Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia known for its juxtaposition of scenic beaches and technologically advanced cities. Thus, it is currently one of South East Asia’s most popular tourist locations. This makes it an ideal location for a much-needed vacation. With its mix of opportunities to explore and vivid nightlife, Thailand will be perfect for you, whether you’re travelling solo or in a group. Moreover, Thai food is widely regarded to having some of the best cuisines in the world, with tourists from all over, flocking to sample Thailand’s many flavours.
Tourism is one of the biggest sources for income in Thailand. The annual contribution tourism makes to Thailand’s GDP ranges from 9%-18%, making it an invaluable industry to Thailand. Thus, it can be said that Thailand takes its tourism very seriously, going so far as to rank number 4 on the report for 2017 article for The U.S. News’ Best Countries, for adventure value and number 7 for its cultural heritage.
You may also visit Thailand’s official website for tourism here.
Fun facts about Thailand
Not only does Thailand excel in their tourism industry, did you know the following facts about the country?
- Thailand is one of the very few Asian countries to never have been colonized by a European power, this means Thai culture, food and architecture is truly and uniquely Thai. Without any other influences.
- Thailand is also home to a fish that can walk on land- the Cryptotora Thamicola
If you’re a tourist in Thailand and are feeling lost on what to do in terms of places to see and what to eat- fear not! For we’ve put together a list of popular places as well as dishes, below!
Popular places to visit in Thailand as a tourist
- Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is a peaceful city situated in the north of Thailand. While it may seem out of the way, it boasts a colourful nightlife with its displays of traditional neon lights.
Pai is a scenic village and is full of beautiful waterfalls and waterbodies to adventure in
- Phanom Rung
If you want to witness beautiful architecture and feel a sense of spirituality, Phanom Rung is a Hindu Shrine located in an extinct volcano.
- Rai Leh
Rai Leh is a beach area in Krabi, Thailand and is an amazing experience due to it only being accessible by boat.
- Khao Sok National Park
A nature reserve in Thailand. Khao Sok National Park is one of the few areas in the world for you to see the rare Rafflesia Flower (known as the corpse flower, it is currently the world’s biggest flower species) in person.
North of the country’s capital, Bangkok, Ayuthaya is an archeological site that hosts palaces as well as temples that are open to visitors.
A waterside town in West Thailand. Kanchanaburi pays much homage to the events that occurred during WWII
- Chiang Mai
The sister town to Chiang Rai, also located in the north of the country. Both a historical as well as cultural hub, Chiang Mai is home to many of the country’s oldest Buddhist temples
Thailand’s incredibly busy capital, Bangkok offers much to you in terms of both sightseeing as well as shopping.
- Thailand Islands
If partying and a nightlife are the main stars of your vacation, the smaller Thailand Islands will have exactly what you’re looking for. With its scenic and vast beaches, the Thailand Islands always host a variety of beach side events.
Popular food to try in Thailand as a tourist
- Pad Thai
A dish of stir-fried noodles, what sets pad Thai apart is its flavourful array of ingredients, including the tangy flavor of a freshly squeezed wedge of lime. As one of Thailand’s most mainstream dishes, pad thai is available everywhere from high end restaurants to street vendors.
As a tourist in Thailand, the following dishes are an absolute must try during your stay here. The best part is all of these dishes can be found anywhere in Thailand, be it a high-end restaurant or from a friendly vendor in a busy street.
- Tom Yam soup
Tom Yam is a soup that combines both hot and sour flavours. Made by boiling a variety of spices, Tom Yam soup is often accompanied by a meat such as shrimp or pork.
- Som Tam/ Green Papaya Salad
For most people, papaya would be associated with a sweet taste, however in Thailand, unripe papaya is shredded and tossed in a mix of spices featuring chili and lime. This dish is said to have been brought from Laos.
- Green Curry
Aptly named after the colour of the dish, green curry or Thai green curry is a gravy-based dish made from coconut milk and crushed green chilies. This dish is often served with a meat, usually fish, but is often served with chicken as well.
- Massaman Curry
Commonly served with chicken, this curry is a fat-rich curry made with a blend of mild, yet flavourful spices.
- Thai fried rice
Unlike normal fried rice, the Thai variety is cooked using shrimp paste to add its unique flavor. This paste makes the dish slightly salty and adds a pungent smell to it.
- Nam Tok Mu
A variety of salad, Nam Tok Mu is prepared with grilled pork that is tossed in chili powder, fish sauce, lime and a few other ingredients and is commonly served with vegetables and sticky rice.
Other than the dishes that appeared in the ranking for the World’s 50 best dishes, Thailand also stuns with the following popular ones. They may not have made it to the list, but they are worth every effort you make to taste them!
- Pad See Eiw
Pad See Eiw, which translates to thick noodles, is a stir-fried noodle dish that features wide flat noodles that are tossed in soy sauce and cooked with a meat, usually chicken or pork.
- Gai Tod
Gai Tod or fried chicken is certainly not uniquely Thai, but what sets the Thai version apart from the mainstream fried chicken is the method in which it is prepared. First the meat is soaked in a marinade of Thai spices, before it is tossed in rice flour and deep fried. It is commonly served with sticky rice and a dipping sauce.
- Kao Niew Ma Muang
Surely this list would be incomplete without at least one dessert. And Kao Niew Ma Muang or mango sticky rice is probably Thailand’s most popular dessert. This dish features sweetened sticky rice that is served with a side of freshly cut mangoes and topped with a thick coconut milk cream
Getting a tourist visa to Thailand
If you’re ever in any doubt about getting a visa to Thailand, do contact us at S & F Consulting! We are a consultancy firm and our priority is to ensure that you have a smooth visa application process. As officially registered agents in Thailand, we are aptly familiar with all that entails any sort of visa related registration and proceedings in Thailand.
We have also detailed an article on the visa process in Thailand here.
If you’re looking for help with booking your ideal vacation in Thailand, be sure to contact us at S & F consulting, where we put your happiness at the forefront.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the visa process take?
If the documents are clear and the process is successful, you will have to wait for five working days for the visa to be issued.
How do I collect my visa?
You will have to collect your visa in person at your corresponding embassy.