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Your Ultimate Guide When Travelling to South Thailand

Your Ultimate Guide When Travelling to South Thailand

South Thailand is a region brimming with exotic landscapes, rich culture, and endless adventures waiting to be explored. It truly has something to offer every traveller!

In this guide, we’ll explore enchanting South Thailand and uncover the perfect destinations, accommodations, and the finest local dishes. So pack your bags and prepare to immerse yourself in the beauty of this region. Read on!

Time Zone

Indochina Time (GMT+7)

Best Time to Go 

Best Time to Go
(Image source: iStock)

The best time to visit South Thailand is typically during the dry season, which spans from November to March. 

During this period, the weather is relatively cooler, less humid, and characterised by clear skies, making it ideal for outdoor activities, beach vacations, and water sports. 

However, keep in mind that this is also the high tourist season, so popular destinations may be more crowded, and accommodations could be pricier. 

If you prefer fewer crowds and are willing to endure some heat and occasional rain, the shoulder season from March to May can also be a good time to visit. 

Things to Know 

Things to Know
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Language: Thai 

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Payment Methods: Credit cards are widely accepted in tourist areas, but it’s a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments.

Local Cuisine: South Thailand is famous for its spicy and flavorful dishes. Be adventurous with your food choices but be cautious if you have a low tolerance for spice.

Heat and Sun Protection: South Thailand’s tropical climate means it can get extremely hot, especially during the dry season. Be prepared by packing lightweight, breathable clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the intense sun. 

Sunscreen with a high SPF is essential to shield your skin from the strong tropical sun, and it’s readily available in local stores as well.

How to Get Around 

How to Get Around
(Image source: iStock)

Domestic Flights: If you’re travelling between major cities or islands, consider taking domestic flights. Airlines like Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and AirAsia operate frequent routes.

Ferries and Boats: To access the many beautiful islands, you’ll often need to take a ferry or boat. These are readily available and vary in price and comfort level.

Taxis and Tuk-Tuks: Taxis and tuk-tuks are common in cities and tourist areas. Make sure to negotiate the fare before starting your journey.

Rental Cars and Motorbikes: Renting a car or motorbike is an option if you want to explore independently. However, be aware of local traffic rules and road conditions.

Local Buses: Local buses and songthaews (shared minivans) are budget-friendly options for getting around within cities and towns.

Trains: Thailand has an extensive train network connecting major cities. Overnight sleeper trains can be a unique way to travel between destinations.

Ride-sharing apps: Ride-sharing apps like Grab and Bolt are available in some southern Thai cities, like Phuket (row 623) and Krabi, and can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around.

Where to Stay in South Thailand

The Nai Harn, Phuket

Address: 23/3 Moo1, Vises Road, Rawai, Muang District, Phuket 83100, Thailand, Phuket, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

Phone: +6676380200

Pricing: ฿฿฿

Book Now

If you’re planning a getaway to South Thailand and fancy a dose of luxury and serenity in Phuket, let me introduce you to The Nai Harn. This five-star resort sits right on the gorgeous Nai Harn Beach, offering mind-blowing views of the Andaman Sea.

The Nai Harn boasts roomy and stylishly designed rooms and suites, each one with its own private terrace or balcony, so you can wake up to those jaw-dropping ocean views every single morning.

Here, you can treat your taste buds to Thai cuisine, global flavours, or cocktails, it’s a dining experience you won’t forget.

You can also relax and unwind by the infinity pool, pamper yourself at the spa, or get active with water sports and fitness facilities. Plus, The Nai Harn makes it a breeze to explore nearby attractions and activities like snorkelling, hiking, and more!


Address: 214 Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District 81000, Thailand

Phone: +6623011861

Pricing: ฿฿฿

Book Now

Nestled in the picturesque Railay Beach area of Krabi (row 719), Rayavadee is a luxurious and one-of-a-kind choice for those in search of an exclusive retreat.

It features beautifully designed pavilions and villas that seamlessly blend into the lush surroundings, with some even offering private pools for that ultimate relaxation. 

When it comes to dining, Rayavadee has you covered, from savouring exquisite Thai cuisine to digging into international dishes. You can also enjoy romantic dinners on the beach or have a delightful picnic at the nearby Phranang Cave Beach. 

Beyond that, there’s the Rayavadee Spa for relaxation, nearby limestone caves and beaches to explore, and a variety of thrilling activities to keep you entertained.

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

Address: 219, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

Phone: +6677243000

Pricing: ฿฿฿

Book Now

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui offers a seriously luxurious escape on the beautiful Koh Samui island. Picture this: spacious villas with private infinity pools and jaw-dropping ocean views that’ll make you want to stay forever. 

Food-wise, you can indulge in delectable Thai and international dishes or savour Mediterranean cuisine. And here’s the kicker – you can’t pass up the chance to have a romantic beachside dinner under the starry night sky. 

Want more? The resort’s got you covered with spa relaxation, Thai cooking classes, boat adventures to Angthong Marine National Park, yoga sessions, fitness facilities, and a whole bunch of water sports. 

Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin

Address: 1 Damnoen Kasam Alley Road, Hua Hin, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand

Phone: +6632512021

Pricing: ฿฿

Book Now

If you’re after a blend of luxury and old-world charm, you’ll love Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin. It’s tucked away in the charming town of Hua Hin, just a 3-hour drive from the bustling vibes of Bangkok.

You’ve got a choice between colonial-style rooms and plush private villas, all of which offer stunning views of the Gulf of Thailand and lush tropical gardens.

Plus, you get to taste a mix of Thai and international cuisine, or if you’re into a more laid-back vibe, don’t miss out on afternoon tea. And hey, they’ve got romantic beachfront dining for that extra special touch.

For a relaxing activity, you can unwind by the pool, indulge in some well-deserved spa time, or step out to explore the town of Hua Hin. 

Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort

Address: 49 Moo 8, Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand

Phone: +6675628900

Pricing: ฿฿

Book Now

Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort on Phi Phi Don Island is a pure paradise. Here, you’ve got your pick of comfy bungalows and villas nestled amidst lush gardens or right on the beachfront. 

For foodies, you’re in for a treat with a range of dining options. You can dive into delectable Thai seafood or savour international flavours. Make sure to grab some cocktails at the bar right on the beach!

You also get the chance to have underwater adventures here with snorkelling and diving or hopping on exciting excursions to nearby gems like Phi Phi Leh. 

Where to Eat in South Thailand

Anna’s Restaurant

Address: 111 Village No. 7 Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 12 PM to 10 PM

Pricing: ฿฿

So, you’re on the hunt for some real-deal Thai food? Anna’s Restaurant, tucked away in the heart of South Thailand, is your spot.

Locals and travellers love this joint for its legit Thai dishes. From savoury curries to fresh seafood and fragrant soups, they’ve got your taste buds covered. 

You won’t want to skip their pad thai and massaman curry that bring the vibrant flavours and spices of Thai cuisine to life. They’ve got the veggie and vegan crowd covered too!

Kopitiam by Wilai

Address: 18 Thalang Rd, Tambon Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Saturday – 11 AM to 8 PM
  • Sunday – Closed

Pricing: ฿


Need a caffeine fix and a snack? Visiting Kopitiam by Wilai is like stepping into a traditional Thai old-style coffee shop, but with a mix of Chinese influences, especially with the food.

Their Hokkien mee is a must-try, as well as their pad thai and iced Thai coffee. Just note that this spot is popular with tourists, so you may need to make some time for the queue, which can take up to half an hour.


(Image source: Eylon Ben Yaakov)

Address: 80 30 Chaweng Beach Road Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 12 PM to 10 PM

Pricing: ฿฿


Phensiri is one of those family-owned joints that’s all about keeping it real with authentic Southern Thai cuisine. They’ve set up shop in a traditional Thai house, so you know you’re in for the real deal.

Think signature Southern-style curries, grilled seafood, and a bunch of local specialties. It’s the kind of spot where you feel right at home, thanks to their warm hospitality.

Now, here’s the secret sauce – make sure to try their Gaeng Tai Pla for a taste of Southern Thai cuisine that’s all about bold and spicy flavours.

Blue Elephant Cooking School & Restaurant Phuket

Address: Krabi Road 96, Talat Nuea, Phuket 83000, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 11:30 AM to 10 PM

Pricing: ฿฿฿


If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a Thai cuisine pro, you’ve gotta check out the Blue Elephant Cooking School & Restaurant in Phuket. It’s like a culinary adventure in paradise.

Here’s the deal: they’ve got a whole bunch of Thai dishes on the menu, from classics like pad thai (row 664) to some fancier options. Plus, they’re all about mixing it up with seasonal ingredients and putting creative spins on traditional recipes.

And the restaurant itself? It’s set in this gorgeous colonial-style mansion, surrounded by lush gardens. So, you’re basically dining in a serene and elegant oasis.

But here’s the real fun part – they offer cooking classes (row 707) where you can learn all the juicy secrets of Thai cuisine from some seriously skilled chefs. It’s like a tasty crash course in cooking, right in the heart of Thailand.

Thai Me Up Pang Restaurant and Bar

Address: 206, Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81180, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 10 AM to 10 PM

Pricing: ฿


Thai Me Up Pang Restaurant and Bar is the place to be in South Thailand if you’re up for some good vibes and a tasty twist on Thai eats.

They’ve got this fusion thing going on, mixing up Thai flavours with a dash of international flair. Picture this: Thai-style pizza, tacos, and pasta dishes that’ll surprise your taste buds. 

Plus, they’ve got a wide selection of alcohols and mocktails that’s all about refreshingly flavorful Thai experience that’ll have you coming back for more.

What to Do in South Thailand

Visit the beaches of Phuket

Phuket, often dubbed the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea,” boasts some of the most stunning beaches in South Thailand. 

From the bustling Patong Beach, perfect for water sports and nightlife, to the tranquil and pristine Nai Harn Beach for those seeking serenity, Phuket has a beach for every traveller. 

You can enjoy the soft, golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and a wide array of beachfront restaurants offering delicious Thai cuisine.  Phuket’s beaches are a must-visit whether you’re into water activities, sunbathing, or simply taking in the breathtaking sunsets.

Explore the Phi Phi Islands

Address: Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand

The Phi Phi Islands, with their dramatic limestone cliffs and emerald waters, are a postcard-perfect destination in South Thailand. Made famous by the movie “The Beach,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, these islands offer a paradise for nature lovers. 

You can explore Maya Bay (row 777), snorkel in the vibrant coral gardens, hike to viewpoints for panoramic vistas, or relax on the soft beaches. 

Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh are the main islands to explore, and a boat trip between them will leave you awestruck by the sheer beauty of this tropical archipelago.

Go scuba diving in the Similan Islands

Address: Lam Kaen, Phang-nga, Thailand

For avid scuba divers, the Similan Islands (row 781) are a dream come true. Located in the Andaman Sea, this national park is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life. 

Dive into the depths to encounter vibrant coral reefs, exotic fish species, and even the chance to spot whale sharks or manta rays. 

With multiple dive sites suitable for all levels of divers, the Similan Islands offer a world-class underwater adventure that’s not to be missed.

Go rock climbing in the limestone cliffs of Tonsai Beach

Where to Book: Just Climb Thailand,, Basecamp Tonsai

Address: Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81180, Thailand

If you’re an adventure enthusiast, Tonsai Beach near Railay in Krabi is a mecca for rock climbers. Towering limestone cliffs overlooking the sea create an incredible backdrop for climbers of all skill levels. 

The climbing community here is welcoming, and you can easily join guided climbing tours if you’re new to the sport. You get to conquer the heights, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

Explore the wonders of Ao Nang

Address: Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang – it’s like this awesome coastal town in Krabi that’s like a portal to all the natural wonders around here. It’s your ticket to paradise, really.

From Ao Nang, you can hop on a boat and zip over to some seriously stunning islands, like Railay and Phi Phi. These places are like postcard material.

When you’re not off exploring, Ao Nang itself is buzzing with life. There are restaurants that’ll satisfy your cravings, bars to quench your thirst, and shops to snag some cool souvenirs. 

And let’s not forget about Railay Beach – it’s famous for those epic rock formations and all the beachfront fun you can imagine. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even trek through the jungle to find hidden waterfalls and caves.

Take a boat trip to the stunning Emerald Cave in Koh Mook

Address: Emerald Cave Koh Mook, Tambon Ko Libong, Kantang District, Trang 92110, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 8 AM to 5 PM

Koh Mook is a lesser-known gem in the Andaman Sea, holding a secret worth discovering — the breathtaking Emerald Cave. To reach this hidden wonder, you’ll need to board a long-tail boat for around 150 THB and navigate through a narrow cave entrance. 

As you venture deeper into the cave, you’ll be enveloped in darkness until you suddenly emerge into a secluded emerald-coloured lagoon, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush jungle. 

This magical spot is a surreal escape and an absolute must-visit for adventurers seeking the thrill of exploration.

Enjoy the nightlife in Patong Beach

Address: Pa Tong, Kathu District, Phuket 83150, Thailand

For those craving nightlife and entertainment, Patong Beach (row 769) in Phuket is the place to be. As the sun sets, this vibrant town comes alive with bustling night markets, beachfront bars, and clubs. 

Picture this: bustling night markets, bars right on the beach, and clubs that don’t stop groovin’.

Now, if you want to dive headfirst into the nightlife scene, you’ve gotta hit up Bangla Road (row 561). It’s basically the heart and soul of Patong’s nighttime action.

They’ve got everything from live music to beats that’ll get you dancing like there’s no tomorrow.

Take a boat tour of Phang Nga Bay

Address: Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Phang Nga Bay is like something out of a dream, with those epic limestone karsts just shooting up from the emerald waters. And the best way to soak it all in? A boat tour, of course!

You get to visit James Bond Island, the same one from “The Man with the Golden Gun.” But the adventure doesn’t stop there. 

You’ll cruise through this maze of waterways, hop in a kayak to explore sea caves, and soak up the surreal sights of mangrove forests and those mind-blowing limestone formations.

Don’t forget your camera– those rock formations are Instagram gold! And to top off your day of epic exploration, indulge in a seafood feast at a floating village in Koh Panyee.

Hike through Khao Sok National Park

Address: Phanom District, Surat Thani, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 7 AM to 7 PM

Entrance fee: 300 THB

Calling all nature lovers and hikers! Khao Sok National Park is like a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts in South Thailand. 

This place is a straight-up rainforest paradise. It has this network of trails that’ll have you trekking through lush jungles, past waterfalls, and right up to serene lakes. 

And speaking of lakes, Cheow Lan Lake is the real showstopper – it’s surrounded by these towering limestone cliffs that’ll leave you in awe.

Now, here’s a fun twist – you can actually stay overnight in floating bungalows right in the heart of the rainforest. It’s like an immersive rainforest experience you won’t forget.

While you’re out hiking, keep those eyes peeled for some seriously cool wildlife. Gibbons, hornbills, and maybe even elephants might make an appearance!

Relax on the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao

Let’s talk about two of Thailand’s coolest islands – Koh Samui and Koh Tao. They’re like your dream come true if you’re all about that beachy, laid-back vibe.

Koh Samui (row 631) is the full package – fancy resorts, buzzing nightlife, and beaches that look like they’re straight out of a postcard. Think Chaweng and Lamai, where you can soak up the sun like a pro.

Now, Koh Tao (row 649) is a whole different story. Divers, this one’s for you! It’s like an underwater wonderland with tons of dive schools and coral reefs that are basically fish cities.

But here’s the thing – whether you’re into beach bumming, underwater adventures, or just chilling on the sand, these islands have you covered. It’s all about mixing relaxation with a splash of adventure right here in the heart of South Thailand.

Where to Shop in South Thailand

Fisherman’s Village Walking Street

Address: H25J+MJ6 Thanon Laan Thong Tambon Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

The Friday night hotspot on Koh Samui is Fisherman’s Village Walking Street in Bophut (row 657). This place is where the party’s at, and it’s got all the vibes you’re looking for.

Imagine this: narrow lanes decked out with stalls selling all kinds of cool stuff, from handmade crafts and clothing to jewellery and souvenirs. And that’s not all – they’ve got live music jamming and street performers showing off their skills. 

But the real star of the show? The street food. You can chow down on all sorts of deliciousness from around the world.

It’s like a treasure trove for local goodies, and you get to soak in the lively island spirit while you’re at it. 

Naka Weekend Market

Address: Wirat Hong Yok Rd, Wichit, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand

Operating hours: Every Saturday and Sunday only – 4 PM to 10 PM

Shopaholics, you’re gonna love this – Naka Weekend Market in Phuket is like your dream come true, but it only happens on the weekends.

It’s a total shopping bonanza with everything under the sun – clothes, accessories, electronics, you name it. The fun part – you get to haggle with the friendly vendors. 

The icing on the cake is that the market isn’t just about shopping. It also has this epic selection of street food and snacks that’ll have your taste buds dancing with joy.

Cicada Market

Address: 83 159 Soi Hua Thanon 21 Nong Kae, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday – Closed
  • Friday to Sunday – 4 PM to 11 PM


If you’re in Hua Hin (row 669), you’ve gotta check out the Cicada Market – it’s like no other night market you’ve seen before. It’s all about art, creativity, and shopping, giving you a unique cultural experience.

This place is a treasure trove of handmade crafts, artwork, clothing, and design stuff, all created by local artists and artisans. Imagine stumbling upon paintings, sculptures, fashion, and home decor that are one-of-a-kind.

But hold on, the fun doesn’t stop there. There’s live music to groove to, street performers showing off their talents, and a whole bunch of food stalls that’ll satisfy any craving.

Krabi Walking Street

Address: Pak Nam, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday – Closed
  • Friday to Sunday – 5:30 PM to 10 PM

Krabi Walking Street in Krabi Town is where you can hunt for souvenirs, grab some trendy clothes, accessories, sarongs, leather bags, and all kinds of local goodies. The vendors here are super friendly, so you’re in for a shopping experience that’s a blast.

It also has this area with informal cafes and street foods! It’s your chance to dive into the flavours of southern Thailand, right there while you shop.

Pattaya Night Bazaar

Address: 519/106 Village No. 10 Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 10 AM to 11 PM


Pattaya Night Bazaar is smack in the middle of Pattaya City, and it’s where the party’s at every single night.

Now, this place is like a shopping wonderland with everything you can think of: clothes, gadgets, souvenirs, and cool handmade stuff. 

It’s a hotspot for fashion-savvy shoppers because you can score some seriously affordable clothing and accessories that’ll make your wardrobe pop!

And guess what? They’ve got street food vendors and restaurants that are dishing out all kinds of deliciousness, from Thai classics to international foods—you won’t get hungry here!

What to Expect from South Thailand’s Weather

What to Expect from South Thailand’s Weather
(Image source: iStock)

South Thailand is known for its tropical climate, and understanding the weather patterns can significantly impact your travel plans. Here’s what you can expect from South Thailand’s weather:

Hot Season (March to May): The hot season can be sweltering, with temperatures often soaring above 35°C (95°F). High humidity levels can make it feel even hotter, so stay hydrated and use sunscreen.

It’s an excellent time for water-based activities like snorkelling and diving due to the warm sea temperatures.

Wet Season (May to October): During this period, the region experiences heavy rainfall, particularly from June to September. The rain can be frequent and intense, leading to occasional flooding and rough seas. 

However, the landscape is lush and green, and you’ll encounter fewer tourists, making it an excellent time for budget travellers.

Dry Season (November to April): This is the high season for tourism in South Thailand. The weather is drier and less humid, making it the best time for outdoor activities, beach vacations, and water sports. 

The months of November to February are particularly pleasant, with cooler temperatures and clear skies.

Regional Variations: While these general weather patterns apply to most of South Thailand, there can be variations between specific destinations. 

Coastal areas, such as Phuket, Krabi, and the islands, may experience different rainfall patterns compared to inland areas like Hua Hin or Khao Sok National Park.

Humidity: South Thailand is consistently humid, so be prepared for warm and sticky conditions, especially during the wet season. Lightweight, breathable clothing is essential.

Tropical Storms: Although relatively rare, tropical storms or cyclones can occur in the region, usually between May and November. These storms can lead to heavy rainfall and strong winds, potentially affecting travel plans.

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