Thailand’s beaches and islands attract millions of visitors each year from all over the globe. *Hua Hin (map) is Thailand’s oldest beach resort, made famous by King Rama VII in the 1920s as an ideal getaway from Bangkok. *Pattaya (map), *Phuket (map), and *Ko Samui (map) only came to prominence in the 1970s, and these are now by far the most developed beach resorts.
*Krabi Province has some beautiful spots, including *Ao Nang, Rai Leh and the long golden beaches of *Ko Lanta (map). *Ko Phi Phi (map), renowned as a true island paradise, has been undergoing massive development since the release of the film The Beach in 2000. *Ko Pha Ngan (map) offers the best of both worlds, with both well-developed beaches and empty ones a short ride away.
Ko Chang (map) is a bit like Ko Samui used to be. If you’re looking for unspoiled beaches, *Ko Kut (map) is very thinly populated.
Most of Thailand has three seasons:
The cool dry season from late-November to February.
The hot dry season from March to May can see daytime temperatures in the mid- to high-30s.
The rainy season from May to October has daytime temperatures in the low-30s with nighttime temperatures in the mid= to high-20s.
*Khao Yai National Park (map), the first national park of Thailand, is the closest to Bangkok. Wild tigers and elephants are increasingly rare, but you can’t miss the macaques, gibbons, deer, and species of birds. The stretch of jungle at *Khao Sok National Park (map) is probably even more impressive, and you can spend the night in the middle of the jungle.
Do not make any negative remarks or any remarks which might be perceived as disrespectful about the King, any members of the Royal Family, or anything related to them (such as their pets or appearance). This will usually land you in prison and your embassy/consulate will be of little help in getting you out.
Thailand has accommodation in every price bracket. Always take a look at the room (or better still several rooms, sometimes owners offer not the best/cheaper rooms first) before agreeing a price. In smaller establishments also do ask for the agreed price in writing to avoid problems during check out.
The number one cause of death for visitors to Thailand is motorbike accidents.
Thai phrasebook (wikivoyage). Thai Language – Reference documents, interactive lessons, dictionary, and forums for learning Thai.