Friendly and fun-loving, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic, Thailand radiates a golden hue from its glittering temples and tropical beaches to the ever-comforting Thai smile.
Thailand conjures images of white sand beaches and cerulean waters, peaceful temples, and lush mountain jungles. In Bangkok, a 21st-century playground, the scent of spicy street food fills the air, and the Grand Palace recalls the country’s traditions. Outside the capital, the wonders of the countryside enchant, whether you are elephant trekking in the northern hills, exploring Ayutthaya’s splendid ruins, or diving in the waters of the idyllic southern coast. The unique spirit of the Thai people—this is the “land of smiles,” after all—adds warmth to any visit.
Thailand travel is convenient for visitors as there are many ways to get to Thailand and even more ways to travel in Thailand, whether your destination is Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, or the most remote provinces. It is possible to enter Thailand by air, land, or sea from countries throughout the region and across the globe.
Flights to Thailand are provided by approximately 70 airlines that have licenses from the Thai government and abide by international standards, including Aeroflot, Air France, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Lufthansa, United Airlines, Swiss Air, and many others. Thai Airways, the Thai national air carrier, provides the most comprehensive global air service to and from Thailand and is one of the most esteemed airlines in the world.
Airlines that travel to Thailand depart from all around the world, including USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand. Flights to Thailand include both direct and transit flights.
International airports in Thailand are situated in different areas of the kingdom. Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok serves as the landing port for numerous international flights. Some chartered and regional flights may land at one of the other international airports within Thailand, including Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai.
Thailand has three seasons: rainy (June–mid-November), cool (late November–February), and hot (March–May). In central Thailand temperatures average 73°F to 90°F in the rainy season; 68°F to 86°F in the cool season; and 77°F to 95°F in the hot season. The north is a bit cooler, the south a bit hotter.
City sightseeing is okay during the rainy season: downpours lower the temperature, and storms, though fierce, don’t last all day. But flooding can make rural areas inaccessible, and it’s not a reliable time to plan a trek. The south gets wet by May, but the Gulf islands generally have decent weather until August. Cool-season weather, which is less humid, is perfect for everything: the beaches, Luang Prabang, Angkor Wat, trekking, or exploring Bangkok. But accommodation rates sometimes double, and rooms can be scarce in hot spots like Phuket. The northern nights are chilly in winter—generally in the 50s, but as low as freezing. Pollution in the north can reach dangerous levels toward the end of the dry season in March and April. By April you can find good hotel deals, if you can stand the heat, though some hotels in less touristy areas shut down for the hot season.