Welcome to the Kingdom of Thailand. Discover this diverse country with its irresistible combination of breathtaking natural beauty, inspiring temples, renowned hospitality, robust cuisine and ruins of fabulous ancient kingdoms.
Whether you're young or old, travelling alone or with friends or as a family. Looking for a romantic getaway, an action packed holiday, a cultural experience or something a little more relaxed.
The main entry port to Thailand is the capital, Bangkok, which is served by several international airlines on a daily schedule from most Australian ports. Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, is modern and efficient and is the main hub for connecting flights to all the major tourist destinations in Thailand including Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Chiang Mai. The airport is located approximately 45 minutes drive from the city but transfer times will vary depending of traffic and weather conditions.
The resort areas of Pattaya and Cha Am/Hua Hin are also accessed via Bangkok and are a comfortable 2 & 3 hour drive from the city.
Phuket, Thailand's premier holiday island destination, is able to be accessed by several direct flights from the East Coast of Australia with Thai Airways International and Jetstar or via several Asian ports including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and of course Bangkok. There are also direct flights from Perth. These many options make Phuket an ideal choice for a convenient tropical holiday.
Thailand is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time GMT + 7). An easier way to think of it is: Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in normal time are 3 hours ahead of Thailand (during Daylight Savings this increases to 4 hours). Perth is usually only 1 hour head of Thailand and Adelaide is 1 & 1/2 hours ahead.Back to Top
Our collection of luxury Thailand resorts and packages caters to the most discerning traveller who appreciates the finer things in life. Experience the best in luxury travel with five star accommodation, world class golf courses and indulgent day spas.Back to Top
BANGKOK: the exuberant capital of Thailand is a fast-paced, ever-changing city, full of culture and traditions and mixed with international appeal. A vast choice of shopping options, restaurants, sightseeing, local food stalls and cultural activities can cater for any length of stay.
PHUKET: is the largest island located in Thailand's stunning south. This fun island provides an unbeatable combination of white sand beaches, crystal clear water and swaying palm trees, superb hospitality and great value accommodation. The main beach is Patong, but the best swimming beaches are Bangtao, Kata and Karon.
KOH SAMUI: is Thailand's third largest island at 247 sq. km, a beautiful island, located in the Gulf of Thailand, amidst azure blue water and an archipelago of small green islands ringed by white sand. Koh Samui's allure is its relaxed lifestyle. Buildings are no higher than the palm trees and bars and restaurants are often small and personal.
CHIANG MAI: the second largest city in Thailand is gateway to the North. A wonderful mix of old and new with a striking mountain backdrop, over 300 temples and a quaint historical aura and still offers visitors a true experience of the traditional ways of life. Visit hill tribes, many still living without the luxuries of running water and electricity. It is also the centre for traditional handicrafts and handmade furniture. Elephant riding, rafting and trekking are popular activities in this area.
PATTAYA: located on the eastern coastline of Thailand's Gulf of Siam only a 1&1/2 hours drive from Bangkok's international airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport. The combination of superb hotels, value-for-money shopping malls and market stalls, a huge variety of restaurants, endless sports and leisure activities and of course the vibrant nightlife scene makes Pattaya an exciting destination.
HUAHIN: on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand 170km or 3 hours drive southwest of Bangkok became a popular retreat for the Royal Family. Today it combines the attractions of a modern holiday destination with the charm and fascination of a still active fishing port. There are plenty of activities from watersports to golf or sun filled days on the mile long beach. Discover parks, peaks, caves and waterfalls an ideal starting point for your adventure tripsBack to Top
Thailand offers a host of options for couples - superb island destinations, the excitement of large vibrant cities, great shopping, cultural experiences or even something for the adventurous. For those looking to add something romantic for a special occasion why not try one of the superb roof top restaurants in Bangkok. Imagine a sumptuous candle light meal overlooking the spectacular Bangkok skyline dotted with floodlit temples, the Grand Palace or the bright lights of China Town.
The resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui provide an idyllic tropical setting for that holiday with someone special and offer a wonderful array of products to choose from. International resorts abound offering lush tropical gardens surrounding sparkling swimming pools or overlooking the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea and stunning white sand beaches. If you want a bit more seclusion and indulgent luxury then a private pool villa is sure to appeal. Thailand has something for every budget and all at very attractive prices.
Getting married? Then check out what Thailand can offer you. Getting married in Thailand, or even just having a second ceremony and wonderful reception, has become quite a trend in the last few years, to the extent where most resorts and hotels offer fabulous wedding and honeymoon packages to suit everyone's dream and budget whether eloping or taking along family and friends. We can even help you arrange your wedding either in traditional Thai Buddhist style or the white wedding of your dreams. Some resorts even offer a special guest appearance of a baby elephant, a sure winner with everyone. Whatever your plans, come and discover why Thailand is such great option for a wedding and honeymoon that you'll never forget.
For the more adventurous why not add an elephant trek, a sea kayak trip exploring remote islands and sea caves, or a jungle trek to some of Thailand's famous Hilltribe Villages. If you are not that adventurous but still need plenty of activity then head out to one of the many world class golf courses that abound throughout the country. Need to totally switch off? Head for the spa and get pampered. Most hotels and resorts offer a full menu of body treatments that are sure to relax and rejuvenate those tired muscles. A great way to come home feeling refreshed and ready for anything!
For couples of all ages, in Thailand there is something to satisfy what you want from your holiday.Back to Top
Thailand is regarded by holiday makers from all over the world as Asia's best holiday destinations for families. Why? Because Thailand offers the perfect combination of a tropical paradise, endless activities and friendly locals. To Thai's family is all important in their own culture so you and the kids will be welcomed with a warm, genuine smile and a softness of nature that will set the tone for a great holiday.
If you are looking for a great family holiday on the beach then Phuket and Koh Samui have some of the best resorts in Asia to satisfy your needs. Most have kids clubs and many offer specially designed family rooms or family deals that cater to even the larger family. These may incorporate inter-connecting rooms or family suites with a separate room or segregated area for the kids. Many also offer "Kids eat free" deals that will certainly stretch your holiday budget further.
Thailand also offers the opportunity for the family to experience something different. An exciting elephant ride is always a winner with the kids. If a bit of history and a unique experience is what you are after then we suggest a 2 day or 3 day excursion to Kanchanaburi, just 3 hours from Bangkok. Here they can learn some of our own history with a visit to the famous Bridge on the River Kwai and ride on the infamous Death railway, visit the War Museum and the Cemetry, the final resting place of the POW's who died during the building of the bridge. Stay at the River Kwai Floating Hotel, a rustic "resort" built of bamboo and floating on rafts. Take an elephant trek or float down the river on an inflated rubber tire tube. The kids will love the experience. While in Bangkok be sure to take in the Samphran Elephant and Crocodile Show day tour, sure to be another highlight.Back to Top
People & Customs
Thai's are one of the friendliest people you will ever meet, in general they are helpful and generous. There are however certain rules you have to know before you try to become buddies with a Thai.
First of all, smiling will get you halfway already. If you approach somebody or just look at somebody just give them a friendly smile, in 99 percent people will return your nice smile, now they already like you since you look happy and open to them. The standard greeting is "Sawat Dii" (literally meaning good luck) and to be polite men add Krap and women add Ka to it.
Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never go shirtless, or in shorts, and ladies, shoulders must be covered.
Shoes should be removed when entering private Thai homes; chapels where Buddhist images are kept; and any of the Islamic community's mosques.
Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as being a sacred object. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything that might show lack of respect.
Thai's regard the head as the highest part of the body, both literally and figuratively. Therefore, they do not appreciate anyone patting them there, even as a friendly gesture. The feet are the lowest and should therefore never be pointed to somebody's head and never point them at a Buddha statue. Also be moderate with pointing your finger and avoid physical contact.
NEVER EVER say something bad about the Royal Family or the Thai democracy, not only will the Thai's be extremely offended by it but insulting the king is a crime! The King is loved and respected greatly.
The majority of Thai people live in rural areas and this is still the basis of Thai society. There is a strong hierarchal structure in their relations with other people, respect to the parents, elderly and authority are examples of this. Another thing the Thai's are famous for is avoiding conflicts, it's absolutely useless to get angry, they will still smile at you although inside they might hate you, showing their true feelings is not their nature however. They accept their fate without complaining and are mostly happy and laid back people. One reason that the people are so relaxed can be found in Buddhism, they believe that your current life is influenced by the amount of good deeds from a previous life and thus a next life will be influenced by how you behave in the current life. Over 90% of Thais are Buddhist, with Islam, Hinduism and Christianity making up the rest.
Spoken and written Thai is the official language and is largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor. However English is widely understood, particularly in resort areas, hotels shops and restaurants.
It is customary to tip hotel personnel who have given good personal service. A service charge is normally included in most restaurants and bars, however an additional 10-15% tip is appreciated where service has been exceptional or a service charge has not been included.Back to Top
If shopping is what you are looking for then head to the many markets or shopping malls in Bangkok. Here you will find great bargains at the famous Mah Boon Krong (MBK) complex or try the night markets at Patpong Road or Suan Lum Night Bazaar. If time permits get out to Chatuchak Weekend Markets, you will be amazed at the sheer size and incredible assortment of goods on offer, and don't forget to bargain! For the best shopping for genuine designer labels then make a trip to Central World Plaza, Siam Paragon or Emporium in Sukhumvit. Great deals abound!
Department stores and a number of shops in Bangkok have fixed prices, but at most others bargaining is acceptable and expected; some department stores will even offer a discount on expensive items like jewellery and fine furniture. No fixed rules can be given on the process depending, as it does, on the bargainer's skill and the shopkeeper's mood, but the final price may be reduced as much as 30% to that first quoted. An important point to keep in mind is that Thai's admire good manners and a sense of humour and tend to be put off by a loss of temper. Providing you have the time, a good general rule is to make a survey of several shops selling the sort of items you want before coming to a final decision.Back to Top
Top Things To Do
Whatever your preferences for activities while on holiday, Thailand will have it covered. Here are some suggestions:
Have an authentic Thai meal at one of its famous seafood restaurants
Grab a few bargains at MBK or the incredible Chatuchak Weekend Markets
Visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, a wonderful display of Thailand's cultural grandeur and history
Do a jungle trek on the biggest taxi in the world - an elephant!
Visit the River Kwai area and catch up on some of our own history a truely moving experience.
Spoil yourself and have a wonderfully relaxing Spa.
Do a Thai cooking class Thai cuisine is more than just adding a handful of chillies
Take a ride on a longtail boat an exhilarating experience
Have dinner or a cocktail at The Roof Restaurant at Siam @ Siam Design Hotel, Bangkok. The food is superb and the view is fantastic!
Enjoy your holiday - don't worry, be happy.Back to Top
As in most countries, vaccination certificates are not required for people unless coming from or passing through a designated contaminated area. Some border areas of Thailand are malarial and appropriate precautions should be taken if visiting there. Bangkok, major cities and resorts have excellent medical facilities and most hotels have doctors on 24-hour call. Thailand has many high standard private hospitals in Bangkok and every region. Visitors can be assured of round-the-clock international standard medical services. Tap water is clean but drinking from it directly should be avoided. Bottled water is recommended. Discuss vaccinations and risks with your doctor before you go. Travel Insurance is highly recommended.Back to Top
When To Go
The Thais often say: We have only two seasons, hot and hotter. This is true as far as it's never cold in Thailand. Officially however there are three seasons:
Cool (from November to February) with temperatures in the mid twenties to thirties (Celsius).
Hot (from March to May) with temperatures always above 30 and often around 40.
Rainy (from June to October) with temperatures in the mid twenties and regular tropical rain and thunder showers.
In Bangkok and the South of Thailand it is never cold but in the North temperatures can come close to 0 during the night in the cool season.Back to Top
What To Pack
If you are travelling to Thailand in December or January it can be rather cool, especially in the evenings, so a thin jacket or pullover may be required. The rest of the year though is quite hot throughout the day and night so one should pack accordingly.
Bangkok is as modern a city as any, there is an amazing choice of very smart hotels, trendy bars, nightspots and restaurants often with a very western feel and it is easy to forget that whilst the hotels may look the same as in the west the Thai people are conservative people.
They are quite modest dressers and it's an integral part of their culture, not a fashion statement. Neat, clean clothing makes you look good and is the best bet for good respect from the Thais'.
If you are staying in a hotel it's a good idea to take a light weight cardigan or cover as the air conditioning can at times be fierce. People seem to make more of an effort to dress smartly for dinner in the hotels and a smart top or dress and shoes will be useful.
If you have a few days in Bangkok it's very worthwhile having clothes made at one of the city's many tailors. The silk is excellent as is the quality of the workmanship and they will deliver the clothes to your hotel.
Thailand's islands (including Phuket and Koh Samui) are dotted around the south of the country and the key word here is "relaxed".
They've been on the tourist scene for many years now. All types of dress are acceptable here and you'll see a huge variety. The weather's always hot, so you really don't need much and it pays to pack light! There's plenty of shopping in Thailand to fill those suitcases
Northern Thailand enjoys a hot daytime temperature throughout the year although evening temperatures are a good deal lower from October - March when you will need to pack warmer layers or a pashmina for the evenings. The north of Thailand is a good deal cooler than Bangkok even in their summer, so it is a good idea to take a cover up for evenings.
Sightseeing and activities
Bangkok - No matter how hot it is, don't wear sleeveless tops or short shorts when in public areas. The Thai's look on this as disrespectful. Showing cleavage is also a bad idea and is thought to be in bad taste.
Northern Thailand - If you are going to visit any temples wear shirts or blouses with sleeves and carry a sarong or wear a skirt. Capri or lightweight trousers also work well in the humidity. Also remember that you will have to take off your shoes. Wear shoes that can be easily removed because you cannot wear shoes in the Buddhist temples. Socks are considered poor form and tacky. Comfortable flip flops or sandals work well if trainers or walking shoes don't appeal. The Thai's are kind and tolerant of foreigners, but the only time you will really offend them is if you wear shoes in the presence of a statue of Buddha at a shrine, even if it is not a temple.
If you're planning Elephant trekking make sure you have long trousers because you will get dirty and dusty if not wet. Good sturdy walking shoes are vital.
Make sure you take plenty of sun cream and bug spray with you as it is very difficult to buy locally in the north and if you do happen to find some - it will be expensive.
To prevent bug bites, our advice is to wear long cotton trousers or light weight trekking trousers and a sleeveless t-shirt under a thin cotton long-sleeved shirt. It is culturally insulting to the Thais to have bare legs exhibited.
Remember, Thailand has some great shopping to offer so we would advise travelling light with space in the suitcase for new purchases. There are often a lot of sales on at department stores around Bangkok, some offering up to 70 or even 80% discounts!Back to Top