|Most popular in||December||High demand for flights, 14% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||May||Best time to find cheap flights, 4% potential price drop|
|Average price||R7 731||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||R6 271||From Johannesburg to Phuket City|
R6 661 - R11 995
31 - 34 °C
19 - 298 mm
Cheap flights to Thailand land in bustling Bangkok, a scintillating city that mixes the past and present, where ancient palaces and temples reside alongside modern skyscrapers. Bangkok’s peak season is November to March when flights to Thailand and hotel prices can be twice as high as in the off season, and hotels are often fully booked.
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, and a popular reason for travellers to book flight tickets. It has a wide range of hotels that cater to every beach goers budget from bungalows to luxury resorts. These fill up during Phuket’s peak season (November to April) so plan and book your flight tickets and accommodation well in advance to avoid disappointment. On the opposite coast, Ko Samui offers scuba diving, parasailing, forest and hill treks, as well as a lively nightlife, and is particularly busy around Christmas and July/August. Ko Pha-ngan just to the north is famous for its full-moon beach party and is most crowded from November to March, and August.
Thailand’s monsoon season lasts from July to November in the north and central regions, and in the south it can rain intermittently all through the year. If you don’t mind the humid and wet weather there are deals on cheap flights to Thailand to be found.
The cool season (November to February) is the best time of year to book a flight to Thailand, though it can still reach temperatures of up to 30°C in the middle of the day. It’s not surprising then that most travellers choose to factor water sports of some kind into their visit, and with Thailand’s array of beautiful beaches and variety of water based activities tourists are well catered for. The cool season is also the busiest season, so forward planning is essential to take advantage of the cheapest flights to Thailand on offer.
Busy Bangkok International Airport (BKK) is situated 25 km east of downtown Bangkok, and the quickest and convenient mode of ground transport is the Airport Rail Link which runs from 6am to 12am and reaches a speed of 160 km/hr. There are three city bus services that run regularly from the airport terminal. Taxis are available and charge a fare by distance plus a 50 baht fee for the driver, or if there is a group of you there are shuttle buses which run certain fixed routes.
From the hill tribes of the North, to the full moon parties on the Southern islands, there are a myriad of reasons to look for cheap flights to Thailand. The beaches are as stunning as promised: predominantly white sand, an abundance of palm trees, coral reefs, fish and sparklingly clear turquoise waters. There are villages, resorts and accommodation to suit every type of traveller, be it with a laid-back backpacker-vibe and plenty of cheap diving to high-end, pristine spa resorts set on private coves. The towns are similarly diverse.
If you decide to visit Thailand, you will possibly start from Bangkok as most travellers spend at least a few days in this bustling metropolis. Along with the notorious red light district, other famous attractions include a number of beautiful Wats (temples), the amazing street markets, where everything under the sun can be purchased at reduced prices, trips by boat along the Chao Praya River and gigantic city parks, such as Lumpini.
Chiang Mai epitomises the appeal of Northern Thailand. Set among lush rainforest and mountains, the city dates from the 13th century. Shopping and sightseeing are popular activities (there are more than 300 churches) but the town is also the perfect base from which to explore the mountainous Northern region.
Thailand’s trains are comfortable, frequent, and on time; although a bit slow, it’s a great way to see the country. Thailand’s buses are very fast (don’t watch the road…), well serviced, and air conditioned. If you’re pressed for time, catch a flight. Thailand has several regional airports, and convenient domestic flights are easy to find.
Transport in a city or resort is typically a taxi, tuk-tuk, rickshaw, pickup, or hired car and driver. Taxis are usually metered in a city; make sure the meter is turned on. Always negotiate the fare for a tuk-tuk or rickshaw before you set out.
Bangkok’s public transport can get you around town. Chiang Mai doesn’t have buses or taxis, but has lots of covered pickups (songtaos) and tuk-tuks. You can hail a songtao and their fares are reasonable. Many travellers rent motorcycles and bikes in Chiang Mai, but make sure to drive defensively.
Avoid driving in Thailand, both cars and motobikes. Thais drive on the left side of the road, usually at breakneck speeds even around blind corners, and aren’t fussy about driving laws.
(prices quoted are from London)