Southern Thailand is known for its food, beautiful beaches, and welcoming culture. The combination of these things explains why so many tourists love to travel to the south. If you’re looking to come to this region, here’s all you need to know:
TRAVELING TO THE SOUTH OF THAILAND
There are several ways to get to the south of Thailand, with flying being the fastest and most convenient option. Almost every major province in the south has an airport. Krabi (KBV), Phuket (HKT), Surat Thani (URT), Trang (TST), and Hat Yai (HDY) are the largest and most popular ones in the south. You can look to start your trip by taking a plane down from Bangkok. Then, you can rent a car or take a bus to go where you want to go.
If you want to travel to one of the many beautiful islands in the south such as Koh Phi Phi or Koh Tao, you will need to travel to the nearest province and take a boat from the mainland. This is by far the best way to travel if you’re looking to get to the south quickly. There’s very little hassle involved, as you can book everything in advance and take the trip as soon as you arrive. The cheapest airlines are Air Asia, Nok Air, and Tiger Air. The cost for these flights can vary from around 1,000 to 3,000 baht, depending on the destination and the time of your booking.
If time isn’t a concern and you’re looking to save some money, you may prefer to travel by bus instead of by plane. A bus ride from Bangkok to the south can take up to 10 hours or more, depending on where you’re looking to go. For example, a bus ride from Mo Chit bus station to Hat Yai can take up to 12 hours. For this reason, it’s best to look for one that drives throughout the night to ensure that you don’t lose an entire day worth of traveling. For the most basic bus, you can expect to pay around 600 baht, while one that provides all the comfort and luxury can cost twice or three times as much.
If you really don’t care about time, going down south by train is the best way to see the countryside of Thailand. The cheapest train from Bangkok to Hat Yai is around 300 baht and can take up to 16 hours. That’s almost a full day of nothing but sitting on a train, which can be quite pleasant or unpleasant, depending on whether or not you like traveling on the railroad. You can start your train trip from Hua Lamphong Train Station near China Town in Bangkok.
When to go
You should avoid traveling down south during the monsoon season, which is around June to about mid-October. There’s a potential for flood, rain, and high tides, all of which will force you to stay in your hotel instead of going out to enjoy the sun and the sea. If you’re looking to go to Phuket, there’s a vegetarian festival in late October. If that sounds interesting, be sure to book a trip during that time.