Travelling Turtle

Guide for travel to Thailand: Itinerary and useful advice

I have just returned from my trip to Thailand and I decided to write this article to tell you about my experience, hoping that it will be useful for all those who are planning a trip to the “land of smiles”

I would like to start by saying that I entrusted myself to a tour operator to organize the trip, which I highly recommend doing when planning a tour in places where you need to pay close attention to choosing adequate facilities, especially with regards to safety and hygiene. If you don’t know the language you don’t have to worry because it is possible to find very good Italian guides who will accompany you during the entire duration of the itinerary.

This guide retraces the organizational phases of my trip to Thailand step by step and refers to subsequent articles for details on the places I visited and for more specific advice.

Why visit Thailand?

Let’s start by answering this question that each of you will surely have asked yourself. The truth is that there are many reasons to visit Thailand, and each of them contributes to making this country an unforgettable experience.

  • Thailand has a thousand-year history and a fascinating culture. From ancient Buddhist temples to royal palaces, you can immerse yourself in the richness of its history.
  • Thais are very hospitable and for this reason their country is nicknamed the “land of smiles”.
  • Thailand’s beaches are often considered among the most beautiful in the world. White sand, crystal clear waters and breathtaking landscapes await you on islands like Phuket and Koh Samui.
  • Thai cuisine is famous around the world for its bold, spicy flavors. From curries to street kebabs, you’ll have the opportunity to try unique and delicious dishes.
  • From the jungle to the northern mountains, this country offers a variety of outdoor adventures. You can hike, kayak, snorkel, explore caves and much more.
  • Thailand is renowned for its luxurious spas and wellness centers. You can enjoy traditional massages, relaxing treatments and rejuvenating therapies.

In short, a trip to Thailand offers a unique blend of culture, adventure, relaxation and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring crowded cities, relaxing on remote beaches, or immersing yourself in local culture, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes.

What do you need to know to organize a trip to Thailand?

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your arrival date.
  • Consult your doctor for recommended vaccinations or preventative care before traveling.
  • I always recommend choosing structures organized to welcome tourists. I strongly advise against too cheap solutions as there is the risk that the level of hygiene safety is not adequate and it is easy to contract infections.
  • Taste the local cuisine, but pay attention to hygiene. Drink only sealed bottled water and eat in clean places. Avoid raw foods and always opt for freshly cooked and prepared foods.
  • You should always show respect for the local culture, such as avoiding touching people’s heads and raising your voice in public. You must always enter temples barefoot and wear long trousers and short-sleeved t-shirts.
  • Lightweight, breathable clothing is ideal for tropical weather.
  • The local currency is the Thai baht. It is advisable to always have a credit card (no debit card). As for cash, it’s always a good idea to have some in your pocket as many places only accept cash. It is possible to withdraw money from ATMs. A good solution is the Revolut digital account that allows you to exchange money at the current exchange rate without commissions.
  • Public transport is well organized in Thailand. Use tuk-tuks, taxis and trains to get around the city. For tuk-tuks and taxis it is always advisable to agree on the cost of the trip in advance to avoid running into scams.
  • Negotiating prices you can always get at least a 30% discount on the initial price.
  • For the phone, it is possible to buy SIMs directly at the airport in Bangkok or, for those who have a compatible phone, I suggest purchasing an e-SIM.

Itinerary and map of places of interest

Finally we have arrived at the most beautiful part of our guide. The time has come to plan your trip to Thailand itinerary!

Below I will tell you about the places and experiences I had during my trip but I invite you to leave in the comments any suggestions on places to visit that I have not mentioned.


The journey begins in the capital, Bangkok, a city that blends tradition and modernity in a fascinating way. Bangkok is steeped in history and culture, and you can discover its rich heritage through its many temples and palaces. The Grand Palace is an absolute icon: a sumptuous complex that includes the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Royal Palace, a magnificent example of traditional Thai architecture. Wat Pho, famous for its giant reclining Buddha statue, is another unmissable place for lovers of culture and spirituality.

Bangkok is also a mecca for lovers of street food and authentic cuisine. The narrow alleys are dotted with stalls offering delicious dishes. As previously recommended, however, pay close attention to what you eat so that it is always cooked and freshly prepared.


A short distance from Bangkok is Maeklong, famous for the Railway Market. It is a unique market of its kind, as the stalls are arranged directly on the train tracks. As the train approaches, the vendors quickly take out their wares and move their tents to make room. It’s an incredible sight to see and offers an unusual perspective on local trade.

Damnoen Saduak

During your trip to Thailand you will certainly be spoiled for choice when it comes to floating markets to visit. Damnoen Saduak‘s is one of the most famous and iconic. It is located in Ratchaburi province, about 100 kilometers west of Bangkok. This market offers a unique experience, where visitors can immerse themselves in local life and discover the traditional culture of floating markets.

Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand is a region rich in history, culture and natural beauty. From majestic mountains to ancient cities and tribal villages, this part of the country offers a variety of unique experiences for travelers.

Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai: the capitals of the north

The ancient capitals of the Lanna kingdom, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, are two destinations not to be missed on your tour of Thailand.

Chiang Rai is a fascinating city. Its main landmark is the White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun. This stunning temple features intricate details and modern design.

White Temple - Wat Rong Khun

Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and is renowned for its ancient history and vibrant culture. Here you can visit the Night Bazaar, or the night market where you can buy everything and taste the typical dishes of Thai street food. Also very beautiful to see is the temple of Wat Doi Suthep which is built on the Doi Suthep mountain and allows you to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city.

The golden triangle

Located north of Chiang Rai on the Mekong River, the Golden Triangle is where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. This area is famous for its rich and fascinating history, as well as its past linked to opium smuggling.

The village of long-necked women

The Long Neck Women Tribe, also known as Karen, is one of several ethnic minorities in the hills of northern Thailand. This tribe is famous for the practice of wearing brass rings around the neck, which give the illusion of an elongated neck.

Giraffe Women consider their rings to be a symbol of beauty and social status. This practice has deep cultural roots and is often passed down from generation to generation. The tribe has a rich cultural heritage, with traditional dress, language and rituals forming an integral part of their identity.

Long necked woman

Southern Thailand

To complete the itinerary of your trip to Thailand, all you have to do is visit one of the southern islands to enjoy a bit of the sea and relax on the white coral beaches.

There are several very beautiful islands but the most popular are two and the choice of which to visit essentially depends on the period of your trip.


Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, located in the Andaman Sea on the west coast. With spectacular beaches, endless entertainment and a variety of cultural attractions. Among the island’s dream beaches, Patong Beach is the most famous, with a wide range of water activities and nightlife. Kata and Karon Beach offer a more relaxed atmosphere, while Nai Harn Beach is lovely and quiet.

Through a boat excursion it is possible to reach the very famous Phi Phi Islands which certainly represent the most well-known and iconic image of Thailand.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular islands, located in the Gulf of Thailand off the east coast. This tropical island is renowned for its spectacular beaches. Chaweng Beach is famous for its white sand and day and night activities. Lamai and Thongson Beach are equally charming, with turquoise waters and a relaxed atmosphere.

During my trip to Thailand I went to Koh Samui as it is the ideal place for those who decide to visit the country in the period between May and September. This is because the east coast is less affected by the rainy season than the west coast and therefore offers greater guarantees on the weather. Phuket is instead recommended between April and December which corresponds to the dry season.

Koh Samui - Thailand

When is it best to go to Thailand?

Fortunately, Thailand is a destination that is suitable for almost any period of the year. You can then choose the period you prefer for your tour.

Dry Season (November – February)

The best period would be between November and February which is considered High Season. These months are characterized by cooler, more pleasant temperatures, less humidity and minimal chance of rain. The hours of sunshine are also greater than the rest of the year.

It’s the ideal time to explore the beaches, cities and cultural attractions without the discomfort of the summer heat. However, since it is the high season, hotel rates and tourist attractions may be higher and popular destinations may be crowded.

Hot season (March – May)

During these months, temperatures begin to rise and humidity increases. March and April are the warmest months of the year. This is a good season to visit if you like intense heat and want to avoid the high season crowds. However, be prepared for hot and humid conditions.

Rainy Season (June – October)

These months correspond to the rainy season. While this may discourage some travellers, there is still a chance to enjoy Thailand during this time. The rains are often short and intense, followed by moments of sunshine. This is also a season where you can enjoy lower hotel rates and fewer tourists.

I organized my trip for this period (August) and I absolutely cannot complain. Although there were some short storms lasting no more than an hour, the climate still allowed us to enjoy the trip in peace. The only slightly annoying thing is the humidity that you encounter especially in Bangkok. However, out of 15 days of stay, only one day was particularly rainy. The guides are well organized to handle the situation and all hotels provide umbrellas.

As previously mentioned, in this period the eastern coast is recommended for the sea as it has its own microclimate characterized by little rainfall even during these months.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation on the beach or a tour to discover oriental culture, Thailand certainly has a lot to offer. I hope that this guide can be useful to those who, like me, have decided to spend their holidays in this fantastic and very hospitable country.