Thailand's ruins and temples, stunning beaches and bustling modern culture and nightlife draw visitors from around the globe. Long a favorite of backpackers, particularly in the national parks, Thailand has established itself as a destination alluring to a wide range of travelers. The country offers plentiful shopping (jewelry, silks, celadon pottery and tailor-made clothing) at reasonable prices. Tourists will find a wide variety of activities particularly in the cities such as Bangkok, Chang Rai and Chiang Mai or in resorts such as Phuket, Pattaya, Samui, and Hua Hin.

Thailand is bounded to the west by Myanmar (Burma) and the Indian Ocean, to the south and east by Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand, to the east by Cambodia and to the north and east by Laos. Bangkok is the capital.

The weather is hot and humid, particularly from March to June; monsoon rains fall June through October (May through January in the southern peninsula). The coolest season is November through February. Northern Thailand is the country's coolest region.

Telecommunications are reliable and efficient. International direct dialing is available in most hotels. The postal system is generally reliable and international package delivery services are available in Bangkok and larger cities.

Meals are inexpensive. Accommodations run the gamut from very inexpensive to luxury-class hotels. Most major credit cards are widely accepted and the larger banks provide ATMs.

Thai is the official language; English is widely spoken.

Roads are congested, especially in Bangkok. Metered taxis are plentiful and the Skytrain provides fast, efficient and inexpensive transportation around Bangkok. Thailand also has extensive rail and domestic air transportation systems for travel within the country and to neighboring countries. International air service is provided by carriers such as Thai Airlines, Air France, South African Airlines, British Airways, and Northwestern.

The crime rate in Thailand is moderate. Exercise common sense security precautions to protect personal belongings in crowded tourist destinations and on public transportation.

Local Etiquette Tips from our Partner

What you should wear to temples and other etiquette tips for Bangkok.

Top Local Phrases from our Partner

Learn how to pronounce hello and other phrases in Thai for your Bangkok visit.

Public Transportation Tips from our Partner

Ride along and get familiar with the SkyTrain and Tuk-tuks of Bangkok.

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