A road trip in Thailand is prepared upstream. When we embark on a journey of this kind, a journey that we imagine with intensity, we are often caught in a whirlwind of thoughts that are difficult to put down. Who to go with? When to leave? Where to go? What should you absolutely not miss? What will I eat ? In short, everything tends to get mixed up, and in the end we always forget one essential thing.
First big step for you, the destination is complete: it’s a trip to Thailand. To continue to simplify things for you, here are 10 tips to prepare for your road trip, without pulling your hair out (if you have any).
1. Road trip in Thailand: who to go with?
Several : As a couple, with friends, with family (even if it requires a little more organization), the more the merrier.
Only : Sometimes, a need to travel is not necessarily felt at the same time as those around us, and as you are motivated to leave, why not leave alone. Know that Thailand is not a dangerous country, either for men or women. Once there, meetings are easy, because alone, reaching out to others is simpler and more natural. Remember to review the basics of English if you haven’t practiced recently.
2. Road trip in Thailand: when to go?
From November (see October) to March: this is the so-called dry season. There is no real risk of rain. It is between 26°C and 30°C on average.
Remember to take your vacation for 3 weeks (for a long road trip) if you can’t, take at least 8 days during this period.
From April to September (see October): it is the rainy season. There are showers quite often, almost monsoon. And yet it is over 30°C.
3. How to go to Thailand?
Take your ticket as soon as you can! That way, we are sure we have to leave. It is necessary to scrutinize the flights for Thailand because there are often promotions. Install an alert on price comparison sites, for greater peace of mind. If you take a flight 5 or 6 months before your departure, the price will be more advantageous, you can be sure of that.
The price also depends on your arrival (and departure) airport. But don’t worry, there are 7 international airports in Thailand to choose from. Consider multi-destination tickets if your itinerary is already complete, otherwise domestic flights can be booked at the last minute without problems.
4. Visa for Thailand
30 days maximum: It is not necessary to apply for a visa or to obtain a tourist visa for those who hold a French passport, for a period not exceeding 30 days. If you exceed 30 days without a tourist visa, the financial penalty amounts to 500 baht (11 euros) per day of overrun (with a tolerance of 20 days).
60 (or 90) days maximum: If you plan to stay longer it is necessary to apply for a tourist visa, giving you the possibility to stay 60 days. A 30-day extension by applying to a Thai immigration service is also possible.
5. How to prepare your road trip itinerary in Thailand?
Your tool: your map of Thailand to better visualize your route. You will be able to give you a point of reference on the different stages of your road trip. Once it’s done book at least your tickets for the cities you’re sure you don’t want to miss, it’s more comfortable to book your domestic flights or train tickets in advance, so as not to have bad surprises or that it is complete. The essentials: your map (with lots of crosses everywhere) and your guide (to find your way around).
To travel from one city to another in Thailand, nothing could be simpler than using one of the following means of transport:
– The plane : which is the fastest way. but if you abuse it too much, you risk missing out on wonders. Companies like Thai airways or Bangkok airways serve the whole of Thailand.
– The train : The rail network is quite well developed, and it allows you to cross many cities without missing any of the breathtaking landscapes. These crossings are quite long between 12H to 15H for Chiang Mai-Bangkok, for example. Take into account in your itinerary the hours you will spend in transport. For your tickets, you can buy them directly at the bus station, but to be sure to have a ticket when you want it is best to book them in advance as for the Chiang Mai – Bangkok route. You can buy them on Trains Thailand.
– The ferry : Boats are mandatory if you want to break into the fantastic and almost unreal islands of Thailand. You can take ferries like Raja Ferry or if you prefer small boats, you will find them directly in the ports.
– The bus : They serve the majority of Thailand, with connections between many large and small towns. The inter-cities are comfortable, you also have a large number of road companies like Yellow bus or Transport Co Ltd.
If the adventurer soul lies dormant in you, you can also embark on a special road trip: the assault of Thailand by motorbike, car, camper van, van on foot or by bicycle, nothing is impossible if you have decided it.
6. A road trip rather, energetic, relaxation or discovery?
Your rhythm during your road trip is important and it is good to think about it before you even leave. If you plan to cross different cities and therefore move around, it can tire your body, not to mention the time it will take. For example, if you are traveling by train and don’t do a big day visit the next day, your body needs rest even if you are not aware of it. Alternate the rhythms, visit, hike, relaxation (beach), to keep a good pace and not deprive yourself of anything. And above all, be ready for adventure!
When you arrive, do not hesitate to relax for the first few days and enjoy the sun without remorse, to recover from jet lag.
7. Road trip with a backpack or a suitcase?
It all depends on the length of your road trip or stay, and the route you are planning.
Suitcase : If you are going for 1 week or 10 days and you only do 1 or 2 cities, you can easily take a suitcase.
Backpack : But if on the other hand you decide to travel longer and your road trip includes several stages, it is better to opt for a backpack. What type of bag then? A 60 to 70 liter backpack (like those offered by Quechua) is fine for 2 weeks or more. It is not too big, to avoid the superfluous, nor too small, to be able to put all your essentials (and swimsuits, of course). By the way, so as not to forget anything, here is a checklist for your road trip in Thailand.
Do not put all your eggs in one basket, because imagine that you wanted to do the last of the activities that you have just discovered, but that you are dry, how do you do it?
The liquid : A few spare euros will help you get by if no bank is in sight. And then the cash is practical if you play the adventurers, for the negotiation there’s no better.
The blue card : It represents the most practical thing for not being too much without a safety net. And being able to remove if you find yourself dry. In exchange you would cede some percentages to your bank. And yes everything has a price.
To change your currency: exchange offices directly at the airport or in exchange offices in town, the rates are more advantageous there. If you take your credit card you will also find distributors, called ATM.
9. What to eat in Thailand?
The food is different between northern and southern Thailand. In the north, the cuisine stands out from the rest of the country, marked by an influence from Burma and Laos. Sticky rice is preferred over white rice, the flavors are more bitter than spicy, and the pork is cooked in all sauces. You will not be able to escape the khaep muu, present everywhere as a reference dish.
In the south, it’s a different story, the cuisine there is inspired by the traditions of traders from India. Curry, spices, coconut milk and fish are omnipresent in the dishes.
In any case you will find on your way a multitude of restaurants, no worries to do so on this side. And do not hesitate to eat in the markets or small restaurants, you will discover surprising and authentic flavors. For those who have a weak stomach, don’t worry, you will do it and even be delighted, Thai food is really a discovery not to be missed.
10. Where to sleep in Thailand?
For less hassle book at least your first night when arriving at your destination, and in each city. But Thailand is full of luxury hotels, standing or lodges. There is therefore always room given their large number. Locate your neighborhood and you can find one very easily. This will leave you the freedom to discover establishments or change to try different atmospheres. Here are some ideas in several different cities to help you find the hotel of your dreams:
In the district of Watthana, the Volve is a design and trendy hotel perfect for taking a breath of fresh air. In a Scandinavian spirit, with a refined and modern decor, the Volve Hotel consists of only 28 rooms: it is an intimate and discreet boutique hotel, which nevertheless offers a beautiful view of Bangkok and its region. In the hall too, the focus is on modern design and colours. A long common table allows you to have your coffee with other locals, or other travellers.
> Address: 26/1 Sukhumvit 53/1 AlleyKhwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailan
In Hua Hin:
Cape Nidhra Hotel
In the town of Hua Hin, on the edge of the beach, the Cape Nidhra Hotel is more than a boutique hotel. Above all, it offers a unique and original experience. The room to book? The Sky Pool Suite, equipped with a private swimming pool, allowing travelers to relax in complete privacy with spacious wooden terraces. The most magical thing about this hotel is that the staff can take care of organizing a dinner under the stars on the beach. In the program ? Gastronomic meal based on the catch of the day and local products. After a few glasses of wine and music, the evening ends with a selection of macaroons and chocolates. All you have to do is lie back and admire the stars above your head as the boat returns to shore and civilization.
> Address: 97/2 Phet Kasem Road, Hua HinHua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
In Chiang Mai:
In the Nimmanhaemin district, the Akyra Manor hotel is the perfect place to stay in Chiang Mai. Consisting only of suites, the Akyra Manor is a luxury setting in the heart of the city. His particuliarity ? On its twelfth and last floor, it hosts Rise, the perfect rooftop to enjoy a view of the city. People come here for a drink, to taste dishes from the Italics restaurant, and to take a dip in its infinity pool. Absolute luxury.
> Address: 22/2 Nimmana Haeminda Rd Lane 9Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand