Bangkok needs little introduction and is one of the world’s most exciting cities.
Thai people have a strong sense of identity and open and engaging nature. Meeting local people is one of the joys of travelling here.
This is closely followed by the food, whether it be steaming bowls of rice on a street, eating freshly cooked fish on the beach or pungent snippets of zingy flavours, spicy chillies and fresh fruit from the markets, Thailand will stimulate the taste buds. Thailand still offers fabulous value for money and should be considered for families, honeymooners or adventurers alike.
Bangkok is a fun and vibrant city. With funky gin bars and pop up restaurants occupying former warehouses in Chinatown and lovely riverside hotels, it is a frenetic and colourful city – be prepared for the crowds and pack broad shoulders for walking the city. As with many countries, there are pockets which have been cornered by the mass tourism market but we can ensure a well planned itinerary visiting less developed areas for some fabulous and typically Thai experiences.
The beach hotels are second to none, rivalling any in the world and with Michelin standard cuisine available, they are offering a dining experience to compete on a truly international stage. Less visited rural areas in the north allow for self-drive options and boats to Laos being a stunning and peaceful way to experience the Mekong. Buddhism is integral to the lives of Thai people and with that comes a sense of calm as well as some stunning temples and palaces.
A selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your holiday to Thailand.
Visit the former capital of Ayutthaya exploring temples and daily river life from a private rice barge, before returning to Bangkok by road.
Learn more about the Asian elephant at the Four Seasons Tented Camp or Anantara Hotel Chiang Rai. With a focus on care and understanding, neither offer elephant riding.
Experience hill tribe culture through a homestay – trek to a hill village north of Chiang Mai and stay the night in a local home to gain an insight into life in this rural region.
Relax on the beach, followed by a Thai massage or better still book a private Thai massage lesson.
Chiang Mai is home to some delicious regional food so a cooking lesson in the market is fun.
Hire a private, staffed villa with friends and family for a stay of pure Thai comfort and hospitality.
Bundle up an beach blanket, a basket full of food and wine and a sun umbrella before being whisked by private boat to a deserted island for a beach picnic.
Journey on the local overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or treat yourself to Eastern & Oriental’s journey to Singapore.
Take a day trip from Chiang Rai to the Hall of Opium Museum, set up to provide education and information on the opium trade, which once plagued this region.
Explore the canals of Bangkok by long tailed boat – James Bond style.
Booking a tailor-made holiday gives you the flexibility to customise your journey, travelling when and where suits you. Get in touch with our experts to start planning your next journey.
There is a wide variety of accommodation available in Thailand and our experts have first hand knowledge of many of them. Here are a few of our favourites but talk to us to find a property that suits your style and budget.
Reached by river boat amid Thailand’s bamboo jungles, where three countries meet, a one-of-a-kind experience for active adults awaits. With just 15 tented accommodations all unique in Four Seasons luxury, right down to the hand-hammered copper…View Property
Six Senses Yao Noi is a wonderfully romantic island hideaway surrounded by lush jungle, turquoise waters and the limestone pinnacles of Phang Nga Bay. Of the 56 villas, some are nestled high in the rainforest, others…View Property
The Sarojin is a smart boutique property with 56 rooms and views over the lotus pond, infinity pool or gardens. Home to white-sand beaches, beautiful gardens and an infinity pool make the Sarojin the perfect recipe…View Property
Throughout January, Thailand will experience average temperatures of 27°C with very little rainfall, ideal for a winter sun destination to Thailand’s beaches on the west coast. January can be less humid than February and March, yet still experiences daily sunshine.
February will bring guaranteed sunshine to most of Thailand with January through to March being the best time to visit the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan with temperatures averaging 25°C.
Temperatures in March begin to rise so the entire country will experience sunshine and warm weather. When visiting Thailand’s cities, such as Bangkok, sightseeing may be less comfortable with the higher humidity levels during the day yet pleasant temperatures in the evenings.
Thailand will experience very hot temperatures throughout the country. Cooler temperatures will be experienced in northern regions with an average of 29°C and occasional rainfall in western regions.
May will bring marginally cooler temperatures throughout Thailand than previous months with more chances of rainfall, particularly in western regions yet higher chances of daily sunshine in the east.
Prior to the monsoon season, June can be a great time to travel to Thailand with fewer crowds yet will still experience daily sunshine. Average temperatures can range from 25°C to 32°C.
From July to October, Thailand will experience the monsoon, bringing most of the country’s annual rainfall during this period.
As the peak on the monsoon season, September will bring heavy rainfall throughout Thailand yet eastern regions experience monsoon rains later than the rest of Thailand.
September will experience similar temperatures and humidity levels to August but depending on the region of Thailand, some areas will see less frequent rain showers even though it is likely to rain daily. Flooding may occur in some regions if the monsoon rains were particularly heavy in previous months.
As the monsoon season begins to end, October will experience less frequent rainfall and lower levels of humidity making it an excellent month for sightseeing and visiting the countryside to view the lush, green vegetation.
Thailand benefits from great weather year-round, with the best time to visit is from November to March. During these months, day temperatures are more bearable and there is less chance of rain.
December is one of Thailand’s peak months with lower humidity levels and comfortable temperatures throughout the country, allowing for opportunities to explore the entire country.
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.
Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.
Send us an enquiry
Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.
Amy Waters is warm and friendly and went out of her way to try and resolve issues and meet any requests. Always helpful, noticing small details, lending a hand and quick to learn what appealed to us, drawing our attention to things that may be of interest.
Paul's knowledge and expertise was invaluable when planning this trip. I told him where we wanted to go and the sort of hotels and things we wanted to do and everything was spot on - more than we ever expected! We will definitely be using Steppes Travel for future trips.
The cheeky way is to go in with an offer half that of the suggested price and work up from there. The Thai’s are shrewd bargainers and you’ll have to be strong to get a good deal. Be friendly and treat it as fun, rather than taking it too seriously. Don’t expect to bargain in a standard shop – it is only for markets and street vendors.
Yes, the Thai Royal Family respected above anything else and open criticism of them could lead to you being arrested. The King and Queen are particularly revered and you should avoid discussing them unless speaking in the highest terms.
Thai food is one of the hottest you may eat but you can say ‘mai pet’ which means ‘little heat’ when ordering. Choose a busy stall and see what the locals are ordering. The food is usually cooked fresh in front of you and take it to small plastic road side chairs and tables. Avoid the dried chilli’s on the table as they are very fiery indeed, unless you want extra heat! In Bangkok a good idea is to have a private guide for an evening to show you some of the delicious street food on offer so you can order with confidence during your holiday.
When sightseeing in Bangkok and other major cities such as Chiang Mai wear shoes you can take off easily as when visiting a temple you must be barefoot. Light cotton clothes as it can get hot and sticky.
Yes, never touch a Thai person on the head as it is sacred and the feet are considered dirty. If visiting someone’s house take your shoes off and never allow your feet to point at a statue of Buddha, also avoid putting your feet up on chairs in places you are eating. Be careful not to touch a monk, especially for woman.
Since the 1st February 2018, Thailand has imposed a smoking ban across a number of popular beaches including beaches in Phuket, Samui, Krabi, Hua Hin and Koh Phi Phi. This is to maintain a clean and safe environment for all to enjoy.
Please note that being in possession of e-cigarettes in Thailand is illegal.
Thailand is full of wonderful festivals and you are likely to stumble across one during your travels. Songkran is very popular and in theory should be a gentle water festival in April, however it has been taken over by water pistol tooting locals and backpackers so if you don’t want to get a soaking it is best avoided in Bangkok. Loy Krathong is a wonderful and charming festival in November – gentle floating baskets (Krathong’s) laid in the rivers with offerings and candles.
Thailand is seven hours ahead of GMT. Due to its position close to the equator, it does not observe daylight saving time.
Direct flights between London and Bangkok take approximately 11 hours.
First of all, don’t expect to bargain in a shop — only street stalls and markets offer negotiable prices. Thai salesmen are often shrewd business people and negotiating a good deal may take some willpower. One approach is to offer half the suggested price, then work upwards. Be friendly and treat haggling as a fun part of the experience; try not to take it too seriously.
Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.
Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?