Thailand Travel Tips for Road, Air and Bus Trips

Thailand Travel Tips for Road, Air and Bus Trips 

We focus on different trips perspectives to the country of smile plus arrivals at Bangkok and other places. Rushing to beaches, outdoor adventure or other vacation activities is probably what most travelers are interested. 

In Siam as it was formerly known are top packages available for this purpose. This can be a spectacular adventure trip and no need much to run around. If you arrive in the capital go to a travel agent and a day after you hit the road, maybe to southern Thailand.


Some basic country data


Climate and temperature: There is endless summer divided into 2 seasons, it's the rainy from around July to November, which is monsoon times with an average temperature from around 24- 28 C. 

Hot season is the other months with around 30- 35 C. Almost all parts of the country receive some rain throughout the year while higher located areas such as in the north and west get more rain.

Weather: Is usually excellent for about 8-9 month per year starting from November to May with is full of sunshine and clear or partly cloudy sky, the country is a primarily beach, island and "green" destination. 

Southern Thailand Nai Harn Beach Phuket

The best and fasted transportation in urban areas are motorbikes (scooter with 125cc), they can be rented everywhere for around Baht 150,- / day but it is very dangerous to drive with them because most people don't know about traffic rules and they just don't care. A good alternative in Bangkok would be to take a "Motocyc" taxi and the BTS (elevated train) or the underground. For long distance take the bus, they are in good condition, the road are also quite good, means a perfect match.


Thailand travel tips with the scooter
Thailand travel tips 
with the scooter

With the speed boat at Ang Thong coming from Ko Samui
With the speed boat at Ang Thong 
coming from Ko Samui





Bangkok Airport Tower
Bangkok Airport Tower







Check in hall at Suvarnabhumi
Check in hall at Suvarnabhumi

Bangkok Airport Suvarnabhumi
Arrival at Bangkok Airport or Suvarnabhumi


Thailand culture traditional dancing at Pratunam
Traditional dancing at Pratunam
Culture: A strong influences come from India and China but has it's very distinctive
characteristics. The original Thai people which are similar to Shan in Myanmar came from south China's Yunnan.

As elsewhere in Asia people are with very traditional family ties and most are Buddhism. Although in the southern part are plenty of Muslim.


Phetchaburi Road at Pratunam
Phetchaburi Road at Pratunam
What to wear: Take light wear, since all clothing is quite cheap, it makes sense to go shopping for all what you need after arrival, it might save you overweight costs. Also shoes and other stuff are very cheap.

When in Bangkok visit Pratunam thats right in the center, that is the biggest cloth market in the country.

Visa: Tourist and business visas are valid for 28 days and will be available at the immigration counter at the airport and elsewhere free of charge. A other version is to get it on arrival, but this is only for a few countries. Transit visas issued from a consulate are valid for 1 month. Normal tourist visas are valid 2 month and can be extended for 1 month locally, don't overstay, if it expires make a visa run.

< Book a hotel and / or get information here

Tourists at Similan islands south Thailand
Tourists at a Phuket Island beach
Tourists on a Phuket Island beach












ATM's are almost at every second corner in the tourist areas, petrol stations, at the highways, shopping malls, convenience stores and other places, which means no need to take lots of money with you or change money. Just fill up your account and pull the Thai Baht out from the machine, be careful about the frequency since they charge a fee for each transaction which your bank will finally deduct, all bank HQ are concentrated in the capital. 

Here is also a excellent place to open a foreign currency account, nobody will find your hard earned money afterwards, just take a debit card, there are many different answers when you ask yourself, what to do in Thailand.


arriving at Bangkok airport
Arriving at Bangkok airport
A trip to the country of smile and arrivals in Bangkok and other places. Rushing to beaches, outdoor adventure or other vacation activities is probably what most travelers are interested. In Siam as it was formerly known are top packages available for this purpose. This can be a spectacular adventure and no need much to run around. If you arrive in the capital go to a travel agent and a day after you hit the road, maybe to southern Thailand, read more.


Thai people praying at Ratchaprasong Bangkok



People are ethnically quite diverse, the Thai and Shan of Myanmar came in long time ago from southern Yunnan, China. There are also plenty from south Asia, means India and Pakistan plus naturally Chinese. 

There is a substantial amount of European's and a rather small group of Africans and Arabs. From them Nigerians are the worst, they are heavily involved in drug trade, read more.




Thailand road travel at the south Bangkok bus terminal
Thailand road travel at the south Bangkok bus terminal

Thailand road travel by bus, motorbike, ship, scooter and car is the best within the country. Roads are still quite good, ten years ago they were much better. Even into the smallest village is a hard surface asphalt road, ferries carry the people and mostly also vehicles to most islands. Bikes, scooters and cars for rent are widely available at any tourist spot in the country.

Bangkok National Museum & Siam Culture 

Bangkok national museum & Siam culture can be explored via a few day trips


The Bangkok National Museum for Siam culture is close to the Grand Palace and other interesting places. The best is a visit in the early afternoon when the buses with Chinese tourists and other already left. Withing this culture exploration of the past it also needs to visit the old capital Ayutthaya.


The war at Ayutthaya
The war at Ayutthaya
Battling with elephants
Battling with elephants
Thai art and history are on display, it is located at Sanam Luang square, the map is here. The place, a former palace, was opened in 1874 by King Rama V to exhibit various objects and showcases related to Thailand’s art, culture, history and Buddhism. The exhibited artifacts date back until Neolithic times.

Gold treasures found in a niche of a stupa at Wat Mahadhatu
Gold treasures found in a niche 
of a stupa at Wat Mahadhatu

There are plenty of sculptures in gold and bronze 


related to Thai Buddhist Art and Indian Gandhara, Myanmar or Bumese Statues, Chinese Tang objects, Vietnamese Chan, Indonesian Java, and Khmer arts.

This is a very interesting place which tells a lot about the country. They took plenty of time to visualize certain historical events by panoramic models, it is a treasure trove for anyone interested in history and Buddhism.


Gold Buddha Statue
Gold Buddha Statue
Old celadon and ceramics
Old celadon and ceramics











Bangkok National Museum Sleeping Buddha
Bangkok National Museum Sleeping Buddha

Old style head sculpture
Old style head sculpture
Old Stone Buddha Head Ayuttaya Style
Old Stone Buddha 
Head Ayuttaya Style











The pagodas treasures consist of Buddha Images, votive tablets, ritual objects and other offerings. Animal plaques depicting elephants, horses and turtles and ornaments such as bangles, necklaces and bracelets. It is widely believed that these gold items were placed into the stupa by a King of Ayutthaya which he had ordered to erect to gain merit for himself and his ancestors.


Glass and gold Buddha Images
Glass and gold Buddha Images

Most gold Buddha images

 

are of the early Bangkok period made especially during the reign of King Rama III. They portrait the Buddha in the position of subduing Mara.


Brass casting sculptures
Brass casting sculptures
Treasures of the Bangkok National Museum
Treasures of the Bangkok 
National Museum










Some of the gold ornaments found at Wat Mahadhatu and Ratchaburana Ayutthaya were presented by the people to the government in 1939 to support reclaiming land in Indochina from the French. Other pieces were donated to the National Museum on the Thai Heritage Day in 1985. The gold treasures are of great value and represent a high aesthetic quality. 


Bronze Buddha Sukhothai Style
Bronze Buddha Sukhothai Style














Exotic Thailand Beaches

Exotic Thailand Beaches in the Gulf and Andaman Sea


Thailand beaches are a trademark and one of the main reason why people come for holiday, it wont matter if it's at the coast or at the islands, stunning view are for sure.

Island and beaches at Ko Tarutao


Exotic seafronts at Ko Chang



Waterfront at Koh Chang South End
Waterfront at Koh Chang South End


Similan island beach
Similan island beach 
Patong Beach Phuket
Patong Beach Phuket












Patong Beach Phuket


Patong Beach Activities 1
Patong Beach Activities
Patong Beach Activities 1
Patong Beach Activities















Phuket Island Pictures


Phuket Beaches
Phuket Beaches


Pretty Ko Muk


Ko Muk Beach in Trang
Ko Muk Beach in Trang

Remote Ko Lanta

Remote Ko Lanta
Remote Ko Lanta

Similans near Khao Lak


Similan Island Beach
Similan Island Beach

Thai Orchid Flowers Nursery

More than 1000 different Thai orchid species and hybrids grow  

somewhere between the dark mountain forests of the north and the islands of south ThailandActually there is not much difference where a particular species or hybrid grows you find the same everywhere with some minor exceptions.

As with many other flora and fauna items, deforestation and poaching take heavy toll. Some projects are even dedicated to reintroduce some species into the former environment or maybe into a beautiful orchid garden out of the orchid nursery.

Thai Orchid Nursery
Thai Orchid Nursery

Thailand is by far the largest exporter of fresh orchids worldwide and plenty of them you can pick up for quite low prices in nurseries.  This is probably the best area for a virtual show since they usually have plenty of different types and all kind of colors. 

A few nurseries grow species, but those are not for sale, only the hybrids are.

Thai Orchid  Yellow and Purple
 Yellow and Purple Plants
Thai Orchid Culture
Thai Orchid Culture
To raise them is not easy, it needs some time and passion since some are maybe up to four years to blossom first time.  The growers usually have several dozens of great hybrids for retail and wholesale.

For “take away”, during or after your holiday there are 3 ways, either you take the whole plant (last for quite a while with proper treatment), also in a different climate like Europe etc. Take only the cut flower, they stay ok for up to 1 month in a colder climate with proper treatment, or take the “seedlings in the bottle” and handle them according to the instructions. To care about Thai orchids in general needs a sense for beauty and patience.

Thai Orchid Orange
Thai Orchid Orange
Thai Orchid Garden Phuket
Orchid Garden Phuket 
For all relevant information (which are available, the environment, the handling, how and where to buy and export them etc. just visit the Phuket Orchid Farm at Chalong, pass the circle towards Rawai, after the school you will see a sign post and turn right.

You will find almost everything you want to see and you can also ask questions, it’s a real marvelous orchid garden, you probably have never seen anything like this before. There is an entrance fee (Thai and “farang” same fee !!) of baht 200 including an information leaflet and a bouquet  of beautiful ones.


If you also want to picture the beauties 



you should visit the place around 4.30 to 5.30 pm, at that time the sun position is just right for the real photo shooting. For immediate “consumption” on the island, many small flower shops usually in the vicinity of 7-11 stores offer fresh ones with a very low pricing.

Orchids flower shops
Hybrid plants white and yellow
Hybrid plants white and yellow















Small bouquets with up to 10 blooms and some green leaves around go for 20 baht. Keep in mind this are low street prices, the orchid nursery usually charge more, with about 20-25 stems go for baht 150.

The hunting and smuggling out of the endangered species is usually done in the north. All this beautiful blooms are really a feast for the eye and an admired decoration in any home, or maybe just in the hotel room during your stay on the island.

Purple Orchids
Purple Orchids
Exotische Orchideen
Exotische Orchideen
If you bought some of this exotic beauties just ask for an empty water bottle in your hotel, cut off the top and you have a suitable vase, or e.g. if you get them directly from the nursery they fix a small plastic container at the bottom which keep the plant happy and alive for a week.  The flowers don’t need fresh water every day and last for about 10 days. Just buy a bouquet  and you will have some visually happy days.

Ayutthaya Day Trip

Ayutthaya Day Trip is probably the best one to explore the old capital starting at Bangkok 


Most people having a look into the old capital and Thailand's history do this via a Ayutthaya Day Trip from Bangkok, although it is necessary to plan at least 3 days when someone wants to understand the history a bit more comprehensive. 

This is probably the best tour out of the capital which is to the south. Take the underground or subway for the trip to Hua Lamphong train station. From there a one hour shaky third class train ride brings the people to this ancient city to the north. The rife let you look into the living rooms of the people living along the track and opens a wide panorama over the vast tracks of of paddy fields which starts at the periphery of the capital.

Visiting the old city enable a glimpse into history. First it needs a train ride passing through the outskirts of the capital and wide paddy fields, rural and city life is very close here. Plenty of people travel to the north by third class and that is just the right way to get into the mood.


A Buddha Head In  Ayutthaya
A Buddha Head In  Ayutthaya


Bangkok to Ayutthaya Train
Bangkok to Ayutthaya Train
A alternative would be a cruise up the Chao Praya River, but there is no regular boat service, it needs to charter a boat. They have bigger river boats with restaurants and cabins on board. There is also bus service from the bus terminal close to the BTS Mo Chit station. 

But don’t use this option it leads directly into the famous “gridlock”, when making this shortcut use a “motorbike taxi” to the bus terminal. 


Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok
Ayutthaya day trip on the river

The tour Bangkok to Ayutthaya


should be on the agenda of every trip to the country, here the real old Siam can be seen. What are the benefits? A interesting turn back with a time machine. A few days are definitely worth to stay since there are great things to see and to do. The old town on an island at the confluence of three rivers is an incredible experience. I bet you've never seen something like that before. The monasteries, temples, palaces, pagodas, museums and most of this ancient environment is still in good conditions, take a river cruise around, it will make your day.

Ayutthaya river cruise

The Temples and monasteries 


Ayutthaya Temple
Ayutthaya Temple

Buddha and pagodas
Buddha and pagodas
are the main attractions and a river cruise on the canals around the old city should not be missed, its about one hour with a “longtail” boat and costs around Baht 500,-, which is reasonable, this cruise shows the laid back river life. No bullock carts anymore, real rural county with oxcart etc. can be seen and experienced in neighboring Myanmar. Actually the then Burmese army conquered and destroyed the city in the 18. Century, because of this the capital was moved to Bangkok which has a strategically better location.


Ayutthaya Historical Park Buddha Statue
Historical Park Buddha Statue

Ayutthaya tours
Temple tours and Buddha
Today the place is more or less divided into the old one and the new which is a few minutes away with the car. 

Start up was around 1350 AD 


when trading increased with a higher density, goods where shipped from the north on three rivers, the Chao Phraya, Pasak and Lopburi river, they were stored and shipped again over sea, the seashore of the Gulf of Thailand was much further north as it is today.
Thai and Chinese Celadon fom a sunken ship

Goods for trading came from the north of then Siam and per vessels from China and Japan. They were moved south on huge barges which were unloaded in the city which actually was built on an island encircled by the before mentioned rivers. It always needed a river cruise to the island this was different to the tours of today which are more culture oriented to temples and pagodas plus the historical park.

Traded where metals such as copper and tin, hardwood and other products, ivory, elephants and more. At that time there was a huge demand for elephants from India. India absorbed most elephants from neighboring Burma and Thai elephants were moved from the city down to coast off Chumphon and traveled over the Isthmus of Kra to the Andaman Sea coast. This is the narrowest piece of land between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.  

The buyers of these goods came from the Netherlands, England, France, Portugal and other countries. There is also some indication of busy trading since several ships sunk during storms in the straits of Malacca which were found in recent years off the coast of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Most of these sunken treasures ships carried loads of Chinese and Thailand produced items which were mainly ceramics, porcelain, silk and celadon. Today business is done in Bangkok and tourists and industry is around. There are several manufacturing plants among other the produce Honda cars.


part of the historical park
Part of the historical park

Ayutthaya historical park
Ayutthaya historical park

Ayutthaya historical park


allow a glimpse in the glorious past of the old city at that time the city was one of the most famous for trade between Europe, Middle East and China plus Japan. 

The city was very similar to Venice, brisk trading and built on a island, parts of Venice are also built on islands. 

The fall of the old capital came when the Burmese army conquered the place in 1767 and burned it down, destroyed temples and took most of the inhabitants as prisoners. 


Fall of the city
Fall of city
Fall of Ayutthaya
Fall of Ayutthaya
The Burmans were besieging the city for 14 month after the attack came, palace and temples were looted and partly destroyed. 

They took one of the kings as prisoner to Bagan, the other king (there where 2 brothers who shared the throne) escaped and was found dead 10 days later.

In the museum


Stone Buddha Head
Stone Buddha Head
Museum treasures
Museum treasures










Buddha Head and gold leaves
Head and gold leaves
Chandrakasem Palace Museum
Chandrakasem Palace Museum