Almost 30 million people visited Thailand in 2015, an increase of 20% on the year before*. Not surprising considering the richness of attractions which include hundreds of tropical islands with sandy beaches and top quality diving. Palaces, temples, UNESCO World Heritage and archaeological sites enable you to immerse yourself in the country's cultural history when you get bored of sun and sand.
Natural lovers can get away from it all in the mountainous north and national parks. Wildlife viewing and elephant encounters are high on many people's bucket lists.
Delicious Thai cuisine offers aromatic and flavoursome options for every palette, vegetarian and carnivores alike.
- Thailand is the only South East Asian country not to be colonised. In fact, the name 'Thailand' appropriately means 'land of the free'.
- Of Thailand's 40,000 Buddhist temple around 33,000 are in everyday use. Many of these impressive wats have significant social and spiritual meaning. To show respect when visiting dress modestly covering shoulders and knees.
- The country's famed national symbol is the elephant. Over a hundred years ago there used to be about 100,000 elephants in Thailand, with a fifth in the wild. Now sadly the population sits at around 2,700 domesticated and 2-3,000 estimated to be in the wild*.
- The world's longest reigning monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadei, King Rama IX, passed away in October 2016. The country is in a year of mourning. He was incredibly loved by the people dedicating his life to improving the lives of everyday Thais. Thailand is very serious about its royalty. The lese majeste rule will see you in imprisoned for treason if you commit disrespectful acts towards the royal family.
When to Go
Thailand has a typical tropical climate with two seasons, wet and dry. The weather is generally best throughout the country during November to February. In northern Thailand this dry season extends from November to May. The wet season runs from June to October with heavy rainfall and cooler temperatures between October and January. At the peak of the rainy season access to more rural areas can be challenging .
The southern regions are the exception, with the Thai Peninsula experiencing a monsoon climate. The monsoons hit each side at different times so check carefully before booking.
- With so many elephants suffering in tourism our post Want to Ride an Elephant? How to Choose an Ethical Alternative and Why? will help you choose an experience that's right for you and the elephant.
- Read about our time getting some Elephant Love: A Week Volunteering at Journey to Freedom, Thailand
- Looking for a Thai temple fix? See Checking Out Chiang Rai: The Perfect 1-Day Itinerary for Chiang Rai
- Thinking of visiting Myanmar after Thailand? Check out our 3 Easy Steps to Getting a Myanmar Visa in Bangkok