Most visitors know what Thai iced tea is (called cha yen here), but Thai beverages are as varied and interesting as Thai food itself. Take a look at these half-a-dozen drink options for non-alcoholic Thai beverages. And, if you're looking for something a little stronger... read all about Thailand's most popular beers.
Because it can be wet a fair amount of the time during rainy season, if you visit during that period, be prepared with a plan B. Phuket has plenty to keep you busy, but much of it requires the sun to cooperate! If the weather isn't decent when you're visiting, consider these rainy day options such as shopping, spending some time at one of the island's numerous spas, or visiting a museum.
If you're motivated enough to get off the beach for a while, you'll find many things to do on the island of Phuket, from active excursions to pampering breaks. Did you know, for example, that Phuket is home to two national parks, both of which you can easily visit in a day? Or that it's easy to take a group tour of some of Phang Nga Bay's outer islands? Find out all about what to do in Phuket here.
It might seem more "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" than an accessible vacation activity, but in fact it's easy and affordable to go island hopping when you're in Thailand. If you take one of the many tours offered on Samui or Phuket, you'll trade off personalization and flexibility, but you'll get a chance to visit half a dozen little islands in a day, and enjoy the scenery on the ocean, too. Learn about what to expect on an island hopping tour in Thailand.
Most people visit Phuket for the beaches, but it's also home to a handful of small museums, including a small branch of the Thai National Museum. Though you probably won't want to spend a whole day learning about the island's tin mining history, museums are a nice break from all the sun and sand, and an especially great idea if it's raining. Read up on Phuket's museums.
Considering a trip to Chiang Mai? Though most visitors to Thailand focus on the beaches, this northern city offers lots of bang for the buck. It's beautiful, inexpensive, historically and culturally significant, and very pretty, too. If a few days in Chiang Mai might interest you, take a look at this Chiang Mai travel guide.
One of the best things about sightseeing in Chiang Mai is that most of the city's important temples, called wats in Thai, are within walking distance of each other. Though temples are often beautiful and quite fascinating, a visit to one doesn't typically take up more than an hour, so it's great to be able to see a handful or more in the course of a day. Check out these Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai, like no other tourist destination in Thailand, is all about quality and value, so it's no surprise that you'll find some really excellent places to eat when you visit. Whether you're looking for a cheap and simple bowl of khao soi, or something a little more international, you'll find it in Chiang Mai. Check out these Chiang Mai restaurants.
Chiang Mai offers visitors a great selection of accommodations -- everything from very basic guest houses to five + star resorts are available depending on your budget and your interests. And, because everything is a little cheaper in Chiang Mai, you'll find that wherever you end up, the cost will be far more reasonable than what you'll find in, say, Bangkok or Phuket. Here are some favorite Chiang Mai hotels. All are in the center of the old city, and all offer something a little special.
If you're planning a big trip across the region, Thailand is a great place to base yourself. Aside from being convenient, relatively inexpensive and very comfortable, Bangkok is a diplomatic center, so you'll be able to get your visas sorted out for the rest of your journey while you are here. Find out more about getting visas for regional travel.