Thailand is one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations with millions of visitors flying to Thailand each year to enjoy hot sun, clear blue skies, and even clearer tropical waters. Friendly people, great food and not to mention pumping nightlife make Thai hotspots like Krabi and Phuket the perfect holiday destination for travellers of any inclination. Finnair’s Thailand travel guide highlights some of the best holiday experiences to seek out in these Andaman Sea holiday meccas.
DESTINATIONS IN THAILAND SERVED BY FINNAIR
Finnair flies to six airports in Thailand: Bangkok (BKK), Phuket (HKT), Krabi (KBV), Ko Samui (USM), Chiang Mai (CNX) and Trat (TDX).
SIGHTS IN THAILAND
It’s no secret that people come to Thailand to let their hair down. In Phuket this is easy to do with the multitude of bars, clubs and restaurants creating an around-the-clock buzz of people, sights and sounds. Seemingly any type of fun can be found - superclubs like Seduction, laid back beachside bars and a wealth of dining options, local and international. A well-known Thailand sight is Phuket’s Fantasea, the place to watch Thai trapeze artists whirl in a grand stage show. In Krabi you’ll find more relaxed ways to spend your evenings by the sea with relaxing restaurants and poolside drinks.
Freshen up after a night of partying with some of the many water activities available in and around Phuket and Krabi; swimming, snorkelling, diving and parasailing can all be done within easy reach of your hotel. Explore the many beaches of the area with a long stroll on the fine white sand.
Thailand has a strong spiritual side balancing the all-night partying and this is evident in the many shrines and temples in both areas. The most visible of these sights is the Big Buddha in Phuket, sitting atop a high hill and visible throughout the city. Climb up to visit him for amazing views out over the sea. Pay a visit to Wat Chalong Temple where Phuket’s spiritual centre is found. Locals give offerings and pray here so remember it’s a holy place.
Visit cultural hotspots like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Saket in the Thai capital of Bangkok. Shop in modern malls and bustling markets, enjoy the diverse nightlife and hop between interesting museums. There are many things to catch your attention when you fly to Bangkok.
Fly to Chiang Mai for a blend of glorious nature and spiritual hotspots. Alternatively, enjoy the island life on Ko Samui or book flights to Trat to get off the beaten track.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEAR KRABI & PHUKET
- Phi Phi Island – A very popular thing to do near Phuket, a short boat ride gives you that tropical island feeling. Snorkelling and beachside fun are the order of the day here. You can also rent cheap lodging here for a romantic overnight stay.
- Maya Bay – Made famous as the setting for the film The Beach this white sand paradise is perfect for a lazy day of swimming, snorkelling, and relaxation.
- Tiger Cave Temple – Just north of Krabi is this beautiful example of Buddhist art, in the form of a golden Buddha sitting in meditation atop a high hill. Over 250 metres high, the climb to the top can be difficult but the view is a stunning reward.
- Railay beach – Accessible only by boat this isolated enclave attracts climbers and visitors who want to get away from the crowds. A worthwhile thing to see near Krabi.
- Phang Nga Bay – Between Krabi and Phuket lies this calm bay full of towering rock formations covered in green growth. Take a slow boat cruise among these giants and soak up the beauty of nature.
SHOPPING IN THAILAND
Shopping in Phuket and Krabi is mostly in local markets and at street stands rather than in large malls, but a few do exist. Haggling truly is a Thai pastime so don’t be afraid to try for a better price.
- Central Festival and Jungceylon – Two large malls in the Phuket area catering to tourists with large selections of well-known brand stores and western eateries.
- Krabi Town Walking Street - Held every weekend this large market comes alive with locals touting their wares, with everything from fresh food to clothing to souvenirs and street food.
- Vogue Department Store – A department store in Krabi where you can have a western shopping experience if you tire of haggling in the markets.
FOOD & DRINK IN THAILAND
Thai food & drink has been exported to the world, so many people are already familiar with how delicious Thai food can be. There are many dishes to try that you might not have tasted. Here are some classic Thai food & drinks that are worth a try when you land from your flight to Thailand:
- Pad Thai – Stir-fried rice noodles with meat or seafood, a Thai classic enjoyed all over the world.
- Som Tum – Spicy green papaya salad.
- Tom Yum Goong – A spicy shrimp soup, the local variety can be quite fiery.
- Curry – Thai curries are renowned for the full flavours and liberal use of fresh ingredients like lime and Thai basil. Available in a variety of styles these must be tried.
- Tom Kha Kai – Creamy coconut soup with chicken.
- Kai Med Ma Muang – Chicken with cashew nuts served with vegetables in a tasty soy-based sauce.
- Thai Iced Tea – Traditional Thai drink with a strong sweet flavour, served hot or cold.
- Beer – Chang and Singha are by far the most popular beers, both local lagers that are perfect on a hot day. International varieties are also common in bars serving Westerners.
- Wine & spirits – Available in all restaurants and from convenience stores and shops.
- Coffee – Available in most of the usual varieties, but not a popular drink amongst locals.
TRANSPORT IN THAILAND
While Phuket and Krabi see millions of visitors each year, most transport in Thailand is road-based. It is however cheap and very convenient to get around once you get off your Thailand flights.
- Tuk Tuk – Ubiquitous throughout the country these three-wheeled taxis whizz people around quickly and cheaply. Negotiate your fare with the driver before getting onboard.
- Taxi – A slightly more comfortable ride than a Tuk Tuk, these are regular cars with seatbelts and air-conditioning. It’s normal to negotiate the fare before setting off.
- Longtail boat – A great way to get to any destination on the seas around Phuket and Krabi. Can be rented straight from the beach and cost approximately 500 baht per hour. Remember to haggle!
- By foot – Walking around Phuket and Krabi is the usual way to get around in the main tourist areas and is generally safe. Keep an eye out for traffic as it can be heavy during peak periods.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION ABOUT THAILAND
- Currency – Thai Baht (฿).
- Electricity – 220 volts, 50hz, Thai plug that accepts both American and European styles.
- Tips – Not mandatory but very much appreciated.
- Payment / card – Have cash ready for markets, small stores and transportation. At hotels and most larger restaurants cards are accepted.
- Time zone – ICT / UTC+7.
- Water – Tap water isn’t safe to drink but bottled water is cheap and plentiful.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THAILAND
Although Thailand is a year-round destination, the peak tourist time is between November and February when the weather is dry and the temperatures are coolest. Central and Northern Thailand has three seasons: hot, cool and rainy. The hot season is from March to June, with temperatures really soaring in April and May. Thailand’s main festival takes place in April too, with the three-day celebration of Songkran celebrating traditional Thai New Year from the 13th to the 15th of the month. Outside of Songkran, April to June is often one of the best times to find cheap flights to Thailand. You can also often find excellent deals for your accommodation and airfare to Thailand in the rainy season, which generally occurs between July and October.
Southern Thailand’s seasons vary depending on the coast, with each typically having just wet and dry periods. On the east coast, the dry season is from January to August. This is the best time to visit Ko Samui and other destinations along the Gulf of Thailand. The dry season on the west coast is between November and March, and this is the best time to visit Phuket, Krabi and other places along the Andaman Coast.
FLIGHTS TO THAILAND
Finnair operated its first non-stop flight to Asia in 1976 with our first direct flight to Thailand’s capital: Bangkok. Since then, we have expanded our network and increased the number of flights to offer even more flights to Thailand.
We offer direct flights to Thailand from Helsinki, and you can also book plane tickets to Thailand from various other international destinations by transiting through the Finnish capital. For example, you can fly from Brussels, Frankfurt, Tallinn, Oslo, and London to Thailand, with an easy connection in Helsinki. All services are in the same terminal building for transiting passengers.
Finnair’s flights from Helsinki to Bangkok take a little under 10h and we offer one of the fastest connections with Asia. Our flights to Thailand from London take around 15h, including the short transit time.
You’ll likely be onboard an A350 aircraft when you fly to Thailand with us. A combination of advanced technology and enriched comfort makes for a great flying experience. For enhanced comfort, don’t forget to check out our Nordic Business Class deals when searching for your airline tickets to Thailand.