General

Our favourite time to visit Thailand is from February to May. The weather is at its best for the year as throughout the country there isn’t much rain, and there are less holiday makers after the December/January period. April is usually the hottest month of the year, and is when the Songkran festival takes place, which is a celebration of the Thai New Year.

The ideal choice of transport depends on the island in Thailand you are visiting. In Phuket, because of its size, our preferred method of transport is a tuk-tuk. They are cheap, can fit anywhere between three to six people, and there are thousands of them. In Phi Phi, the best way to explore is by foot. The island is very small and the villages are easily reachable by walking. If you are traveling from one side of the island to the other, you can always take a water taxi (longtail boat). Koh Samui is another large island, and our personal choice is a scooter. The roads can be busy at times, so if you are not confident on a scooter we suggest hiring a taxi or renting a car. Koh Phangan is a much calmer environment so a scooter is the ideal mode of travel, besides that there are many taxies available as well. Koh Tao is a very small island with minimal traffic and steep hills. Once again, a scooter is a fantastic option here, we recommend one with off-road tyres for Koh Tao, and alternatively you can take a taxi. Koh Lipe Is a very small island that can be explored by foot, but they do have motorbike taxies operating on the island.

You can contact us at any time during your trip. Keeping in mind that Thailand is five hours ahead of South Africa, you can contact us between 2pm and 10pm Thailand time. We are available via calling, messaging us on WhatsApp, or email. WhatsApp is the easiest we feel, as there is Wi-Fi almost everywhere in Thailand.

Money

A tough question to answer. It depends entirely on the type of traveler you are, but Thailand is a generally affordable country that caters for both backpackers, as well as luxury holiday makers. Food on the affordable side can range from 50 Thai Baht (THB) to 120 THB, while treating yourself to a high end meal can cost anywhere between 180THB to 550 THB. Different islands also price things differently, so a beer in Phuket can be 120 THB while the same beer in Koh Tao would be 50 THB. Excursions also play a huge role in expenditure, as prices can range from 600 THB to 3800 THB depending on what it is you’re doing. We personally felt comfortable on 1500 THB per day, and think it’s a good middle ground to work from.

Visa and MasterCard is accepted pretty much everywhere in Thailand, while you can draw money from the ATMs too, although there is usually a 200 THB transaction fee for every withdrawal, so draw large amounts and store the money in a safe place. Our most trusted banks are Siam Commercial Bank (purple bank with a yellow logo) and Bank of Ayudhya (yellow bank). Many restaurants and hotels will also allow you to swipe your card, and there is usually a 2,5% service fee on the amount spent.

Payment

Not at all, we do not charge extra fees or fuel surcharges. The price on your invoice will be the full amount including tax.

Preparation

You will, first and foremost, require a South African passport that is valid for six months after your return date. If you’d like to hire a scooter or car, you will need to travel with your South African driver’s license. We will be supplying you with digital copies of all your hotel and travel vouchers, the travel vouchers should be printed out to be presented travel operator. Hotel vouchers need not be printed as they can be shown digitally when checking into the hotel. No visa is required for South African citizens in either Thailand or Malaysia.

Light, breathable, summer clothing is best, as the temperatures mean it is a year-long summer. You will also need to take your shoes off when going into homes or temples, as well as restaurants, cafes, shops, and massage parlours, so pack easy going, slip-on shoes.

The standard voltage in Thailand is 220 V and standard frequency is 50Hz. A South African two point plug works perfectly in Thailand, but three point plugs will require a 3-to-2-point adapter. In Langkawi (Malaysia), you will need a three point UK adapter.

Vaccinations aren’t mandatory for entry into Thailand, but we still suggest getting a vaccine for food borne diseases such as Typhoid and Hepatitis A. Children can get vaccinated against childhood diseases such as Tetanus, Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella if they have not already. If your passport shows you have been in a country registered as a yellow fever endemic country, the Thai immigration will check that you have had the relevant vaccinations to protect against it.

Reservation

A 15% booking fee will be charged for cancelling your trip. Refunds only apply if you cancel before 24 days prior to your departure date, which is subject to the individual hotels’ cancellation policy, which we then cover. The cancelling of flights and transport is also subject to the cancellation fees of the supplier.

It is possible until 24 days before your departure date, and extra fees may be included depending on the choice of hotel, fluctuation in currency, as well as availability of rooms at the hotel you want to change to.

Airline choices can be a personal decision, and it is generally cheaper to book directly with the airline. With rewards programs such a flyer miles, and ones offered by insurance companies, you may want to make use of these rewards and discounts which can only happen if booked by you. We are happy to help book and organize your flights at an additional surcharge.

We offer many different trip options that are already compiled and worked out perfectly, giving you a diversity of trip types and lengths. Firstly you need to choose the star class you would like to travel in. We offer 2-5 star trips, from there it is up to you to browse and see which trip suits you the best. After choosing your trip you can then choose one of the hotels offered on each island, which are available to browse on the trip page where you can also read about the trip and the itinerary. If you’re happy with the trip you can send us an enquiry via filling out the enquiry form. Once that is received, we will check the availability of your selections and send you an invoice for your trip which will be valid for 24 hours. Once you’ve secured the booking by paying in full, you will receive a digital booklet with all your booking numbers and travel arrangements. This booklet can take up to seven working days to create.

Weather

Thailand is hot all year round, but the three official seasons – hot, dry, and wet – means there are large fluctuations in rainfall, cloud cover, and wind throughout the year. The wettest months on the Andaman Sea (Phuket, Phi Phi, Koh Lipe) are between June and October, whilst the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao) experience their highest rainfall from September to December. The rest of the year is dry and filled with sunshine. April is historically the hottest, month of the year, while January to April will have the least amount of rain and wind.

Absolutely, yes. The rains are very often only for an hour a day and most often in the later afternoons and at night. The fresh air after a downpour is extremely pleasant, especially in the Thailand heat. The beautiful and lush tropical greenery on the islands is more vivid and dense during the wetter months, and the waterfall are far more impressive. Although it can be windy during these months, we will happily guide you so that you pick the accommodation that gets as little of the wind as possible, if any at all.