A monk teaches novice monks, Thailand (Shutterstock: see credit below)
List Words : Emma Higgins | 12 May

Trips of a lifetime: Thailand

With mind-blowing landscapes, shimmering temples, fascinating wildlife and a cuisine to die for, Thailand has a travel experience for every style and budget. Here are our favourite trips

Best trip for... food

Discover Thailand through your taste buds, from street food to fine dining, on a two-week Thai for Food Lovers tour from Experience Travel. Venture through the streets of Bangkok and its sprawling markets, travel onwards to Chiang Mai to discover northern Thai cuisine, and finish by heading south to sample fresh seafood in Koh Lanta. Cooking classes along the way will show you how to replicate these mouth-watering dishes in your own kitchen at home.

Traditional floating market, Thailand (Shutterstock)
Traditional floating market, Thailand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... diving

While much of Thailand's beauty is on land, many of its wonders are deep in its surrounding oceans – which is why it's one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. Join a 16-day West Coast Explorer tour with Dive Worldwide to visit Thailand's famous diving sights.

The tour is based around Phuket, but you'll also be taken out on a liveaboard to discover the Similian and Surin Islands, where whale sharks and manta rays are commonly found. With time to relax and enjoy Phuket's beaches, cuisine and culture, this trip is ideal for keen divers looking for an all-encompassing Thailand experience.

Diver in the Similans, Thailand (Shutterstock)
Diver in the Similans, Thailand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... families

Give your family an adventure they'll never forget on an action-packed Family Tropical Islands & Jungle tour with Explore. Begin with temples and skyscrapers in bustling Bangkok, take the overnight sleeper train to Khao Sok National Park where you'll roam in the thick of the jungle, and finish by taking in the white beaches and blue seas of Thailand's beautiful islands.

This 13-day journey lets your family explore diverse aspects of Thailand's natural and cultural highlights, and is packed with fun excursions.

Mother and kid snorkelling in sea in Thailand (Shutterstock)
Mother and kid snorkelling in sea in Thailand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... culture

With one of the most distinct cultures in Asia, Thailand is a treasure chest of fascinating temples, museums, markets, and more. The Cultural Thailand tour withTransIndus is designed to get you in touch with the heart of authentic Thailand through its northern regions, from Bangkok to Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai.

Along the way you'll visit the iconic Reclining Buddha, stop-off at the Bridge on the River Kwai, and learn more about Thailand's ancient hill tribes – to name just a few highlights. With a pleasing balance of free time and guided experiences, this tour is ideal for the curious traveller.

Sukhothai historical park Thailand (Shutterstock)
Sukhothai historical park Thailand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... value

Don't be fooled by the title for G Adventures' Thailand on a Shoestring tour – while it may be budget-friendly, it packs in lots of adventure and activities. You'll experience street markets in Bangkok, cooking classes in Chiang Mai, hill tribe treks, top snorkelling sites, bamboo rafting, endless beaches and lots more. This itinerary delivers serious bang for your buck.

Akha tribe elderly woman (Shutterstock)
Akha tribe elderly woman (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... cycling

Discover northern Thailand on two wheels with a 14-day Chiang Mai to Bangkok cycle tour with KE Adventure Travel. This unique trip takes you through Thailand's remote villages, past sacred temples, and across the country's beautiful lush green landscape. Top highlights include the glittering stupa of Wat Phra and the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai. Suitable for cyclists of a reasonable level of fitness, the tour involves 11 days of cycling, covering roughly 50km per day.

Mon Jong, Chiang Mai (Shutterstock)
Mon Jong, Chiang Mai (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... sailing

Thailand's islands offer some of the country's most spectacular scenery, and an ideal way to explore them is by sailing. Go island-hopping on a catamaran for a week on Tropical Sky's Sailing Thailand Tour, on which you'll discover Phuket, Khao Phing Kan (also known as 'James Bond Island' due to its starring role in The Man With the Golden Gun), the Phi Phi Islands, Krabi islands, and more.

This blissful voyage through the southern islands offers opportunities to swim and snorkel through Thailand's crystal-clear waters, enjoy authentic food cooked by an on-board chef, and take in the jaw-dropping scenery and sunsets.

Sailboat heading towards Phang-Nga Bay in Thailand (Shutterstock)
Sailboat heading towards Phang-Nga Bay in Thailand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... heritage

Thailand's north-east region – known as Isaan – is one of the most cultural areas in the country. The Isaan Heritage trip from Buffalo Tours takes you on a journey through ancient civilisations, to sights that are hundreds or thousands of years old.

It's a fascinating itinerary, featuring Khmer and Hindu shrines dating back to the 12th century at Lop Buri, pottery and silk weaving villages that make products using traditional techniques, and prehistoric paintings at Pha Taem National Park.

Phra Buddha Chinnarat at Phra Si Rattana Mahathat temple (Shutterstock)
Phra Buddha Chinnarat at Phra Si Rattana Mahathat temple (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... luxury

A decadent ride on the Eastern & Oriental Express, cruise and dinner on Bangkok's Chao Phraya River, lavish accommodation on the hills above Chiang Mai, and your own private guides – these are just a few of the highlights you can expect from a Thailand in Style tour from Audley.

If you've got £6,320 to splash out, this is the trip for you. It's a jam-packed itinerary (so you do get good value for money), with a few no-expense-spared days in Singapore at the beginning of the trip, and a luxurious beach break on Phuket at the end. You'll be so relaxed and spoilt, you won't want to go home...


Doi Inthanon National Park (Shutterstock)
Doi Inthanon National Park (Shutterstock)

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Main image: A monk teaches novice monks, Thailand (Shutterstock)