Thailand, lying at the junction of temperate and tropical zones and stretching from the foothills of the Himalayas all the way to the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea possesses an exceptional array of spectacular and varied landscapes. These include dramatic mountains, well-preserved northern forests and lush southern jungles with correspondingly diverse wildlife as well as myriad islands – certain developed and others still completely unspoilt.
In addition, vibrant cities, remote and still traditional villages, friendly inhabitants, a world-renowned cuisine, rich culture and plentiful historical sites plus an excellent transport infrastructure make great destinations in all four corners of the kingdom easily accessible.
Some 20 per cent of the country is set aside as national parks – an astonishing and commendable figure -while Thailand lays claim to no less than 5 World Heritage sites with at least another 6 on UNESCO’s tentative list.
Not without reason then, one of the most popular destinations in the world, yet the vast majority of visitors see only a tiny handful of its most popular sites and large swathes of the country remain undiscovered.
Our Thai tours will allow you to explore some of the country’s most beautiful, fascinating and least-known areas as well as discovering some of the famous sites. We’ll take you from the hidden back lanes and canals of Bangkok and local markets of Chiang Mai, to the rugged mountains of the Golden Triangle with their numerous hill-tribe peoples and from the awe-inspiring but rarely seen Angkor-period temples of the east to the steamy jungles, mangrove swamps, sea caves and tropical islands of the far south.
If you want to lie by a pool in Phuket, or join a coach tour to visit the 'long-neck tribe', then our tours probably aren't for you but if you do wish to experience the real Thailand - the one that most visitors never actually see - then our tours to Thailand may well be what you're looking for.
Just a few of our favourite things to see, do and experience in Thailand...
Andaman Coast - the limestone scenery, turquoise waters and largely unspoilt islands of lesser-known Trang Province, lie just to the south of hectic Krabi
Eastern Thailand - discover the spectacular Angkor-period temples, picturesque national parks and friendly and traditional villages of this little-visited part of the kingdom
Khao Sok National Park
National parks - explore the stunning limestone scenery of mountains, caves, lakes and rain-forest at one of Thailand's best national parks
Northern Mountains - ventue into the remote, jungle-clad mountains of northern Thailand with their still often traditional hill-tribe inhabitants
Food - deservedly world renowned we'll show you authentic Thai cuisine in the streets, markets and restaurants where the locals eat
Culture and Customs
Knowing what to expect from local culture and customs will help you get more out of your Thailand tour
Thailand borders, from west to east, Burma, Laos and Cambodia while south of Bangkok Thailand stretches down the narrow peninsula between the Gulf & Andaman Sea to Malaysia
Covers many geographical zones from tropical rain-forests & coral-fringed islands in the south via paddy-filled plains of the Chao Phraya to temperate, rugged, mountains in the north
Thailand has a typical tropical climate with 3 distinct seasons; cool and dry from November to February, hot and dry between March and May and hot and damp from June to October
Thais, closely related to Lao & Shan, comprise the majority with large, urban Chinese minorities. Lao & Khmer in the northeast & Malay in the south are also important groups
Around 90% of the population ascribe to Theravada Buddhist beliefs with the remainder, aside a small Christian minority, being Muslim. Some northern hill-tribe groups have remained animist
World famous Thai cuisine needs no introduction though its rich, regional specialities and fabulous street stall and market food are far less-known among foreigner visitors
Genuine local knowledge is what turns a good travel experience into an unfforgettable one. Here's our shout-out to the locals that help maket that happen.'
Sarawut Thinpathom (Oh)
Oh returned to his homeland of Thailand after spells in Australia, the US and Laos, and now takes great pleasure in showing off his country to our passengers with equal amounts of fun, enthusiasm and knowledge. Seen here preparing for a jungle trek in Thailand's Thung Yai Wildlife Sanctuary on the Thai/Burmese border.
Aor specialises in leading and guiding tours in her home town of Bangkok as well as central and southern Thailand. Bubbly, fun and easy going Aor is also one of our family tour specialists.
Things To Know
Useful information and practical tips you should know before you travel to Thailand
Helpful Country Info
Kingdom of Thailand
c 68 million
ATMs readily available
220V; sockets are variable but usually 2 pin flat or round
WiFi available in all hotels
3G/4G SIM cards available
Thai with Lao, North & Southern dialects widely spoken
Theravada Buddhist with c 10% Muslim
Frequently Asked Questions
When’s the best time to go to Thailand?
The cooler drier period (by Southeast Asian standard) lasts from October to February but there are many advantages to visiting throughout the year. We vary the islands we visit for based activities according to the season.
Why should I visit Thailand between April and September?
With regional variations, most of mainland Southeast Asia experiences a rainy season or western monsoon period from around early May through to late September. During this period, the tourist traffic in much of Southeast Asia is down to a trickle. Often there are discounts to be had from airlines and tour operators, including All Points East! The image of all day every day rain is completely false; typically tropical rain falls in short sharp bursts so often humidity will build up during the day resulting in an afternoon or evening downpour. Some of these tropical storms can be spectacular but rarely long and often only mean sheltering in the nearest cafe for an hour or so until the rain stops. Landscapes will be lush and green, rivers and waterfalls at their most spectacular and the fauna too is more active and plentiful; nature comes alive so to speak!
Is tipping customary in Thailand?
Tipping is discretionary. People always appreciate a gesture for their hard work and dedication but staff are paid and don’t rely on tips. It’s hard to give a guideline before a tour as it does depend on the group size. The tour leaders don’t collect money for tips but are happy to advise. ~What often works well is if the group appoint someone to collect and distribute tips on behalf of the whole group.
How do I pay for the holiday, and is there a surcharge for credit cards?
We ask you to pay a 10% deposit upon booking your holiday with the balance being due 60 days prior to departure. There is no surcharge for paying by credit card. There is no charge for debit cards. We accept most major credit cards including American Express.
Are there any mandatory or recommended vaccines for Thailand visitors?
What inoculations do I need? For most of Southeast Asia, there are no compulsory inoculations – however, Hep A, Polio, Typhoid and Tetanus are recommended. If you are considering antimalarials we recommend you consult a health professional, but whatever you do or don’t do about antimalarials, we recommend a 50% DEET based insect repellent. A useful resource is this travel health link.
If we book flights through you, which airlines do you use?
We are happy to book your flights from the UK to Cambodia. There are no direct flights but we can offer a wide range of options, from regional airports as well as London using most major airlines – most often Thai, Emirates and Qatar. Prices on the website are a guideline and we find the best prices and routes for you. Upgrades to Premium Economy or Business class are available.
Do you recommend your tours for people travelling on their own?
Our small group tours make ideal holidays for solo travellers. Small fully escorted groups, eating together family style, no compulsory single supplements all go towards making you feel like you are travelling with a group of friends. If you don’t want to share then ask about single room supplements.
Packing light is a virtue, it'll make getting around easier and gives you room for souvenirs and the special things you find along the way. Packing "as little as possible" doesn't mean you have to forego comfort and any items you may forget are usually available locally for a fraction of the price.
What to Bring
Here is our list of what to pack based on our experience travelling in Thailand...
- Day pack/small pack Sufficient to carry water, sun block, camera etc
- Suitcase/Bag Any smallish bag that can be easily carried over short distances.
- Waterproof bag*Opt Useful for boat trips etc if you want to carry cameras etc
- Hat Cheaply available locally
- Light hiking boots or sandals Note trekking often involves wading through streams so something waterproof is useful.
- Light waterproofs*Opt Useful for rainy season – but remember it’s still hot. Easily purchased locally
- Lightweight cotton clothes Long sleeves for evenings are useful. Nights may get cool during winter
- Swimming costume*Opt Some hotels have pools.
- Towel*Opt Towels are provided for use in all hotels and guesthouses
- Warm clothes (e.g. Fleece)*Opt Necessary at certain times of year – it can be cool in the mountains during winter (Dec to Feb)
- Umbrella*Opt Small umbrella can be useful
- Sarong*Opt Useful multifunctional item, widely available locally
- Inoculations The World Health Organisation recommends Hep A, Polio, Typhoid and Tetanus. Yellow fever is required if coming from an infected area www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk is a useful resource.
- Anti-malaria drugs*Opt If you are considering taking them or require further information consult a specialist
- Basic medical kit*Opt Tour leaders will carry one and you will never be far away from a pharmacy so basic is the operative word.
- Mosquito repellent*Opt Containing DEET.
- Guide book*Opt Please bear in mind that even the most recent copy is still a minimum of 1 year out of date
- Mobile phone*Opt Refillable SIM cards can be purchased locally. For roaming and 3G check with your local provider. Internet access can easily be found in larger towns and cities.
- Multi-plug adapter*Opt A general multi-plug is useful, easily purchased at your departure airport. Sockets can vary from hotel to hotel.
- Passport Valid for at least 6 months after date of return (UK info only – other nationalities please consult your passport authorities)
What NOT to Bring
There are somethings you just don't need to worry about when travelling in Thailand...
- Film/Camera equipment Most common film types and brands are widely available as are batteries, digital camera cards etc.