Thailand – Land of Siam: A Complete Travel Guide

Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. It’s known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canalside communities and the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaew). Nearby beach resorts include bustling Pattaya and fashionable Hua Hin.

 

Thailand speaks for itself. When you hear its name, you already think about beaches, beauty, jungles, and food. And your thoughts are spot on.

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History of Thailand :

There is evidence of continued human habitation in present-day Thailand dated 20,000 years. Earliest evidence of rice growing was dated 2,000 BCE. Most scholars now believe that the Tai people came from northern Vietnam around the Dien Bien Phu area. Tai people settled along river valleys, where they formed small settlements and engaged in subsistence rice agriculture. Women could have high social status and inherit property. Tai people started inhabiting in present-day Thailand in the 11th century, where Mon and Khmer kingdoms were situated at the time.

Ayutthaya Kingdom rose from the earlier, nearby Lavo Kingdom and Suvarnabhumi with Uthong as its first king. Its initial expansion is through conquest and political marriage. Before the end of the 15th century, Ayutthaya invaded Khmer Empire twice and sacked its capital Angkor. Ayutthaya then became a regional great power in place of Khmer Empire.

 

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European contact and trade started in the early 16th century. Ayutthaya was an important trade center which was known to trade with China, India, Persia, and Arab lands. The kingdom especially prospered during cosmopolitan Narai’s reign (1656–88). Some European travelers regarded Ayutthaya as Asian great powers alongside China and India. However, growing French influence later in his reign was met with nationalist sentiment and led to eventual revolution of 1688. Trade with the West declined afterwards.

 

After that the Kingdom of Ayutthaya’s power waned and anarchy caused the total bloodshed of the city and the control of its five territories by warlords. Later Chao Phraya Chakri (later known as king Rama I) executed the warlords and became the first king of Thailand. He was also the founder of Bangkok on April 6, 1782.

 

Thailand sided with the allies during the first World war and was a part of the victors. The bloodless revolution took place in 1932 carried out by the Khana Ratsadon group of military and civilian officials resulted in a transition of power, when King Prajadhipok was forced to grant the people of Siam their first constitution, thereby ending centuries of absolute monarchy. From then, the kingdom of Thailand has a monarch and a functional constitution to serve the public.

Geography and landscape of Thailand :

Thailand is the 50th-largest country by total area. It is slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain. Thailand comprises several distinct geographic regions, partly corresponding to the provincial groups. The north of the country is the mountainous area of the Thai highlands, with the highest point being Doi Inthanon in the Thanon Thong Chai Range at 2,565 metres (8,415 ft) above sea level. The northeast, Isan, consists of the Khorat Plateau, bordered to the east by the Mekong River. The centre of the country is dominated by the predominantly flat Chao Phraya river valley, which runs into the Gulf of Thailand.

 

Southern Thailand consists of the narrow Kra Isthmus that widens into the Malay Peninsula. The Chao Phraya and the Mekong River are the indispensable water courses of rural Thailand.

 

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Climatic conditions of Thailand and the best time to visit :

Thailand’s climate is influenced by monsoon winds that have a seasonal character (the southwest and northeast monsoon). The southwest monsoon, which starts from May until October is characterized by movement of warm, moist air from the Indian Ocean to Thailand, causing abundant rain over most of the country. The northeast monsoon, starting from October until February brings cold and dry air from China over most of Thailand. In southern Thailand, the northeast monsoon brings mild weather and abundant rainfall on the eastern coast of that region. Most of Thailand has a “tropical wet and dry or savanna climate” type. The south and the eastern tip of the east have a tropical monsoon climate.

 

Thailand is divided into three seasons. The first is the rainy or southwest monsoon season (mid–May to mid–October) which prevails over most of the country. This season is characterized by abundant rain with August and September being the wettest period of the year. This can occasionally lead to floods.

 

During the hottest time of the year (March to May), temperatures usually reach up to 40 °C or more with the exception of coastal areas where sea breezes moderate afternoon temperatures. Most of the country receives a mean annual rainfall of 1,200 to 1,600 millimeters.

 

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How to reach Thailand :

By air :

Bangkok has two international airports. One is Suvarnabhumi international airport and the other one is Don Muang airport (DMK). Taking a flight to Suvarnabhumi airport is the cheapest way to reach Bangkok. Always book a return ticket to save money on flight bookings. There are flights from all the major Indian cities to Bangkok. Air India, Malaysian airlines offer the cheapest flight options.

 

Phuket also has an international airport called as the ‘Phuket international airport’. Flights from all over the world land in Phuket. Air India, Malaysian airlines offer the cheapest flight options.

By sea :

One can travel from India to Thailand via sea as well. There are ferries from Kolkata and Chennai to Bangkok, a port city as well as the capital of Thailand, periodically. While travelling via sea, while the fare of the trip is extremely less, the time taken to travel increases.

A ferry from Kolkata passes through the bay of Bengal and Andaman sea. It then transverses through the strait of Malacca and passes through the sea of China to reach the gulf of Thailand and from there it proceeds to Bangkok. The total distance travelled is 2894 nautical miles.

 

One can travel to Phuket, a port city in Thailand via sea as well. A ferry from Chennai passes through the bay of Bengal and crosses through the Andaman sea to reach the port of Phuket. The distance between the port of Chennai and the port of Phuket is 1348 nautical miles. One can also take a ferry from Mumbai or Kolkata as well and reach Phuket.

 

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By road :

Thanks to the Indian government, establishment of the Trilateral highway between India, Myanmar and Thailand has been completed. The highway begins in Moreh in Manipur and ends in Mae Sot in Thailand. The average distance travelled from India to Thailand is approximately about 4,305 kilometers.

 

Make sure to apply for a visa on arrival in Myanmar. A step by step guideline is provided by the government of Myanmar for the issual of visas. You could apply for a visa on arrival in Thailand or you can take one beforehand.

 

You require an International driver’s permit (IDP) to make the journey seamless. Thailand and Myanmar accept IDP as a valid license permit. You could apply for IDP in zonal RTO’s in India. They require the following documents.

  1. Valid driving license of home country.
  2. Permanent address proof.
  3. Identity proof along with valid passport.

Then fill out the required forms and pay an amount of 500 processing fee. The validity of IDP lasts for about a year from the issued date.

 

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Major tourist cities of Thailand :

Thailand is hailed as a paradisiacal tourist destination for a reason. It’s because of its luscious green hills, pristine sand beaches, exhilarating nightlife and affordable prices. The capital of Thailand; Bangkok has been a tourist destination since after the second world war. The locals are friendly and are willing to help foreigners. The different cuisines of Thailand win over the hearts and souls of travellers and this makes Thailand a lovable tourist destination.

 

The different important tourist cities of Thailand are :

  1. Bangkok.
  2. Pattaya.
  3. Phuket.
  4. Krabi.

 

Each of these cities individually manage to draw hundreds of thousands of travellers due to their unique charms and quirks. Learn more about Thailand and these cities and plan your vacation to the land of Siam.

 

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Bangkok – City of Angels

Bangkok city is a very popular tourist destination and it is also the capital of Thailand. Bangkok is an urban city which still has the charm of its ancient civilization. Bangkok is very famous for its nightlife, it’s proximity to beaches and its cultural and historical significance. The people of Bangkok are friendly and the local cuisine of Bangkok is very famous. The local markets of Bangkok sell everything from electronics to handmade crafts.

 

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History of Bangkok :

The history of Bangkok dates back to at least 15th century, when it was a village on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, under the rule of Ayutthaya. Because of its strategic location near the mouth of the river, the town gradually increased in importance. Bangkok initially served as a customs outpost with forts on both sides of the river, and became the site of a siege in 1688 in which the French were expelled from Siam. King Rama I moved the city capital to the eastern banks of the Ranttanoskin island. The city pillar was erected on April 21 which is now known as the date of foundation of the present day city.

 

Bangkok’s economy gradually expanded through international trade, first with China, then with western merchants returning from early-to-mid 19th century. As a capital Bangkok was the center of modernization as it faced the influence of western merchants from the late 19th century. Bangkok’s role as a rest and relaxation destination by the American soldiers greatly improved the country’s tourism business.

Geography and Landscape of Bangkok :

The city of Bangkok covers an area of 1,568.737 square kilometres. Bangkok is in the Chao Phraya River delta in Thailand’s central plains. The river meanders through the city in a southward direction, emptying into the Gulf of Thailand approximately 25 kilometres south of the city centre. The area is flat and low-lying, with an average elevation of 1.5 metres above sea level. Most of the area was originally swampland, which was gradually drained and irrigated for agriculture via the construction of canals (khlong) which took place throughout the 16th to 19th centuries. The course of the river as it flows through Bangkok has been modified by the construction of several shortcut canals.

 

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Climate and best time to visit Bangkok :

Like most of Thailand, Bangkok has a tropical savanna climate under the influence of the south Asian monsoon system. It experiences three seasons : monsoon, summer and rainy although temperatures are hot year-round ranging from an average low of 22 degrees in december to an average high of 35 degrees in Summer.

 

Bangkok can be visited all throughout the year. November to February is an ideal time to visit these popular destinations as the climate cools down considerably allowing you to enjoy the sights and visits to various places.

How to reach Bangkok :

By air :

Bangkok has two international airports. One is Suvarnabhumi international airport and the other one is Don Muang airport (DMK). Taking a flight to Suvarnabhumi airport is the cheapest way to reach Bangkok. Always book a return ticket to save money on flight bookings. There are flights from all the major Indian cities to Bangkok. Air India, Malaysian airlines offer the cheapest flight options.

By sea :

One can travel from India to Bangkok via sea as well. There are ferries from Kolkata and Chennai to Bangkok periodically. While travelling via sea, while the fare of the trip is extremely less, the time taken to travel increases.

A ferry from Kolkata passes through the bay of Bengal and Andaman sea. It then transverses through the strait of Malacca and passes through the sea of China to reach the gulf of Thailand and from there it proceeds to Bangkok. The total distance travelled is 2894 nautical miles.

 

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Places to visit in Bangkok :

Visit the grand palace and Wat Po :

The grand palace is the official residence of the monarch of Thailand, though this palace is only used for ceremonies now. Visit the Wat Pro Krea which houses the 15th century emerald Buddha, temples and statues. Afterwards visit the Wat Po to see the famous golden reclining Buddha statue.

 

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Enjoy Bangkok’s famous nightlife scene :

Bangkok is very famous for its nightlife. There is no dearth of good places to drink and amazing pubs to go to.  Onyx, Route 66, Ku De Ta, Levels, and Insanity are some of the popular nightclubs in Bangkok.

Visit the Dusit zoo :

Bangkok’s first zoo, built over 60 years ago, sits in the middle of Bangkok’s administrative center and is surrounded by important building like the Throne hall, Parliament and the Chitralada palace. It is a fully functional park, with an animal hospital, education center, and museum. There is also a sightseeing train that takes you around the zoo to see the more than 1,600 animals there.

Go temple hopping :

Bangkok is a city full of temples and ancient ruins. There are about 10 main temples in the city and you can visit them all in one day. It takes around 5 hours to visit all the temples around Bangkok. They all have different architecture and layouts.

Take a day trip to Ayutthaya :

Close to Bangkok, you’ll find the old capital, which is home to the summer palace, tons of breathtakingly unique temples. In 1991, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since it is so close to Bangkok, it’s a very popular day trip destination for tours. Since it is very close to Bangkok, one can visit it by taking a train from Bangkok.

 

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Food in Bangkok :

For being a very small country Thailand has a spectacularly diverse cuisine. Its capital Bangkok, serves as the melting pot for both food and for people. Bangkok is not an exception to the diverse cuisine of Thailand.

 

Different ingredients are used for preparing food that is good in its flavor and offers large scale medicinal benefits. Proper care is also taken in offering food the right smell, context, and appearance. Many dishes found in Bangkok include pork, freshwater fish, palm sugar and coconut milk.

 

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Here is a list of some of the best places to eat in Bangkok :

  • Bangrack cafe
  • La Table Le Dee
  • Kalpapruek
  • Somtum Der
  • Swang noodle

 

Here are some of the dishes of Bangkok that help you eat like a local : Pad Thai, roasted duck and seafood.

 

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Bangkok is renowned for its one of a kind nightlife experiences. Here are some of the best nightclubs and pubs that offer the best experiences in Bangkok : Ce La Vi, Onyx, Insanity and Route 66. The sheer choice of music and the number of clubs along with the easygoing charm of Thailand, makes Bangkok the most boisterous party cities in all of Asia.

Where to shop and what to buy in Bangkok :

Chatuchak market :

Chatuchak weekend market is the ultimate weekend market. The sheer size of this market is amazing. Stumble across anything from beads, suit of armor to a live seahorse. Bargaining is encouraged in this market. The shopping experience here is extremely exhilarating and chaotic.

Pantip plaza :

If you are a techno-geek then Pantip plaza is a heaven for you. Pantip plaza holds all the latest technology. Packed from floor to ceiling with shops selling all kinds of computer and technological and electronic paraphernalia explore this plaza with plenty of time to spare.

Pratunam :

Pratunam is well-known among locals for being the wholesale fashion district of Bangkok. Shopping here is fun as there is a whole gamut of accessories to dress yourself up from head to toes; all at a huge bargain.   

Pattaya

Pattaya is a resort city on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometers from Bangkok city. Pattaya city is a self governing municipal area.
Pattaya is the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area—the conurbation in Chonburi Province—with a total population roughly 1,000,000.

 

Pattaya has become a city that is loved by tourists. Pattaya offers beautiful serene beaches, adventure sports and also a very happening nightlife. The Pattaya bay area is one of the largest bay areas in all of Asia. Pattaya city is the second most visited place in Thailand next only to Bangkok.

 

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History of Pattaya :

Pattaya was a fishing village till the 1960’s. Then everything changed when American soldiers came to Thailand for the Vietnamese war. The entire situation of Pattaya changes when a group of 500 American soldiers were taken to the south beach of Pattaya. They enjoyed their stay and raved about the place. Quickly Pattaya became a hot alternative to Bangkok.

Geography and landscape of Pattaya :

Pattaya on the gulf of Thailand is approximately 160 kilometers south of the city of Bangkok in Bang Lamung district. It spreads over an area of approximately 208 sq km with a 15 km long and scenic coastline. Nearest international airport from Pattaya is Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and one can reach Pattaya from the airport just in two hours. The city sits parallel to Sukhumvit Road on its east and the coastline on its west.

 

The town has high mountains to the south and plain on the coast. Eastern region slopes down towards the sea on the west. Coastal Pattaya can be segregated into five sub-districts – North Pattaya (Pattaya Nua), South Pattaya (Pattaya Tai), Central Pattaya (Pattaya Klang), Buddha Hill (between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach) and Naklua (just north of North Pattaya).

 

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Climate and best time to visit Pattaya :

Thailand, or Pattaya in particular, is known for tropical climate and you could visit the place any time in the year, save the rainy season, which is from July to October. However, it is not that travel in the rainy season would keep your tour totally in disarray. In Thailand, rain is not permanent. It comes, has quick burst and goes. The only thing is, you can’t guess its timing. In summer, Thailand is bit hot. November to February is the coolest time of the year. The rain is comparatively less than other times in the year.

How to reach Pattaya :

By air :

Pattaya is at a distance of 122 kilometers from Suvarnabhumi international airport, the largest international airport in Thailand. It takes about 2 hours to reach Pattaya from the airport. One can book a seat in the common public transfers which are regular from the airport to Pattaya. There are flights from all major Indian cities to Suvarnabhumi airport. Air India, Malaysian airlines offer the cheapest flight options.

By sea :

One can travel from India to Pattaya via sea as well. There are ferries from Kolkata and Chennai to Bangkok periodically. While travelling via sea, while the fare of the trip is extremely less, the time taken to travel increases.

A ferry from Kolkata passes through the bay of Bengal and Andaman sea. It then transverses through the strait of Malacca and passes through the sea of China to reach the gulf of Thailand and from there it proceeds to Bangkok. The total distance travelled is 2894 nautical miles. From Bangkok, take a cab or taxi and head towards Pattaya. This journey takes about 2 hours.

 

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Things to see and do in Pattaya :

Sanctuary of Truth :

Made entirely of wood (without any metal nails) and commanding a celestial view of the ocean, the Sanctuary of Truth is best described as a visionary environment: part art installation, religious shrine and cultural monument. Constructed in four wings dedicated to Thai, Khmer, Chinese and Indian religious iconography, its architecture and setting is impressive.

Visit the Khao Phra Tamnak :

This hill has a modest Buddhist temple as well as a much-revered memorial to the admiral who founded the modern Thai navy. There are marvellous views over the Pattaya bay and a little cafe terrace from which to enjoy them. Sunset is a particularly spectacular time to be here.

 

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Visit the Coral islands :

Just off Pattaya in the Gulf of Thailand is Koh Larn, also known as Coral Island. Measuring four kilometers long and two kilometers wide, the island boasts beautiful beaches with clear waters and a hilly, forested interior. Besides swimming and relaxing on the beach visitors can also ride a jet ski or banana boat, go snorkeling or kayaking or take a hiking trip in the islands forested interior.

Watch the Alcazar show :

A dazzling show with energetic acts, bright colors and extravagant costumes, the Alcazar show is an entertaining evening for people of all ages. The show takes you through different countries and their cultures. During the 70-minute show you will see a good variety of acts including Korean K-Pop, Persian, Chinese, Indian, Thai and Russian.

Visit the Nong Nooch tropical garden :

Nong Nooch tropical garden close to Pattaya is the largest botanical garden in South East Asia. The vast gardens are set in an area of around 600 acres, that originally was to be used as a plantation to grow local fruits. The area was then first turned into a garden for conservation of certain species of plants and flowers, and was later opened to visitors. In the gardens you will find an enormous number of plant and flower species in a particularly well kept environment.

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Food in Pattaya :

Pattaya is a multicultural place attracting Thai people from all around, each bringing their own cuisine and food. The coastal city of Pattaya also enjoys fresh seafood caught in the gulf of Thailand.

 

Here is a list of restaurants in Pattaya which serves the best food in the city

  • Livv Pattaya
  • Casa Pascal restaurant
  • Pattaya beer garden
  • Cafe Des Amis

Here are some of the local foods of Pattaya that you should try. Pla Pao is salt-crusted grilled fish with lemongrass, Khao pod Gao is fried rice with shrimps, Kao Tum is rice soup and Pad Thai which is stir-fried rice noodles.

 

Pattaya is a very famous tourist destination because of its amazing scenery and pristine beaches. But Pattaya is not only nature, as it also has a reputation for being a haven for partygoers. Pattaya offers some of the most epic nightlife experiences. The Nashaa club, Windmill club, Pier Pattaya and Flexx club are some of the nightclubs that have its patrons raving nonstop.

Where to shop and what to buy :

Pattaya Floating market :

A combination of living museum, live show and shopping centre, Pattaya Floating Market is an extremely popular attraction as well as being a great place for souvenir shopping. Being an artificial reconstruction of the popular floating markets in Bangkok, it is considerably safer and easier to navigate and is home to a great selection of high quality wares such as clothing, handicraft, art and jewellery. There is also the option to scoot around the stilted village in a small boat, enjoy some of the cultural demonstrations or dine at the great selection of small eateries offering Thai meals and snacks.

One Tambon, one product :

If you want your holiday souvenirs to be made by actual local craftsman instead of in a giant factory, then OTOP is the perfect place to go to. It is a part of the government initiative to support local craftsman and community. The wares in OTOP come in from all around Pattaya. The goods sold here are of high quality.

Pattaya Night bazaar :

What was once a rag-tag collection of street stalls under a stifling corrugated metal roof is now an air-conditioned edifice containing a good selection of stalls selling wares ideal for tourists. Also known as the “Made in Thailand Market”, the vendors within sell everything from discount clothing and souvenirs to mobile phone accessories and small electrical gadgets – basically, everything you would normally find in a street market, with a few bonus extras like tailor shops and luggage stalls.

 

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Phuket

Phuket, a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea, has some of Thailand’s most popular beaches, mostly situated along the clear waters of the western shore. The island is home to many high-end seaside resorts, spas and restaurants. Phuket City, the capital, has old shophouses and busy markets. Patong, the main resort town, has many nightclubs, bars and discos.

 

Book your trip to the Land of Siam here.

History of Phuket :

Phuket has been a part of a major trade route between India and China and was frequently mentioned in the logs of the Dutch, French, Portuguese and the English traders. Because of its role as a stopover in a major trade route, Phuket has been a colonial hub from centuries ago. Phuket also has huge resources of tin and rubber which was exported to these countries.

 

In the 17th century, the Dutch and English competed for an opportunity to trade with Phuket because of its rich tin reserves. After the Dutch and the English gained influence in the area, the then king of Siam seeking to reduce the influence of Dutch and English named a French missionary, Brother Charboneau as the first governor of Phuket. Brother Charboneau remained as the governor of Phuket till 1685. The French were soon expelled from the island of Phuket in the 1688 Siamese revolution and the island of Phuket was back in the control of the native people.

 

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Geography and landscape of Phuket :

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand. It is in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. The island is mostly mountainous with a mountain range in the west of the island from the north to the south. The mountains of Phuket form the southern end of the Phuket mountain range, which ranges for 440 kilometres from the Kra Isthmus.

 

Phuket is approximately 863 kilometres south of Bangkok, and covers an area of 543 square kilometres excluding small islets.The island’s length, from north to south, is 48 kilometres and its width is 21 kilometres. Seventy percent of Phuket’s area is covered with mountains which stretch from north to south. The remaining 30 percent are plains in the central and eastern parts of the island. It has a total of nine brooks and creeks, but does not have any major rivers.

 

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Climate and best time to visit Phuket :

Under the Köppen climate classification, Phuket features a tropical monsoon climate. Due to its proximity to the equator, in the course of the year, there is little variation in temperatures. The city has an average annual high of 32 °C and an annual low of 25 °C. Phuket has a dry season that runs from December through March and a wet season that covers the other eight months.

 

Phuket can be visited all throughout the year. November to February is an ideal time to visit these popular destinations as the climate cools down considerably allowing you to enjoy the sights and visits to various places.

How to reach Phuket :

By air :

Phuket has an international airport called as the ‘Phuket international airport’. Flights from all over the world land in Phuket. Taking a flight to Phuket airport is the cheapest way to reach Phuket. Always book a return ticket to save money on flight bookings. There are flights from all the major Indian cities to Phuket. Air India, Malaysian airlines offer the cheapest flight options.

By sea :

One can travel to Phuket via sea as well. Since Phuket was originally a part of the trade route between India and China, this route is still operational till today. While travelling via sea, while the fare of the trip is extremely less, the time taken to travel increases.

A ferry from Chennai passes through the bay of Bengal and crosses through the Andaman sea to reach the port of Phuket. The distance between the port of Chennai and the port of Phuket is 1348 nautical miles.

 

One can also take a ferry from Mumbai or Kolkata as well and reach Phuket.

 

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Things to see and do in Phuket :

There are plenty of really memorable things to do in Phuket. The island itself has a beautiful historical old town, great viewpoints and iconic cultural attractions. It is also a good base for exploring the nearby islands and must-see attractions. These include world-famous places like Phang Nga Bay and the Phi Phi Islands.

 

Book your Phuket trip here.

Visit Phang Nga Bay :

A distinctive feature of Phang Nga Bay are the sheer limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the emerald-green water.  James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are just two of the more famous spots in this bay. By far the best means of enjoying the spectacular scenery.

Spend a day on Phi Phi island :

Phi Phi islands is Thailand’s superstar island. Even with all the hype around it, it doesn’t disappoint. The islands, when approached by boat, rise from the sea like a fortress. Sheer cliffs tower overhead, then give way to beach-fronted jungle. Phi Phi island is a tropical island dream come true.

Visit the Big Buddha :

Visible from the most part of south Phuket, the giant Buddha sits on top of Nakkerd hills and looks down on Chalong, Kata and Rawai. The size of this Buddha is a massive 45 meters and it cost 45 million Baht for construction. A lot of people write messages on the bricks of the Big Buddha for good luck and in memory of passed-away loved ones.

Learn to cook traditional Thai food :

If you are looking for ways to make your journey to the Land of Siam become more richer, than the best way to do so would be to take traditional Thai cooking classes. There are many cooking schools located near Patong beach, take a class from their course list of classes ranging from a 30 minute class to a 6 hour one.

Visit the Thalang national museum :

If you are eager to find out more about historical Phuket, then make a visit to the Thalang National Museum. The Museum holds an exhibition of ancient artifacts from Old Phuket and items used during the war with Burma. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the history of the island.

 

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Food in Phuket :

The town of Phuket has been established after being recognised as a part in the major trade route. Being a harbor town, Phuket’s cuisine has been influenced by foreign traders who frequented the town. Chinese cuisine has a huge influence on Phuket’s cuisine due to a number of descendants of Chinese traders that settled down in Phuket.

Here is a list of some of Phuket’s local cuisine :

  • Rayaan’s oriental restaurant.
  • Ban Noy restaurant
  • The cove Phuket.
  • Red Duck restaurant
  • Siam supper club

Here are some of the local dishes of Phuket that will help you eat like a local. Oh-Tao is a famous hot pot dish, Pat Tai is a local noodle dish made with uniques curry paste, Moo Hong is a stewed pork dish and Kahnom Jim is a local noodle dish made with rice or fish and topped with sauce.

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Phuket has evolved as a famous destination for people to visit and relax. Phuket also offers some extraordinary nightlife experiences. Xana beach club, Excotica Ago-go, The Laguna nightclub and illuzion Phuket are some of the best night clubs in Phuket.

Where to shop and what to buy in Phuket :

The island has a great variety of shopping, from bustling open-air village food markets, noisy night markets, street stalls and local shops to western-style department stores and upmarket specialist shops. Prices naturally vary, going from amazing bargains to credit card-melting designer labels. With traditional handicrafts, beautifully-designed clothing, jewellery, antiques, housewares and much more to choose from.

Jungceylon shopping market :

Standing downtown, diagonally opposite Bangla Road, the Jungceylon Shopping Complex has radically changed the face of shopping in Patong. The 200-plus other stores in this shopping heaven sell brand-name clothes, spectacles, sunglasses, cosmetics and perfumes, shoes, DVDs, computer games, tons of mobile phones and accessories, electrical goods but it is also a great entertainment haven with a five-room SF Cinema and a 16-lane bowling alley, perfect for rainy days or to escape the heat of the day.

 

Here is the ultimate shopping guide for Thailand.

Phuket weekend market :

Also known as Naka market, Chao Fa West Road just outside Phuket Town not far from Central Festival, is a fascinating jumble of secondhand goods, curios, pirated items, live animals and a large amount of great local food to sample.

Phuket walking street :

Phuket Walking Street is the latest attraction featured in Phuket Old Town. Also-known-as Lard Yai, which means ‘big market’ in southern Thai dialect. This weekly market started in October 2013 and is hosted on the beautifully renovated Thalang Road, right in the middle of the historical Sino-Portuguese district of Phuket Town. Phuket Walking Street allows visitors to discover some typical southern Thai culinary specialties as well as local handicraft and gift stalls.

 

Book your Phuket travel package here.

 

Krabi – Thailand’s tourist Jewel

Krabi, on southern Thailand’s west coast, is a province characterized by craggy, sheer limestone cliffs, dense mangrove forests, and more than a hundred offshore islands. Some of its most popular beach destinations include the Phi Phi Islands, which jut from the sea like giant rainforested boulders, and Railay Beach, accessible only by boat and a prominent rock-climbing spot.

History of Krabi :

Krabi was tributary to the Kingdom of Ligor, a city on the Kra Peninsula’s east coast, better known today as Nakhon Si Thammarat. In modern times, Krabi was administered from Nakhon Si Thammarat, even after 1872 when King Chulalongkorn granted Krabi town status. In 1875 it was made a direct subordinate of Bangkok, becoming what is now a province. In 1900 the governor moved the seat of the province from Ban Talad Kao to its present location at the mouth of the Krabi River.

 
 

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Geography and landscape of Krabi :

The province is on the Strait of Malacca and is noted for its natural beauty. There are solitary limestone peaks, both on land and in the sea. Rock climbers from all over travel to Tonsai Beach and Railay Beach. The beaches form part of Krabi’s Phra Nang Peninsula. Other notable islands include Ko Phi Phi Don, part of the Phi Phi Islands, and Ko Lanta, a larger island to the south. Krabi’s limestone hills contain many caves, most having stalactites and stalagmites.

Climate and best time to visit Krabi :

Facing the Andaman Sea, like Phuket, Krabi is subject to a six-month rainy season between May and November, often with sustained heavy rains for days at a time during the monsoons. Krabi’s highest ever recorded temperature was 39.1° C on 26 March 1998. Its lowest temperature was recorded on 11 January 2009: 15.3° C.

 

Phuket can be visited all throughout the year. November to February is an ideal time to visit these popular destinations as the climate cools down considerably allowing you to enjoy the sights and visits to various places.

 

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How to reach Krabi :

By air :

Krabi is located at a distance of 157 kilometers from Phuket and it can be reached in about 2 hours. So, the best way to reach Krabi is reach Phuket and take a taxi to Krabi.

Phuket has an international airport called as the ‘Phuket international airport’. Flights from all over the world land in Phuket. Taking a flight to Phuket airport is the cheapest way to reach Phuket. Always book a return ticket to save money on flight bookings. There are flights from all the major Indian cities to Phuket. Air India, Malaysian airlines offer the cheapest flight options.

By sea :

One can reach Krabi from Phuket via sea. In fact, the fastest way to travel from Phuket to Krabi is on the sea via a speed boat. Leaving from Bang Rong pier at the northeast of Phuket, and travelling via sea it takes about 1 hour 2 minutes to reach Krabi. This is a year long service suspended only in the monsoon season if the sea waters are too rough.

 

One can travel to Phuket via sea as well. Since Phuket was originally a part of the trade route between India and China, this route is still operational till today. While travelling via sea, while the fare of the trip is extremely less, the time taken to travel increases.

A ferry from Chennai passes through the bay of Bengal and crosses through the Andaman sea to reach the port of Phuket. The distance between the port of Chennai and the port of Phuket is 1348 nautical miles.

 

One can also take a ferry from Mumbai or Kolkata as well and reach Phuket and reach Krabi from Phuket.

 

Book your trip to Krabi here.

Things to see and do in Krabi :

The southern Thailand town of Krabi serves as base camp for exploring the province of the same name, a lush region of jungles, limestone cliffs and idyllic isles floating just offshore in the Andaman Sea. Buddhist shrines still used by local monks are tucked into the chambers of the town’s top attraction, Tiger Cave. The riverside pier links travellers with ferries and longboats to the best scuba diving, rock climbing and white sand beaches on the coast.

Visit the Railay beaches :

Railay is one of Thailand’s most sought-after beach areas. Located just south of Ao Nang and accessible only by boat, Railay presents a timeless serene world. In just one small peninsula you’ll find four gorgeous white sand beaches, soaring limestone cliffs, viewpoints, caves and a lagoon hidden inside the cliffs. No wonder it’s one of the most visited places in Krabi.

Soak in the Emerald pool :

Krabi is well-known for being an area of outstanding natural beauty. One place that should make your must-see list is the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park. It’s a lowland forest rich in biodiversity, complete with a nature trail. It is especially famous for the Emerald Pool and the Blue Pool; two ponds vividly coloured by the reflection of the sun.

 

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Explore the Tiger caves (Wat Tham Sua) :

Located near Krabi Town, Wat Tham Sua or ‘Tiger Cave’ is one of the most famous caves in the area. Part of a temple complex where monks live and worship within a maze of natural caves surrounded by lush jungle. Inside one of the caves are what appears to be tiger paw prints embedded in the stone. The main tourist attraction however, is the 1,272-step climb up a limestone tower to see the ‘footprint of the Buddha’.

Relax in Khlong Thom hot springs :

Klong Thom Hot Springs are located in the jungle near the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve. Ancient volcanic chambers are the origin of these thermal springs. They are believed to ease a number of ailments such as rheumatism, sciatica and other skin problems. They offer a pleasant time, bathing in the warm water surrounded by a pristine lush environment.

Visit Ao Luk Mangroves :

Ao Luk mangrove and caves is a great field for exploration and soft-adventure experiences in Krabi Province. Ao Luk District is located some 40 kilometers north of Krabi Town on the road to Phang Nga Town. It enjoys a splendidly preserved natural environment.

 

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Food in Krabi :

Southern Thai food makes more use of coconut milk than elsewhere in the country. Curries are richer and creamier. The cuisine is influenced by nearby Malaysia; spices such as cumin, cloves, turmeric and aniseed, which are not used elsewhere in Thailand, are commonly used here. The usage of pork is unrestricted, and lots of dishes uses pork meat.

 

Here is a list of some of the famous and authentic restaurants that serve the best dishes in all of Krabi :

  • To ma Yom Tai restaurant
  • Hon Ming vegetarian restaurant.
  • Chalita cafe and restaurant
  • Kodam kitchen
  • May & Zin restaurant

Here are some of the dishes native to Krabi to help you eat like a local. Yam Khai Doon is fried egg salad, Khanom Tar is palm sugar pudding, Itim Kati is coconut ice cream and Kanom Krok is coconut pancakes.

Book your trip to Krabi here.

 

Kick back in Krabi and have a peaceful and an amazing nightlife experience in Krabi. Roogie bar, Amy’s bar, Grace’s Irish pub and Carlito’s bar are some of the best clubs and bars in Krabi.

Where to shop and what to buy in Krabi :

Krabi town walking street :

The Walking Street is certainly the most important shopping event in Krabi Town. It is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 17:00 to 22:00 in Soi Maharaj 8. With something like 50 stalls selling a wide range of products and street food, the Walking Street gathers every weekend an incredibly large crowd for such a small area.

Chock Dee Silver and Gold jewellery :

Chock Dee Handmade Silver & Gold Jewelry is a long-established boutique located on Ao Nang’s beachfront. It has a wide choice of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more. The particularity of the jewels sold at Chok Dee Handmade is that they are all original creations made of precious, semi-precious and rare materials.

Saiba Ba Bar and souvenir shop :

Saiba Ba bar and souvenir shop is the most unique souvenir shop in Krabi. Located on Klong Muang beachfront, this restaurant, bar and souvenir shop offers its patrons a novel and a very well thought-out souvenirs made out of recycled materials and fabrics. The shop also sells authentic Thai-style handcrafted souvenirs made of wood and ceramic.

 

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Money saving tips :

1 Eat from street stalls :
Food from street vendors in Thailand is some of the best Thai food. You can easily have a bowl of noodle soup, pad thai, or fried rice for 30 THB.

 

2 Use public transportation : Locals use the extensive bus and BTS systems to get wherever they need to go in Bangkok. To save money, you can do the same. A 20-minute taxi ride might cost you 120 THB, while the same ride in a bus might only cost 10 THB.

Tip: if you take the metro instead of a taxi, you’ll be able to avoid the headache of inner city traffic.

 

3 Bargain : Use your negotiation skills to the fullest while shopping in the markets. The general rule is; the more you buy, the cheaper the prices will be. So, shop in packs and get the best price on products. Do not pay the first price that you were quoted.

Bargain with a smile and a friendly attitude. If you attempt to bargain in Thai then you must know your numbers well. Learn the words Thukk (cheap) and Phaeng (expensive) if you want to bargain with the native merchants.

 

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Money Exchange :

The currency of Thailand is Baht. 1 Baht = 1.92 Indian Rupees. Thailand is relatively inexpensive making it an ideal tourist destination spot.

Clothes to pack to Thailand :

The general idea is to cover your shoulder and knees (for both the sexes). Thailand is a very modest country, so modest clothing is the best attire that you can wear. Since Thailand is a very hot country, the answer to you clothing situation is Linen. Use linen clothes to keep your body relatively cool and enjoy the Land of Siam. Pack a lot of sunscreen and swimsuits for your fun day at the beach.

 

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Thailand Visa :

Thailand provides visa on arrival for Indians. To provide this visa, Thailand enforces certain conditions. They are,

  1. One must show a return ticket, flying out of Thailand within 15 days.
  2. One must also show funds of 10,000 THB per person and 20,000 THB per family as living expenses.
  3. The visit must be strictly for tourism purposes only.

It is advisable to obtain a visa beforehand in order to skip the long lines at the immigration office in Thailand. To apply for a visa before you get a regular visit visa from The royal Thai Consulate general which is in three cities – Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. The documents required for Visa are,

  1. Passport which has a 10-year validity which remains valid for 6-months from the date of departure.
  2. 2 Passport size pictures.
  3. Filled and signed visa application form.
  4. Air tickets and hotel vouchers.
  5. Last 3 months’ bank statements in original on banks’ stationary.

Important contacts :

Krabi is a relatively safe place to live in, and the locals are ready to help out foreigners. The list of contacts in case of emergency are

  • Thai police – 191 oe 123
  • Ambulance and rescue – 1554
  • Fire department – 199
  • Medical emergency – 1669
  • Indian Embassy in Bangkok – +66 2 258 0300

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