hire a car and take a road trip in Thailand. But we don’t recommend that around Bangkok, head north to the quieter roads! This photo is of the historic Giant Swing in Bangkok Thailand.

Thailand is a fabulous destination and probably the easiest to choose for travel in Asia,. “The best” way to visit Thailand doesn’t exists, this depends on you, your preferences, how much time you have, and your budget.

beach massage at sunset Thailand
Thailand, beaches, sunsets, massage, all three are popular on Thailand’s islands. Some you can fly to, like Ko Samui or Phuket, others you can reach by ferry. This is Koh Phangan, a ferry ride from Koh Samui.

Accommodation in Thailand will suit all budget points from super luxury to budget-friendly. You can stay in a luxury beach resort or a beach hut, you can backpack around Thailand using public transport or book a private tour. Any style of travel is possible in Thailand and it’s a particularly easy country for Western tourists to explore.

Train in Thailand through market tourist attraction
Some trains in Thailand are tourist attractions. This is the famous Maeklong Railway Market where the train passes through the market several times per day. We have posts on this site about Maeklong, and the nearby Amphawa floating market. We think that’s the best floating market in Thailand for you to visit.

Budget travel is popular in Thailand with backpackers and nomads, young and old.

Costs of Travel in Thailand

There are huge variations in costs in Thailand. The big beach resort destinations can be expensive, yet the smaller islands, where only the backpackers go, will be cheaper. Bangkok is more expensive than many other towns and cities, yet Chiang Mai is really good value. On the whole, Thailand is very affordable for those of us packing dollars or pounds.

Costs depend on your travel style of course. You can spend big or get by on well under $50 a day, it totally depends on you and where in Thailand you are. An absolute minimum guide would be:

  • Guest House, of a good standard $26 for a family of 4, with 4 beds.
  • A meal, eg. pad Thai, sitting down in a simple restaurant 40-50 Baht, under $2.
  • A meal from a street stall, upward of 30 Baht.

Of course prices go up and up, but with common sense and knowing where to go, you should be able to keep costs in Thailand this low.

Family Travel in Thailand

Thailand for families
Thailand is a great destination for families. You can book a beach vacation or tour the cultural and historic wonders as a family, there is also some really cool wildlife that most families will enjoy. This is my family, in Bangkok.

Because Thailand is a well-established travel destination and because of the modern, developed nature of much of the country, Thailand with kids is usually no sweat at all. The Thais really do adore kids and more than once we’ve had them whisked away to be entertained by adoring young women when we’ve arrived for dinner.

Transport is easy (but roads can be dangerous), food is good, and hygiene standards are so much higher than 20 years ago. We’ve been making this Thailand travel blog for a very long time! There is plenty of accommodation at all price points (see below) and loads to see and do.

Car hire is now a good option in parts of Thailand, great for families. Obviously, dangers are present, sharp coral, traffic, dogs, monkies, and so on, but we always find Thailand an easy, safe enough, country to visit – or we wouldn’t keep going back. We wrote Thailand with Kids, No Worries! If you’re concerned about your first steps in Asian family travel.

Thailand Vaccinations

The first time we visited Thailand with the kids, for a 2 week vacation, our GP didn’t think it necessary to get any extra vaccinations. I’d agree, for a short stay, avoiding the small areas where malaria is a possibility.

We were happy not to take any extra precautions other than being extra careful avoiding mosquitoes. But of course, check with your own doctor.

But that’s not the official medical recommendation for most countries. The vaccinations recommended for travel to Thailand will vary from country to country, we’ve seen this as we’ve lived in and sought medical consultations in both Australia and the UK. The advice given was hugely different, as was the cost.

I can tell you here that we’ve never had rabies vaccinations for Thailand and we’ve spent months, maybe years, in Asia. We don’t regret that decision.

We haven’t taken malaria prophylaxis for Thailand since 1999, when I was trekking on the Burmese border and staying in remote villages.

We haven’t thought it necessary on any subsequent trips, although if we were heading to the jungles again we would consider it.

You can find the Malaria Map for Thailand here. As you can see, the NHS only shows a risk around border regions. I’ll tell you that we did not take any anti-malaria medications during 6 weeks in Laos, nor for 1 month in Cambodia last year. We travel long-term so even if we wanted to, we can’t take anti-malaria drugs for much of the time.

It is our choice to not take them, but the final decision must come down to what you are comfortable with.

Worrying will ruin your vacation but we normally find that health worries evaporate once you hit the ground and see thousands of healthy people around you.

If you’re starting extended travel in Thailand and come from a country where travel vaccinations cost are huge (such as Australia), it’s a good idea to get any vaccinations in Bangkok.

There is a travel clinic linked to the hospital of tropical medicine. Medical care in Thailand is good, as my husband can testify. He had emergency surgery on Ko Samui.

Find East Asia travel health recommendations from the NHS here.

As an update – we have now had those rabies shots – here’s why. If in doubt, get all the shots, listen to your doctor.

How to Find the Best Prices and Deals on Hotels, Hostels, Guest Houses and Resorts in Thailand

Back in the day, we would always travel around Thailand without making any reservations. We would simply arrive in town and knock on doors until we found a room that we liked at the right price. We would always negotiate hard.

Those days are all but gone, and we find more and more fixed prices along with online prices that are actually better than any price the accommodation will give us face-to-face.

So these days we usually book at least a couple of days before arrival. We’ll then take a look around and see if there is anywhere we like better, but mostly we end up booking online for a better price. The world has changed.

Agoda are the Asia specialists, we usually use them to book in Thailand. Agoda are based in Asia so have more variety and often score better deals.

If you’d like to book a refundable deal, maybe a long time in advance, are probably your best bet. Of course, if you prefer, you could use Airbnb too, but we’ve never had much luck with this platform in Thailand and the cleaning fees are too annoying.

Accommodation in Thailand. To Give You an Idea!

Old Bangkok City Capital Bike Inn Hotel Thailand
If you want to spend a little for a Bangkok treat, for honeymooners, for families, for couples, we wholeheartedly recommend this place! This is Bangkok’s Old Capitol Bike Inn, mentioned below.
  • Are there 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8 people?
  • Do you want a hostel, guest house, hotel or apartment?
  • Do you care about location? Do you need breakfast, air-con, TV and room service?

There are too many variables!

Our recent experience is in family travel, so that’s what we’ll focus on here. Some ideas on hotel costs follow, keep scrolling on down if that’s not what you’re here for.

6 weeks inThailand best guest house in Bangkok
Backpacker style? This is a very old-style backpacker guest house in Bangkok. Modern hostels are ultra sleek.

A small selection of the hotels, guest houses, villas and hostels that we can recommend. We are not sponsored by any of the hotels below, these are honest recommendations, but you’ll get an idea of what to expect and what you’ll pay per night. I’ve included family accommodation at the backpacker end and at the luxury end. You’ll see that accommodation is very affordable in Thailand.

We also now have a full post on recommended family accommodation in Bangkok, at all price points.

  • Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok. Bangkok’s stunning Chao Phraya River river is lined with large 5 star hotel, often with rooftop pools or bars. A place like this, the Chatrium Hotel  will only cost you just over $100/night for a family suite with 2 bedrooms. That’s great value! Pay a little more for stunning river views and breakfast.
  • Lebua at State Tower Bangkok. If you’re looking for a luxurious riverside 5 star at a higher price point, the Lebua at State Tower will give you a stunning 2 bedroom executive suite for under $400. This one is in Silom, near the BTS and overlooking the river. A dream of a hotel!
  • Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort Bangkok. f you want to avoid the modern tower blocks, this traditionally Thai, luxury hotel is for you. Again, it’s right on the river and has any number of pools, restaurants and bars. A 2 bedroom suite with breakfast comes in at just over $500 at Anantara Riverside . This one has the full “wow!” factor.
  • The Rambuttri Village Inn,  Khao San Rd. Area, Bangokok. This is often billed as the best place to stay in Bangkok, at the best price. It’s a big place and they’ve recently extended it. The new wing looks very upmarket from the outside. It has a rooftop swimming pool to cool off and the room we had, for 3 (I was travelling with just small kids), was decent. It’s right in the heart of the action on Rambuttri Rd, the next road over from Khao San. Note, this one didn’t have rooms for 4 when we last stayed. You’ll struggle to find anywhere else with a pool in this area but on the above, complete guide post, there are hotels with 4 bed rooms in the next street.  The Rambuttri Village costs around $20 for a double room, book 2 for older families and you still have a bargain.
  • Shanti Lodge, Khao San Area, Bangkok  *New Favourite* We LOVE this classic, old school guest house, perfect for closet hippies like me! It’s on a quiet road, about 15 minutes walk from Khao San and Rambuttri Rds and footsteps from food markets, the fascinating flower market and, importantly, a river jetty. If you can get to the river you can go just about anywhere in Bangkok. Shanti Lodge has family rooms, good food, a lovely area for hanging out downstairs, and is spotlessly clean. It’s in the photo above. A full review post on this Bangkok classic is coming soon.
  • Mile Map Hostel, Silom, Bangkok. Just under $50 for a 4 person family room with shared bathroom. We love this place, it’s our new Bangkok budget favourite, a little more expensive than rock bottom, but it’s nice, very clean and the location is good. If we’re in Bangkok for a few nights to catch connecting flights, this is our base. The Silom area has far fewer tourists than the bustling Khao San area, so the street food is cheaper and more authentic, there’s plenty of it, including a fantastic vegetarian café right outside the Mile Map Hostel. (Closed last time we were there) Here you are a short walk from the BTS and close enough to the river and waiting river taxis. Read more on staying in the Silom area of Bangkok here. My London ex-pat friend lives in Silom, it’s his pick too.
  • Old Capital Bike Inn, Bangkok. We picked this one for my 50th birthday treat. It’s a wonderful hotel, superbly located, with bags of style. Cost, around $180 for 4 people. We have a full review on the Old Capital Bike Inn here, or check out pricing and availability here.
  • Haad Salad Villas Haad Salad Beach, Koh Phangan. We spent 6 glorious weeks on the beach in our own little villa with hammock and balcony at Haad Salad Villas. At the time this was the cheapest place to stay on Haad Salad beach, we asked everywhere as we were on a tight backpacker budget. Today it’s listed as $x per night on Agoda. Ko Phangan is a large island and the beautiful beaches are quite spaced out, you’ll need transport to get around. We’d recommend booking in advance so you know where you’re going for those first few nights. We have absolutely nothing negative to say about Haad Salad Villas, we loved the location, the room, the breakfasts, and the staff. Waking up to that incredible blue sea was just as magical as watching the daily rainbow sunsets as the sea lapped lethargically on the white sand and coral. Read more about life on Ko Phangan here.
  • Green Papaya Resort Haad Salad Beach, Ko Phangan. To give you the opposite end of the scale on Haad Salad Beach ( and there are less than 10 properties on this tiny cove),Green Papaya Resort offers similar cute Thai-style beach villas, but these are two bedroom, with stylish, modern, slick, interiors and breakfast is included. The Green Papaya resort boasts a glorious pool should you ever tire of that incredible calm, clear, sea. They cost just over $200 per night.
  • Sugar Cane Kanchanaburi. One of the cheapest places we’ve ever stayed, Sugar Cane  was just $12/night and another place that we loved so much we stayed weeks. A floating room on the River Kwai. The kids were small so we managed with one room, one big bed. We had our own little shower room and outside sitting area and happily hung out in the hotel restaurant eating great food. It’s not luxury, but we weren’t looking for it on that trip. It was lots of fun and the kids loved being on the river. Read more about Kanchanaburi, the bridge on the river Kwai and other nearby attractions here. It’s a bus or train ride from Bangkok. In 2018 we returned to Kanchanaburi, the food and views from Sugar Cane are still superb but this time we payed more and stayed at a modern, clean motel / hotel, Warm Well.
  • Tony’s Place Ayutthaya Tony’s Place was in the Lonely Planet, so it was busy. A fairly up-market sort of backpacker place, we had a beautiful family room with a mezzanine level and a private shower room. The building housing Tony’s is lovely, a traditional Thai wooden build with a courtyard garden and restaurant downstairs. They’ve put in a swimming pool since we were there. There’s plenty to keep you busy in Ayutthaya, from river cruises to elephants to one of Thailand’s 2 ancient cities. Read more about Ayutthaya here, you can get there by train or road easily from Bangkok.
  • Holiday Inn Ao Nang Krabi. This one is a bit different as we were guests of the Holiday Inn Resort, they believed in their property enough to invite us along to check it out. What we found was a superb 4-star family resort. If you’re looking for a child-pleasing resort-based holiday, the family rooms and suites here, along with the pools and play facilities, are worth taking a look at. See our Ao Nang Krabi post here.

How to Find a Place to Stay in Thailand?

If you are backpacking or long-term travelling, it is possible, and often cheaper, to just turn up and start knocking on doors. Always negotiate, don’t take the first price. It’s what we used to do pre-kids and pre-internet. These days we book in advance more and more.

We often use Agoda for booking hotels in Thailand as they specialise in Asia and have brilliant customer service.  

When we’re visiting for short holiday we always pre-book and usually go for a special, top-end experience, for long-term backpacking we may book 1 night for arrival and from there search on foot. It’s best to just pick one booking engine and stick with it, checking them all wastes time and ties you up in knots.

Suggested Thailand Itinerary

Hot off the press for you, our new Thailand itinerary trip planning post (2 weeks and above) is here.

Shopping in Thailand

shopping in Thailand markets
You can shop for clothes, jewellery, souenirs and crafts in Thailand’s night markets and walking streets. You can even get a haircut. You will also find designer shopping outlets in Bangkok. The photo is from one of the many night markets in Chiang Mai.

Shopping in Thailand is loads of fun and you can buy some amazing souvenirs and great quality cheap clothes as well as designer gear in Bangkok’s beautiful malls.

Remember that outside fixed-rate shops, you’re expected to bargain over prices. My son is a master of the art, click through to see him in action with a vendor on the Khao San Rd and read tips on how to haggle. Chiang Mai and its profusion of markets is the best place I’ve ever been for shopping.

Cost of Living in Thailand

This depends on the part of Thailand you’re in. Chiang Mai is cheaper than Bangkok, and the big holiday areas more expensive. There are huge variations and a lot depends on how keen you are to find good deals and the best local food.

Eat at tourist spots and your costs will rise. For instance, we bought the same beer in 2 places in Chiang Mai last night. A local-style restaurant was half the price of a not-upmarket tourist place in the night bazaar.

A meal in Thailand can cost you 40 Baht/person or several hundred, it’s up to you.

fish cakes Amphawa floating market
This serve of delicious, freshly made, fish cakes was 20 Baht, 50p at Amphawa floating markets.

If you’d like to know what it costs to live in central Bangkok, we recommend this article from Manf of Renegade Travels. He’s an ex-Londoner who lives in Bangkok with his partner, he knows what he’s talking about. You could also check out what Amy and Andrew of Our Big Fat Travel Adventure (a couple), have to say about the cost of living in Chiang Mai for 1 month and on costs of travelling in Thailand for 2 months.

Best Time to Visit Thailand.

Thailand Family Travel. Ko Phangan, Haad Salad. Paradise!
Haad Salad, Ko Phangan, Thailand. We spent 6 glorious weeks right here. Heavenly.

When considering when to visit Thailand, don’t just think about the weather and the cost. Prices are significantly higher at certain times of year, including Christmas and Western New Year (particularly for beaches). Famous Thai festivals and events will also bump up prices. Thailand is tropical, so it has just 2 seasons, the dry and the wet.

  • July to October is the wet, stormy monsoon season.
  • The cool, dry season runs from November to March, after the monsoon.
  • April to June and September to October are the shoulder seasons.

We’ve visited Thailand at the “wrong” time of year many times and still had fun, but flooding and cancelled ferries could spoil your trip in the wet season. Also watch out for high levels of air pollution pre-monsoon, particularly in Chiang Mai and the north.

Getting Around Thailand

Chiang Mai songtaw fixed price Thailand
Songtaws, buses, taxis, tuk tuks, planes and trains are all good option. Or you can hire your own car as we have on occasion.

There are plenty of choices when it comes to getting around Thailand and most of them are good and very affordable. Trains, buses, water taxis, songtaws (above), tuk tuks, planes, ferries, buses, coaches, monorails, just pick the method that suits you.

Thailand tuk tuk
Tuk tuks are a great way to travel short distances in Thailand. Either agree a price with your driver in advance, or be sure he will use the meter.

Know that there is a good way to book transport tickets online in Thailand, a company called 12 Go Asia, open this site here. You can find more on them in this post on train travel between Kanchanaburi and Bangkok.

Thailand ferry between islands
Ferries, like this one will transport you between Thai islands. This was the ferry from Ko Samui (which has its own airport) and Ko Phangan

Prices are good, don’t be afraid to take taxis in Bangkok the low cost is quite remarkable and these days they all run clean on gas. You must find a driver that will use his meter and in very touristy areas that can be hard.

Thailand long distance bus
A typical longer-distance bus or coach in Thailand. This one took us to Cambodia from Bangkok.

Tuk Tuks are fun and you must take a ride at least once, but in Bangkok in heavy traffic you are surrounded by traffic fumes, I’d save it for quieter areas if you have the option.

For the record, a family of 4 plus backpacks DO fit in a Bangkok tuk tuk.  You’ll usually get a better price from a taxi driver.

Trains in Thauiland
This is one of the new, modern trains in Thailand, there are also some older ones, but they’re all pretty good. This is the overnight sleeper train between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It’s a fun journey and we recommend you do it!

Scooter or moped hire is common outside Bangkok, but many, many people have accidents. I was one of them.

You can hire your own car in Thailand, we’ve tried it in the north and on Phuket, it was cheap and easy. Read our post on hiring or renting a car in Thailand here.

Because Thailand has such a huge and well-established tourist industry, you’ll also find private companies offering mini bus trips and shuttle service, they sell them through hotels and hostels and from the small travel agencies that you’ll find on almost every street. Alternatively, you can book them before departure and simplify your life. Check out this company, we’ve used them, they’re good.

If you want luxury, high speed transfers you can book VIP buses, private airport transfers or even high speed catamarans from Bangkok to the islands. These really aren’t expensive at all and could save you a lot of time and frustration. Take a look at options here on this website, it’s a company we use and trust.

No trip to Thailand is complete without spending a night on one of the excellent sleeper trains (the Bangkok-Chiang Mai trip is a classic). Book them in person at the train station, booking online costs more. Night buses are also fairly comfortable.

I was once sat on a bus in Laos for 8 hours next to a Thai lady.  She said “You should come to my country, good buses!”

We have posts on getting to Ko Samui and Ko Phangan from Bangkok, on Getting to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok and travelling from Bangkok to Laos by sleeper train.

Food in Thailand

This is where you’ll find the real flavours of Thailand, no menu, just point. Pan St. Bangkok.

Thai food is, of course, from Thailand and it’s possibly the most delicious, light, fragrant, and stunning cuisine on the planet.

In my opinion, no other country comes close. Neighboring countries in South East Asia, like Laos and Cambodia, have similar food but not as good. Indian and Vietnamese dishes are fantastic, but I think Thai wins.

With that in mind Chef and I put together this Beginners Guide to Thai Food.

Pad Thai Thailand street food stall.
A street food stall selling pad Thai, near the Khao San Rd. in Bangkok.

Don’t be scared, Thai food is not as inferno-hot as you may have been led to believe. In my experience, we’re often asking for more chillies, not less.

Street food is an art form in Thailand and the Thai people eat out, it seems all the time. If a street stall is busy with locals you know it will be good.

Don’t be afraid to eat on the street, in all of our time in Thailand, none of us has had any major tummy upsets and we eat everywhere, with a little common sense. We do avoid some salads, ice cream where there is a freeze/thaw risk and anything on the street that shouldn’t be.

You will see pre-prepared dishes everywhere (like those above), at the roadside and in small cafes, this is some of the best food you will ever taste, don’t be scared to try. Prices will be insanely low too, but not so much in the tourist places.

Travel and Food in Thailand, with Kids

Tom kha gai chicken coconut soup Thailand
Tom kha gai, chicken coconut soup, is one of my kids’ favourite things to eat in Thailand.

In some ways, Thailand is very Westernised, yet it retains its unique character. This could work in your favour if you are travelling with picky eaters. Every possible Western food is available in Thailand.

You’ll pass a 7-11 store every few paces, great for cold drinks and snacks, they also serve some hot food and coffee.

All of the big fast-food chains, Mc Donalds, Starbucks, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, they’re all there, so if your child needs familiarity (it often helps them to adjust) let them eat their favourites from home.

But, do introduce your child to some new tastes and flavours, my boys enjoy satay sticks for their peanut sauce, tom kha gai, a coconut soup, (the gai means chicken), pad thai (noodles), and of course the sweet, delicious street food treats.

You will find chocolate and banana roti (sometimes called pancakes), steamed pandanus or coconut puddings, mango and sticky rice, and deep-fried bananas at street stalls.

Fresh fruit is widely available and just about anywhere will serve you an omelette. Nobody is going to go hungry in Thailand.

The Big Attractions in Thailand

Grand Palace Bangkok Thailand
I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere more beautiful than the Grand Palace Bangkok.

There are pretty much two types of travellers in Thailand, those who come for the beaches, resorts, kids’ clubs, cocktails, and boat trips, and those who come for the cultural destinations. You can combine the two, of course, that’s easy with long-term travel, but not so easy on a two-week vacation.

If you decide to head straight to a beach or island, say Phuket, Krabi, or Koh Samui, you’ll probably need to fly up to Bangkok and Chiang Mai to explore cities ancient and modern.

You can take bus, train, boat combinations but on a short trip it will eat your time.

Another subset of visitors to Thailand are looking for adventure activities, scuba diving, trekking, zip lining, others want to experience Thailand’s wildlife, particularly elephants. You can do it all, but you’ll need a plan.

We give you some of the most popular destinations and places to see in Thailand, below, split into cities and cultural, followed by beaches and islands.

Cities, Towns and Cultural Destinations in Thailand

Did you know that Thailand has ancient capital cities to explore? For me these are must-sees, we mention them below. Bangkok is one of my favourite cities in the world and no trip to Thailand is complete without visiting the Grand Palace or taking a trip on the bustling river. Chiang Mai is a global travellers’ hub. Nomads congregate here for long stays and this city blends ancient and modern beautifully. Other places popular with cultural travellers are less well-known. We’ve listed a few below for you.


Bangkok is my favourite place in Thailand. I’d come here just for a short city break, and have done so many times. There are endless things to see and do in Bangkok from shopping, to eating to cultural tourism. Cultural highlights include the stunning Grand Palace, Wat Po, Wat Arun, floating markets, the river and her boats. Just explore and soak up the Bangkok atmosphere, be it the buzzing Khao San Rd, exotic China Town or the calm beauty of a temple. See our Bangkok hotel recommendations here, you can be pampered or go for rock bottom prices allowing you to spend your cash on having fun.

Don’t miss the floating markets, about 90 Km outside Bangkok you’ll find Amphawa, this is the one we’d recommend over touristy Damnoen Saduwak. Find out how to get to Amphawa and why you should go in this post.

If you’re in the mood you could try a dinner cruise on the river, a food tour, a long tail boat or rice barge tour or a pre-organised day trip. There are a huge variety of tour options in and around Bangkok, available here. Our full things to do in Bangkok post is here.


One of Thailand’s ancient capital cities. Dating from the 1300s, Ayutthaya is a UNESCO site. It’s just outside Bangkok (80 Km), an easy trip to make. As well as the ancient complex, you’ll find one of Thailand’s biggest and possibly oldest, Buddhas here. You can travel to Ayutthaya and stay a few days, as we did, or book a one day tour with river cruise, departing Bangkok in the morning, returning to your hotel at night.


The earlier Ancient city, founded in 1238, is a long way from Bangkok, over 400 Km. It can be tricky to get to for average tourists but seeing the sunset at Sukhothai is well worth the trip. Alternatively, travel to Sukhothai by bus from Chiang Mai, the trip takes approximately 5 hours. Our full post on Sukhothai is here.

Hill Tribes

The Hill Tribes of the north and the borders have become a tourist attraction in their own right. The trekking business and visiting the tribes, is huge. We recently drove to a remote village in northern Thailand to visit the Long Neck Karen. I have previously taken a superb Hill Tribe trek and a very bad one.

Chiang Mai

A lovely northern city with beautiful buildings, great night markets and attractions nearby. We have a lot of love for Chiang Mai. The overnight sleeper train journey to Chiang Mai from Bangkok is a travel classic and loads of fun. I totally feel OK about taking kids on this train, we’ve done it. There is lots to see in and around Chiang Mai such as the fantastic night markets, bursting with food and souvenirs, the historic old town, nearby temples and tourist attractions such as the famous Chiang Mai Zoo or the 3D Art Museum. Chiang Mai is better for shopping than Bangkok, save your money to spend here. We have a full post on Chiang Mai here. This northern city is extremely popular with digital nomads and worldschooling families.

Mae Hong Son

We just got back, post coming to the Thailand travel blog soon! A really pretty town with scarce tourists.


Again, we just got back from Pai after a 15-year absence. It’s grown a lot, but it’s still a classic traveller town. A guide to Pai will be coming from us soon. For now I can give you Danielle’s impressions of Pai.

Chiang Rai
Thailand Travel Blog North Thailand Chiang Rai The Blue Temple
It’s not just about the White Temple, check out Chiang Rai’s Blue Temple and many other attractions in the north of Thailand.

Chiang Rai Province, almost 3 hours north from Chiang Mai by road, is where you’ll find the famous and stunningly beautiful “White Temple” Wat Rong Khun but there is way more to see and do in this part of Thailand. We just got back from Chiang Rai and put this post together on Things to do in Chiang Rai. If you have time, Chiang Rai and even further north, should be on your must-do list.


Slow life on the river, the Bridge on the River Kwai, museums, safari park, waterfalls and that (now thankfully shut) Tiger Temple.

See our full post on Kanchanaburi and how to get there here. You can travel there by public transport and stay a few days or book a one day tour from your Bangkok base if you’re short of time. Arrange locally or book the tour before you leave home for added simplicity and no haggling over price.

Traditional Thai Tattoos

These are so popular these days. Find out how to get one and how it feels to be prodded with a spike by a monk, here. I had my traditional Thai tattoo in Bangkok, but you can do this all over Thailand, in most major cities. You’ll need to book in advance for this very special ritual and blessing. Our post, above, gives you more information on arranging an authentic Sak Yant in Thailand.

Thai Beaches and Islands

The three main islands of the Chumphon Archipelago on the west shore of the Gulf of Thailand are Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Thao

Ko Samui

You can fly in, or take the ferry, from here you can travel on to Ko Phangan and Ko Tao. The island is very popular with holiday makers and the level of development reflects this. We can recommend the private hospital here personally.

Ko Phangan

Our favourite so far. This one hosts Full Moon Parties at Haad Rin, the other end of the island is quieter, but can fill up at party time. We loved Haad Salad beach, but neighbouring Haad Yao is nice too.  Bottle Beach just to the north, is known for seclusion.

Ko Tao

Ko Tao ( or Koh Tau) is a small island close to Ko Phangan and Ko Samui. Very popular for diving, similar dives can be taken from Ko Phangan. We recommend Sail Rock.

Ko Samet or Ko Samed

The closest island to Bangkok. You can get there by mini bus and a short ferry ride. It gets very busy on weekends with local people but the island is pleasant.


Phuket is hugely popular with holidaymakers. Read what we loved about Phuket here. You’d normally stay here or in Krabi to visit the famous Ko Phi Phi. No Thailand travel guide would be complete without mention of Phuket, but this big resort destination really didn’t wow us.

Everything you need to plan a trip to Thailand is available for free in our Thailand Travel Blog. Don’t forget your guidebook, we always use Lonely Planet, they’re a good read and allow you to learn about the history, culture, food, and customs of a country before you visit.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

61 thoughts on “Thailand Travel Guide For Beginners!”

  1. Insightful read, thank you for sharing your expertise! Escape to luxury at Evolve Back Kabini, where lavish villas seamlessly merge with nature. Enjoy wildlife adventures and spa retreats for an unforgettable getaway.

  2. Thailand tour packages

    Malaysia and Thailand are all distinctive holiday destinations in the treasure chest of stunning Asian cities and countries. not to just spend your holidays but to make the best out of it. From sunny beaches to charming lantern-lit rooftops,

  3. If you are planning to go on a hassle free trip with your loved ones then Thailand is a tropical holiday destination and it is home to some of the most mesmerizing landscapes and it is often referred to as the land of smiles and it is one of the most affordable tourist locations.

  4. My family of 6 is planning a trip to Thailand. We have an 18. 17, 13, and 3 year old plus my husband and myself. What would be an appropriate amount to budget for daily spending? We are not luxury people and really like to find local favorites for food. All boys so they eat a lot. We will already have the hotel covered so it should not be included in pricing. Just food, car, and random activities.

    • I’m pulling numbers out of thin air really. But, assuming this is your first time in Thailand so you won’t know where to find the best, cheap, food and assuming you’ll be doing a lot of activities, which will cost an arm and a leg for 5 adults – adult price normally goes on height, after about 8 years old we’ve had to pay adult prices for the kids. I’d say, roughly $300 per day. Don’t pass out, yes that’s a lot. We’ve done it on $50 per day, easily but these days we spend $100 or so per day. Which includes accommodation.But we know Thailand inside out, know how to get the best prices and almost never have to pay for tours and attractions. It could even be over $300. My boys would eat for Wales given a chance but we limit them to 1 reasonable sized Thai dish each. A decent Thai dish should cost you $1. – $5. With $5 being a lot really, that would horrify me if we were paying that regularly.If you’re paying more you’re ordering luxury items or you’re eating in over priced places. If you’re in beach resort places like Phuket, Krabi etc, you’ll struggle to find reasonably priced food ( research online for the good ones) and even taxis and Ubers will cost you loads compared to Bangkok. It just is what it is. Enjoy your trip! ( $ = US )

  5. Hi guys, amazing to read your traveling stories. We’re planning an Azie trip for 5 months starting with a 2 weeks relaxing moment on an island. We were thinking about Koh Chang or Phu Quoc, but can’t choose. You guys any tips?

    • Hi Kelly, I think that boils down to whether you prefer Thai food or Vietnamese. That’s how I would choose.

  6. I’m also a chef and own a seasonal summer catering business. I want to take my family to Thailand for the winter. We have a 3 & 5 yr old.
    Really no plans and are thinking of a one way flight ✈️ to Thailand with no return booked. Is that cool with Thai authorities? We are open for suggestions. Thanks

  7. Finding your blog SO helpful un planning our upcoming trip to Bangkok. Curious if you took car seats/boosters? I suspect we’ll be in at least a few taxis and we’ll have a 4 and 7 year old in tow.

    • No, it would be totally impractical. We got over the car seat thing long ago! Most will have seat belts in the back but some won’t. It can be a bit hair raising on that drive from the airport into Bangkok but once in the city there is so much traffic that you’re crawling so not so much worry.

  8. HI Alyson, we just booked to start our 9 month family travel, going to start in Thailand. We have just booked a 1 -way flight as then plan to decide on the next destination once we settle in Thailand for a couple of weeks. Do you know if the Thai authorities allow travellers to enter if they don’t have an onward or return ticket?

  9. Hi me and my partner are thinking about traveling round Thailand with our kids 11-7 for around 6 weeks I was just interested to know would we be better booking places to stay before our trip or as and when we arrive to all our destinations?? And what places would be best to travel around with our children?
    Kind regards.

  10. Hello and lots of love from me.
    Your blogs are blessings in disguise for me and my husband.
    As we are planning for 6D 5N trip to Thailand by this November 2018. We are also taking both the sets of in-Laws (his mom & dad and mine also) with us. So you can understand my tension & worries.

    Can you please suggest other places along with Bangkok, which we can visit to maximise our travel experience. Its to remember we have four 50 plus peoples with us. We are so confused. We have also contacted travel agencies, but they are giving the regular options like Bangkok & Pataya etc etc. Which is kind off so not exciting. Please help.


    • Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kanchanaburi, Atutthaya, Sukhothai. So much to see! But depends, you’ll have some long internal journeys and are your old folks up for that? Search this site for those places and get back to me. Car hire in the north could be a very good option.

  11. Hi We are planning a trip to Thailand next Feb. We are staying 3 nights in Bangkok then were going to travel down to Krabi and stay for 10 nights in Ao Nang. Having researched we now don’t think this will be an ideal beach resort for us. Can you recommend any beach resorts which would be good, have an 8 and 13 year old and would be staying about 10 nights. Have you been to Khao Lak? What would your thoughts of there be? Many thanks.Kelly Essex

    • Hi! I have kids similar in age and am planning a very similar trip. Do you have any recommendations for the second part of your trip? We are going in December 2019 into Jan 2020 for 2 weeks.

      • You mean beach places? We’re not mad keen on beaches but we liked Ko Phangan, not so much Phuket or Ko Samui. We’re better with northern Thailand and cultural tours sorry. I’d try some of the smaller places if we were to go back to the southern islands. We’re also quite fond of Ko Samet, which is really close to Bangkok.

        • We ended up spending 10 nights at The Sands In Khao Lak and as a family it was perfect. Lots to do in surrounding area, lots of places to eat and hotel on beachfront with brand new aqua wing for children !

  12. Great article! My husband and I traveled to SE Asia 13 years ago and are heading to Thailand in April with our 6 and 8 yr. we are planning to take the 2nd class sleeper to Chiang mai(kids are sooo excited) it’s been recommended that I book this ahead of time because it will be a day or 2 before the water festival and we might not get a sleeper. In the past we just bought tickets at the train station the day of. Just curious what you suggest and the safest bet for booking ahead if that’s the case. Thanks!

  13. Hi!

    Thank you so much for sharing all these great tips!

    My husband and I are going to Thailand later this year (around dec) for approx 6-8 weeks. We are going with our daughter who will be around 10 months at the time.

    We have never been to Asia and I am so afraid I will miss the best parts! At the same time, we don’t want to hop around too much because of the baby. I was thinking about starting with a few nights in Bangkok, then head down to Koh Samui, and stay a couple of weeks there, on Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

    But what about the other side of the gulf, close to Cambodia? Are we missing out by not going there? Or Cambodia itself?

    Or is it any other destination that’s a must once around there? Even if it should be in a neigbouring country? Is it worth it to go one-way to BKK for example, and head home from Kuala Lumpur or something like that? We have this one opportunity to go, so we really want to make the most of it and would be so grateful for any tip! We are both quite avid travellers, but this will be a first with our little girl! Som anything that might be worth thinking of when travelling with small kids would be appreciated!

    Thank you so much!

    x from Sweden,


    • Hi Micaela, I really can’t answer this in a blog comment well, but if you like travel, I wouldn’t go to Ko Samui, I’d go to northern Thailand. 10 weeks is certainly enough time to visit 2 countries, and if you want to see Angkor Wat, now is your chance. With a baby, 100% fly probably from Bangkok. Fly to Chiang Mai too and hire a car and road trip around the north. So much easier for you with a baby than taking trains and buses. 3-4 days would be enough for Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Flying out of KL isn’t a bad idea but KL isn’t particularly mind blowing, it’s just where all the Air Asia flights go. If you have more specific questions shoot me an email and I’ll do my best. I wouldn’t take a baby to Laos, but Vietnam is as easy as Thailand. Lots of options!

  14. Hi thanks heaps for being so well traveled and writing on here! My husband, little girl and I are going to Bangkok and Koh Samui in August/September (only time we can go) I’m semi concerned about her getting a bit sick any advice? And are babysitting services at the hotel safe or best to keep her with us at all times I don’t mind but a nice dinner for our anniversary might be nice! Also what will I need to take?


  15. Thank you for blazing the trail and sharing all this wonderful information. We’re head to Vietnam and Thailand in February with our nearly 5 and 2 year old. We have relied heavily on our single BOB jogging stroller during other travels for the kids to get a break when tired walking, nap time for the little girl and to help haul everything (we do pack light, but with 2 kids you still end up with a lot of stuff). We primarily want it for big travel days like going to the airport or train station and then possibly on some ‘walking around’ days, but could otherwise leave it in a hotel for days on the beach or short outings. We haven’t been to Asia before and have read that it can be difficult to maneuver with a stroller on narrow sidewalls with vendors set up on them etc. Thoughts? It does did down pretty well, but obviously wouldn’t be bringing it on a tuktuk with us! Not sure if you used a stroller when your kids were younger, but guessing you know the kind I’m talking about and have obviously been to lots of places there so just wondering if you think we’d really get ourselves in a jam by having it along at somepoint. Thank you.

    • If you’ve found it useful so far just bring it I guess. If you find you can manage without it don’t. I’ts been a long time since those days for us. I know we never took a stroller to Bali or Thailand when the younger one was 3,4,5 years old, but we did take one to Australia with a 1 year old. If the 2 year old can walk and you cn carry her otherwise I don’t really see much need. Also I don’t know where exactly you’re going, there are huge variations within those countries, even here in Hoi An, parts of town would be fine for a stroller, others not. My gut feeling is you don’t need it, what’s yours ?

      • Thanks for your thoughts. You’re right, we probably don’t ‘need’ it, though we do find it helpful. Tough call, so we’ll have to see. If we don’t bring it, there will probably be times we wish we had, though if we do bring there will probably be times it will be a hassle so as with anything, just have to weigh the pros/cons. Appreciate the insights you had.

    • We are traveling with two toddlers (1.5 and 2.5) and had the same question about strollers. I think they become very helpful at the airports.. however we will be traveling on a boat from Phuket to Ko Phi Phi island and are conserned about lugging our luggage kids and stroller of off a boat ! This is a wonderful article and very insightful

        • We’re in Vietnam right now and brought our jogging Bob Stroller. I’m glad we have it for travel days and have been able to use it walking around town a couple times. Definitely would not recommend any other kind of stroller that isn’t a jogging type that can handle off road type conditions as sections of sidewalk are missing or severally unlevel :). All personal preference and there are times when it would be nice to not have to lug it around, on the whole, a plus to have for us at this stage with the kids.

  16. It’s wonderful to read about your experiences traveling in Thailand with your family.
    We have a 7-year old daughter and we have a two week trip planned at the beginning of April 2018. I think that we we will start our adventure in Bangkok and then find a picture perfect beach and relax in a beach hut until we have to return to Bangkok to fly home back to Canada. I backpacked through SEA 17 years ago and it’s been a dream of mine to return with my family. We are excited about the food, the Thai people & culture and the beautiful beaches.

    We are on a tight budget- can you suggest what island or beach we should head to from Bangkok that won’t cost too much?

    Thank you so much!

  17. Family of 12 – 2 sets parents, pair grandparents, 5 kids 13-14 yrs age. They love Mexico beach resort and puerto Vallarta city fun at Christmas. Half of us want to try Thailand but other half timid. We want Bangkok for 2-3 nights, 3 nites Chiang Mai and last week at Phuket for excitement of sites and beach holiday. All places MUST have large pools lots to do with culture mixed in. Only above 3 places as we have only 15 days! Also suggestion on most economical flights from Vancouver – thinking Eva Air but long flight is the challenge for some. Are there better routes with a good rest stopover?? HELP

    • Sherry I have no idea on that route to Thailand. I’d go to Skyscanner and use that to plan the best route, we have a post on using that tool well. You won’t have any problems finding places with pools. Just take a look at any of the online hotel search engines mentioned above and search by the size of your party while selecting the tick box for pool. I personally wouldn’t pick Phuket, it’s not representative of Thailand.

  18. We are hoping to book a fortnight trip to Thailand next April (Easter holidays) with our 12 year old. If you had 14 days including travel from UK , where would you go/ what would you recommend? Just some pointers would be so helpful as Thailand has so much to offer. Thanks

    • Hi Lisa, Well 14 days isn’t long. I’d absolutely spend 3 or so days in Bangkok and take the sleeper train to Chiang Mai. I’d probably fly out of Chiang Mai to save time, probably down to the southern beaches. I’d spend at least 3 days in Chiang Mai. I’d also try to take 1-2 day trips to Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Song, Kanchanaburi and Amphawa. Check them out and see which you fancy. ( most are on our site) .Hope this helps. We’re not into beaches much, but if we had to pick we’d go for Ko Phangan, for that you fly toKo Samui and then take the ferry, it’s the next island. Ko Samet is the closest beach island to Bangkok, go there if you don’t want to fly down to the south. You could also take the sleeper bus/ train, but you’re time poor, so flying would be best.

  19. Thanks for this amazing article, great pictures! It does looks like you and your family had a lot of fun. I am amazed for all the colors and vibrant scenarios and the low prices are incredible.

  20. I am looking to travel Thailand with my family. Thanks for this article.

  21. Isn’t the Chiang Mai night market the best?! It’s a fun place to browse or buy souvenirs….just don’t get stuck in the crowds with a crying, overtired, infant like we did! Thanks for the tips.

  22. I loved reading this article! My wife and I spent 6 months living in Thailand when our daughter was just two and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thailand is the perfect destination for families with children of any age. Your article makes me want to go back. Hopefully soon.

  23. Hi there,
    Loving reading your blogs! So informative! Thank you!
    My partner and I are from the UK and thinking about taking our son (7) and daughter (6) backpacking to Thailand this summer. I am a teacher, so we are restricted to going between 22nd July and 2nd September. I know its the rainy season during this period, so where would you recommend we go? Would like to explore islands and stay in beach huts.. Not really city people, but are open minded. Where to start and a possible route/plan would be fantastic thanks. We’ve both travelled a lot, but neither of us have been to Thailand before and it’s top of our bucket list!
    Thanks in advance,
    Anne xxx xxx

    • They talk of seas being rough and some ferries between islands not running in bad weather. This hasn’t been our experience, we’ve seen great weather right through to October on Ko Phangan and regularly visit Bangkok at that time of year. Expect rain in the afternoons for a couple of hours otherwise fine. We like Ko Phangan a lot. Not keen on the big tourist islands like Phuket and Ko Samui. But it depends what you’re looking for. Thousands go to Phuket not even realising that actually, they haven’t seen Thailand at all and just have a holiday that they thoroughly enjoy.

      • Hi Alyson,
        Thanks so much for your reply.
        Ko Phangan sounds right up our street, thanks! We are planning on travelling for up to one month however, so where else would you recommend during August? Would Chang Mai be too wet? Where would be a good place to start? Have you been to other islands near Ko Phangan at all that aren’t so affected by the rains during August?
        Thank you in advance,

        • Ko Phangan is between Ko Samui and Ko Tau, they’d all have the same climate. Chiang Mai in August…not sure, I’ve only been there in October / November recently, it was much cooler than Bangkok, nice climate but bad air pollution up there in late spring/ early summer, August is supposedly OK as the wet season has started. Not sure how rain looks up there. If it’s like Bangkok it’s nothing to worry about but if it gets more temperate drizzle rather than tropical downpour it could be a bit yuk, you’d have to Google, look at rainfall graphs and compare. We personally never take weather into consideration when travelling, we just go whenever it suits us.

  24. Hi alyson,
    Im really enjoying reading through your Thailand blog as we plan to spend a month or so there next year, so plenty of time to research. My main concern is that my husband has a severe allergy to shellfish and was told not to eat asian food here in Ireland, so i learned to cook it from scratch. 🙂 My question is how safe would he be if we explained or will there be a chance of cross contamination on everything he eats. Im guessing he will he have to live on fruit for the month 😉
    we normally camp around europe every summer for a month so make all our own food but it seems such a shame for him not to eat out as the food is so good and reasonable and also we wont have any of our cooking equipment.

    • I think there would be a massive risk of X contamination. I went trough all this recently for a lady with a child with a severe peanut allergy. Everything is cooked in the same wok, a quick wipe in between maybe. You can’t guarantee anything. Although you possibly won’t see that many dishes containing shellfish, the sauces may well have traces. My husband is a chef, when they have somebody in the restaurant with a big allergy it’s a major operation to decontaminate 1 section of the kitchen, have 1 chef preparing that person’s food from scratch etc. Still contamination happens. They won’t understand in Thailand, is my gut feeling. Getting cards printed in Thai and English, spelling it out, stressing the severity, could help. So although they mostly speak English, getting how big the risk is across to them could be very hard indeed. You’d do OK possibly in big hotels or stick to vegan restaurants, of which there are quite a few.

  25. Thailand is a beautiful country to explore on many occasions. Whether on a family travel, with friends, or on a honeymoon, every corner of Thailand is worth a try.

  26. Hiya I’m wanting to go thiland krabi ko lanta 1st of may just myself & daughter. She fancies a beach hut. Do u think we’d be safe or better in resort

    • I think you’d be perfectly safe Suz. Just exercise normal responsible travel precautions and no hanging out with strange people in dodgy situations. We’ve stayed in beach huts many, many times.

  27. Hello travel family!
    Reading through your site it’s amazing how similar some of our circumstances are/were.
    I’m a teacher on a year off, my wife is a flight attendant and we have two boys 6 and 8. We are going to be in SEA from July 12 – Sept 12 ish. Because my wife if a flight attendant we are pretty open to fly anywhere depending on loads (as its all standby). We are flying into HK July 11-12 then I was thinking about doing a quick trip for a week to acclimatize everyone to Asia. From HK where do you think we should go? I was thinking Bangkok for a few days, then sleeper to Chaing Mai then return to BKK for the 20th? Have you been to Bali and would you recommend it over northern Thailand in July(drier and smaller)?

    After that initial week we are staying in HK for 4 days then down to Penang for 4 days with friends then I was thinking south Thailand but not sure which seaside as its monsoon. What is your advice here? Or should we stay in Malaysia go to Indo or Ankor or Vietnam? We are very flexible and need well traveled families to guide our way! Sorry for all the questions!

    • Oh Jesse, that’s just too many questions! Yes we’ve been to Bali and all of the places you mention above. I really can’t answer all your questions here, sorry, it would take pages! Email me if you like, or we do offer a paid travel advice service ( see foot of the page or the side bar, it’s affordable and I have good references) or you can find just about everything you need, for free, on this website. Have a great trip!

  28. Hi Travel Family, I’ve started following you and your adventures as we’re about to embark on a similar journey, but our kids are 2 and 4 so I’m trying to work out if I need to take car seats. I know your kids are older, but in your experience, can you offer any advice? Travelling from NZ to Australia then Thailand, South Afirca, England and Europe before heading back via Indonesia. Lots of travel with seats. Many thanks and best travel wishes,

    • Hi Bernie. My gut feeling is no. I don’t know which type of kid car seats you have in NZ. In the UK they all just attach with the seat belt, whereas in Australia the things had to be bolted in. In Asia you’ll struggle to find taxis with back seat seat belts, I really wouldn’t bother. In Australia, if you’re driving, you’ll probablly need to rent an Australian regulation one ( although we always used our UK ones in our own cars with no difficulty, in a hire car it may be different). In the UK you WILL need one if you hire, but it’s not compulsory in taxis. In Indonesia, forget it.
      Sorry I can’t be much more help, if you have any more specific qustions, fire away.


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