There are plenty of reasons that people flock to Thailand for a vacation, and I’ve seen them all. The bustle of Bangkok, the temples of Chiang Mai and the slowed down island way of living on Koh Lanta are just a few. Every corner of this country is exciting, enticing and welcoming to all, the latter of which one can witness by the infamous and unmistakable Thai smile.
Wherever one may be in the world, Thailand included, the foundation of a great vacation lies in the accommodation. By taking care of your hotel booking in Thailand ahead of time, you can ensure that your holiday is one for the books, and that you’ll have a worthy place to lay your head after every Thai adventure. To get you started, I’ve laid out some of the best tips on booking a hotel in Thailand right from the web. To add to it, I’ve even thrown in some must-know tourism tidbits for the land of smiles, all to get you eager for your Thailand stay.
Tips for Booking a Thailand Hotel
Staying in a range of hotels in Thailand is a all a part of the fun. In my experience, a quality hotel is the basis for a quality experience in a city, town or village. I have a feeling that following these simple tips will lead to the best night’s rest for you as well.
- Stick to the Locals – While there are plenty of western-run hotels throughout Thailand (and the world at large), why not try to book a hotel that’s actually run by the Thai? By doing so, you can gain insight from your hosts on some true local treasures, enjoy utmost hospitality and maybe even get some leads on the best pad thai in town. Moreover, you’ll save money by snagging some of Thailand’s best hotel prices online.
- Read Reviews – Sure, you may be eager to get your trip itinerary set and organized. However, the worst feeling in the world is knowing you booked a Thailand hotel online that you weren’t 100% sure on, and it turning out to be far below your expectations. Give yourself the respect you deserve by doing your due diligence and reading plenty of reviews. The last thing you want is a colony of insects in your abode, or even an unpleasant host to call to. On the other hand, by listening to reviews, you may just wind up with your best hotel experience yet.
- Base Your Decision On The Travelers You’re With – Are you traveling with kids in tow, or is Thailand the first stop on your honeymoon escapades? When booking a Thailand hotel, these details matter. Some hotels cater to children much better than others, while certain hotels specialize in taking care of couples. If you travel alone, try to score one of the many hotels suited for backpackers. By picking the right spot, you and the rest of the holiday-goers will have the time of your lives.
- Treat Yourself Sometimes – While it’s easy to keep the budget low in Thailand, there’s no shame in wanting to splurge for a bit of amenities along the way. After all, this country has no shortage of boutique hotels and resort-style accommodations in every region. When booking your Thailand hotel online, try adjusting the filters to show only hotels with pools, restaurants, airport service, private bathtubs and whatever else you can think of. You’ll be surprised at what you find, and you’ll definitely have fun picking your favorite. Best of all, even the high-end hotels are still affordable from a Western standard.
Must-Pack Items for a Thai Holiday
One of the good things about traveling to Thailand is its convenience. On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself needing a forgotten item and, with a bit of digging, been able to find it. However, I’d love if I could help other tourists learn from my mistakes by teaching them how to pack wiser than I ever did. By remembering these key items, you’ll be in the clear for your Thailand vacation.
- Slip-on Sandals – As a cultural norm, most Thai spots (hotels in Thailand included) will have you remove your shoes upon entrance. You can either leave them outside with the rest or place them on a rack before gliding in barefoot. I find it to be quite freeing, but only if you’re wearing shoes meant for slipping on and off easily. Avoid going too many places in sneakers as you’ll just have to tie and untie them over and over again.
- Covered-up Clothing for Temples – Ladies, this one’s mostly for you. If you plan on visiting temples (which, if you’re heading to Thailand in the first place, I assume you are) you’re going to want the right clothing to accompany your journey. Skirts or pants below the knees as well as shirts that cover your shoulders are a must.
- Reusable Water Bottle – It’s no secret that Thailand is a plastic-happy place, and it doesn’t help that the tap water isn’t meant for drinking. You can do your part by bringing a reusable water bottle, which can be filled at public filling stations or your very own Thailand hotel.
- Raincoat – Even in the dry season, unexpected rains can come at a moment’s notice. It’s best to be prepared with a raincoat or poncho at all times, for when the storm rolls in, you’ll want to be covered.
- No-Fee Debit Card – For overseas visitors, Thailand’s ATM fees can really add up. Find out if your home country houses a bank that offers ATM fee reimbursement and waives foreign transaction fees. That way, you don’t have to sweat every time you go to take out a few baht. And don’t forget to grab your card from the machine when you’re done (you’d be surprised how many people make this mistake)!
Hit These Towns on Your 2-Week Itinerary
As a tourist landing in Bangkok, you have the option of heading north or south for your next stint of adventure. The ideal route really depends on the time of year you’re visiting as well as your interests in activities. However, if I have any say, I’d love to lead you to my favorite Thailand destinations.
- Lopburi – Situated within central Thailand, this place is known for one thing more than all else. It’s a large population of monkeys that draw tourists to town, so get out your cameras (albeit on a tight leash) and make your way to this novel destination. But be sure to grab a hotel before you go.
- Sam Roi Yot – There’s no better way to restore peace after the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Get to this quiet gulf-side town by train, and stay in one of the many resort-style hotels along the water. Rent a bike, visit a temple in a cave and enjoy a cocktail while lounging on the sand.
- Koh Tao – If there’s any place in the world to learn how to scuba dive, it’s Koh Tao. This modestly sized island squeezes nearly a hundred dive shops into its quarters, giving you plenty of options to choose from. After spending the day getting certified, you can head home to one of many upscale hotels to rest your head.
- Phuket – With the colorful, historic architecture of Phuket Town as well as the easy lifestyle of the island’s surrounding beaches, you can have the best of both tourism worlds. Stay for a Sunday so you can hit the legendary night market for food and shopping, and be sure to book a room that provides airport transportation for when you time in town is up.
- Pai – On the northern side of the nation, make your way to Pai. This mountainous region exudes a relaxed quietude. It’s easy to uncover the local way of life here, and you can get enough trekking to satisfy your outdoorsy nature for awhile. This is the perfect spot to test out a Thai-style bungalow hotel.
- Chiang Mai – Known for its ancient temples and numerous markets, Chiang Mai is a city with plenty of sites meant for seeing. While you’re there, dabble in some khao soi or curried noodles, a region specialty. Who knows, your Thailand hotel may even have a premium restaurant that serves it.
Time to Get Moving Toward Your Thailand Hotel
Whether you’re staying for days, weeks or months, the Thai lifestyle is calling. It lured me in with it’s delicious cuisine, surreal views and welcoming persona, and I have no doubt you’ll feel the same.
Now that you know what to look for when booking hotels in Thailand online, you can start planning the logistics. Before you know it, you’ll be packing your bags, slipping on your sandals and getting ready for a cultural journey you’ll want to return to again and again.