Thailand is one of the most popular holiday destinations for South Africans, and with good reason. The shopping is unbeatable, the food is delicious, the Thai people are the friendliest you’ll ever meet – and that’s just a taste of what to expect on a Thailand trip.
The ‘Land of Smiles’ offers a choice of absolutely beautiful beach destinations, some on charming little islands. Among the many tourist attractions, there are jungles and mountain retreats to visit, and glittering royal temples and ancient monasteries to explore. There are street markets and sophisticated city plazas, all brimming with fabulous items to buy. And did we mention that Thailand holiday packages are very reasonably priced?
Why we love Thailand holidays
- The choice of holidays is so varied. From jungle safaris to island resorts, city breaks to mountain retreats, Thailand has it all.
- It’s called ‘The Land of Smiles’ because the Thai people are so friendly and welcoming.
- It’s a cost-effective holiday destination for South Africans.
- The beaches are picture-perfect, with white sand lapped by azure seas.
- The Thai people love to celebrate, and there are endless festivals, cultural celebrations and religious ceremonies.
- Nowhere else on earth offers such incredible massages, which you can even enjoy on the beach.
- The nightlife is unparalleled – in Thailand, life begins when the sun goes down!
- The food markets in Bangkok will leave you salivating.
The best time to visit Thailand is between the months of November and April. During this period it is generally the warmest and driest time to holiday in Thailand.
When you holiday in Thailand, there is always something new and exciting to discover. Whether you’re travelling on a romantic getaway or taking the family for some fun in the sun. Going solo or getting together with friends to enjoy the food and nightlife, Thailand is a destination to suit every type of traveller especially with every type of budget from luxury packages to cheap Thailand packages. Our Thailand holiday packages include flights.
Thailand is an exciting destination and having ‘sanuk’ (fun in the Thai language), is what a holiday here is all about. No matter what type of package you choose in Thailand, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to activities.
Whether you’re on a beach holiday in Phuket or one of the islands, exploring the countryside in Northern Thailand, or savouring city life in Bangkok. Each place you visit offers a multitude of things to do, but make sure to take time out to relax with a traditional Thai massage. Being indulged in this rejuvenating, and legendary pursuit is one of the joys of visiting Thailand. When the sun sets, there’s plenty to too, with lots of entertainment, from Thai dancing and nightclubs to shopping at traditional night markets.
Things to do in Thailand
- Go jet skiing, kayaking and sailing on Phuket’s Patong Beach – or just laze in the sun.
- Learn to cook traditional Thai food in a lush mountain setting in Chiang Mai.
- Explore Bangkok’s glittering Royal palaces, temples and traditional markets.
- Shop until you drop in shopping malls or street markets around Thailand.
- Stay at Elephant Hills, a luxury tented camp, where you can go on safari.
- Enjoy snorkelling in the stunning Similan Islands near Khao Lak.
- Explore Koh Phi Phi and the surrounding islands. Please note that Phi Phi Leh island's Maya Bay, where the movie The Beach was filmed, is closed for environmental reconstruction due to the number of visitors over the past decade. The opening date has not been released by the Thai Government.
- See Krabi’s magnificent natural wonders, such as Noppharat Thara Beach National Park.
- Go coral diving outside of Krabi to the surrounding islands, home to some of the most beautiful reefs on earth.
- Visit a hill tribe village in Mae Hong Son, Northern Thailand and discover the unique customs and cultures practised by one of the most popular hill tribes called the Karen Hill Tribe.
- Visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market to experience the oldest and traditional way of farmers selling food, fruit, flowers and many other local products from their boats.
- Sample some Thai street food in Bangkok, known to be the best city in the world for street food.
- Enjoy a fun ride in a tuk-tuk which is a cheaper way of exploring the cities – depending on your negotiation skills.
- Visit Wat Rong Khun, the picture-perfect White Temple in Chiang Rai.
- Explore the underwater world in Koh Tao, Thailand's most popular island for diving.
- Visit the Phuket Big Buddha, which is one of the tallest statues in the world and enjoy the best view of the island.
- Celebrate Thai New Year, also known as the Songkran Festival, where locals enjoy local entertainment and splash water on everyone. This is believed to bring good health, prosperity and longevity.
Everybody should experience a holiday in Thailand at least once in their lifetime. Chat to us about our 2023 packages to make your Thailand holiday dreams a reality and travel on a journey of delight to this exotic destination.
When is the best time to visit?
- Thailand is an all-year-round destination. However, there are factors to consider when planning your holidays, such as seasonal weather and prices of flights and accommodation.
- Thailand has a tropical climate throughout the country, which means it is hot and humid year-round. The average temperature ranges from 18 to 38°C.
- March to May: High humidity and temperatures.
- November to February: Dry, cool temperatures and low humidity, the best time to travel.
- May to October: Rainy season, generally sunny with quick showers in the late afternoon and evening.
Getting there & getting around
- There are regular flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to Bangkok, Phuket and Krabi.
- The flight duration varies depending on the airline selected.
- Bangkok transport includes BTS Skytrain, MRT subway, buses, taxis, motorbike taxis, tuk tuks, songthaews, express boats and Khlong boats.
Do I need a visa?
- South African passport holders do not require a visa for a stay of up to 30 days.
- Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after travel to Thailand.
- Make sure your passport has at least 2 unused pages for any required entry/exit stamps.
- On arrival in Thailand, you will be required to present a return ticket or onward travel arrangements.
What time is it?
- Thailand is 5 hours ahead of South Africa.
- Currency: Thai baht (THB).
- Major credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted in hotels, shops and large restaurants.
- You can exchange your currency into THB at any authorised money exchanger.
- Tipping is an accepted custom in Thailand. Tip restaurant staff, luggage porters, drivers and guides at your discretion.
Language & phrases
- Thai is the official language of Thailand.
- English is widely spoken in popular tourist areas.
Culture & religion
- Theravada Buddhism is Thailand’s main religion and a strong element of its culture.
- When visiting sacred sites and temples, dress conservatively. (See ‘What to pack’).
- Very important: In Buddhist culture, the head is the most sacred part of the body. Do not touch or pat people’s heads, not even children.
- It’s preferable to drink bottled water in Thailand. Bottled water is available everywhere.
- Check with your travel clinic about recommended vaccinations.
- Depending on when and where you visit, lightweight clothing for summer, warmer layers for winter.
- Lightweight rain jacket.
- Dress modestly when visiting sacred sites – no shorts or tank tops. Legs & shoulders must be covered. Long, loose pants and long-sleeved cotton shirts are best.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor. Power outlets in Thailand generally feature flat, two-pronged plugs, though some feature holes for round plug ends. Few outlets feature three holes (grounded outlets) so it is often necessary to have a three-to-two-prong adapter. Thailand operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.