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Thailand

Thailand is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. This exotic destination offers bustling cities and spectacular festivals; ancient temples and a rich cultural heritage. Tropical forests embrace pristine beaches and the crystal clear waters make for excellent diving. It’s no wonder that Thailand is the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia.

When to Go and Weather: The best time of year to visit Thailand is in the cool season that stretches from November to February. By cool we mean the mercury doesn’t rise much higher than 30°C compared to the 40°C days of March and May. There’s never been a better excuse to travel light! In the Northern Province the early rains of June and July also make for a pleasant visit. Peak season is from November to March, with a second peak in July and August.

Transport: For long distance travel, flights are most convenient, especially if you want to make the most of your time in the country. Busses are frequent and inexpensive and trains are slow, but safe. Inter-town songthaews or mini-busses are handy for shorter distances and for a more scenic route, take a bicycle or Segway tour and experience the greener side of Bangkok. Regular ferries connect the major islands with the main land and if you’re willing to negotiate with the captain, you can charter a longtail boat to take you sight-seeing or island-hopping.

Food: They say you haven’t had Pad Thai until you’ve had it in Thailand, the flavours are intense and out of this world. For a quick snack, order spring rolls with spicy sweet chilli sauce from a street vendor, or try a serving of Som Tam – spicy papaya dish that will hook you with its sweet and fiery flavours. Finish off your meal with mango sticky rice – a dish that combines sweet mangos with coconut milk and…well, sticky rice. Remember that the food may be a good deal spicier than you’re used to, so perhaps add "Mai khin phet," to your order. That means “I do not take it spicy”. You won’t see locals eating on the run, so take a seat and savour your meal as you soak up the street food atmosphere. Good food, enjoyed with friends, is one of the true joys of Thailand.

Fun Facts about Bangkok In Thailand it is illegal to criticise the King or any member of the royal family. One of the country’s most unusual festivals is the annual monkey buffet where more than 600 primates are invited to feast on two tonnes of grilled sausage, fresh fruit and ice cream. Thailand is home to the world’s largest fish (the whale shark) and the smallest mammal (the bumble bat).

Flights

  • Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok *Under 26

    from R6,760*

    Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Economy Class Seats
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Johannesburg to Phuket  - Economy Return

    Phuket *Under 26

    from R7,130*

    Johannesburg to Phuket - Economy Return
    Economy Class Seats
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Cape Town to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R8,140*

    Cape Town to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Economy Class Seats
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Cape Town to Phuket - Economy Return

    Phuket

    from R8,630*

    Cape Town to Phuket - Economy Return
    Economy Class Seats
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017

Holidays

  • Bangkok City Stay

    Bangkok - Ibis Bangkok Nana : 3 Star

    from R8,320*

    Bangkok City Stay
    Feel the vibrant energy of downtown Bangkok at your doorstep. ibis Bangkok Nana's prime location puts you in the middle of the city's action, located within minutes from the skytrain, shopping, dining and entertainment attractions on the Sukhumvit Road.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Bangkok City Stay

    Bangkok - Ibis Bangkok Sathorn : 3 Star

    from R8,520*

    Bangkok City Stay
    The unique character of ibis Bangkok Sathorn matches the colorful personality of Bangkok. Young and modern yet also warm and inviting. Right in the heart of the business district and close to subway and sky train stations.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Stay 4, Pay 3!

    Bangkok - Eastin Hotel Makkasan : 4 Star

    from R9,280*

    Stay 4, Pay 3!
    Eastin Hotel Makkasan Bangkok is designed with an emphasis on supreme comfort and style featuring a contemporary interior reflecting our international chain brand essence. Our 4 star hotel in Bangkok provides excellent in-room facilities, various dining options, fully equipped function rooms and all the amenities expected of a deluxe hotel including complimentary Wi-Fi Internet throughout the property. Eastin Hotel Makkasan Bangkok is the ideal destination for both business and leisure travellers.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Stay 7, Pay 4!

    Phuket - Deevana Patong Resort : 3 Star

    from R9,540*

    Stay 7, Pay 4!
    Deevana Patong Resort & Spa is spread over 10 acres of stunning tropical gardens with 235 guest rooms and suites set in two separate wings, the Garden Wing, and the Deluxe Wing, this elegant Thai Resort is a true oasis of serenity. The resort just completed an upgrade and renovation, and now boasts top-rate facilities such as a function room that can accommodate 80 people, an indulgent spa with creative treatments, and other conveniences that ensure a more delightful stay for you. Deevana Patong Resort & Spa is conveniently located in the entertainment hub of Patong; just 45 minutes' drive from Phuket International Airport, 20 minutes drive from Phuket town and near all tourist attractions on the island.
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Stay 7, Pay 4 PLUS FREE WIFI!

    Phuket - Sunset Beach Resort : 3 Star

    from R10,230*

    Stay 7, Pay 4 PLUS FREE WIFI!
    The best value hotel located at the quiet beach front in Patong area, Phuket. Sunset Beach Resort is for those wanting to be away from the hustle and bustle of Patongs main strip but close enough to visit it with a very short trip to the town centre. Our hotel has many sea view rooms, a free form pool beach front restaurant and bar, FREE shuttle bus to Patong every 30 minutes and much more.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Stay 8, Pay 4! R750 Resort Credit per room per stay to be used towards food and beverages at the resort

    Phuket - Best Western Phuket Ocean Resort : 3 Star

    from R10,310*

    Stay 8, Pay 4! R750 Resort Credit per room per stay to be used towards food and beverages at the resort
    Situated on the hillside at Karon Beach, the Best Western Phuket Ocean Resort offers beautiful views over Karon Beach and Karon lagoon. Spend time relaxing at one of the three outdoor pools with a cocktail in hand, before heading into Karon for some shopping or to the beach for a swim or snorkel, all within walking distance.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Stay 8, Pay 4! FREE WIFI and R1000 Credit per room per stay for food and beverages in hotel outlets, including the Chili Restaurant, Bai Toey, Al Dente Restaurant and Blue Cafe and Bar. Credit can also be used for a candlelit dinner, a Thai cooking class or a fruit-crafting class (excludes minibar and room service)

    Phuket - The Old Phuket Resort : 4 Star

    from R11,250*

    Stay 8, Pay 4! FREE WIFI and R1000 Credit per room per stay for food and beverages in hotel ou ...
    Located across the road from the beautiful Karon Beach and not far from Patong Beach, the Old Phuket gives quick access to the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea. The resort has two swimming pools, four restaurants and two bars, and is surrounded by a lush, tropical landscape. With all of this and a beach close by, you'll have endless activities to keep you busy.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Stay 8, Pay 5!

    Thailand - Phuket & Phi Phi Combo : 3 Star

    from R12,620*

    Stay 8, Pay 5!
    Experience the amazing beaches of Phuket and Phi Phi with this Thai combo.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Stay 8, Pay 4!

    Koh Samui - Ibis Samui Bophut : 3 Star

    from R13,180*

    Stay 8, Pay 4!
    Bright, bold and trendy, with an idyllic beachfront location and view, Hotel Samui Bophut has it all. Modern rooms each with Wi-Fi, 24 hours reception, food and drink day. 10 Minutes from the airport. Relax by the pool, chill out in the bar and restaurant or explore the authentic fishing village nearby. The first international three star hotel in Bophut in Bobhut Beach, Hotel Ibis Bophut Samui is a refreshing island paradise.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • Stay 10, Pay 7!

    Asia Combo - Phuket & Bali : 3 Star

    from R13,480*

    Stay 10, Pay 7!
    Explore two of the best beach and party destinations in Asia.
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017

Tours

  • Phuket Day Tour

    Phuket - Phuket Island Tour

    from R390*

    Phuket Day Tour
    Explore the 'Pearl of the Andaman' with this half-day, all-encompassing tour of Phuket, one of Thailand's most iconic islands. After being picked up at your hotel, you'll have the chance to take in the natural beauty of the island as you are driven alongside scenic beach roads, stopping at some of the best viewpoints. Then, soak up some of the local culture with a tour of Phuket Town, discovering the incredible Sino-Portuguese colonial architecture, hip art galleries and classic cafes and restaurants. After wandering around the shops and local markets of Phuket Town, you'll then pay a visit to Wat Chalong, Phuket's largest temple where locals and tourists alike go to pay their respects to several late, revered monks, including Luang Pho Cham and Luang Pho Chuang. Finally, after a quick stop at a cashew nut grove, wrap up the tour at a famous viewpoint, taking in incredible panoramic vistas and perhaps a beautiful sunset, before returning to your hotel.

    DURATION: 4 hours
    DEPARTS: Daily at 9:30am
    MEETING POINT: Hotel lobby
    Book and pay by - 31 October 2017
  • Bangkok Day Tour

    Bangkok - City and Temples Tour

    from R490*

    Bangkok Day Tour
    This three-hour tour is the perfect journey to visit some of Bangkok's most iconic temples. Choose from either a morning or afternoon tour to be picked up at your hotel and transported around the grand city, reliving its glorious history. First, visit the glimmering Golden Buddha, the world's largest solid golden statue, housed at Wat Traimit. Next up, explore Wat Pho, one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok, and home to more than 1000 Buddha images. The temple is also considered the first public university of Thailand, and known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, housing one of the oldest massage schools in the country. Your third and final stop is Wat Benchamabopit, one of Bangkok's most beautiful temples. Also known as the Marble Temple, this structure glistens from the white marble that makes up the entire building's facade, exemplifying Bangkok's ornate style of high gables, stepped-out roofs and elaborate finials. Your tour wraps up back at your hotel, just in time for lunch or afternoon tea.

    DURATION: 3 hours
    DEPARTS: Daily at 8:00am
    MEETING POINT: Hotel lobby
    Book and pay by - 31 October 2017
  • Bangkok Day Tour

    Bangkok - Grand Palace Tour

    from R690*

    Bangkok Day Tour
    Prepare for a day of amazement at what is undoubtedly one of Bangkok's - and Thailand's - most famous landmarks, the Royal Grand Palace. From there, enjoy a tour of the magnificent palace grounds and its expansive complex, home to Thai kings until the turn of the 20th century. Still a seat of power and the spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom, the palace contains throne halls, two of which are open to the public, which symbolise the great historical and cultural significance of the complex. Here, explore Wat Phra Kaew - Temple of the Emerald Buddha - which houses the small, yet greatly revered Emerald Buddha, dating back to the 14th Century. Around the palace grounds, witness six-meter tall statues of colourful demons from the Ramayana, who watch over the Emerald Buddha from every gate to ward off evil spirits. Finally, take some time to check out the vibrant, colourful murals of the Ramayana, which depict the ancient story of the triumph of good over evil, before being transferred back to your hotel.

    DURATION: 3 hours
    DEPARTS: Daily at 8:00am
    MEETING POINT: Hotel lobby
    Book and pay by - 31 October 2017
  • Phuket Day Tour

    Phuket - Local Life Phuket Street Eats

    from R850*

    Phuket Day Tour
    Get a taste of Phuket's best street food fare on this whirlwind culinary primer in southern Thailand, stopping by foodie haunts only the locals know. With your local guide at the lead, follow a winding path through the city to stop for a selection of tasty snacks, street stalls and famous local restaurants. Along the way, see some of the area's cultural highlights by night - including the famous Khao Rang Hill viewpoint and LED-lit Talang Road! Your tour includes a sampling of items like coconut cake, pork or chicken skewers, boiled rice and mango sticky rice, among plenty of other local favourites!

    RECONFIRMATION: Please reconfirm tour at least 24 hours prior to tour departure
    DURATION: 3 hours
    DEPARTS: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 17:30pm
    MEETING POINT: Hotel lobby
    Book and pay by - 30 September 2017
  • Bangkok Day Tour

    Bangkok - Dinner Cruise on Loy Nava

    from R930*

    Bangkok Day Tour
    Dinner Cruise on Loy Nava Traditional Rice Barge. Enjoy a superb Asian dinner on Traditional converted Rice Barge while slowly drifting along the riverside of the Chao Phraya River, past the Temple of Dawn and the Grand Palace.

    DURATION: 3 and a half hours
    DEPARTS: Nightly at 7:00pm
    Book and pay by - 31 October 2017
  • Phuket Day Tour

    Phuket - Sundown Dinner Cruise by June Bahtra

    from R1,220*

    Phuket Day Tour
    You will be picked up from the hotel at approximately 3:30pm and be transferred to the embarkation pier at Yacht Haven Marina by air conditioned bus. Embark on June Bahtra for a 5:00pm departure and cruise through Ko Lawa for a spectacular sunset over Phang Nga Bay. A delicious buffet dinner is served on board. Cruise back to Yacht Haven Marina and transfer back to your hotel.

    DURATION: 5 hours
    DEPARTS: Wednesday & Saturday at 3:30pm
    MEETING POINT: Hotel lobby
    Book and pay by - 31 October 2017
  • This Bangkok stopover is all about the eccentric city vibes and its tuk tuk filled streets.

    Topdeck : Bangkok Stopover - 3 Days

    from R2,710*

    This Bangkok stopover is all about the eccentric city vibes and its tuk tuk filled streets.
    Whether you're keen to retrace history or ready to fuel your appetite with delicious street food, you're sure to find something in this incredible city.

    Day 1-3 : Bangkok, Thailand
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • SAVE R750!

    Busabout : Thai Islands MOON PARTY - 7 Days

    from R5,010*

    SAVE R750!
    There's something about Thailand. Maybe it's the wonderful and inexpensive food. Perhaps it's the super-smiley friendly people. It could even be their awesome majesty the king. Whatever it is, these islands have it by the bucket-load. What's more is that they effortlessly blend all night parties with bodacious beaches. Merge clear seas and emerald jungles. They do adventure activities with a twist. We're sure you'll understand it when you see it.

    Day 1 : Koh Samui
    Day 2 : Koh Samui
    Day 3 : Koh Samui to Koh Tao
    Day 4 : Koh Tao
    Day 5 : Koh Tao to Koh Phangan - Moon Party
    Day 6 : Koh Phangan
    Day 7 : Koh Phangan to Koh Samui
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • SAVE 10%

    Topdeck : Island Hopping in Thailand: Samui Sunsets - 7 Days

    from R7,650*

    SAVE 10%
    From full (and half) moon celebrations to fried roadside insects, muay thai and coconuts for days, Thailand is where it's at. Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao will bring the sunrise/sunset action. Plus: the best Pad Thai, a full day Angthong Island tour and 1000 chances to work on that tan.

    Day 1 : Koh Samui
    Day 2 : Koh Samui
    Day 3 : Koh Samui to Koh Phangan
    Day 4 : Koh Phangan
    Day 5 : Koh Phangan to Koh Tao
    Day 6 : Koh Tao
    Day 7 : Koh Tao to Koh Samui
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017
  • SAVE 10%

    Topdeck : Island Hopping in Phuket, Thailand: Ko-Conut Hopper - 7 Days

    from R9,450*

    SAVE 10%
    Boat around Thailand's west coast with James Bond Island, Lawa Island and a full day island trip by speedboat to give you enough memories to fill your SD card. Phuket, Krabi, Koh Lanta and Phang Nga Bay make up the peaceful and secluded south with its beaches, rivers, and countless snorkelling and swimming havens.

    Day 1-2 : Phuket
    Day 3 : Phuket to Krabi
    Day 4 : Krabi
    Day 5 : Krabi to Koh Phi Phi
    Day 6 : Koh Phi Phi
    Day 7 : Koh Phi Phi to Phuket
    Book and pay by - 31 January 2017

Map of Thailand

TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN THAILAND

  1. Take a temple tour
  2. Ride an elephant through the jungle
  3. Explore the reefs
  4. Shop at the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
  5. Get wet at the Songkran/Thai New Year festival
  6. Party under the full moon
  7. Go island-hopping
  8. Climb Krabi
  9. Cruise the canals in a longtail boat
  10. Discover why Muay Thai is so popular

Highlights: Take time to see some of Bangkok’s most sacred sites: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keaw), the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), home to the 46 metre reclining Buddha, and the Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit). From Bangkok, head to the spectacular mountainous region of Chiang Mai and trek through the jungle on an elephant. These gentle giants are the most revered animals in Thailand. The country boasts many impressive dive spots and the reefs around Koh Tao are the best in the Gulf of Thailand. The area has great visibility so you have a good chance of spotting whale sharks, manta rays and trumpet fish. If you’ve come to Thailand for some shopping and are ready to bargain battle to the death – don’t miss the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Chiang Mai is known for its fine hand-crafted wares and there’s no better place to find good souvenirs than the night bazaar which sprawls on for several city blocks, winding through streets and spilling into buildings and onto temple grounds. The Thai New Year is celebrated in April with the largest free for all water fight in the world. Absolutely everyone takes part and you may even see elephants squirting trunks-full of water at passers-by. Every month thousands of party-goers flock to Koh Phangan for the full moon party. DJs take their turn on the decks to get the party going at dusk while jugglers, fire eaters and impromptu fireworks displays stir up the colourful spectacle on the crescent-shaped beach until the early hours of the morning. Take a trip to the southern beaches and isles of Thailand where the rugged beauty of the cliffs and the lush green vegetation and turquoise ocean form a captivating backdrop for your island adventure. Snorkel, kayak or mingle with other travellers as you soak up the sun. For a greater adrenalin rush, head out to Krabi for a rock climbing experience like no other. Away from the bustling tourist spots, the huge cliffs wait to be conquered by the courageous climber. End your visit with a canal cruise on a longtail boat for a different view of Bangkok or, for something a little less passive, take in a kickboxing bout and see why Muay Thai is such a popular spectator sport.