November 3, 2021
With exceptional beaches, exciting history, and dynamic culture, Thailand is now open to vaccinated American travelers without quarantine.
As of November 1, the wonders of Thailand are once more available for an incredible getaway to remote islands and grand Buddhist temples, quiet white sands, and exotic marine life. Whether interested in remote trails through jungle terrain or happy to sample the famous cuisine, you can find exceptional excursions and enticing ambiance across the country.
You can find the right experiences for your Thailand trip, and these four tips will help you plan the perfect vacation experience.
Historically, Thailand is most popular around winter, when travelers escape to the tropical paradise of the southern islands and coastline or the cool mountain air of the northern jungle. As the country now opens more regions, you have the chance to explore popular corners with fewer people.
“Normally, the winter is the busiest time of the year for popular islands like Phuket, but it’s currently very quiet and beautiful, which makes it a great time to visit,” says Lenny, a Zicasso Thailand travel specialist.
While many popular regions are open as of November 1, Lenny suggests not planning your trip to depart until mid-November or later. “A lot of new rules are being implemented, so it’s best to wait a bit and see what issues come up, as they always do, but issues are quickly ironed out.”
Thailand’s Sandbox Program was seen as a big success for allowing tourism back to Thailand and is being considered a model for other countries in the region to open back to travelers. During the experiment, only around 0.03% of arriving tourists tested positive for Covid after multiple tests.
“Tourists can fly into any destination in Thailand, including Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, etc. but they have to stay at least one night and get the negative Covid-test result at their place of entry,” says Lenny. “For example, you can't fly into Bangkok and catch a connecting domestic flight to Chiang Mai right away.”
To ease your arrival logistics, Lenny suggests arriving at your destination in the morning or afternoon. “As long as the test on arrival requirement remains in place, it’s recommended to arrive in Bangkok in the morning or afternoon to allow time for the test and hopefully be free that evening or at worst next morning to tour, explore, or travel onward.”
Some hotels have already made arrangements for 24/7 testing on site with results in under eight hours.
Thailand is a destination celebrated for its natural beauty and friendly culture, as well as captivating history. It is easy to become enraptured by the ancient architecture, elaborate temples, delicious cuisine, and welcoming ambiance.
As the new regions continue to open to visitors, our travel specialists recommend each of the following destinations open as of November 1 to give you plenty of insight into the natural and cultural splendors for which Thailand is known.
Phuket is the dream of Thailand on a smaller scale, where the mixture of white- and gold-sand beaches meet rainbows of passing tropical fish. The coastline becomes a blissful escape into warm waters, and luxurious sweeping views as cultural treasures become the focus in captivating museums, popular cooking classes, boutique shops, and national parks that protect the rich ecosystem. Whether looking for the wonders beneath the sea or exquisite cuisine, Phuket captures the spirit of splendor from the jungle to the coastline.
From exclusive luxuries to quiet retreats, Koh Samui has everything a traveler would want on a world-class scale. A kiss of sun wraps around the shoreline as the beaches touch deep azure waters. A mixture of mindfulness and activity provides a distinctive ambiance for spa treatments and wellness retreats. Whether a focus on food in famous restaurants or anonymous corners, an interest in a private boat trip, or time spent at a national park created by stunning islands, Koh Samui feels like an opulent place to pass the time.
Koh Phangan is still a place for solitude and tranquility with clean beaches that recall an ideal getaway. Long stretches of white sand lined by coconut trees or cliffs that provide picturesque views, the various corners of the island can create unforgettable days. Kayaking around sheltered coves or lounging in a full-service resort, venturing to granite outcropping or wandering through the lush hills bring the diversity of the island’s natural grandeur to light. Trek through jungle terrain or lounge in a bungalow by the water to embrace the beauty of the island.
The relaxed ambiance reflects the greater wonder of the island of Koh Tao. Easy to connect to from Koh Samui, the waters are a playground for marine life where you can take an adventure into the tangle of neon coral and search for the colorful schools of fish, speeding sea turtles, or grand whale sharks. A trek through the jungle interior uncovers the splendor of the untouched nature that leads to open panoramas of the archipelago, while the beaches provide endless access to white sands and shallow crystal-clear waters.
Bangkok is the quintessential heart of Thailand, where heritage converges with historical and contemporary culture. Colorful and exciting, ancient and modern, the metropolis follows its own set of rules to create a welcoming and dizzying collection of discoveries. Bangkok thrives as a city of contrasts with an intensity focused on food and a seemingly endless number of neighborhoods to explore. Antique villages hide in the shadows of soaring sky-scrapers, lively streets overlook longtail boats passing down the river, and multifaceted malls stand beside outdoor markets to capture a glimpse of Thai cosmopolitanism.
Calm and relaxed, yet brimming with possibilities, Chiang Mai feels like anything but Thailand’s second-largest city. The historic center offers a luxurious respite among shading trees and preserved temples while the countryside leads into pristine rainforest churning with charming waterfalls. Villages may reflect ancient customs with ethnic communities, and markets offer a different perspective on daily life. Cooking classes and street food highlight the importance of local cuisine, and nature continues to support herds of wild elephants. With captivating energy, Chiang Mai is a welcomed adventure with endless possibilities.
The province of Chonburi sweeps across Thailand’s east coast with the main attraction of Pattaya. Celebrated as a multicultural center on the shoreline and one of Thailand’s first beach resorts, the region boasts incredible excursions and discoveries. Move from Buddha Mountain to a Long-Necked Karen village, next to the sprawling sandy beaches of quiet islands, and then uncover the architecture of historical temples. Each corner of the region can give you new insight into Thailand's traditions, histories, and beauty.
Phetchaburi displays a timeline of Southeast Asian kingdoms with exceptional preservation accentuated by collections of cave shrines and riverside markets. Old teak shophouses line the waterways, and remarkable kingdoms remain standing in open fields. Winding trails, lush beaches, and rambunctious wildlife create a vision of the region further embellished by the golden sunsets. Surprising sea farms, elaborate temples, and distinctive communities unveil the consistent history and evolving heritage of the area in connection to greater Thailand. veil the consistent history and evolving heritage of the region in connection to greater Thailand.
Prachuap Khiri Khan
Unspoiled and quiet defines the provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan. With stretches of quiet beaches absent of crowds and crystal-clear waters that lap against the sand, Prachuap Khiri Khan is a perfect escape for swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying the calm ambiance. Limestone mountains tower above the coastline like natural towers punctuated by views of fishing boats bobbing in the turquoise water. The natural beauty, wildlife, and culture make it easy to see why the province was once the preferred getaway for Thai royalty.
With the changing guides and logistics, using a travel specialist to personalize your Thailand itinerary can help you navigate your overall trip with ease. Our sample itineraries can help inspire your next adventure with ideas on where to visit and what to do.
“I would recommend visiting Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket in winter months if you have 10 to 12 days for an upcoming trip because of the incredible sites, culture, and fantastic seasonal weather,” recommends Lenny.
Top recommended itineraries for traveling to Thailand right now::
As Thailand opens its borders to travelers from the US once more you can enjoy the highlights of historic temples soaring over central Bangkok or find a remote beach on an island paradise. Learn to scuba dive for elusive whale sharks or embrace a couple’s spa treatment.
Our Thailand Tours & Vacations can let you experience this wonderful destination as you immerse yourself in the flavor of your trip. Visit our Thailand Travel Guide to find inspiration for your next trip.
Chat with a Thailand travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.